The Rural Underground is a situation as much as it is a body of work. It’s the entwining of place and person, landscape and outlook, existence and invention, images and sound, wire and paper. It’s the lurching and staggering between mesas, the tinkering in southwest wastelands, the idea of endless and empty country.
I've been coming at this idea of the Rural Underground from a slew of
angles over the years. I've stabbed at it in writing, patched together
recorded stories about it, attempted a soundtrack or two, filmed and
endlessly photographed it, tugged at images for design work, and most
recently have tried my hand at pulling it into dimensional work. I'm
not looking to settle on any one approach - I hope to one day bring them
all together in one alchemic plume of smoke.
Lately the dimensional work is occupying my imagination. This work is
based on the notion that we’re connected by this southwestern
landscape. Though we may be many miles apart we still see the same high
ground, the same desert ranges, mesas and ridges. It’s lovely to look
at, this scenery, but there’s more to it than just beauty. This
landscape runs through us – its vastness, its light, its hourly
transformations affect our moods, our perspectives and expectations.
These pieces represent my attempt to replicate this feeling of being run
through by scenery. They are all inspired by actual sights: the flock
that circles the tumbledown cow pen up the road, the wake of buzzards
roosting in downtown Cortez, the trains and cotton gins sliding by a car
window, skies full of monsoon clouds.
The Rural Underground is more about being alone than it is about being
lonely, more about holding your own than about holding out.