Spring 2023. Advanced Practice: Vital Materia


CRN: 1944 PGFA 5300 

Adv Practice: Vital Materia

Faculty: Christopher Lin

Thurs. 4 – 6:40 pm 

This workshop/seminar class will investigate what Jane Bennett calls a “vital materiality” by exploring interconnections in matter, symbiotic systems, non-human and ecological collaborations, experimental uses of organic and inorganic waste, returns to indigenous knowledge, and the emergence of ecological art from Land Art and Mono-ha to contemporary practices to reexamine materiality during environmental crisis. Experimental demos and workshops will be held in bioplastics, vermicompost and hot compost systems, germination and propagation, fungal inoculation and cultivation, balancing closed ecosystems, fermentation, bacterial cultures, and more. Readings will include Vibrant Matter by Jane Bennett, Hyperobjects: Philosophy and Ecology after the End of the World by Timothy Morton, Arts of Living on a Damaged Planet, What’s Next? Eco Materialism & Contemporary Art by Linda Weintraub, The Mushroom at the End of the World by Anna Lowenthal Tsing, Braiding Sweetgrass by Robin Wall Kimmerer as well as research texts from James Lovelock, Karen Barad, and Lynn Margulis. We will learn from the experimental and expansive practices of Neri Oxman, Olafur Eliasson, Pierre Huyghe, Maya Lin, Mel Chin, Anicka Yi, Kim Abeles, Ani Liu, Jean Shin, Suzanne Anker, and TJ Shin. 


Open to: MFA Fine Arts & upper level BFA Fine Arts students. Others by permission. Some seats reserved for MFA Fine Arts Students. 


Faculty Bio:

Christopher Lin is a Brooklyn-based artist and educator with a background in research science. Fueled by a lifelong obsession with fossils, his experimental installations, sculptures, and performances question the world we inhabit and envision the one we will leave behind. Often collaborating with non-human organisms or wider ecologies, his time-based works synthesize elements of environmental ecology with meditative practices to explore the interconnected nature of living beings. After receiving a BA from Yale University and an MFA from Hunter College, Lin was awarded the C12 Emerging Artist Fellowship in 2016. He has shown work and performed throughout New York City, including at: SVA Curatorial Practice, ABC No Rio, Recess Art, Flux Factory, Wave Hill, the United Nations, and the Queens Museum. He was a 2020 Bronx Museum AIM Emerging Artist Fellow and a 2022 Wave Hill Winter Workspace Artist-in-Residence. He currently teaches at Hunter College and Parsons, The New School and is co-director of the research-based artist collective, Sprechgesang Institute.