Daniel R. Small

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Artist Statement

My current projects proceed by investigating the criteria that constitute a historical record, and whether the supposed objectivity of reclaiming the material evidence of the past in the present is even desirable since history is arguably written from the unreliability and partiality of lived and invested memories, myths, ideologies, stories, and dreams. Through this lens history has become a realist fiction privileged for its representation of the past that is constructed through truth claims and the conventions of temporal logic and verisimilitude comprehensible to those in the present. In a triangulation of past, present, and future my projects engage with representations and their subsequent re-presentations where the dubious unreliability of potentially wrong tales enhance their historical value in that they allow us to recognize the interests of the tellers, and the intentions and desires behind them. Some recent and ongoing projects include an archaeological excavation of a 1923 film set used in Cecil B. DeMille’s The Ten Commandments that was buried in Guadalupe California, a series of ten billboards installed along interstate 10 in New Mexico that depict a fabricated language based on a faux historical site in the state, and a Jacquard tapestry mimicking an ancient still life that was interpolated in the present to re-present it’s dubious provenance as a working Photoshop file. These recent projects come in a myriad of forms, and are concerned with becoming fully aware and productively suspicious that history is always being imaginatively figured as it is seemingly figured out.





2008 – 2010 San Francisco Art Institute, M.F.A., New Genres
2003 – 2006 Rhode Island School Of Design, B.F.A., Photography
2003 – 2005 Brown University, Psychology and Philosophy


Manifest Destiny Billboard Project, Los Angeles Nomadic Division (LAND), interstate 10 from FL to CA

The Museum of Love and Devotion, Fairview Museum, Fairview UT

Present Perfect, Et Al., San Francisco CA
Expert Witness, Michael Strogoff Gallery, Marfa TX
Caveat Emptor, The Center Gallery at Fordham University, New York NY

Land of Tomorrow, The Circumference is Everywhere, Louisville KY

Third Person Eclipse, Iraqi Embassy, COLLASUS, Berlin DE

First Light, Culturia Residency, Berlin DE


Rendez-vous 15, Lyon Biennial, Lyon FR
The Historical Society of Desert Archive, Center for Land Use Interpretation, Wendover, UT
Bloody Red Sun of Fantastic L.A., PIASA, Paris FR

Impure Lux Impramatur, 3 Days Awake, Los Angeles CA
Apollo TBD, Samuel Freeman Gallery, Los Angeles CA
Presents, Commonwealth and Council, Los Angeles CA

Black Rabbit, White Hole, Samuel Freeman Gallery, Los Angeles CA

Excavation II, Public Fiction, Los Angeles CA
Conscious Fiction, Johansson Projects, Oakland CA
Vast and Undetectable, San Francisco Arts Commission, San Francisco CA

The Circumference is Everywhere, 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art, Kanazawa JP
Attn: Library, Kosmos Lane Gallery, Tokyo JP
Based on A True Story, Conveyor Arts, Hoboken NJ
Between Two Islands in Three Parts, Utah Museum of Fine Arts, Salt Lake City UT

Like Death, New Mexico Will Catch Up with You in the End, The Fisher Press, Santa Fe NM
UC Berkeley, Worth Ryder Gallery, At Bay, Berkeley CA


University of California Santa Barbara, Excavation II, Santa Barbara CA
University of Texas El Paso, Pending Cipher for the Open Present, El Paso TX
California Institute of the Arts, Excavation II, Valencia CA

Stanford University, First Light, Palo Alto CA

Culturia, Artist in Residence, Berlin Germany

University of California Berkeley, The Coming of the End, Berkeley CA
Exploratorium, Artist in Residence, San Francisco CA
University of California Berkeley, Deep Structure and the Haptic Gaze, Berkeley CA


Excavation II, University of Chicago, Oriental Institute, Chicago IL

Present Perfect, Colpa Press, San Francisco CA
Excavation II, Code 2.0, Paris FR

Expert Witness, Colpa Press, San Francisco CA

Lost in LA, Public Fiction/Palais de Tokyo, Los Angeles CA
The Circumference is Everywhere, Booklet Press, Tokyo JP