science vs. nature; science as politics
**live acousmatic performance
My current art practice explores contemporary Native American identity through the lens of Diné (Navajo) womanhood. Inspired by acts of decolonization, environmental justice, Indigenous feminism, and Indigenous futurism, my work dares to imagine a world where Native sensibilities are magnified. By way of fragmented abstraction, bodily scale, and the marrying of natural and synthetic materials, my work provokes conversations about what it means today to be a colonized individual in the United States of America. Additionally, drawing upon minimal forms derived from Diné symbolism, my sculptures, installations, and performances become living bodies of sharp resistance to assimilation. In the studio I consistently incorporate discarded and found objects as a way to respond to the historical traumas of displacement and exploitation of Native American communities since 1492. The process of assembling disparate pieces together functions as a generative metaphor for collective healing and reconciliation. Supported by research into historical trauma, the disproportionate rates of violence against Indigenous women and girls, plus the high rates of suicide across Indian country, my work conceptually challenges dominant, colonial ideologies by inserting a female, Native American perspective back into the mainstream. In an effort to imagine decolonial futures, I often pair unexpected elements together and include Native beadwork, leatherwork, and fiber to complicate our understanding of inherited tradition and value. Through my interdisciplinary art practice, I aim to braid together our communal stories of loss and survival to promote understanding and respect across cultural divides.
Anticipatory terrain is a video installation about dreams and nightmares and the night landscape as a place of uncertainty and potential. One of two videos is being shown at Grid. The installation contains footage from Perth’s urban wetlands, plotting the shadowy traces of Western Grey Kangaroos, which may or may not inhabit various locations. It sprang from a re-envisaging of Goya’s El sueño de la razón produce monstruos (The Sleep of Reason Produces Monsters) where the positions of dreamer and dreams might be reversed and how, along with an ethical commitment to let animals exist in their own worlds, one should also recognise how other animals are essential to our own (entangled) being. Do landscapes, themselves, dream? That is a much harder question to answer, but even posing the question alerts us to the possibility of not the singular dream of twentieth-century modernist development, but of dreams as multiple, open-ended assemblages. And thus “we might look around to notice this strange new world, and we might stretch our imaginations to grasp its contours.” [A. L. Tsing, The Mushroom at the End of the World: On the Possibility of Life in Capitalist Ruins (Princeton, 2015), p. 3] In contrast, Remora is a free-form exploration of the Perth Canyon in the Indian Ocean, filmed in May 2018. On a day of searching for blue whales, we provided interest and entertainment for a pod of over a fifty offshore bottlenose dolphins and common dolphins who came over to ride the bow wave. This short video is an exploration of grace, resilience and blueness.
In the First Swim, a water camouflaged female is seen within an enclosure. Similar to marine wildlife in captivity, our abstracted female begins to adapt to its space, making the most out of what is given. Through this combination, I am relating animal captivity and women’s liberation. Through accentuating and abstracting the female form I aim to disrupt our expectations of the body and how it moves through our world. By literally turning the world upside down, I’m making the familiar, strange and asking us to reimagine the ways we can adapt to our changing the social and environmental climate.