Stemming from anxiety that began with a collision on a nighttime road my work explores my feelings of desire and dread towards the built environments where I live. Growing up within the sprawl of Calgary Alberta I came to love the electric glow of the city, the glistening of fluorescent lighting off the many surfaces of the city at night, and yet after experiencing trauma within this very same setting I can not help feeling unease caused by the visuals I once adored. The city is an unnatural site, it is an environment which forces us to live at an increasingly faster pace where we are perpetually in motion between one location and the next. Never resting, forever hurtling towards a potential collision. While my anxiety began with a car crash I have begun to realize, through experience as well as research, that it was based in and heightened by the fact that I was experiencing life within a warped environment. The same spatial warping which allows us to cram as much life into one place as possible prevents the inhabitants from truly adjusting to life within the Metropolis. To me the urban environment of today began to feel like the dark cities of Dystopic science fiction.
Depictions of anxiety-inducing cities are common within cinematic visions of the future; our media is no stranger to the idea of Dystopia. I utilize visual cues that to me not only reference the reality of a night-time city but also build upon the idea of Dystopia as it relates to works of fiction to understand the future potential of the city-space. When building my installations, I draw upon my awareness of the city using industrial forms; the high gloss of a wet road, the electric glow of signage, the inconsistent lighting of passing cars, and the bouncing of gazes off the many mirrored surfaces that exist in the urban landscape. Through the construction of my own environments I dissect the urban and built environment as it relates to my own desires and fears and attempt to regain a modicum of the control I feel I have lost in the city environment following my collision.
The elements within my work, the cement, the signs, the facades, come together to create an immersive environment for the viewer to enter. Within this space they are confronted with a simulation of the continually expanding and contracting space of the city outside, here they will experience an environment that is grounded in both fiction and reality and acts as its own proposed Dystopian realm. Through presenting my work in a way that focuses on experience and perception I allow the viewer to form their own relationship with the visuals that I draw upon to hopefully generate questions around their feelings towards the city environment both as it exists and its future potential.