And it continues, you can’t make this shit up. This week. An insane debate with three old white guys, maskless in a room (albeit large) for 90 minutes fighting to talk like a really really bad Thanksgiving dinner, only they were discussing issues affecting the entire planet–and then one is positive for Covid. (Don’t get me wrong I am not in any way saying all sides are equal, but the shit-show really is amazing). It really does mean that we are in charge now. — or no one is. (I am also trying to read some Foucoult, preparing for a term B class on censorship, I think he says something about power not existing outside of ourselves. Hmm… maybe I need to read more carefully). But its hard not to feel with the deaths of RBG and John Lewis that we are on our own. Its also the second anniversary of my mother’s death, so I guess I am feeling like it’s really time to grow up.
More to the point of this blog post are other things that happened this week:
This week on FotoFika we hosted Edgar Cardenas who spoke practically about his class at Michigan State where students have taken equipment home and made pinhole 4×5 cameras, developed in specialized little tanks and scanned the images. The class meets weekly on Zoom where they have instant help as they go through the process of using these cameras. Yet another solution to how we can teach in the time of Covid (and beyond really). Edgar also spoke poetically, showing some of his work particularly Los Americanx, portraits of Detroiters that can only really be seen by shining a light on the print. And he spoke conceptually about ideas of sustainability and the need for artists and scientists to work together not just in name but to really engage and consider how different ways of thinking, and knowing, are essential as we deal with Covid and climate change. Artists have an ability to show different paths to problem solving and to understanding. He emphasized how divergent, pluralistic and imaginative thinking (and acting) is the only way we are going to fight the pandemic, climate crisis and growing authoritarianism (and white supremacy, the patriarchy and xenophobia. Not to be a drama queen. But…) Thanks to Edgar for giving us an hour of his time and covering so many important ideas.
On Wednesday I watched an excellent panel discussion that included Sama Alshaibi and Zora Murff joining others to discuss the power and the ethics of representation, sponsored by The Visual Identities Art and Design Research Centre. You can watch it here. You can also get information about Session 2 which is coming up October 29th.
The MassArt Lecture series featured Nadia Sablin. This year they are boasting nearly double the usual number of artists in this excellent lecture series. It continues with Christine Osinski this Wednesday.
For those of you who don’t already know SPE is hosting weekly virtual regional conferences. This weekend is the south central. Its very affordable and they have several weekends of important and meaningful programming.
And just sayin’ The ASU online BFA will be hosting a lecture series beginning this month. I’ll post details here next week.
Welcome to October 2020!