Suspended Carbon is a series of site-specific installations. I create drawings by holding sheets of paper above a candle flame, collecting soot in dots. The dots are placed in simple arcs, creating a larger pattern such as a spiral or radiant when the drawings are assembled.
The project had its first inception in 1996. It began as my fascination with the utter darkness of soot as a marking material, the thrill of the volatile process, and the pleasure of designing patterns using simple arcs.
15 years later, however, this project serves as a retreat from my fragmented life. Because of the fragile nature of the soot, it can only be made on site, forcing me to dedicate the entire duration of production at the space of installation. It is a rare occasion when I am unplugged, distanced from the noise of daily duties, and am focused only on the elemental phenomenon right in front of my eyes and fingertips. I build a strong relationship with the moment, the space, and relish the silence of soot accumulating on paper surface.
The process also involves documentation by video. I usually situate the video camera facing a window with myself in between. The video captures the process as pedestrians walk by in the background, often showing their reactions. Sometimes they come in to talk to me, occasionally snapping photos. The video is then displayed along with the installation. It is an extension of Suspended Carbon’s purpose to establish a connection with the place.
Widow Jane Mine, Rosendale, July 2016
Garrison Art Center, Garrison, April 2015
Imogen Holloway Gallery, Saugerties, April 2013
Kingston Museum of Contemporary Art, Kingston, July 2012
MARK on MAIN, Catskill, June 2012
Unison Arts, New Paltz, November 2011
Mare Liberum, New York, April 1996
Suspending Carbon in New Paltz, Unison Arts. November, 2011 (1:24)