Immersive Life Practices


Chicago Social Practice History Series
Daniel Tucker, Mary Jane Jacob, and Kate Zeller, Editors
University of Chicago Press, September 2014

Paperback, 200 pages
ISBN: 9780982879849
September 2014

To order visit the University of Chicago Press website.

Much ink has been spilled on how art intersects with the experiences of everyday lives. But what about art grappling with how to live differently? Artists occupy an exceptional space where their livelihood permeates all aspects of life, eroding boundaries between the personal, the professional, and the political.

Immersive Life Practices talks to Chicago-based artists and authors about life as an art practice and art as a life practice. The contributors explore a range of concerns, from how to be holistic, ethical, or practical; to how to balance life and work; to formal questions of how to represent a never-ending project. Some speak fondly of long-term collaborative relationships that sustain their work, while others place emphasis on the physical space in and outside the city as necessary to keep them grounded. Engaging and honest, the essays and interviews in this collection will resonate with anyone working to create an art—and a life—worth living.


Support Networks


Chicago Social Practice History Series
Abigail Satinsky, Mary Jane Jacob, and Kate Zeller, Editors
University of Chicago Press, November 2015

Paperback, 200 pages
ISBN: 9780982879856
November 2014

To order visit the University of Chicago Press website.

When artists break boundaries of traditional forms and work outside of institutionalized systems, they often must create new infrastructures to sustain their practices. Support Networks looks to Chicago's deeply layered history of artists, scholars, and creative practitioners coming together to create, share, and maintain these alternative networks of exchange and collaboration.

It explores how the city continues to inform and shape contemporary cultural work and the development of informal organizations. Many of the authors are contributors to the scene themselves having envisioned, founded, and activated these new ways of working. Ranging from artists' reflections, to essays, interviews, and ephemera, these perspectives challenge existing narratives and foreground underrepresented voices. With more than 25 diverse examples of community building, activism, and catalytic projects, readers will find the inspiration they need to build their own counter-institutions.


Art Against the Law


Chicago Social Practice History Series
Rebecca Zorach, Mary Jane Jacob, and Kate Zeller, Editors
University of Chicago Press, January 2015

Paperback, 200 pages
ISBN: 9780982879832
January 2015

To order visit the University of Chicago Press website.

In 1968, Chicago made headlines for the ferocity of its police response to protesters at the Democratic National Convention, prompting outrage in the art world. Some artists pulled their shows from the city and called for a boycott while others responded artistically, creating new works and even full exhibitions in reaction to the political and social issues raised by the summer's events.

Despite a sometimes notorious political and social history, art practices that challenge authority have thrived in Chicago. Art Against the Law examines the creative tactics of the city's activist artists and their ways of addressing the broad definitions of the law—from responses to excessive policing to inequities in public policy. These include creative forms of protest, rebellion against the law through illegal art practices, and using the political system itself as an art medium to alter existing laws. These essays and conversations address the boundaries between art and creative activism questioning whether lines should be drawn at all.


Institutions and Imaginaries


Chicago Social Practice History Series
Stephanie Smith, Mary Jane Jacob, and Kate Zeller, Editors
University of Chicago Press, March 2015

Paperback, 200 pages
ISBN: 9780982879863
Coming March 2015

Socially engaged art, by means of its transformative practice, is shaping today's institutions and the very culture of now. And in a city famous for both its physical and political structures, few creative communities are as deeply intertwined with a city's framework as those in Chicago.

This volume focuses on how artists and others have worked with, within, and sometimes in opposition to large Chicago institutions such as public schools, universities, libraries, archives, museums, and other civic bodies. Drawing from a broad range of interdisciplinary sources, it explores the long-reaching effect of socially motivated art on urban life. It grounds recent history within a longer arc of civic self-fashioning, from the Columbian Exposition of 1893 to Jane Addams's Hull House to John Dewey's legacy in arts education. The collection also examines the relationship between the city's image and the types of artistic work that flourishes within its boundaries—and resonates far beyond them.


Chicago Makes Modern: How Creative Minds Changed Society

Chicago Makes Modern: How Creative Minds Change Society


Mary Jane Jacob and Jacquelynn Baas, Editors
University of Chicago Press, co-publication, November 2012

Paperback, 304 pages
ISBN: 9780226389561
November 2012

Download Table of Contents [PDF]

To order visit the University of Chicago Press website

Chicago is a city dedicated to the modern—from the skyscrapers that punctuate its skyline to the spirited style that inflects many of its dwellings and institutions, from the New Bauhaus to Hull-House. Despite this, the city has long been overlooked as a locus for modernism in the arts, its rich tradition of architecture, design, and education disregarded. Still the modern in Chicago continues to thrive, as new generations of artists incorporate its legacy into fresh visions for the future. Chicago Makes Modern boldly remaps twentieth-century modernism from our new-century perspective by asking an imperative question: How did the modern mind—deeply reflective, yet simultaneously directed—help to dramatically alter our perspectives on the world and make it new?


The Studio Reader: On the Space of Artists



Mary Jane Jacob and Michelle Grabner, Editors
University of Chicago Press, co-publication, June 2010

Paperback, 328 pages
ISBN: 9780226389615
June 2010

Download: Table of Contents [PDF]

To order visit the University of Chicago Press website.

The Studio Reader pulls back the curtain from the art world to reveal the real activities behind artistic production. What does it mean to be in the studio? What is the space of the studio in the artist's practice? How do studios help artists envision their agency and, beyond that, their own lives? This forward-thinking anthology features an all-star array of contributors, ranging from Svetlana Alpers, Bruce Nauman, and Robert Storr to Daniel Buren, Carolee Schneemann, and Buzz Spector, each of whom locates the studio both spatially and conceptually—at the center of an art world that careens across institutions, markets, and disciplines. A companion for anyone engaged with the spectacular sites of art at its making, The Studio Reader reconsiders this crucial space as an actual way of being that illuminates our understanding of both artists and the world they inhabit.

Learning Mind: Experience into Art



Mary Jane Jacob and Jacquelynn Baas, Editors
University of California Press, co-publication, January 2010

Hardcover, 296 pages
ISBN: 9780520260764

Download: Table of Contents [PDF]

To order visit the University of California Press website.

How is art conceived, created, and experienced? How is it taught? How does the act of viewing a work make the viewer part of that work? Learning Mind: Experience into Art addresses these questions as it documents the changing practices in the making, teaching, and exhibition of art. Timely, multifaceted, and instructive, this groundbreaking volume explores the contemporary art experience and its expanding presence in society through lively essays, revealing interviews, and provocative conversations with some of the most influential artists and educators of our time. Featured artists include Magdalena Abakanowicz, Ann Hamilton, Alfredo Jaar, Kerry James Marshall, and Ernesto Pujol, along with designers Walter Hood and Bruce Mau. Contributing authors include curators Marcia Tucker and Christopher Bedford, art critics Michael Brenson and Jerry Saltz, art historian David Getsy, educators Ronald Jones and Lawrence Rinder, philosopher Arthur Danto, psychiatrist Mark Epstein, theorist W.J.T. Mitchell, and chef-educator Alice Waters. In demonstrating the role that art schools and universities play in the creative process, Learning Mind offers students, teachers, and readers new and vital theoretical texts as well as practical strategies for integrating art into our daily lives.

Buddha Mind in Contemporary Art



Mary Jane Jacob and Jacquelynn Baas, Editors
University of California Press, co-publication, December 2004

Hardcover, 264 pages
ISBN: 9780520243460

Download: Table of Contents [PDF]

To order visit the University of California Press website.

Buddha Mind in Contemporary Art documents the growing presence of Buddhist perspectives in contemporary culture. This shift began in the nineteenth century and is now pervasive in many aspects of everyday experience. In the arts especially, the increasing importance of process over product has promoted a profound change in the relationship between artist and audience. But while artists have been among the most perceptive interpreters of Buddhism in the West, art historians and critics have been slow to develop the intellectual tools to analyze the impact of Buddhist concepts. This timely, multi-faceted volume explores the relationships between Buddhist practice and the contemporary arts in lively essays by writers from a range of disciplines and in revealing interviews with some of the most influential artists of our time. Elucidating the common ground between the creative mind, the perceiving mind, and the meditative mind, the contributors tackle essential questions about the relationship of art and life.

Ray Yoshida



Kate Zeller, editor
School of the Art Institute of Chicago, November 2010

Paperback, 72 pages
ISBN: 9780982879825
Currently out of print

For inquires about this publication, please contact Kate Zeller in the SAIC Department of Exhibitions: 312.629.6642,

The commemorative book about the life and artistic practice of Ray Yoshida was published on the occasion of the exhibition "Touch and Go: Ray Yoshida and His Spheres of Influence" (2010). This publication brings together never before seen reproductions from Yoshida's comic sketchbooks and personal notebooks. The life of this remarkable and influential artist is captured through interviews with students, friends, and colleagues including: Mark Booth, John Corbett, Jim Dempsey, Susanne Doremus, Art Green, Ted Halkin, Philip Hanson, Richard Hull, Michiko Itatani, Thomas H. Kapsalis, Jin Soo Kim, Jim Nutt, Frank Piatek, Suellen Rocca, Barbara Rossi, Elizabeth Rupprecht, Rebecca Shore, Lisa Stone, Frank Trankina, Karl Wirsum, Jim Zanzi, and Mary Lou Zelazny.

The Consistency of Shadows: Exhibition Catalogues as Autonomous Works of Art


‌Anne Dorothee Böhme and Kevin Henry, designers

Seven offset printed booklets and CD-ROM
Housed in a custom-designed, vacuum-formed acrylic box
Outside dimensions approx. 12" x 14" x 5"
February 2010
$45.00, exhibition catalogue

To order, contact: SAIC Department of Exhibitions, 312.629.6635,

The exhibition "The Consistency of Shadows" was originally conceived as an effort to raise patron awareness about the collection of unusual and interesting catalogues housed in the Joan Flasch Artists' Book Collection at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. As the concept took shape, Anne Dorothee Böhme, an artist and special collections librarian, collaborated with her artist/designer husband and creative partner Kevin Henry, to develop the show's unique, interactive environment, as well as this award-winning catalogue. Held at the Betty Rymer Gallery from February 21 to April 11, 2003, the exhibition brought together approximately 120 exhibition catalogues, dating from the 1960s to the present, which were designed to function as a work of art. The relationship between the exhibition and its catalogue is a many-layered model for the complexity of projects that explore, as Böhme writes in her introductory essay for the catalogue, "how to re-collect a past event and how to re-connect to it with minimal interference." Contributors to the catalogue include: Anne Dorothee Böehme, special collections librarian, Joan Flasch Artists' Book Collection at SAIC, and organizer of the exhibition, Christian Boltanski, artist, Paris, France; Alan Cravitz, private collector of artists' books and catalogues, Chicago; Anthony Elms, art critic and editor of WhiteWalls, Chicago; Mary Jane Jacob, writer and independent curator, Chicago; Barbara Moore, art historian, writer and rare-book dealer of Bound and Unbound, New York.