Creative Arts Fellowship – Interdisciplinary Collaboration

Creative responses do not occur in solitude. Art making as an action relies upon the realization and revelation of complex networks of intellectual substances and the relationships between them. In this sense, the praxis of the Creative Arts Fellowship displays apparently distant sub-sections of this network, often times identifying the connections between them.

This year, the program has three fellows: Clara, whose printmaking and visual art focuses on the social climate of being Chinese during the COVID-19 Pandemic. Sophie, who is working on a film/screenplay/storyboard for the pilot of a comedy series portraying dorm room interactions. And Jono, being myself, whose installation-based work uses building performance data to create a tangible abstraction of Pitt’s climate impact. Working within the disciplines of printmaking, drawing, film-making, animation, and sculpture/installation, our focuses are all upon progressive social issues.

Working within this collaborative environment unveils the interconnectedness of all of our topics of focus. All of our work is concerned with the social fabric of life within a university. This realization is especially comforting during a time when we are all separated from our communities.

Difficulty arises due to the intrinsic disconnections of our mediums. Because I am not interacting with other installation artists, I have no idea how my work relates to the basic established conventions of the medium. If I had to choose one area/skill to develop, it would be my knowledge of installation art and the space it occupies within contemporary art. My current project, the Campus Energy Constellation is geared towards a specific and defined audience – the Pitt community – however I am not aware of how my work would be received outside of this circle. Knowledge of the discipline of installation art would contribute to my understanding of how to shape the reception of public art works.

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