Each glass casting was made from a mold of my grandmother's picture frame using recycled shop glass, called cullet, that is acquired from excess glass gathers.
Twenty-four frames were made in relationship to the twenty-four years of my life. This frame belonged to my grandmother. She kept it in her room to be close to the image of the love of her life, my grandfather, who passed years earlier. The photograph resembled many photographs I acquired from my grandmother. Handsomely with one hand in his pocket dressed in his World War II uniform with a date and location written beneath, “Germany, 1944”. Methodically making multiples of this frame came to symbolize the journey into understanding my past and my connection with the feminine, and the mother.
Each of these frames was then placed back into the glass furnace to go through the process of becoming again what it had been before, a homogeneous molten mass at twenty one hundred degrees. The performance is titled “5 + 6 + 1 eleven hours and one melting down 24 years, in silence”. The intention was to rework the material of the frames through a different process —blowing glass that was previously solid cast.
5 + 6 + 1
5 + 6 + 1 documentation of melting down 24 glass castings
I approached the eleven hours of blowing glass in silence without setting any perimeters. I informed others that they were free to continue on with any task they needed to get done, and encouraged them to gather from the tank that held the melted frames or assist me in blowing if they wished. Much of the performance was introspective and there was little interaction from other individuals in the hot shop. At any point, the worked portion of material was knocked off into a bucket of water behind my bench where it would shatter into a spiderweb like matrix and then crumble. When hot glass is placed in water like this it creates cullet — the same material which I used to fill the molds of the frames. This allowed me to see the material go through a full cycle. I did not anneal anything that was taken from the furnace. As time progressed I came to understand how difficult it was for me to remove my desire to shape the material, to control the direction and process.
don't hold your breath
The exhalation of a breath symbolizes an act of purification. The breath of fire, Agni Prana, focuses on the control of the exhalation where the student learns to understand the expansion and contraction of the diaphragm as a means to expel toxins from the body. One begins this process by studying deep breathing. Anapanasati, is a form of Buddhist mediation concerned with focusing awareness of the bodily sensations brought on by the action of deeply inhaling and exhaling. Through these methods of embracing an understanding of the breath one is able to align with the greater universal harmony of existence.
With aspirations to cure an unbalanced sense of identity within my community I began to study Yogic Philosophy and Eastern religions. A recognition formed that bodily tensions are held within the inhalation of surrounding energies. This promotes a confused, grasping effort to pause the present in order to gain a moment to digest fully the happenings. The anxiety, the shortness of breath is familiar. A struggle with acceptance is accompanied with a resistance to the ebb and flow of our wild nature. This specific recording is an effort to release this resistance, to place the listener within the situation of a deep exhalation, a deep release of tension.
I inhale and exhale 365 times. The exhales are what remain. They symbolize my release of tension. In this installation, the headphones are used to isolate the experience of the participant and are placed in front of a chair set before a large, flat monitor with a static interchanging white and black light on the screen. The monitor sits on a ledge in front of a large window. The monitor and the window reveal the ability for the material of glass to change perspective. The glass window alters our relationship with the interior, allowing us to see our outside environment without any other sense experience. The glass monitor provides an artificial light — a perceptual illusion of blank space and an association with entertainment as well as knowledge.
mama may i reveal my texture
The process of deconstructing the book then began. Beginning with removing the cover, then undoing the coptic stitch, tearing the pages in half, and soaking them in water. I would take each paper in-between the palms of my hands and massage the paper into pulp. This was done with the intentions of returning the material to its original form through movement. With the remaining pulp I used aspects of traditional paper making techniques, using a large screen to mold the "sheet" of paper. The sheet is then pressed to remove water and set to dry. This blank sheet of paper represents an ambiguous space devoid of clutter. Although the story remains within the fibers, it does not ask the viewer to contemplate anything other than the remaining texture. This space symbolizes my body — I am formed by the moments of my past, but these images are not available to another to view. What remains available is my present texture — a culmination of the past representing a space for available transformation.
in form ation
BFA thesis, in form ation