February 3, 2022

Montserrat instructor Kate Farrington is now officially Doctor Farrington, after successfully defending her dissertation at the Institute for Doctoral Studies in the Visual Arts.


Dr. Farrington’s dissertation, entitled “Place-as-Medium: Towards a Shared Authorship of Place” establishes a new philosophical framework to understand and evaluate a particular category of art practice appearing in the world whose primary medium, it can be said, works through the aesthetics of place.


“I wrote this work over the past seven years while I was teaching at Montserrat. Some of my most important insights came from teaching experiences here. For example, the critical theory seminar I taught in conjunction with John Preus’ spring 2018 exhibition, ‘The Beast: Herd Mentality,’ inspired my final chapter on ‘shared authorship of place.’ The idea came from the students. The conclusion of the dissertation reads, in part, “place-as-medium can be championed as a mode of art making that offers a way to begin to repair what needs repairing through a shared authorship of place that puts forward an ethos of care.’


“All of us have experienced tremendous challenges over the past two years of the global pandemic. The time is now to radically reinvent art practice and education for the next fifty years. I hope this dissertation can be part of that effort.”


On Dr. Farrington’s success, Academic Dean Brian Pellinen said “A deeply held community value at Montserrat — we live it as faculty and teach it to our students — is the need for lifelong learning.  In a world that’s always changing, our faculty have been exceptional at changing too.  Kate’s quest for her PhD is a great example of that desire to always learn.”