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Jen Bervin Artist in Residence at Northwestern University’s Block Museum/Kaplan Institute for the Humanities
Block Museum of Art, Northwestern University
Above: Artist Jen Bervin at work.
Above: Artist Jen Bervin at work.
January 8–March 23, 2018

Artists’ Talk: February 21, 6–7pm, Join Bervin in conversation with Jeanne Dunning and curator Susy Bielak
Workshop: Read with the Spine: March 2–3

Block Museum of Art, Northwestern University
40 Arts Circle Drive
60208 Evanston, IL

www.blockmuseum.northwestern.edu
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The Block Museum of Art and Alice Kaplan Institute for the Humanities at Northwestern University are pleased to announce an artist residency with Jen Bervin, an artist and poet whose research-driven, interdisciplinary works explore the intersection of traditional craft and cutting-edge technology.

Bervin’s visit marks the first artist in residence collaboration between the Block and Kaplan, and is part of the museum’s commitment to fostering public practice projects with artists—art that is collaborative, process-based, participatory, and often involves people as the medium or material of the work. 

“The Block actively seeks opportunities to connect artists with faculty research, student interests, and campus resources. These interactions contribute to the development of artists’ work while engaging Northwestern in an artists’ creative processes,” said Susy Bielak, Susan and Stephen Wilson Associate Director of Engagement and Curator of Public Practice.

In addition to connecting to Northwestern’s staff, faculty, and students across disciplines, Bervin will conduct research for future art projects in the collections of Northwestern University Libraries—from its John Cage archives in the Music Library to textiles and ancient manuscripts in the Melville J. Herskovits Library of African Studies.

Bervin’s residency will culminate in Read with the Spine: Experiences & Experiments in Northwestern Libraries Collections, an interdisciplinary writing workshop for faculty and students using the Library’s collections. This workshop will use the site of the library to explore fundamental questions about human experiences and the nature of books and libraries themselves, such as: What does it mean to listen, especially now? How is a history made, on the human level? What do we keep in our archives and why? Why choose a book as the form for ideas? What is the sensory ecosystem of a library?Working individually and collectively, participants will immerse themselves in looking, listening, reading, writing and responding to sites and materials across the libraries.

Read with the Spine is being developed and led by Jen Bervin; the Block Museum’s Susy Bielak; Martin Antonetti, the Library’s Director of Distinctive Collections; and a team of the Libraries’ curators and conservators—including from the Art Library, Archival Processing, Melville J. Herskovits Library of African Studies, Music Library, Preservation and Conservation, Transportation Library, and University Archives. Participants will draw inspiration from library holdings, as well the architecture of the historic Deering and Main Libraries themselves. The workshop will be open to anyone on campus seeking new modes of research and inspiration.

Bervin’s other campus engagement activities will include a rich array of programs and learning opportunities, including teaching Advanced Materials, a studio course focused on the intersections of art and science through exploration of traditional craft and technological innovation. Offered through the Department of Art Theory & Practice in collaboration with the McCormick School of Engineering, the course was designed for a combination of Northwestern undergraduate and graduate students across disciplines.

Bervin’s work has been the subject of solo exhibitions at the Des Moines Art Center and Granoff Center for the Arts at Brown University, and has been featured in group exhibitions at MASS MoCA, MCA Denver, The Power Plant in Toronto, and the Walker Art Center. Bervin has published ten books, including Silk Poems—a long-form poem presented both as a book (Nightboat Books, 2017) and as an implantable biosensor made from liquefied silk developed in collaboration with Tufts University’s Silk Lab.

The Block Museum brings Jen Bervin to campus during winter quarter 2018 as part of the Kaplan Humanities Institute’s Artist in residence program. Additional program and teaching support are provided by the Department of Art Theory and Practice, the Center for the Writing Arts, and Northwestern Libraries.

Contact [email protected] for Read with Spine workshop registration

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February 12, 2018

location

Block Museum of Art, Northwestern University, Evanston