State Map Series, 2012–2014

The North Dakota State Maps series began as a reconsideration of familiar territory. The first images in the series, completed in the summer of 2012, combined pen, graphite, and other drawing materials on paper to create fields of linked text in the shape of a state I longed to return to, North Dakota. After becoming an artist-in-residence at North Dakota State University in Fargo in late 2013, I eagerly continued the drawings, now with the addition of screenprinting to provide a base of solid color to draw and write upon. Working within the confines of this rigid, rectungular shape, meandering thoughts and lists of terminology serve to reconstruct notions of North Dakotan culture. Representational images drawn into these maplike compositions refer to regional geography, history, and exchanges; placed on trompe l'oeil slips of paper, they remind us that all maps are constructed out of illusion.

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Presence Map, 2012

The below project, Presence Map, is an internet-based collaboration that behaves as an alternative state map. For this project, I solicited the participation of 26 friends via Facebook. Each collaborator sent me one word of their choosing, as well as his or her address. These 26 words were evenly spaced across a grid on a sheet of drawing paper. I then used word association and semiotic wordplay to fill in the negtaive spaces around each word, thereby eventually connecting all of the participants' text. The large drawing was then cut down, and each individual section was mailed from Toulouse, France, to the address of the corresponding collaborator. The project confronts the absence and distance inherent to the internet by producing (and then giving away) a tangible good that serves as a trace of physical presence.