In a current series called distance, I use the pencil as a basic tool to record measurements and carry out tasks. Each drawing is an accumulation of plainly ruled lines made with ordinary #2 pencils. At the start of the project I decided to make a very large piece of paper by gluing smaller pieces together. I’d fill the entire paper with closely ruled lines; nothing was precious, I could sit on it, fold it, erase it, redraw it, patch it. The only task was to fill the paper. roadtrip’s 98” x 198” expanse of fine horizontal lines stretches out like a well used, grey road. While working on the piece I remembered playing with an etch-a-sketch in the backseat of our family car. I thought about distance that can be measured and that which cannot. I wanted to know what it would look and feel like to contain one mile in one square foot. These are the one-mile drawings. Each twelve-inch square drawing buckles and folds with one mile worth of fine ruled lines. Similarly, a piece called ten-mile roadmap is dense with graphite from ten miles worth of ruled lines. It has been folded multiple times like an overused map. The distance project also includes my own repurposed 35mm photographs from 1985, and a short video called drive.
A separate project is a remembrance of lakes I grew up with, a series of paintings called lakewater 2. Using a purpose-made straight edge and a housepainter’s angle brush, I slowly paint fine lines, first horizontally, then diagonally – it’s a crosscurrent in which random interference patterns mimic ripples and light on lake water. Paint drips and minor blips break the illusion. The lakewater series includes a video called row. In a reverie of spending time on a lake, I filled my bathtub with pebbles and tea colored water. Then, I repeatedly launched a 3” wooden boat across the tub waters. (The camera sees only the water and boat, not the bathtub.) The video documents each successful boat journey. At the end of a crossing, my hand enters the scene to retrieve the tiny vessel and send it off again with a flick of my finger.