Plastisphere Earthlings (2017)

 

“…more than a substance, plastic is the very idea of its infinite transformation; as its everyday name indicates, it is ubiquity made visible. And it is this, in fact, which makes it a miraculous substance: a miracle is always a sudden transformation of nature. Plastic remains impregnated throughout with this wonder: it is less a thing than the trace of a movement.”

-Roland Barthes, Mythologies

From our toiletries and sex toys to house paint, plastic has become the most prevalent surface layer of our daily lives, since Barthes’ foretelling essay on plastic published only half a century ago.

Most of the paints commercially produced and available to us today are made of plastic/synthetic polymers in terms of the chemical composition of binders and pigments used. This show, Plastisphere Earthlings, is Part II of my on-going project in the teleological exploration of paint, its plastic nature, and its relation to nature. Expanding from and further developing my earlier work based on queer theory and construction of identities through paint-made objects, this new body of work both metaphorically and physically confronts and juxtaposes the synthetic, plastic, and artificial nature of paint with vegetation. Introduction of this “natural” element momentarily disrupts the sterile, colorful, and shiny surface of plastic paint, providing a peculiar sense of wonder and resilience, much like seeing grass growing between cracks in concrete pavement. It shows us how much and how far we have come to change the environment and how we perceive that change, how quickly and easily we accept it or deny it as nature or being natural.

In illuminating this anomalous yet anticipated emergence of the anthropogenic substrate called the Plastisphere, symbols and codes found in road constructions are used to serve as a metaphor for our ever-so quickly changing environment. In the interest of animating and re-imagining plastic as the non-filial queer progeny of our love and desire for a sleeker, cleaner, and a more perfect world, I would like to present these paint-made, blobby, plastic objects as our fellow earthlings, traversing this artifactual earth that we share with other living things.

In the closing statement of her lecture titled, “the Queer Futurity of Plastic”, Heather Davis suggests: “…to acknowledge that the future will be queer, in terms of being completely disruptive, and also in the sense of learning from queer folks, who have never assumed biological reproduction or even continuance as a kind of possibility of hope, that futurity has to be completely reconfigured means finding a way to live with toxicity, extinction, and without the reassurance of an open horizon of the future. Toxicity provides a re-solution to the question of what to do with ambivalence of queerness only to the extent that does not represent a choice. It is already here; it is not a matter of queer political agency so much as to queer political state of the present.”Untitled-1Plastisphere Earthlings, Dakota Gallery, Bellingham, WA

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–paint–blobs–queer–plastic– (2016), MAC Gallery, Wenatchee Valley College, Wenatchee, WA

This show, –paint–blobs–queer–plastic–, is a kind of teleological exploration of paint, its nature, and its relation to nature. Expanding from and further developing my earlier concepts based on queer theory and construction of identities through paint-made objects, this new body of work confronts and juxtaposes the synthetic, plastic, and artificial nature of paint with vegetation. Introduction of this “natural” element momentarily disrupts the sterile, plastic, shiny surface of paint, providing a sense of peculiarity and queerness, much like seeing grass growing between cracks in concrete pavement. It shows us how much and how far we have come to change the environment and how we perceive that change, how quickly and easily we accept it as nature or being natural. Reflecting on these questions and ideas, I would like to present paint and paint-made objects in a more “natural” setting, a transitory moment for viewers to see these paint blobs as “artifacts/artificial objects that resemble nature/nature-made things” into experiencing them as “objects of artifactual earth that exist in nature.”

FeTiSH 123 (BFA Thesis Show)

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April 09 – 12, 2012. Gallery 108, APSU, Clarksville, TN
fet·ish
[fet-ish, fee-tish]
noun
1. an object regarded with awe as being the embodiment or habitation of a potent spirit or as having magical potency.
2. any object, idea, etc., eliciting unquestioning reverence,respect, or devotion: to make a fetish of high grades.
 3. Psychology . any object or non-genital part of the body that causes a habitual erotic response or fixation.
Also, fet·ich.
Origin: 
1605-15;
earlier fateish  < Portuguese feitiço  charm, sorcery(noun), artificial (adj.) < Latin factīcius
factitious;  replacing fatisso, fetisso  < Portuguese, as above
Related forms fet·ish·like, adjective
Synonyms 1.  talisman, amulet.

in memoriam (2011)

in memoriam
8 ft x 2 1/2 ft x 1/2 ft
Mixed Media Installation
materials:
broken pieces of glass
a pear on a candle holder
a shadow box collage of John Rutter’s Requiem, a dead sparrow, Korean-Japanese playing cards (HwaToh)
a wooden frame
a magazine cut-out of F. Zurbaran’s “Meditation of St. Francis”, hung upside down
two sheets of burlap and a layer of chiffon sewn together, with powder rosin and grease wax

installation – totenbäume (On M. Heidegger’s Building, Dwelling, Thinking) (2011)

“Installation: totenbäume” was a year-long project that incorporated a site-specific sculpture/video projection. For sculpture materials, I went out to the Cumberland river and gathered driftwood and dorky looking tree branches to initially make a sculptural “graffiti” under a hidden staircase by the school library. Later on, I got an opportunity to make a video piece that was recorded from the site and eventually projected onto the sculpture and the site. The subject, totenbäume or dead tree, is a reference to both the materials used and the concept derived from Martin Heidegger’s “Building, Dwelling, Thinking”.