A likeness goes beyond resembling externalities or abstractions and behaves as memory and anticipation, filling a void and leaving a suggestion of presence. Using sound, drawing, printmaking, and installation, I reconstitute physical likenesses of myself as sound and image. I am interested in the intersection of phenomenology, the study of visible sound and vibration, also known as cymatics, and the tradition of self-portraiture. While all three subjects are laden with their own discourse on images, essence, and consciousness, I draw from them to explore notions of how the immaterial can be translated into material.
Martin Buber’s ideas, in I and Thou, about a work of art appearing from a person speaking the “primary word,” make a direct connection to what cymatics maintains: primordial sound is the creative agency for physical matter. Amplifying immaterial sound from my person through material, which manifests an image of myself, is a way of getting to self-portraiture. These images are not produced as visual representations of what I look like, or even what my sound looks like. Rather, they refer to a trace of my likeness; ideas which portrait painters like Rembrandt or Picasso were very much interested emerging in their images.
In considering the history and influence of conceptual and minimalist art, both materiality and immateriality are critical to my approach. Dry pigments, photo emulsion, sound, and time, are used in making the work. The volatility of media becomes a gesture to examine the ephemerality of physical presence and the permeability of essence. I do this by making delicate impressions of myself with dry pigments stimulated through sounds from my body, or by setting up conditions for a piece to attenuate, mimicking the very nature of sound.
Some of the work is a series of transcribed artifacts of the same sound. While implying identical essence, each image expresses variants in presence. In another, sound transcriptions have been manipulated through an analog reproduction process. At each mediation, additional marks and erasures are made to the image, but its substance remains. Other pieces anticipate a change of presence over the course of time, a literal slippage of material and intimation. In all of the work, what is left is a trace of myself.