Outside Design

Sweet Water Foundation, Chicago, aquaponic system. Courtesy of Sweet Water Foundation.


September 11–December 19
Sullivan Galleries and other locations

Outside Design, a collateral event of the first Chicago Architecture Biennial, will explore the turn in art and design toward biotechnology and ecological systems.

Curated by Jonathan Solomon, SAIC's Director of the Department of Architecture, Interior Architecture, and Designed Objects, this show will bring together five firms whose research-based work develops new knowledge at the edges of design practice. The practices—Analog Media Lab (Urbana-Champaign, IL), Ants of the Prairie (Buffalo, NY), The Living and the Ali Brivanlou Lab (New York City), Species of Space (Chicago), and Sweet Water Foundation (Chicago)—pursue projects that move outside of their core of expertise and into the center of other fields. Responding to these dialogic practices, the exhibition will be organized as a series of laboratories installed across the galleries, engaged throughout the fall by students, faculty, and visiting artists and designers. This mode of collaborative experimentation and exchange will continuously transform the gallery space, resulting in new projects and installations and pushing the boundaries of disciplinarity. An ambitious schedule of programs will further activate the space, and connect to local arts and design institutions.

For full listing of programs and happenings visit the Outside Design website.

Presented in partnership with the William Bronson and Grayce Slovet Mitchell Lectureship in the Department of Architecture, Interior Architecture, and Designed Objects.

Fall BFA Show

November 21–December 11
Sullivan Galleries

More than 150 talented SAIC students completing undergraduate degrees this fall exhibit their innovative work. SAIC promotes crossing disciplines and challenging received assumptions, and the results of this approach are showcased in this exhibition.


Aquaponic Workshops with Sweet Water Foundation


December 4 and 11
Sullivan Galleries

Come join Emmanuel Pratt, co-founder and director of the Sweet Water Foundation, for workshops to learn the basics of creating aquaponic systems.


Listening Below and Beyond


December 10
Sullivan Galleries

Explore the threshold of human auditory senses with SAIC's Eco-Sensing and the Soundscape class led by Eric Leonardson and Lindsey French

Focusing on the nonhuman actants in the space, gallery visitors will be guided in practices for listening below and beyond the threshold of normal human hearing. Students will lead visitors through a number of group and individual acts of listening that will emphasize the human body as a listening device and activate the gallery as a site for acoustic investigation. Presented in collaboration with graduate students from the Arts Administration and Policy department.


Our R values U's


December 5
Sullivan Galleries

The Species of Space and the Radical Imagination Community, Chicago presents Jenny Boully, Craig Dworkin, T Clutch Fleischmann, Christian Hawkey, with Eric Ellingsen and others

Language in fact exists like air. It is a medium in which we all exist. It is not that we actually learn language, it is more that language learns us.
—Francisco Varela

Here, roughly 3.5 billion years ago, ecologist Daniel Bodkin writes, anaerobic algae mats breathed the air we circulate now. These breathing bacteria produced the environment that produced them. These small breathing things became the iron ore bands that forms the core of our steel belts and structural cores now. What do we circulate now? How does how we say what we say say more than what we say? Architects and thermal engineers measure R values as a gradient of heat exchange through respiring wraps and building envelopes and skins. Now when we breath we speak out. Speaking out is our hours of urbanisms. Each word we speak carries real forces. Sociolinguists, like William Labov, designed techniques to measure socio-demographic differences by measuring how different populations of people pronounced the letter R in public spaces along the east coast of the US. Place your hand in front of your mouth and say ARE out loud 9 times and you'll feel the heat difference between one side of your hand and another.

Our R values U's is about feeling the difference of what we say as an urban force shaping the design of our cities today. This title will probably have changed by the time your read this. What happened as Our R values U's will change by how we talk about what has yet to happen yet. Design today is also about learning how to speak out today. How to say what we mean. How we here each other.

Please join us for what we don't know will happen until you get hear.


Waste Streams Think Tank


December 3
Sullivan Galleries

Hosted by Sustainable SAIC and Art of Crossing the Street (Art Education).

What really happens to SAIC's "waste" after it leaves campus? Waste Streams Think Tank will bring together the people who manage SAIC's waste streams in a collective conversation about waste at SAIC. The discussion will focus on what institutional functions create waste, what happens to waste once it leaves campus and what opportunities exist to further sustainable systems on campus.

Featured participants include representatives from key institutional partners Belmont Technology Remarketing (electronics), Lakeshore Recycling Systems (single stream recycling & landfill) and Collective Resources (compost) alongside administrative staff from Instructional Resources Facilities Management (IRFM), Computer Resources Information Technology (CRIT), and Food For Thought (FFT). The conversation will be hosted by Euree Kim (undergraduate student), Drea Howenstein (faculty), and Megan Isaacs (staff).


Day With(out) Art: Radiant Presence

Juan Rivera, Untitled (Keith Haring), c. 1985


December 1
Sullivan Galleries

In recognition of World AIDS Day, Day With(out) Art was launched by Visual AIDS in 1989 as a day of action and mourning in response to the AIDS crisis. In conjunction with its 26th anniversary, Visual AIDS announces Radiant Presence, a digital slideshow with images from Visual AIDS' Artist + Registry, the largest database of works by artists with HIV/AIDS. Visual AIDS has worked with nine influential artists, activists, and curators—Bill Arning, Ian Alteveer, Chris Vargas, Rae Lewis-Thornton, Mark S. King, Allen Frame, Maria Mejia, Jack Mackenroth, and Kimberly Drew—to create new and provocative work about the ongoing HIV/AIDS pandemic by focusing on the issues of today. Learn more at visualaids.org.

December 1–9, ExTV will present a digital slideshow on campus monitors Maclean Cafe and Columbus Building, 2nd floor.


Book Launch and Panel Discussion:
Beyond Patronage: Reconsidering Models of Practice


December 1
Sullivan Galleries

Martha Bohm, Joyce Hwang, and Gabrielle Printz (editors), with panelists Sean Lally, Amanda Williams, Pablo Garcia, and Ann Lui

Beyond Patronage: Reconsidering Models of Practice is a book of essays, projects, and interviews that examine emerging forms of architecture and design sponsorship. Throughout the twentieth century, private clients enabled architects to develop and realize their most significant work. While the role of private clients is still central to the profession, an increasing number of architects and design practitioners are actively cultivating partnerships with not-for-profits, granting agencies, educational institutions, and other public organizations. How are these broader relationships redefining the role of patronage in architecture?

For this event, panelists will each produce a Diagram of Exchanges, which will articulate and visualize the relationships that both structure and emerge from their work. If architects and patrons are assuming new guises within the relational armature of architectural practice, how can we further discern these relationships and exchanges, and their effects?

Editors: Martha Bohm, Joyce Hwang, Gabrielle Printz; Contributors: Despina Stratigakos, Stephanie Davidson, Hansy Better Barraza, Jon King, Micaela Barker, Linda Taalman, Joseph Swerdlin, Georgeen Theodore, Juliette Spertus, Robert Yoos, Natalie Jeremijenko, Lola Sheppard, Kim Dai, Yolande Daniels, Lori Brown; Book Design: Joel Brenden


"I Am Not a Flower":
Margaret Preston, Félix Régamey, and Metempsychotic Ikebana in the Interwar Period


November 21
Sullivan Galleries

An afternoon with ESTAR(SER)
D. Graham Burnett and Caitlin Sweeney ESTAR(SER) Editorial Committee

Presented by Eric Ellingsen and the Radical Imagination Community, Chicago

Across a career that reshaped Australian art, the celebrated and controversial Modernist Margaret Preston brought an uncanny intensity to the depiction of flowers—in both oil and woodblock print. Of her iconic self-portrait, now hanging in the Gallery of New South Wales in Sydney, she remarked acidly: "I am a flower painter—I am not a flower." But was the distinction so simple? Perhaps not. New evidences suggest Preston may well have been familiar with exercises of metempsychotic self-exchange with flowering plants, techniques used by esoteric practitioners of the Japanese art of Ikebana or Kado, the ancient art of flower-arranging. Was Preston possibly initiated into occult techniques of flower gazing by associates of the Order of the Third Bird?

On November 21, participants will have the opportunity to hear a preliminary report on this fascinating nexus of conjured problems, and will be invited to experiment firsthand with the research process by means of a series of reconstructed attentional exercises staged in the gallery. For more information estarser.net



D-Centered Sense Walk


November 14
Sullivan Galleries

Join SPECIES OF SPACE and the Radical Imagination Community, Chicago:
Performance by Eric Ellingsen in collaboration with participants

D-Centered Sense is a simple choreography of being moved. D-Centered Sense asks what are the contracts implicit in how we use public space. Through simple actions, oriented around a philosophy of slowing down D-Centered Sense Walk is an art walk in which different sense systems are constrained as you move through public space.

Hearing more by seeing less. Laying down the line. Moving by seeing what is not there by seeing how seeing works. Feel what you mean by paying attention. Be conscious while being conscious. Start in time. Feel multiple centers. End somewhere close to where we begin.


Faculty Sabbatical Lecture: Nora Taylor

November 12
Sullivan Galleries

Performance as Site of Memory: Performing Art History in Vietnam and Singapore
Presented by Nora Taylor, Professor of Art History, Theory and Criticism

This presentation will look at four artists, Loo Zihan, Koh Nguang How, Tran Anh Quan, and Nguyen Van Tien, who have created performance pieces that narrate art historical events or that make references to the art historical past. These works are cases where documentation, art history, or archives are the work rather than the aftermath of the work. They not only comment on art history but also on the nature of performance art, documentation, and the role of the archive in art history. More than making art history present and performative, these artists are proposing to look at performance art events as sites of memory and counter memory, or lieux de mémoire as the historian Pierre Nora has called them, in other words sites that challenge the public, and the audience, to recall certain events and their individual histories.


Taboo Subjects: Ashley Hlebinsky


November 10
SAIC Ballroom, 112 S. Michigan Ave.

From Protector to Perpetrator: Demystifying Firearms

The design and manufacture of firearms stands as one of the great achievements of the Industrial Age. The process pioneered the "American System" of manufacture that standardized mechanical reproduction on a massive scale. Gun and ammunition design has its own logic and, when demystified, can inform other disciplines. Ashley Hlebinsky will discuss the ways in which firearms are stigmatized in culture and how those perceptions can lead to obfuscation of the distinction between firearms and firearms violence in history.

The Taboo Subjects series is organized by Ben Nicholson. Presented with Sullivan Galleries and the Chicago Architecture Biennial.

The William Bronson and Grayce Slovet Mitchell Lecture Series is free and open to the public. AIA Learning Units available for most lectures and events.


A Conversation About Creativity and the Economy


November 5
Sullivan Galleries

In conversation with Charles Adler (Kickstarter, Lost Arts)

An evening of show & tell and conversation about our future economy driven by independent creatives. Hear stories by some of the 60+ individuals that transformed a 15,000 square foot meat packing plant into a creative center for 31 days. Using 3D printers, drill presses, spray cans, tomato sauce, and sewing machines, the group created 3D printed bricks, pizza, a boat, and more.


Taboo Subjects: Nance Klehm


October 21
Sullivan Galleries

Foul Odors and Loathsome Sites: a Practical Reorientation to our Wastestreams

The Anthropocene Age has arrived, in which homo sapiens is decimating species whilst exponentially growing its own numbers. At a time when the word organic defines responsible living, how do we put two and two together and harvest the rich minerals and organisms present in human excrement? How can it be turned into compost, used to grow plants for human consumption? As much a cultural taboo as an environmental taboo, Nance Klehm will help pull the thorn of our prejudices and demonstrate that there is a real solution.

The Taboo Subjects series is organized by Ben Nicholson. Presented with Sullivan Galleries and the Chicago Architecture Biennial.


Civilization and Its Discontents:
SAIC Alumni Exhibition, Selections from 1985–2015

Rashid Johnson, Self-Portrait as the black Jimmy Connors in the finals of the New Negro Escapist Social and Athletic Club Summer Tennis Tournament, 2008, Lambda print, 60 x 48 inches, ed. 5/5. Image courtesy of the artist and Monique Meloche Gallery, Chicago



September 1–October 24
Sullivan Galleries

Curated by SAIC faculty Scott Reeder and Tyson Reeder, this exhibition celebrates alumni from the last three decades who have in some way changed the conversation within their discipline and received considerable recognition for their achievements outside of Chicago. Many of these artists are defined less by a shared regional aesthetic than by an iconoclastic, maverick approach to their medium, pulling from SAIC's unique interdisciplinary nature. While the artists chosen have been critically lauded in major US and international contexts for years, the distinctive SAIC spark that began their practice is not always widely recognized. For those unfamiliar with this rich lineage, this show will shed new light on this diverse group of artists and their shared history.


Surveying Defensive Topographies


October 24
Sullivan Galleries

EAGER Student-led Research Workshop

Topographies of Defense is a research project examining design in the urban sphere that functions primarily to discourage, rather than promote, human usage: objects such as "homeless spikes," anti-skate rails and bench dividers, all of which contribute to a covertly defensive reconfiguration of public space. This presentation will expand on the notion of "defensive architecture," incorporating a workshop that invites participants to consider the questions: how and where are defensive designs being integrated into urban space in Chicago? What aesthetic strategies are being employed in defensive design? And what are the broader implications of their presence?

Take a photo of something you might describe as defensive design and bring it along to this interactive workshop with refreshments.

Presented as part of the Outside Design event series.


Ceremony of Equally Luminous Being


October 24
Sullivan Galleries

Eric Ellingsen and artist-in-residence Christina Kousgaard

The Ceremony of Equally Luminous Beingis a series of micro-performances to soften the human lattice. Performances from dream interpreters to soap film dances will take place in a garden sense-based walk for transforming interiors. Join the choreography of loosening up your humanness in order to meet and witnesses the union of two objects: Spanish pipe el Tubo and German Violin Bow Guygin. See what you say. Dream Your Machine.

Presented by the Radical Imagination Community, Chicago in the D-centered Garden of the Senses.


Taboo Subjects: Lucy Pringle


October 28
Sullivan Galleries

Crop Circles, Windows of Perception

For hundreds of years, large geometric designs have appeared in the fields of England's West Country. Some crop circles emit an energy that has permanently or temporarily disabled cameras and computers. Dowsers, using pendulums and dowsing rods, record dramatic shifts of the energy lines in crop circles and mathematicians are confounded by some of their geometric constructions.

Lucy Pringle will share her findings, as well as discuss the presence of energy in buildings and their environs that are recordable with dowsing rods.

The Taboo Subjects series is organized by Ben Nicholson. Presented with Sullivan Galleries and the Chicago Architecture Biennial.


New Work

Linda Tegg, Camera Trap (Contact), 2015, archival inkjet print


September 1–October 10
Sullivan Galleries

New Work showcases projects by current MFA and BFA students as selected through portfolio reviews by the SAIC Exhibitions and Exhibition Studies Committee. This year's exhibition will be rooted in exploratory and critical modes of making and viewing. Work featured incldues Bobby Gonzales, Allyson Packer, Linda Tegg, Derrick Woods-Morrow, and Guanyu Xu. Curated by Graduate Curatorial Assistants Raquel Iglesias (MA 2016) and Jacelyn Kee (MA 2016).


Faculty Projects

Daniel Eisenberg, The Unstable Object (II), 2015, HDV. © Daniel Eisenberg


September 1–October 10
Sullivan Galleries

Faculty Projects is an annual exhibition that presents work by SAIC faculty who have recently completed sabbatical leave. By sharing their current work with the school community, faculty can communicate how their research, projects, and practices relate to the local, national, and international art and design community. The 2015 Faculty Projects exhibition features work by Mark Booth, Mary Cross, Daniel Eisenberg, Stephen Farrell, Diana Guerrero-Macia, Carol Jackson, Carl Ray Miller, Mary Patten, and Anne Wilson.

Organized by Graduate Curatorial Assistants Raquel Iglesias (MA 2016) and Jacelyn Kee (MA 2016).


Coordinates, Design Show 2015:
SAIC AIADO and Fashion Graduate Exhibition + Post-Baccalaureate Fashion Exhibition

Eli Bensusan (MDes 2015), Untitled, 2015

May 9–22
Department of Architecture, Interior Architecture, and Designed Objects
Storefront, 28 S. Wabash Ave., 1st floor

Coordinates features 41 works by graduating design students with: Master of Design in Designed Objects; Master of Design in Fashion, Body and Garment; Master of Architecture with an Emphasis in Interior Architecture; and Master of Architecture. A desire to situate oneself materializes between 28 South Wabash Avenue and the 12th floor of the Sullivan Center, 33 South State Street, the two nodes of SAIC's 2015 Design Show. Coordinates celebrates the positions of 41 students whose work explores where we are in space and time. The answers are as diverse as their expressions, but they come together as fitting parts of one geography.


Post-Baccalaureate 2015 Salon


May 9–11
MacLean Center, 112 S. Michigan Ave.

This presentation features the work of students completing the Post-Baccalaureate Studio Certificate. Artists include: Clare Arentzen, Meghan Borah, Nicholas Brokemond, Brandon Bullard, Matthew Thomas Bush, Perry Danis, Calla Dobmeyer, Berke Doganoglu, Anita Enriquez, Loren Frank, Joanne Chiaoan Hsieh, Irem, Amber Lee, Haerim Lee, Jordan Miller, Erika Liv Ray, Elaine Rubenoff, and Hiejin Yoo.


MFA Show

Naama Hadany (MFA 2015), The Boring Billion (detail), 2014, concrete, fire ash, cigarette ash, paper, and reflective stickers


April 25–May 13
Sullivan Galleries

The MFA Show is the culminating presentation of MFA candidates and an opportunity for new and ambitious work to be presented to the public. For more than four months, graduating MFA candidates work with a team of three distinguished Guest Curators and seven Graduate Curatorial Assistants to envision the exhibition. This invested approach allows for dialogue, process, and collaborative decision-making to guide the curatorial teams as they work together with more than 100 participating artists to bring the MFA Show to fruition over time.

This year's Guest Curators are Allison Peters Quinn, Director of Exhibitions at the Hyde Park Art Center; Lucía Sanromán, an independent curator and writer; and Hamza Walker, Director of Education and Associate Curator for the Renaissance Society at the University of Chicago. They have worked in collaboration with a team of Graduate Curatorial Assistants: Maggie Carrigan (MA 2015), Annie Cottrell (MFA 2015), Tally de Orellana (Dual MA 2016), Ariel Gentalen (MA 2015), Yiquing Li (MA 2015), Elizabeth Metcalfe (MA 2015), and Nicky Ni (BA Art History, 2015).

MFA Show 2015


Contemporary Practices Exhibition

April 11–24
The LeRoy Neiman Center

In this end-of-year exhibition, first-year students from the Department of Contemporary Practices have the opportunity to propose and create site-specific work.

First Catalog Release Party
Friday, April 10, 4:30–7:00 p.m.
Sharp Building, 37 S. Wabash Ave., room 214

First is a catalog published by Contemporary Practices as part of the required Research Studio I class that first-year students take in the first semester at SAIC.

GIF wwwrapped IV
Friday, April 10, 4:30–7:00 p.m.
Sharp Building, 37 S. Wabash Ave., room 331

Juried presentation of Contemporary Practices student work created for the web.

Friday, April 10, 6:00–7:00 p.m.
Sharp Building, 37 S. Wabash Ave., rooms 326 and 327

In conjunction with ARTBASH 2015 exhibition, Contemporary Practices students present live performance and sound works, all created in courses taught as part of the first-year experience.

48.24.12 Video Premiere
Saturday, April 11, 12:00–2:00 p.m.
Gene Siskel Film Center, 164 N. State St.

Live-juried screening of films submitted to the Contemporary Practices student video contest.


Conscious Culture:
The Practice of Listening in Society


March 25
Sullivan Galleries

New Fall 2015 Course Information Sessions

A special graduate seminar with Ernesto Pujol

Come hear about this course and Pujol's social practice inspired by the literature of multiple disciplines and belief systems, honed through transformative experiences in the field.

This fall 2015 visiting performance artist and social choreographer Ernesto Pujol will lead an intensive graduate class—all-day, once a month—that explores the creation of a performative social practice based on deep presence in society, pursuing the belief that deep presence contributes to a more conscious culture. This exceptional class format will enable students to experience collective gestures, while also developing their interdisciplinary individual projects.

In addition, hear about the opportunity for four graduate students to be part of a study trip with Ernesto Pujol and Mary Jane Jacob to Japan in January 2016 (winter interim class SCULP 4004 Art on Location).


Spring Undergraduate Exhibition

Amina Ross (BFA 2015), Peep Show, 2014, three-channel HD video


March 14–April 1
Sullivan Galleries

More than 300 talented SAIC students completing undergraduate degrees this spring exhibit their innovative work. SAIC promotes crossing disciplines and challenging received assumptions, and the results of this approach are showcased in this exhibition.


Cuban Virtualities

Alexandre Arrechea, Sunset (Atardecer), 2003, single-channel video


December 2–February 14
Sullivan Galleries

Cuban Virtualities is the first exhibition on new media art from Cuba to be held outside the island. While a surge in access to digital technologies and the Internet has affected many urban centers in the developing world, their scarcity in Cuba is compounded by a situation of geographic, political and economic isolation. Because the Internet is substituted for a limited version of the World Wide Web on the island (an Intranet), artists working in new media have acquired a spirit of resistance, aiming to reach beyond the barriers established by the Cuban state and the United States-backed embargo.

The 1959 Cuban Revolution has created, over decades, a well-educated nation that has not yet experienced a "digital revolution." Despite obvious challenges, or perhaps in part because of them, a generation of Cuban artists largely born in the 1970s and 80s is creating work that repurposes, reinterprets, hacks, cracks and deconstructs technologies developed in or by the U.S. Quite literally, they return remixed versions of technologies imported to Cuba to their country of origin, itself a commentary on the endless applications of these tools in our diverse, global world. Because digital art can travel more freely than human beings, the platforms for communication and aestheticized experience that constitute this exhibition aim to serve as a community-building, connective force between two countries whose relationship has been characterized by strife since the mid-twentieth century.

Featuring works by: Mauricio Abad, Rewell Altunaga, Alexandre Arrechea, Celia y Yunior, Jairo Gutierrez, Núria Güell, Ernesto Leal Basilio, Glenda Léon, Rodolfo Peraza, Naivy Pérez, Susana Pilar Delahante Matienzo, Levi Orta and José Rolando Rivera.

Curated by Rewell Altunaga and Liz Munsell, Assistant Curator of Contemporary Art, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.

Organized at SAIC by J. Gibran Villalobos (Dual MA 2013) and Wil Ruggiero (MA 2013).

This exhibition originated at the Tufts University Art Gallery, Shirley and Alex Aidekman Arts Center, Medford, MA, where it was on view September 5–December 8, 2013 and was curated by Tufts University alumna Liz Munsell (BA 2005) and Rewell Altunaga.



December 2–February 14
Sullivan Galleries

From social media to drone warfare, networked digital technologies permeate our lives. If media do indeed "determine our situation," as theorist Friedrich Kittler so boldly claims, MEDIA FUTURES asks: "what are our media, now?" Sandboxing approaches at SAIC, students of a graduate seminar co-taught by Adelheid Mers and Shawn Decker took a cue from devised theater, in which a script is created by means of a collaborative and improvisatory process, with the resources at hand. MEDIA FUTURES is the result of an open-ended and ad-hoc mode of "devised curation," a way of thinking, asking, and researching that enabled students to explore multiple roles in the process.

This exhibition was curated by Abraham Avnisan, Ekaterina Balueva, Ellen Brinich, Yunru Huang, Yuehao Jiang, Angela Kim, Jaehyun Kim, Mirong Kim, Alyssa Larkin, Leah Mackin, Matt Mehlan, Xinqi Tao and Nhung Walsh, and led by SAIC Faculty Shawn Decker and Adelheid Mers.

Participating artists include Kayla Anderson, Abraham Avnisan, Brannon Dorsey, Guy Eytan, Jaehyun Kim & Jimin Song, Mirong Kim, Kevin B. Lee, Zach Lona, Leah Mackin, Matt Mehlan, Alyssa Moxley & Ramona Stout, Huong Ngo & Or Zubalsky, Patrick Segura, Nhung Walsh, Krissy Wilson, Sarp Kerem Yavuz, Hyounsang Yoo, Yuan Zheng, and Tobias Zehntner.


The Art of Connection

Jenn Kirkpatrick (MA 2015), We Seek Clarity, 2014


January 31–February 14
Sullivan Galleries

The Art of Connection exhibition showcases artwork by graduate art therapy students and the individuals they work with at their internship sites. Artwork in the show reflects the varied settings, populations, and practices of art therapy, and represents a culmination of the Master of Arts in Art Therapy program at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.