by Aneleise Ruggles | March 14, 2019
Where are you from?
Boston MA (and working in Durham NC)
What is your primary artistic medium?
Please talk a little bit about your artistic practice. What does your creative process look like? Where do you create your artwork? How long does one piece take to create from start to finish?
I make boring "work." At the moment, I am focused on the how people, specifically Latino/as and Latinx, are represented in administrative systems. Or, how do data points, forms, and relational databases compress individuals into singular object, which is then treated as representative of populations numbering in the millions. What does it mean for the self to be singular and immense at the same time; distinct in life and indistinguishable in numerosity? It's a lot of reading, thinking, trying things out in the studio, questioning those things, and trying again. To help see progress in my practice, I pace my work in different tiers of production. Some are fast works (projects that can realized in a short duration, especially), some are long term (one project has been going on for 4 years and is just starting to get a lift) and others are some where between fast and long.
How do you approach creating a self-portrait?
I use Tyra Banks' advice, which I recall from when America's Next Top Model first aired on television: find your light. Click. When I start to overthink it, that's when I'm more concerned representing popular aesthetics, than the representation of self.
Why do you choose to create self-portraits? Why do you think it is important for artists to create self-portraits?
Curiously, I don't like having my picture taken. So, making self-portraits helps me work through that discomfort. And reminds me that I have a responsibility, within my artistic practice, to account for that discomfort, and to use it as an informing material in the work. It is a way to hold the self accountable to more than aesthetic choices.
What role does social media play in your artistic practice?
Social media is a context; it is a distribution platform; it is an exhibition venue; it is an archive; it is a reminder that some one is watching.
How do you think a stranger may "perceive" you based on the work that you create?
It would depend on which work they encounter. If it were "Failed Selfie," I hope they would see some one that's curious about how they are seen and how they see. If it were some of my other work, they would probably think I am very serious, formal and scientific.
How do you think a stranger may "perceive" you based on your social media profile(s)?
The answer is probably the same as if they encountered my work. lol