LISTENING WELL // Friday, Sept 29  11:10am-12:15pm (Rm 210)

Making Practices/Spiritual Practices: Excavating Technologies of the Soul
Erica Grimm

In this age of the Anthropocene marked by environmental devastation, extreme weather events, biodiversity loss, economic upheaval and social uncertainty, how is it that art making is, as Martha Nussbaum asserts, a necessity? This paper explores the premise that arts practices and spiritual practices are both active practices through which we come to knowing, that hone our capacity to listen, that scrutinize interior and exterior, teach us to pay attention and prepare us to navigate what is ahead. If we practice self-emptying listening as our compositional and spiritual method, then perhaps we will receive a word worth hearing, an image worth making, that might surprise even the maker, that might constitute new knowledge. This paper explores the surprisingly wide overlapping territory between these generative active practices.  


Erica Grimm is Associate Professor in the School of the Arts, Media + Culture at Trinity Western University. Canada Council and SSHRC Grant holder, Erica’s practice is rooted in embodiment and she is curious about liminal, saturated (inexplicable but ordinary) phenomenal experiences. Fueled by environmental urgency, she creates material semiotic entanglements, sculptural installations that layer materials with scientific texts, maps, medical imagery, drawings, projected video and soundscapes. She was the University of Regina 2002 Distinguished Nash Lecturer, the recipient of the Imago National Juried Art Prize, and named U of R Distinguished Alumnae. Widely exhibited, she is included in private and public collections such as the Vatican, Canada Council Art Bank, and the Richmond Art Gallery.