Shifting Zero: Don’t Ask Don’t Tell / Miami Beach, 2015
In response to Florida Governor Rick Scott’s administration’s rule that state employees were not to use the terms “global warming” or “climate change” in any official communication, this public action equates denial around climate change with our historical inability to deal with the presence of LGBTQ people in the military and move on to critical social issues. Restricting speech in both cases offer some false sense of assurance that challenging shifts are not happening. At the ocean edge, I attempt to articulate the phrase “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell” in the sand. The incoming tide repeatedly washes the letters away as I put these words into language. The repetition of my effort to keep the full phrase visible is a reminder of the power of water to erase human marks and silencing as a tactic to avoid fear. The photographic installation is comprised of still images taken from the video. The arrangement seeks an order – either of language, visual communication or social structure – but there is none.