The story of Daedalus and the Labyrinth is a fitting allegory for this work. A heroic figure of antiquity, Daedalus built the labyrinth to contain the Minotaur, but was himself nearly entrapped by the ingenuity of his own creation. As I explore the systems and frameworks that are deployed upon my own existence, I often wonder at how they simultaneously provide the structure that gives order and stability to my life, while also ensnaring me within a delimited scope of freedom; a question of individual privilege, but also a matter of navigating the underlying threat of coercive violence that provides power to bureaucracy.
The portraits below were developed using images sourced from the archival and contemporary resources that comprise the amalgamated image of my body: on a social, civil, medical, and psychological level. Each of these portraits pulls from documents and data sets that dictate my daily life, and several of them have been more substantially developed with motifs inspired by the meanings which they attach to my existence.
Developed for my thesis exhibition and the Venice Architecture Biennale, two of the above images were overlaid with an elaborate set of graphics inspired by the data sets, another one was created for a large tapestry at the Biennale. The passport exemplifies the social privilege of American citizenship, insured by the four cornerstones of our democracy: oil extraction, intercontinental ballistic missiles, nuclear bombs, and money. The second image is sourced from the medical chart that was used to diagnose me with ADHD, establishing my non-visible disability as neurodivergent. The motif in that image reflects on the indexical charts made of my body, as well as the amphetamine prescriptions that I’m given in order to function more like a neurotypical individual. A separate exhibition, the image in the Biennale combined multiple motifs.