Thursday, January 22, 2009

About The Rural Underground

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.

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