I’ve inherited a hoarder tendency. Instead of the solid things that crowd against my mother in her single room, I’ve redirected this impulse from objects to digital photographs and text messages, amassing the intangible. It really keeps the clutter down.
I meticulously document atmosphere and conversations like she collects Windstone Fantasy Figurines. My mother is dragons, wizards and winged cats and I’m the light at certain times of day shimmering on the dust in Bunny’s fur*.
My phone is my studio. In an attempt to hold on to time, slippery and amorphous, I rely on this ubiquitous archive.
I have an unhealthy attachment to my phone, I have recurring dreams of dropping it and cracking its glass. In the place of teeth, my phone now represents my subconscious fears of bodily decline.
I do what everyone with a camera phone does, I obnoxiously take photographs with a frequency unmatched by any other generation.
Mundane, weird, meaningless, pornographic, stupid, significant, mindlessly pretty pictures.
In their vast number, and scope, they are an outline of a life.
Horizons, plants, cats, clouds, sunsets, friends and not-friends-anymore.
(never friends again).
In 2017, I sequenced and installed six hundred and ninety-eight, and saw something in stark relief. Different then while occupied with living these moments.
I’m sick, I’ve been sick for a while. Have I ever not been sick?
I took photos of my illness, typical days in bed with Netflix. Piles of tissues, captions complaining about “kitten hands” (this is not when your hands are full of kittens, that would be adorable, rather it’s when you find yourself spilling a hot mug of cider over yourself because you could not hold its weight). I saw my mother in her nursing home bed, her skin grey, saline carefully dripped into in her eyes, juice through a straw.
It’s not the same thing. We aren’t the same (now, yet), but there was me. My fingers blistered and raw, my tongue swollen, mounds of my hair pulled from the drain.
I don’t dream anymore of the glass cracking, I dream of my hair on the floor.
I manifested these moments into physical objects, made them multiples, when they fade they can be remade. I gave myself something solid and never-ending to hold on to as I slowly dissolve.
Fuck those dragons. They don’t do shit.
*RIP Bunny 1999-2017, annoying roommate, angry velociraptor, best friend.
Photographic project, 2013-Ongoing. Above, variable installation, 2017