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How long do you spend on a sculpture?
I don't spend a fixed amount of time on each sculpture. One thing that has been consistent is that they've been around for quite a while, so things will begin, get set aside, picked up a couple months later, and I think that's been very important because that time allows me to establish how I feel about what's going on. And some works have gone through that sort of incubation where they come out unchanged—I live with them for a while and I still can't think of something else that would improve them. And then there are others that, after a few months, I realize "Oh, this is what I can't stand about it," and then I can go about remedying that. But I have no idea how long each one takes me.
Is that the best way for you to gauge when a piece is done—you've been living with it long enough that you can tell when it's completed?
Having spent a certain amount of time definitely makes me feel more confident about that decision—that I've gone over whether or not it's finished that it seems to answer that question. But there are quantities and amounts that feel right or wrong. So if something is too complex or too busy that can be a problem, and if something doesn't quite have the structural relationships that I'm going for then something has to be added or it can sit on the shelf for a few more months. So, yes, there's some loose ideal and I don't quite know how to describe what that ideal is, and I guess that's what making the work is about, to somehow realize what this balance and this amount is.
How do you title your works?
These works I'm inclined not to title. Other works that were more narrative, or driven by narrative, it was more logical to make a nod to that source material. Whereas these, I think, are much less linguistic and a little bit more fragile in that way, where titling them would push all of this somewhat neutral material in a very fixed direction. So I'm a little bit less inclined to title these work. I think we're so acclimated to verbal language that if one isn't getting a lot of clues from what one's looking at then those words just become the guide to the work.
The forms and materials of these new works are very unfamiliar, but every so often there's a fragment of something recognizable in a piece; is that surprising familiarity something you're intentionally exploring?
I do want to make shapes that have recognizable detail. So the overall structure of a work might be less recognizable, but there could be some detailing, some texture, some stitching that does hark back to something that somebody would know or interact with. I think that brings up this issue of patterning: that I've wanted an amount of pattern that is recognizable and familiar but very quickly patterns take on a lot of meanings culturally, politically, and I haven't been ready to address that. So I've been using things like grids, stitches, patterns that are a little bit more on the geometric end of that kind of pattern-making. While I do want a viewer to have a lot of association, I don't want that to land in any particular spot, but to kind of generate this suggestion that there is connection and then hopefully that can spin off in any number of directions depending on who's looking at it.