My current project is called Wanderlust, which has been in the works now for over 3 years and was presented in the spring at UNCC for a solo artist exhibition. It is a set method of exploration that I completed four times in Rome and 3 in Japan, and currently in process in Australia.
This project starts by choosing a historically significant location to begin at, such as the hypocenter in Nagasaki or the Spanish steps of Rome. Before sunrise I arrive at the chosen spot; when the sun rises I expose a photo, and pick up an item. My walk then continues for a solid hour in one direction, mapping the path I take. After the hour is up I force myself to stop at this spot I expose an image, pick up an item and record the time then continue on for another hour, where I stop and repeat the process. I continue this for the duration of the day until sunset. Upon completion, I am left with a map of 25-30 miles in a foreign land and about a dozen images and items. I plan to use these as source material in an interactive mechanical and digital exhibition.
This ridged structure of method is a reflection of the way we are forced down our own life path. Cause and effect is an overpowering law we cannot escape. Every decision we make in life, every action we perform is a direct result of an element that came before it, forcing us towards a chaotic destiny. The result of the precursor elements are no individual free will, the decisions we make are not of our own creation, nor are they the results of a higher creator. They are simply multiple elements in an equation too large to conceive or calculate. The locations of the stops on the walks were not my decision. Each spot is a result of laws of the method; cause and effect guide all.
This project has a fringe benefit to it. As I walk down a path with no destination, I have the opportunity to observe the way travel creates layers in a culture. When a location has historical value it often becomes a tourist spot. This spot then become saturated with tourist economy. A cultural mask is then projected that is tailored for the foreign tourist, hiding many aspects of the land underneath it. To walk without a destination enables me to be objective in my movement. I am allowed to escape the path worn from the feet of tourist and witness the rich culture and land that holds up the façade. The bare truths I witness are not always the beautiful pristine image that the tourist see, often they are roads filled with litter or lined with prostitutes, other times they are lush orchards stretching out into a magnificent countryside. In either case, they are the unseen truths that I am driven to explore.