Field Essays (2008-ongoing)

Field Essays enables listening pauses between thinkers and practitioners in an attempt to weave other histories of the worlds we inhabit. Field Essays started out in 2008 as research into the tactile relation between thinking and making within creative inquiry processes (Ingold 2013). At the time, I was a research fellow in of the Professorship of Art and Public Space (LAPS) of the Rietveld Academie, focussing on the dynamics that take place within collaborations (See Collaboration. From method to content).

Field Essays doesn’t follow a set format: it meanders between the form of a publication, workshop, lecture, exhibition and/or series of talks. For each publication, I search for practitioners/thinkers  without drawing a strict line between these two postures; I’m interested in reflexive practitioners and hands-on thinkers; I invite persons between whom I intuitively sense that a mutually enhancing conversation could emerge. The process of getting to know each other is one of moving back and forth between fieldwork and reflection: we might go on a trip or residency together, during which new work might be conceived (albeit in the form of an idea), or new insights about existing work and positions might present themselves. In parallel to directing and editing the ensuing publication, I make notes and drawings about the process in an effort to articulate the underlying connections, motives, implications of our practices.

In this way, every issue is a renewed attempt at formulating a visual grammar of artistic research. Ultimately, Field Essays strives open up the creative process, letting it flow where it needs to go, following its meanders to see which relations with the weave of life it enables (Escobar 2018). The moving frontiers of art and design, at the intersection of Humanities and Social Sciences, are my search territory — there, where imaginative tactics are being pioneered, or ancestral territories reactivated.

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