Curatorial Conversations

Art department and College of Creative Studies colloquium series explores topics of contemporary art, theory and cultural production

Presenting a range of voices in dialogue and action, the Department of Art and the College of Creative Studies at UC Santa Barbara are collaborating on the Visiting Artist Colloquium and Curatorial Conversations.

Organized by Jenni Sorkin, an associate professor of the history of art and architecture, the weekly conversations explore topics of contemporary art, theory and cultural production with emerging and established visiting artists as well as with UC Santa Barbara faculty members and graduate students.

The presentations take place each Thursday evening through June 6 in Embarcadero Hall, 935 Embarcadero del Norte, Isla Vista. They are free and open to the public.

“The visiting artist’s colloquium showcases the depth and breadth of contemporary arts practice across the greater Los Angeles area, which is currently the hottest art scene in the country, with more than 200 contemporary art galleries and multiple contemporary art only venues and museums,” said Sorkin. “This series includes significant young and mid-career artists, as well as more established critics and curators, such as Amelia Jones and Kathy Rae Huffman.”

The series begins today, April 4, with Carole Frances Lung — aka Frau Fiber — an associate professor of fashion fiber and materials at California State University, Los Angeles. Through her Frau Fiber alter ego, Lung activates a vocabulary of fashion and textile production and consumption, crafting one-of-a-kind garments, installations, performances and social sculpture that pay homage to labor, textile and apparel manufacturing and contemporary production systems.

Following a one-week hiatus, Kathy Rae Huffman will be the April 18 guest speaker. A curator, writer, researcher and lecturer, Huffman also is an expert on video and media art. She has curated, written about and coordinated events for numerous international art institutes. From the 1990s until 2014, Huffman was based in Europe and embraces early net art and interactive online environments, a curatorial practice that continues. In 1997, she co-founded Faces mailing list, an online community for women working with art, gender and technology.

Among other presenters:

Young Joon Kwak (April 25), a Los Angeles-based multidisciplinary artist whose work aims to

transform perceptions of marginalized bodies by reimagining their form, functionality and materiality. Kwak is the founder of Mutant Salon, a roving beauty salon/platform for experimental performances and collaborations with their community of queer, trans, femme, POC artists and performers. She also is the lead performer in the electronic-dance-noise band Xina Xurner.

Daniel Small (May 2), whose project-based work engages with disparate sites, government agencies, political regimes and institutions in an attempt to contemplate their speculative futures through cinematic, technological and archaeological artifacts so other narratives can be told or imagined.

Lauren Gallaspy (May 9), who has served as co-director and owner of Trace Gallery in Athens, Georgia, and who in 2013 was recognized by the National Council on Education for the Ceramic Arts as an emerging artist in the field. In addition, she is a recipient of a prestigious Joan Mitchell Painters & Sculptors Grant.

Michael O’Malley (May 16), a professor of art at Pomona College, whose work has centered on engaging aesthetics and conventions that shape the built environment. His latest endeavors have focused on ideas about social practice, community and sustainable art practice.

Young Chung (May 23), an interdisciplinary artist and curator who established the gallery Commonwealth & Council in 2010. To date, he’s done over 100 shows featuring a diverse array of artists, including Jennifer Moon and Alice Könitz, both of whom went on to win the Hammer Museum’s Mohn Award.

Amelia Jones (May 30), the Robert A. Day Professor and Vice Dean of Research at the Roski School of Arts and Design at the University of Southern California. A feminist curator and theorist and a historian of art and performances, she is widely published. She is currently working on a retrospective of the work of Ron Athey, and on a book titled “In Between Subjects: A Critical Genealogy of Queer Performance.

Micol Hebron (June 6), an associate professor of art at Chapman University and an interdisciplinary artist. She is the founder/director of The Situation Room resource space for the creative community; the Gallery Tally Poster Project about gender equity in contemporary galleries; and the Digital Pasty/Gender Equity initiative for the internet. Founder of the LA Art Girls and co-founder of Fontbron Academy, Hebron employs strategies of consciousness-raising, collaboration, generosity, play and participation to support and further feminist dialogues in art and life.


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