“People believe . . . It's what people do. They believe, and then they do not take responsibility for their beliefs; they conjure things, and do not trust the conjuration. People populate the darkness; with ghosts, with gods, with electrons, with tales. People imagine, and people believe; and it is that rock solid belief, that makes things happen.”―Neil Gaiman, American Gods
Earth. Silt. Loam.
Quartz. Amethyst. Carnelian.
Television. Pay Phone. Walkman.
What meaning resides in things? Is Earth really our Mother? Does she think of herself as a ‘mother’ or does she ‘need’ humans to give her this maternal meaning? Humans, if so, are the original alchemists, transforming the objects of reality into something more than mere material: Meaning.
My work address the meaning-making that humans are drawn to engage in. It thematizes the process and transience of our meanings, and the hybridity upon which all human creation rests. Equally, it thematizes our violent consumption of the material world that moves, hand-in-hand, with the meaning we make of earth, silt, and loam.
And, finally, crucially, it asks how we might make our meanings, if make them we must, in a manner that is more ethical.
Once upon a time, humans embraced the earth: precious stones and crystals formed part of a deep spiritual practice. In the past (and sometimes in the present) sacred object sculptures, or "talismans" were crafted with specific minerals and stones selected for the metaphysical and mystic properties. Crystals were once used to create talismans and amulets to honor the earth, and the ancient gods and goddesses of our pagan ancestors.
But that was the ‘past’.
Technology has replaced spirituality and faith in the lives of modern humans. Less citizens than consumers of this Earth, we are more likely today to fetishize our cell phones than create altars with precious stones.
This body of work seeks to explore the convergence of archaic technology and archaic spiritual practices focused on earth-based religions. These sacred object sculptures, or "talismans" combine natural and found objects paired with discarded, broken, and obsolete tech items. These specific pairings have been chosen based on the lingering symbols the natural objects held in many pagan traditions, coupled with the former use of the technology, thus creating a new, modern sacred object that straddles the liminal space between ancient traditions and modern ones. By combining objects that were discarded due to planned obsolescence or newer emerging technologies, I am calling attention to how quickly our tech transitions from treasure to trash and the impermanence it has in our lives. However, like the crystalline forms in many of the pieces, these tech objects are made of materials that will far outlive us and continue to impact our planet long after we are gone.