As an artist and a librarian, I enjoy the accidental nature of looking for one thing, and finding something else. I cultivate creative modes of discovery through collaborative projects such as What Does it Mean to Be Curious?* and I’m Wondering if You Can Help Me With Something. Through these projects, as well as my studio work, I activate the intersection of art-making and the often gendered labor of teaching, caregiving, and service work. I document artifacts produced by this labor, and construct situations where my collaborators and I produce artifacts through this labor.
What Does it Mean to Be Curious? is a discussion series I direct where panelists from a variety of academic and professional backgrounds have a free-ranging discussion about the nature, capacity, and challenges of curiosity. As we wonder collectively, welcoming multiple voices and perspectives, we build unexpected partnerships and come to inhabit transdisciplinary terrain. We engage in metacognitive, reflective practice, deepening our awareness of ourselves as thinkers, learners, and producers. The curiosity discussion series provides public space for this inner work, supporting people as they formulate new questions and observations.
I’m Wondering if You Can Help Me With Something is a correspondence-based studio research project. My collaborators and I explore what it means to help another person with a question, and to receive help with a question. How do our own practices shift when we labor for someone else’s curiosity? How are our practices shaped by the help we receive? As we explore diverse modes of inquiry and response, we come to reside in ambiguity, where new territories for engagement, and new visual and verbal language can emerge.
*What Does it Mean to Be Curious? was co-founded by Kate Joranson and Nate Morehouse in 2015, during the Year of the Humanities at Pitt. Currently, Kate Joranson directs this project.
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