ARTIST RESEARCH STATEMENT
Since my project Distance of Distinct Vision in 1992, I have been investigating and developing decolonial practices, with an aspiration to identify what is noncolonial. This includes exploring how to be an ally and an accomplice, in solidarity with local indigenous peoples of the unceded Coast Salish territories. Here, where I had been granted refuge in 1977 when my family left war in Apartheid Rhodesia, I have chosen to increasingly concentrate my practice, prioritizing a decision in relation to Climate Change with the least amount of air travel possible, to lead a creative practice efficiently with a sustainable carbon footprint. Additionally, within the noncolonial, I aim increasingly to explore how to share position and power, to not need to be central but to be or “speak nearby” (Trinh Minh-Ha), to make space for Indigenous artists to take the lead, and to provide mentorship to BIPOC youth and emerging artists.
My practice is wide-ranging, no two projects are alike. In this, I align my diverse interdisciplinary approach to “tentacular thinking” (Haraway), including how to consider matters that affect “critters” and the “other-than-human” of this world, how to ethically practice multispecies collaboration and sympoiesis, and how to shift artistic and creative practices toward a post-Anthropocene (toward what Haraway conjures as a Chthulucene). I recognize that Haraway’s title Staying with the Trouble: Making Kin in the Chthulucene references two sources she does not acknowledge — the Buddhist philosophy of sitting with and facing what is difficult and troubling, and, Indigenous ancestral traditions rooted in respectful relations and communal kinship. I find these omissions intriguing and thus embrace them within my investigations.
My research has increasingly taken to investigate through public art commissions how to infiltrate, to interrupt, to intervene, to invite art and non-art participants and organizations into interdisciplinary entanglements. These intend to open new paths forward in consciousness and perception — in creative practices that can contribute to planetary restoration, in kinship building with new planetary relations, and to propose imaginative and compassionate models to face the crises in this time of urgency.