LIFE BEFORE DEATH
Sometimes the pieces I create tell a story, more often they exist inside the context of one. I make objects that belong somewhere else, and have a story of their own. I consume narrative fantasy voraciously and have always been fascinated by the idea of a post-paradigm shift future, and what it may hold. I am also interested in (amateur) astronomy; our seemingly infinite universe and all its mysteries. Learning about the life-cycle of stars, or looking at the incredible new images produced by orbiting satellites, reminds me of how small I am: how narrow my view, how finite my nature.
A few years ago, I lost both of my parents within the same year. Their deaths were my first real encounter with grief and loss, and the experience clarified something for me that I had always known, but never really understood. My desire to lose myself in stories, or to look out at the wider universe, my perpetual interest in post-apocalyptic future narratives, even the strange and perhaps cold comfort that I feel when reminded by these things of my own smallness and unimportance: all of these stem from a rejection of my own mortality. To me, the most tragic and upsetting thing about one’s own death is not getting to find out what happens: the story goes on, but you will miss all future installments. Through my work, I imagine some of the infinite stories I will miss out on.
I know that I can’t hope to ever truly understand my place in the wider scheme of things. This fact might seem frightening or disheartening, but I use it as inspiration. There are infinite possible stories out there, and as much as I am able, I will use my time here to consume and create as many of them as I can.
“We are such stuff as dreams are made on, and our little life is rounded with a sleep”
-William Shakespeare, The Tempest
“The cradle rocks above an abyss, and common sense tells us that our existence is but a brief
crack of light between two eternities of darkness.”
-Vladimir Nabokov, Speak, Memory
“The constant and nagging sense of having had and lost some infinite thing”
-David Foster Wallace, "This is Water" (commencement speech
given at Kenyon College in 2005)