Heather Cosidetto – Bio

 

I am an artist, writer, educator and program facilitator based in British Columbia, Canada. Over the past 15-odd years I have tried my hand at many things, settling on none, enamoured with all. Some call this interdisciplinary, others call it scatterbrained… I find both characterizations equally charming. The antonym to scatterbrained/interdisciplinarity is generally considered focused/specialization. Pulling multiple things into and out of focus is a specialty I learned when studying media and time-based arts, and so I don’t personally see a conflict between any of these terms. In my own multimedia practice, I use whatever works to get my idea across. For the last little while my medium of choice has been drawing, 4 years ago it was (surprisingly) performance art, 4 years before that it was photo-documentary, and 4 years before that it was video. And just now it’s the Wayward School.

My own work, be it in the visual arts or the written word, is concerned with the antagonism between imagination and representation in the arts, science and humanities. What that means is that I tend to bring my attention to bear on the conflicts and resolutions between how we perceive and think the world to be and how we express or transcribe those thoughts and perceptions so that they may be shared with others. To take some more famous examples:  Einstein pictures himself riding a beam of light as a child and eventually expresses this (at least in part) as E=mc²; the Dadaist artists tried to make sense of the war that raged around them and turned the impossibility of doing so into “nonsensical” performance art; Proust can’t get madeleines out of his head and seven volumes of literature ensue. The translations back and forth, ad infinitum, between the sensed/perceived world and the expressed/represented world, carve out that transformative meaning-making space we humans call “culture”.

Finding the opportunity to perform these translations and transformations freely and with reckless creative abandon remains a struggle, no matter one’s occupation or social role, because as much as we like to re-write the book we also work very hard to make meaning sit still (be it through convention, tradition, or bureaucratic governance). Finding the time and space to be creative and try new things on for size isn’t easy, and the lack of support and encouragement for creative innovation and community-minded practice that I perceive in the world around me these days is pretty frustrating. I’ve come to realize that this frustration, far from being paralyzing, is a compelling impetus to nurture a space that enables those people, things, thoughts, and practices I so admire.

Qualifications and Credentials and other things you may or may not need to know about me:
I hold a BFA in Integrated Media from Emily Carr Institute of Art and Design (Vancouver, BC) and an MA in Culture, Science and Technology from Goldsmiths University (London, UK).  I have worked for and with a number of organizations and institutions in a variety of artistic, administrative and educational capacities, including: Open Space (programming committee), Art Gallery of Greater Victoria (class instruction); Ross Creek Centre for the Arts (curation, program development, community outreach); Emily Carr Institute (lecturing, tutoring); Contemporary Art Gallery (fundraising assistance, curriculum development); Adbusters (research assistance); Vancouver Film School (educational administration); Hobsnobs (craft and design collective); and Parliament of Owls (arts collective).

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