In this series I adopt the roles of characters from the television show Lost, using humor and the shear oddity of mimicry to critique the idealized personas depicted in entertainment narratives. Placing myself into these fantastical tales, I perform as both victor and victim, inversely trivializing the myth of the hero.
A Savage Servility
Taking it’s name from the Robert Lowell poem, For the Union Dead, the piece A Savage Servility pays grisly homage to cinematic archetypes of the vigilante and solitary war hero, and the damage such portrayals serve in promoting glory through war. Viewers enter into an unfinished, domestic interior decorated with posters depicting tales of self-sacrifice, as they experience increasing dislocation and claustrophobia through the use of an angled set. Towards the back, one discovers a gaping hole in the floor through which a creature appears to have emerged from hellish depths. Scorched footprints provide evidence of this beast’s literal manifestation from mental trauma to physical form.
Holding Out for BJ Blazkowitz
Single Chanel Video 2013
Set to Bonnie Tyler’s 1984 hit, Holding Out for a Hero, I embody the role of BJ Blazkowitz, the protagonist of Wolfenstein 3D, the classic first-person shooter computer game from 1992. The viewer is invited to participate in the bloodshed through on screen prompts to “punch” and “shoot”, reimagining the video game as an exercise video. Using Richard Simmons style antics, the video resuscitates the hero model of The Greatest Generation via the elimination of villainous Nazi soldiers.
Watch the video at https://vimeo.com/133091054
Discourse & Dismemberment
This piece was most recently staged at the Museum of Contemporary Art for Fight Night, an event showcasing performances inspired by the absurdist antics of professional wrestling. By performing fantasy inspired acts of violence, the characters we developed for Discourse & Dismemberment enact formulaic conflict routines common in video games and action films.
The Black Emporium
Installation, Performance, and Mixed Media Sculpture
Referencing the ubiquitous, disaffected shopkeeper found in video games, my collaborator and I created an immersive environment for a one night only interactive performance. Posed as an occult shop, we sold custom artifacts with nefarious powers, such as wands, talismans, and charms. Similar to the wizened crones of dime-store horror comics, the characters we created hawked wares of illicit intent, favoring monetary gain over questions of legitimacy or safety.
I Want My Future Back
Archival Inkjet Print
2011 - Present
This work envisions a future filled with technological wonders such as elevators to the moon and cybernetic enhancements. Through a lens of science-fiction idealism, these images also reveal the childish resentment of a science that fails to realize utopia.
A Mark Made by Pressure
Archival Inkjet Print
Utilizing inanimate objects as harbingers, these photographs allude to notable issues in broadcast news through the use of mythology and science fiction. As the title implies, the objects have a transience that contrast their real world counterparts.
PFC Jerrick Farthing Patrols Mosul, Iraq 4/10/08
Single Chanel Video, Loop
Inspired by YouTube footage of US soldiers and contractors attacked with improvised explosive devices, this piece subverts expected carnage by substituting TNT with frosting and glitter. Paralleling the United States’ seemingly endless involvement in Iraq, soldiers in the video are stuck in a quotidian cycle of fear, violence, and boredom.
Watch the video at https://vimeo.com/12117284
Slouching Back Towards...
Archival Inkjet Prints 2007
In this series of landscapes, “no man’s land“ is explored as a space devoid of living presence but yet bearing the mark of human activity. The set design was inspired solely from Hollywood representations of World War I, referencing Jean Baudrillard’s definition of hyperreality as the inability to discern fact from fiction. Through this body of work I question my own relationship with war as pure fantasy exclusively experienced through popular culture.