installation with animations and cut outs
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My background in farm work, biology and cultural studies informs the visual juxtapositions and concepts in my artwork; I build miniature dioramas, Hybrid animals, and multimedia installations, as well as making prints and drawings, to reframe depictions of nature. My reinventions of animals, plants, and environments embrace the idea of nature as necessarily including humans, human-made permutations, organic organisms, social and cultural influences, and most importantly, the relationships between them. The Hybrids I build are quirky, disturbing, and represent organisms (including people) and systems that are spliced, networked, and mythical in the sense of the harpy and the unicorn, but also in the contemporary mythology of genetic engineering. I use the idea of the diorama as a starting place to look at, imitate, criticize, and provide alternatives to popular conceptions of nature. I believe that my alternative images are more inclusive and more sustainable models of what daily interactions of the planet are like because the division between "natural" and "artificial" is not sacred. . Not only do I look at depictions of nature, but also of what is "natural," or where nature is appealed to for social and normative values (the gay marriage debate and discussions about which wild animals exhibit homosexual behavior is an example). In the print series Dirty Taxidermy, the idea of fetishizing nature, the "nature lover," and the taxidermied animals in a natural history diorama come together in a humorous and macabre "situation." Some of my influences include Natural History Dioramas, feminist science fiction, and the philosophy of science. I believe productive and interesting projects, discussions, and communities (both artistic and scientific) happen where groups intersect.