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September 12, 2011 / Tamara Reynolds

Artist in Residence

I have recently been invited to participate as Franklin Pierce University’s Artist in Residence for the 2011 fall semester under the topic of ‘dirt,‘ which I have chosen to define as a site of social excavation. When I was approached by Joni Doherty, Director of the New England Center for Civic Life (a think tank and ‘non-partisan academic institute of public deliberation and dialog’ housed on campus), I knew that I wanted to engage students campus-wide in a familiar platform of communal engagement -a WIKI site.  In this initial phase of the residency, students will participate in thoughtful exchanges with faculty, administrators, and staff on campus. The purpose of the exchanges are to not only make identities real and tangible, as well as make cross-stratification connections, but to unearth the inter-workings of higher education pedagogical foundations and hone methods of research. Much like Facebook, the DIRT wiki will allow students to upload images and dialogue in an ongoing, dynamic manner to further this process of social excavation and cross-strata connectivity. My interest in interdisciplinary research is the impetus for students in various fields of study to engage in these creative encounters simultaneously, via their craft, to flesh out a greater understanding of themselves and their belief systems, while broadening their knowledge base of others. My hope is that students develop a dynamic habit of criticality and mode of inquiry through this exercise that they might utilize throughout their life. I believe that this experiential pedagogy resides at the heart of the everyday lived life.

The second aspect of the residency includes coursework/studio critiques and classroom lectures to students of various levels regarding interdisciplinary research methods and the relevance such methods have to their particular field of interest.

The third aspect of the residency will be the culminating sound and video installation exhibited in Pierce Hall on November 17th 2011. The installation will consist of a looped soundscape to be installed along the adjoining 25′ corridor leading to Pierce Hall; a sonic embodiment of the site’s rich history within the context of current use.

The main space of the hall will consist of a central non-narrative video projection and ambient soundtrack captured on campus over the course of the semester. A grid structure will be part of an additional ceiling video projection to accompany Wendy Dwyer’s dance ensemble, a nod to both changing notions of landscape representation and Sol Lewitt’s 1979 Expanding Grid, where figures humanize the mathematical (or scientific) aspect of the grid. The opening night will showcase student performance and completed works encapsulating the concept Dirt: Creative Interventions/Thoughful Exchanges.

” Experience is knowledge, all the rest is information.”

– Albert Einstein

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