It’s been a long while since I wrote a newsletter.
As I’ve probably said a million times now (especially to myself) grad school as well as the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has gently de-prioritized some of the IFIAAR agenda. There have been moments I get excited and motivated to jump into IFIAAR projects again, but I don’t want to stretch myself too thin. For school I've mostly been working here http://aidankoch.com/earthcomix.html. Taking things slow is always a good practice and one of the nice things about being sole organizer.
That being said, I have been thinking about what 2022 might bring. I’ve made notes on various potentials and am excited to keep chugging along.
NEWS Coming UP
What I can tell you now, is that there will be some new artist bookmarks this Spring, and a residency at Heavy Manners Library in Los Angeles this Fall!
I’m really excited to collaborate on programming again and find new ways to build cross-discipline conversations and engagements. This feels like a really manageable and significant amount of work for the year and I hope many of you will share in it with me.
There have been so many ecologic and animal dialogues running through my mind lately.
A lot of thoughts on climate change and policy- how to make equitable moves while hurrying to shift energy sources, how to live in California and not have my house burn down, how to have faith that the wild spaces I love will still be here when I’m old…
Thoughts on Smiley, the little dog we found on the side of the road in Landers in September and what incredible, sensitive, complex beings we share our home with- and how many need help and homes. Whether or not three dogs is sane or would work if we ever need to travel or rent somewhere.
And school has really kept me considering what it means to be an artist now, if art can do anything, and what are my obligations as a descendant of Europeans on stolen land is in addressing or working with place. These thoughts in particular continue to challenge in so many ways and bring me around to the question of how to embody my beliefs and how to be open to making mistakes.
In Fall, I was taking some courses towards a Desert Ecology Certificate and it felt so empowering to be focused and have clear concise information to learn. I’ve also taken a bird banding course since and volunteered a day with UC Riveside’s Center for Conservation Biology. It’s made me question if I should try and find actual physical work in the conservation sector so as to feel like I am maybe making a real and tangible intervention towards protecting the things I care about. I am still wondering this, but I also find myself wandering back towards art as a social and political tool- one shaped around radical philosophies and emergent politics, one that is open to the wacky, wild, and imaginative sides of existence. I know that doesn’t stand for all art and certainly not all of the art world, but art is a great excuse to get to learn about anything and see connections that aren’t necessarily obvious or overt. I’m excited to keep taking classes and familiarizing myself with that side of knowledge and hopefully will do some more field assisting this Spring. If anything I’m hoping it can lead to some cool connections and relationships.
I don't know if we need more artists or more biologists, but I do know we need more people who are willing to strive towards enacting their beliefs against the colonial structures that seek to diminish and devalue other ways of being. I feel like the best way to push towards this is fostering a community that is trying together- that supports, listens, and challenges <3 Thank you for being part of that community. It is part of what helps me get up and try <3