the animal voids series    

Artist's Statement:

This project stems from a suspicion that the proliferation of cutesy animals in pop culture is somehow intimately connected with the parallel extinction of wild animals in real ecosystems.

My fieldwork is two-fold.  On one front, I have collected specimens of cutesy animals from their natural habitats: the local dollar store and specialist niche sites on the internet.  The specimens are carefully extracted from their You’re a Purr-Fect Valentine and Happy Birthday, Nephew contexts.  Meanwhile, I set out on foot to document the wilds around my home in Sewanee, TN.  (Some of these places, such as the Lake Dimmick frontiers of proposed real estate development, are themselves threatened.)

The Animal Voids are natural landscapes populated by ersatz animal erasures, which disrupt any possibility of direct experience of the wilderness, or of the various real creatures inhabiting it.  Phantom poodles, kitties, and bunnies pair off in void dances, pull on their crotchless panties, put in their diamond grillz, and ruin the pristine promise of the woods.  I intend these images to be disquieting and funny, portraits of mediated, distracted consciousness in endangered places.