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Artist Toolbox | Critical Reading Group

April 10, 2023 | 6:00 pm - 7:00 pm EDT

| $10

Monday, April 10 | 6-7pm
Zoom| $10 to participate
Pre-registration required; limited to 12 participants

Join Julie Poitras Santos for a critical reading + discussion group exploring lines of desire. Participants will be provided with, and asked to read in advance, three texts considering the agency of the wild world and our engagement within it, through participation, reciprocity, interpenetration, and desire.

About the discussion:

Considering the agency of the wild and our entanglement within it, Matthew Tiessen, Andreas Weber, and Cole Swensen offer us new ways to consider “nature”; reflecting our being in the world as one primarily of participation, reciprocity, interpenetration, and desire. For this discussion, we will focus on Tiessen’s essay, “Accepting Invitations”, the second chapter of Weber’s book, Matter & Desire, and a few selections from Swensen’s Art In Time.

The essay “Accepting Invitations: Desire Lines as Earthly Offerings” by Matthew Tiessen considers how the earth itself compels us to follow particular trajectories as we go about our everyday lives. Tiessen suggests that desire lines are not merely the product of a human-desiring, nor are they merely a material expression of some aspect of the human imagination; rather, desire lines are the product of an earth that desires us, an earth that beckons to us and that offers to us new pathways and potential circuits that expand the interconnected network—the interdependent relationship—between us and itself.

In Matter & Desire, biologist and philosopher Andreas Weber rewrites ecology as a tender practice of forging relationships, of yearning for connections, and of expressing these desires through our bodies. Being alive is an erotic process―constantly transforming the self through contact with others. Rooted in scientific observation, Matter & Desire becomes a tender philosophy for the Anthropocene.

Historically, much landscape art has reinforced binaries such as inside/outside, subject/object, and culture/nature, thus reducing a complex network to an ornament that reinforces a sense of human power over nature, imposes specific cultural values, and/or claims or exercises control. In Art In Time, Cole Swensen reflects on artists who have developed alternatives to conventional depictions of the world around them, using landscape to participate in the earth, active in its view and its viewing. Swensen presents landscape as engagement rather than as detached observation, encouraging an increased sense of belonging to, and thus responsibility for, the earth.

About the facilitator:

Julie Poitras Santos‘ solo and collaborative works have been exhibited internationally including at the Göteborg International Biennial for Contemporary Art (GIBCA) (Sweden), Queens Museum (New York), and the Centre for Contemporary Culture (Barcelona). Poitras Santos holds two MFAs, one in visual arts from the University of Chicago at Boulder and the second in poetry from the Stonecoast Creative Writing Program. She’s taught in the MFA program at Maine College of Art for over a decade and was the most recent Director of Exhibitions at the Institute of Contemporary Art at MECA (Portland, ME).

The Artist Toolbox is made possible by major support from the Roxanne Quimby Foundation.
To secure your spot in this workshop, purchase a ticket below. For cancellations and questions, please contact Rachel Romanski, rromanski@cmcanow.org.

Upcoming Critical Reading Groups:

February 28 | Dr. Aaron Rosen
April 19 | Erica Wall
March 13 | Billy Gerard Frank
Check back soon for more offerings, links, and tickets!


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April 10, 2023
6:00 pm - 7:00 pm EDT
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