VIRTUAL SENIOR SHOW: d
Hello! My name is d (they/them/theirs please)! I have collected some of the work I made during my time at UCSC to share! I am described as “adopted, mixed, indigenous/descendent, white, queer, privileged, traumatized, loving, wild, gentile, angry…”
Surveying my work, I think I tend to focus on grief as a site of discourse, but lately my priority has been to make art that has the potential to nourish and heal, while engaging with the grief in a more careful way. I have a lot to learn.
5” dia. x 10.5” H
Hold onto each other as we survive together. “we are a totality of our relationships”
10” L x 10” W x 11” H
The suburban sprawl that smothers Earth is a part of the legacy of systemic, federally funded genocide that sought to exterminate indigenous people to the benefit of Californian settlers. The concrete, lawns, and buildings exclude people from access to life-essential resources like food, water, and land, creating nearly ubiquitous lifelong wagedependency… to the benefit of the employers/owners. Because claims to exclusive benefit and use of this land are regulated and maintained by the legal code of the state and the threat of violence, there is a pervasive feeling of un-belonging everywhere you go, here. The organization of the constructed environment patterns behavior and limits imagination, or else. This bronze piece intends to create a long lasting object to counter the metal monuments to genocidal and white supremacist leaders, and pull symbols together to describe the relationship of our contemporary constructed environment and the systemic violence that makes it all possible. I think there’s something interesting about this piece in the ugliness of the painted surfaces, and the richness of texture and color on the skulls.
Body Prescription & Crotch Politics
Beeswax, Red Crayon, Steel
8” L x 4” W x 3” H
Observation of difference among bodies has been the site of much effort on the part of elite classes to justify their hierarchical position, claims to leadership, and active oppression of any-being outside of their group. For example, eugenicists spent considerable time and energy promoting the idea that “sexual differentiation” was a sign of “advanced evolution”, which served as a celebration of and explanation for expressions of gender along a binary in white American and European culture; this was among many projects that sought to define non-white others and gender-nonconforming people as “sub-human” and deserving of either enslavement or extermination. Contemporarily, Gender-nonconformity in bodies, expression, and identity, among many other features, threatens the “absolute-truth” of the the gender/sexual binary. Therefore, in an attempt to “make it make sense”, queerness has a past-and-present of being pathologized or seen as disordered to re-stabilize the rigid sexual order. this can be seen in ways the medical institution has prescribed countless procedures to “correct” bodies, make them “clean”, make them “function”, etc, to become acceptable from the perspective of ideology. This sculpture brings together different body-elements to reference my experiences and observations within this system. Impostor Laws, where any person could be policed (stopped, stripped, harassed, arrested, beaten…) under suspicion of impersonating someone else, are played out in the police violence against gender-nonconforming people who were accused of “impersonating the ‘opposite’” gender. Having gender-affirming labels on paper work becomes necessary to survival within this relationship. There is a history-and-present of doctors demanding people undergo a “medical sex - transition” and to “consistently live within the gender one identifies as” (thus claiming authority to evaluate, categorize, and define a persons behavior and expression) to be permitted to change their label along the binary. Penises are constructed as the essential marker of masculinity. According to this logic, I am only allowed to be a “Man,” and If I want something else, as I’ve been assured in several conversations, I’ll have to sacrifice my genitals. Regardless of my desires about how I want to be (transition/ nontransition/everything in between), there is a matrix of expectations and prescriptions of how to be, acceptably.
Expectations and ideas have become so ritualized they’ve become the essence and description.
Glass, glue, red rock candy, steel, petrolatum, ash
The materials in this piece are connected to the relationships of dependence that have been manufactured to the benefit of capitalist accumulation and productivity, and are entangled with the acquisition of a wage to survive. how will I get to work today?
28.5” L x 16” H
The image was developed around the shape of a distorted waveform. The image uses abstract representations of loud noises as a major motif. After watching Steve McQueen’s Western Deep, I started wondering what the extreme constant vibrations characteristic of mechanized mining do to your body and spirit. This image is an intimation towards an answer from my perspective. The negative spaces in the image reference the absence of miners from their own lives as they spend most of their waking hours miles and miles under the ground.
Steel, Acrylic Paint, Varnish
Red: 7.5” W x 17.5” H
Blue: 12.5 W x 10.5” H
Process based paintings. I chose to meditate on the painful feelings I was experiencing at the moment as I used my fingers and face to put paint onto the steel.
6’ x 6’ x 6’
Created in collaboration with Institute of Art and Science in response to Kim Hendrickx’ lecture on C’Elegans and Epigenetics in the “Addressing Biology” Lecture Series. J’UNC is a visual abstraction representative of the content of the lecture, engaging with the tension within the nurture vs nature binary framework, challenging the usefulness of perpetuating this binary, and asking questions about the mechanics and meaning of inheritable, epigenetic, and ancestral trauma.
Particle Board, Paint
Each 2’ x 2’ x 4”
Total Area 4’ x 4’ x 4”
Speculative architecture moquette intended to problematize flat and rectangular floorspaces. If architecture was built less around lines and more around circles, and our floor not so flat, would it influence the way we connect with each other in a space? Would we face each other more? Would it help heal us from years spent locked in grids at our individualizing workstations (alone among a crowd)?
1.5” dia x 63” L
The leather acts like a membrane. blowing into the horn vibrates the leather and propagates sounds similar to that of industrial equipment. The sound is ripe with symbolic possibilities I intend to explore in future works…
Ceremony To Acknowledge and Grieve the California Genocide
Body, performance, conversations, sound, sculpture, found objects
I play the horn that sounds like drills. I articulate the sound to mimic crying. I am joined by Gridlock Dwellings and InterdepenDance to integrate their meaning into the performance. Much of the influx of California Settlers were people trying to benefit from the gold rush, where mines were bored deep into the Ground at the expense of the dispossession of indigenous land and life. Earth remembers and weeps for lost loved ones. I wanted to channel this with the simulated sound of crying machines. I stop as often as anyone wants to have a conversation with me. (I intend to develop this project further and to perform often in public spaces in California)