I am Associate Professor of Art History and Visual Culture at San José State University. My research concerns postwar to contemporary art, particularly as it pertains to changes in the way we experience the world due to the reproduciblility of images. This leads to interesting problems, such as: How can artists represent a unique worldview if human experience is shaped by technology, culture, and ideology? Despite this, I argue that attention to everyday life allows artists to experiment with form, as well as with thinking and new patterns of living, and it is such experiments that draw my interest.
Before entering the academy, I was a professional photographer and printer. I was fortunate to work with many talented artists, such as Richard Barnes, whose photography sparked my interest in photographic archives, evidence, and memory. Later, I earned a MA in Inter-Arts from San Francisco State University—studying with the late performance artist Christine Tamblyn, theorist Kaja Silverman (at UC Berkeley), and filmmaker Trinh T. Minh-ha—and then a PhD in Visual and Cultural Studies from the University of Rochester. My dissertation was a phenomenological examination of the ways certain Fluxus artists stretched the common understanding of photography; I was advised by Professors Michael Ann Holly and Douglas Crimp. Since then, grants and fellowships from the Camargo, the Clark Art Institute, the Centre Allemand d’histoire de l’art, the National Humanities Center, and San José State University have helped me to continue my research.
While I am primarily a scholar, I continue to make artwork and engage in research-oriented curatorial projects. Recently, I served as lead curator to the reinstallation of Bruce Nauman's 1970 Corridor Installation with Mirror - San Jose Installation. This corridor was installed in the same gallery where it premiered at San José State College (now University) a half century ago. This project culminated in a book titled Bruce Nauman: Spatial Encounters (University of California Press, forthcoming 2019, with Constance M. Lewallen). Currently, I am completing a manuscript on the diorama—a pre-cinematic light and paint entertainment that emerged in nineteenth-century Paris. Invented by Daguerre and Bouton, the diorama died out after a short but active lifespan. However, in my account, the diorama persists in alternative forms, such as the habitat diorama and installation art. In the book I show how the diorama runs parallel to photography throughout the modern period, offering an alternative, romantic, narrative, and backward looking mode of representation that favors sentimentality over "the new."
As a professor, I am actively involved in the Art History graduate program while regularly teaching graduate seminars for MFA. students and sitting on MA and MFA committees. I have taught graduate seminars on a range of topics including the archive, contemporary craft, photography and perception, spectacle, and art historical methods. My undergraduate courses include the history and theory of new media, introduction to visual culture, the art of the 1960s and 70s, and issues of materiality in contemporary art (called "The Thing").
I can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.