This is Not a Drill takes your classic family game night directly into the harsh realities of human destruction of our climate. At the center of each of these games is the power of big oil and the faces behind it. Using photo manipulation to make the games seem as real as possible, I place the control in your hands, as if you were making nonchalant decisions as high power oil executives that lead to the dismantling of our communities. I wanted to keep a fun and inviting appearance with these games, but a closer look at the details reveals that coastal erosion is definitely not a drill.
These gears represent the seven categories of species affected by the 2010 Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill in the Gulf of Mexico. The spill area contains 8,332 species, including: 1,270 fish, 604 polychaetes, 218 birds, 1,456 mollusks, 1,503 crustaceans, 4 sea turtles, and 29 marine mammals. When one gear is not functioning properly, the entire machine is broken.
Through various forms of printmaking, this handmade piece copies and emulates artwork by past masters placing art history in conversation with current events. Through this process, the artist calls upon the theories of imitation, most notably the Platonic idea that art’s departure from the original is inherently immoral and deceptive. This deception transfers from the copied images to the headlines embossed in the paper. Each headline shows current examples of incongruity of the United States Government and the people they represent, in the realm of the environment and the pandemic. The reproduction of these headlines as soft impressions encompassing the entire piece identifies news stories as reproductions of the actual decisions being made, manipulated and separated from the original truth. The reproducibility of prints and the imitation of the content further designates the work as deceptive, separating each image from its original truth.
Who Invented Littering? is an investigation and visual meditation into the overwhelming amount of misinformation surrounding climate change. We live in a nation with freedom of the press, which of course has many benefits, but also allows for the legality of lying and deception. It often feels paralyzing to confront the depth of deception and wrongdoing in both our history and present. This piece explores the overwhelming experience of trying to comprehend the complexities of climate change and this pandemic. It is my attempt to actively practice ways of living within a circular economy by subverting our cultural tendency to constantly purchase single-use products. True recycling involves valuing what you have in front of you enough to reuse and reinterpret a new and better reality with the same materials. By observing drastically different visual works transform on the same piece of paper, this piece is intended to be a meditation on the multivalence of a given entity.
In a mere 100 years after oil was found in this region, millions upon millions of years of swamp formation and sediment build-up have been reversed by the actions of humanity. With this reversal comes the loss of several long-standing communities in the state, along with their homes, languages, traditions, and culture. Using the tools of media and advertisements to grab people’s attention, I have created a series of promotional materials for an imaginary soda brand, Louisiana’s Best, whose goal is to inform consumers about what parts of Louisiana are being lost, and how quickly we are losing them.
Celebrating Death on the Champions Podium is a series of glass and wood sculptures that function as trophies. They are first, second, and third place participation trophies that harken back to my days in child sports where everyone would be rewarded for contributing to the team’s success. In this case, however, the success we are “celebrating” is the furthering of the destruction of our environment.
This project explores environmental destruction through the creation of confrontational and ironic posters. Specifically, these images address issues applicable to coastal Louisiana: oil drilling, water-related problems, and corporate power. I hope to point to some of the flaws in the ways these issues have been approached and to incite an examination of the viewer’s internalized mentality about them.
ekphrastic fragments is a triptych of cryptic inscriptions written in response to the art of our altered environment, letters linked to tangible climate waver but exploring the unsavory personal result, the cosmic or internal resistance to a resistance ethic: the fear of action buried in embossed scribbles and obscured by the volume and amplitude of Corporate News Media.
An hourglass is used to measure the passage of time. Its presence connotes the loss of time or the culmination of a specific event. Placing this piece in the context of environmental degradation is eerily apt. Even though our current isolation seems to slow time, the crisis at hand is a stark reminder that time waits for no one. We have no excuse to postpone action against the global threats we all face.
Packaged For Your Convenience is a series of photographs exploring our unsustainable dependence on plastic. Through the creation of highly textured and detailed images, I wanted to visually probe our pervasive use of plastic. My work and research originally set out to highlight the outlandish price of bottled water and its intersection with poverty and access to clean tap water. Because tap water costs less than a cent per gallon out of the tap, I was shocked to learn that the production of disposable plastic bottles was nearly just as cheap, costing pennies per container. As I began to photograph some of the plastics that litter our everyday environment, I became more focused on the subconscious burden of plastic as a means of encasing nearly all consumer products, wrapping everything from fruit to phone chargers in layers of unnecessary plastic. The companies producing these products have managed to shift the psychological burden of recycling and blame onto the consumer, rather than the people that are actually perpetuating these harmful practices. Until we hold these corporations accountable, rather than individual consumers, nothing will change. In an era increasingly defined by climate change and subsequent displacement, the price we pay as a nation is too great, both financially and environmentally. A lack of action and accountability is what corporations continue to bank on, allowing for the continued denial of their power and ability to change our relationship with plastic.