The Situation, hd video with sound, 9 min. 2016
How did you get into debt?
The majority of my debt was incurred as student loans (undergraduate and graduate school) and from the capitalization of interest of those loans as I opted for deferment plans. I have deferred payments regularly due to low income and/or because I divert income to produce projects, pay for materials, and studio rent. The remainder debt comes from two credit cards and various bank fees. I use the credit cards to pay for or offset travel expenses and incidentals when I give artist talks, guest critiques, and do exhibitions. Since I work freelance and by the hour any exterior commitments mean a loss of potential income.
Something Other Than What You Are, 3-channel hd video, theater lighting system, 35 min. (installation view), 2016
How does your economic reality effect your art?
My economic reality drives the primary content of my art as so much of what I make is reflective of contemporary shifts in labor conditions, social production, and the roles and functions of artists in society. On a practical level I find that I have to fight for time to devote to making art as the majority of my life is spent in working straight jobs to pay for the increasing cost of living in New York.
Anthropometry Stops, performance with script, resonating bells and iphone 6, English/Spanish version: duration 22 min., 2015
Would your work look different if you weren't in debt?:
Without my financial conditions I may not have had the same preoccupations about production and labor. If I had a trust fund for example, I might be making different work, but I doubt it—thinking emancipation isn't an individualist issue. I have gone into debt precisely because I have chosen to live as an artist (i.e. from a normative point of view I squander my productive time). More so my practice is less monetizable than more object-centric practices, and, though we do share costs, it is half as lucrative because of its collective nature (i.e. were I to sell a work at a typical 50/50 gallery split it would be divided 25/25/50 and the same goes for institutions). This is one of the realities of collective practice and a financial (at least) disincentive to collectivity in general.
The Second World Congress of Free Artists: Act I, performers, automated lighting scenarios and custom stage platforms performance still, duration: 65 min. 2013