Derrick Mead

Having spent time grading apples and assessing contemporary paintings, selling mops and slinging hash, I’m continually fascinated by how people value things. Whether unique objects, commodities, or raw materials, what we do with (and how we treat) our stuff illuminates psychology, demographics and ethics in compelling ways. The narratives generated as a result of our activities and decisions inform everything from  history to interpersonal relationships, and our hopes for the future are made concrete through designs, projects and writing.  The DCrit program can be a platform for a critical discourse concerned with less and better in a world consumed with more, more, more.

The conceptual artist Tino Sehgal, as quoted in the January 17, 2010 New York Times Magazine article “The Immaterialist,” by Arthur Lubow, sums up my position:

“As a person in the first world, you’re actually quite heavy…in what you use up. Can I actually solve this for myself? Can I have something to do, keep myself interested and not be somebody who is situated outside society, and can I do that without transforming lots of material?”


A fourth-generation Hudson Valley orchardist, Derrick attended Bard College and graduated magna cum laude with a BA in Creative Writing & English Literature. He has worked as a manager at the Richard B. Fisher Center for the Performing Arts, a cataloguer of contemporary art for Phillips de Pury and Company and was a publications consultant to the Solomon R. Guggenheim International Foundation. Derrick was a Spring 2011 Artist Corps Fellow with Eric Fischl’s America: Now and Here, has recently participated in group exhibitions of sculpture and installation at Leo Koenig Projekte and The Old American Can Factory, and is a Barnabas McHenry Hudson Valley Award recipient. In collaboration with Glynwood, this award was used to research and develop a consumer resource to apple cider production from New York City to Saratoga Springs: The Hudson Valley Cider Route.


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