My personal and collaborative practice operates at the intersections of technology and wilderness in the interest of imagining the possibilities for human and ecological survival. My “practice of survival” works across many media, often complicating the division between the technological and the natural. I draw from legacies found in conceptual art, socially engaged art, and biological art to ground work that connects to biological systems and that reaches beyond scarcity models for existence. I work collaboratively with the Guerrilla Grafters, the Coastal Reading Group and Hayes Valley Farm.
I understand practice to be the work of trying over time to make one’s engagements better, and survival to require flourishing multi-species cohabitation, mutuality and care. Experimentation with both electrical and political power, interactive narratives, and cultivation of biological systems are strategies that I use to this end.
In the Bay Area I’ve worked on several horizontal projects that consider local relationships to be critical to the generation and regeneration of common resources. I am a core member of the Guerrilla Grafters; we graft fruit bearing branches onto sterile, urban fruit trees. This project has toured with the Spontaneous Interventions exhibit, and was shown at the 2012 Venice Bienale. With Hayes Valley Farm, an interim-use urban permaculture farm in downtown San Francisco, we cultivated low input ecological systems and developed a unique lateral governance structure that was able to engage a range of different kinds of human input while still navigating complex politics with city agencies. Aside from the anarchist nature of these projects, other threads that run through them include certain kinds of engagements with the non-human and with wilderness; cultivation technologies that create more living resources rather than less seem to fold the divide between civilization and wilderness. Once that divide is complicated or erased, does civilization cease to exist, and what would post-civilization look like? Learning to survive in a post civilized world is often at the heart of my work.
I am country and city, intellectual and physical, cyber and wild. I don’t believe in the divide between mind and body or between civilization and nature.