One of my main interests is the idea of agency—for something to come into being by letting other forces be the agent doing it. My goal is to create the work indirectly—to have my way by allowing other forces to have their way. So, I’m tightly controlling something which I have no control over. Or, I'm taking a precise system and letting chance or disruption occur. I’m making something that’s making itself.
To emphasize this principle, I use only primary colors: red, yellow, blue, and black, (or the print version, cyan, magenta, yellow and black) which forces the viewer's eye to mix the color. Sometimes the image is controlled by a random number grid ("God's Appointment Book") or scattered objects like ping pong balls ("Swarm") or plastic shopping bags ("Consumed"). In "Past Imperfect" and "Incarnations," I take the accurate, mechanical process of photography, then make the CMYK color separation so coarse as to lose accuracy. Then I paint the grid of dots by hand with a ketchup squirter.
When we relinquish control rather than grasp it, what's lost? What's gained?
About my process
Above, “God’s Appointment Book for March 25, 2009″ in process. Below, me with "Incarnation: Dave, 2017"