Fieldworks | 2013-Present 

Fieldworks coalesced in 2015 around faculty and students in the School of Visual Arts at the University of Oklahoma. An initiative, it conducts fieldwork, does research, maintains an archive, produces images, writes, exhibits, publishes, gives talks, and teaches. To date, travel in arid regions of the western United States has been one major impetus to these activities. Another has been a desire to comprehend better the artistry by which human beings transform nature. In accordance with recognition that our species understands what it is doing and why it is doing it rather badly, Fieldworks puts before itself traces of humanity’s diverse practices —mostly places and things — and considers them as evidence of artfulness using interpretative procedures drawn from various disciplines, both creative and scholarly, in order to produce knowledge about the distance that people establish between what they do and their understanding of what they do. This work gets carried out in an open-ended way in accordance with occasion and opportunity, gradually accruing and mediating provisional experiences, ephemeral orientations, conditional records, unique claims, and singular insights. Its conclusions are, as is to be expected, inconclusive, presented to others in a spirit of reciprocal questioning and answering, partaking of conversations about human purposes and aims amidst larger natural forces. Those conversations get drawn this way and that amidst transformations in space and time too large or too small to measure precisely and control with any certainty. Perhaps all of this obliqueness possesses some efficacy precisely for the light that it shines on our waywardness. Perhaps it can direct us well, reconcile madness to method.


Using Format