Our greatest existential threat is loss of the source of all life. Resolutely, we are programmed for innovative problem-solving, pattern recognition, and learning to decelerate the deferred pains of our gratification. When I begin to fixate on the defeating limitations of promoting visual art, I’m reminded that we need to ritualistically make culture; imagine, manufacture, and produce alternate appealing realities more promising than our current station, if we hope to condition receptivity among significant majority.
Loved ones make the argument, with their withering looks reserved for a head in the clouds: “A single lifetime is too brief to be self-importantly undertaken with the continuity of civilization and life on Earth.” My capacity for joy in antecedent beauty & poetry is entirely indebted to a thread of continuity in humanity. Any modicum of bliss, I owe predecessors who cared deeply about expressing the human condition— who too, loved and cared for Earth’s habitability. That privilege, we also owe every life after us, so they may feel the same gravity towards the seat of nature’s mystifying potentiality.
Writing is a more direct clarificant in a taxing time. The twin battlefronts of socioeconomic disparity and ecological disaster must be inextricably defused. We tread the Mobius strip of existential precarity, in inverse sliding scale. Oncoming climate crises and resource insecurity will disproportionately displace and marginalize the most economically disadvantaged to face the most direct, unmitigated impact of environmental extremization.
We find outlets in attempt to assuage inner tumult at mental reconciliation. My brain recurs this dreamt imagery of languid kelp forest undulation, receding from warming seas, beset by urchins.
Suspended disbelief weaves me through crystal cut waters, an undulating pane through which sunlight danced across a floor of fauna far beyond my genteel fantasies. On the backburner of my brain, I had the faint notion I should be afraid of open ocean, to not let awe sweep me away marooned, with the receding tides and difficult salt flat trek back towards shore.
Ocean afforestation is a similarly daunting, careful matter skirting ecological disaster. Mangroves, and marsh wetlands secondly, may be the most effective ecosystems at global carbon sequestration; however, their unresponsiveness to restoration efforts makes them less tenable targets, at our stage. Enter, bioremediation aquaculture of seaweed as marine afforestation to inch us towards net zero emissions. Among Earth’s fastest-growing carbon-sequestering organisms, kelp provides shelters for biodiversity and vehicle for sustainable nutrient-cycling. Innovators are developing algal biomaterials as a replacement for our dependence on plastic fibers and packaging, as well as applications in soil renewal and a bioethanol fuel source.
Acclimation of culture is critical to receptivity. Dexterity of narrative control and designed presentation remain our means and imagination to steer collective narrative towards sustainable, distributively-just alternatives.
The distinction of words and visual language is, significantly, people’s receptiveness —and hence, overall efficacy. Humans intuitively resist being talked at; people want to be shown, graced the dignity of open interpretation so they can dignify they arrived at it privately. This is the niche of writing, visual language, and art direction in symbiosis for influence. Behavior modification, habit formation, and propagation of pattern are familiar brushstrokes I owe my research background in molecular life sciences.
Queer migrant forged between the conflict of two cultures, biology became my framework for processing mechanisms of reality, which would otherwise seem arbitrary constructions. My interdisciplinary elimination eye out for socially-synthetic constraints attracts me to the experimentation-cultivating climate at SAIC. Momentarily, I am a media designer and 3D animator collaborating with midcareer and emerging painters on environmental installations within the context of their solo exhibitions. Previously, I was more heavily a live visuals performer and live compositor; I developed a streaming workflow of OBS capture of live Tiltbrush performance and VR-modelled assets, composited with live generative VFX and audiovisual interaction in VDMX and Touchdesigner for the VR artist collective Art404, which I piloted at Google HQ Chelsea.
I still look out for the stimulant swell I found compositing the works of experts; in writing a review of epigenetic echoes of environment on epidemiology, I was spinning together my understanding of the mechanics of molecular expression, pathology purposed for gene therapy rescue. The centrifugal action of communicating a singular understanding into something palpable and accessible stood out to me; just as when painting became a way of perceiving, and video or cinema became transmuting the jouissance of painting into as many moving areas of living as feasibly appropriate.
Of those impressionable crossed paths in New York, SAIC alumni and their emergent work I found most striking. The confidence I want to ripen my practice to, is unique to SAIC’s offerings in experimental animation, installation, sensuous unorthodox materiality from the purview of painting, fermented with a temperament for critical theory and vulnerable exchange in performance.