Introducing further writing
Updated: Aug 26, 2019
I'm an artist, researcher, teacher, and graduate student with a plurality of interests.
First and foremost, I'm an artist. I come from a painting background, beginning with landscape in my teenage years, moving to sport, condos, gameshows, and soft-power international events as subjects. I regularly re-visit these subjects in both research and painting.
My research practice is equally diverse, exploring all of these things in addition to culture and ideology through a somewhat post-modern and Marxist lens. I think about and take on politics, culture, landscape, and media among other things. I've recently started to think more about the excesses of the left, and the decline (or disappearance) of the avant-garde. How come in an age where the mainstream of politics is so up for debate, and so questioned, that the left can't seem to break what Mark Fisher calls "Capitalist Realism?" How can we conceive of a radical, inclusive, and emancipated future?
More particular to my practice is the question of the role landscape—which I define as the collective imagining of land through aggregated forces (more on this later)—plays in our politics. Take the Canadian landscape for instance, which probably generates a mental image based on the elements you've been introduced to either through media or first hand accounts. That image changes when I say "Quebec," then "Montreal" and then again when I say "Mount Royal Park." Each are within the thing named previously, but each (assuming you've had some exposure to the places in question) generate a distinct conjured imagining of landscape. Recent political movements such as Trump and Brexit have used landscape in-part to mobilize political support. "Bring back coal" and the discourse around securing borders from "intruders" rely on an essentialization of place, of who belongs where, and a mythology on what is the essential 'identity' of a place. Doreen Massey reminds us that places are merely envelopes of space-time, whose histories and identities are often contested by various stakeholders.
Posts here will often be dealing with a source, or unpacking a smaller thought. They will deal with the various questions I have pertaining to political moments, and the current cultural questions of the age. Everything should be thought as incomplete, with my goal being to explore rather than answer questions. I prefer to think of it as a "musing out loud," sharing my research as I research it for anyone who wants to listen. Arts based research is so sure of itself sometimes, and while there are some things I take for granted, writing posts that muck about with thoughts and ideas are as interesting to me as mucking about with paint on a canvas.
More to come...