I create objects and ritualized actions that unfold in the continuum between technology and embodiment, materiality and the virtual, order and chance, language and silence. My practice is rooted in ceramics and its deep history of skills, objects, and technologies. I look at the range of ancient and emergent ceramics making processes not as a record from primary to advanced, but as a continually recurring event that can reveal something of what it means to be human. I use a broad range of clay technologies from traditional skills like coil building, wheel throwing, direct modeling, slip casting, and glaze chemistry, to emergent digital fabrication machines such as 3D clay printing, laser cutting templates, and carving plaster molds on a CNC (Computer Numerical Control) router. Working in the lineage of human technologies, my objects are scaled to the human hand. This scale roots the work intimately with the body, and recalls ceramics’ attunement to everyday experience.
I use ceramic objects and processes as material anchors from which to navigate shifting landscapes of culture and identity. I access these stories not just through research and speculation, but also in a rich visual world of the dream state, trance, and meditation. My objects are records of these ritualized processes, be they vessels for consumption, bowls for sustenance, or highly specialized performative objects. These objects, like myths emerging from the location of star constellations, are also pulled from the ether. This ether is at once mythic and communal, subjective and idiosyncratic. The transitory nature of this initial experience of these objects complicates the tangible space they occupy. The intangible nature of this inner world is comparable to the ephemerality of mathematic code performed by digital fabrication machines. Just as the direct urgency of my hands on clay attempts to capture a fleeting form glimpsed in the imagination, the particular physicality of clay acts as a foil to the pure mathematic code sent to the machine. In both instances, making exists on the edge between what is physical, and what is not yet manifest.
As culture becomes virtualized we can mistakenly forget that it remains based in materiality. Forgetting materiality allows for the degradation of resources, bodies and relationships in the cause of expedience and power. This understanding is rooted in a feminist insistence that materiality and bodies are not inconsequential abstractions. There is power in remembering bodies, and the material processes stewarded in craft disciplines. But there is power too in expanding how we perceive embodiment and skill. My use of ceramic objects and digital processes complicates an understanding of where the body ends and the unseen or virtual begins. A paradox emerges where embodied knowledge meets intangible information and abstract machine language. For me, this paradox expands what it might mean to be human, and what we mean by bodies. It reflects a queer materiality that insists on the multiplicity of the present, of identities and cultures, which always defies classification.