DUST (Desert Unit for Speculative Territories) is an experimental research studio working at the intersections of spatial practice, critical theory and contemporary art. Run by les beaux-arts de Nantes Métropole (France) and The College of the Arts at the University of Houston (Texas) in the wider context of Fieldwork: Marfa, DUST initiated in 2016 a three-year series of transdisciplinary seminars, lectures, events and workshops. A project conceived and organized by Abinadi Meza (University of Houston) and Ida Soulard (beaux-arts, Nantes).
The inaugural symposium Deserting the Site (at University of Houston, May 2016) invited speakers from various fields (art, engineering, music, philosophy, art history, design, anthropology, critical studies, computer science and space architecture) to explore the ‘logic of the desert’ – as an abstract and concrete space – its spatial conditions and implications. It was followed by Plot Manifest, a two-week intensive studio in Marfa with 10 graduate students from the University of Houston and Nantes School of Art; and Marfa Sounding, a series of site-specific performances, sound installations, and conversations curated by Jennifer Burris Staton and exploring the intersection of music and the visual arts in the development of Minimalism (co-produced with Marfa Live Arts).
To date, the following individuals have participated in DUST: Olga Bannova, Carole Baron, Léa Bertail Domarchi, Benjamin Bratton, Jennifer Burris-Staton, Andy Campbell, Tracey Ceniceros, Charles Curtis, Trey Duvall, Alton Dulaney, Keller Easterling, Inès Elichondoborde, Arthur Escabasse, Elliot Eugénie, Natilee Harren, Alvin Lucier, Gabriel Martinez, Abinadi Meza, Jonathan Read, Ida Soulard, Elise Weber, Derek Woods.
A special thank you to Pierre-Jean Galdin, Rex Koontz, and Marfa Live Arts (Jennie Lyn, JD DiFabbio, Cate Cole Schrim).
DUST programming has been generously supported by the FACE Foundation, New York.