Monica will be working with HCL’s artists in residence this fall to produce catalog essays for the HCL yearbook that reflect themes and threads suggested and explored by the various sponsored art projects. She is particularly interested in the different potential methods of collaborating with the artists on these essays, and she will be blogging about these processes and relationships, as well as various ideas that emerge during observations and conversations with the artists this fall. Monica will also be hosting at least one curated talk with a speaker whose work is fruitful for exploring issues that the sponsored projects uncover and intervene with. Intellectually, Monica’s strongest interest right now is in the conception of “presence” and what it means to “presence” an idea through art– a conception that unites her academic work in rhetorical theory (“rhetorical presence” being a long-standing and strange notion in that field) with her interest in aesthetics and the artistic process.
Monica is an arts writer, PhD student in rhetoric, and instructor of writing and media theory in Chicago. Her criticism has appeared or is forthcoming in The Believer, The Brooklyn Rail, Bad at Sports, and ArtSlant. She is the former Deputy Editor and current contributing art editor of Flavorpill, a national critics’ list. Monica’s doctoral work in rhetoric focuses on the intersection of rhetorical theory with debates in philosophical aesthetics; this means that she spends a lot of time thinking about visual/material rhetoric, rhetorical presence, the genre of art criticism, and aesthetic judgment.