Overview Uniform Policy Uniform Policy
No Pictures, Please No Pictures, Please No Pictures, Please


Artist Statement:

One of the fundamental problems with the visual arts is their one-way nature; you can't effectively argue with a painting, just like you can't argue with your television. The resulting heirarchy is difficult to upset- particularly because in the eyes of the artist, the museum, and the corporation, we are the receptacles for their output -- their viewers, their audiences, and their consumers.

One solution to this problem is non-participation. Don't buy the pants, don't pay the admission. Turn off the TV, even. But a non action isn't often a very effective action, and it's extremely difficult to maintiain, outside of death.

So, rather than making images about the evils of consumer culture, which are easily ignored and inevitably commodified, I'm proposing a means to an alternative lifestyle -- one of personal action. A great many of us have the time and ability to make small, active resistances without great pains. I've conceived of a handmade purse against Ashcroft and his PATRIOT act, pants against branding, and simple technologies like bricks against surveillance cameras. I'm sure you can think of better ones.

No Pictures, Please.

Kodak DC-50, custom electronics, fabric. 2004.

Surveillance cameras are ubiquitous fixtures, like light bulbs or faucets. Likewise, they are subject to about the same amount of attention. Strangely, many shops, malls, stores, and public areas prohibit photography, while photographing themselves. They create an interesting condition: a record of a publicly accessible space which is completely private and unavailable. To counter, question, and upset this imbalance, I created a camera which operates in a completely inverse way; it creates a record of both private and public space- wherever I am - and makes a public record, an unedited diary of where I've been and how I've spent my time. While somewhat hampered by practical consideration (the camera couldn't see well at night, and batteries had to be charged), the results and reactions were positive.

To create the device, I acquired an old digital camera, a Kodak DC-50, and modified it to accept modern compact flash memory. The modification allowed the camera to take in excess of 1,200 photos on a single card. I created a simple timer circuit which depressed the shutter every two-and-a-half minutes. The end effect is a long stream of accountability, a record of where I was, and when. A body of approximately eight or nine hundred photos a day. I also sewed a sling and satchel for the camera, allowing it to easily be carried at waist level at all times. I wore the camera for about three months. The images available here are from the first week of its operation.

Uniform Policy

mixed media 2003

With the guidance of my mother, a seamstress, I tailored a uniform of five pairs of pants and three shirts. I wore the uniform every day for one year. In sewing my own uniform, and wearing the same thing every day, I'm sidestepping what I see as a problematic mode of individuation -- the selection of an assortment of brand names. The uniform project marked the beginning of a new series of work that goes beyond an explicitly visual critique of culture. Instead, my art consists of direct actions, altering my interaction with the world, which I hope will serve as an example, or at least have some educational value.

Steal This Book

mixed media, 2004

With the introduction of the PATRIOT act in 2001, any law enforcement agency can, (among other things) sequester library records without a warrand or any judicial oversight. In effect, this makes one suspect simply in the investigation of classes of information, a pre-crime scenario. Many librarians, as well as the ALA, have come up with clever wasy of defeating this provision, such as destroying library records. My solution is a Faraday cage that prevents the records from being created in the first place; books are removed without the explicit knowledge of the librarian, and without setting off the alarm system. The same system can easily be used to return the books so that others are able to access the same information. Anyone could create a similar bag using aluminum foil.