Jose Arias' practice intersects ideas of Americanism, violence, and sexuality. With Arias's military experiences as a point of departure, He creates sculptural installations that express and explore the past and identity. Arias seeks images that contain a physicality of urgency that speaks of a distorted perspective of life; life is fleeting and time is diminutive.
Arias often uses materials that are increasingly considered to be keeping the past alive or even seen as retrospective, his work reaches back into the past in order to gain perspective on the present. Materials like orthochromatic transparencies, instant Color film for Polaroid Cameras, medium format 6x6 negatives, newspaper printing plates, microfilms of the New York Times, and X-ray Light Boxes.
The use of these materials and their association to the era of film are attempts to contain life in a box, in a moment, a collapse of the current and past; By extension, to examine the need for containment and categorization, both society's and his own.
This revival of film is a revival of the self.