My art practice addresses the deep structures of power, money, hunger, and creativity, and in so doing, seeks to be useful. For me, the making of art is not only a practice, but also a service: a deconstruction of current knowledge systems and the posing of alternatives. Thus I seek to question the prioritization of western Enlightenment thinking and the celebration of reason, by seeking to uncover alternate imaginative realms that have been suppressed, conquered, and rendered voiceless through the hierarchical preference for the rational. The catastrophes of contemporary existence have demonstrated our human dilemma: our current foundations cannot hold, as our species sickens, we witness mass extinctions, and sit back as our home catches fire.
How does one offer a truly generative dissent from our current social priorities, how to be of service amid the decline of the Anthropocene and the destructive practice of industrial natural resource extraction. In my view, a contemporary ethics of usefulness as a practicing artist demarcates being in the time of presence. We must look back in order to move forward, and foster a practice of deep imagining, seeking wisdom from indigenous knowledge and spirituality rooted in the Middle East and China. I believe in art as a spiritual practice, an intra-relation of understanding the self as “other” which leads to social responsibility and activism. The visual field is relational to empathy and therefore can be inspiring of social justice for humans and non-humans alike. Only through a broadening of our imagination can we truly take into consideration infinitely shifting perspectives on our meaning, and purpose as artists.