LEAN-OUT, LEAN-TO - Jack Straw New Media Gallery 2014
In 2012 I happened upon a truck canopy that was fashioned into a shed in a backyard in Spokane. With loosely stacked brick sidewalls and the canopy as a roof, the shed was both pragmatic and visionary. While this encounter was the impetus for this exhibition, it has led me to gather, as one would sticks for a fire, numerous conceptual fragments that have coalesced into this installation— sculpture from new and appropriated materials, videos and field recordings, along with studio recordings capturing various artificial bird and animal calls.
Most of the media recordings were logged during a summer artist residency at Ox-bow in Michigan where I wandered and explored 115 acres of pristine woodlands, dunes, and a river lagoon over two weeks. The land was reminiscent of the forests of my youth in southern Indiana, and while working toward this exhibition I was easily drawn to consider how the land can hold our heritage (known and unknown) and how it contains almost familial intimacies that can’t be manufactured except through time and experience. As a transplant to the NW of 8 years, it was also natural for me to ponder how the exploration of new land steals one away and implants its power and beauty into a present now. There is, in the land, a perfect blend of order and chaos and in this installation I have attempted to let those fragments and tensions build their own stage set for a forgotten story—one built from the intuition of an author who is both stranger and lover.