I like to make things, especially pretty, whimsical, interactive things. I’ve lived in four countries on three continents. I think the intentions behind actions are absolutely critical. Money is not a primary motivator in my life, albeit a useful thing to have. I believe strongly in improving education, social justice, and environmental conservation. I’ve done field research from the Amazon to the Arctic. When I’m not making things or figuring out how to make things, I’m probably dancing, doing yoga, hiking, or spinning on my cyr wheel.
/Pretentious artist statement that got me accepted to some graduate art programs which I didn’t attend.
I stand between worlds. My early childhood in India cleaved me from the mores of my southern heritage before clear memory. Since adolescence, I have carried a fascination with the discoveries of science, while pursuing expression through the arts. From drawing and theatrical design to tea ceremony, sculpture, dance, and Japanese calligraphy, I have explored many artistic paths. Similarly, my scientific study has ventured through many disciplines; biological, chemical, and technical. I explored far from the standard route. I am a scientist. I am an artist. I am a lifetime traveler and entrepreneur. It is in the mess of life, and the balance of heart and head, that the potential for actual change occurs.
We stand in a place where endosymbiotic theory can be applied to more than speciation, but the relational and developmental activities of disciplines. Like eukaryotes, by not just joining, but integrating competing disciplines, we gain strength, energy, and thereby enhanced motility in the ideological framework of humanity. A single discipline is no longer enough to flourish in our global culture. We must evolve our thought, as the prokaryotes did their form.
With the advent of mechanical reproduction, the shift in aura from original works freed artists to pursue a far greater scope than previously possible. With that liberty, our current social predicament challenges us to step beyond merely the debates of product versus process, or “art for art’s sake” and to grade ourselves upon contribution.
This need is no different in the scientific community. Most discoveries fail to leave the bounds of not just the scientific world, but even its sub-disciplines. The result has been a crisis of faith with science in our planet’s most technologically-obsessed society. Doubt in evidence is marketed wholesale through network television propaganda machines. Researchers specialize to the point of segregation from all but a few colleagues, leaving the public bewildered by the role of science.
It is too easy to throw up our hands and gird our egos in ironic self-deprecation. These are times of great opportunity, but the burden is upon us to create it. If we observe the art of an expanding economy, it is narcissistic in its expression. As society collapses, we see a removal of this work from pillared halls and a return of expression and power to the masses.
We have a responsibility as artists and humans to draw attention to our failed social machines and affect change, based not just on the head or the heart, but a synthesis of both. A new vision, neither utopian nor dystopian, but honest and rational, can be revived through a collective examining of our roles and relationships. For me, that begins with this joining of disciplines.
Humans have a love of stories. They are our oldest tradition and are responsible for the great appeal of many of our religious structures. The stories of science are no less fascinating and no less important than the moral and social lessons of spiritual disciplines. I believe using art and science together, informed by cross-cultural experience, will nourish both disciplines. The only cure for our collective grief is a shift towards a new narrative informed by post-structural awareness.
My B.A. from Long Island University focused on the interface of art and religion in India and Japan. I then began my study of science, receiving a B.S. in marine science from Eckerd College. In December 2014, I finished an M.S. in chemical oceanography from the University of South Florida. Recently I completed a batch at the Recurse Center in SoHo, NYC. My work has shifted from the specific disciplines of my training to a new genre in which the skills and awareness of research have melded with the artistic and the educational. My time in science was not a digression, but a critical step in my path to creating mature works. During this period, I have developed a fascination with the use of technology and participatory experience to allow the exploration of the unseen and unheard.
I am fascinated with the concept of social commentary, social reflection, and the development of autopoietic installations. I believe in creating an in interruption to our daily mode of thought. I believe in shaping these moments to change the way we encounter the world and society around us. I am an intentionalist, but not as Paisley Livingston defines. Who defines what an experience is, other than the one who experiences? I use the word to mean that I have a clear vision of the world, and I believe that my works exist to support it. Cultural shift will not come just from me but through the collective speech of many.