"A human being is part of a whole…universe, a part limited in time and space. He experiences himself, his thoughts and feelings, as something separate from the rest—a kind of optical delusion of his consciousness.”
ARTIST STATEMENT: INDRA’S NET
The Buddhist conception of the Universe is illustrated as “Indra’s Net”—an endless net expanding in all directions, through all dimensions. At each thread’s intersection lies a single jewel. Each jewel holds a perfect, infinitely receding reflection of all other jewels and the net itself. This metaphor describes all existence as interpenetrating, all phenomena as interdependent, and perfection as an attribute of emptiness.
I see this metaphor revealed in natural phenomena, in time and light, in persistent or recurring processes, in emergence, metamorphosis and fruition. My series Indra’s Net consists of discrete groups (and sequences) of images that visually represent these abstract concepts.
(IM)PERFECT CIRCLES is a group of 8 diptychs demonstrating the nature of gestural purity. Inside each of these factory-discarded glass plates there is a minute imperfection that was identified, circled and stamped out. The glass plates were buried along with other factory refuse. As I unearthed them I realized that time and weather had rendered the original imperfections imperceptible, transforming the circles themselves into the locus for contemplation. Viewed side-by-side, the negatives and their positives coalesce, referring to the dichotomy between perfection and perception.
CAPILLARITY is a group of 8 images documenting the interaction between naturally incongruous elements—salt, water and oil. These simple scenes demonstrate something larger—that when any phenomena come into contact they react to and act upon one another, and in so doing they define and are defined by one another.
TREES FOR MY FATHER, DYING is a sequence of images whose subject fades into light. Made in the days following my father’s death, these long exposures of trees negate their solid form and characterize the impermanence shared by all natural phenomena.
FLOCKING documents a moment of chaos turned poetic where thousands of starlings rise from a cornfield.
PHOTOSYNTHESIZE is a group of 8 images representing the visual outcome of pointing a particular Polaroid camera toward the sun. I discovered it while documenting Christian Pilgrims during the 1990’s. They perceived the images as miracles, and called them the “Door to Heaven.” I was merely struck by the beauty and formal qualities of the unique photographic apparition. I used the camera to recreate the phenomenal interaction between its aperture, direct sunlight, and the photographic material itself, capturing the resonance between natural phenomena and the nature of photography.
The images in Indra’s Net are captured using a variety of cameras from pinhole to plastic to DSLR, as well as using camera-less means. Some derive from scanned negatives or traditional darkroom photograms. They are printed on fine art papers using archival pigment inks. These processes enable me to print with a range of archival materials through which I control fine detail, tint, tone and texture, producing images perfectly representative of my conceptual and aesthetic vision.