[Nos]otros and [Con]tacto

by Lucia Monge MFA 15 Sculpture

The following text originally appeared in Formative & Persisting: How The Thesis Lives On.

[Nos]otros and [Con]tacto bring together the apparently diverse components of my art and ecological practice.

[Nos]otros: our others

How do we relate to other living beings around us, determine what is living, and decide who is part of our own kin(d)?

How can we acknowledge and learn from the “otherness” included in the word for we, us?

How can intentional movement allow for an expansive and inclusive form of I?

[Con]tacto: with touch

How can art represent the space in-between and, at the same time serve as a conductor for touch?

How can sculpture allow us to experience points of contact across distance?

Can we break down the word contact to highlight the tact comprised in it?

Since graduating, I refer to my thesis book to renew the intentions I set for my practice, and to realign with the way in which I articulated the key ideas that ground my work. I go back often to my thesis book hoping to paraphrase passages, but the “clarity” I seek is rarely found in the wording alone. Rather, it lives in the time and space markers that the thesis represents. The thesis book transports me to that moment in time where my practice made sense to me.

The questions I posed during my thesis investigation remain the same, as do my criteria for making work. My thesis was initially titled [Nos]otros, and, later in the process, I added :la práctica—precisely for that same reason: to build community, to remain sensitive to interconnectedness. To expand our forms of knowing is not a final state, but rather an exercise, a daily practice.

My thesis investigation forced me to take a distance from my practice in order to understand it as a whole. It is funny that at the same time it required that I become very close to it. As a result it contributed greatly to the intentionality behind my future steps.

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