Anthropocentrism promotes human exceptionalism, claiming that humans
have the most advanced intelligence on Earth. This has justified a pursuit of
human dominance over nature, yet this belief has also led us to the precipice
of multiple extinctions, including our own. Against this background, I portray
Earth’s complex and intersecting intelligences to examine the complexities of
this Earthly collective mind. Grounded in neuroscience, Gaia theory, and
feminist technoscience research, I imagine physically improbable entanglements
of an invisible, mysterious, conscious, and endangered ecosystem.
My drawings are thought experiments – systems drawings through which I investigate Earth’s collective mind. Paintings on canvas or wood panels extend beyond a determined edge in some way to allude to the unbounded reality of nature. Unstretched canvases emphasize the fringed edges or incorporate roots, tentacles, or other elements that grow beyond an easy boundary; stretched canvases feature embedded 3D staircases that extend into the picture plane, and in the paintings on panels a sculpted piece of river or octopus extends beyond the edge. This work continues an interest in my earlier work that explored tensions between bounded and unbounded space, albeit with a more psychological focus. Most of this work was sculpture, with some painting and drawing.
Using representation, abstraction, and surrealist approaches, I zoom in on critical sites of intelligence or consciousness of species (each an aspect of the Earth’s): for the octopus, arms and suckers; for trees, root systems; for fungi, mycorrhizal networks; and for humans, it’s largely neurons. I imagine improbable positionings of species and manipulate scales that veer from visible reality and use color to highlight or contrast elements. Each drawing is a rumination on our place in a cosmology that is both scientific and mystical.