I explore ideas about participation and authority (in multiple senses of the word) through a variety of studio-based and post-studio practices: I produce sculpture, assemblage and media installations along with hosting cultural events and developing and presenting archives. My goal is often creating platforms for communication, whether that might be an installation, a website, a soapbox on the street or a storefront meeting space.
My point of departure is the principles of free speech promoted by liberal democratic society and how we choose to interpret them: who is allowed to speak, and what are they allowed to say? I explore this through themes of historiography and identity. The ways we tell history reach beyond specific historical contexts to raise questions about how our stories about the past play out in our own lives today.
The participation of other people has become a critical part of my working process. This interaction can be behind the scenes during a research process of interviews and surveys that is later given artistic form (Stimmen der Ruhmeshalle, Das Fundbuero: Lost and Found Flyers), or it can be present in the public process of the work, where the input and engagement of participants build on a framework I have created (Das Fundbuero: The Leipziger Zentrale).
Drawing on traditions of institutional critique, I often play the role of a facilitator between individuals and power structures. I function literally as a mediator by taking input from others and presenting it in a new medium. My goal, however, is not resolving problems, but making them visible and inquiring into their causes. I am seeking to create a space in which we can sit confidently with questions and ambiguity rather than chase desperately after answers and certainty.
I focus on dissensus in community and use my artwork to test my own commitment to pluralistic democracy. I do this by bringing to light perspectives and narratives that question our worldviews, including my own. My intent is to develop work that acknowledges and works with what are sometimes irreconcilable differences – a critical rather than celebratory practice.
Though social components are central to my process, I see my concerns as allied with sculpture and the shaping of space. It is important to me to not only to focus on the creation of my artwork with direct participants, but to participate myself in a discourse about the construction of social and public space and how it impacts our ability to be civically engaged.
I see my practice as traveling on two parallel tracks, and seek to contribute to both the world at large and the art and academic world. Sometimes these goals seem to be in direct opposition to one another, and my aim is to reconcile this apparent divide through projects and bodies of work that create bridges between these worlds. Individual artworks are part of an iterative process in which I attempt to bring into line the parallel tacks of my practice and address audiences outside of the direct circle of participation in other projects.