Artist, writer, and teacher Judy Tuwaletstiwa knows a thing or two about the unknown. For her, we can discover a healthy measure of our inner and outer universes only through making. And not just any making. In this keynote presentation from BECon 2017, Tuwaletstiwa shares how art made through a participatory creative process can prove profoundly orienting. When we create with others, we end up situating ourselves culturally, psychologically, and existentially.
Drawing upon her experiences from two collaborative artist residencies, Tuwaletstiwa outlines a compelling vision of the creative process. Become unsettled. Respond through making. Abide with uncertainty. Keep making. Look for transformations to materialize that no foresight or planning could have achieved. There you have it: welcome to creativity’s alchemy.
As poet Stanley Kunitz puts it, “The universe is a continuous web. Touch it at any point and the whole web quivers.” Collaborative making, for Tuwaletstiwa, is a way of touching the web; it is a means of learning to trust, follow, and be transformed by the unknown.
So the question arises: what transformation do you want to experience?