[-empyre-] Introducing Millie Chen and James Way

I join Renate in welcoming you to our discussion of Critical Spatial Practice. We particularly want to thank Christina McPhee for initiating our discussion of this theme and for lining up some of the participants prior to taking her sabbatical from -empyre-. Given our personal investments in critical spatial practice, we were thrilled to be given the opportunity to pick up the organization of this discussion.

Reflecting the fruits of our own collaborations as artist and theoretician, Renate and I have paired weekly grouping of practitioners and theorists who promise to lead us through intriguing spaces of criticality: Millie Chen (Canada/US) and James Way (Japan/US); Catherine Ingraham (US) and Kevin Hamilton
(US); Alice Micelli (Brazil/Germany) and Maurice Benayoun (France); and, at the end of the month, Teddy Cruz (US) and Markus Miessen (UK/Germany).

Our first set of guests speak to us from different sides of the globe while sharing combined interests in Western and Eastern artistic practice.

Millie Chen (www.milliechen.com ) is an artist who teaches at the University of Buffalo (New York) whose studio work crosses between Toronto and Buffalo. Her focus on sound, installation, and geography should speak well to our -empyre- discussion. Her work includes site specific installations in Toronto, collaborative performance projects from Buffalo to China, and multimedia installations combining sound, pig blood, rust and graphite. Her interest in haptic practices is particularly interesting in view of critical spatial practice. We look forward to her discussion of her current sonic-video installation project based on river journeys down the Yangtze in China and the Niagara in Canada/USA.

We first came to know James Way (www.section-mw.com ) many years ago when he was studying graduate architecture at Cornell and working with the fascinating Texas/Mexico installation group, Parasite led by Dwayne Bohuslav, that specializes in temporary, non-invasive site specific installations. Before recently moving to Japan where he works as a writer and designer (which has long been the site of his critical interventions), James worked in New York City for Rafael Vinoly Architects and most recently was an exhibition designer at the Guggenheim Museum. Some of you may be familiar with James's writings in the Architect's Newspaper and the Cornell Journal of Architecture.

Given the differences in time zones, Millie and James are unlikely to be posting at the same moment, but we anticipate that their cross-global reflections will electrify us all.

Thanks for joining us, Millie and James.

Timothy Murray
Professor of Comparative Literature and English
Director of Graduate Studies in Film and Video
Curator, The Rose Goldsen Archive of New Media Art, Cornell Library
285 Goldwin Smith Hall
Cornell University
Ithaca, New York  14853

office: 607-255-4086
e-mail: tcm1@cornell.edu

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