Portfolio > Material Drift: Speculative Collage for an Uncertain Future

Material Drift: Speculative Collage for an Uncertain Future.

These mixed media collisions verge on haphazard material explosions but are in fact self-contained eddies of content and form, culled from a diverse material drift brimming with ideas.

They are gritty, hybrids that grow out from the wall like mutant art forms.

I started this series while reading Octavia Butler's novel, Parable of the Sower. It is a dystopic science fiction novel written in 1993 that threads a narrative around issues of climate catastrophe and social inequality. It put me in a mind to thinking about disrupted supply lines and how to keep painting if there is no Amazon delivery truck and no art stores to up my art supplies?

I turned to recycled commercial packaging as a ubiquitous material source with readymade optic range that rivals the palettes of Hilma af Klint, Kerry James Marshall and Massacio, combined!

Cereal boxes, aluminum cans, packing materials broke down into fragments of color, graphics, text but never cut free of recognized corporate and cultural signage completely.

I call these works 'Smash Collage'. They build on a range of influences that include Kurt Schwitters' Merz pictures (collages), speculative fiction (Octavia Butler, William Gibson), and scientific advances like, CRISPER-Cas9, the controversial gene-editing tool.

CRISPR is an apt metaphor. I cut and splice materials to propagate idiosyncratic, hybrid forms. All active edges and complex layering, each piece is equal parts composition and decomposition. Scraps and fragments of commercial packaging often cycle back into the work as cultural signifiers or strange haiku moored in the subsurface.