Mount Fitzroy, Patagonia, Argentina, credit: Michael Mejia

Michael Mejia

Artist in Residence, 2024

Artist Statement

Two central impulses drive my work: presenting process as content—interrogating a narrative’s methods and motives—and elaborating the monstrous as a progressive, often ambiguous, model of hybridity and alternative socio-cultural potential. The former impulse is often embodied by the latter as a monstrous text, a collage of genres (fiction, nonfiction, history, fables, science fiction, etc.) and media (text, found documents, photographs, etc.), in which narrative revision and self-reflexivity produce radical disruptions of conventional form. While there are instances of plot in my projects, interventions interrogating, rearranging, and re-interpreting emerging narratives often impede a reader’s expectation of progress toward climax and closure. Each work pursues an essayistic, investigative experience, figured as something like an art installation, a transformational site that one meanders through, experiencing details, events, characters, and traces of plot that are intended to unsettle and resist dominant, often repressive and exploitative, socio-cultural positions by provoking curiosity and reflection.

While at Headlands

During my residency, I’ll be drafting a new novel, an experimental work engaged with the problem of representing the climate crisis and geologic time in relation to and in contrast with human-centered narrative. My intention is to settle substantively into the landscape around Headlands, opening myself to new experiences of time and slow perception, and how these may encourage alternative approaches to narrative and the representation of the natural world as a narrative subject. I hope to depart with notebooks full of precise impressions of the landscape (color; shapes; texture; sound; shifting values of light, scent, temperature, etc.) and having trained myself toward a different kind of attention, toward perceiving and behaving towards a biome as a diverse, living, and historied community, a concept we may understand intellectually, but have a harder time performing, and, for my needs, representing.

Work Samples

“Coyote Takes Us Home,” Conceptualisms: The Anthology of Prose, Poetry, Visual, Found, E- & Hybrid Writing as Contemporary Art (ed. Steve Tomasula), 2022.

Three excerpts from TOKYO, 2018

Author Page, FC2

“Matanzas,” 15 Bytes/Artists of Utah, January 2020

“TIA CATRINA |||| UNCLE SAM (after George Rodriguez), DIAGRAM, December 2019

“‘A Camera’s Not Expression, It’s Part of the Spectacle’: 5 YouTube Videos,” DIAGRAM, November 2013

“The Abjection,” Agni 69, Summer 2009