Defiance, Ohio, USA
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Mia Cinelli is an Assistant Professor of Art & Design and the Director of the Women’s Commission Art Gallery at Defiance College in Defiance, Ohio. After studying Graphic Communication at Northern Michigan University, Prof. Cinelli earned her MFA in Art and Design at the University of Michigan’s Penny W. Stamps School of Art & Design. She is passionate about design, education, and the ways in which creative practices can engender positive experiences and social change.
Joiner – Artist
Our bodies enable us to accomplish tasks as complex, fleshy tools. Too often, gender is tied explicitly to sex, reinforcing the incorrect binarism that one’s body determines one’s male or female identity. After researching and identifying gendered tools and design aesthetics, I designed The Gender Tool to question the role of our anatomy in determining our actions and endeavors. Borrowing the visual language of hardware, kitchenware, sex toys, and extremities props, The Gender Tool is disturbing and comical. It is an artifact which appears at first to have a specific designed function, but is revealed to be something else entirely. Its ambiguous, human form enables it to be free of gendered tasks– simultaneously making it entirely practical, and utterly useless.