ancillary entry

rosendale, new york 
large format photographs
incandescent lights, house (1886), onsite construction materials 

During my recent residency in upstate New York, I spent a great deal of time contemplating the transitional qualities of space.  Smitten with a dilapidated historic building onsite, I kept vigil as the interior was methodically deconstructed to reveal an aged wooden shell.  With crowbars, sledge hammers, and power saws the home transformed into a construction zone - a jarring yet enchanting contemporary window into the preservation of history.

Throughout the day, walls and ceilings crumbled to the floor in dusty chemical filled heaps.  At dusk, I sat silently amidst the resting chaos.  Each of these crumbled walls once marked the perimeters of a space - they encompassed a room.  What happens to the room when the walls disappear? 

within constructions

barr house.  rosendale, new york
site specific installation
handmade paper, house (1886), onsite construction materials

Within Constructions was a temporaneous site-specific installation at Women's Studio Workshop's historic Barr House, built in 1886.  During renovation demolition, I meticulously wrapped the original interior wall structure in the hearth of the home with handmade highly-beaten abaca paper.  As the unique paper shrank dry around the wall frames, it tightly enclosed a two-story room.  These taught, yet transparent surfaces transformed the empty hearth into a large-scale resonator.  This two story resonator magnified and echoed sounds of movement within the home. 

Within Constructions examines the Taoist philosophy:  "It is the door and window that make a room useful".  Through highly repetitive labored process, I enveloped the installation site with an attentive care and intentionality that sharply contrasted the speedy demolition of the construction zone it inhabited.  Both physically and conceptually, Within Constructions amplified the emptiness of the space it contains.  

These interior walls have since been removed.  Although the space this installation occupied still exists, it no longer has perimeters of any kind.  

unperformed events

chicago, illinois + seattle, washington

Unperformed Events is a series of written vignettes. At present, I have created 46.

Each documents an un-performed experience, an act embodied with a specific intent, for a specific duration.

These events exist in the world. Printed on museum labels, they mark an experience. I attached 186 labels in public spaces throughout Chicago, Illinois and Seattle, Washington; the unperformed events exist in the experience of the viewer.


Stand perfectly still on the sidewalk
just in front of your house.

for: an empty lot.
duration: 9 minutes


Lower your face to a metal ventilation grate.
Hum: "ahhhhh."

for: The sparrow that lives just outside my bedroom window.
duration: 1 minute.


Press your ear against a concrete support
beam, on a railway platform. Attentively remain
until the train enters and
comes to a complete stop.

for: Silence
duration: The length of your wait.


Stand next to a (living) tree. Take deep breaths
into sections of the tree beginning at the
tips of the leading most branches
and moving all the way down to the trunk.
Extend into the roots.

for: My shoes.
duration: Until complete.



ross island, antarctica

Subtle change marks transition.  Paralleling scientific data collection processes, I utilized methodic ritual to document the dynamic, yet seemingly subtle barren antarctic landscape. During December 2006 and December 2007, I repeatedly visited the same geographic area, an expansive snow and crevasse field of Ross Island. Here, I collected short video clips and photographic stills that document the quickly changing meteorological environment; concurrently National Science Foundation teams monitored this area in a multi-year study recording the impact of global climate change.

"If something is boring after two minutes, try it for four. If it is still boring, then eight. Then sixteen. Then thirty-two. Eventually one discovers that it is not boring at all." -John Cage.

VIDEO 1: ross island, antarctica. december 10th, 2006

 VIDEO 2: ross island, antactica. december 17th, 2006

VIDEO 3: ross island, antarctica. december 24th, 2006

VIDEO 4: ross island, antarctica. december 25th, 2006

VIDEO 5: ross island, antarctica. december 9th, 2007

VIDEO 6: ross island, antarctica. december 12th, 2007

VIDEO 7: ross island, antarctica. december 15th, 2007

These videos were some of the visual results of my data collection.

"If something is boring after two minutes, try it for four. If it is still boring, then eight. Then sixteen. Then thirty-two. Eventually one discovers that it is not boring at all." -John Cage.

ice woman

ross ice shelf, antarctica

Through a series of previous writings and one-on-one conversations with Korean artist Kimsooja, I explored the implications of mimicking, re-doing with attentive embodied awareness, art performances within my own experience. This project culminates that work, subtly referencing Kimsooja’s work, Needle Woman, within my skin and my experience.  Rather than occurring in an urban populated area, this performance occurs on the Ross Ice Shelf in Antarctica.

The Ross Island ice shelf is an expanse of permanently frozen ocean; 40 meters of packed snow and ice floats on 120 meters of ocean water.

The air, perfectly still. I chose a spot where a simple perfectly straight line divided the snow from the sky. A silence unlike any silence found in inhabited places, hung in the cold afternoon air. Perfectly still, I remained there. Camera rolling my body pieces together the expansive silent sky and the lifeless frozen tundra.


chicago, illinois
5 channel video/sound installation
objects: handmade paper, adhesive, glass

habituating (a descriptive text)

descriptive text

My work cultivates somatic, intimate, and transient ways of understanding the world. I investigate how one gains an intuitive sense of the intellectually incomprehensible through repetition, attention and time.

In my video/sound installation, Habituating, I draw upon my experiences studying music in Ghana, West Africa, and with the Macalester College African Music Ensemble in Minnesota. Sowah Mensah, my primary mentor, repeatedly instructed our ensemble, “Do not think. Do not try to understand this music. Simply follow my hands, follow my lips.” Through these processes of mimicry and repetition, I learned to accumulate musical knowledge through a conscientious practice, a practice of intimation rather than note reading or intellectual comprehension. I am interested in how this approach challenges Western epistemology by preferencing intimate knowing gained through experience over publicly verifiable knowledge understood through the mind.

Habituating directly emerges from an investigation of intimation and knowledge activated through attentive participation. In Habituating, one 10’ wide DVD projection covers the back wall of the installation room. The projection consists of 10 four and a half minute video sequences and it loops, playing continuously with corresponding stereo soundtracks. Below the projection sit hundreds of glass jars, each is individually wrapped in a skin-like sheath of handmade paper, restraining its utilitarian function yet transforming it into a small drum.

Each of Habituating’s 10 four-minute video sound sequences is created from the repetition and mimicry of a simple action—moving these paper encased jars into circles drawn on a cement floor and then one by one removing each container. I invited individuals to perform and then re-enacted each performance, habituating the pace and tempo of each player through repetition. The resulting recordings are increasingly layered just as drum and vocal parts are in an ensemble, each consecutive sequence containing one additional layer of audio and video.

 This progression of video sequences builds at a slow yet consistent and methodical pace, challenging the viewer to invest their time with the work. The encompassing quality of the sounds, and their rhythmic references to inhalation and exhalation, whistling, and whispering inspire the viewers attention, drawing them into the increasingly complex layers of images and sounds. The placement, overlap, and interwoven network of movements seem to be constructed with no intellectually comprehendible system yet have an inherent structure that can be felt as the viewer participates with the work. It is this circumventing of the intellectual process and privileging of a bodily intelligence that I seek to create in the viewer experience.

Like Fluxus work, this piece also highlights our interaction with everyday objects. My daily life in Ghana increased my awareness of the lifespan of our investment in disposable objects. I lived in Abaudi, an Ewe Community in the Adaklu Region. There, plastic water bottles were not only used to hold water, and as collecting containers for palm oil, but after functioning as a container they became a stick drum or a make shift timeline bell. I transform what would be a single use item in the States; by covering the discarded glass jars used in Weighting, I again give them a new use. Encased in abaca paper their new function is activated through intentional movement. What has been emptiness now becomes contained resonance.

Habituating re-enlivens objects that are disempowered or silenced by their loss of function as well as by our own lack of awareness. As the viewer grows intimately conscious of these jars, they also become aware of their relationship to these objects. This increased self-awareness is the seed for broader worldly connectedness. The silencing of these jars correlates to the systematic silencing of communities of people, such as many Ghanaian women who have found themselves financially paralyzed since the onset of colonialism. Some of these women from the Adaklu Region have begun using their traditional textile skills, particularly spinning, to tap the tourism industry as their means to financial independence. The re-voicing or re-enliving of these silenced containers references this emancipatory act.

In this work, I am still exploring how to effectively subvert Western notions of productivity by offering a route to somatic or intimately gained knowledge.


chicago, illinois
sound installation
handmade paper, glass, five speakers

 contingere is a sound installation composed of audio renderings of habituating. Increasingly ambiguous within new spatial confines, the sounds emitted from contingere are reminiscent of loss, absence and intimately known mystery. The 20 minute 2 channel audio loop plays continually, echoing through the 9th floor halls of the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Sharp Building, 03 Wabash, Chicago, IL, for 168 hours.

contextualized language

st paul, minnesota

These are photographs document a few pieces from a series of over one thousand; each work consists of a short phrase inserted into in an intimate yet public environment that I commonly frequent.

I choose lines of text based on their ability to illuminate unnoticed details in each location. I used all of her text. When compiled together, the large body of phrases construct “Chapter 2: Seeing” from Pilgrim at Tinker Creek by environmentalist author Annie Dillard.


"Something broke and something opened."

     Located on an Eastern facing
                library window.



"Risking sticking my face in"

     In a coffee shop renowned as a
             citywide study spot.



"water turtles smooth as beans"

When it rains water beads on the banister where paint chips have broken away.


"I return from the same walk a day later"

On a bathroom door handle.
Annie Dillard's book Pilgrim at Tinker Creek illuminates the intricate details of land, near her home, that she knows intimately. I brought her awareness to my community. I photocopied Chapter 2, "On Seeing". Then, I cut her words apart into phrases and attached them to overlooked details all throughout my neighborhood. There were thousands of phrases. I kept them in a little plastic zip lock and always carried them with me. I did it on the sly, when no one was looking. Completing the project, a few to a dozen phrases a day, took nearly two years.



These drawings are from a series of 46 titled, mimicking. While these works are not records from performances, they do catalog the active process of mindfulness. I embodied time based “external” happenings- an engaging lecture, the slow accumulation of rain, traffic on a highway- by intently following the actions, mimicking movements onto the page while the activity continued to evolve. These acts of intimation are translated into an accumulation of graphite marks.

mimicking (rainfall)
graphite drawing, 8”H x 10”W.

Drawn from a second story window, observing rain collecting on a bush and then periodically releasing from the branches to the ground. 


mimicking (lecture)
graphite drawing, 8”H x 5”W.

Drawn from the audience of an expressive lecturer who inflected with his hands.


mimicking (traffic)
graphite drawing, 8”H x 5”W.

Drawn from the passenger seat of a car during evening rush hour traffic.


mimicking (stairs)
graphite drawing, 8”H x 5”W.

Drawn in small increments, memory from mindful observation while walking up a staircase.



st. paul, minnesota

weighting, is an installation consisting of over 500 glass jars suspended in space. Highly sensitive to air and circulation changes, the jars created sounds from clinks to chimes when viewers passed. The jars were collected from my friends, peers, family, and affiliates of the gallery; suspending them from the ceiling emphasized their emptiness and removed them from their utilitarian context.

glass jars, monofilament,
10’H x 10’ W x 4’ D

weighting (side view)
glass jars, monofilament,
10’H x 10’ W x 4’ D

weighting (detail)