The Curio Collection
Curio: n. a rare, unusual or intriguing object.
The Curio Collection is a body of handmade sculptural art jewelry and objects, inspired by the historical ‘Cabinet of Curiosities‘; private collections of natural objects as yet undefined by science, from the 14th-17th centuries. This was a time during which magic and science co-existed, prior to the great ‘enlightenment’, paving the way for technology as we know it today.
These collections contained animal, vegetable and mineral specimens, as well as rare antiquities, objects of anthropological interest and unique artworks. Viewed as a microcosm of the world at large, these ‘Wunderkammer’ lent credibility to their patrons, as interpreters the natural world and all its mysteries. Symbolically, they implied a control over the world, through the construction of a miniaturized version of it.
Curiouser and curiouser; Epsom salts grow over an N-scale tree like winter.
This body of work centers on co-opting print-on-demand technology to produce ordinarily static objects which, in this case, come with instructions to create social interaction through the use of the object. For example, turning an ordinary coffee mug into a social game like ‘Hide my Coffee’, or creating a community wardrobe through shared clothing articles as in ‘The Collective Closet’.
Cooperative objects like these invite us to take a closer look at the value of interactions with privately owned things versus the value of face-to-face interaction. In an era of social isolation brought on by the digital age, my interest lies in reclaiming shared experiences from an electronic network, which promises to, but cannot replace true social fabric. Like synthetic baby formula as compared to human breastmilk, the two exist a world apart from each other.
It’s all a matter of perspective; through some lenses, minerals are alive.
Patterns in Nature & the Anthropocene
The Anthropocene is the Earth’s most recent epoch, characterized by the ubiquitous influence of human activity on atmospheric, geologic, hydrologic, biospheric and other Earth systems.
Juxtaposing unadulterated patterns of nature against those created by human intervention, this collection of objects plays with our ability to discern natural from man-made. Just because we have learned to coax a synthetic ‘nature’ from the original, does that still make it natural? Or, like copying a copy, do we simply continue to produce weaker images of a god we seek to emulate but cannot even begin to see clearly.
Our animal origins place us squarely within the sphere of the natural world, but we no longer identify as natural beings. What does that mean for our sense of self as it relates to the world at large? Can we ever hope to reconcile the destructive mechanisms of modernity with ecological well-being if we cannot shift our lens to that of the gardener rather than the conqueror?