Artist Statement

Ever since the ideals of the Enlightenment took root in our culture, Western society has put its faith in the process of scientific inquiry. We believe that unraveling the mysteries of the universe—particularly in regard to the natural world—is a conquerable challenge. We assume that the world is finite and knowable, and that we can understand everything if we ask the right questions. This desire to understand, and the inevitable tension created when our understanding reaches its limits, is at the core of my work.

I see this tension in attempts to reduce the complexity of the world to representations, in a sense, to diagram life. These representations are often educational tools, such as charts in a textbook, or displays at museums or zoos. I am interested in the limits of these representations.

Similarly, I am fascinated by the human impulse to control the natural world, and the desire to shape, construct, and represent landscapes and living things in idealized ways. Just as we believe it is possible to unlock all of the natural world’s secrets through reason and inquiry, so too do we believe in our ability to physically shape it to match our needs. Here again, our powers have limits, and these are the boundaries I seek to explore, highlighting contradictions between “natural” and artificial and between ideals and reality.