Katerie Gladdys is a transdisciplinarity artist who thinks about place, marginalized landscapes, sustainability, mapping, consumption, food, agriculture, and disability. She creates installations, interactive, sculpture, video, and relational performances. Her creative work has been exhibited in national and international juried venues, including in the UK, Canada, Germany, Spain, and Croatia. She is currently an associate professor in Art and Technology in the School of Art and Art History at the University of Florida. Recent partners in collaboration include Forage Farm, a community resource center for educating people about sustainability and local food, University of Florida School of Forest Resource and Conservation, University of Florida Office of Sustainability and Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences’ Center for Public Issues and Education and the Gainesville community. Prior to joining the faculty at University of Florida, Gladdys was the multimedia education coordinator at University of Illinois at Springfield teaching workshops digital imaging, video and web design. Gladdys taught English in Japan. She served as an educator at the Virginia Museum of Fine Art traveling to rural counties with the Artmobile teaching K-12 workshops as well as creating exhibition programming targeting underserved communities. She received her MFA in New Media from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and a BA in Art and Design from the University of Chicago. She also has an MA in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages with a specialization in pragmatics and discourse from Southern Illinois University at Carbondale. Her artwork and writings can be found at http://layoftheland.net.
“Stroller Flaneur” – A video work, 2009
I push my son in a stroller through the neighborhood. Wandering with no agenda other than outside time with my child, I reflect upon this locomotion that constitutes the most public and stereotyped activities of motherhood. The pace of the stroll allows me to notice the minutiae of suburbia examining the environment for patterns and narratives. Semi-tropical Florida, Home Depot domesticity, vestiges of an African-American community, and current economic recession collide in my neighborhood subdivision. I discern the genealogy of architectural structures and topographies visually leafing through the layers of additions, subtractions and plantings. Simultaneously, I search for items of interest to my son–animals, vehicles and lawn decorations. With the advent of intelligible speech, he, too, participates in this free association. My observations of the local environment become a collage of both real and imagined systems that serve as metaphors that help me to understand my community. I explore the act of walking and reading a landscape under the guise of stroller mom. The methodology that informs this piece is a gendered rift on the practice of the flaneur where the necessity of childcare is the platform for textualizing suburban space. The physical manifestation of the piece is a video of my son and I out strolling. I document the lived experience of a habitual walk where the multi-faceted, conflicting signifiers of familiar suburbia create a fractured even strange landscape. I endeavor to awaken the curiosity for the quotidian in my viewers: transforming spectators into participants yearning to explore their surrounding environments.