• Touch Stone

    Stereotome (spine), Ceramic tequila bottle, ab roller parts, house paint, limestone spray paint. 2021.

    Stereotome (sideswiped), Styrofoam packaging, side mirror cover, house paint, limestone spray paint. 2021.

    Tsimtsum (family tree) , Old yoga mat, house paint, limestone spray paint, Hebrew initials of ancestors murdered in Poland in 1942. 2021.

    We use stone for its permanence and durable touch. In time, a stone can take on spiritual or even mythical significance. We make it into vessels of history, legend, and belief. Our stone monuments and memorials endure while our societies crumble. In this project, stone is a point of departure to explore touch, manipulation, and mimicry. Which emotional messages are embedded into the foundations of our cities and landscapes, and how can we excavate them through touch?

    Specifically, I'm interested in Jerusalem Stone as material and symbol of Jewish identity in architecture. Through this, I explore how this stone can make visible a range of interwoven histories across regions. As a material, it connects ancient architecture to suburban sprawl. It can be a container for both trauma inflicted and trauma received, and it becomes a prism through which we project a sense of identity.
  • Makhtesh (Open, Closed, Open)

    Single Channel video, 2:47 min, loop.
    2021.

    "Jewish history and world history/grind me between them like two grindstones, sometimes/to a powder." –Yehuda Amichai

    The word makhtesh is the Hebrew word for a mortar grinder, and also describes a type of colorful geological formation rock caused by erosion, typical of the Negev and Sinai. This video explores interwoven histories connected through a common geological material, Jerusalem Stone. Jerusalem Stone can symbolize connection to Jewish identity or assert dangerous colonial agendas. As a material, it connects ancient architecture to suburban sprawl. It can be a container for both trauma inflicted and trauma received, and it becomes a prism through which we project a sense of identity.

    This video uses a digital grindstone, an AI network trained on a range of specific cultural touchstones: images of Jerusalem stone, the Berlin Holocaust Memorial, halvah, Daniel Libeskind buildings, synagogue architecture, assorted Judaica, interior design swatches, limestone artifacts from Tel Megiddo (the hill of Armageddon), and bones from the Oriental Institute digital archive.
  • Stereotomes

    Painted plastic shards, hubcap, exhaust manifold, shoe remnant, floor liner, artist's bicycle saddle, and oyster shell. 2020.

    Stereotomes is a combination of the words stereotomy, tome, and me. From the Greek, stereotomy is the art of cutting three-dimensional solids into specific shapes to be assembled into architectural forms, while a tome is a volume in a larger body of work.

    This body of work continues my investigation of Jerusalem stone as a material and as a symbol of Jewish identity in architecture. Through this material, I consider the idea of “diaspora” and how it affects my relationship to the United States and to Israel as an American Jew. What does it mean to bring this Stone, an externally facing, public symbol, and mix it with domestic & ritual objects?
  • American Accents

    1. Slump
    Painted unfired clay, painted MDF board, painted windshield shade. 2019.

    2. Hoop
    Painted metal furniture hoop, vinyl floor tile, stone from Jerusalem, & “Gilded Israeli Coin” worth ₪ 0.10. 2019.

    3. After Stephanie
    Painted plastic flowers, vinyl floor tile, painted rubber mesh, painted plastic ashtray, painted MDF board, painted slippers. 2019.

    Taking the name from a line of spray paints by Rust-oleum, this body of work uses fake Jerusalem stone as the basis for its forms. By coating found objects with the paint, I create playful assemblage sculptures that explore the relationship of the body to the land, and the structures that we build on it.
  • Take Comfort in the Silence

    Speaker as pendulum, 6:53 min. audio, loop. 2019.

    Take Comfort in the Silence is an installation using a speaker as a pendulum swinging in the center of the gallery. The movement of the speaker creates a mini-Doppler effect which distorts and modulates the sound in real time: an edited recording of the Jewish song “Nachamu Ami” (comfort [to] my people). As the song progresses, the melody gradually gives way to more and more silence, allowing for the background noise and resonant frequencies of the gallery to become part of the listening experience.

    Equal parts elegy and consolation, this work is a meditation on memory and grief. “Nachamu Ami” is traditionally chanted as a communal message of hope and comfort after the Jewish holiday of Tisha B’Av (known as the saddest day in the Jewish calendar). As the song plays the sound of the voices becomes recognizable, only to be distorted by the next swing of the pendulum: familiar yet unplaceable.
  • When the Legs Are Up, Everything is Calm

    IKEA FROSTA Components, spackle, spray paint. 2018.

    Jerusalem stone is a name for various types of pale limestone used in building since ancient times, common in and around the city of Jerusalem —those distinctive rectangular blocks that give the Old City its ancient feel. However, the stone has become a symbol of control, visually enforcing the boundaries of the city and allowing for newly annexed neighborhoods to appear as being part of the same lineage as the historic city center, miles away. To this end, a 1968 Israeli mandate requires all new buildings in the city of Jerusalem to be faced with the stone, because, according to the city planners, it carries “emotional messages that stimulate other sensations embedded in our collective memory.”

    This emotional message extends far beyond the city of and its surrounding suburbs. The various forms of the stone are often employed abroad in Jewish buildings as a symbol of Jewish identity. Contemporary synagogue design frequently employs Jerusalem stone to simulate the Western Wall, or to serve as a backdrop on the Bimah.

    In "When the Legs Are Up, Everything is Calm," Liam Ze’ev O’Connor presents new sculptures, reconfigured Ikea furniture coated in artificial Jerusalem stone. Jerusalem stone has become a symbol of Jewish identity, but it is an externally facing, public identity. These sculptures explore what it means to bring that symbol into the interior of a home: The stone, intended for outside use, is reassembled and recombined with the familiar shapes of the furniture, meant for intimate, personal use. The works in this show attempt to construct a personal Jewish identity from the materials and symbols available within a very shallow form of Zionism and O’Connor’s own American, consumerist diaspora.
  • not a line a shadow

    45 graphite drawings on sketch paper. 2018.
    "not a line a shadow" @ H Space, Cleveland.
    Through graphite drawings, folded paper sculptures, and textiles, these works examine the architectures of two highly militarized and contentious border zones: the US-Mexico Border, and the Israel-Palestine Border. In particular, the works explore how these two borders, thousands of miles apart, are beginning more and more to resemble each other: desert sands pockmarked with lines of brutal concrete and metal, and ever-growing membranes of surveillance made visible through mobile camera towers and observation drones. Moreover, Israeli security firms are being hired as contractors to develop new border technologies on a global scale, especially on the US-Mexico Border. These borders are not just lines on a map, rather they are as Israeli architect and theorist Eyal Weizman describes them, “deep, shifting, fragmented and elastic territories,” and spaces “where distinctions between the ‘inside’ and ‘outside’ cannot be clearly marked.”
  • security blankets

    Inkjet prints on sateen, broadcloth, thread, batting. 2018.
    San Ysidro I, San Ysidro II, Qalandia I, Qalandia II.
    "not a line a shadow" @ H Space, Cleveland.
    These blankets examine the architectures of two highly militarized and contentious border zones: the US-Mexico Border, and the Israel-Palestine Border. In particular, they explore how these two borders, thousands of miles apart, are beginning more and more to resemble each other: desert sands pockmarked with lines of brutal concrete and metal, and ever-growing membranes of surveillance made visible through mobile camera towers and observation drones. A border is like a fold, it's a false line.

    If the earth is all one fabric, then the divisions and demarcations that we try to create through borders become temporary and arbitrary. Security Blankets are moving blankets created from satellite images of the San Ysidro Border Crossing and the Qalandia Border Crossing. These blankets allow us to wrap the border around itself in a way that pays no regard to the lines of power. Borders are not just lines on a map, rather they are as Israeli architect and theorist Eyal Weizman describes them, “deep, shifting, fragmented and elastic territories,” and spaces “where distinctions between the ‘inside’ and ‘outside’ cannot be clearly marked.”
  • pounced land [hitnachliot]

    Tripods, mdf, laserjet prints on cardstock. 2018.  
    "not a line a shadow" @ H Space, Cleveland.
    Through graphite drawings, folded paper sculptures, and textiles, these works examine the architectures of two highly militarized and contentious border zones: the US-Mexico Border, and the Israel-Palestine Border. In particular, the works explore how these two borders, thousands of miles apart, are beginning more and more to resemble each other: desert sands pockmarked with lines of brutal concrete and metal, and ever-growing membranes of surveillance made visible through mobile camera towers and observation drones. Moreover, Israeli security firms are being hired as contractors to develop new border technologies on a global scale, especially on the US-Mexico Border. These borders are not just lines on a map, rather they are as Israeli architect and theorist Eyal Weizman describes them, “deep, shifting, fragmented and elastic territories,” and spaces “where distinctions between the ‘inside’ and ‘outside’ cannot be clearly marked.”
  • 5 landscapes that Israel has named weapons after

    5  graphite drawings on cold press watercolor paper, 42" x 80."5 graphite drawings on acid-free drawing paper, 4.5" x 4.5." 5 xerox prints on “Natural Executive Paper,” 8.5” x 11.” 2017.

    A series of panoramic graphite landscape drawings, smaller studies of the weapons themselves, and documents tracking the governments that use them. The precision of the smaller weapon drawings invites increased scrutiny from the viewer, while the larger landscapes, though tied to specific place, are abstracted through looser mark making. 
  • City of Peace

    HD video made from satellite images of 38 locations named Jerusalem, 18:00 min. Stereo sound. 2017.

    In Jewish thought, there are two Jerusalems: “Yerushalayim shel Maala” – the Heavenly, or spiritual, Jerusalem, and “Yerushalayim shel Mata” – the earth-bound, physical city of Jerusalem. Jerusalem can only ever be fully understood when both its heavenly and earthly characteristics are considered together. For many Jews in the diaspora, Jerusalem is at the core of spiritual life and the contentious center of political discourse. The word diaspora marks internal loss because that homeland, the distant “center” of the community, feels less and less like home, orbiting a center that no longer exists.

    There are at least 38 different locations peppered throughout the world named Jerusalem, most of which were named by Christian settlers. City of Peace looks at these earthly Jerusalems from the heavens, slowly rotating above each one while searching for traces of the divine. They dissolve into one another against a soundscape sourced from various pop songs that mention Jerusalem, switching in tone from meditative, to playful, to plaintive, and at times hypnotic.
  • Hollow Land

    SD Video, silent. 2:01 min. Animation made from screenshots. 2016.

    “Hollow Land" is a black and white video created from screenshots sourced from a distorted PDF copy of Eyal Weizman’s book of the same name, which investigates the ways that the state of Israel employs architecture in the occupation of the West Bank and Gaza. The screenshots are photos, diagrams, and maps, which show the present reality and speculative solutions to the occupation. The video loops these images so that they appear fragmented; collapsing the present moment with future plans and layered histories into flashes of an abstract landscape.
  • American Independence Park

    HD video, 2:34 min. Stereo sound. 2016.

    This video layers historical images of a recreational forest preserve in Israel to explore how landscapes contain memories. American Independence Park, some 15 miles west of Jerusalem was developed in 1976, the year of the American Bicentennial, to "celebrate the relationship between the two freedom-loving countries, [of] Israel and the US." Since 1948, the State of Israel has planted forests over the ruins of evacuated Arab towns. Underneath the trees of American Independence Park, are the ruins of the Palestinian villages of Bayt 'Itab, Dayr Aban, Dayr Al-Hawa, Jarash, Khirbat al-Tannur, and Ala’ar. These villages were captured in October, 1948.
  • Shamayim (there are waters)

    Shamayim (there are waters)
    Single channel video installation, drywall, wood, & 2 tons of sand. 1 hour loop. Stereo sound. 2015.

    Pillar of Cloud
    Single channel video projected on suspended plexiglass. 2:34min. Silent. 2015.

    In "Shamayim (there are waters)", the Pacific Ocean rotates along the horizon, exchanging sky for sea and blue for blue, in reference to Genesis 1:6, where “G-d said, ‘Let there be an expanse in the midst of the water, and let it be a separation between water and water.’” In Hebrew the word for sky/heaven is "shamayim" which breaks apart to form the two words sham (there) and mayim (waters).

    Pillar of Cloud is a looping video, sourced from the internet, that shows rockets being deployed between Israel and Gaza. These clips become raw material that I have edited so that the endless explosions begin to look like clouds. The title is taken both from the Israeli name for a 2012 military operation against Hamas, as well as from the book of Exodus, where a divine Pillar of Cloud guides the Israelites through the desert. I look at these "clouds," created from violence, and wonder if they are a perverse man-made recreation of the divine.

    In this installation, the roar of the ocean transforms and becomes the explosion of rockets and the rending of earth.
  • Parade

    Split screen single channel video projected onto two walls. 8:15min, loop. Stereo sound. 2015.

    Parade is a split screen video that manipulates and juxtaposes footage taken from youtube to show examine the ways that Israelis and Palestinians are represented in video, both in the public domain and online. It explores the ways these two cultures and their respective narratives run parallel, the moments where they overlap, and the moments that have no comparison. Beginning with imagery familiar to the standard narrative of the conflict, the video switches from scenes of protest, celebration, weddings, dancing, motorcycles and masculine posturing, until finally the landscape devolves into pulsing squares of color.