The Human Experience Project
We try, when we hear another’s story, to understand fully the emotions described—we try to take on those emotions as our own in order to share in those experiences. But the completion of this task is impossible and empathy in itself is a kind of forgery.
Through the Human Experience Project I collected the stories of individuals and tried desperately to take on the persona of their feelings. Listening to the audio recordings of the stories on loop every time I touched a paintbrush to the canvas, I created what I wanted to describe as a perfect, realistic, and direct translation of those emotions. Each mark was to be empowered by the emotional content of the narrative alone.
But I failed.
I failed because the experiences in translation were not those of the individuals’ whose stories I listened to, but my own experience of listening in on these private affairs. Everything I have and ever will create is through the lens of my own experiences. As hard as we may try, we will never fully understand the Other. This entity is, and will forever be, defined by our own Self. However, we should never give up on this task because it is only in attempting to understand the Other that we may come to truly understand our Self.
This is the Human Experience.
Artist's Statement—Nothing is immutable. Everything is variable. We finds ways to rearrange matter, numbers, cells, memories and time. We're not satisfied with the reality that life gives us, so we dissect it to understand how it was created then reassemble it to fit our expectations.
I've always been fascinated by the process of printing images, whether by ink or photographic, and the work I create almost always involves a combination of the two. I use photography to note a particular point in time, then I use collage and screen printing to decode and re-interpret it as an entirely new point in the present. I dissect transparent pieces of time to construct a new intention, breaking the boundaries of film, frame and subject matter. Everyone who views this image also creates a new point in time and interprets it in that moment, altering my intention.