Photography started for me as a child on Sunday afternoons between the Wonderful World of Disney and family vacation slides. The slides were accompanied with stories and eventually they replaced my memories. I now remember being in a living room with screen, shag carpeting and a milkshake more than ever being at Hoover Dam or on a farm in Alabama. Between Disney and family vacation photos, I grew up with ample examples of how well photography makes up it’s own reality.


The slow emulsions of early photographic processes reduce bustling Paris or London to pictures of ghost towns, void of people and transient activity: nothing to do with what the cities looked like.  The fast shutter speed in Eddie Adams’ 1968 photograph of General Loan executing a man in Vietnam freezes the action after the bullet enters and before it exits the victim’s head.  The bullet entered Nguyen Van Lem’s head over forty years ago and in Adam’s photograph, it still rests there: very different from the execution itself. My family’s vacation photos display us shoulder-to-shoulder in front of points of interest, or the station wagon: not the vacation, purely how the vacation was photographed.


Initially, I explored photography’s urge to invent through its material qualities, pouring things on photo paper, hand coloring, intervening as much as possible. In my forties, I almost revisited teenage thoughts of being a photojournalist when I combined pinhole and time-lapse techniques to photograph people doing their job. That exploration produced images, objects, projections and public art projects, prompting thoughts on the context for art and public to interact or at least connect. As part of my first public art project in 2001, I produced 1000 DVDs and handed them out on the streets.


As the questions, “What is the art?” and, “How is the art experienced?” become less discrete, my interest in subject matter also shifts. Years of exploring photography as fantasy, and pursuing a career as an artist, have evolved into using the gestures, techniques, and history of photography to examine and repurpose graphic representations of data; pie charts, bar graphs, infographs. The socio-economic and demographic data become participatory images, objects, and time-based projections. I accompany some works on the accordion. Some works are edible.


My undergraduate degree is in economics and I first came to DC in 1984 for the Graduate School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University. As an artist today, I explore experiential works that knead socio-economics into the history of photography to produce odd pairings: an edible pie chart, a photo-cake on obesity, a framed trilogy of gender thaumatropes that, in motion, visually blur all gender distinctions and, literally, they no longer fit inside the frame. This exploration thus builds on socio-economic data, craft and materials, and the history of photography. 

We don’t see what we look at, we see who we are.

                                                                Anais Nin


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chocolate fondue fountain,
Let Them Eat Cake,
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