Dear Students, MFA’s, Faculty and staff. I’m excited, trepidatious, curious, as I am sure many of you are, about what my role as Tepper Chair will be. The first order of business, the very fun BBQ, meet n’ greet that happened on Sept. 14 gave me a partial sense of what you might be hungry for and what I may be able to provide. As an artist and professional I have learned that I cannot please everyone, can’t be all things to all people, and I’m loath to try. However, I thought I would set up a blog to begin to delineate some areas of interest to me and to begin a remote interaction with you-all when I am not on campus.
Part of the luxury of being an endowed chair is that I get to prioritize my career outside of the school. I don’t see it as a teaching assignment per se- I won’t have classes and such. As many of you know firsthand, academia eats up a lot of time. I have a bunch of projects and exhibits and work I have already committed to, well into 2018, and seemingly no time to really think about what it is I am working on. I view this position at Rutgers as an extension of my practice, but with something new, an opportunity for discursive interactions with emerging peers in the field.
Writing has always been a part of my practice yet I never took the time to extend that writing into digital space. It may be a little bit 2003-ish of me, crafting blog entries, working remotely, (in my studio, not in pajamas) but I’d like use this space to throw out a few prompts to the MFA students and begin working through ideas, mine and yours. The blog is not the only space to do this, however. I’ve also been given a little studio/office in the LAB where I will come in from time to time (I believe the first week I can make it is the week of Oct 26). Still trying to figure out if that room will hold a seminar or just serve as an informal space to meet, discuss and draw out further discussion with you, salon style. I’ll bring in some books and set it up as a place to work a little. I’ll also come to a few of your shows, the first on my calendar is the BFA show that the thesis class curated.
A couple of weeks ago I wrote up a list of prompts and areas of interest of mine with the intention of sharing them with the 2nd year MFA’s. I have a few books I want to read or am reading related to topics ranging from monuments and architecture to nature and race . Sometimes, you know, an idea just doesn’t quite form and needs a catalyst, and maybe the idea results in an artwork, or an essay or a revolutionary position, sometimes not. The next Blog entry I’ll post one of my topics for you- its kind of a prompt for me, but I’m not going to be territorial about it.
I imagine that we could then proceed in the LAB to talk, draw, read and write and share our most “out there” interests, in a relaxed atmosphere, continuing the discussion here, of course, in a more limited fashion. At the end of the year I’d hope to amass a group of sketches, photos, writings by you and me, and produce a little zine or perhaps concoct a very big gesture.