studio updates
& other happenings

designinquiry 2023-24 fellows

lindsay buchman

wylie kasai

maya rae oppenheimer

sarah woodward

updated apr 04 2024

# hello && welcome!

you have wandered into the digital garden of designinquiry’s 2023-24 fellows: lindsay buchman, wylie kasai, maya rae oppenheimer, and sarah woodward. we hope you enjoy your stay :)

when we first gathered on zoom to meet one another in august 2023, maya asked what the framers saw as links across our practices, as a cohort. over the past months, we have been discovering our own synergies, compatible approaches, distinct positionalities, and kindred sensibilities. while our practices have different tool and material focuses, our process of “working/around [and with]” relationships to place is the common thread we chose to center.


# work/around london

our first foray as a cohort began in september 2023 at the work/around residency in london. with support from designinquiry, the fellows gathered with other residents, framers, and activators at millbank tower.

A fluorescent pink and teal risograph print of a plastic bag A fluorescent pink and teal risograph print of various helpful items

riso prints made by wylie during the residency.

thinking jet-lag and transatlantic travel would be our only foes, our plans to dive into fellowship work were foiled when two of us tested positive at the start of the residency. despite covid-status, an outcome of the gathering was perceiving relationships between embodiment and collaboration across practices, positions, and access to resources and place. so much has become digital in the past years due to covid restrictions and health requirements, due to embodied fatigue and vulnerability.

A letterpress print of signal messages asking to open the door at the workaround residency A letterpress print of signal messages asking to open the door at the workaround residency

for the residency publication, maya re-interpreted the messages from the signal group chat as letterpress prints.

the opportunity to come together in london helped establish a connectedness that lies at the center of any progress we make. navigating illness and quarantine in our house forced us to cross boundaries and communicate more directly. even now, we are thousands of miles apart but message several times a week.


# current work in progress

distance has become an undercurrent to our collaboration, providing both obstructions and opportunities for us to explore alternative processes through print media with the anticipation of a forthcoming publication. site-(un)specificity serves as the narrative we seek to engage through media, including papermaking, clay, photography, moving images, writing, sound, and found objects. together, we activate these material processes from our respective geographic locations, asking questions about how material and site create different temporalities, tactility, and forms of awareness.

Four pinch pots made by Sarah on a tree stump. Sarah sits opn a bench outside of a white brick building making a pinch pot.

sarah is exploring clay through site-specific interactions, considering how place affects the work she is creating. the outcome of this inquiry places emphasis on the craft process - pinch pots - and the impact of making clay forms in locations spanning denver, co, to nantucket, ma. sarah showed the first iteration of this work, Stranger Again, at art gym denver in february 2024.

A spectrogram next to a pov image of wylie sitting in traffic on a los angeles freeway.

wylie is experimenting with sound generation using machine learning. working with recorded audio from the fellows’ daily commutes, he converts sound into visual representations called spectrograms. after training generative models on this material, newly synthesized images are translated back to reveal original sound compositions.

A city scene at dawn captured from the train window with the caption 'I remember when I first got here.' A suburban scene at dawn captured from the train window with the caption 'They could be anywhere, really.'

lindsay is working on video editing to create vignettes about space, memory, and language, centering the role of place within moving images. the short films she is producing are intended for video projections that will interact with fellows’ work at 4th SPACE, engaging hand-made paper as a screen.

Maya's handmade paper made from goldenrod fiber Maya's handmade paper made from rhubarb fiber

maya is creating hand-made paper from foraged plants, including wheat straw, rhubarb, goldenrod, and milkweed from a farm outside montreal. she is experimenting with fibers and facilitating participatory paper-making workshops at 4th SPACE, activating participants to share and teach one another how to make hand-made sheets of paper.

as a fellows cohort, we are interested in compiling these conceptual and material processes to create generative experiments and throughlines that result in new working methods. while the project is open-ended in its form, our work is centered around a final installation in montreal, tying together their yearlong investigation with site, materials, and dialogue.


# montreal & final exhibition

the realized exhibition of their work utilizes video projection, sound, clay, and paper-making to create a final form that presents each method, overlaid and combined in the exhibition. the final outcome of the fellows’ research and material processes is intended to be a collaborative, interactive, and immersive experience, which will function as a public-facing project at 4th SPACE. during the 4th SPACE exhibition, the fellows will reside and interact with the public through paper-making, writing prompts, and conversation. in addition, the material processes realized will be translated into print ephemera to be later bound unconventionally in a codex form.

an essential part of this fellowship is the time for things to unfold, which has allowed us to carefully consider process and intent. with lives outside of the fellowship affected by the whirlwind of semester-teaching intensities, job-related responsibilities, and “life-ness" – from moves to illness to obligations to family, friends and community – the cycles of communication we have built across various platforms have been consistent.

after presenting our professional studio work to each other in 2023 and works in progress completed in the context of this fellowship in 2024, we have constructed a plan to meet in montreal for five days of production in early july 2024. this gathering would allow us to move full-circle in this residency, rather than the conventional, uni-directional arc towards “completion”. we started together and in person in london, and we wish to gather again, in person, in montreal. said “full-circle” will weave in the considerable content generated through a mixture of digital and material platforms, including mail art, poetry, print-making, performance gestures made in our respective cities, audio recordings, paper-making, annotated readings, site-specific clay formations, video and critical writing.

as we wind towards finalising our outcomes, sharing space with the synthesis of our collected works in the form of an installation feels a fitting end to a fellowship demanding ongoing work/arounds of time, place and bodily access.


# acknowledgements

many thanks to designinquiry for bringing us together. in particular, thank you to the framers – jimmy luu, mark zurolo, and tricia treacy – for their involvement in the fellowship program.