Are you satisfied creatively?
Occasionally. TURN has been an unexpectedly and remarkably affecting project for me personally—from conception to launch to its very ongoing, durational nature, it has led to many questions (and truthfully, more than one anxiety attack) about the state of my own practice and, really, my life in general. Creating a platform, I found myself asking a lot of questions—Who gets to use it? What exactly am I looking to highlight? Who am I to even be making these decisions?
Moreover, and despite it being inherent in the nature of the project as I proposed it, giving up control of what was briefly my piece was surprisingly hard at first. This has grown a little easier each month, as the excitement of the changes and the real unknown factor kicked in.
Similarly, my studio practice is in a state wholly unfamiliar to me. I’m playing with materials for what feels like the first time. When I show people what I’m making, I can’t help but mention that “I don’t even know what it is.” It’s a befuddling place for me to linger in, but for that I am ultimately thankful.
Learning to find comfort and satisfaction in these passages of time, in the journey itself, has been rewarding.
What kind of self-critiquing do you do with all of these endeavors?
Speaking of journeys, in my artistic past, I’ve tended to be a destination man. With a clear vision of what a piece will be, I generate the path that gets me to it. I tend to setup parameters for myself, restraints to work within. With embroidery, for instance, I made a conscious effort to never duplicate a pattern exactly, and to not edit the work for exhibition—if I made it, I showed it. Critique in these parameters often came after completing the piece—the destination—deciding whether or not the idea worked, and whether or not I continue working within the same parameters.
We were happy to hear you say you’re not as much of a creator as you are an “alterer.” Can you tell us more about that idea?
This idea became very relevant to me after I stopped trying to “make photographs” and embraced the use of found materials.
I like to think about how there is the same amount of rock on the earth as there has always been—constantly getting broken down into smaller pieces, and in other places, rejoined by heat, reconfigured by machine, altered by man. By this measure, I’ve never created a thing in my life.