San Francisco, CA
Artists Statement: As a sculptor, I work long hours alone doing monotonous, repetitive tasks like tapping a hole for a number eight screw – four hundred times. The radio is always on and because I like to pretend I have some idea what’s going on in the world, I frequently find myself listening to National Public Radio. The discussions are compelling and informative but frustrating. Obama’s policy on drone strikes, homeless encampments, hateful ignorant rants by Trump and an American populace that seems determined to vote for him regardless, a swirling vortex of oceanic detritus twice the size of Texas, Edward Snowden and the NSA, scandals and atrocious acts of selfishness committed by innumerable politicians, corporate executives, church leaders, university administrators, and athletes. The topics are complex and nuanced without simple answers. It’s overwhelming. I don’t pretend to have solutions for any of these issues but I feel their weight and eventually I reach a saturation point. Facts from the radio bounce off my brain and ricochet around my studio until they spin to a stop, lost in the dust under a cabinet in the far corner of my shop.
Mixed Messages is an installation of 24 telegraph machines designed and fabricated in my studio while attempting to listen to the news. Each machine clicks out a Morse code twitter feed for some specific news organization: The Associated press, Fox News, BBC, Al Jazeera, etc. The machines provide a constant real-time source of overlapping, conflicting, unintelligible information.
Credit: Exhibition overview from museum website.