Qualia (noun:philosophy): The phenomenal qualities of experience-the raw felt qualities of sensations, emotions, thoughts, or anything else. They are experienced privately, subjectly, and directly; all the content of consciousness states is made of them.
My newest work is part of a two-hundred and forty-three-day project created with the intention of seeking personal growth and sharing and connecting more deeply with others. It is a deliberate, intentional search for truth and light. It is about awareness, change, and finding power in the places where powerlessness dwells. My work is my qualia. Sharing it with others makes me feel seen, understood and connected in a way that nothing else replicates. When viewers share their experience of the work with me, it is an incredible honor to truly see them as well.
On August 5, 2018, I published the prologue of a multi-media philosophical science fiction novel called Qualia on my website, along with a promise to publish one chapter per week. Each chapter is written just before publication, allowing the story to change course and be influenced by my own real-life experiences and connections with others. It also invites and occasionally adapts to reader interaction.
Working within a narrative gives me the freedom to express my ideas in a large variety of media while providing a cohesive theme for the body of work as a whole. Publishing Qualia initially in a digital format has allowed me to explore fiction writing, poetry, digital painting, oil painting, interactive web design, animation, and music composition, choosing the media that I feel best communicates the idea of each chapter.
I found science fiction to be the perfect genre to support my interest in challenging the definitions and traditions associated with particular mediums. The oil paintings in this body of work, for example, combine the use of gold and silver leaf, traditional underpainting and glazing methods, and a more contemporary wet-on-wet approach, while relying on references created by digitally altering photographs inspired by the characters and themes of the story.
The project will culminate with a solo exhibition/book release called Chapter Thirty-Eight that will take place on the evening of my thirty-eighth birthday, April 6, 2019, in Huntington, WV. The reception will include a musical performance as well as immersive elements that allow participants to experience scenes from the book.