My lens-based practice blends theoretical research and artistic praxis. It involves using the camera directly and metaphorically. As with any technology, the camera can be used to support or refuse an empire. My approach to the camera is influenced by thinkers like Ariella Azoulay. Specifically, her concepts of the “imperial shutter” and ideas around the refusal of that shutter. I’m interested in using the camera as a threshold of dreaming, learning, building meaningful relationships, and manifesting new futures. I acknowledge the inevitable collaboration that occurs when using a camera. I believe that without that acknowledgement, the image is strictly extractive. I also believe that this collaboration is possible when photographing land, plants, animals, as well as non-living objects. I consider questions of voyeurism, media recycling, and what Vilém Fluesser called the “technical image”. In my socially engaged art projects, I expand on lens-based theory, mirroring my approach to the camera.