Share your mission or vision, working concepts, critical inquiries, philosophies, and questions.
It usually takes me a while to understand what my art means, sometimes it isn’t until after I have completed a performance. I often copy ideas from my dreams, and I believe that I communicate with myself through my art as a sort of art therapy.
Having the idea is the best part of being an artist. I feel compelled to execute my ideas, and I enjoy sharing them with others. Sometimes, I like to delegate my ideas to other artists.
Tell us about what you produce, and highlight a past, present, or ongoing project.
I often create interactive performances that have an autobiographical flair to them. For example, in response to my negative feelings about the political climate of America, I became the dictator of my own country, which I called Artempeerealism, where the law was art, and art was the law. The country existed wherever I was, and I would acquire more land by informing people that a place was now part of my country. With the help of John Lowther, my self appointed personal assistant, I performed in various galleries and with an army.
Since I became a mother, I have incorporated my son into my work sometimes. Currently, I am working on a collaboration with my 4 year old, Ping Pong, that we hope to present in the spring in a vacant retail space near us. He will drive around in a motorized car sculpture that we are making together and he will lick chocolate from sculptures that he will pull down from the ceiling, while I roll around on the ground. I am very excited that he now has input, and we effectively bounce ideas off of each other.
Describe how your process unfolds, how it relates to your environment, and helps you work best.
First there is the idea, which I draw into my sketch book. I am sometimes responding to space, particularly if I have encountered an unusual place that has imprinted itself onto my brain. While I am drawing, details begin to emerge and I start forming plans and figuring out when I can create the work. I love doing installation, and responding to a space. I will take my drawings and fabricate what I can ahead of time, but I most enjoy working in the installation space and approaching it like a painting. Deadlines help cut me off from overworking a piece.
There will be a part in the process when I freak out and have serious anxiety about completion and I question why I am an artist. Before a performance, I will always have a period right before I go on where I frantically look for something that I can’t find. I think that helps get the nervous energy out so that when I do calm down, I am then in my zen performance state of mind.
Describe how you and/or your work communications with other creatives, audiences, and communities.
I have some close friends that I like to collaborate with, one being Nisa Asokan. I need my friendships with other artists to feed my creative energy. I am lucky to have found that through the internet and through my performances.
People enjoy the interactivity of my work. I’ve found that if they are involved, they are more affected by it. For instance, in my performance, “Bagged!,” I enclosed people in red fabric with the instruction that they were to remain in the bags until I let them out. The people always ended up escaping eventually.
Because my work is so autobiographical, I maintain openness about my life through social media and conversations. I think this helps people better understand my art.