Artist Statement

As an artist, I utilize my own labor as a medium and investigate the economics and systems behind the global production of textile goods. Within my installations and performances, I combine studies of consumer science and installation art to influence sight, space, and viewer experience.

As a consumer I am an individual; obtaining all of my needs through my own interactions with retail. As a consumer I am not asked to consider the physical labor invested in producing the items I purchase. I am incapable of accurately assigning value to items within my life due to a bias accumulated through years of viewing items based on the retail prices assigned to them. The production process behind fashion goods and to what degrees those are factored into ultimate retail pricing, are kept largely invisible to me. My labor in earning $5 and the labor invested in a $5 product are not equivalent, the exchange rate tilting in favor of one side or another dependent upon fashion, technology and the national origin of the labor’s performance.

As an artist I work to make visible the invisible within consumer systems. The exchange dominates as a principle action within performances of my labor and tilts the ratio dependent upon the product or service offered up for exchange. I challenge conventional systems of valuation by presenting my labor below an American market value and by presenting invisible actions behind the products we find seemingly manifested at the point of purchase.

In my recent work, I acknowledge that the white T-shirt is ubiquitous. Generic and style-less, it is a nearly value-less product. Yet unlike other blank, mass-produced items, the T-shirt is assembled by human hands. The accumulation of these labors is removed from consumer awareness through an apparel producing system that takes advantage of the anonymity of hands in the creation of cheap goods.

In Unsustainable Systems, blank, white, mass-produced T-shirts are stacked in systems of self-defeating geometries, reflecting on the anonymity embedded in apparel products. The greater the accumulation within the installations, the more dramatically the geometric systems defeat themselves. Providing contrast between uniformity and error, linear ink drawings and T-shirt stacks occupy shared space within installations. While the design of each T-shirt is meant to hide the maker and provide uniformity, the design of each drawing inherently reveals the hand of the maker, in favor of inconsistency. In contrast with the t-shirt stacks, the companion drawings reveal their own making through the delicateness of errors hidden in their structure, providing individuality in companion to accumulated anonymity. Combined, they create complex layers of exhibiting or obscuring the work of the hand, and the non-equivalency of value and price.