For me, sculpture is a means of uniting the diverse perceptual structures-historical and social structures to architectural, topological, and meteorological-that inform any given site. The objects and gestures that I introduce into a space operate on several different planes of significance at once. In some ways, they confirm a visitor’s expectations; respond to conventional understandings of space. But my sculpture also asks visitors to see, sense and think further, to recognize their own location at a point where many different kinds of meaning converge, catalyzing an expansion of the visitor’s sensual and conceptual awareness.
I begin by studying the site’s physical surfaces, light and weather patterns, its accessibility. I learn about its internal divisions and its boundaries, and the pattern of movement in, through and around it. I consider the physical and conceptual relationships that have given the site a particular social “address”- uses, events, associations that have assembled around the space. I attend to patterns or cycles of change related to the site – the regular ebb and flow of people, vehicles or information, the patterns of wind and rain, or the alteration in light through the course of a day or a year.
Rather than masking or shifting such distinctive features, I seek ways of making them readily perceptible. In turn, I seek to bring them into synchrony with one another.
Sometimes this is best achieved with an element that resists, sometimes with one that submits to the multiple forces affecting the site. On a flat, open site, for example, I placed vertical elements in such a way as to function as a sundial. Such a subtle resistance of a vertical against a horizontal structure tends to emphasize, through contrast, the inherent flatness of the site; in the absence of distracting structures and movements, these vertical elements also resist a visitor’s tendency to move quickly through such a site. By associative means, the sculpture calls attention to slow changes- notably in the direction and intensity of light-that occur in the space with passing time. On a rocky, steeply inclined site, I placed a series of rocky structures to temporarily hold, shape, and finally release a stream of water at various points on its downward course. Not blocking, but slowing and spreading and again speeding the water, the sculpture makes the distances and qualities of surface on this site changing depths, speeds, brightness and clarity- available as a complex metaphor for the varied human activities that occur there.
Through such study and modest intervention, I locate the visitor among the multiple potentialities of a given site. He or she becomes a point where the physical forces can be seen and felt, but also resisted, a point where the established patterns and associations with the site can be recalled or set aside, a point of infinite possibility for continuity and for change.