Exhibitions

Before I Die at Wonderspaces

Scottsdale, Arizona
June 30 – December 30, 2021
More information

A Before I Die room is now open for your reflections at Wonderspaces. Still snaps me out of my tunnel vision. Restore perspective, find consolation and courage, see the gamut of humanity on full display.

Responses

Reflections from the 21st Century

Inspiration

The Eternal Inner Message of the Arts

“Most of us can remember the strangely moving power of passages in certain poems read when we were young, irrational doorways as they were through which the mystery of fact, the wildness and the pang of life, stole into our hearts and thrilled them. The words have now perhaps become mere polished surfaces for us; but lyric poetry and music are alive and significant only in proportion as they fetch these vague vistas of a life continuous with our own, beckoning and inviting, yet ever eluding our pursuit. We are alive or dead to the eternal inner message of the arts according as we have kept or lost this mystical susceptibility.” — William James, The Varieties of Religious Experience

Grandfather’s home, which is now Uncle Marts’s home. Yangmei, Taiwan.

Responses

Reflections from the 21st Century

Responses

Reflections from the 21st Century

Process, Responses

God in many hands

The word “God” from hundreds of responses. Detail of a work in progress, ink on canvas.

Responses

Reflections from the 21st Century

Responses

Reflections from the 21st Century

Talks

Panel Discussion at the Mint Museum

James and I are at The Mint Museum in Charlotte June 2 to talk about ritual, attention, and public space with local artist and theologian de’Angelo Dia. Part of an exhibition celebration for W|ALLS: Defend, Divide, and the Divine 5-9 pm. Free to attend, plus food trucks, cash bar, DJ Fannie Mae, and complimentary museum admission.

We Were Distracted: A Conversation about Ritual, Attention, and Public Space
The Mint Museum
Charlotte, North Carolina
June 2, 2021
More

Photo by Kyle Espeleta for the Annenberg Foundation

 

Process, Responses

Gods

The word “God” written by many people.

Inspiration

Grief and Humor Smashed

A family wails into a vulgar pile as cameras flash. From The Host by Bong Joon-ho.

Responses

Reflections from the 21st Century

Responses

Reflections from the 21st Century

Process, Responses

God Stamps

Responses

Reflections from the 21st Century

Responses

Reflections from the 21st Century

Inspiration

Sad Astronaut Movie Marathon

Ad Astra directed by James Gray, written by James Gray and Ethan Gross

Solaris (1972), directed by Andrei Tarkovsky, written by Andrei Tarkovsky and Fridrikh Gorenshtein, based on a novel by Stanisław Lem

Solaris (2002) written and directed by Steven Soderbergh, based on a novel by Stanisław Lem

Interstellar directed by Christopher Nolan, written by Jonathan Nolan and Christopher Nolan

2001: A Space Odyssey directed by Stanley Kubrick, written by Arthur C. Clarke and Stanley Kubrick, inspired by a short story by Arthur C. Clarke

Inspiration

Sad Priest Movie Marathon

Calvary written and directed by John Michael McDonagh

Winter Light written and directed by Ingmar Bergman

First Reformed written and directed by Paul Schrader

Process

One-Word Answers

The funnest interview I’ve done – Five Questions. One-Word Answers.

Lake Erie

Responses

Reflections from the 21st Century

Responses

Reflections from the 21st Century

Projects

Light the Barricades at the Mint Museum

Charlotte, North Carolina
February 24 – July 25, 2021
More information

Reflect on your relationship with doubt at the illuminated wall and share more through a growing video installation of handwritten responses in the galleries. Light the Barricades continues at the Mint Museum with generous support from Charlotte Center City Partners.

Photo by de’Angelo Dia

Responses

Reflections from the 21st Century

Responses

Reflections from the 21st Century

Process, Projects

The Letter A

The mesmerizing diversity of the letter ‘a’ handwritten by 651 people. Detail of a work in progress, ink and mylar on canvas.

Responses

Reflections from the 21st Century

Inspiration

Hope and Despair

“Courage is the solution to despair. Reason provides no answers. I can’t know what the future will bring. We have to choose despite uncertainty. Wisdom is holding two contradictory truths in our mind, simultaneously, hope and despair… Holding these two ideas in our head is life itself.” — First Reformed by Paul Schrader

Responses

Reflections from the 21st Century

Process

Arrangement

Responses

Reflections from the 21st Century

Responses

Reflections from the 21st Century

Inspiration

To Live Without God

“The greatest question of our time is whether men can bear to live without God…. I cannot believe, in the face of biology, in the eternity of the individual self; nor, in the face of history, can I believe in a personal anthropomorphic God. But unlike the tougher minds of my time I miss these encouragements, and cannot quite forget the poetry with which they surrounded my youth… What immortality means to me now is that we are all parts of a whole… the whole is made forever different by what we have done and been… Perhaps the greatest Whole, to which in all generations the greatest souls have devoted themselves, will, in tomorrow’s religion, be called God.” —Will Durant, 1932

Iceland

Process

Deconstruction

Responses

Reflections from the 21st Century

Responses

Reflections from the 21st Century

Inspiration

Every Man is a Mob

“Every man is a mob, a chain gain of idiots. This is the tragedy of life. Because for a few minutes of every day, every man becomes a genius… But then the genius has to hand over the controls to the next guy down the pike, most likely the guy who just wants to eat potato chips… The only way out of this mess, of course, is to take steps to ensure that you control the idiots that you become… The best way to do this is with a list.” —Memento Mori by Jonathan Nolan

Lisbon, Portugal

Process

I Am Still Here

“I am still here” is an anonymous response from A Monument for the Anxious and Hopeful that lives on in my rituals. I stamp it repeatedly like a visual meditation, a swarm of vows to invoke guts, fortitude, presence. A reminder that dead loved ones are just a memory away.

 

 

 

Responses

Reflections from the 21st Century

Responses

Reflections from the 21st Century

Responses

Reflections from the 21st Century

Responses

Reflections from the 21st Century

Responses

Reflections from the 21st Century

Responses

Reflections from the 21st Century

Responses

Reflections from the 21st Century

Inspiration

Who She Is, Where She Belongs

“In the thirteen years since Zema came to America, she has never had any idea that having no idea who she is and having no idea where she belongs makes her more American than anyone.” — Shadowbahn by Steve Erickson

Two Guns, Arizona

Responses

Reflections from the 21st Century

Exhibitions

Light the Barricades at the Mint Museum

Charlotte, North Carolina
February 24 – July 25, 2021
More information

Our large-scale public installation for contemplating inner obstructions continues at the Mint Museum with generous support from Charlotte Center City Partners. This public ritual offers space to consider our psychological challenges during the pandemic and beyond, and it is part of the exhibit WALLS: Defend, Divide, and the Divine. Reflect on your relationship with doubt at the illuminated wall and share your doubts, fears, struggles, and courage through a growing video installation of handwritten responses in the galleries.

Inspiration

Memories in Circulation

“Strangely, the memory of eating eggs on Chinese New Year was one that my mother later told to me as well, except in this version, it was she who had grown up in the countryside—even though she had actually grown up in Fuzhou city proper. It was as if she had absorbed her husband’s memories as her own. Or maybe she was trying to speak for him, to keep his memories in circulation.” —Severance by Ling Ma

Death Valley, California

Exhibitions

Artwork in Lamont Gallery

Exeter, New Hampshire
January 19 – June 6, 2021

My work is included in the exhibit A Collective Curiosity: Her Voice in the Arts at Lamont Gallery in Exeter, New Hampshire and online through their virtual exhibit.

Santiago, Chile

Inspiration

From a Single Throat

“His keenest memory was of Rome, standing before the Michelangelo Pieta in St Peter’s, of the rows of sputtering candles, the kneeling women, rich and poor, young and old, fixing their eyes on the Virgin’s face with an intensity of longing almost too painful to witness. He remembered their outstretched arms, their palms pressed against the glass protective shield, the low continual mutter of their prayers as if this ceaseless anguished moan came from a single throat and carried to that unrewarding marble the hopeless longing of all the world.” — Children of Men by P.D. James

Rome, Italy

Projects

Light the Barricades Book

Impressing other people is killing the true me… I judge others in terms of my own deficiencies… I fear my grandsons will not heal… My inclination toward oblivion… I worry we are losing our humanity… My pride that prevents me from changing… Accepting and letting go with equal measures of grace. These are just a few of the hundreds of handwritten reflections that have moved me and might offer consolation and courage to you too. They are in our limited edition Light the Barricades book, a meditation on the psychological barriers in our lives and a labor of love over the last year. Available at Ritual Fields.

 

Talks

Talk at Diversity & Inclusion Professionals Annual Awards Luncheon

Providence, Rhode Island (moved online due to the pandemic)
November 17, 2020

Talks

Keynote at American Art Therapy Association Annual Conference

Washington, D.C. (moved online due to the pandemic)
October 29, 2020
More

Process

Koans for 2020

I have spent most of this pandemic year working with handwritten responses from past projects that have resonated with me: Fatigue. Existential Dread. Our country is on the edge of disaster. The ability to find peace within chaos. It’s not over and it really isn’t too late. I carved, stamped, painted, waxed, and rubbed them like fleshy koans until my corner of the room started to look unhinged. But they soothed me because it felt like an act of devotion to these writers, to their discomfort and dread, to my own discomfort and dread. It feels reassuring to trace the scribbled aches of strangers like learning how to write a more honest language. These experiments are leading to a new body of work.

 

 

Inspiration

Small Dull Smears of Meditative Panic

“He said we do this all the time, all of us, we become ourselves beneath the running thoughts and dim images, wondering idly when we’ll die. This is how we live and think whether we know it or not. These are the unsorted thoughts we have looking out the train window, small dull smears of meditative panic.” —Point Omega by Don DeLillo

Medan, Indonesia

Process

Lighting for the Nocturnal

Finland’s winter darkness soothes my nocturnal soul and it’s even more contemplative with the ubiquitous candelabras. After living in Helsinki ten years ago, James and I returned to Finland for a month-long artist residency on the island of Korpo in the Baltic Sea. Many residents are Swedish or identify with both cultures, and the Swedish Advent candelabra lights many windows during the holidays. In the nearby city of Turku, grids of these now-secular objects line the windows of apartments and office buildings alike, casting a meditative and communal mood on the streets like a temple. We created the Light the Barricades book to everlasting dusks, the sun rising and setting in slow motion behind this warm glow.

Korpo, Finland

Inspiration

Public Art + Time

A 1965 sculpture once under a waterfall is now a motif of people scrambling the hell out of TGI Fridays Restaurant. The city goes on. Tuscan Girl Fountain by Oskar Stonorov and Jorio Vivarelli in Philadelphia.

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Inspiration

Pliancy and Weakness

“Pliancy and weakness are expressions of the freshness of being. Because what has hardened will never win.” —Stalker by Andrei Tarkovsky

Inspiration

A Ritual for Candor

In a temple in Taiwan, we joined family members and burned ghost money (symbolic paper money) to send prosperity to ancestors. The shared act opened the door to candid conversations about death, grief, and the funerals of loved ones. On the flip side, this ritual is so popular in Taiwan that it contributes to significant air pollution. While an uncle faithfully burned several stacks of “cash,” an aunt suggested we modernize and write one “check.”

Yangmei, Taiwan

Inspiration

This Confusion Is Me As I Am

“But this confusion is me as I am, not as I’d like to be. I’m no longer afraid of telling the truth about what I don’t know, what I’m looking for, what I haven’t found. Only this way do I feel alive.”   – 8 1/2 by Federico Fellini

Process

My Inclination Toward Oblivion

Handwritten reflections on self-destruction + ink transfer.

Talks

Open Studio at Archipelago Artist Residency

Korpo, Finland
January 16, 2020

James and I have spent the past month at Archipelago Artist Residency on the island of Korpo in the Baltic Sea. We developed the Light the Barricades book to everlasting dusks, the sun rising and setting in slow motion. Come watch a video installation of hundreds of handwritten refections and join us in considering the psychological barriers in our lives.

 

Talks

Keynote at American Planning Association Texas Chapter

November 7, 2019
Waco, Texas
More

Talks

Talk at CoreNet Global Summit

Anaheim, California
October 21, 2019
More

Exhibitions

Confessions in Wonderspaces

Scottsdale, Arizona
October 12, 2019 – January 1, 2020

Confessions is on view in the exhibit Elsewhere at Wonderspaces in Arizona. Read, reflect, and share in this ritual for catharsis and consolation.

Scottsdale, Arizona | Photo by James Rogers

Exhibitions

Before I Die in Oakland Museum of California

Oakland, California
October 12, 2019 – February 16, 2020

Before I Die will be on view in the exhibit No Spectators: The Art of Burning Man at Oakland Museum of California. Come visit to reflect together on mortality and what matters most.

 

Projects

First Sketches for Light the Barricades

When the Annenberg Space for Photography invited us to create a public installation as part of their exhibit on the history of walls, we thought about walls both physically and psychologically. Walls that prevent us from connecting with others and ourselves. The wall as a site to contemplate difficult material and even atone. Inspired by many things, from the ancient I Ching to the speculative worlds of cyberpunk to the billboards that dominate our cities, we started sketching images of people gathering before an illuminated wall in the middle of the night. A year later, the installation opens September 5, 2019 across Los Angeles. More here.

Talks

Keynote at School of Visual Arts

New York, New York
May 15, 2019
More

Inspiration

A Ritual for Atonement

On a temple floating in the middle of a lake, an old monk writes sutras on the wooden deck with a cat’s tail dipped in ink, and a student is instructed to methodically carve these characters with the same knife he once used in destructive ways. From the film Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter… and Spring directed by Kim Ki-duk.

Inspiration

To Live Without Certainty

“To teach how to live without certainty, and yet without being paralyzed by hesitation, is perhaps the chief thing that philosophy, in our age, can still do for those who study it.” —Bertrand Russell, The History of Western Philosophy

Heraklion, Greece

Exhibitions

Artwork in Historic New Orleans Collection

New Orleans, Louisiana
April 6 – October 6, 2019

Images of my work, including my original Before I Die installation in New Orleans, are on view in the exhibit Art of the City: Postmodern to Post-Katrina, presented by The Helis Foundation and Historic New Orleans Collection.