BLOCC (building leverage over creative capitalism)




sommerakademie paul klee
progr zentrum für kulturproduktion
speichergasse 4, bern
switzerland

august 1 -29, 2018
finissage: friday, august 18, 5pm




BLOCC is a system of learning, a chimera.

BLOCC was formed in 2017, by the eight artist fellows of the sommerakademie paul klee in bern. on august 18, we’ll present the first blueprint of our teaching template, and show you an amusing, short video. or maybe just a video. BLOCC seeks to alter the relationship between contemporary art and gentrification, one generation at a time. by means of an experimental, adaptable teaching method. in essence, BLOCC reflects an entirely new way of learning art. on the one hand, it places art’s relationship to city politics at the very center of formal training. right alongside feminism, critical theory, harry szeemann, paul klee and all the rest. on the other hand, it introduces a teaching template that is introduced from afar, but remains open-ended as it builds, crystalizing differently in different cities.


the fellows 2017-19:
johanna bruckner, crystal z campbell, luiza crosman, alexandros kyriakatos, alexis mitchell, bahar noorizadeh, heather m. o'brien and jonathan takahashi



the sommerakademie paul klee (spk) is a cooperation between bern university of the arts hkb and zentrum paul klee. under newly appointed artistic director tirdad zolghadr, spk seeks to account for the consequences of contemporary art. it traces the impact artists effectively have on the world around them, and works towards possibilities of reclaiming and steering that leverage. as such, it asks how the traction of contemporary art, as is, can be used to maximum effect, here and now.


over two summer sessions – august 2017 and august 2018 – eight fellows are granted access to the university's infrastructure and technical support, and will proceed to collectively author a public event scheduled for april 2019. although based on the idea of an academy, the aim is to transcend the blueprint of seminars and tutorials, and to focus on group research and cross-professional coalition building.




















feature on humble arts foundation




strange, uncanny, or otherwise unsettling photos of mcdonald's golden arches.


we're no fans of mcdonald's, but we can't escape the impact of their golden arches on our landscape, culture and emotional psyche. and unsurprisingly, they're incredibly photographic. their shimmering presence can be strange, funny, and ominous - at times a topographical eyesore, at others, an unfortunate landmark or "where's waldo" beacon of americanism wherever we go. we put out a call for various interpretations of the logo in context. without further ado, here are a multitude of photographs of the mcdonalds logo in its unsettling glory.


humble arts foundation is committed to promoting and supporting new photography, and dedicated to the artistic and professional development of those who practice it. based in new york city, seattle, detroit and san francisco, humble has served the international photography community for over a decade through exhibitions, grant making, publishing, educational programming and community building.

















summer residency at byrdcliffe

woodstock byrdcliffe guild
34 tinker street
woostock, new york


june 21 - july 16, 2018
open studios: july 13, 6-8pm


since its founding in 1902, byrdcliffe has welcomed artists—bob dylan, philip guston, eva hesse, and hundreds more—to and live and work surrounded by 250 acres of the catskill mountains’ serene natural beauty. byrdcliffe offers several types of residency ranging from four weeks to five months to year-round for artists in multiple disciplines. the main criterion for acceptance to byrdcliffe’s air program is artistic excellence and a demonstrated commitment to one’s field of endeavor. byrdcliffe seeks to pull together artists from varying perspectives and demographics, engaging in a broad range of artistic practices.



















film screening and workshops at the university of the aegean


university of the aegean at syros island
archiepiskopou 5
ermoupoli, greece

may 21 & 22, 2018


this visit is made possible by a generous grant from erasmus+, the european union program for education.


















sea & society slide lecture


the american university of beirut
nicely building studios
beirut, lebanon

may 3, 2018, 2pm


this visual slide lecture focuses on an array of lens-based projects that intersect with notions of sea & society. the talk is performed in the context of a course led by nikolas kosmatopoulos, assistant professor of international affairs and anthropology at the american university of beirut, lebanon. the course promotes a sea-centered, theory-based and practice-oriented anthropological project and is part of kosmatopoulos' larger project titled, the floating laboratory on action and theory at sea (floats).


floats is a conversation inspired, motivated and literally moved by the sea. as such, it is located nowhere permanently, but rather it is rotating in the (mediterranean) sea, along other innate and non-innate flows, such as merchandise, minerals and militaries, occasionally navigating through them. floats seeks to be a continuous critical commentary on the perils of state-oriented sovereignty and land-centered social theory. it takes seriously the idea of “floating” and the state of contemporary rootlessness, as in migration, therefore, while facilitating floating conversations over questions of social theory and the environment, including the relationship between nature and humanity.


image: tadeusz kantor, panoramic sea happening, 1967

















windows of little tokyo


sustainable little tokyo
los angeles, california

april 18 - october 21, 2018



the japanese american cultural & community center and sustainable little tokyo present windows of little tokyo. beginning in spring 2018, the neighborhood of little tokyo, los angeles transforms into an exhibition with eleven artworks displayed on windows across the historic, 134-year-old japanese american neighborhood.


artists:

angelica villegas & jen cienfuegos
audrey chan
chiho harazaki
heather m. o'brien & jonathan takahashi
jaimee itagaki
jared yamahata
kenji liu
miyo stevens-gandara
nak bou
nancy uyemura (beginning july 15)
rina nakano















robert rauschenberg foundation archives grant


the rauschenberg foundation is pleased to announce the award grantees for the 2018 rauschenberg foundation archives research grant, a resource for researchers and scholars interested in visiting the rauschenberg foundation archives in new york city. this year's winners were selected from a competitive pool including historians, artists, curators, writers, poets and educators from over twenty-five different countries. they will be researching in residence at the foundation throughout 2018.


"robert rauschenberg was an artist of endless possibility, collaboration, and interpretation; his archives are the same. the inaugural researchers have the potential to reinterpret materials with diverse viewpoints and unique lines of investigations." said francine snyder, director of archives and scholarship. "we look forward to contemporary interpretations of the archives."


the robert rauschenberg foundation archives, consisting of robert rauschenberg's personal papers and the records from his florida and new york studios, is the most comprehensive body of information on the artist's life and career. the archives research grant supports continued scholarly and investigative use of these materials by supporting individuals that demonstrate a compelling need to use the archives.


2018 recipients:

john r. blakinger
lauren van haaften-schick
kathleen heil
grant johnson
leah mackin
megan metcalf
heather m. o’brien
letícia pumar



image: robert rauschenberg, quiet house-black mountain college, 1949

















undoing conditioning


society for photographic education conference
philadelphia, pennsylvania

march 1 - 4, 2018


it is a timely moment to be an american educator in beirut, lebanon. how can we move beyond mass media and apprehension, into a deeper local politic and understanding of one another? this talk will explore pedagogy that challenges the dynamics of traditional classrooms, prioritizes open dialogue, and values the lived experience of each person in the room. photography, video and writing gestures where students become co-teachers will be discussed. considering the different temporalities from which we speak, when do we press the shutter? what is at stake in our images? what is visual literacy?


images: (left to right) u.s. marine corps, beirut barracks bombing, 1983 / layal rmieh, beirut, 2016
















realty workshop



kw institute for contemporary art
auguststraße 69
berlin, germany

october 5, 2017, 2pm




session hosted by the sommerakademie paul klee fellowship program with artists johanna bruckner, crystal z campbell, luiza crosman, alexandros kyriakatos, alexis mitchell, bahar noorizadeh, heather m. o’brien & jonathan takahashi.


over the period of summer 2017 to spring 2019, the sommerakademie paul klee bern grants fellowships to eight artists committed to issues spelled out in the realty program. having collectively pinned down some fundamental working premises, the fellows now convene in berlin to further elaborate the key premises, and share some core concerns with a small public. in conversation with tirdad zolghadr, the aim is to strategically reflect on the embeddedness of one’s practice within political, labor, and housing questions. with the point of departure being not only that contemporary art is an unregulated field par excellence. but that this precarious state of affairs produces the very cosmopolitan creative class that bolsters gentrification.
















at work with allan sekula


beirut art center
jisr el wati, souk el ahad
beirut, lebanon

september 27, 2017, 6pm



allan sekula was an artist engaged in a lifelong investigation of our world, directly influenced by his experiences growing up amidst the shifting american economic landscape of the 1970s. he was itinerant geographically, but was also a traveller between different realms of knowledge. his recent exposure in his own country has reflected on the late artist’s extremely broad and varied body of work, that begun with his influential early publication photography against the grain. he articulated his explorations using different practical and conceptual tools; photography, writings and film, but also history of art, marxism, literature, history and psychoanalysis. his command of these fields made him an extraordinary writer, theoretician and teacher. the depth of his research and the diversity of his approaches perhaps undoubtedly contribute to the continued relevance of his observations, despite his untimely passing.

beirut art center invites a panel of writers, artists, educators, curators and critics, most of whom have personally worked with the artist, for a discussion centered on the relationship between the artist’s work and the ways his work has been exhibited, but also the specificity of his insights. the discussion will also deal with sekula’s work and pedagogical processes, which often aim to reorder visual hierarchies and constitute an important effort to combine practices which are often considered as opposed: art criticism and visual art practice.



participants:
sabine breitweiser
jurgen bock
pascal beausse
heather m. o'brien

moderated by marie muracciole














overcrossings



los angeles contemporary archive
709 north hill street
los angeles, california

sunday, november 12, 2017, 2–4pm


overcrossings was a series of three happenings on three pedestrian overcrossings above the interstate-110 arroyo seco freeway during summer 2016. the project will culminate in an artist publication. the i-110, celebrated as the world’s first freeway, has cut a wall through the communities of chinatown, cypress park, highland park, and south pasadena. in an attempt to provide safe access across these inhuman spaces, pedestrian overcrossings both accommodate and cage the body.


sixteen artists and two collectives engaged with each site and its surrounding communities through performance, temporary installations, and/or writing or print-specific projects for the publication. in this alienating maze of concrete and vehicles, how do we inhabit the paths built for walking?


the project takes inspiration from asco’s publications and guerrilla performances; erica avila's book folklore of the freeways; amy balkin's invisible-5 project; project x’s series of artist-led exhibitions and publications; rebecca solnit's book wanderlust: a history of walking; and the second-line brass bands of tremé who use the walls of the i-10 to amplify their music and voices.


artists:

erik benjamins
jess & yvette castillo
jonathan crisman
steven chodoriwsky
andrea huber
frances huynh
ryan s. jeffery
flora kao
labor, patao & alex reed
julie & kristy lovich
isa knafo & heather m. o'brien
scott oshima
jonathan takahashi

image: arroyo seco from old railroad trestle north of avenue 26, looking south, la county, 1940. courtesy of auto club of southern california archives.

















video snack


el museo de los sures
120 s 1st street
brooklyn, new york

saturday, november 11
5:30pm & 7:00pm


works by the following artists will be included:

astrid bai
nima behravan
arthur menezes brum
liz cambron
shahrzad changalvaee
raza kazmi
gene kim
cédric kouamé
& tomas da fonseca
este lewis
dan lucal
umber majeed
mary voorhees meehan
uno nam
lindsay nordell
heather m. o’brien
jeff ostergren
mitch patrick
jens pecho
ida pruitt
shirin sabahi
laurel schwulst
pallavi sen
ryann slauson
katie vida
alona weiss

guest curator cheon pyo lee


video snack is an informal video screening series that began in 2013 in response to the lack of events showcasing short videos. the event was and has remained a venue for artists working in video to meet each other and screen their work. many contributions are artworks, but this is not the rule. contributors may also submit found videos likely to be seen on youtube, vimeo, and facebook. in this sense, video snack is modeled after the fragmented visual sequences played out as web pages are flipped through, scrolled along, opened and closed.

lauren francescone and zeynab izadyar are co-founders.













in search of lost time


the international center of photography
rita k. hillman education gallery
1114 avenue of the americas
new york, new york

september 16 – november 19, 2017
opening reception: friday, september 15, 2017, 6–8pm


how has the act of remembering—and forgetting—been transformed in the digital age?

photography’s relationship with the concept of memory stretches its entire history and includes its every iteration. only now has the distribution of photography exploded with newfound ubiquity, ushering in a paradigm shift that bears semblance to that of the gutenberg press. photography’s various forms have converged onto a point of accessibility where what was once a luxury is now a presupposition. as the degrees of separation between people decrease, so do those between past, present, and future. to remember is to engage with all three, and to create is to make them tangible. the collective consciousness of humankind speaks a visual language, and photography is poised, now more than ever, to upend the very notion of what it means to create.

within the context of an evolving and transformative landscape of photographic practice, how has our perception of the concept of memory changed?

in search of lost time is curated by miles goscha, mohamed almannai and mengwen cao. it features the work of fellow alumni artists, including kinuko asano, sarah blesener, maria bilbao herrera, jeri coppola, camilla cerea, marjolaine gallet, kasia gumpert, jhe ming hsu, ivana larrosa, paula lombardi, stacy mehrfar, caterina miani, cédric von niederhäusern, heather m. o’brien, un-hee park, laís pontes, louise prévert, verónica puche, david b. smith, daniel temkin, and eliso tsintsabadze. additional collaborators include pavel filkov and robert langellier.



















realty


sommerakademie paul klee
august 2017 - april 2019
bern, switzerland


the new sommerakademie paul klee, under newly appointed artistic director tirdad zolghadr, is a fellowship program hosted by the bern university of the arts hbk and the zentrum paul klee.

over two summer sessions––august 2017 and august 2018––eight fellows are granted access to the university’s infrastructure and technical support, and will proceed to collectively author a public event scheduled for april 2019. although based on the idea of an academy, the aim is to transcend the blueprint of seminars and tutorials, and to focus on group research and cross-professional coalition building.

realty is the name of the first thematic building block, and it focuses on the role of contemporary art in recent histories of urban development and gentrification. the latter is a stark and grisly example of art’s leverage today, and finding a productive response to gentrification has evolved into something of a holy grail within the field internationally. in order to bypass the melancholia, and avoid theorizing our failures yet again, our references must go beyond the usual scope of euro-american art and academia. if the term “gentrification” implies a multiplicity of often underestimated factors, what does this mean for possible rules of engagement? in order to address these and other questions, realty will need to take stock of legal implications as well as artist initiatives, urban regeneration policies, chronospatial mythologies, art and/as architecture, and more.





















water rights residency


santa fe art institute
june 2017
santa fe, new mexico


because water is seen, now more than ever, as a contested resource, santa fe art institute (sfai) is committed to bringing together local, national, and global thinkers and creators to collectively expand and revise our knowledge of what we think we know about water rights. new mexico is rich in its relationship to water––a position created over a long history of corporate, environmental, political, and multicultural claims to this essential resource.

from september 2016 through june of 2017, sfai and its community partners will explore several questions: how do we describe and define the contested space around water? if water use is often parallel to culture, how can cultural activities result in greater models of equity to our water systems? how can diverse practices, from poetic to practical to political, create greater access to these and other parallel resources?





















where this photograph was found


hathaway contemporary
887 howell mill rd. nw
atlanta, georgia

april 22 - june 11, 2017
film screening and artist talk: may 20, 7-9pm


please join us for a solo exhibition by heather m. o’brien, who participated in mint’s 2016 group exhibition where we are going, where we have been. heather will present two of her recent short films, where this photograph was found, and our machines are made of pure sunlight, and will give an artist talk the the evening of may 20.

heather's work explores how capitalist desire and militaristic legacy construct our ideas about home. she seeks to build encounters around issues that undo american social and cultural conditioning, and the illusion of accurate memory.



















dissecting the national imagination


society for photographic education conference
orlando, florida

march 9 - 12, 2017

jasmine rayna clark, heather m. o'brien, greta pratt, and rebecca sittler


and who are you that draws your veil across the stars?

in 1938, langston hughes wrote this question in 'let america be america again,' a poem that demanded fulfillment of a dream that never was. decades later, constructed heroic identities continue to limit our personal and political imaginations. these four artists explore pervasive and predominantly masculine american icons: the explorer, the cowboy, the president, and the war hero. shifting and recontextualizing contemporary constructs of militarism, gender, and race, they reveal the duplicitous nature of myth and its vast contradictions. who is behind the veil? what was burnt out by the stars?