In 2011, stephen moved to New York City and participated in many of the Occupy Wall Street demonstrations and continued his art practice. After seeing the affectations of gentrification in New York City, stephen saw potential in Detroit to grow in a different, more equitable way.
A profound interest in making visible the dissemination of images, a process always already contingent on location, remains a foundation in stephen dewyer’s work, which has manifest in a number of different forms including exhibiting work within and outside of institutional art spaces, teaching art at colleges and universities, co-founding and editing a journal of art and cultures in Detroit and running organizations at the intersection of art and politics. stephen is very committed to redefining the relation of art and the public in order for art to gain more political relevancy and for politics to have a greater imaginary.
stephen has come to see the intersection of art and politics key to redefining how we see the public and that greater democracy in art is necessary for art and politics to intersect. He has thus sought to utilize his position as an artist and art educator to facilitate direct discussions between the makers of art and the public. His art practice often looks at how different locations might become mutually affectual.
stephen was born and raised in Metro Detroit and moved to Baltimore, MD to earn his B.F.A. in Art History, Theory & Criticism from the Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA). While at MICA, stephen served as Vice President and then President of the Student Voice Association Academic Affairs Council (SVAAAC). As President and Vice President of SVAAAC, stephen advocated for a progressive tuition rate for students based on financial need. In 2009, stephen curated Propositions (http://www.propositionsatarea405.com/) at Area 405 in Baltimore and moved to New Haven, CT to further study art as a profession by earning an M.F.A. from Yale University. While at Yale University, stephen served as a Senator on the Graduate and Professional Student Senate, obtaining funding for the Yale University School of Art Open Studios.
stephen returned to Detroit at the end of 2011 to pursue his art and academic career at the University of Michigan Stamps School of Art & Design, Wayne County Community College District, Oakland University and the University of Detroit Mercy. stephen exhibited a number of solo exhibitions and soon became interested in combining greater politics with his art practice.
In 2013, stephen co-founded the journal of art and cultures ∞ mile (infinite mile) to help bridge the gap between art and politics through critical inflections on the art and cultures in Detroit from Detroit. The monthly journal gained critical acclaim, won awards and helped give local representation to art and cultural happenings in Detroit. Over three years, ∞ mile published 94 essays and interviews, 51 artist projects, 26 reviews, 27 works of fiction or poetry, involving 78 contributors. ∞ mile discussed some of the more difficult topics facing art and cultures within and outside of Detroit. Almost all of the ∞ mile contributors spent a significant amount of time in Detroit, a qualification meant to give representation to the diversity and nuance of the city that can only come from living in the area for some period of time. The journal remains free and open to the public at www.infinitemiledetroit.com.
11 July 2014
If critical art practices produce images in order for them to locate a counter-imagination to that produced by capitalism, then such a practice imagines the possibility of labor. Such a possibility I aim to make visible via images in which labor locates within the economy of the dissemination of images and not in any one image.
I am interested in making work about the process by which another subject inflects the subject of the work. The process becomes a way of making work about the impossibility of the work to imagine itself. It also implies a play in meaning that changes from one location to another location.
I attempt to make work about how sensibilities disseminate from one location to another location. Dissemination makes possible the impossibility of experiencing the same inequality (nonsense) elsewhere. If sensibilities become inscribed by the impossibility of experiencing the same nonsense, they also make possible the experience of the same sense (equality). I am interested in blurring sense and nonsense.
Differences between images happen by way of dissemination and reveals intelligence to have no definitive end in any one image. Thus, any image locates intelligence. I decided to become an artist, in part, since I was having difficulty developing a coherent syntax in my speech and art seemed a way of representing myself where coherence to a way of speaking was not necessary.
My intention will involve critically altering notions of aesthetics from ones that are ambivalent to the dissemination of images to ones that make visible such a process.