Ad Infinitum: The Optimist and the Skeptic

Artist Residency

Ad Infinitum: The Optimist and the Skeptic

Jan Estep
Additional participants Ben Rutter

Ad Infinitum is a video created by Jan Estep that explores the philosophical journey of an optimist and a skeptic as they make their way through the desert. Filmed in the high deserts of southeast Utah, the video features an intense discussion between the two philosophically-minded characters. In addition to the video, Estep has created a number of drawings, sculptures, and an artist book that explore similar themes. After researching the desert biomes in North America and the geology of the Sonoran, Chihuahuan, Mojave, and Great Basin deserts, Estep created a number of drawings and word poems based on the names given to various sites in those landscapes. A selected poem that references Death Valley is displayed on the gallery walls. In addition to these works, Estep also created a series of embroidered text pieces that cite the history of the term skepticism as recorded in the Oxford English Dictionary and Descartes’ Meditations.

In conjunction with this residency, Art in General publishes a brochure with a text by Ben Rutter. It can be downloaded here for free. For a printed version, purchase this publication along with the entire set of Art in General’s residency brochures in the online store for only $5.

Jan Estep’s residency is supported by Jerome Foundation in celebration of the Jerome Hill Centennial and in recognition of the valuable cultural contributions of artists to society. The Ad Infinitum artist book received additional funding from the Department of Art at the University of Minnesota.