On Bewilderedness

The earliest memory I have of bewilderment was with my first 3­-D comic book. The pages came alive when I put on the glasses, transforming confused blue and red lines on a 2-D page into a dynamic 3-D world. Both strange and nonsensical, the glasses operated as a magic optic device. Then I tried to actually touch the drawing that seemed to emerge from the page. Instead my fingers went through the image. As I closed one eye and then the other, Luke from Mars flattened, only to pop out of the page again when both eyes opened. My mind was both puzzled and reeling with excitement. This moment of wonder left an indelible impression, and continues to fuel my creative process.

Now as an artist, I invite bewilderedness into my creative practice. As a state, bewilderedness is confusing, surprising, and perplexing. It has the power to lift us out of the norm through momentary destabilization. Bewilderedness repositions the world on new terms. As a bewildered maker I adopt multiple roles – mad scientist, magician, trickster, and showman – opening my process to explore new overlaps. Each of these roles is a personification of the different characteristics of bewilderedness. They are the perplexing mad scientist, surprising magician, startling trickster, and mystifying showman. Wearing these different hats allows me to confront myself with numerous situations and continually seek the unknown. With this goal in mind my studio becomes the context in which I perform a series of experiments that act as catalyst for bemusement, and these experiments begin with a test.