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Pictured: Mark Dion’s work from Artifacts of the Future: Artists’ Interventions in the Environment.

A collaboration between CAMD’s Department of Art + Design, Northeastern University’s Center for the Arts, and the Institute of Contemporary Art (ICA) is culminating in a Fall symposium entitled Artifacts of the Future: Artists’ Interventions in the Environment. The symposium, taking place on October 12 and 13, is in conjunction with Mark Dion’s unique and relevant survey exhibition, Misadventures of a 21st-Century Naturalist, currently at the ICA. Since the 1990s, artist Mark Dion has employed the methods of fieldwork, excavation, and cultivation to consider the history and cultural uses of nature. Taking these methods as a starting point, this symposium brings together leading artists to share their work at the interface of natural and cultural environments.

“Mark Dion is a very prominent example of an artist whose work does not just represent but instantiates research about natural and social phenomena,” explained CAMD’s Sarah Kanouse, Associate Professor and Program Coordinator for the MFA in Interdisciplinary Arts program. “His work is a form of knowledge production using images and objects, which he combines with an exquisite sensitivity to their cultural histories. In the context of a research university like Northeastern, it is enormously valuable for students to see that the making of new knowledge can be equal parts beautiful, rigorous, and moving.”

Leading up to this event, Sarah Kanouse and Bree Edwards, Director of the Center for the Arts, have been meeting with Ruth Erickson, curator at the ICA, as well as colleagues at UMass Boston, UMass Lowell, and UMass Dartmouth for over a year. Together, they collaboratively determined the framing and content of the symposium, and each University campus is hosting an artist to work with their students in addition to participating in the symposium.

The MFA in Interdisciplinary Arts students here in CAMD will be attending all of the events of the multi-day symposium (full schedule), and will be having a special conversation with visiting artist Lize Mogel on Wednesday, October 11, before the Symposium kicks off. Learn more about that here. Lize, an interdisciplinary artist and counter-cartographer, will discuss her body of work that connects art, map making and cultural geography. While on campus, she will also be leading a fundraising for artists workshop for CAMD students.

We look forward to an exciting and productive symposium, and to welcoming Lize to campus!