A conical tent structure erected in a snowy landscape.

Donald Fortescue

Artist in Residence, 2011

A portrait of a person in a heavy winter parka.

Artist Statement

I am a Professor of Art and Design at the California College of the Arts (CCA) in San Francisco. I was born in Sydney, Australia, and moved to the US in 1997. I have exhibited extensively internationally, received the Experimental Design Award from the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA) in 2001 and my work is represented in the permanent collections of SFMOMA, the National Gallery of Australia, the Powerhouse Museum in Sydney, the Museum of Art and Design in New York and the Houston Museum of Fine Art. I recently completed a Ph.D. at the Australian National University where my research explored congruencies between the methodologies, aspirations, and limits of science and art.

My work involves the use of digital technologies in tandem with antiquated technologies and craftsmanship associated with expeditions of discovery from the Enlightenment era to the early 20th Century. By combining these seemingly disparate technologies, I investigate their underlying meanings.

While at Headlands

Place serves a pivotal role in my work. The Headlands is a unique location to explore and make work about place with its rich overlay of natural and social histories. My recent research looks at the interconnections between the aspirations, methodologies, and outcomes of scientific and artistic inquiry as demonstrated through the mode of fieldwork and the use of instruments. I intend to use my studio at the Headlands as a field station to investigate the local natural and cultural environment. I plan to engage closely with the local natural environment to develop new approaches to create artistic instruments which engage with and re-present the local environment – both the readily discerned and the supra-sensory. I also hope to work with the local park service and perhaps the Marine Mammal Center to develop new collaborative opportunities.