Bedtime for Democracy.

2014: Bedtime for Democracy

 

This body of work originated from my unsettled feelings as a veteran of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars. When I am asked (and even when I ask myself), what was it like or how do I feel about the military, it is difficult convey. How do I contextualize even one week let alone 4 years... two of those years were at a wartime pace and I was still just a kid! Something my Dad always says, how do you describe the ocean to someone who has never seen it? seems an appropriate way to put it. I am proud to have served, but it saddens me to reminisce of the active roll I played in this devastating history. It deeply pains me to see photographs of innocent people with dying family members in their arms bloodied by the bombs I know my ship dropped. I know those days, those 18-hour workdays. Working 10 decks below the waterline. My hands cranking the wheels to produce the steam to allow those bombs on those jets to fly over and drop. The same bombs I saw earlier while eating my breakfast ham and tuna casserole; it is uncomfortable that this is part of my history.

 

The work all began with the concept of an uncomfortable bed, the only place I remember that offered any comfort. After several studies and practice runs the work evolved into an exploration of materials and new processes. The title, Bedtime for Democracy. is an ode to my punk rock roots and a play on words - the center piece of the exhibit being a bed and the fact is I am exhausted of talking of these experiences. And democracy? Well considering the Navy (my employer at the time) is a machine used to enforce international trade policies and the name of game is oil… I think democracy has been gone for a long time now. So, the Dead Kennedy’s album title seemed ripe for picking.