Artist’s Statement

My perspective as an artist is strongly influenced by my background in software engineering. While I love a pretty image, I find myself paying more attention to objects, how they are made, and how we interact with them. In galleries or museums, I find looking at people as they observe art can be as interesting as the art itself. A computer program is something that you interact with, and I look at art the same way.

In my work, I like to explore the meaning of things. For example, on one hand, a bomb site is an etched lens mounted in a metal encasing. On another, it is a tool used for killing people more efficiently. But even more interesting is that somebody looked through that lens and killed people. My work puts you in the position of that person. Paradoxically, it is sometimes necessary to transform an object to get at its essence. Gas masks are an icon of horror; we find them monstrous, threatening, inhuman. Yet the reality is that people wearing gas masks are completely helpless, the mask being the only thing between them and death. My transformed masks aim to bring this vulnerability back, making the masks beautiful yet tragic, for that’s what they are. And even worse is the fact that somebody makes baby-sized gas masks, and worse still is that somebody makes the gas.

My current work is addressing the online world. People, like objects, are most revealed when they are transformed. In the case of people, this transformation is visible in the creation of their online selves; essentially people choose how they want to appear. In the case of my art, I examine the online personas on Facebook, Twitter, dating sites and forums. It’s not that these alter-egos that are the true selves; rather we can deduce a great deal about a person’s desires and anxieties by seeing how they choose to prevent themselves – what’s important to them. Also, when protected by a bubble of perceived anonymity, people feel free to speak their true thoughts. My work explores this by bringing the virtual world into the real world through video, images, and sound. This series is interactive and works in real-time, driven by the viewer’s own information and interests, making the user the subject as well as the object of the piece.