Every other month, Quodlibetica’s home page foregrounds a featured constellation of essays, poems, or free-form writing that revolves around one central idea. For past constellations, browse the archive on this page.
The Taste of Desire
Desire is terribly specific. We know what we want: this but not that. Him but not her. So, what do we want from art? And, by extension, from other forms of creative production? Our contributors investigate color, cocktails, fashion, food, astronauts and art to edge closer to the inner workings of taste and desire.
For our December constellation, we present an unusual mix of voices: recent graduates and life-long students, people who left town and folks who stayed put. We were curious to hear from these makers, those creative artists and designers emerging from the comforting, restricting vestibules of academic training and entering the “real” art world. What does this art world look like and feel like, especially to those trained for, yet for a moment of time, partially sheltered from it? What are the challenges, the lingering questions an education in the creative professions failed to answer? Check out our editorial.
Something Old, Something New
In honor of our third anniversary, we bring you a “best of” Quodlibetica, a compilation of the most popular and most memorable. But we could not help but throw in something new as well, since some of our writers and editors just cannot stop writing about art. For more details on what’s up with Quodlibetica, check out our editorial.
Identity politics still stirs argument: about ontological certainties and processes of identifications, about the license to choose identities and the forces that inscribe identities on bodies, about subjects and objects. Our contributors provide us with snapshots of how to conceive of identities, definitions, and affiliations, more often than not ending up in-between or pre-post identity. To read our editorial, visit our News Page.
Wildly, Erica: Fun With Word Art
In honor of the cruel and foolish month of April, Quodlibetica undergoes autocorrect to emerge as Wildly Erica, an issue dedicated to word play in all forms: cinepoetry and flarf, nano-memoirs and signs of the future, the cacophonous/mellifluous world of sound poetry, nonsense that makes sense, and general frolic on the ragged margin of understanding. Read on here.
In Quodibetica’s seasonally appropriate Icy Issue, our contributors explore winter’s art offerings in the Twin Cities: shanties on Medicine Lake, a flower show at St. Paul’s conservatory, photographs of fake blizzards and thin ice, Swedish wood carvings, and an eclectic mix of artwork that investigates the meanings of place and our relationships to landscape. Read our editorial here.
Art and Design (Mis)Education: an Experiment
All the contributions for this constellation were originally part of a salon Quodlibetica co-hosted with Art of This on September 18, 2011. The conversation ranged far and wide, and we are only including a fraction of the voices that were part of the night. For our editorial, visit our News page.
The Summer Travel Issue!
Never before has a constellation sported contributions as geographically diverse as this August: from Berlin to Venice, North Carolina to the Netherlands, our contributors have generously shared their experiences and insights gleaned from traveling to time zones far removed from the Twin Cities. For our editorial, click here.
The book. The page. The image. The text. In this constellation of Quodlibetica, we contributors and editors take you beyond the line, behind the surface, and through the looking glass. We explore the changing cultural role of the book and the lingering appeal of book arts. From book makers to book matters, from translators to typesetters, lovers and critics of the book unfold themselves in these ephemeral sheets. For our editorial, click here.
To rephrase a rather famous, albeit (importantly) satirical quote, “The first thing we do, let’s kill all the critics.” But if that rush to the guillotine were ever truly successful—and the death of a great number of Twin Cities’ venues for arts criticism suggests capitalism is doing what Shakespeare never could—there’d be more to mourn than critical scorn. In this constellation, we authors and editors of Quodlibetica explore, extol, and examine the role of the arts writer: as critic, as curmudgeon, as catalyst for conversation.
In our most eclectic constellation to date, we begin the new year with an exploration of art’s outsides: the ambivalent relationship the art world continues to have with outsiders, art’s life outside the white cube, and the various exclusions upon which our culture’s definition of art depends.
In our eleventh constellation, our eight-plus contributors interrogate and sometimes celebrate the role that public art plays in creating spaces for reflection, for commerce, and for criticism. From bodacious beavers with generous genitals to painterly pizza parlors, our contributors in this constellation examine the best -- and the worst -- of public art in the Twin Cities and beyond.
In this constellation, we offer you seven pieces around the theme Cartographies. We explore visuality, power, time and, in our sense of displacement, we displace the centrality of our focus on fine art here and there. It’s fitting that in this issue, we have wandered blithely outward to see where the theme takes us, with no direction home. For more on this issue's theme, visit our News page.
Blame it on summer's unexpected turbulences, but we are back with our most journalistic efforts yet. Rather than criticism, we indulged our curiousities in search of the mysterious motivations that prompt people to found, run and maintain alternative art spaces. More...
Art and Science
Struck by the slew of exhibits invested in the relationship between art, science, and wonder, we decided to devote our June constellation to that very intersection. From electricity to creativity, taxidermy to taxonomy, Greek myth to digital manipulations, this constellation speculates on just how manifold art’s interactions with science can be. For our editorial, please visit the News page.
Fakeries and Fabulations
The fabulations and fakeries of tricksters, pranksters, conceptual artists, teachers and students of art take center stage in this constellation that investigates the allure, anger, and discomfort caused by uncertainty or the willing suspension of disbelief. Happy April Fools Day, everyone! For more on this issue see http://www.quodlibetica.com/news/
Death is an ideal subject for art: marginalized, terrifying and ultimate. In our second constellation, Quodlibetica looks at death in contemporary art and invites writers and artists to talk about death, art, and ethics. Click here for details: http://www.quodlibetica.com/the-call-of-death
For our inaugural edition, we have gathered a variety of voices centered on one idea: wilderness. Contributions range from an eloquent elegy for the heroic wild of old to a photo essay on a journey into the managed wilderness of the Galapagos; from ‘the wild’ recast as a state of mind to wilderness harnessed for economic advantage. We invite you to join this wild conversation on all that wilderness can mean.
Jerome Catalog 2009
In this constellation, I have gathered the five catalog essays that I authored for the exhibition of the five Jerome Fellows in the Visual Arts. The exhibition is scheduled to open at mcad on October 2, 2009. The constellation includes the original press release announcing the 2008-09 winners.
The Traveling Eye
Perhaps writing, art, and travel make natural companions. The essays collected for this constellation seemed to suggest just that: whether art allows us to travel vicariously or whether we travel and seek out encounters with art in new contexts, art, like traveling, has the power to make us see anew. The essays that have found their way into this constellation have all been previously published.
An Evolution of Environments
Do environments matter when we encounter art? Do environmental concerns enter into the language of art? This constellation explores the import of environments, environmentalism, context and community. All of the essays assembled here have been previously published.