Research (in conjunction with Willoughby Hastings)
During the course of our Tufts Institute of the Environment Fellowship, we will investigate biased land inheritance and urban planning policies, environmental racism, and disaster capitalism using New Orleans as a case study. Specifically, we will expose how corporations and their factories are polluting the surrounding waters and land primarily impacting communities of color in the area. At the same time, the project will acknowledge the lack of accountability taken by these companies when climate crimes occur, displacing communities of color. And when communities of color are not displaced by (potentially fatal) corporate pollution or environmental disasters, they are left subject to decreasing property values due to their home’s proximity to these industrial plants. The decreased property values inherently prevent communities of color from accessing equity in their home that would otherwise provide them agency. Simultaneously, corporations in some cases inflate health concerns in an effort to buy property from homeowners of color at a lower rate than deserved. In every single one of these instances, communities of color feel the full effects of institutional and corporate power further disenfranchising them.
While family homes were lost after Katrina, the land that was once owned by plantation owners has now been redistributed and sold to corporations for the development of industrial plants. Timothy and I are invested in how legalities prevent families of color from accessing homes (many built by their ancestors own hands) while corporations profit off the same land that slave owners once did.
TIE’s, Environmental Research Fellowship will provide us the opportunity to work collaboratively, introducing aspects of our separate artistic practices as we investigate the impact of prejudice on land settlement and distribution. Our research will be impacted by an interdisciplinary methodology as we consider this topic from a historic, artistic, and environmental perspective. Our research will culminate in a comprehensive presentation, the completion of a socially engaged art piece, and video documentation of our time in Louisiana.
Tim is a Master's student at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts (SMFA) at Tufts, studying Studio Art and Museum Studies. He expects to complete his studies in May 2019. Before coming to Tufts, Tim earned his BFA in Sculpture and Installation at OCAD University in Toronto, Canada. Tim spent years working as an in-house sculpture and studio assistant for fabrication companies specializing in outdoor sculptures, custom wall finishing and interior decor as well as mascot and costume making. Tim has exhibited his work in galleries and artist-run spaces, joined groups and art collectives, taught workshops for community and art organizations, and ran a rigorous studio practice. At Tufts, Tim has attended various symposiums and conferences, such as those hosted by the Consortium of Studies in Race, Colonialism, and Diaspora and the Art History Department. He has also attended various visiting artist lectures from Carolina Caycedo, Aram Han Sifuentes, Fictilis, Bouchra Khalili, and Mickalene Thomas, to name a few.
Current Studies and Future Goals
When asked what he found most meaningful about his field of study, Tim responded with the following: "What I find most meaningful about my program are the people - my peers in my cohort and in every class I've taken, the faculty and faculty advisors, the grad administration office, and the rest of the staff at the SMFA. They are truly everything that makes my experience here in the MFA program meaningful".
When asked what interested him becoming a TIE Fellow, Tim responded with the following: "I was interested in the TIE program as an opportunity to pursue deep research into a topic of interest with support from the Tufts community. I was drawn to the structure of the fellowship program and the level of relationship building with our cohort and mentors. I foresee it shaping my art career in life changing ways".
Tim would like to continue to be involved in community organizing and work in the arts when he graduates from Tufts. He hopes to either teach at the university-level or work as a museum professional.
When asked about his hobbies and/or how he spends his free time, Tim responded with the following:
Everything that I do has some relation to cultural critique, which often ends up getting absorbed by my art practice. So, what may often seem like a moment of relaxation and fun is actually part of my school work or art career. That said, I've been watching a lot of Youtube clips of The View and their SNL parodies.
Favorite food: Home cooked meals by mom
Favorite Place You've Visited: Pino Art Museum, Antipolo, Rizal, The Philippines
Favorite Course(s) Taken at Tufts:Contemporary Art Practice, Video for Grads, Writing as Performance, Puppets and Performing Objects