Growing up a voracious reader, making time to lose myself in a book admittedly lost some shine during university and my early working days. Spending hours a day in front of documents, I’d elect to immerse myself in visually creative pursuits or physical activity. But I still loved to stand in a bookstore and just be immersed in the possibilities, and recently I found myself back in my old hobby.
Sixteen years ago, I would have been astounded to see my name as a presenter on a panel discussing applied research jobs in health and biosciences. Because sixteen years ago, and for a few years thereafter, the most frequent search term in my browser - aside from "caffeine + margin of safety" - was "non-academic jobs + PhD".
Art has provided a means to document social injustice and structural racism in ways otherwise impossible given established socioeconomic and political structures, as well as a powerful means of engaging and mobilizing its audience to take action. In our assignment for this final week of Modern Art and Ideas, we were asked to curate a set of images that explore one of the themes discussed. I chose the last theme, an exploration of art's place in society, and curated a set of five artworks, as I am drawn to art as a means of expression and mode of communication when voices of a group are marginalized and silenced.
Our early art education, and exposure to art through popular culture, has conditioned us to think of art as something particular - a painting, a sculpture.
This is art; this is not art.
Last week’s homework for Modern Art and Ideas asked us to reconsider those learnings entirely, and go play in the "readymade" space.
I have, and always will, love airports.*
This quirk of mine manifested fully as an Air Canada employee during my undergrad. Fresh off of probation and armed with standby vouchers, you quickly learned that your name may or may not be called to fill an empty seat, and that the price of an insanely cheap flight is time - yours.
So, you learn how to be occupied with large swaths of time.
This week's assignment in Modern Art and Ideas was equal measure fascinating and frustrating. I mean, it is an intriguing assignment for me. A key part of my dissertation work explored the impact of continued parental relationships into emerging adulthood on the formation of identity (especially as younger folk struggle to navigate through expectations of the post-boomer cookie-cutter life trajectory). And, visual art gives us so much for tools and inspiration to express the depth and breadth of our selves.
In the online course, Modern Art & Ideas, from the Museum of Modern Art, Week 2 asks us to consider place and space in the creation and interpretation of art; specifically, to:
Personal blog for Bryn Robinson, PhD. All opinions are my own.