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A Nice Way to Travel 3 Hours Into the Present is my first truly installation-scale piece: a giant, walk-in painting that I completed over the course of 11 months in 2010-11. The structure consists of a circular yurt, made by hand, seven feet high at the walls and 18 feet in diameter, and a single canvas, 6'6" x 60', that wraps around the entire inside of the structure. It was designed to collapse down and fit easily inside of a box truck. Because of the size and shape of the piece, viewers are forced to approach it as an environment rather than an image, letting it envelop them, rather than address their intellect. The image inside changes gradually as it goes around, eventually coming back to where it started, creating an endless, energetic meditative loop. Originally installed at Burning Man 2011.


Return to Source: completed between May and August of 2016, and first installed at Burning Man that year, this was my first piece to include a programmed lighting sequence that reveals different compositions and characteristics of the piece under different colors of light.


Each panel is 64" high and 120" long, installed on one of three adjacent walls in a 20' square space, so that the centers of the three paintings converge in the center of the room. 


Return to Source is about finding your "source," your center, returning to a state of calm after a period of turbulence, whether that disruption was positive, negative, or some combination thereof.

When installed in space, the very strong pull of the center-focused compositions all align at the middle of the room, creating a feeling like you are suspended between three equally-strong magnets. In my experience (and some others have shared the same with me), the sensation is felt physically, not simply an abstract thought. 

The paintings all have similar compositions under normal lighting, but under the variable lighting of the programmed sequence, each shifts differently, depending on its color scheme, with each taking on a particularly individual character under blacklight that highlights one of the three major compositional elements that they all share--structured, angular geometry representing the previous life; frenetic, tense linework that evokes the strife and change; and circular rings that return us to center.


Dark Chrysalis is a painting approximately 10 ft tall by 5 feet wide, with a 15-minute color changing light sequence performed to a piece of music. When put on as a full performance, the piece includes not only the music and lights, but also a specific physical installation in which the audience lies down in front of the painting wearing headphones and a 20 lb weighted blanket, giving them the sense of being in a personal cocoon and blocking out the rest of the world.


This piece was initially conceived as a meditation on anger, and in fact is the first large-scale piece I have successfully completed with that particular emotion as a primary driving factor. Anger is often too much of a fleeting, uncontrollable emotion for it to be successfully channeled into a long-term creative project, but in this piece I was able to tap into a deeper well of seething frustration about the problems in the world that I could control just well enough to make the piece.


But rather than being simply a record of disgusted fury, Dark Chrysalis is still first and foremost about hope--that the things that we are doing now that are so frustrating and destructive are necessary pieces of what we must go through in order to clear out the space for a new reality and a a better future for tomorrow. This is revealed in the piece, as the frenetic marks made while channeling anger that dominate the composition under amber light give way to radiant glowing portals under black light.