For You Shall Pass Through the Water of Another Three channel video installation with sound. Duration: 7 minutes. 2010
Just as the colonial landscape was defined by the extrapolation of limited natural resources, the postcolonial landscape of the 21st Century will be defined by the control of potable water.
This three channel video installation depicts contemporary river culture as a mass baptism in the Salt River – on the ancestral homelands of the Akimel O’Odham people – just beyond the eastern suburbs of Phoenix. The re-imagined ceremony examines intersections of the sacred and profane and clashes of worldview that have transformed the landscape, and the once thriving Salt River into a dead river comprised of engineered reservoirs, pumping stations and canals. Through the act of mass baptism — in what is, in actuality, the drinking water of Phoenix — we find a microcosm of the Judeo Christian Western Scientific Worldview being expressed; self-organizing temporary nomadic constructions and hierarchies struggling and coalescing around a complex semiotic nexus of market driven consumerism. There is a sense of hyper real, of disassociation from real time, of action being confined to the temporal, and of individual experience being defined by the relational whole of the system. It is an unmistakable phylogenic lineage of the Western imagination. It is an abject violence and obedience to the will of the global market, which supersedes any rational or experiential evaluation of context, or forethought of the sustainability of subject/object transitivity and resulting cause/effect relationships. In these temporary nomadic constructions, as well as the faces, gestures, sounds, and actions of the people occupying their micro territories, I have found a new metaphor for the Judeo Christian Western scientific worldview and the processes in which it is manifested and exerted and willed upon this Indigenous landscape. A constant throughout is floating debris, the dehumanized social waste and excrement of the floating power structure. And through this new postcolonial metaphor expressed through dirty realist imagery, the metaphor itself is located, as both historical and contemporary narrative of continuity, within the one of the most critical debates of the 21st Century — water policy.
New work from my Semiotic Warfare series is currently being featured in the Images Forward exhibition at the Berlin Gallery.
Feedback Loop, Fourth Verse, 2010
Mixed media (video, automobile paint and acrylic mirror text in Cherokee syllabary on wood panels), “24” x 12”, 22.5” x 12”, 8″ video monitor. Video duration 4:05.
Mixed media (video, automobile paint and acrylic mirror text in Cherokee syllabary on wood panels), 27” x 12“, 19.5” x 12”, 8″ video monitor. Video duration 4:07.
Airspace, Land and Other Purposes, 2010
Mixed media (video, automobile paint and acrylic mirror text in Cherokee syllabary on wood panels), 23.5” x 12”, 20″ x 12”, 8″ video monitor. Video duration 4:39.
Part of an ongoing series of mixed media work titled Semiotic Warfare, which utilizes phrases written in Cherokee syllabary, and a variety of media to examine postcolonial signifiers that define contemporary geographies, economic markets, political bodies and intercultural intercourse throughout North America. In this work the Cherokee syllabary becomes a coded medium to engage the viewer and the broader contexts of a particularized regional geography. These specific works provide glimpses into the imagination of a contested landscape that is being forcibly defined by the will of the market. In their investigation of life on the dirt, they dialogue with Postcommodity’s ongoing work addressing 21st Century colonizer strategies within the militarized zone of the Tohono O’odham.
If you are in the Phoenix area please check out the Images Forward exhibition at the Berlin Gallery on view April 16 through May 19. My video Judeo-Christian Western Scientific Worldview and three new works from my Semiotic Warfare series will be featured in the exhibition. Be sure to stop by during the opening (6-8PM), which is being held in conjunction with the Heard Museum’s Native+You 3rd Friday event.
If you are in the Phoenix area February 19, please stop by the Berlin Gallery at the Heard Museum and check out my poetry reading. I’ll be reading from my book length poem Marginal Equity at 6PM. And if possible, show up early for the cash bar. It will make my job a whole lot easier.
Colonialist R&R, 2009
Three-channel video installation. Running time: 4:27.
Colonialist R&R is featured throughout the month of October in the 10th annual Chaos Theory exhibition at Legend City in Phoenix, AZ. From the series Our Land Your Imagination, this multichannel video installation (featured here in quad screen format) examines colonialist expressions of strength, endurance and tactics through various forms of recreational activities in the subdivisions of suburban Phoenix.
Our Land Your Imagination: The Judeo-Christian Western Scientific Worldview and Phoenix is featured in the exhibition Outsiders Within: Contemporary Work from Regional Latino/a and Native American Artists at the Tempe Center for the Arts. The exhibition is on display April 25 - July 3, 2009.
Our Land Your Imagination: The Judeo-Christian Western Scientific Worldview and Phoenix, 2008
Two-channel video installation, with sound. Running time: 12:32.
Our Land Your Imagination is a series of multi-channel video installations that examine the impact of the Judeo-Christian Western Scientific World View on the landscapes of America and the Western Hemisphere. The series of work is comprised of reappropriated and re-contextualized Youtube videos submitted by users who live within the particular community or region featured in the installation. My goal is to create site-specific video installations that reveal the complexity of interactions between the Judeo-Christian Western Scientific World View and Indigenous land. I want to create environments where audiences are engaged by multiple narratives of moving images, voices, music and sounds that tell a story about a story of which we are all participants.
“The Judeo-Christian Western Scientific World View and Phoenix” is a two channel video installation comprised of 10 Youtube videos. Each channel contains five looped videos projected onto cornering walls. One of the channels features anonymous women singing karaoke versions of Carpenters songs about love and loss, hope and failure, and dreams unrealized. They are the muses and voices of the Judeo-Christian Western Scientific World View. The singers are juxtaposed against videos of suburban Phoenix: a construction site near a dairy farm in south Chandler; an empty house for sale in Buckeye resulting from foreclosure; a hot air balloon crashing down on an Anthem subdivision; a dust storm viewed from within the cinder block walls of a tract house property in Maricopa; and a set of palm trees in a Mesa backyard blowing in the wind — entirely non-Indigenous and ubiquitous. Audiences are confronted with internal and external landscapes altered by the Judeo-Christian Western Scientific World View. The installation provides an unfiltered vision of damaged, monotonous, lonely, and tragically beautiful visions of suburban Phoenix through the surprisingly intimate and revealing lens of the Phoenix suburban community itself.