One role of the artist-philosopher in education and society is to articulate how aesthetic experience uniquely advances the promise of the human spirit. To that end, Dr. Cook’s research explores how the aesthetic encounter often embodies the ethic of hospitality in ways that are quite different from exchanges based on the more commonly considered historical template of hospitality. She argues that the latter, having arisen from a patriarchal construct, maintains notions of hierarchy counter to the emancipatory state necessary to ensure flourishing of sentient beings.
Much of her work explores geographical and psychological boundaries. Amicus, from the Latin for friend, is a family name, and serves as a navigational guide for her research and studio life. A friend is, in a very primitive sense, a bridge between the self (or our ideas of self) and that which is mysterious by virtue of some version of distance. A healthy network of relations forms a system of bridges reflective of the contiguity of being and serves to decrease the space between what is foreign and what is familiar. Cook's career has been a study itself in transdisciplinarity, or academic hospitality.