ECCE Speaker Series "A Public Commons" (September 13, 2023)
From Cody Pope
Artist Talk and Discussion. Ft. Mike Miller & Brian Gillis
Wednesday, September 13, 6:00PM (Brookens Auditorium)
Mike Miller and Brian Gillis will engage in a presentation and discussion that explores their art practice and A Public Commons, a project where the UIS Visual Arts Gallery is transformed into a replica of the 1970’s era non-hierarchical classrooms employed by Sangamon State University. This “classroom” space will host discussion and/or mediation sessions that bring together crucial community stakeholders connected to social issues and employ a variety of mediation and communication methodologies, models, and strategies to facilitate productive discussions in a neutral, safe space. The artists will discuss the project as an experimental service platform focused on inquiry into the basic capacity for information and dialogue to contribute to social good, and how those discussions impact individuals’ and group’s lived experiences. A Public Commons is site-specific and site-responsive, drawing from past histories and the current work of local and regional communities, and is rooted in concepts of social equity and social cooperation.
Mike Miller and Brian Gillis have worked together as an artistic team since 2006, creating projects ranging from editioned multiples to site-specific installations and actions. Notable exhibitions include Across the Divide: Reconsidering the Other at the Illinois State Museum, Free Radio at the Cue Foundation for the Arts in New York, and Mapping Harbin at the Academy of Art and Design, Heilongjiang University, China. Gillis and Miller met as colleagues in the Visual Arts Program at the University of Illinois Springfield in 2005.
Gillis is currently a Professor of Art and Director of the Center for Art Research at the University of Oregon. Miller is a Professor of Art at the University of Illinois Springfield.