Fields Work and a little sugar

The past months have been fully research-oriented, thanks to the most generous support of a John S. Guggenheim Fellowship from Sept 1 2023-Aug 31 2024, and subsequent support from the Arts Division and the Office of Research at University of California, Santa Cruz. Travels have taken me to Chicago, to Atacama desert in Chile, to Upper Hudson Valley in New York state, and to Germany and Austria. I’ve also been able to invite collaborators to Santa Cruz to continue thinking through projects based on the west coast, such as ongoing work in the CZU burn scar with Gabriel Saloman Mindel.

Together with Rodrigo Ríos Zunino under the title We Build Ruins, we have been working since 2017 in the industrialized areas of Atacama desert in Chile. This year we returned in April for another stint of production and inspiration, along the way performing live audiovisual concerts at the Parque Cultural in Valparaíso, Chile and at the Lab in San Francisco, and presenting an audiovisual installation as part of a group show celebrating the Rydell Fellows at the Museum of Art and History in Santa Cruz. I’m currently working on a solo radio art work entitled Children of the Sun to be completed at the end of the summer as part of this desert research, and Rodrigo and I continue our work on a feature length film plus installation works and an artist book.

And a bit of unexpected good news: Revenant, which I created last year for ORF Kunstradio (the long running radio art program on the cultural channel of Austrian national public radio), won the Karl Sczuka Prize in 2024! Many thanks to the jury and to Südwestrundfunk for this honor.


Revenant is a new solo radio art composition premiering on ORF Kunstradio on July 30, 2023 at 22:05 CDST (GMT +2). Listen live or stream from the project page. Rebroadcast on WGXC Upper Hudson Valley, September 8, 2023.

Here’s what it’s all about:


A new radio art work in two parts, exploring mortality, rot, and regeneration, using electronic and radiophonic instruments, and sound from below and above ground. Recorded in the mighty RP4 studios of the ORF Funkhaus in Vienna and on various locations in Santa Cruz, California. Thanks to Martin Leitner, Elisabeth Zimmermann, and Indexical.

1: Outside
In the increasing heat and haze of summer, the days are long and hot and the nights insomniac. After brief, fitful sleep, the sun is a tarnished penny in the morning when it rises behind an orange haze of smoke and ash from wildfire. Stuck indoors when the air is hot and thick, other creatures find their way inside to take refuge with me: coming in along the plumbing, up the drains, in the vents and down the chimney, through the cracks under the door or the walls. Unexpected insects, worms and a lizard that dry on the floor, various arachnids running up the walls, a small bird, a bat. It seems I must change my approach to cohabitation: when the creatures move into my nest, I trade places and take to the airwaves or escape down into their burrows.

2: Revenir
The difference between the living and the dead is hard to discern. That which is dry and buried may not lie still, but move, resurface, rehydrate, transform. The dead gone to ground may yet pay visitations, or am I the visitor? Time underground enables metamorphoses of body and senses.

A portion of this piece is based on an earlier live remote performance for Indexical, Santa Cruz, from October 2020, a year in which I and my community weathered quarantines and evacuation for the CZU Lightning Complex wildfire. The next years saw drought, flood, regrowth, more devastation from storms, and more growth here on the ground. Outside my tiny backyard, a meadow is transformed into a gopher barrens each summer, pock marked and dry like a moonscape as imagined by rodents. I can’t help wondering what goes on underground, and what I might become if I tunnel down and join the potentially vast world of creatures and organisms there.