Adam Milner is an artist whose sprawling and idiosyncratic practice includes sculptures, drawings, videos, texts, and interventions which draw from deeply personal experiences to point toward broader ethics around how we engage with the things around us. Collecting, archiving, and hoarding are considered for what these practices can reveal about value, power, desire, and care. Milner has exhibited at the Mattress Factory, The Warhol, Museum of Contemporary Art Denver, Aspen Art Museum, Casa Maauad, and Galería Mascota, among others. Milner received an MFA from Carnegie Mellon University (2017), is a recent participant of the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture (2018), and is currently a fellow with Black Cube Nomadic Museum. Milner lives and works in Brooklyn.
On MIT’s Moments in Time (and Being Dead-Alive)
I write this from my small New York apartment in my fourth month of isolation. The pandemic has required each of us to slow down and do less, and I keep thinking of a childhood friend who once told me, “We’re human beings, not human doings”. Even as a teenager, I knew this was an important paradigm shift: it meant that we could rethink how we define ourselves beyond endless production and consumption. Allowing oneself to be a human being seemed to resist the gig economy, workerism, the idea of “a calling”— all the ways that society has been structured to combine a person’s work into their core identity. The way busyness became a humblebrag. Human doings.