artist statement -
Cargo Concrète  

The title, Cargo Concrète, references concrete poetry, "musique concrète" and cargo cults, a misunderstood anthropological term for Melanesian aboriginal practices of luring in western manufactured goods through the deployment of decoy transport aircraft, radios and runways made from indigenous materials.  

I collected clumps of ripe juicy elderberries to use for staining paper for this series, inserting the plant material between folded sheets in order to print both left and right halves at the same time. 
The overall granular detail of these monoprints references both printmaking and photography in the sense that the original object or material leaves behind a trace or impression as a separate independent image.  I then worked into these surfaces with drawing, watercolor and collage, dispersing fragments of imagery collected from my media archive of magazines, encyclopedias, old textbooks and “how-to-do-it” manuals.  

Rather than adhering to the relational dynamics of traditional collage, I am interested in the layered distribution and scattering of these representations of cultural artifacts, creating a multi-dimensional reality exemplary of current forms of mediated perception.  These map-like works explore global phenomenology and extend and multiply traditional attitudes about time, scale and place.  The viewer moves in close-up to study the detail and then backs away for an overview, zooming in and out like a camera in an earth-orbiting satellite.  The book-like center spine with its imperfect mirror reflections recalls both Rorschach inkblots and the hemispheres of the brain, setting up an ironic psychological link to the unconscious.  Each work has its own layers of history, geology and cultural sedimentation.  The depicted "ruins" are a contemporary ephemeral version of the underwater archeological finds of old sunken ships with their contents strewn across the ocean floor.  Contemporary cultural artifacts such as audio speakers, shoes, cryptic messages from fortune cookies, cement building blocks and hair dryers parallel the broken amphoras and marble columns of the ancient world.  As fields of information, these densely embedded "mediascapes" defy a single coherent ordering.  The viewer occupies a point of view that simultaneously references the interior of the mind as well as the external exploration of the map.  To me, complexity and "random tangles" are not to be feared, but understood and accepted as integral parts of nature, technology and contemporary life on the planet.