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Collaborative community: Fine Art faculty live MIAD values

Building community and collaboration through art: this is how two faculty members at the Milwaukee Institute of Art & Design (MIAD) spent their summer. Kim Miller, professor and chair of Fine Arts + New Studio Practice, and Peter Barrickman, associate professor in Fine Arts, completed a residency in Concepción, Chile this summer. Now, they are continuing their collaboration efforts by bringing a LIVE AV performance to MIAD on Friday, November 10, 2023 at 7 p.m.

Almacén Residencia Editorial hosted Miller and Barrickman this past July. Miller, currently working towards her PhD, produced an edition of her publication “Scores for Social Choreography” during her time in Concepción. She and Barrickman also hosted an iteration of their collaborative project LIVE AV, where the artists screened videos and encouraged collaborative sound-making to accompany the films.

For her PhD, Miller is researching art that leads society towards liberation or emancipation—a concept she explored during the residency. Miller went to Almacén to publish her book. “I asked dancers, choreographers, philosophers, and others to develop a score for liberation,” she explains. An excerpt of Miller’s dissertation, entitled “The Social Choreography of Dancemobile,” was also published by the New York Public Library for the Performing Arts.

At the same time, Miller and Barrickman were organizing another iteration of LIVE AV in Chile. LIVE AV pairs new, silent films with sound artists who perform original soundtracks while the films are being screened. In Chile, “[w]e set up a space with a lot of microphones, we brought a lot of instruments, objects that we used to make sound, people even brought their own instruments. We had recording equipment set up so that as we screened the videos, people gathered and made sounds in coordination with what they were seeing on the screen,” says Barrickman. “It really became a sound party, which then evolved into a dance party!”

LIVE AV celebrates the collaborative practice that both artists are committed to developing. “[LIVE AV] comes out of an interest in collaboration and sharing authorship and space and making space,” says Barrickman. “In Chile, people who weren’t sound people felt invited to participate. There was an architect at the table playing a synthesizer. There were combinations and interactions that would have never happened.”

Miller finds connections to MIAD’s Fine Art curriculum and modes of instruction. “Trying to impart to emerging artists, our students, that what they’re doing is connected to the world, that they’re not working in isolation and that there’s a huge world out here that, they’re in conversation with,” she says.

Working together, Miller and Barrickman are a collaborative powerhouse committed to filtering experience through artistic practice. “We are interested in creating moments of collaboration between other artists, and we’re also interested in bringing to light other projects that we feel deserve more attention that exist but maybe the public doesn’t know about,” says Barrickman. “How can we give back or how can we offer something to other people?” finishes Miller. “How can we create opportunities?”

Miller and Barrickman are hosting their fourth iteration of LIVE AV at MIAD on November 10, 2023 at 7 p.m. in the Community Hub, Room 160. The event features live sound performances by Dan Bitney, Olivia Dobbs, Roman Edirisinghe, Darienne Hood, Andrew Lampela and Matt Presutti alongside videos by Francisco González Castro, Sally Lawton, Louis Morton, Sara Sowell, Taka Suzuki, Sofia Theodore-Pierce, Janelle VanderKelen. LIVE AV is sponsored in part by The Open Fund.

Keep up with Miller and Barrickman, follow LIVE AV through Mazzzagine and learn more about MIAD’s Fine Art + New Studio Practice major.

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