I am a poetic researcher who is informed by locale, ecology, science fiction, and relationships. I make speculative ecosystems using sculpture, installation, performance, writing, and drawing to render complications of the self, body, land, and other. Using accumulative processes to position materials, text, and drawing together, I assemble new identities while resurrecting and retelling forgotten stories.

Vulnerability and empathy are my strategies for a making practice that resists toxic normative ideologies toward people, environments, and materials.

I ask what happens when we stop alienating ourselves from the chaotic natural processes of the world we experience and instead collaborate with those systems?

Working from a self-described space of mush, I describe the un-placeable. My mush describes a space that surges between the individual and the total. Thinking with the juices of my body, I acknowledge our perpetual decomposition into a cohesive body of mush. Here, I surround and rupture binaries where the named world and the unnamable, the untamable and the unknowable can be investigated together. In mush, I imagine substrate, organism, and cosmos together to wonder how empathy may exist between beings that occupy different human-made categories, whether place, thing or person. In mush, I can simultaneously embed and sift through stories, histories, desires, and politics to rearrange the contents of the cosmos for new and unexpected revelations. Mush is vulnerable to perforation but resilient in its liquidity. Mush is resistance.

Born and raised in the wide berths of the Midwest plains and currently working in Albuquerque, NM, I forage for sources of both earthly and lexical knowledge systems. Considering the experience of natural phenomena alongside contemporary materialist philosophy and social justice movements to generate new ideas about our relationship to each other and the Earth, I rearrange known relationships to environments. What we believe things to be is nothing of what they actually are; these beliefs are only symptoms of our need to make sense of our surroundings. Does nature categorize itself? Nature may not delineate between tree roots and the underground mycelium webs that connect them, instead building ecologies of mutual encounters in which a constantly shifting equilibrium holds the parts as a whole. Does nature identify the human as other than what nature is? Breaking down our perceived categories is a way to break down our myopic obscuration of our own nature. To decompose the semiotic boundary between nature and culture is to allow us to embody our vulnerabilities to be in cohesive flux with our cosmos.

In my pursuit to relish in unfamiliar territories, I continuously regenerate my bond with space and earth through a generative practice manifesting in burning curiosity, ethical risk-taking and deep mush.   


A 2017 MFA graduate of University of Pennsylvania, carlson was born in Nebraska and currently works in Albuquerque, NM. carlson is a 2017 Kimmel Harding Nelson resident and upcoming 2018 resident at Vermont Studio Center. carlson was an inaugural resident at Feminist Summer Camp in 2016 and a Union for Contemporary Art 2014 fellow.  carlson holds a BFA in Art History and Studio Art from Creighton University and has participated in numerous solo and group exhibitions around the United States. carlson has held positions at the Institute for Contemporary Art in Philadelphia and the Bemis Center for Contemporary Arts in Nebraska.

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