I began 2020 with a new series that involved a close examination of the news. I am investigating news cycles, current events and the truth in what is really going on. I listen to daily news and document images and headlines to incorporate into my work. Looking for patterns and trends I re-examine and look deeper than the simple words of the headlines to understand what is going on in the world around me.
As I seek out reliable news sources, I focus on those that are independently financed and operated. In comparing and contrasting mass media news to independent outlets I notice many systems of omission, under reporting, distraction and biased view points in the corporate owned news. This structure of censorship is nothing new in our corporate and political system. Discerning propaganda from fact is at the core of my studio practice.
I watched the news unfold in early December as a new deadly virus quickly spread across China with devastating effects. China responded rapidly to contain the threat of Coronavirus but too late to stop it from criss-crossing the entire world. I could not have predicted the tragic spread and death rate of the virus, however I attentively witnessed the virus engulf the United States and many other countries. Feeling powerless and motionless in a sea of fast moving events I turned even more to my art to chronicle Covid19 and our current times.
Initially, when we went into lockdown, I struggled to obtain studio time, since my kids were distance learning, at home all the time. Finding quiet reflective time and head space was a luxury. Like many, I was constantly glued to news reporting and social media, trying to discover something new. Trying to assimilate some kind of order from the chaos, I would cling to every bit of science or new information that could save us from the pandemic. I have had to learn how to work through these distractions and continue to focus on work in my studio.
I often wonder what archaeologists will learn about our culture from what we leave behind. Will they discover the truth in our history or will they only see what is on the surface?
As if things were not bad enough, in an already politically divided country amidst environmental collapse, now more than 900,000 people in the world have died of Covid19. Racism, unjust police shootings and violence are rampant and the US is very possibly on the brink of civil war. There is no end in sight to the everyday madness that is a current reality. I continuously return to my artwork to document the truth and the actuality of the present day.