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PROBLEMS OF ESSENCE

2008

Carbonized Wood

Dimensions: Variable

The Look Of Nowhere

 

Our legacy is one of combustion.  From the domestication of fire to the release of the atom bomb, the tracks we have left behind have been written in the ash of our technical prowess.  The “infinity room,” a plutonium pumping station at Rocky Flats that leaked so badly that the whole room was welded shut, was so dubbed because radiation levels were beyond what instrumentation could register.

 

The works in this exhibition have evolved from a sense of wonder mixed with a sense of the tragic:  Did speculative (mirror) self-awareness emerge before the flicker of a fire?  Does a map blind us to the material particulars of place?  Does naming something inhibit the act of seeing it?  What is the cost of gazing upon beauty or the glare of a nuclear explosion?

 

These pieces are not meant to be read.  They are not meant to be interpreted or translated.  In fact, they have to do with the very problems that surround the attempt to represent one thing is terms of another.  Ultimately, they are meant to provoke perceptual experiences that lead to a particular feeling—a feeling that mixes wonder with critical reflection.