is a Ph.D. Candidate in Visual Studies with a Graduate Emphasis in Global Studies at the University of California, Irvine. He was a 2022 Landhaus Fellow at the Rachel Carson Center for Environment and Society in Munich, Germany.
Analyzing art and film produced alongside resistance to military occupation, social movements for agrarian reform, and anti-colonial national liberation struggles, Aaron’s research rearticulates 1960s and 1970s Land Art within the related contexts of U.S. settler colonialism and U.S. imperialism. His dissertation, “Aloha ‘Āina as Medium: Land, Art, and Sovereignty in Post-Statehood Hawai‘i,” constructs a counter-institutional lineage of visual culture advancing Hawaiian sovereignty and self-determination from the 1960s into the speculative future. Aaron’s work has appeared in Third Text, caa.reviews, Pacific Arts, and Antipode: A Radical Journal of Geography.
Aaron is Editorial Assistant for Afterimage: The Journal of Media Arts and Cultural Criticism, an advisory board member of the UCI Environmental Humanities Research Center, and a co-organizer of the Climate Futures Collective. He earned a B.A. from the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa in 2018, graduating summa cum laude with honors in Art History and a certificate in Environmental Studies.
In addition to his scholarly work, Aaron is currently Assistant Curator of Transformative Currents: Art and Action in the Pacific Ocean for the 2024 Getty Foundation Pacific Standard Time: Art x Science x L.A. program. He was previously a Humanities Out There Public Fellow with Orange County Environmental Justice, through which he continues to assist Friends of Puvungna. During the 2020-21 academic year, Aaron was a Graduate Student Researcher with the UCI Humanities Center for their Oceans initiative. He has worked in various capacities with the Orange County Museum of Art, Honolulu Mayor’s Office of Culture and the Arts, Institute and Museum of California Art, Laguna Art Museum, Salvage Public, Honolulu Museum of Art, University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa Art Galleries, and John Young Museum of Art. His arts-based practice is Hillside Slides.
Aaron is a haole (white, non-Native) scholar based in occupied Hawai‘i and on Tongva and Acjachemen lands in the area now known as Southern California.