ARTSPACE FORUM: SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 15, 2014 10AM – 2 PM in Chicago TITLE: Designing a Better Future: A Participatory Platform for Exchange Session Producers: Jacki Apple & Mat Rappaport
Artists and designers operating as thinkers and communicators, visualizers and producers can be leaders in changing how we think, live, and act, in order to make a better world.
Are we ready to discuss cultural production and the arts as viable and meaningful practices beyond the established system of commodity trading? What potential models of an effective creative practice can we envision and develop?
Artists, designers, media producers, photographers, filmmakers, architects, writers, theorists, educators, cultural historians are invited to submit proposals for presentation and discussion that will inspire others to join them in imagining, inventing, and actualizing a more sustainable and enlightened possible future, whether it be local or global.
What would you do to effect change? What would that look like? Do esthetics matter?
We seek provocative and challenging theoretical concepts and/or models for practical application. Visionary, daring, unconventional ideas, collaborations across fields in the arts, sciences, and humanities that conceive different ways to address social, economic, and environmental realities are encouraged.
General topics/themes to consider
Climate Change, the Environment and Sustainable Living:
Economic & Social Consequences.
The Culture of Violence:
Technology and Human Rights:
The format for presentation will be an interactive forum of exchange between speakers and audience. There will be no podium. Speakers will be placed within the audience. Presentations may include visuals – images, texts, charts, etc.
Each speaker will be given 7 minutes to present her/his proposal. The audience will then have equal time – 7 minutes to respond and discuss. Time may be slightly less or more depending on the number of outstanding proposals selected.
Please send a description of your topic and the theoretical concepts and/or model that you intend to propose in approximately 300 words, plus a brief bio/CV of no more than 2 pages. The 300 word proposal must include a title, name/s of author(s), address, email, phone number. Please submit all proposal files as PDF documents.
Rachel Rosenthal, Artistic Director and performer with The Rachel Rosenthal Company, is an interdisciplinary performer who has developed a revolutionary performance technique that integrates text, movement, voice, choreography, improvisation, inventive costuming, dramatic lighting and wildly imaginative sets into an unforgettable theater experience. Over the past thirty years, she has presented over 35 full-scale pieces internationally. Critics have called her “a monument and a marvel” and Rosenthal has been critically ranked with Robert Wilson, Ping Chong, Richard Foreman, Meredith Monk and Laurie Anderson by Richard Schechner, editor of The Drama Review (TDR).
She is an N.E.A., J. Paul Getty Foundation and California Arts Council Fellow, and recipient of numerous awards, including an Obie for Rachel’s Brain, the College Art Association Art Award, and the Women’s Caucus for the Arts Honor Award for Outstanding Achievement in the Arts. In 1994, she was chosen by Robert Rauschenberg to represent Theatre in his suite of prints, Tribute 21, and in 1995 received the Genesis Award for spotlighting animal rights issues in her work. Rosenthal formed the Rachel Rosenthal Company in 1989 in Los Angeles. The thematic emphasis of the Company’s work encompasses artistic, social, environmental, technological and spiritual issues presented in a visually, viscerally compelling form.
Born in Paris of Russian parents, Rosenthal’s family fled Europe during WWII to New York where she graduated from the High School of Music and Art and became a U.S. citizen. She studied art, theatre and dance in Paris and N.Y. after the war with such teachers as Hans Hoffmann, Merce Cunningham, Erwin Piscator and Jean-Louis Barrault.
She moved to California in 1955 where she created the experimental Instant Theatre, performing in and directing it for ten years. She was a leading figure in the L.A. Women’s Art Movement in the 1970’s, co-founding Womanspace, among other projects. Since 1975, Rosenthal has focused primarily on creating new works, writing, performing and teaching.
Rosenthal has performed at: documenta 8 / Kassel-West Germany; The Festival de Theatre des Ameriques / Montreal-Canada; the Kaaitheater / Brussels; Festival Internacional de Teatro / Granada-Spain; the Theatre Festival / Zagreb-Yugoslavia; U.S Time Festival / Ghent-Belgium; The Helsinki Festival/Helsinki-Finland; The Internationals Sommer Theater Festival / Hamburg-Germany; I.C.A. / London; The Performance Space / Sydney-Australia; The Kitchen, Dance Theatre Workshop and Serious Fun! (Lincoln Center) in New York City; the L.A. Festival (1987, 1990) Japan America Theatre, and Museum Of Contempor- porary Art in Los Angeles; Jacob’s Pillow Splash Festival / Lee, MA and the Kala Institute / Berkeley, CA.
In 1990, Ms. Rosenthal premiered Pangaean Dreams at The Santa Monica Museum Of Art for The L.A. Festival. In 1992 filename: FUTURFAX was commissioned by the Whitney Museum in New York. In 1994 she premiered her 56-performer piece Zone at the UCLA Center for the Performing Arts Wadsworth Theatre. Between 1994 – 97, with her newly formed Company, she revived her acclaimed Instant Theatre of the 50’s & 60’s asTOHUBOHU! and went on to collaboratively createDBDBDB-d: An Evening (1994), TOHUBOHU! (1995-97),Meditation on the Life and Death of Ken Saro-Wiwa andTimepiece (1996), The Swans and The Unexpurgated Virgin (1997). Both Timepiece and The Unexpurgated Virgin premiered at the Fall Ahead Festival at Cal State LA. She has toured extensively in the U.S., Canada, Europe and Australia.
Rosenthal has taught classes and workshops in performance since 1979, in her LA studio as well as around North America and Europe. Rosenthal has lectured at Carnegie-Mellon University’s Robert Lepper Distinguished Lecture in Creative Inquiry series, as a lecturer/presenter at the first Performance, Culture and Pedagogy Conference at Penn. State (1996). In addition to personal appearances as performer, panelist and lecturer, Rosenthal teaches performance in her private studio in Los Angeles and has been a visiting artist at such institutions as The Art Institute of Chicago, Otis/Parsons, New York University, University of California (UC) Los Angeles, UC Irvine, University of Redlands, UC Santa Barbara, California (Cal) Institute of the Arts, Cal. State University Long Beach, Cal. State Los Angeles and at the Naropa, Esalen and Omega Institutes.
Grants received include: NEA Solo Performer Fellow (1983, 1990, 1993, 1994), J.Paul Getty Fellow (1990), five USIA travel grants (1987-1993), Art Matters (1988-1990), NEA Interarts (1992), Foundation for Contemporary Performing Arts, Inc. (1988-1990), The Rockefeller Foundation MAP (1993), The J. Paul Getty Trust Fund for the Visual Arts (1995), The Tides Foundation (1988-91), California Arts Council Fellow (1988), City of L.A. Cultural Affairs Department (1989-1998), National State County Partnership (1989,1991,1993-97), and most recently The ESRR Vision Trust (1996-1997).
Awards include: the Vesta Award (1983), the Obie Award (1989), the Artcore Art Award (1991), the College Art Association of America Artist Award (1991), the Women’s Caucus for Art Honor Award for Outstanding Achievement in the Arts (1994) and The Fresno Art Museum’s Distinguished Artist Award (1994). Artist Robert Rauschenberg has honored her in a new suite of prints entitled Tribute 21 (1994) as the representative for Theatre in a list including Art, Music, Civil Rights, Space & Ecology. Recipients include Mikhail Gorbachov, R. Buckminster Fuller, Toni Morrison, Nelson Mandela and the Dalai Lama. In 1995, she received The Ark Trust’s Genesis Award for spotlighting animal rights issues with “courage, creativity and integrity”. In 1996, she received a Certificate of Commendation as well as a Certificate of Appreciation both from the City of Los Angeles Cultural Affairs Department. In 1997, she received the L.A. WEEKLY Theater Career Achievement Award.
Rosenthal’s book Tatti Wattles: A Love Story which features her original, full color illustrations, published by Smart Art Press, Santa Monica, CA; a monograph of her life’s work, entitled Rachel Rosenthal, published by the John Hopkins University Press; Rachel’s Brain and Other Storms, an anthology of 13 of her performance texts published by Continuum and Nihon Journalan artists book of Japanese Sumi Ink paintings on Arches paper are all currently available. Rosenthal’s work centers around the issue of humanity’s place on the planet. She is an animal rights activist, a vegetarian, and companion to 3 dogs.
This was my fourth College Art Association conference over a ten year period. My first being in Los Angeles in 1999. Not only did I attend that year because I lived in LA at the time, I was also interested to attend a studio session entitled Off the Mainstream, Into The Mainstream. The session included three chairs and nine artists presenting the state of environmental art from the 1990s, including mostly artists from California. This was the panel that set me on course to participate in an ecoart dialogue listerve online for the last ten years.
Ten years later, CAA 2009, was once again in LA, although this time there were several panels that crossed over into the realm of science or ecology including:Proof: Art Illuminating Science with artists Lillian Ball and Aviva Rahmani; Green Foundations: Curricular and Environmental Sustainability with Linda Weintraub; Place Markers: Artists, Technology, and Landscape; The Ecological Imagination: From Land Art to BioArt; and Land Use in Contemporary Art, Part I & II.
Since I lived in Los Angeles for more than twenty years, I decided this CAA to propose a paper for the Land Art panel to present examples of artists working outdoors in Southern California from 1999-2008. I focused on work that was least invasive and noted a progression of a land ethic by artists who were in the following exhibitions: Malibu Art Ranch 1997; SaFARi at the Old LA Zoo 1998; Escondido Phoenix 1999; Newtown Trail Markers 2001; Earthworks NOW Biennial 2003/5; HDTS 2001-2008; and MOISTURE 2001-2008. Other panelists included Kimberly Paice from University of Cincinnati who gave a talk “On Wheat” that mostly focused on Agnes Denes’ Wheatfield: A Confrontation. She also presented Dennis Oppenheim’s’ field work “Cancelled Crop” and “Directed Seeding” both from 1969. Chris Taylor, co-creator of Land Arts of the American West, a program operating from Texas and University of New Mexico, presented a visual diary of a caravan road trip he took with students to cultural sites and earth/land art sites in the desert Southwest over a two month period in one semester. They create ephemeral work on the land and return to the campus to create work for a gallery exhibition. Ann Wolfe with the Nevada Museum of Art gave a paper on Chris Drury and his Mushroom work they recently comissioned him to do. The Museum sponsored the Art+Environment conference in Reno last fall where Ann also gave a presentation. Her emphasis was that the Museum in Reno is the first of its kind to make Art+Environment its curatorial thematic. She also announced that the Director of the program, William Fox, has begun to create an archive of ephemera related to projects created in and near Nevada in the desert (Heizer/deMaria).
Land Art is a term that mostly refers to a movement from the 1970s, large-scale or monumental earth art, meant to be seen from far away. You often hear this term from Europe, particularly from the UK, to describe earth art, smaller works in the landscape, even ephemeral. However, after this panel, I believe there was some consensus that Land Art is a historical term referring to work created in the desert Southwest and does not define the type of work being done today. Panel Chair Kirsten Swenson referred to this new work as a Land-based Art Practice. And, from there, the medium is the message. As we know, there is still plop art happening (even at High Desert Test Sites). And, much of the art that is created outdoors is simply using nature as a gallery or cheap studio space. The real trick is to work with the land but not impact it, thus the title of my talk Land Ethics:Post Land Art. Some better examples of this would include audio tour projects like Invisible 5 & Jack Rabbit Homestead by Kim Stringfellow, or more urban/rural dialogic/relational mapping/tour projects like Fallen Fruit or LA Urban Rangers.
Or, how about Bruce Nauman’s proposal for a sky writing in 1969 entitled “Leave the Land Alone.” This is a work I only found out about in the inaugural issue of Mammut magazine (Fall 2008), in an article with the same title written by Andrew Bernardini. He stated that this was Nauman’s response written in a letter to a gallery who invited him to participate in an earth art exhibition. The work was never realized and the letter has not been found. This sounds like a perfect project for the Center for Land Use (CLUI) to execute with Nauman, in the clear blue skies of Nevada?
ecoLOGIC was inspired by the College Art Association (CAA) conference, which took place in Los Angeles in 1999, where a group of dedicated artists joined together to present a comprehensive studio session entitled Off the Mainstream, Into The Mainstream. The session included three chairs and nine artists presenting the state of environmental art in the 1990s, including ecoLOGIC artist Kathryn Miller, who was one of 9 artists from California that participated. Ten years later, CAA 2009, is once again in LA, although this time there are several panels including artists who are taking action to address the affects of climate change, environmental disasters, and our interdependence with nature.
If you click on the CAA logo you will go to the conference sessions page.
Patricia Watts, curator of ecoLOGIC and founder/curator of ecoartspace will be presenting at CAA on Saturday, February 28th for the session “Land Use in Contemporary Art, Part II.” The session runs from 2:30 PM–5:00pm in the Concourse Meeting Room 407, Level 2 at the Los Angeles Convention Center. Session Chair is Kirsten Swenson, University of Nevada, Las Vegas. Presenters include: On Wheat Kimberly Paice, University of Cincinnati; Urban Earthworks: Land Art and Gender in 1970s New York by Alexandra Schwartz, Museum of Modern Art; Scratches, Roads, and Monuments: Ground Truth in Land Arts of the American West by Chris Taylor, Texas Tech University; “Mushrooms|Clouds”: Museums, Interdisciplinary Networks, and Environmental Initiatives by Ann Wolfe, Nevada Museum of Art; and Land Ethics: Post–Land Art by Patricia Watts, Ecoartspace.