Kristi Ann McGuire
BA, Writing and Literature, 2002, University of Michigan; MA, Humanities, 2006, University of Chicago; MA in Visual and Critical Studies and MFA in Writing, 2010, School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Concurrent position: Web and New Media Editor, University of Chicago Press. Books: Theorizing Visual Studies: Writing through the Discipline (Routledge, 2012). Publications: The Believer, Chicago Review, Daily Serving, htmlgiant. Awards: Headlands Center for the Arts Artist-in-Residence; Summer Forum for Inquiry and Exchange.
Experience at SAIC
SAIC is an amazing place—amazingly singular, amazingly enriching, amazingly complex. In and out of the classroom, I hope we can both bring demanding intelligences that feed off experimentation, authentic enthusiasm for the invisible and emotional labors a text performs, a commitment to pedagogical and student activism in its many forms, and (at least temporarily) an intimate curiosity toward making connections between seemingly disparate subjects and ideas, across platforms, media, and disciplines. In these senses and others, I guess, my teaching isn’t related to my practice—it is a version of my practice.
Roman Numeral C, 2012 [PDF]
Revising the Pharmacist, 2010 [PDF]
I enjoy cantilevering expectations within the exceedingly intimate relationship between critical inquiry and performance. This sounds odd; language is a matte blush. I'm a bald impostor.
My own work circumvents and troubles the process of knowledge production in academic spaces, often through a performance of critique as an embodied artistic discourse. I should pause and say something here about what it means to occupy multiple territories, in terms of disciplines and practices, while constantly re-examining and disclosing what it means to be that occupier, and to conceive of your fields as sometimes temporary occupations. I believe in the specialization of non-expertise and how it might mitigate our experiences of the world.
My practice—as an artist working between disciplines, between jobs, between institutions, and often without platforms—negotiates the bureaucracy of form and the persistence of emotional labor as means of eschewing more traditional sequences for the wild contusions of an open field. I interrogate what it means to preserve the perversity of any number of "autonomous histories," global and personal, by manipulating written forms to render the visible or "natural" world strange, and thereby call attention to the contingency of the intimate ways that we encounter (and engender) capital in our daily lives. I'll do it to Drake's hotline bling or a Tumblr glitch meme—in part because I am as invested in Hegel as I am the development of the term "histrionic," as curious about unpacking Peggy Phelan's arguments about documentation and the ontology of performance as I am engaged in reading astrological forecasts through the lens of Kathy Acker's Don Quixote, systems theory, cybernetics, the Frankfurt School, and the films of George Kuchar. My classes are always a mix of current interests and contemporaneous methodologies, esp. surrounding the staging of texts. I get excited about things.
I'm presently interested in the relationship between neoliberalism's fetish of choice and the history of the oracle. Shortly before her death, Susan Sontag made reference to the Elias Canetti play ("Their Days Are Numbered") where everyone wears a locket inscribed with the date of their death; we're all screwed—I'm always trying to figure out by whom and to which ends of privilege, in order to file my notes in a drawer labeled, "humanistic inquiry."
CRITICAL FEELINGS * CRITICAL FEELINGS * CRITICAL FEELINGS
Other interests: post-studio and transdisciplinary practices; the history of capitalism and the capitalist imaginary; neoliberalism as an artistic channel; experimental/experiential forms of non-fiction writing, esp. those that situate the lecture or essay within the realm of performance; conspiracy theory as historical grief work; non-institutionalized and alternative forms of critical theory; feminism and radical theories of embodiment; net art and internet culture's rhetorical legacies; the thread of psychoanalysis dedicated to the development of working-class neuroticism; the mediation of my labor and the politics surrounding the adjunct; and the 1990s. I'm especially interested in what it means to be a practicing artist who engages with the boundaries of "research" and "production," and who situates critical methodologies as forms of artistic work.
I also (still) like watching re-runs of Roseanne and writing poems.
Disclaimer: All work represents the views of the INDIVIDUAL ARTISTS & AUTHORS who created them, and are not those of the school or museum of the Art Institute.