This body of work includes a number of material experiments indulging the hidden costs of production. Paintings are made by folding dyed canvas and applying bleach and vinegar. The combination of these liquids is poisonous chlorine gas—the acidic vinegar and basic bleach eventually neutralize each other, but only after marring the underlying canvas. Once unfolded, it is evident that canvas has been partially returned to a raw state. Whereas painting typically begins from this state, here it emerges as the end of the mark-making process. Raw material is made rawer—the mode of production relinquishes its negentropic telos.
A variety of sculptural works apply similarly destructive logic to productive materials. For instance, propane torches are welded together to form small stools. Welding necessitates passing an electrical arc across surfaces—a dangerous process when working with pressurized fuel. Therefore the gas needs to be wasted in order to facilitate the sculpture, reversing which elements are considered valuable and which ones are deemed disposable. Where paint is typically understood as a matter of aesthetics, in the instance of propane tanks it is an illegal ornamentation, one that carries the potential to absorb heat and activate the volatile substance held within. Other works use components of propane tanks in combination with sacrificial zinc anodes. These anodes are typically attached to the hull of seafaring vessels, absorbing the negatively-charged currents of ocean salt water so that the vessel’s hull might be unaffected. When the anodes are corroded, they are discarded. The tanks, which are intended to hold their contents under pressure, as potentially useful energy, are instead opened up and become bowls that hold their contents in a non-coercive way. That is, they produce an availability without dictating a prescription.
These alterations at the level of matter represent axiological shifts in capitalist modes of perception and value. By using familiar objects with known purposes, and by subjecting their intended functions to entropy, the sculptures propose a mode of apprehension that is not so tangled in the contradictory logic of profit-without-friction.