This year, I'm incredibly fortunate to be one of the Art(ists) on the Verge 10 Fellows. This fellowship has already allowed me to learn new practices and grow in ways that extend my work beyond painting. The last few months have been challenging for me in ways that make me feel like my brain is being re-wired. So, I wanted to share some of the work I've done along this journey.
I've been working on trying to pare down experiences to their simplest elements - and make work about those perceptions. I am currently studying low-frequency sound waves. When we were in Botswana a couple of years ago, we had a group of about 30 elephants come through our camp one night. I can still clearly remember almost everything about those ~2 hours. The smells and sounds of them eating the grasses and leaves around our truck... And they made incredible noises aside from the trumpeting we normally think of. One of the other noises they made to communicate was a low-frequency sound that we could barely hear. But I remember feeling it throughout my body. I've learned that these sounds are called infrasound and are made by different animals besides elephants.
Working at the edge of what these speakers can create, I started testing low-frequency sounds in the studio. I'm pictured above listening to a 38Hz sound wave.
When I started in the program this past winter, my goal was to make work that relates our bodies to the environment we live in -- initially, to make a connection between the air we breathe and the atmosphere that sustains our lives. I have also experimented with air sensors. My thought was to take air sensors that could reflect air composition in a space by emitting changing-colored light of an RGB LED. Although I'm not actively working on this right now, I will probably return to it at some point. I've learned that working with circuits is fun and interesting (and also that I have a lot to learn).
I hope to update you as this project progresses, no doubt things will still change substantially. And, there is a lot happening this year in addition to this project. I leave for the Arctic in under two months, and I'm working on a large-scale painting project about air quality in Hennepin County. Check back for updates on those projects as well.