People @ Goddard
Residency Sites: Plainfield, VT
It begins with the land, a farm yard in the Peace River Country of northern Alberta. Sky, seasons, weather, beauty and labor. Many books. From twelve, and since, and still, a journal. At fourteen, a camera. Many more books. Two friends who are that because they also like the bush. Late in high school, beginning to read philosophy. A university in the east. Want to learn everything except science and math. Do. Buy a much better camera. Film school in London. London itself. The women’s movement. Begin to make experimental films at the London Film Coop. Finally old enough to want science: physics, cosmology, optics, meteorology, geology, botany. Experimental film and scientific images are related, I come to think. Art is about changing state, learning to perceive and teaching what’s been learned. Scientific images do that too.
Need to be in my own country again. Go back to the place where I grew up and spend three years alone, taking pictures, writing, shooting film, recording sound, learning to see more than I ever thought I could. There are other kinds of land too: tree planting work, relief camp attendant work on oil rigs. Back in the city, I make a multimedia show with the materials from the years in the country. It is called Notes in origin. Travel with the show to Melbourne, San Francisco, Montreal, Toronto, London. High art is lonesome work, and I miss the land. Get involved with Strathcona Community Garden, a four-acre site in a warehouse district in the downtown east end of Vancouver. Learn to survey, lay drains, build forms and pour concrete, save seed, write polemics, make an impression at city hall, work with every kind of journalist, fund-raise, build community alliances, commission an architect, supervise youth corps groups, all while working with the realest, sharpest, most down-home, individualist, maverick souls in the city.
Meantime, things have changed: personal computers, complex systems theory, scientific visualization, cognitive science, neurophilosophy. It’s time to go back to school, because now it’s going to be possible to rebuild cognitive theory and make an epistemology that works for art.
Toward the end of the doctorate it begins to becomes clear that the story ends with land as well as beginning there. Land and mind. Their relation, their defense.
I can support student work in linguistic and non-linguistic media: in photography, film, video, writing, environmental sound composition, and in digital media, including the web. Currently writing about electroacoustic music, mathematical and scientific visualization, the philosophy and neuroscience of perception, imagining, language, and metaphor. I have been particularly taken with nature writers, English and American Romantics, early twentieth century fiction in English, women’s fiction, journal writing, and science fiction. Also interested to work in the anthropology of place, ecological theory, urban agriculture studies, landscape design and architecture.
My doctoral work was a self-designed interdisciplinary program for which I have worked in philosophy, computer science, communications, cognitive science, and most recently in neuroscience. My doctoral thesis is a website as well as a book project called Being About: Perceiving, Imagining, Representing, Thinking. It is posted in the theory section of my web worksite.
Since coming to Goddard I have been developing a comprehensive vision for the new area of Embodiment Studies. My residency workshops have included sessions on seeing, theory, research, language, writing and embodiment, somatic processing, the unconscious, the cognitive significance of birth, and spirituality and the body. I host an embodiment website to compile material on these topics, and edit a semester magazine featuring student work.
PhD in Interdisciplinary Studies with an emphasis in neurophilosophy, Simon Fraser University; MA in Philosophy, Simon Fraser University; BA with honors in Philosophy, Psychology and English, Queen’s University; Postgraduate Diploma in Film Studies, Slade School of Art.