In 2020, ASCI created a pilot Collaboration Grant program on a slightly different schedule from the standard ASCI Collaboration Grant. This allowed UChicago Department of Visual Arts graduate students and their collaborators to begin their projects in the Winter quarter and work through the summer. The pilot grant was awarded to two teams. 

Setna is an interdisciplinary collaboration that will investigate the methods by which artistic work and humanistic research intersect. Fan Ge (MFA 2020) and Theresa Tiliakos (PhD student, Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations) will create a work that draws information from the stories of the past and realizes it using modern artistic methods. It will explore the complex themes of ancient Egyptian literature, including political corruption, exploration of personal identity, and loss, through a sculptural installation and worldmaking theory. The project aims to create layered miniature scenes that will transform ancient Egyptian literary tales into contemporary artistic language, exploring the fantastical elements of Khufu and the Magicians and Setna and the Mummies while also examining the realities from which they are drawn. 

Faculty advisors: Matthew Jesse Jackson (Associate Professor and Chair, Visual Arts, Associate Professor, Art History) and Janet Johnson (Morton D. Hull Distinguished Service Professor of Egyptology, Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations).

Setna miniature, first scene. Photo: Emily Schultz.         Setna stage box. Photo: Emily Schultz

Under the Anvil
Claire Zurkowski (PhD candidate, Department of Geophysical Sciences) is a mineral physicist who studies the chemistry of planetary cores where pressures and temperatures are millions of times higher than ambient conditions. Brett Swenson (MFA 2020, Department of Visual Arts) is a visual artist whose works track an interest in permeability and containment, where apparent opposites in contact physically rework each other to create new and relationally expressive forms. Both of their practices explore the relationality between interior and exterior phenomena, and how their findings relate to the world they live in. This project thinks through the intersections between an artist’s and a physicist’s approach to understanding materials and their consequences. The piece is a meandering summation of their discussions on subjects ranging from glassblowing to diamond anvils, accompanied by visuals that explore the material intersections of their work.

Faculty advisors: Jessica Stockholder (Raymond W. & Martha Hilpert Gruner Distinguished Service Professor, Visual Arts) and Andrew J. Campbell (Professor, Department of the Geophysical Sciences)

View their film here.