Interview: Nat Trotman on Re/Search Magazine

by Meg Santisi

It was DAY ONE. I was at the panel titled INDUSTRIAL SUBLIME presented by the VISUAL CULTURE CAUCUS. (Incidentally so was fellow blogger Daniel and he took a selfie to prove it.)

The papers presented were some of my favorite from the conference:  Kristen Oehlrich‘s Reading the Photographic: W.G. Sebald and the Industrial Sublime and Nat Trotman‘s Noise Machine: Re/Search Magazine 1980-84. Both Oehlrich and Trotman spoke about texts that mash-up with visuals:

sebaldresearch

The two texts of the panel: Austerlitz by W.G. Sebald (2001), and Re/Search Magazine (Vol. #6/#7, Industrial Culture Handbook, (1983)

Interview: Nat Trotman on Re/Search Magazine

It was DAY ONE. I was at the panel titled INDUSTRIAL SUBLIME presented by the VISUAL CULTURE CAUCUS. (Incidentally so was fellow blogger Daniel and he took a selfie to prove it.) The papers presented …

BA Art History '13 Meg Santisi, megsantisi@gmail.com
600 S. Michigan Ave. Chicago, IL 60605

SHAPING THE WAVE: LGTBIQ + FEMINISM

by Daniel Scott Parker

Tracers

Last Friday, February 14th, I attended the panel “ LGBTIQ + Feminism,” as a part of TRACERS TAKES ON FEMINISM at Three Walls. Tracers hosted an all-day forum in which panel discussions considered feminism’s relationship with/to the LGBTIQ community, Motherhood, and Race. The first panel, moderated by Latham Zearfoss, consisted of Jillian Soto, Daviel Shy, Frederick Moffet, Malic Amalya, Silvia Malagrino, Amina Ross, and NIC Kay.

SHAPING THE WAVE: LGTBIQ + FEMINISM

Last Friday, February 14th, I attended the panel “ LGBTIQ + Feminism,” as a part of TRACERS TAKES ON FEMINISM at Three Walls. Tracers hosted an all-day forum in which …

Daniel Scott Parker MFA Poetry Daniel Scott Parker, danielsparker@gmail.com
600 S. Michigan Ave. Chicago, IL 60605

To Talk About What I Didn’t Talk About

by Sid Branca

At some point during the conference I’d gotten a little flack on twitter for the perceived triviality of a post of mine, and so I responded by asking for suggestions of meatier topics. I got this response:

adjunctlabor

While I’m a gal who generally tries to draw attention to the elephant in the room, this is a topic I didn’t really feel I could speak to, at least experientially. I’m still a student in graduate school, not really intending to look for a full-time faculty position upon graduating and simply eyeing adjunct teaching as one of several future possibilities, as an artist without a family to support and a high tolerance for financial instability. When I worked as a university administrator elsewhere, it was in an academic department with relatively few adjuncts (considering graduate student teaching a separate though related issue). I’m woefully undereducated on the topic, knowing little beyond that it’s a bad scene, an exploitative system that hurts students and faculty. However, I could not in good conscience let this solicitation go ignored.

To Talk About What I Didn’t Talk About

At some point during the conference I’d gotten a little flack on twitter for the perceived triviality of a post of mine, and so I responded by asking for suggestions …

MFA Candidate, Interdisciplinary Arts & Media Sid Branca, sid@sidbranca.com
600 S. Michigan Ave. Chicago, IL 60605

A Moment With Ivan Gaskell

by Meg Santisi

On DAY TWO: I spent the morning at Music & Visual Culture: Assessing the State of the Field and the afternoon swamped in writing for the blog. Thankfully, I had just enough time to catch the Q&A portion of Objects, Objectives, Objections: The Goals and Limits of the New Materialisms in Art History.  

I am so glad I made it.  The room was packed. Everyone in the audience had eyes locked on the panelists; the papers must have been thrilling. I caught the end of Michael Schreyach‘s excellent paper, titled New Materialism’s Renunciation of Meaning.  As best I could tell, Schreyach’s essay critiques the methods used to locate meaning and to generate value. What bad luck to have missed the entire paper! (I have since bought the recording). As Schreyach finished, moderator Ben Tilghman opened the room to questions. The audience had many.

And one question struck right to the heart of the matter:

Q: Does any interest you may have in a thing as an artwork necessarily exhaust your interest in it?

The panel needed to hear it asked once more…

Q: Does any interest you may have in a thing as an artwork necessarily exhaust your interest in it?

Ivan Gaskell (Photo by Justin Ides, Courtesy Ivan Gaskell)

Ivan Gaskell (Photo by Justin Ides, Courtesy Ivan Gaskell)

A Moment With Ivan Gaskell

On DAY TWO: I spent the morning at Music & Visual Culture: Assessing the State of the Field and the afternoon swamped in writing for the blog. Thankfully, I had just enough …

BA Art History '13 Meg Santisi, megsantisi@gmail.com
600 S. Michigan Ave. Chicago, IL 60605

STUDY ABROAD PROGRAM DIRECTOR CHRIS ROBINSON TALKS ABOUT ART, ITALY, AND CAA

by Daniel Scott Parker

Cortona

 

As a poet and a bartender, I have a complex relationship with secrets. One that I don’t keep, however, is how much I love the University of Georgia’s study abroad program in Cortona, Italy. My experience with this program has been extremely formative for me as a person, poet, and artist.

STUDY ABROAD PROGRAM DIRECTOR CHRIS ROBINSON TALKS ABOUT ART, ITALY, AND CAA

  As a poet and a bartender, I have a complex relationship with secrets. One that I don’t keep, however, is how much I love the University of Georgia’s study …

Daniel Scott Parker MFA Poetry Daniel Scott Parker, danielsparker@gmail.com
600 S. Michigan Ave. Chicago, IL 60605

Reflecting on The Conference. CAA 2014 in Chicago.

by Matt Robinson

With most having bid their adieu to CAA 2014 already it is important to remember the insights that may be gained through reflection. There was too much that happened for one blogger to recount along. Luckily, I was with an entire team.

We covered everything from coffee shops to pop up shops, art exhibitions and happenings far beyond the halls of the conference hotel.

I would just like to recount some of my favorite events, openings, and panels – also, it’s critical that I give shout outs to my fellow bloggers by pointing out some my favorite posts and interviews:

Conor Moynihan had one of the best and most elaborative early interviews; Given Conor’s studies of contemporary art from Iraq and Iran this was a very well-executed piece! The subject: Contemporary art from Islamic lands, and the panel “Restructuring the Fields: The ‘Modern’ in ‘Islamic’ and the ‘Islamic in ‘Modern’ Art and Architecture” which was moderated by Dr. Esra Akcan and Dr. Mary L. Roberts. By reading Conor’s interview, it felt as though I had been at the heart of the dialogue.

Esra Akcan

Esra Akcan

 

Mary Roberts

Mary Roberts

 

La Keisha Leek was no doubt one of the most prolific bloggers on the team. Throughout CAA I saw her numerous times. She often disappeared immediately without a trace. However, it was evident that there was barely anyone La Keisha did not engage with.
From interviews with Shannon Stratton, Jessica Cochran,and Samantha Hill to directing traffic to Chicago’s exhibition spaces, I have one things to say to La Keisha: #speechless

LL Headshot

 

 

Meg Santisi was serving up her own unique breed of posts, interviews, and retrospectives. At one point, I asked Meg if she could juggle. She responded by juggling five hats and an elephant all at the same time – on day one. Kudos Meg. Read Meg’s interview, Fashion-As-Art, with Debra Parr here.

onthefloorjpeg

Daniel Scott-Parker. I have never seen more pictures one human being in one place in my entire life! Daniel is a curator in his own right.

Photo on 2010-09-09 at 13.52

I could not be more impressed with Julynn Wilderson‘s covering of one of the most interesting panels of the conference: The M Word. Also, I was captivated by her engaging questions for Mel Potter in the interview, Social Paper.

Mel Potter and Jessica Cochran, co-curators of Social Paper

Mel Potter and Jessica Cochran, co-curators of Social Paper

 

Last, but not least is the ever-mysterious Sid Branca. During the conference, Sid revealed incredibly eclectic interests, a talent for organizing multiple events – i.e. The New Media Caucus, and that she is no amateur to blogging.

Special Thanks to Amy M. Mooney and Duncan MacKenzie OBE.

Reflecting on The Conference. CAA 2014 in Chicago.

With most having bid their adieu to CAA 2014 already it is important to remember the insights that may be gained through reflection. There was too much that happened for …

Arts Management/ Art History Matt Robinson, matthew.robinson1@loop.colum.edu
600 S. Michigan Ave. Chicago, IL 60605

Interview with Ariane Cherry of Design Cloud

by Matt Robinson

I’ve been talking to many people about this thing social practice. On this subject, I had the privilege of speaking with someone with a unique perspective and many enlivening comments, Ariane Cherry. Ariane is Gallery Director at Design Cloud LLC.

We discussed social practice as an idea being exchanged between creatives. We touched on public design, urban philanthropy, and the risks associated with socially engaged practices – plus the potential success the endeavor could obtain. Read More below.

Ari_Headshot_1

Interview with Ariane Cherry of Design Cloud

I’ve been talking to many people about this thing social practice. On this subject, I had the privilege of speaking with someone with a unique perspective and many enlivening comments, …

Arts Management/ Art History Matt Robinson, matthew.robinson1@loop.colum.edu
600 S. Michigan Ave. Chicago, IL 60605

“I Saw You” at CAA Chicago

by Matt Robinson

“I Saw You” gets candid with CAA conference go-ers, capturing the movers and ‘shapers’ of the conference in the act.

Christopher Wille at CAA 2014.

Christopher Wille at CAA 2014.

Your blogger ran into Christopher Wille, an artist and educator currently based in Normal, Illinois. Chris has taught at Illinois State University.

Is it a privilege to have a practitioner like Chris Wille at CAA? Yes.

Matthew Robinson: What brings you to the conference this year?

Christopher Wille: I had some interviews and conversations that went really well.

MR: You are a practicing artist yourself. What characterizes your practice?

CW: I am actually a trained jeweler, so I would say that in my practice I allow research to dictate the technical. I have expanded a lot in craft and research. For instance, I have taught myself basic to advanced coding, I have taught myself the language of Computer Numerical Control (CNC) and can use a 3-D printer.

MR: Very interesting. What panels were of interest to you at this conference?

CW: The New Media Caucus was something I was really looking forward to. I enjoyed that many of their events were free and open to the public. They also had a rapid fire artists’ showcase that I thought was a very inventive idea for showing work at the conference.

MR: Tell us where to find out more?

CW: You can visit my webpage to see more of my past and current projects. I am very interested in hybrid practices that blend traditional and digital media. I appreciate craft in the sense of aesthetics and even incorporate that idea in my coding projects.

Thanks Chris!

“I Saw You” at CAA Chicago

“I Saw You” gets candid with CAA conference go-ers, capturing the movers and ‘shapers’ of the conference in the act. Your blogger ran into Christopher Wille, an artist and educator …

Arts Management/ Art History Matt Robinson, matthew.robinson1@loop.colum.edu
600 S. Michigan Ave. Chicago, IL 60605

Interview: Debra Parr on Fashion-As-Art

by Meg Santisi

Debra Riley Parr, post-presentation

Debra Riley Parr, post-presentation.

Debra Riley Parr is Chair of Fashion Studies and Associate Professor of Art and Design History at Columbia College Chicago. She serves as board member for the College Art Association and has published extensively in books and journals such as FiberartsMerge: Sound, Thought, Image, Ten by Ten: Space for Visual CultureArt and AuctionNew Art Examiner, and Artnews.

Debra served up a fantastic paper at the session À La Mode: The Contemporary Art And Fashion System.  Titled Glitter and Rubble: Chaos to Couture (and Back Again) in the Late Capitalist Fashion and Art Industries her paper addresses the intersection of Fashion and Art in a globalized economy.  Fast-fashion is central to the industry. Designs are copied from the runway and outsourced to production sites in other countries, where they are produced as quickly and cheaply as possible. Alternately, haute couture floods the red carpet and remains the exclusive domain of the hyper-rich.

Debra’s paper compares two events of Spring 2013: the Costume Institute gala celebrating the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s exhibition Punk: Chaos to Couture and the horrific collapse of the Rana Plaza factory in Bangladesh (a major manufacturing site for Fashion wholesalers) that killed thousands of Bangladeshi garment workers.  The paper’s dialectical image – the glittery excess of the gala poised against the disastrous rubble of the factory collapse – is given further nuance when considering the Met Gala’s choice of theme: PUNK.

Celebs "Performing Punk" at Met Gala 2013

Celebs “Performing Punk” at Met Gala 2013

I’ve been fortunate to work with Debra for the last few months as her research assistant, and her work has shaped much of my thinking regarding Fashion as a site for critical inquiry. I caught up with Debra over coffee to discuss it all for the blog…

MS: To begin, where and how do you see Fashion intersecting with contemporary art and design practices?

DP:  The connection has been there for a long time, but the way we are articulating it is changing. The other Fashion panel at the conference [Re-Examining Fashion in Western Art 1775-1975] is a more traditional investigation of the intersection. One paper discusses a specific dress in a specific painting, and historically, as Gilles Lipovetsky articulates, Fashion really taught people how to see detail. From [Lipovetsky's] deeply historical perspective, Fashion defined social positions through tiny differentiations in styles of dress. For art historians this is really how we define the close read.

"Fashion And Art" edited by Adam Geczy and Vicki Karaminas (IMG: Sydney Edu)

“Fashion And Art” edited by Adam Geczy and Vicki Karaminas (IMG: Sydney.edu)

MS: Does Fashion respond to contemporary art or does Fashion shape contemporary art? 

DP: SooJin [fellow panelist SooJin Lee] did a fantastic job of looking at that. And Theodor Adorno, if we are to believe him (and I’m not totally sure that I do), declares that Fashion, in his estimation, has the power to shape all cultural arenas because it is concerned with with the new, with innovation, or what is “A La Mode.”

MS: Or, as you describe in your paper, following the modernist logic of speed and replacement.

DP: Yes. Art has a job – to critique culture. And central to my argument is that Fashion has a hard time being “Art” because it is unaware or unconscious of Art’s project as critique.

MS: I’m thinking now, because one of the panelists discussed it, of the Jay-Z and Marina Ambramovic performance; or the so-called “day performance art died.”  Thinking of it in the context of Fashion as a performance…

DP:   …there is definitely a borrowing from performance art. Like Alexander McQueen. And at the panel, Maud [panel discussant Maud Lavin] was trying to encourage us to think of the everyday, Fashion as an everyday performance. McQueen borrows from performance art.

Dress #13 Spring/Summer 1999, Steve McQueen (IMG: Met Museum)

Dress #13 Spring/Summer 1999, Steve McQueen (IMG: Met Museum)

MS: And McQueen was a student of art history, or, at least aware of Art’s project, right? He was exposed to it as a student? What about other designers who maybe aren’t taught Fashion-as-Art or Fashion-as-critique? 

DP: The education of Fashion designers has not been theoretically or historically grounded enough. But there are other designers too…Viktor & Rolf, Rick Owens

MS: And it is New York Fashion Week right now…anything that has struck you?

DP: I’m following on instagram mostly, and the Central Saint Martin’s graduate showcase was incredible.

MS: Moving into punk–We first met when I took your class titled Object & Image: Post-Punk Studies and  your paper addresses the ironic choice of punk as a theme for the Met Gala. In our class, we read Dick Hebdige’s Subculture: The Meaning of Style, and examined punk Fashion as a semiotic practice. What draws you to punk as a field of study?

Greil Marcus's "Lipstick Traces: A Secret History of the 20th Century" (IMG: Harvard Univ Press)

Greil Marcus’s “Lipstick Traces: A Secret History of the 20th Century” (IMG: Harvard Univ Press)

DP: Well I really, really, really love Greil Marcus’s Lipstick Traces: A Secret History of the Twentieth Century because it combines my interests in the historical avant-garde and punk. He sees punk as furthering the social disruptions of Dada. I also personally love the graphic design – Jamie Reed, Malcolm Garrett, Barney Bubbles, 4AD. When I interviewed for my job at Columbia they asked me to give an example of how I would teach something in the classroom, so I played the Buzzcocks’ Autonomy.

MS: Is anyone today continuing the project that Hebdige started, or doing a semiotic reading of fashion?

DP: In cultural studies certainly, and Hebdige is ubiquitous in the academy.

MS: What about Fashion under late-capital – What are the current problems related to the Fashion industry in this economic model?

DP: Certainly the problem of hidden subcontracting processes [in manufacturing]. Capital will flow to unregulated sites. It begs the question – Who is in charge? The state? The labels? Who bears responsibility?

Mohammed Sohel Rana (IMG: BBC)

Mohammed Sohel Rana (IMG: BBC)

MS: Which is why I love the moment in your paper when you address the scape-goating of Mohammed Sohel Rana, the owner of the Rana factories, as if his arrest resolved the problem. It is similar to punk really, the Met Gala appears to “cleanse punk.”

DP: And there is a rich history of trying to make punk safe for consumption. The Met is the ultimate situation of that. And don’t get me wrong, I loved the exhibit.

MS: Why? What did you love about it?

DP:  I often really love the things that need the most critique. Like fast-fashion, TopShop, it’s fun to shop there. And at the exhibit I loved seeing these garments up close, all in one place. And I really love the idea of punk having this energizing effect. Imagine yourself as a designer, fashion demands something new, something exciting.

MS: So what is selling-out?

DP: Just because some one adopts you doesn’t mean that you’ve sold out. Should I be critiqued for using or adapting punk in my classroom? Is it a sell-out for the lead singer of Sonic Youth to be at the Met Gala, or for Vivienne Westwood to become a dame?

MS: Why do you think people have such a problem with that?

DP: It seems disconcerting – it’s like how I love looking at the Karl Lagerfeld “punk” suit he designed for Chanel.  Chanel is luxe, elegance. For me that suit is the object that speaks to all of this.  It is exciting, it is a tour de force, it’s wonderful- and it is just all wrong.

 

Coco Chanel in the "Chanel Suit" (IMG: Wonderland Magazine)

Coco Chanel in the “Chanel Suit” (IMG: Wonderland Magazine)

Sid Vicious of The Sex Pistols (IMG: The Daily Mail)

Sid Vicious of The Sex Pistols (IMG: The Daily Mail)

Karl Lagerfeld for Chanel (IMG: David Sims/Vogue)

Model wearing Karl Lagerfeld’s Punk Suit, designed for fashion label Chanel (IMG: David Sims/Vogue)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Interview: Debra Parr on Fashion-As-Art

Debra Riley Parr is Chair of Fashion Studies and Associate Professor of Art and Design History at Columbia College Chicago. She serves as board member for the College Art Association and has published …

BA Art History '13 Meg Santisi, megsantisi@gmail.com
600 S. Michigan Ave. Chicago, IL 60605

Letter Writing a Performance Art

by Janelle Dowell

Over and over and over and OVER again I have witnessed people shoving business cards down the throats of renown art historians, curators, artists, etc. Some of those individuals I too wanted to connect with. More importantly, I wanted to figure out a way to develop a memorable dialog with them. I immediately decided that I would follow-up with these renown individuals with a personal note to communicate my intentions.

These days, it’s so easy to dash off a quick e-mail or text message or make a cell- phone call while you’re on the run that you may rarely make time for letter writing. But letters are a intimate form of connection that simply cannot be equaled or replaced by faster methods of communication. I would even consider a handwritten note as a form of performance art.

Ironically, during a luncheon I shared my thoughts with another artists who introduced me to a Critical Writing Workshop at Gund Gallery at Kenyon College. The program is offered June 15-21, 2014 in Gambier, Ohio. Lead by Peter Plagens and Terry Barrett, workshop activities include: Cultivating clarity in art criticism (and avoiding jargon and clichés). • Writing a short exhibition or project review, based on one of the Gallery’s summer exhibitions. • Writing a longer exhibition review. • Exploring new formats such as blogs and other digital media.

Critical writing IS important, but I see letter writing as a performative experience. This is a seductive way of thinking. After all, if you don’t achieve what you want, what have you done? Business cards are great, but not hundreds of them roaming through your digestive tract.

Letter Writing a Performance Art

Over and over and over and OVER again I have witnessed people shoving business cards down the throats of renown art historians, curators, artists, etc. Some of those individuals I …

InterArts Janelle Dowell, janelle.dowell@loop.colum.edu
600 S. Michigan Ave. Chicago, IL 60605