Fall 2022 BFA Electives, X-Studio: Love Letters to the Future – Douglas Paulson

An edible weed can grow from a crack in the bricks. A single seed can grow into an oak that can live 400 years. As we experience unprecedented transformation around us, we will explore cultivating creative practices that consider the 7 generations principle. Are we being good ancestors? We will use sound, text, video, and drawing to deepen our sensorial connection to the world around us. How will these artifacts be understood by future generations? Will their world resemble ours? What does it mean to cultivate connectedness to a landscape that is transforming? What does it mean to record that for an unknown future?

We will experiment with materials that change, grow, and propagate: bioplastics and mycelia; seedbombs and seedbanks. Can biomimicry be a catalyst for creative invention? We will examine and draw inspiration from relationships and systems of the natural world and weather data. We will discuss the Earthseed poems within Octavia Butler’s “Parable of the Sower” and their vision of inevitable change that can be shaped. Can individuals be the seeds who shape a changing world? Can artists? We will explore the work of Guadalupe Maravilla, Joiri Minaya, The Lenape Center, Fallen Fruit, and Kim Stanley Robinson, among others.