HumanUfactorY(ng) Workstyles: The Motion Journals of Excerpts from the User’s Guide to Mildred’s Lane. A costume drama of the everyday. by J. Morgan Puett


Wednesday, September 17, 6:00–7:30 p.m.
Columbus Auditorium, 280 S. Columbus Drive

Coming to Chicago as a film student at SAIC, J. Morgan Puett made small film sketches, while her research into costume thrust her into deeper curiosities around clothing and dwelling, eventually leading her to an established career as an innovator in the fashion industry. In the next chapter of an evolving and emergent story, Puett fabricated immersive installations in museums and other sites around the world that brought a reality to our sensory and imaginative connection to cloth and other material objects.

Puett returns again to her Chicago inspiration, this time to the Jane Addams Hull-House and Addams’s Labor Museum endeavor with John Dewey, who also saw growth and creativity as a dialogue between doing and reflecting. Puett’s installation engages this history to present a deep reflection on the doings of Mildred’s Lane—her art-as-life practice going on twenty years—through films, photography, costumes, and belongings, creating a period room that transgresses time and place.

Puett (SAIC BFA 1981, MFA 1984) is an interdisciplinary artist, cultural producer, fashion designer, and co-founder with Mark Dion and director of Mildred’s Lane and The Mildred Complex(ity) in the upper Delaware River Valley on the border of New York and Pennsylvania where being is profoundly a social and political practice. Her work explores pedagogical structures, systems of labor, sociality, ethics, and all-encompassing lived experience. Earlier she intervened in the fashion system through storefront installations and clothing/dwelling projects in Manhattan, followed by museum installations on the histories of the needle trade systems. Puett’s awards include the John and Marva Warnock, United States Artists Simon Fellow, the Smithsonian Institution Artist Research Fellowship, Anonymous Was A Woman Award, PEW Charitable Trust.

Made possible by the William Bronson and Grayce Slovet Mitchell Lectureship in Fiber and Material Studies