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SFPC Teacher Interview — Celine Katzman

What’s your name? Where are you from? What do you do?

Hi! I’m Celine. I’m a writer and curator from New York. My work is focused on artists and creative practitioners who critically engage with new technologies, emphasizing social, political, and ecological responsibility. I recently completed a year-long curatorial fellowship at the Queens Museum. I have worked at the School for Poetic Computation since February 2018.

How did you discover SFPC?

I first visited SFPC when a friend from college, Max Fowler, invited me to the Fall 2017 Student Showcase. I was impressed by the ingenuity and poetry I saw in many of the projects. However, what impressed me most of all was the sincere and supportive energy of the community.

What are some exciting and challenging aspects of teaching at SFPC?

Getting to know creative practitioners in many different disciplines is one of the greatest joys of teaching at SFPC. It’s exciting to witness moments of mutual understanding between students whose practices initially seem wildly disparate. On the other hand, sometimes it can be difficult to bridge gaps when students don’t have a common language or set of references.

Celine and Taeyoon teaching in class

Any fun stories of your time at SFPC?

I always have the most fun at family dinners at SFPC. It’s the most special communal ritual. Everyone is eager to prepare and share their favorite meals from home which makes for a really lovely cultural exchange since students come to SFPC from all over the world. I feel that I get to know students best when we are cooking and eating together.

SFPC Family Dinner, image https://twitter.com/sfpc/status/1043218453656727552

What have you observed about the student’s creative growth?

During the ten-week session, there are always a few students who dread writing an artist statement because they don’t think it’s a useful exercise for them, they don’t identify as artists, or they’ve never done it before and they’re nervous. These students are often the ones who grow the most from being challenged to write thoughtfully about their practice.

What projects are you working on?

Right now I am reimagining several curatorial projects that were planned before the COVID-19 pandemic erupted. While I work with digital media, my practice primarily involves arranging objects in physical space with a live audience in mind. So, our new social reality is posing a challenge for me. I’m hopeful that these awful circumstances will prompt cultural institutions to engage with the internet as a unique context for art and make a larger effort to make art more accessible.

What do you want to be doing 5 years from now?

I definitely want to be working with artists!

Any advice for people applying for the artist statement writing workshop?

Tell us why you are excited to take this course and send a link to your website, portfolio, or social media account so we can get to know you! A personal application is always more compelling than an anonymous one.

If you have any questions, please reach out to us and we will do our best to help: artiststatement@sfpc.io

Artist Statement: A User Guide

Date: Starting in June 1st, 2020 on Mondays. 5 sessions of weekly 3 hours classes, starts at 1 PM EST.

Teacher: Celine Wong Katzman

Application is now open until May 29, 2020

This workshop offers a combination of practical writing and critical thinking skills. Enrollment is open to anyone including artists, designers, creative technologists, engineers, architects, and others whose practices are difficult to define.

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