67 minutes | Oct 30, 2018

S2 EP4: What If We Could Explode Every Day? — with Julianne Swartz & Denise Markonish

In a cultural moment characterized by divisiveness, we ache for community. We go through our days surrounded by people, but we have forgotten how to connect. Does art have the capacity to foster the kind of openness and connection we need right now? Is it possible that a provocative experience of unfamiliarity or disorientation might help us engage with each other? What if we could learn to follow the artist’s example and explode every day with wonder? Today, Jeffrey studies art as a conduit of wonder with Denise Markonish, curator of MASS MoCA and author of Oh, Canada: Contemporary Art from North North America, and award-winning artist Julianne Swartz, whose work has appeared at premier museums including MASS MoCA and The Whitney. Julianne and Denise trace the origins of their wonder and curiosity, exploring how their childhood investigations inform the work they do now. Julianne describes the intent of her work to provoke an experience of unfamiliarity and facilitate the exchange of wonder, and Denise shares her role as an experience architect, working with artists to generate deeply personal exhibitions. Listen in for insight around the promise of art to create an openness between communities—and learn how to think like an artist, fostering wonder in your own life and work. Key Takeaways [4:34] Young Julianne and Denise at their best Julianne conducting material investigations in the desert Denise organizing and building systems for rock collection [8:28] How Denise & Julianne’s young genius inform their work now Lifelong pursuit of wonder and curiosity Fueled by desire to ‘materialize the invisible’ Beyond inquiry to prodding of things [13:45] Julianne’s reputation for ‘soft explosions of love’ Example in 2006 work Affirmation Asked people what most deeply wanted to hear Recorded affirmations in building fixtures [18:25] Denise’s role as an architect of experiences Work with artists to create new work Create new experiences for audience AND artists [21:06] MASS MoCA’s Explode Everyday exhibition Explore difference between wonder and curiosity Ask artists how activate wonder in lives, studio practice [27:23] The emotional quality of Julianne’s work Provoke experience of unfamiliarity/disorientation Opens us up emotionally, brings into not knowing [30:08] How Julianne fosters wonder in her life and work Magic of materials/sounds/situations translate to art experience Find in conversation and connection with another person [35:00] The exchange of wonder in Julianne’s work Pour depth of emotion into object, becomes transmitter Art object = conduit to transmit energy to audience [42:04] Denise’s insight on fostering wonder for yourself Provoke own pause, be alive to world around you Pursue what interests you to keep brain inquiring [45:11] The capacity of art to create openness between communities Can You Hear Me? as conduit between social groups We Complete requires physical connection to activate sound [53:08] The promise of art in our current cultural moment Shift in conversation from anger to tenderness Love has become political term [55:57] What Julianne is pursuing in the coming year Joy, still. at Grace Farms Link between joy and sorrow, suffering [58:42] What Denise is pursuing in the coming year Suffering from Realness opens in April Mind of the Mound opens in March Connect with Julianne Julianne Swartz Affirmation Blue Sky with Rainbow In Harmonicity, The Tonal Walkway Can You Hear Me? We Complete Link/Line Joy, still. at Grace Farms Connect with Denise MASS MoCA Suffering from Realness Mind of the Mound: Critical Mass Resources The Autobiography of Charles Darwin by Charles Darwin Sebastian Smee MASS MoCA’s Explode Every Day The Explode Every Day Catalog Sean Foley Mark Osborne Tracy Fullerton Charles LaBelle Grace Farms Trenton Doyle Hancock Oh, Canada: Contemporary Art from North North America by Denise Markonish Diana’s Dragons Mary Ellen Beads Inside Knowledge Brand Artistry Labs
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