Melanie Stevens: in medias res(t) at Stumptown

This cycle of never-ending violence and the continued exasperation or misunderstanding by dominant groups builds an ouroboros between the exposure of past violence and in anticipation of the inevitable future violence. Thus questioning how media coverage is consumed and digested is paramount. 

Published 2018 for 60 Inch Center



Ambivalent Academia, DIY Art School at Its Finest

After 15 years teaching in formal arts education, Stephen Slappe is about to embark on his own independent alternative academic project. Future Forum is a ten month residency-style program offering intensive projects, critiques, and support for all admitted, at a humane cost of $300 a month. Slappe is both dismantling and repurposing the classroom; “While there are certainly many problems persisting in higher education, these institutions are generally full of bright, caring people who truly want to facilitate a better world.”

Published 2017 for 60 Inch Center

On Jennifer Steinkamp at the Portland Art Museum

"When reading about the exhibition, I find discussions of vanitas, the mortal symbology of seasons... These are not distinct trees. These are not distinct mortalities. These trees have no roots; they float inches from the ground. I am uprooted, cut off, timeless and immediate too. Mortality unmoors. Confronting death is only subjective. Hypersensitive and inarticulate, these are feelings of grief, not high-minded reflection... Observed comparisons between projected and natural trees: They are both powered by light." 

Published 2017 in Provision V. 2, part of Converge 45

still life, los angeles, Hobbes Ginsberg, 2014

still life, los angeles, Hobbes Ginsberg, 2014

"Glitter, Goop and Anticapitalist Angst: Teen Girl Tumblr Photographers Make the Millennial Still Life" 

Hobbes Ginsberg's online photographic series still alive reimagines still life for a millennial moment. Ginsberg’s images celebrate the meager materials afforded by an unstable economy and simultaneously critique capitalist packaging of femininity. Designing these images to be circulated for free on Tumblr obstructs their ability to be purchased, but these images are still entangled in capitalism and privilege as they rely upon expensive technologies to be produced and digital literacy to be accessed.

Published in 2016 with Sightlines journal produced by California College of the Arts. 

"I Can Feel My Skin I am Everywhere" 

Juana Maria  Rodriguez claims that describing one's real or imagined self online as well as one's real or fantastical sexual actions fetishizes the absent body and figure. Rodriguez contends that articulating the body online "...generates textuality of the self, a written record of interior ruminations, a constant coding and decoding of the self and other.” Similarly, Spike Jonze's 2013 film Her fetishizes the absence of the body. Unlike Rodriguez's essay, Jonze's film includes a direct corporeal entanglement as Samantha's relationship to her host's body is a dependent one as he turns on, turns off, carries, and even inserts Samantha into his ear. 

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Screen shot of "Goldfield Hotel Redemption" episode of Ghost Adventures

Screen shot of "Goldfield Hotel Redemption" episode of Ghost Adventures

Goldfield Hotel Redemption: Embodied Perception and Occularcentrism in Travel Channel's "Ghost Adventures"

Science manipulates things and gives up dwelling in them…science confronts the actual world only from greater and greater distances. It is and always has been, that admirably active, ingenious, and bold way of thinking, that one-sided thought that treats every being as an “object in general,” that is, at once as if all being were nothing to us…

                                                        -       Maurice Merleau-Ponty, Eye and Mind