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kjirsten severson (ze/zir)

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kjirsten severson is from the Black Hills of South Dakota and currently resides in Portland, Oregon. Ze began zir official journey into philosophy in graduate school, first in Washington, DC and then in Pittsburgh, PA. Pittsburgh had an especially compelling impact on zir. Studying philosophy within the environment of a stunned and stunning city proved a potent opportunity to feel zir humanity rawly and with a sweet, sharp poignancy, so much so, ze felt completely altered, unpredictably, even to zirself. Before leaving Pittsburgh for an extended road trip with no return date, ze was given a Smith&Corona typewriter as a gift. After three or four or six months on the road (ze can’t remember), zir van broke down in Portland, OR, land of the unemployed over-educated. After the Black Hills and Pittsburgh, ze felt like ze was home for the third time in zir life. Without the demands of a daily job and thanks to generous friends, kjirsten began typing on the typewriter in zir studio apartment overlooking NE 9th and Roselawn. First annoyed by the little “nothings” that seemed to be piling up, ze gradually began to see what they were doing. Awed and humbled, ze stopped resisting. The result is a 350 page manuscript ze hopes to publish under the title, an unnarrated memoir. As the memoir was revealing itself, kjirsten was taken hold by a relentless desire to make the little “nothings” big – very, very big. Soon, with the help of quite a few local artists, ze concocted a system for re-producing the pages of the memoir twelve times their typing paper size, in other words, 8 ½’ x 11’. Zir ultimate desire is to create a “walking book” – an installation from the first chapter an unnarrated memoir, and if the stars align, to keep producing such installations until the last chapter has its chance to see daylight as well as the first, and all those in between.

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