The Goal of the Critique
Our goal is to develop a critical eye, through first and foremost observation, description, analysis, and only then assessment. In The Crit Lab we meet the work where it is, using a focused pedagogy and structured methodology to push the discourse of and around the work. Our aim is to cleave apart observation and assessment, the slow the instant reactions, and stay in the rich, grey place between. In this space networks of discourses are active and in play- material, form, content, identity, context, and the historical, social, and political are all engaged.

The Crit Lab takes an unabashedly academic stance, while creating structures for individualized, supportive, inclusive dialogue. Together we engage in a rigorous and intentional conversation with the work and with one another.

Protecting the Creative Process
Is why we make the things we make - why one subject stays with us, one material, one investigation - important to critique? Do we really understand the why? Should we?

We do need to articulate content. Our work is situated in the world, and needs a level of self-awareness.

And yet - it is important is to protect the inchoate nature of the creative process, for intent to be in play but not lead.

Make something - and then - introduce yourself. 
We ask the work. As an autonomous meaning-maker, we ask who it is, what it is, what it draws upon, what does its materiality, image, context, reveal? Unpack the discourses of material, method, history, context, and locate them physically in the work. Lay them out on the table- some are dominant, some present but less so. This process not interrupt, dissect, or explain. Implicit content becomes explicit, it denaturalizes and makes visible unexamined assumptions and inherent content in the work, while allowing the process to retain its mysterious nature. As Jane Bennett describes objects, they are vibrant matter. 

We treat the work as a verb, a being formed through a collaboration between the artist and all the associative discourses. This is not a focus on good or bad, successful or not, which has limited usefulness here. More important is how the work is enacting meaning in its own peculiar way. What is it saying- and what needs to be explored to say it better?

The artist, and the work, become aware, and gain inforamtion and tools to engage, explore, push, enlarge, minimize, and change the myriad directions and discourses available at any given time in a work. 

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