Chelsea explores the results and ramifications of scientific study through embedded practice, collaboration, and independent investigation. Of particular interest at the moment is the question of a common primate aesthetic: we share much of our sensory apparatus with our closest living relatives, yet little is known about the visual perception and preferences of apes and monkeys. Chelsea’s latest work involves the participation of rhesus macaques. Through drawing intervention with these monkeys, iPad applications, performance lecture, and constructed objects, she grapples with the implications of an evolutionary basis for art, as well as the historical and contemporary narratives that foster captive research with primates.
Chelsea is interested in fostering interdisciplinary exploration in my students, and feels it’s a great privilege to work with the next generation of Montserrat students as they cultivate their own skill-sets. As Frances Whitehead said in her ode to applied skill, What do artists know?, “Artists don’t think outside of the box—there is no box,” and the sooner our students get out there and show the world that that is the case, the better.