Teaching Statement

Over the course of my own education, which involved several institutions of considerably different orientation, I have come to understand the question of how art education can be structured and conceptualized as intrinsic to my practice. In my view as an artist and researcher, teaching is a way to collaboratively test the hypotheses of my own position. I would therefore be unable to differentiate between practice and teaching.

I believe that the process of producing subjects is inevitable and intrinsic to the very
concept of teaching, which is always connected to the institution and a power/knowledge dynamic. Institutions, in my opinion, have a responsibility to continuously question and scrutinize the power dynamics at work, and so do I personally in my role as a teacher and faculty member.

I am fortunate to have worked with people who I count as my mentors and who have
been invaluable to my formation as an artist and educator. I will name some examples: Through Daniel Buren, I learned about the Institute des hautes études en arts plastiques in Paris, a small, independent institution active during the 1990s that operated on a highly interdisciplinary basis and produced a range of artists that are at the forefront of current cultural production. Early on in my studies I learned from Elia Zenghelis of how to think of art through the lens of architecture and vice versa. This has laid the groundwork for my interest in installation and spatial politics. Mary Kelly’s interdisciplinary studio program, which she founded at UCLA, has been very influential on my thinking on education, in particular in terms of feminism, marginalization, decolonization, queerness and the politics of listening. It is my ongoing project as an educator to synthesize what my mentors have taught me into teaching as a collaborative practice in which the students actively participate.
For me, teaching is always becoming. It can never be a kind of hylomorphic transfer of facts. Rather, teaching is an “event”, it is fact-creation in which all participants are involved.

It is very important for me to recognize my own limitations. I regularly invite guest speakers into my classes. I have more recently been thinking about how to conceptualize of a postanthropocentric teaching beyond-the-human, that is, ways of including more-than-human systems, perspectives and forms of life into the event of teaching. This implies an attentiveness to voices that speak in literally unheard-of ways and whose recognition requires active practice and participation. It means to move away from an authoritative notion of building towards a communal notion of growing. I consider this an integral part of discursive and socially-engaged artistic practice, the kind of practice that I am in the ongoing process of cultivating and that I strive to encourage my students to develop their own unique perspective on and approach towards.