USM Art Galleries Gorham and Portland

Zuihitsu: Look Only at the Waves - smudge studio

USM Visiting Artists smudge studio and art students mount an exhibit created from a Casco Bay Mailboat Tour 


USM Art Galleries is pleased to announce Zuihitsu: Look Only at the Waves, an exhibition in the Area Gallery, Woodbury Campus Center, University of Southern Maine in Portland, Maine, October 24-December 9, 2012. The exhibit by smudge studio includes USM art students and features a 20 foot long wall drawing and polaroid images of Casco Bay. smudge is a Brooklyn-based collaboration between Jamie Kruse, an artist, designer and independent scholar, and Elizabeth Ellsworth, an artist and Professor of Media Studies at the New School, New York. smudge states that their work "meets sites and moments where the geologic and the human converge. We creatively respond to the complex of forces we encounter there: 
the natural, built, historic, social, strategic and the imagined."  


While on the USM campus for a week in October as visiting artists, smudge will visit with art education and digital art classes and conduct a workshop on a Casco Bay Lines mail boat tour with art students.  Students will create material for the exhibit and "use the Portland mail boat tour as a means for locating ourselves physically in the midst of forces (natural, social, economic, temporal)." The Japanese term Zuihitsu encompasses non-linear modes such as "letting the brush lead."  The root of the word is the character "Zui," meaning: "at the mercy (of the waves)." smudge will invite students "to develop ways to both sense and 'signal' or creatively respond to 'the mercy of the waves'—the swerves in perspective, perception, understanding, sensation, attraction, imagination—that take place when we are enroute." Works of graphic design and photographs from other smudge projects will also be on display. Area Gallery hours are Monday through Friday 7 am-10 pm and will closed over the Thanksgiving holiday. 


smudge will give a free public lecture on Friday, October 19 at 1 pm in USM Burnham Lounge, Robie Andrews Hall, Gorham.  For more information please visit, or call 207.780.5008. 


About the artists:

Jamie Kruse is an artist, designer and independent scholar. In 2006 she co-founded smudge, with Elizabeth Ellsworth, based in Red Hook, Brooklyn. She is the recipient of grants from the Graham Foundation for Advanced Studies in the Fine Arts, The New School Green Fund (Office of Sustainability, The New School); New York State Council for the Arts (2010, 2011) and the Brooklyn Arts Council. Exhibitions include the Sheila C. Johnson Design Center (Parsons, The New School for Design); the Storefront for Art and Architecture (NY); the Massachusetts Institute of Technology; Incident Report (Hudson, NY); and Richland Galleries, (Dallas, TX). She has presented her work at Parsons, The New School of Design; the A. Alfred Taubman College of Architecture & Urban Planning, University of Michigan; the Center for Land Use Interpretation Los Angeles; the Oslo School of Architecture and Design; Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum, Madrid; and the California College of Arts. She has been granted residencies with the Vera List Center for Art and Politics, the Center for Land Use Interpretation; Sundance Preserve; and the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council. She is the author of the Friends of the Pleistocene blog, ( Current projects include co-editing a collection of essays with Elizabeth Ellsworth entitled, Making the Geologic Now (forthcoming, Punctum Books).
download full CV

Elizabeth Ellsworth is Professor of Media Studies at the New School, New York. Elizabeth’s research and teaching focus on the design of mediated learning environments; media, theories of becoming, and social change; and documentary media forms. Her scholarship addresses how media design creates possibilities for people to construct, share, and assess diverse ways of knowing. In her recent role as Associate Provost for Curriculum and Learning, her work focused on cross-divisional and university-wide programs, with particular emphasis on new pathways and opportunities to both broaden and strengthen the academic experience through innovative ways of learning. She is author of Places of Learning: Media, Architecture, Pedagogy (Routledge, 2004) and Teaching Positions: Difference, Pedagogy and the Power of Address (Teachers College Press, 1997). Her recent journal articles focus on projects that fuse learning with aesthetic experience, and public pedagogy. She translates results of her research and writing into media forms, exhibitions, and projects. Since 2000, Elizabeth has co-designed web-based media and content for a number of interdisciplinary online learning environments, including She has served as a consultant on pedagogical design for museums and design schools. She is co-founder, with Jamie Kruse, of a nonprofit media arts collaboration: Elizabeth earned her PhD in Communication Arts from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.



Download the following hi-res images at:

smudge studio, Casco Route Map, 2012

smudge studio, Geologic City: a Field Guide to the GeoArchitecture of New York, book cover, 2011, 8.25" x 4.5" x .25"