I taught at the university level for ten years. In 2003 I returned to the USAF to become a Flight Engineer on the C-130. While in the military, I was deployed twelve times to support both OEF and OIF. I did two years of state-side medevac and human remains missions. I shot several hundred hours of video while flying missions and on the ground during downtime during this time.
Since retiring from the military, I have combed through journals and videos, extracting selections to create video and installation works. I aim to give the viewer a glimpse of the thoughts and emotions I experienced during deployments and describe how those have continued to impact all aspects of my civilian life. I merge documentary videos with a visceral depiction of my military experiences.
I create autobiographical personal narrative works that explore my time in the military, looking at the physical and emotional consequences of being a veteran. I combine videos and stills from my time in the military, flying combat missions in the Middle East, and during downtime between missions with other original content sources to share the external world of combat and contrast that with my internal experiences. As a result of my military flying career and unknown genetic makeup, I have some issues, adding intensity to my current work.
From the series “So Now I’m a Veteran” Triptych 18” x 20” The left image are my thoughts and feelings about myself. Center image are facts about the war and my military service. Right image is what others thoughts are about me. I find it interesting the disconnect of my thoughts about myself and what others thoughts are about me. I’ve become aware of this after I started working on healing from issues as a result of multiple deployments.
I create autobiographical personal narrative works that explore my time in the military and the physical and emotional consequences of being a veteran. I combine video and stills from my time in the military, both flying combat missions in the Middle East as well as during down time between missions with other original content sources to share the external world of combat and contrast that with my internal experiences.
Much of my time is devoted to writing short stories that act as a catalyst for creating video or installations. Looking through my extensive archives of stills and video clips help me crystallize the ideas I want to communicate. I then elaborate as needed to tell the story.
I am continually influenced by the video artist combat veterans that have gone before me. Especially meaningful to me are those artists who created works that document their war experiences and how those experiences affected their personal lives during and after combat. Tim O’Brien, Betty and Ken Rodgers, and Marc Waszkiewicz are artists from recent as well as distant wars who have influenced me and validated my own experiences which are often unrecognized by society at large.