The Road to Mount Weather statement:
In order to guard myself from the real, this screen of conspiracy had to be made: A moving wall of paranoia; a claustrophobic carousel without depth or horizon; a prison of Big Eye. The task was accomplished by gathering flattened fragments of others' lives, personal and propagandistic images captured briefly by unseen eyes and thrown into the unknowing flow, adrift in exhibition. These elements of flotsam were stolen and controlled, molested and reanimated by my fingers. For my efforts within this bleak control center I was awarded the titles of conspirator and double agent and was thus given the assignment to begin a baoung-shicka-baoung-baoung-letter to my captors.
"The Road to Mount Weather" is a personal artifice assembled from ideas and images found across the environment of the internet. The topography of the project is excessive, flat, quasi-random, and circuitous, all qualities inherent within the environment of the web. However, a refashioning of the formal presentation and organization of this information was necessary in order to create, afresh, a view that was both personal and dramatic. The reconstruction of the landscape was decided primarily with two objectives in mind:
The first, to create a hodgepodge of conspiracy theories concerning martial law and shadow governments. Such a theme being appropriate because of conspiracy theories' ability to spread, change, and evolve across online communities and the resultant hyperbolic scenarios that are formed. These alternate, paranoid possibilities provide glimpses at spectacular realities behind the presented banality of power and its truths, but at the same time verge closely to demagogic rhetoric that propagates itself similarly, albeit with more accepted faith. The parallelism of both distortions inform the project. Also, because of the viral spread and adaptation of these theories throughout the socio-environment of the internet, they represent a somewhat populist mythology of contemporary fears and anxieties, simultaneously creating a dominion to give oneself up to and a system to decipher the disparities of one's environment.
The second objective was to compose this information within a structure or form reminiscent of historic epics as represented in cinema and, especially, grand panoramic painting, and to juxtapose these forms with the ubiquitous form and technology used for website banner advertisements. Contrasting these resplendent and banal forms allowed for a confusion of authority, import, and emotion. This confusion was necessary in order to subvert the propagandistic and commercial aspects of the forms used, while at the same time implicating myself within the tradition of re-edifying power through the artistic aggrandizing of the sovereign.
With this starting point, I immersed myself in image-gathering and reconstruction, allowing obsessions and paranoiac deviations to bring in tangential elements. At times, believing myself to be a co-conspirator with the powers presented, I abused my access to information, assimilating data from unknown persons' databases of images and photographs, rending subjects from their context and converting their initial intent or purpose towards my own ends. At other times, I found myself becoming a paranoid heretic attempting to subvert the powers of control, yet under suspicion, fearful of being tracked, monitored, and forced in directions that were beyond my knowledge or will. These hyper-personalities were assumed in order to imbue the work with a compressed sense of desolation and anxiety, feelings which are increasingly merited throughout society. However much a slippery slope, my intent is not to propagate such emotions, but to bring them closer to a singularity of absurdity, reversing the fear and anxiety towards a (albeit limited) sense of control with a sense of humor.