JOURNEY to the CENTER of the COMMONPLACE: The ancient root of the word ‘world’ (mundus) is also the source of the word for commonplace (mundane). Contemporary advances in science and technology have expanded the knowable ‘mundus’ far beyond mundane perceptions. Twin pillars of contemporary experience are located among quasars at the edge of the universe and quarks deep within the atom. While these ultra micro/macroscopic explorations excite the imagination, they divert attention from the substances shimmering in our midst. My art foregoes expanded and intensified perceptions at the frontiers of scale to celebrate sensual interactions with the commonplace.
MICRO MUCKRO MACRO: In an era attuned to technologically amplified perceptions of micro and macro domains, eyes and hands seem inadequate as information-gatherers and material formers. We have become so attuned to tools that augment perceptions, enabling us to probe into the unfathomable regions of outer and inner space that in all the English language, there is no word that describes human-scaled experiences that are accessible to our innate, sensory apparatus. My art introduces and activates the word ‘muckro’ to fit between the ‘micro’ and ‘macro’. It describes the territory where our feet are located, not where our tools can take us. It is where interactions are sensual, intimate, and responsive.
GRANDMOTHER EARTH. ‘Mother Earth’, the age-old metaphor for our planet, casts humans as perpetually dependent children who rely upon Earth as provider and protector. But current environmental crises are jeopardizing Earth’s ability to support multiple forms of life. Now she needs our support. The term ‘mother’ excuses humans from assuming adult responsibility for maintaining the Earth’s well-being. Shifting metaphors to ‘Grandmother Earth’ evokes the planet’s fragile state. As care-givers and care-takers, we not only preserve the vastness of her practical knowledge, we access her ancient wisdom. My art attempts to evoke this new cultural metaphor.
Linda Weintraub is a curator, educator, artist, and author of several popular books about contemporary art. She has earned her reputation by making the outposts of vanguard art accessible to broad audiences. The current vanguard, she believes, is propelled by environmental consciousness that is not only the defining characteristic of contemporary manufacturing, architecture, science, and philosophy; it is delineating contemporary art. Weintraub’s books exploring contemporary art and ecology include WHAT’s NEXT? Eco Materialism & Contemporary Art (2018), To LIFE! Eco Art in Pursuit of a Sustainable Planet” (2012), and Avant-Guardians (2007), a series of textlets that include EcoCentric Topics: Pioneering Themes for Eco-Art; Cycle-Logical Art: Recycling Matters for Eco-Art; EnvironMentalities: Twenty-two Approaches to Eco-Art. Weintraub applies environmental concerns to her personal life by managing a sustainable homestead where she practices permaculture. She is also the author of In the Making: Creative Options for Contemporary Artists and Art on the Edge and Over: Searching for Art’s Meaning in Contemporary Society. She served as the director of the Edith C. Blum Art Institute located on the Bard College campus where she curated fifty exhibitions and published over twenty catalogues. Weintraub was the Henry Luce Professor of Emerging Arts at Oberlin College; and currently teaches in the Nomad9 MFA program at the University of Hartford. She is the curator of the Artnauts’ 20th Anniversary exhibition. Weintraub has exhibited her own work at such venues as the Cathedral of St. John the Divine in Manhattan. She received her MFA degree from Rutgers University.
Linda Weintraub has been an Artnaut since 2018.