Headlands Center for the Arts

Kristi McGuire

illinois | writing
Artist in Residence Program 2013

Artist Statement

I am a writer/editor/critic/artist, based in Chicago. The kind of writing that I do negotiates the bureaucracy of performance—there’s almost always a tendency towards the tactile: the dense fusion of readings, persons, images, emotions, sounds into a “body” of work—as a means of eschewing traditional argument for the wild contusions of the “open field.” While I’m interested in pursuing a variety of scholarly concerns along the lines of cultural criticism—the interstitial spaces between neoliberalism and information art, how we became “post-internet,” the perverse history and disintegration of avant-garde movements—I often counter the scholarship with the inclusion of marginalized voices, figures, aesthetics, and techniques. I’m especially interested in what it means to be a practicing artist who engages with the boundaries of “research” and “production,” and how one might further push the essay and lecture forms into places of slippage, occasional misprision, insight, and discovery.

While at Headlands

My expectations center around doing the writing in new ways/veins that will allow some present fascinations to grow. I think, in a sense, I’m explicitly interested in my own pathology as a writer emboldened by experimental genres and forms—it’s really exciting to me to think about colliding that particular lineage with investigations into contemporary cultural critique. I’m presently working on three related sets of material: the first concerns extrapolating the shared artistic terrain between curator Walter Hopps and poet-critic John Ashbery as initiated by the portrait of Hopps that hung over Ashbery’s bar; the second considers relationships between neoliberalism, obsession, the archive, and the transformation of data for a series of writers and artists working on maximalist scale before the proliferation of the internet; and the third investigates feedback loops between post-industrialism and post-realism in both the nineteenth-century novel and the present.

Selected Texts

“Roman numeral C, reinforced by (the) Latin centum,” University of Chicago Press Blog, 12 March 2012. (191.41K)

Revising the Pharmacist and Its Imaginary Twin: A Strange Cartography and an Intentional Agent in the Process of Being Distinguished Again, excerpt, 2010. (494.62K)

“Reading the Internet with Joan Jonas: The Task of the Cultural Critic in the Ambient Age,” Daily Serving, 27 March 2012. (336.76K)

“A Short Introduction to Failure,” from Theorizing Visual Studies: Writing across the Discipline, NY and London: Routledge, 2012. (75.11K)