Student Spotlight: Phoebe Osborne

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28-Feb-17
The Student Spotlight series aims to highlight the work of current MFA students, asking them to share thoughts on their practice by answering curated and peer-submitted questions. Phoebe Osborne is a first-year student in the Visual Arts Program.

What themes or subjects are you currently addressing in your work?

For the last few years, I’ve been thinking about the inherent intelligence of physical life and its existence post-death. I’ve been considering this idea within the context of hyper-capitalism and its relationship to the need for resistance to the myth of liberal-humanism. All of this always through the body as my chosen location for listening, exchange/negotiation, and resistance.

What materials do you work with?

I work with bodies, movement, performance, and video. Now more than ever, I am thinking about not just human bodies, but all bodies and objects and materials as potential performers exchanging and negotiating one another within the platforms of performance or installation, offering frequencies and thought and energy, all with an equal potential.

What is challenging your practice right now?

I am working in really new ways, making objects and pushing my work with videos and text in a way that maintains a level of discomfort for me. Just understanding a material (as a body) and how to listen to it and understand its needs within the context of building or making is unfamiliar to me. Within this program, I am surrounded by talented and intelligent makers who encourage and inspire me as I extend the reaches of my practice. It’s really cool.

What artist or work of art do you find yourself returning to and why?

I often think about Tere O'Connor saying once, "If you are going to make a dance about kitty cats, go as far away from kitty cats as possible and find them there first."

Your peers ask: who is your favorite rapper?

Lil Yatchy and Cakes da Killa and Princess Nokia are all up there for me right now.

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Columbia University School of the Arts offers MFA degrees in Film, Theatre, Visual Arts, and Writing, an MA degree in Film Studies, a joint JD/MFA degree in Theatre Management & Producing, a PhD degree in Theatre History, Literature, and Theory, and an interdisciplinary program in Sound Arts.