General questions on your creative process
What is your artistic process? What is your starting point for creating a new work of art? What inspires you?
I try to make work as impulsively as possible. I’ve always worked with whatever was at hand, and since I’m now on the computer basically all day every day the things at hand are media and images from the Internet or wherever. I tend to gravitate towards color, and most of my work comes from experimenting with color combinations or manipulation. I like to make things without questioning my whims and then later consider why.
Which artist had the most influence on your practice and why?
Last year a show of mine was reviewed and my piece Smoke & Fire was referred to as “too derivative” of a piece called Every Anvil by Jennifer and Kevin McCoy and when I read that I was like “joke’s on you lady cause I don’t even know what that is!” And then I googled it and realized it was this piece I had randomly seen like 15 years ago in a gallery in Chelsea and I had really loved it and it actually had a profound impact on my ideas about artmaking and was really inspiring to me. So it turned out my work WAS derived from it and she was right!
On a related note, I actually ended up in a twoperson show with Jennifer and Kevin McCoy a few years ago (before I had gotten this review and remembered that piece) where I showed Smoke & Fire and met Kevin McCoy, who was super nice and very chatty and weirdly somehow didn’t mention that he had made a very similar work many years earlier . . .
So to answer your question: Chuck Jones.
Do you work on many projects at the same time?
YES. I am constantly working on tons of things at once. Many of my recent projects are “ongoing” in that they are collectionbased works that I can essentially add to infinitely until I decide to stop. So I occasionally update each of those projects (in particular I’m Google, Smoke & Fire, and Thanks Newsletter). I also usually have several projects I’m thinking about that I’m collecting or occasionally working on or trying to figure things out with. I also have a day job as a web designer, which feeds into my work a lot, and I write, do production design, and Internet development for AB Video Solutions, a video production company that my friends operate. I basically always have way too much going on at once, which I am trying to curb because ironically, I think that boredom is the most important creative force there is.
Describe a typical day in your life as an artist.
It’s probably worth mentioning that I live in a homemade RV parked outside my friend’s house, so fyi this all takes place in a room that’s about 8” x 16”:
- I wake up around 10am and check my email
- I make coffee and respond to emails, assess my list of things to do.
- I sit at my computer and do work (organizing show materials, preparing video files etc, answering emails, mailing things, webdesign work, writing for tv, working on projects) while a tv show plays constantly in the background (often either the Simpsons or 30 rock. currently arrested development). I am a compulsive multitasker so I am probably working on like 4 things at once.
- This includes a lot of interludes where I search Craigslist, Google, YouTube and save a bunch of pictures and videos for possible use later. It also includes a lot of reading and writing to an email list with all my friends on which we talk to each other on all day. I also might do some construction work inside my van/house as a break, or while a file is uploading or something.
- I might also go inside and sit next to friends as they also do work on their computers while we all yell and make jokes.
- I do this for about 7 hours at this point I am probably starving so I eat a giant bowl of kale with olive oil on it.
- More computer work until about 9pm at which point I take a break and play Mario while I sit next to my boyfriend, possibly drinking beer or wine.
- Back to work from 11 until about midnight when I realize I’m starving again so I eat a bowl of ramen noodles. More work until about 2am at which point I fall asleep next to the computer, which is still playing arrested development.
If you were not an artist, what would you be?
My day job is as a web designer/developer so I guess if I had to have a completely noncreative job I would probably do some kind of coding.
Art world related questions
What work of art do you wish you owned?
At Hand, Ann Hamilton
Perceptual Cell, James Turrell
My Father’s Backyard, Jessica Stockholder
The Clock, Christian Marclay
What is the weirdest thing you ever saw happen in a museum or gallery?
I have braindamagelevel memory problems so I can’t think of an answer to this, but it was probably something my friend did. The only answer I can think of is the answer to a different question, which is “What is the worst thing you ever saw?” and it’s an animated gif of someone methodically cutting off all their fingers.
Questions on the sub-theme A New Visual Order
We are evolving in a new visual order governed by the “dictatorship of the screen.” This new visual order is marked above all by three factors: the immateriality and transmissibility of images; their profusion and availability; and their decisive contribution to the encyclopaedifying of knowledge and communication.
How is dissemination and circulation of images important in your work? What is your relationship to the Internet in relation to your artistic practice?
I’m really obsessed with finding images and videos on the Internet and trying to understand why they exist, and understand (or fail to understand) why whoever made them did it the way they did. The Internet makes this process effectively infinite, because there’s so much content to find. Every time I find something completely unthinkable it turns out there’s a whole culture of people into it and that is also obviously amazing to think about. It makes me so happy to see people finding joy in things that I would never even conceive of or never pay attention to, and I love seeing those people supporting each other and finding relationships that wouldn’t have been possible without the Internet. Everybody has amazing idiosyncratic impulses and on the Internet you can find people following through with them and finding the perfect happiness that comes from that, and that’s how I try to make art and something I want all people to experience.
Why do you use found images?
I work impulsively with what is at hand, and when you are staring at a computer all day every day, what is at hand is the media that you come across. I have always collected found images that I just thought were beautiful, hoarding runs in my family.
How do you reinterpret and give a new meaning to found images?
I don’t really think about this when I’m doing it, I work with purely aesthetic concerns in the moment and think about the results later. Combining images naturally changes the whole, whether just through the effect of multiples, figure/field relationships, context meanings, optics, etc. I try to be a silent partner in my work, I find that people bring their own meanings to things and I don’t want to stand in the way of that.
Questions related to your work
How do you select the images or videos that become the basis of your work in I’m Google?
I have a huge collection of folders of images on my computer that I save to hopefully incorporate later. I collect those from natural Internet wandering. Other times, when I’m specifically “working” on I’m Google, I concentrate more on trying to make the next transition so the searching is more specific. That always results in me finding unrelated stuff too, which gets added to the saved folders. Collecting images and videos this way is something I’ve always done, which is why I started putting them on the blog in the first place.
The title I’m Google is provocative. What does this title mean for you?
I thought it would be a funny title about how much I use Google Image search.
In I’m Google is the choice of images you put in your work as important as re-circulating them?
I don’t understand this question? The choice of images is the only important part.
How do you archive your images and videos in order to be able to navigate through them later?
What is the future of the still and moving image in contemporary art according to you?
I have essentially no idea about the past, current, or future of the still and moving image in contemporary art.