Bugout, 2016 - performance, digital video and objects

Stemming from an interest in "prepper" culture, survivalist techniques and isolationist ideologies, this work seeks to uncover and reinterpret motives for operating outside of the system or off-the-grid. Self sufficiency was a core principle of 1960's back to the earth movements such as the Drop City commune. In stressing the give and take relationship between nature, necessity and technology, I hope to reconsider this legacy of resistance and its contemporary counterparts.  

In the initial phase of this project I created devices that enabled me to interact with the landscape in speculative ways while blurring distinctions between natural and technological materials and processes. I am interested in craft as an activity that embraces experimental attitudes without losing sight of a condition that presupposes the tool or implement. Through playfully reinterpreting the ways that we orient ourselves on a daily basis, I investigate interconnected systems of observation, intuition and understanding.

"Media, understood broadly, also enter into nature, not only society - and into objects, not only events. The ozone layer, the arctic ice, and whale populations all are now what they are not only because of how they are covered by reporters, but because of how their being is altered by media, understood as infrastructures of data and control. Many forms of life now flourish as much in silico as in vivo. The practice of medicine is increasingly a branch of informatics. The forestry industry is a data business. The old idea that media are environments can be flipped: environments are also media. Water, fire, sky, earth, and ether are elements - homey, sublime, dangerous, and wonderful - that sustain existence, and we still haven't figured out how to care for them; our efforts to do so constitute our technical history." 

                            - John Durham Peters The Marvelous Clouds: Toward a Philosophy of Elemental Media