THE ARROWMONT SCHOOL OF ARTs AND CRAFTS / KNOXVILLE, TENNESSEE
My work explores the visual culture of geography and cartography as a system of information that is edited, or altered in order to codify the relationship of identity and place. The disruption of visual information examines the thin boundary between the known and the unknown. Using maps, globes, travel guides, pamphlets and charts, information is revealed in relation to recognizable geographic imagery; but some information is withheld by covering or layering. This action occurs through additive processes such as stitching, process drawing, and the application of stickers, White-out, or tape. Using this media ties the work back to the office, classrooms, and business centers where they are original utilized: places where information is organized and prepared. The repetitive “hand-mechanical” process used in drawing or stitching gives the work and added inference of compulsivity and concern. In order to examine that boundary between the known and unknown, I select for subject matter places that are infamous for their mystery. Marginalized geography, liminal places on the border between the known and unknown, stresses the relationship between identity and place. These mysterious sites may be the habitation of monsters, the center of conspiracy, or a vortex of mysticism. We understand ourselves by naming and categorizing Others (and other places). Mapping is a method of understanding not only where you are in space, but also who you are. The work questions the efficacy of mapping and organizing information, and this futility solicits a reidentification within viewers of a sense of place and the unknown.