As a designer and artist, I practice an ongoing analysis of information. I examine physical and ephemeral artifacts of information through the following process: identification, segmentation, recognition, interpretation, association, and contextualization. This results in greater insight to the pervasive linguistic nature of technology by revealing new ways for identifying, constructing, organizing, and experiencing place. Space, in this case, is defined as a collective narrative that manifests through the process of recording, transmitting, and deciphering information: as evidence, as memories, and as indices strung together to form immense interwoven meanings.
For the last 15 years, I have been working and exhibiting in the fields of Design, Printmaking, Video, Book Arts, Installation, and Interactive Media. Since joining UWM, I have been working increasingly with architects and the School of Architecture and Urban Planning in analyzing and developing processes for examining space. An architect looks at place as the construction of a public environmental image, a two-way process between the observer and the environment. This public image consists of an overlap of many individual images that can be described as nodes, districts, edges, passages, and landmarks. As a designer and artist, one of the ways I understand place is through text, the visual image of a mental object realized through words. Words populate all public and private spaces, construct much of the content of our living experiences, and provide “way-finding” through the labyrinth of spatial constructs. Between my fellow colleagues in architecture and myself, the difference of scale in how we understand, define and redefine place is what enriches our collaborative approach to designing space.
Throughout my creative process the computer screen serves as the model for my work. It collects the flows of data and advances my pursuits to take an existing environment and unfold it, to pan, swoop, swerve, cut, slow down and speed up. It provides a mechanism for exploring spatial constructs like the interstitial space of indices and the digital ethnology of place. In many ways the computer serves as the catalyst for dissolving the separation between perception, representation and realization. It is a way of representing facts about our environments: to make visible invisible forces that otherwise are too abstract to see, to form and reform those facts however we choose, and to express these critical representations as relevant environmental qualities for place. The ideas and solutions come out of rethinking what already exists. We live in the acceleration of time and I am fascinated by place-making (real, virtual, and hybrid forms), its impact on how we think about community, mores, identity, authorship, expression, movement, freedom, borders, authority, and commerce, and what this means in creating a new kind of space that is dense and open, defined and indefinite, real and virtual.