[-empyre-] Critical Spatial Practice launch statement from Millie Chen

Hello to all readers. I?ll begin by stating the intent of the work I do.

In my installations, actions and public interventions, I attempt cultural transgression. I experiment with the capacity of immaterial, non-visual elements (e.g. sound, scent), of unexpected sites, and of social interaction, for disrupting traditional definitions of art and generating altered perceptions. An integral part of my work are collaborative interdisciplinary projects that engage the public and public space. Stemming from my interest in site-specificity and interactivity, I often incorporate specific spaces and visitors' participation in installations and performances. The relationship between seeing and experiencing is shifted back and forth. Within my visual art practice, the act of looking is subtly interrogated.

The interrelationship of image and coded space is key to defining cultural experience. By articulating the links between sight, social systems, and (in particular, urban) geography, I explore the perceptual assumptions of the audience. My interest is to invent or appropriate strategies for collaboration and audience participation, and for a critical engagement of performative and relational issues.

The intravenous path between my collaborative and solo endeavors allows me a versatile practice that can adapt to wide-ranging sites and situations. Methodologies, tools and materials are always contingent on the needs of the moment. But at the core of all my projects is the attempt to integrate social responsibility within contemporary art making.

The work I do evolved from a frustration with what I perceive to be the continually hermetic state of art. My collaborators and I felt the need to venture out beyond the sheltered confines of the art gallery ? or any sanctioned space exclusively purposed for the viewing of art ? and intentionally agitate the boundaries between art and everything else. This was not to the exclusion of working in galleries, as that network for the display of work is still vital and occupies an important support system, but the range of strategies I?ve utilized over the years are attempts to disrupt established or complacent viewing habits and further push open the possibilities for contemporary practice beyond that which was standardized by museum culture. It?s amazing, and sometimes enervating, to consider that even after a century of experimental art making that attempted to break down the barriers between art and life (the everyday), even at times doing away with the term ?art? altogether, artists are still faced with a very limited viewership that is predicated on traditional notions of connoisseurship and rarefied knowledge. The average viewer would not look to art to find social critique.

This archive was generated by a fusion of Pipermail 0.09 (Mailman edition) and MHonArc 2.6.8.