3’x9′, Mixed Media, 2021
Apophenia, the tendency to perceive meaningful connection between unrelated things, was originally thought to be a symptom of schizophrenia. Later, it was realized that at its most fundamental level, apophenia is simply a symptom of having a human brain and being alive. While apophenia can evolve into delusion under certain conditions, it’s more common manifestations like pareidolia (perceiving images in random stimuli) and cluster illusions (seeing patterns in random sequences) are less about perceiving what’s not there, and more about making everyday objects and tasks feel significant. It could be said that some degree of apophenia, or rather some degree of creative meaning making, is necessary to do the essential work of keeping on keeping on.
The point of this residency is to connect two strangers so they can find some sort of meaning between them and then create something out of that finding. A type of external apophenia, this project aims to mine the meaning from two unrelated things and as such, the mine is both resource rich and prone to collapse under the weight of its own conceptual tenuity. Of course after a certain point, the connections will draw themselves and apophenia will be replaced with the much more stable framework of collaboration and mutual respect. However, a project born from apophenic soil inevitably grows meddling branches; perpetually wrapping around themselves, searching for meaning within the confines of their own expanse.