BA, Oberlin College
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Zark Strasburger’s studio experience includes furniture, sculpture, music, performance, web design and information structuring in digital and analog landscapes. His current studio work is focused on aerial performance arts. Zark is a senior member of Valeria’s Wings, a Memphis-based circus aerial arts performance troupe, where he choreographs, rigs and performs on aerial silks, lyra and trapeze. Originally a furnituremaker and sculptor, Zark is interested in the surface interactions between user and object. Making studio furniture gives the designer an opportunity to make commentary through objects, traditionally seen only from a functional and aesthetic perspective. Zark’s furniture investigates the limits of how static man-made wood and metal objects can aid, complement and support the soft, organic and ever-moving human form. This line of questioning delves into the role of functionality at the intersections of applied art, fine art and craft. Zark’s audio collaborations, as part of Waveland Music and the group Skyline, recycle, re-contextualize and reconstruct found sound. Tools and fabrication processes of both analog and digital media heavily influence much of Zark’s work. In recent years, Zark has been focused heavily on developing an innovative content-focused, media-transcendent, foundation-level research studio curriculum. This coursework seeks to augment traditional foundations course offerings, inverting the standard model, by focusing on content, personal voice, and creative visual communication before focusing on issues of craft, technique, and specific media. Zark and co-teacher Leandra Urrutia have presented these new curricular ideas at conferences and symposia through Foundations Art Theory and Education (FATE), Association of Independent Colleges of Art and Design (AICAD), and the Mid-America College Art Association (MACAA). Zark has been teaching at Memphis College of Art since 2005. He is an Assistant Professor of Studio Art serving in the Design and Foundations departments. Zark also serves as MCA’s fellow with the Partnership for Academic Leadership on Sustainability (PALS). Zark teaches Idea, Process and Criticism (IPC) and Web Design, as well as other courses in Foundations and Graphic Design.