I’m pleased to announce that I have recently joined the full-time faculty at Rhode Island School of Design as an Assistant Professor for the 18/19 academic year. My term appointment will take place in the RISD Division of Experimental and Foundations Studies, where I have been teaching for the past decade.
I will also continue my role at Vermont College of Fine Arts as Faculty Co-Chair and Mentor in the Master of Fine Arts Graphic Design Program.
I’m thrilled about this opportunity and could not have hoped for better mentors along the way.
25th Anniversary issue of HERE Volume 2 a publication of the Vermont College of Fine Arts Visual Art Program. Edited by Danielle Dahline, Dont Rhine, and Fatih Wilding.
NOT HERE / NOT THERE
I’d like to make Rene Descartes do cartwheels across a pastoral ocean-side lawn at sunset. I’d like to watch his body tumble over his mind forever unseating the objective, scientific and brain-down thought that has dominated the production of knowledge for far too long.
Descartes-wheel decreed the body an unreliable receptor and favored mind over body forever separating the two. This constructed boundary between mind and body has defined knowledge as separate from the knower in various forms, and by various philosophers, for hundreds of years. From this perspective, the valuation of the objective materialism of knowledge is pitted against the intuitive knowing of individual subjects. The gut senses are at odds with empirical proofs.
THERE is the objective, the dominant hegemony of the academies, the privileged appraisal of the value of knowledge, the constructed scientific materialisms. HERE is the space of the individual, the personal memories and the ancient wisdoms. The subjective space of HERE is held in critical disregard in the academy and is in need of reorientation.
I recognize the movement between HERE and THERE as the space of productive frictions that elide. A charnel ground of potential between what is known and what is yet to be discovered. Views, beliefs, and dreams of an/other is a movement towards discovering what lies beyond what has been embedded in y/our bodies by histories, ideologies and biologies that may not support well being in the academy.
An educator dealing in absolutes is in a dangerous position. A position which assumes that bodies of knowledge are held in singular locations or solitary actions. In a studio classroom, knowledge rarely flows unidirectionally and learning becomes a social exchange. Can our practice as academic artists remove the binaric boundary between empirical and intuitive, qualitative and quantitative, here and there in favor of experiencing the sharing of knowledge through the boundary, with the boundary?
Could we consider the boundary an immaterial location? [Trinh T. Minh-ha]
Divergent objects and spaces can also be movements toward body oriented pedagogies [Oren Ergas] and the reclaiming of subjective experiences in the location, reclamation and production of knowledges.
The academy is exactly the place for the collisions of views and ideas. This collisional event is a clash or conflict and can also be an encounter between particles resulting in exchange or transformation of energy.
Being a teacher is being with people. [bell hooks]
My body will stay healthy in the academies it inhabits. I will say ‘no’ to locations that pull unilaterally here or there and instead inhabit the places my body longs for and is remembered in. The glades of sense, memories and archaic time.
copyright © 2016
SELECTIONS + VIDEOS:
Kimberle Crenshaw, 'Intersectional Feminism'
Carol Hanisch, ‘The Personal is Political’
Betty Saar: The Liberation of Aunt Jemima
Racial bias in film, video, commercialisms
The Female Complaint by Lauren Berlant
Women And Nature by Susan Griffin
Why I Am Not A Feminist by Jessa Crispin
The Witch Has A System by Trini Dalton
Advice From My 80-Year-Old Self by Susan O'Malley
We Should All Be Feminists by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
Men Explain Things To Me by Rebecca Solnit
Feminism Is For Everybody by bell hooks
Bad Feminist by Roxane Gay
We Were Feminists Once by Andi Zeisler
ARTISTS AND DESIGNERS:
Juen MFA thesis
“Designer, printmaker, artist, and educator Corita Kent has been a longtime inspiration and guide. Every time I drive by that natural gas tank just outside of the city of Boston, I feel a kinship and comfort in her exuberant stripes and colors. I have long enjoyed all the urban myths regarding various images that can be extracted from the paint strokes. I imagine Kent would have liked that, people looking deeply and intuiting messages beyond the surface. Her rules for students and educators are lighthearted but exactly on point and they serve as a foundation for my own teaching practices. Her work is bright, daring, and subversive.”
–Nikki Juen, instructor and lecturer of experimental and foundation studies, RISD
Hello AIGA Chicago!
It's been a week since I was with you in Chicago and I haven't stopped thinking about your kindness, receptivity and thoughtful questions. Thank you for coming to listen to what Tereasa, Susan and I had to offer. I only regret that we didn't have more time together, there is so much to share towards living and thriving as a woman in the design fields.
To that end, I am sharing some of the authors and books that have been my guides, and at times, my irritants. Either way they have somehow stimulated my thinking and helped me find ways to inhabit my experiences. I hope you find some of them interesting and useful.
I loved your city and I can't wait to return, I hope to see you again in the near future.
Thanks again — Susan, Anya, Tereasa, Heather, Silvana, Morgan, Marissa and Mig. Such a pleasure me meet you all.
“Rose Quartz” and “Serenity” (hereafter abbreviated as RQ+S) present a far more nefarious situation. There’s no doubt that Pantone’s trend forecasters/cool hunters are once again on point (much more so than last year’s Marsala), yet anyone who has spent a little too much time on Tumblr over the last few years probably could have seen this coming. The tonal pink and blue palette has been growing exponentially in popularity online since the emergence (circa 2010-11), purported death (circa 2012), and expanding influence of the micro-cultures of Seapunk, and its successor, Vaporwave, as part of a more broadly defined subculture of internet-fuelled art employing what can be described as a Tumblr aesthetic.
The popular use of these colours, and specifically their combined usage, has emerged out of a tumultuously contested subcultural space. Pantone’s conceptual framing of RQ+S is disingenuous at best, and once one digs a little deeper, can be seen to represent a clearly reactionary political force."
"Sometimes, the easiest and calmest way is the best. Directed by Gus van Sant and written by William S. Burroughs, 'The Discipline of D.E.' has sat for years in the corner of my mind like a bonzai garden tucked behind a Times Square billboard, occasionally drifting into view in those moments of clumsiness or disorganization or information overload to remind me to pause, slow down and do it again, easy.
D.E. is a way of doing. D.E. simply means doing whatever you do in the easiest most relaxed way you can manage, which is also the quickest and most efficient way, as you will find as you advance in D.E. You can start right now tidying up your flat, moving furniture or books, washing dishes, making tea, sorting papers. Don’t fumble, jerk, grab an object. Drop cool possessive fingers onto it, like a gentle old cop making a soft arrest.
Van Sant began working on the 16mm film while he was still in film school at the Rhode Island School of Design, and when he moved to Los Angeles, it became one of the first of his non-school related projects. To get permission to use the short story on which it is based, he found Burroughs in the New York City telephone book, rang him up, and and asked if he could come over. It was easy." —motherboard.vice.com
"Stop thinking about artworks as objects
and start thinking about them as triggers for experiences."
This quote by Brian Eno is an example of both the magnificent mind of the aforementioned [B.E.] and the pure potential of an artist or designer's power in entering and answering problems. Based on research at MIT, the following strategy is an active move beyond brainstorming and is applicable to any creative pursuit. See the original MIT Sloan Management article.
1. Define the problem and solution space. What are the parameters of the problem? What are the limitations? To solve this prompt, you will need to define the boundaries of the problem.
2. Break the problem down. Use visual techniques like brainstorming, mind mapping, image inventories or any other ways your can explore visual representation.
3. Make the problem personal. How do you feel about the problem and THEN, what does your problem mean to people affected by it. How is your personal stance, also universal? Where does your perspective fit in the bigger picture?
4. Seek the perspective of outsiders. Get feedback, talk to peers, experts and other people within the system of the problem/solution being explored.
5. Diverge before you converge. Explore ALL of your ideas. Get them down on paper. Don't limit any potential solution before you have exhausted all relevant ideas
6. Create 'idea resumes.' An idea resume is a one-page document that explores where you see your work existing and what materials, resources and processes are needed to make it a reality.
7. Create a plan to learn. Even the 'best' ideas will inherently contain assumptions that need testing. The seventh step is to design these tests and to be clear and open to what you aim to learn from them.