Alexandria Inkster

Alexandria Inkster

we are in the folds

It is a gentle invitation, a desire to be with, to take and to give.

A wordless conversation, initiated and sustained through eye contact. A sheet of paper transformed, from a silent surface – clean, white and flat—to a rich and tactile record of an exchange—a pleated cube, bound in string, to hold in one’s hand (or to open up to the air to breathe).

i. Thoughts on Kindness:

  • Kindness is a gift, an offering of sorts. This offering is a gentle touch, which may or may not be registered, accepted, or reciprocated, but is offered nonetheless.

  • Kindness is an invitation to form connections with the world one inhabits. A sense of Being as Being-with-others underscores every act of kindness.1

  • Kindness cannot be manipulative, for then it would not be kindness at all but rather the fulfilling of a power dynamic. Kindness is not put forward to augment one’s power over another! It may, however, be offered with a desire to empower another within their own personal situation.

  • An act of kindness may be especially fulfilling for the individual who chooses to initiate it. However, such a positive outcome for the initiator in no way precludes the sincerity or generosity inherent to their gesture, regardless of if or how it is received. At its best, kindness is win-win.

ii. Practice

I make performances, installations and “sculpture”-object-things. I am compelled to make and do things physically, vigorously, laboriously, to experience a conscious unification of mind and body, to feel physically a part of the world. I am quite convinced that if I did not use my entire body to make art or live art or be art, I would disappear.

I make art to precipitate an awareness of different ways of perceiving, and actively participating within, our shared and overlapping lifeworlds. By stimulating an affective encounter with my work, I hope to catalyze relational shifts for the audience, through experiences of empathy, play, imagination, love.

Aesthetic consciousness—a realtime appreciation of how one affects and is affected by all material and interpersonal interactions—augments one’s own sense of personal agency and the implications of deploying it2. By fully inhabiting and embodying a critically-engaged creative research practice, I aim to cultivate aesthetic consciousness. Lived experience ripples outward.

At present, I am a 2nd year MFA Candidate at the University of Calgary in my final semester of the Graduate Program. I will be presenting my Thesis Performance in June 2016, and defending in September 2016.

Photo by Jeremy Pavka

  1. Michael Wheeler, “Martin Heidegger,“ The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (Fall 2015 Edition), ed Edward N. Zalta.↩︎

  2. Jill Bennett, Practical Aesthetics: Events, Affects and Art after 9/11, New York: I. B. Tauris, 2012.↩︎