August 29 - August 31, 2021

In the summer of 2019, a was informed about a new residency to be established within an apartment in the spring branch area. I'd never invested so much into applying for something before because at the time I felt that I needed space to think. Potentially preventing myself from falling into a self-destructive pattern.

At the time we would be banding together to form an alliance that would secure funds to benefit the asylum seekers and migrants who were being detained in the Houston Harris County area. Over this band for 4 months, we planned, organized, fundraised, and secured funds for our cause. At this time I was also promoting the residency to secure investments to be entered into the semi-finalist in finalist categories.

It was during a meeting with one of the co-organizers that the finalists will build and I received my email confirming and solidifying my placement as a finalist and the winner of a residency. However, it would be after the completion of the organized event that this residency would be taken from me. I would be compensated $1000 for my troubles.

I refused to remain silent through what would no doubt be a very tumultuous few months as if the previous months of organizing were light work. Grief-stricken, I began to write out my experience with as much detail as I could remember. I meant to get ahead of any story anyone could create and push themselves.

I was approached about my narrative and it was published in a variety of mediums. I cannot say it was the easiest space to exist within, especially given only those very close to me knew of my criminal convictions. And even so, even fewer had any additional information concerning those events. Evenings with my, then partner would include at least one five-minute period of sobbing.

I needed to create and the near future presented several options. Yet, in the present, I looked for a way to speak to what I could project into the future from that moment. I knew the space of mind and it occurred to me that were a destination not to be set, I would have no light to look toward. Creating has given space to a new vocabulary utilized through an artistic medium. I sought out a way to address a variety of mechanisms as abstractions so that I may be able to speak to a general audience about complex structures and topics.

The series Lightning was shaped from this space. In preparation for an upcoming exhibition with Art League Houston, I imagined being able to speak volumes with very little dialogue. The inclusion of light intrigued me as the phrase “capturing lightning in a bottle” spoke to me at the time. After watching a documentary that followed Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s campaign as she rose in public visibility. It felt like the filmmakers had captured the essence of the phrase and it sat with me that it could be possible to do so.

In the absence of small rope-like led tubes, I utilized golden embroidery floss to stand as representative. The piece consisted of golden floss, acrylic sheets, and clear cord which were typically oriented within larger acrylic housings. The acrylic sheets were from one of the last opportunities I had to claim unwanted materials from my previous employer. I collected the various sizes with the idea that I would create custom enclosures for small sculptures. Given the past experiences localized within that workplace, I add emphasis to their inclusion as a means to reclaim lost time, wages, and reparations for undue mental and emotional trauma.

I envisioned lightning striking through a surface, penetrating it as a heated element would a soft surface. The acrylic would symbolize an obstructive force suspended, invisibly, in wait. Lightning would symbolize an individual path, an ideal’s perseverance through time, a golden path, truth, light, and knowledge. Throughout the exhibition references to these algorithmic elements will create a shared vocabulary that will build upon itself, as well as within the audience.

black [in pursuit of a monolith], an exhibition detailing an algorithm for change, serve as a dissertation for a college drop-out who once sought a Master’s. This exhibition is the summation of information, knowledge, and understanding, accrued and shared with regards to, and in conjunction with building a more connected, healthy, and responsible way of living. black does claim to resolve any conflicts. However, it does serve as a destination to set out in search of, speak into existence, and steer the next generation.