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.

Cover of HERE 2 designed by  Silas Munro

Cover of HERE 2 designed by Silas Munro

Inside spread of HERE 2, collaboration with #othertallblond collective member,  Veronica Cross

Inside spread of HERE 2, collaboration with #othertallblond collective member, Veronica Cross


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.

–Nikki Juen
copyright © 2016