“Some say it is best not to go near the center of time. Life is a vessel of sadness, but it is noble to live life, and without time there is no life. Others disagree.  They would rather have an eternity of contentment, even if that eternity were fixed and frozen, like a butterfly mounted in a case.”

-Alan Lightman, Einstein’s Dreams

Change is something we have in common with all beings. People of different ages, races, and cultures may be aware of time in different ways, but whether a person measures time by the changing of the seasons or by the relentless movement of the second hand on a watch, the passage of time is evident in changes occurring in us and around us. In my experience, we are predominantly concerned with time as a method of organizing and coordinating our activities, but occasionally we experience something that gives us a brief flash of insight into a larger sense of time; something that brings us into contact with a knowledge of the impermanence of ourselves and of everything. We may come to see that the only thing that exists and endures is change itself.

This understanding of the transient nature of life is itself transient, slippery and overwhelming, and for me it is too unwieldy to confront continuously. But it permeates my artistic practice, asking me to respond to the reality of impermanence. My earlier work focused on collecting and drawing desiccated organic objects in order to preserve evidence of the passage of time in images that, because of their contemplative nature, might inspire the viewer to engage in slowed moments of their own. My current work continues these practices and goals, but also takes a step back to look at the motivations behind such an activity. The drawings and videos expose the paradoxical reactions to my awareness of transience: I want to record the passage of time in some preservable format, to pin down a few moments against time’s ungraspable rush. But the awareness of impermanence also leads to the realization that in order to truly live our lives, we must be attentive to each moment as it occurs, rather than dwelling on past moments or losing ourselves in anticipation of our future experiences.

As time progresses, human discoveries continue to lead to great beauty, and to connect the global population ever more intricately.  But our progress has also increased our pace of life exponentially over the last century, jeopardizing our abilities to have the kind of contemplative experience that allows that fleeting but crucial sense of connectedness to the world and the people with whom we share it. On an individual level, my art practice allows me to literally collect time as a personal calendar.  As a member of the global population it reminds me that growth is the other side of decay. A real awareness of our shared temporal condition is vital if we are to have meaningful success in contending with current environmental and social conditions.