The Exigent Nightlight

6″ x 6″ x 24″
Aluminum, concrete, fiber optic filament, LED lights, steel, cotton floss

At the moment, art-making isn’t my full-time job. I work for the University of Alaska Fairbanks. This past summer UAF declared financial exigency due to state budget issues that have been playing out for a number of years. Recently, I’ve watched university employees/friends leave Alaska over these budget issues. After exigency was officially declared, it seemed smart for me to start thinking about contingency plans. I didn’t and don’t want to leave Fairbanks, but what if I didn’t have a job? Where would I go? In the evenings I began researching places around the country with these questions in mind. I would lay in bed with my phone, zooming into maps, exploring real estate prices and relationships between communities, looking at terrain while also trying to imagine a life not here Fairbanks. I felt I was this virtual hand reaching through my phone to search locations I had never visited in person. The experience felt simultaneously constrained and expansive. Working on this piece was an exercise in articulating the pressures I was feeling and seeing around me on campus and in our community.

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