untitled painting for collaborative exhibition with artists and scientists
I was curated into a show at Gallery F, where science-related art was exhibited alongside research imagery from working scientists. An interesting dialogue grew out of the exhibition. I took the opportunity to write a quasi-love letter to scientists through my artist's statement.
I have this fantasy of what scientists are like. The fantasy may be slightly influenced by Dr. Ian Malcolm from Jurassic Park. So I kind of think of you like intellectual sex symbols. But don’t worry, my intentions are noble (like the gas! Science joke!) I really want us to be friends, I want to hear about your favorite parts of doing experiments. In exchange I could tell you about Xerox transfers and other art techniques. And I could give you great advice on your rivalries with Evil Scientists.
Before we go any further, I should be honest with you. I’ve been working with microscopic imagery in my art for two years, and, well, I’ve been trying to co-opt some of your prestige in my artistic persona. The expectation of a scientific image is that it is educational, and I like exploiting that reference point to take on an affectation of expertise.
It feels like I’m discovering things with my microscope because they are new to me, but then I doubt myself because they already existed, I just didn’t have the ability to see them. Sometimes the natural world at a microscopic scale seems to belong to scientists and professionals, that you have to be this tall to enter and I don’t have the credentials. But there are no science police and no one’s ever made me feel unwelcome. When I meet science types I’m always astounded by how casual they are about science, the lack of preciousness with which they regard the subject.
Scientists, thank you for making the world easier to understand. And for, yknow, finding cures for diseases.
As a kid I had a superstition that there was a portal behind my ear leading directly into my brain. I was chronically afraid that pulling back my ear might expose oxygen directly into my bloodstream, causing me to instantly die. It was an unseen vulnerability, an Achilles heel where adults could take possession of my thoughts by touching me behind the ear. I once became hysterical when a magician reached behind my ear without warning.
This piece is a worst-case scenario of the future as the full manifestation of my childhood fear. It acknowledges the silliness of the fear with the cartoon-like representation of mastermind roaches, dystopian mind control buddies.
2011 Figure 1, Gallery F at the Scarritt Bennett Center, Nashville, TN
2011 The Future Show, Moonbase, Nashville, TN