Studio Austin Alchemy
In a changing knowledge economy, Nancy Austin established Studio Austin Alchemy in 2008 to collaborate on experimental art projects that bridge place-based historical scholarship, an expanded notion of cultural tourism as an opportunity for public discourse, site-specific installations, and the critical exploration of new location-based applications and technology.
Her first intervention was a collaboration with Brooklyn-based artist Caroline Woolard for the juried show, Cryptic Providence. Footnotes (2008) was a site-specific tea-party installation, performing the entwined and buried histories of America’s first public sculpture critic and the founder of RISD, Helen Rowe Metcalf. Austin exhibited an iteration of this project at the RISD, Museum of Art in 2009.
As Malraux came up with his idea of a museum without walls, so must scholars today continually reimagine where they can critically engage new publics. Austin’s second intervention began last winter with Off-Road (2009-present). Her installation on historic synagogues, urban renewal, and religious tolerance in America was on view December 2009 through January 2010 in New Haven, CT as part of a group exhibition organized by Cynthia Beth Rubin. Austin has applied for a grant to bring this project more fully into the public domain.
From 2010 on, all of Nancy Austin’s scholarship will be communicated across a range of knowledge platforms, exploring how and where scholarship and new media can partner. Studio Austin Alchemy is a contemporary intervention in scholarship, art, and public history activism.