Andrew Oesch comes to our program from Massachusetts, and you can learn more about his work on his website

What are you working on in your studio practice this month? Completing Fulbright Application, making a proposal for Open Engagement Conference with classmates, applying for project grants, working on exploratory prints in development of thesis project, working on digital technology (Arduino and raspberry pi programing) for thesis project, research-reading theory on ecology and interspecies dialogue as well as field studies out in state forests in RI and Southeastern MA.

How does the Nomad/9 curriculum challenge you and support you? The program provides contact with an incredible selection of artists (Pablo Helguera, Allison Smith, Seitu Jones), organizers (The Dakota women), and curators (Linda Weintraub). The methodology of the programs roving residencies provides a rich array of perspectives through intimate contact with artist communities throughout the Americas. Getting to spend meaningful quantities of time talking with artists in their home cities reverses the typical dynamic of visiting artist, and it provides a fuller picture of the labors involved in perpetuating life-long creative practices. I have found my advisors to provide both pragmatic and compelling conceptual feedback to my projects. The time spent conversing with my advisors has been essential in both affirming and expanding my thinking as an artist.

What has been the most transformative experience, interaction, or realization while on residency? The succession of conversations and studio visits during our second summer residency provided a significant propellant to the developing of the arc of my thesis, and after the three weeks I felt enthusiastic and confident about the trajectory of work over the final year. Through the series of conversations, and critical breathing room for reflection, I found a new cohesion across what had been formally disparate and sometimes conflicting elements of my practice. I was able to bring together a cohesive vision which connected my affinity for wood as a material, my inclination towards networked and non-linear story-telling, and interactive participatory installations… and a cuckoo clock to boot! The outline of this work was not just a vision for my MFA project, but an extended body of work which will fuel my thinking and creative practices for the foreseeable future.

Please share a story that reflects a surprising or interesting aspect of the Nomad/9 community. The concentrated blocks of time during the residencies has a reciprocal effect upon the artists who are there.

What have been your favorite classes so far, and why? The combined experiences on our first residency amounted to a profound introduction into the program. Through unexpected challenges and very thoughtful planning the entire three weeks immersed our cohort into the holistic approach to thinking and action which characterizes the program; on display was this methodology’s capacity for improvisation as well as the deliberate sequencing of curriculum and community building.