Dairy Days is an ongoing project aimed at documenting the event that takes place in my hometown of Fredericksburg, Iowa. Since Fredericksburg was once the Dairy Capitol of Iowa, the town has celebrated Dairy Days for nearly 95 years. As many young people move away from small agricultural towns like Fredericksburg, the effects can be seen through town celebrations as the community changes. For me, there is a great deal of nostalgia surrounding the festivities. However, it seems that I am one of the few in my age group who make an effort to travel back home for this event. Part of me fears that Dairy Days may cease to exist if this trend continues, which is why I feel compelled to photograph it. While many of my projects may have personal aspects to them, it is the nostalgia and deeply personal attachment to this subject that compels me to photograph it year after year.
On June 29, 2013, I was involved in an accident that kept me in the hospital for nearly a month and a half. Due to the nature of the injury, I am unable to recall anything that happened during a period of more than three weeks after the incident. During this time, a dear friend gifted me an instant camera which I used to document my time in rehabilitation. Eventually, the long term functions of my memory began working again but I have never been able to recall any of those first weeks in the hospital. For me, the instant photographs act as artifacts; becoming physical memories of this time. Still, I am left to fill in the spaces between these photographs since I am not able to understand the specific context or timeline in which they were taken.
My unique experience with these photographs led me to investigate the relationship between objects and memories; in particular, how objects are used to substitute or supplement a memory. Although objects can help us recall memories, these very same objects slowly change the facts of the memory over time. On many occasions, I have been surprised when I discover that my memories are not a factual representation of an event. This often happens when I find a detail in a photograph or other object that does not match the memory of the event it represents. This led me to search for unique ways individuals have chosen to memorialize themselves and others with objects, find examples of how one chooses to glorify an act or event, and even test the limits of my own memory.
Playfully confronting tragedy, frustration, and resulting anger; Hair-Trigger finds poetic relationships with these emotions through physical objects and situations. Although the book of images is considered the primary carrier of the work, Hair-Trigger spans multiple other mediums, being reborn in sculpture and a series of performances.
Starting with a single image, FARTHER goes down a path in which similarities are found between seemingly disparate objects and scenarios. Taken exclusively on a weeklong canoe trip in the midwest, FARTHER is a book that documents the streams of conscious comparisons sought by the photographer.
Clean Coal is an ongoing project to investigate and bring awareness to the issues surrounding coal usage on the local level. Coal is a source of energy that almost all Americans use every day. Although wind, solar, nuclear, and hydroelectric energy sources exist, coal produces more than 60% of Iowa’s average electricity needs. Without coal it is impossible to maintain the current lifestyle most people have come to depend on; yet these same people have no direct contact with coal.
The Vaultis a sanctuary. Inside this small, hastily-renovated building in a town of 5,513, exists a community of people who, for one night each month, come together to put on a spectacle by wrestling in the style commonly associated with the WWE. It has become a place where typical behaviors can be discarded. Ricky Love, Ugly, AJ Smooth, Morbidly Sexy, Referee Billy J and others use incredible physicality to throw the other around the mat. These people don’t wrestle for money; instead, each month they work together to create a genuine experience; one we seldom encounter elsewhere.