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Northwestern went well. Its graduate art program is even more intimate than the ICP/Bard one: 9 students in total. The nice thing is that it’s also completely underwritten for those students. The tuition is paid and there’s a stipend. A pretty good deal. The studio building for them is a converted house some distance from the campus, so the feeling is oddly like that of the older Bard dorms; lots of little rooms on various floors, someone’s working in the basement and someone else in the attic. I’d find it congenial, but I imagine it can also be a bit cramped. I was also told that they were moving some time soon. I didn’t find out what other sorts of facilities they had available to them for fabrication.

I saw little of the campus proper, never made it to anything like the official school store (which is something that I like to poke around in whenever I go to a new school). Basically it was get up in the morning, head over to the studios, meet with students, have lunch with them and back for more meetings. Thursday night I lectured, pulling off the first successful slide lecture from the trusty old Fujitsu laptop. It all went pretty smoothly. It also was the first slide lecture I’ve done in approximately ten years where I didn’t get asked “the rabbit question”. For years now it has been inevitable that someone in the audience will ask me to explain the presence of rabbit imagery in my work. I’ve become so accustomed to it that I pretty much anticipate it at this point and often use the question as an occasion to talk about some of my ideas about how content functions in work in general. It was both a relief and a bit disconcerting that it didn’t come up this time, and perhaps a marker of how much that work has shifted away from that imagery in the past few years.

The Northwestern students themselves were earnest, well informed. Happy to be making things. They seemed more fully committed to their own interests that to some sort of career strategy, and alive to the social implications of their work, which was welcome.

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