For me the most interesting objects wont hold still, they flicker, refusing to be pinned down to any kind of specifics. This flicker is what makes me want to experience them again and again.
When I started this work nearly 2 years ago I had not made many objects for quite some time as I had been involved collaboratively with my wife Anna O’Cain; working on installations, photography and film relating to the Katrina hurricane of 2005. In many ways I felt like I was starting over and was concerned with what to bring forward from previous works and what to leave behind. I remembered a conversation with a friend at the opening of the last exhibition of objects that I had made; He said something like, I like these pieces a lot but I really like the ones that are the most direct, paired down to the essential; he pointed out a few that he felt that way about.
That conversation stuck with me as I began pondering the qualities I wanted the new pieces to possess. I began working in two directions: both material and process based, both constructed from every day objects, mostly things found at thrift and 99 cents stores; plastic food containers, utensils and home storage containers.
The first direction I took was an attempt to create mystery by combining and altering form in a way that would withhold information. I employed different processes that included additive, subtractive, replacement activities and worked at changing the light through the use of charcoal powder and translucent fabric. I was attempting to create language by removing most of what was essential to recognition; veiling all but little traces of familiarity.
For the other direction I was thinking about making work that had a physical presence, a presence that was at once familiar yet unlikely. I used objects that I had collected as molds to pour cement into, when the cement cured I would use a rotary tool to cut away the mold; cutting around the steel pins that held the molds together, leaving bits of colored plastic and cuts in the cement as evidence of process. I would then combine these pieces with other materials in a way that I felt resonated through the unusual material combinations.
Over time the two series merged into one and the result are the most recent pieces with cement surfaces and charcoal interiors. These pieces are the beginning of a distillation of the qualities concerning the ideas, materials and processes that are essential to both series of work and the thing that occupies my thoughts concerning future possibilities.