What Is My Work About?
Working with photography, video and installation, my primary focus is on the relationship between images, objects and narrative. I mine the territory between images/objects and their symbolic value, often using autobiographical kernels as the proposed bridge between representations and experiences. Considering epistemologies related to embodiment and the lineage of Cartesian dualism and beyond, I employ humor and absurdist tactics to discuss alienation, memory and loss. Just as my individual practice creates a platform for my own stories, my collaborative project with Megan Cotts and Ali Prosch, D3: Deliver, Document, Destroy offers space for others to share their own complex human-object relationships and attempt transformation through our artist-run service.
“I only have eyes for you,” is an installation borrowing from the pseudo-science of iridology, the practice of diagnosing people based on close-up photographs of their irises. Using the same procedure meant to capture extensive detail, I made photographs of the individuals within the community where the exhibition was shown. In the printing process, the irises were grossly enlarged and turned black and white. The room of floating eyes were grounded by a group of texts: a diagnostic chart, two personal stories, and the lyrics to the song “I Only Have Eyes For You.” Mixing the analytic, personal, popular culture and a phenomenological approach within the installation generated a muddied world of looking and being looked at. Using the research and materials generated for this installation, I am currently working on a new video, provisionally titled “Shifter” which adds online makeup application tutorials and commercial animations that represent what happens beneath the skin as additional elements. The screen and the body play sometimes opposing, sometimes conflated characters and draw connections between old and new technology.
The works “Blink 1978/2011” and “Untitled (mirror)” act as opposite approaches attempting reconsiderations of time. In “Blink 1978/2011” an image of my mother and myself are combined into a singular lenticular print, flipping between both of us with our eyes closed as the viewer moves from left to right in front of the image. My approximation of the image of my mother from 1978 is imprecise, causing this format used primarily for advertising to reveal its limits, with the affect called “ghosting” where the two images mingle together in a distorted fashion when the viewer is not directly in front of or a specific distance to the left or right of the piece. My mother and myself are forever bound together and without question, completely apart, which replicates and hyperbolizes the promise of a photograph to stop time, keep the past and those lost at hand or at least in sight. “Untitled (mirror)” transforms an instant into more that 12 minutes. This photographic animation makes something akin to a drawing with a broken mirror as its template and material; as if tracing, line-by-line across its pristine surface, forestalling the inevitable. Within these efforts, grief, loss and desire all comingle.
D3: Deliver, Document, Destroy is an artist-run service, founded by Megan Cotts, Ali Prosch and myself in 2010. All artists with an interest in the intersection of images, objects and narratives, D3 grew out of the desire to engage others and their objects in this conversation. Specializing in helping people part with emotionally burdensome objects, D3 accepts submissions from the public to analyze, generate a surrogate for, and eventually destroy. All submissions are catalogued in the D3 archive and a Certificate of Destruction is given upon request. See: d-three.org/
If I were amongst the chosen Rema Hort Mann Foundation Grant Emerging Artist Grant recipients, it would help me to secure much needed assistance to complete my newest video “Shifter” and additionally go towards production (and destruction) materials for D3’s ongoing efforts. Thank you so much for your consideration.
Born in Tucson, AZ
Lives and works in Los Angeles
California Institute for the Arts, Valencia, CA | 2009
M.F.A. Photography and Media Program
University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ | 1999
B.F.A. Studio Art, emphasis in photography
“Shifter” Eric Fischl Gallery, Phoenix, AZ
“I only have eyes for you” University of Tennessee, Chattanooga, TN
“Three Works” KM IV Gallery, Otis College of Art and Design, Los Angeles, CA
“D/diamonds” MFA Thesis Exhibition, D300 Gallery Valencia, CA
“Something To Push Against” Mint Gallery, Valencia, CA (Solo)
“Hollywood Forever” Sheffield Institute of the Arts Gallery, Sheffield, UK
“SomeTimeApart” Commonwealth and Council, Los Angeles, CA
Klowden Mann Gallery, Los Angeles, CA (D3)
“Building on Ruins” contributor to Obras Negras, Cirrus Gallery, Los Angeles, CA
“This was Funny Yesterday” curated by Jane Mullfinger and Stephanie Washburn, University of California, Santa Barbara (D3)
GlogauAIR Showcase, Berlin, Germany (D3)
“D3: 1980 Special Edition” Machine Project, Los Angeles, CA part of the Getty’s initiative Pacific Standard Time (D3)
“Blue Shanty” curated by Matthew Siegle Los Angeles, CA
“The Trap Door” D3 invited as Special Guests, Human Resources, Los Angeles, CA
“The Convention on Incorporated Art” UT- Dallas CentralTrak Gallery, Dallas, TX (D3)
“Embarrassment 2: Theory” Gallery KM, Los Angeles, CA
“Leslie Dick is Not at Home” Los Angeles, CA
“Embarrassment 1: Vulnerability” Gallery KM, Los Angeles, CA
“Feeling Feelings” Compactspace, Los Angeles, CA
“Why Theory” Spring Arts Tower, Los Angeles, CA
“Why Video” REDCAT, Los Angeles, CA
“Ideas From the Deep End” Deep End Ranch, Santa Paula, CA
“Do the Birds Know It’s Bad?” 29025 Eveningside Drive, Val Verde, CA
“Summer Rain, Jungle Red” D300 Gallery, Valenica, CA
“Desiring Images” Annex, #18, Valencia, CA (co-curator and exhibitor)
“Fuzzy Pictures” A402 Gallery, Valenica, CA
“118.15° W, 34.04 N°” D301 Gallery, Valencia, CA
“The Brooklynites” Powerhouse Books, Brooklyn, NY
“Hotel Room” Heathers Window, New York, NY
“Broad” Museum of Contemporary Art, Tucson, AZ
“Allocated Domains” Lionel Rombach Gallery, Tucson, AZ
“Memesis #6” Central Arts Collective, Tucson, AZ
2007 – 2009
CalArts Merit Scholarship
National Foundation for Advancement in the Arts, Alumni Grant
Presidential Scholar in the Arts, semi-finalist
National Foundation for Advancement in the Arts
Photo Imaging and Education Association Scholarship
–Mizota, Sharon, Los Angeles Times, Art Review: Megan Cotts reanimates family history, April 4.
– Zilm, Kerstin, D3 featured on the KCRW radio program UnFictional, Unwanted, November 30.
– Woodard, Josef, Scene Magazine in the Santa Barbara News Press, Art as Funny Hmm, Strong, Well-
Stocked Exhibition At College of Creative Studies, October 5.
– Zilm, Kerstin, Interview with D3 for German Public Radio, March.
– Xiao, An, Smashing the 80’s Away, Hyperallergic, http://hyperallergic.com/47611/smashing-the-80s-the-away, February 29.
- Sallabedra, Megan, LA Weekly Online, D3, an Artist Collective That Will Destroy the 90’s Mixtape
Your Ex-Boyfriend Made You, http://blogs.laweekly.com/arts/2012/02/d3_artist_collective_destroy.php, February 7.
– Inamine, Elyse, Why Yes: CalArts MFA Graduates Answer in Why Theory, Los Apples,
–”We Can Dance If We Want To,” review of Shana Moulton in X-TRA, Vol. 17, no. 3/ Spring 2015
–”Destructive Strategies: Undo It Again,” feature in X-TRA, Vol. 16, no. 1/ Fall 2013
– “From X to XV: Conversation with X-TRA Founders Ellen Birrell and Stephen Berens,” X-TRA, Vol. 15, no. 4/ Summer 2013
X-TRA Contemporary Art Quarterly, editorial board member, 2013- Ongoing
X-TRA Contemporary Art Quarterly, associate managing editor, 2011- Ongoing