Bruce Myren

170 Market Hill Road, 2009 Courtesy of the Artist and Gallery Kayafas

Bruce Myren is a artist and photographer whose landscape-based work considers ideas of place and space. He holds a BFA in photography from Massachusetts College of Art and Design and earned his MFA in studio art from the University of Connecticut, Storrs in 2009. Shown nationally, Myren has been included in group exhibitions at the Houston Center of Photography, TX; The Gallery Project, MI; and the William Benton Museum of Art, CT, among others. His latest solo exhibitions include showings at the Workspace Gallery, NE; Danforth Museum of Art, MA; and Gallery Kayafas, MA, where he is represented. The current Northeast Regional Chair of the Society of Photographic Education, Myren has taught at the University of Connecticut, New England Institute of Art, and the Rhode Island School of Design.

Dwayne Butcher: What brings you to CAA? Any particular panels, sessions, or interviews?

Bruce Myren: As an artist, I come to CAA to hear about current thinking in art, art history, and theory. I am interested in work and ideas beyond photography and find inspiration in a broad range of topics. I am currently the Chair of the Northeast region of the affiliated Society of Photographic Education (SPE) and attending CAA helps me stay connected and allows opportunities to see and meet colleagues from across the country. In addition, this year, I am also on the job market and exploring opportunities.

DB: Are the sessions CAA has for photography adequate?

BM: In general, I do think there are enough photography-related presentations. Almost all current issues in art touch photography, thus many panels concerned with contemporary issues discuss photography or light-sensitive media in some way.

DB: Can you talk a little bit about your work? Are you currently working on a particular series?

BM: My work investigates issues of place and space and boundaries and borders through the exploration and employment of various locative systems. I am most interested in how macro systems relate to micro experiences of land and landscape.  My recent series include an investigation of the Fortieth Parallel of latitude via large format photography and GPS technology; a study of the poet Robert Francis’s one-person house in the woods of Amherst, Massachusetts; and a piece that documents the view from every place I have lived to where I live now.  Work can be seen on my website:

DB: Do you have any exhibitions, workshops or the like upcoming?

BM: I have an upcoming solo exhibition at Workspace Gallery in Lincoln, Nebraska (March 3 – April 30, 2011),  In addition, on April 12th, I will be giving a visiting artist lecture at Kansas State University.  While on both trips, I hope to photograph six new confluences for my project “The Fortieth Parallel.”

DB: What is your favorite artist? book? color? smell? food?

BM: This is hard…! Artist: Hamish Fulton; Book: Immortality by Milan Kundera; Color: almost all colors; Smell: Ocean, fresh cut grass, and pine; Food: I like all food.

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CAA MFA Exhibition Opening Reception, February 11, Hunter College, Times Square Gallery

scene from CAA MFA Reception, Hunter College, Times Square Gallery, 2011. Photo courtesy: Patricia Flores

scene from CAA MFA Reception, Hunter College, Times Square Gallery, 2011. Photo courtesy: Patricia Flores

The bodies were packed into the galleries, and the atmosphere was electric last night at the opening reception of the CAA MFA Exhibition, held of the Hunter College, Times Square Gallery, representing 20 MFA programs of the greater New York area. Each school was granted its own gallery space, and was curated to showcase the talents of the students in each program. It was refreshing to see that all the schools, and their current crop of graduate students, are equally fluent and knowledgeable in the language and trends prevalent in the NYC gallery world.

I’m not so sure if that’s good or bad, because it’s difficult to differentiate the work between each school; each of the presentations by each represented school looked almost the same. This could be the condition of the instructors today in NYC academia—the widespread sharing of faculty (adjuncts and visiting artists) between several institutions—create one big NYC aesthetic. That being said, it’s good in a universal sense, because it gives an identity. Or, as Jerry Saltz would say, a regional identity. However, one wishes each program would distinguish themselves from the others.

While they all stand together as really hip, up-to-date, and as each parts of a larger tribe, one wishes each program would stand out and apart, and create a unique statement highlighting its particular strengths. They each have the opportunity to distinguish themselves by their exciting areas of development, whether they are social practice, radical craft, transmedia, research-based practices/new knowledge, and other forms of new products and processes in practice.

Something to ponder for next year….

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Gimme a good old chat and a cuppa char (please)

CAA, I have to ask: where are the coffee breaks? (Or even tea breaks, seeing as I’m British). At the AAH in the UK there are set times when all the sessions are out and tea, coffee and biscuits are supplied aplenty. I know the AAH is a much smaller conference but I rely on these moments to meet the people I didn’t know I needed to meet – if you see what I mean.

Standing queueing for a cuppa (that’s English for cup of tea) I end up finding out about sessions I haven’t made it to, speakers I’ve never heard of and theories I hadn’t considered. They end up being very useful networking events – not to mention important pit-stops. Consider this a suggestion posted in the suggestion box – and next time I’ll bring the Earl Grey!

(Forgive the gratuitious cup cake shot, I actually made these for a conference session once, so it seemed apt. And I’ve just noticed the branch of Magnolia a few blocks away from the Hilton and it’s ALL I can think about right now! ).

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The Death of Books

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Parallel Practices II

Images as promised and a little further explanation of the “Five Rhythms” movements. Antoni explained that each of the five movements grow out of the previous. Beginning with flow, staccato, chaos, lyrical, and ending with stillness, the dancer of the “Five Rhythms” puts her body in motion in order to get a greater understanding of presentness and to ground the mind back within the body.

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