1. I want to play with the viewer and create ambiguous spaces in which he or she can feel and inhabit. These places are largely intended to be otherworldly… and to convey a feeling of isolation, mystery and deep silence. They are not welcoming places and mostly look like they would not easily accommodate human life. I wanted a feeling of beauty and foreboding, and many relate to 19th century German and American landscape painting.
2. These are small-scale, constructed places: almost all of them were shot in my small studio in extremely low-light conditions with very long exposures.
3. I am interested in the idea of how, photographically, I can create a massive scale in my very small studio. In this sense, these photos are unabashedly romantic and related to childhood play, during which time the perception of scale is very malleable, almost like an art material.
4. I enjoy the element of weirdness in these: an eccentric activity by a suburban dad. At night, after kids are asleep, i’m in my home studio creating strange landscapes. Two points of inspiration were James Hampton’s Throne of the Third Heaven of the Nations' Millennium General Assembly, 1964, and Bas Jan Ader’s installations in his garage (particularly, Readers Digest Digested, 1970). I love the idea of a domestic space being the site of odd nighttime activities.
5. Ray Johnson quote from a book of interviews: “I’m not a traveler, i’m a dreamer. Last night I went to China.”
6. I also thought a lot about the outsider artist Henry Darger, who was creating epic worlds in his small, cluttered apartment. This link resulted in the inclusion of studies, notes and detritus related to the series as though some of the craziness of the studio crept into the gallery. It also made me stick to the use of found materials (non-art, non-model materials) as well as things that were brought to me by others who knew what I was up to. An art teacher brought me a bucket of dried gel medium. Another brought me a bucket with moldy clay… and my kids likewise brought me rocks and natural materials.
7. One last, important starting point was reading a news story about the possibility of a probe breaking through ice on one of Venus' moons to attempt to locate life. This set off a string of visions in my head that (and is why so many of these appear to be underwater).