Fieldworks | 2013-Present
Fieldworks is an initiative of the School of Visual Arts at the University of Oklahoma that blends research and teaching in an ongoing artistic and art-historical exploration of land use and interpretation in the deserts of the western United States. Open-ended, collaborative, and transdisciplinary, its participants engage in fieldwork that results in creative, scholarly, and pedagogical outcomes, including exhibitions, publications, and events that explore the changing relationship between humanity and the planet.
Among its core elements is a biannual two-week excursion into the field that brings the School’s faculty, students, and staff together to explore a central thematic. For the 2013 Road to Ruscha project, this meant retracing the path that the artist Ed Ruscha traveled to create his seminal 1963 artist’s book Twentysix Gasoline Stations. In 2015, a second group traveled throughout the Sonoran, Mojave, and Great Basin Deserts to investigate earthworks such as Robert Smithson’s Spiral Jetty and their geographical context. In 2017, Donald Judd’s work in Marfa, Texas will serve as a point of departure to consider the concept of space in the Chihuahuan Desert.
To date, Fieldworks has exhibited multiple times at the Fred Jones Jr. Museum of Art, done workshops and events in conjunction with the OU Humanities Forum, and published work related to its travel in Broadsheet, SciArt Magazine, and Inhabiting the Anthropocene with more work, including several book projects, currently in the planning stages.