In the Studio with Hannah Newman

February 14, 2017

Hannah Newman, a recent alumni from OCAC's MFA in Craft program, was recently interviewed for Duplex Gallery by Lindsay Costello, a current BFA thesis student. See below for an excerpt from the interview:

Duplex: Reading and research play an active role in your artistic practice. What books are helping guide you lately? Do you also conduct research through other mediums, like film or podcasts?

HN: My reading ranges widely from classic MFA school texts like Species of Spaces by Georges Perec or Invisible Cities by Italo Calvino to pop-psychology books about technology, to children’s picture books. I love pulling a phrase out of context to see the weight it gathers on its own. Sometimes it’s not even reading, but rather a phrase from a conversation, someone’s Facebook status, an advertisement, or even recently a drawing I made was inspired by a comment from a yoga instructor I follow on YouTube. Language shapes our lives and thinking all the time, so research comes from everywhere whether I seek it out or not. Right now I’m working extensively with Thoreau’s Walden. Walden is a classic American text driven into our collective conscious about how we should, could, want to, interact with nature. I’m cutting, pasting, and altering selections of the text to make a piece called Cloud Monologue, in which the digital cloud is personified, recounting its own perspective on how humans and the digital might interact.

I have trouble retaining information through formats like podcasts and film, so those aren’t mediums I typically seek out for research unless something is specifically recommended to me. I often wish podcasts had transcripts! That being said, sometimes it’s a relief to cut some information out of my life, simply because I don’t enjoy the format. Being informed feels exhausting sometimes.

Read the full interview on Duplex's website here.