Our minds are so rarely silent. For those of us with anxiety disorders, the noise is constant. From what we’ll cook for dinner to the specifics of how our lives will end, there’s no shortage of things to worry about. This is even more extreme in an election year with the threat of pandemic and climate change. But how does the creative mind function amid all this static?
In this self portrait series, I explored this question by intentionally shocking 4x5 film with static electricity, creating double exposures with random patterns and shapes of light. The static can’t be controlled or shaped. Shocking the film means giving up creative control over the final image, knowing many sheets will be lost in the process. Yet the static is also magic, allowing us a glimpse at invisible emotions and abstract concepts. I’m particularly interested in how the sparks show the intersection of creativity and anxiety. When does the anxious mind hinder art? When does that constant noise provide inspiration and artistic drive? How can we harness that static and use it to create?