Elizabeth Ellsworth is Emeritus Professor, School of Media Studies, The New School, New York. Elizabeth’s research and teaching focus on media and change; the design of mediated learning environments; and documentary media forms. Her scholarship consists of projects and practices that fuse performative research with aesthetic experience and public pedagogy. She is author of Places of Learning: Media, Architecture, Pedagogy (Routledge, 2004) and Teaching Positions: Difference, Pedagogy and the Power of Address (Teachers College Press, 1997). She is co-founder, with Jamie Kruse, of a nonprofit media arts collaboration smudge studio. smudge has received funding from international foundations to produce and exhibit work on the material conditions of life and learning in the Anthropocene.
smudge studio | a collaboration between Jamie Kruse and Elizabeth Ellsworth
Our media include photography, performative research, multiples, installation and micro-productions. We use these media to connect daily life experiences to vast, generative forces of cosmological change. We take this to be a vital aesthetic-ecological act.
In the midst of the massive and disorienting changes that are altering our own species’ habitat, we slow and pause to perform local, ephemeral, unrepeatable acts of aesthetic hospitality, and invite audiences to pay close attention to the ever-shifting and impermanent conditions of life on Earth. Our works enframe seemingly commonplace activities of everyday life (the drinking of tea, the awareness of sunlight) within perspectives on time, landscape, and interactivity that are geologic in scale. By offering embodied experiences of the Anthropocene nested within the cosmological, we aim to deepen collective abilities to re-scale human expectations of stability and predictability, without sinking into distraction or despair, and to creatively inhabit Earth’s ever-changing conditions.
smudge is a member of the Atomic Photographers Guild and selected work (2007- present) is archived at the Center for Art + Environment, Nevada Museum of Art.