AICAD 2018 Symposium - Thursday, Nov 8
Thursday, November 8—AICAD Day 1
8:00–9:00 a.m.—Breakfast & Check-In, Preston Bradley Hall
9:00–10:00 a.m.—Keynote Pedro Reyes, Preston Bradley Hall
10:30–12:00 p.m.—Murmurs and Manifestos (TBA), The LeRoy Neiman Center
10:30 a.m.–12:00 p.m.—Session 1, multiple locations
1.1 Panel—We the People: Bearing Witness to Militarism through Contemporary Art and Civic Engagement, Fullerton Hall
Aaron Hughes, artist, activist, educator, Iraq War veteran.
Sylvia Bowersox, author, Iraq War veteran
Joseph Lefthand, artist, administrator, Iraq War veteran
Moki Tantoco, Education and Programs Manager, National Veterans Art Museum
Moderator: Joseph Lefthand
Warfare is a reflection of culture, and in spite of a society increasingly defined by identity politicization, how our government and military addresses foreign policy is a direct reflection of our choices as people. Enter the veteran of foreign wars—one who, having acted as both ambassador and enforcer, often returns home to find a society increasingly disconnected from the real world consequences of its polling decisions. “We the People” seeks to mine the depths of veteran artists, individuals who’ve transformed their experiences into vehicles for social change through community action, personal reflection, and reclamation—the latter often a response to the pre-war weaponization and post-war medication of their bodies. Also featured is the perspective of the healer, civilian mediators who embrace and advocate for the reintegration of servicemembers into the body politic, generating conversation and collaboration through civic engagement. Acting in unison, both parties speak to an experience wholly their own, but informed by all of us.
1.2 Panel—Citizen Artist—the Role of Participation, Morton Auditorium
Amy Green-Deines, dean, Cranbrook Academy of Art; Ivana Barisic, academic coordinator/architect, Cranbrook Academy of Art; David Jurca, associate director, Cleveland Urban Design Center, Kent State University; Matt Rossetti, president, Rossetti
Moderator: Michael Stone-Richards, associate professor, College for Creative Studies (CCS)
"Only those who are involved in the development process can appreciate the results achieved, develop them further, and protect them," according to Francis Kéré. As scholars and critics, we can describe the movements of populations; we can understand the powerful forces of demography and economics; we can describe the psychology of behavior, map the tendencies of certain people to vote in certain ways; and so forth. But none of this knowledge means much without a commitment to immersing oneself within a culture and becoming an active participant in it. Through participation we can begin to gain a foothold on genuine understanding. The challenge that faces us and motivates us to action and thought is considering our place in the world and how we can create a meaningful relationship between others and ourselves.
Learning should be seen as the conversation that creates our cultures. To be absent from the conversation, to avoid participation, is to miss the beat. This panel will discuss creative projects that exemplify the role of the citizen artist, architect, and designer and discuss citizenship through the revitalization of urban environments.
1.3 Panel—Compassion, Belonging, and Citizenship, Sharp Building, room 327
April Knighton, mental health promotion specialist, School of the Art institute of Chicago (SAIC); Stephanie Lin-Sumah, academic advisor, SAIC; Louisa Zheng, SAIC; Vidisha Aggarwal, SAIC
Moderator: Joseph Behen, Executive Director, Counseling, Health and Disability Services, SAIC
Compassion can be activated, cultivated, and practiced by individuals and communities. All benefit when we open ourselves up to each other in our times of distress and suffering; allow ourselves to empathize with others in their times of struggle; and act with care, support, and kindness to bring meaningful relief when others need it. A deeper, more complete sense of belonging may emerge when a community encourages and practices compassionate actions, and belonging can be a critical dimension of success for those of us studying and working at art schools. The SAIC Wellness Center—including Counseling, Health and Disability Services—has hosted recent student-driven juried exhibitions (The Compassion Show and Within: An Exhibition on Compassion and Belonging) meant to bring awareness and dialogue about compassion and belonging and the interplay between these concepts. This panel will share the process of creating these productions, the discoveries and insights resulting from the efforts, and the impact on those involved and our art school community.
1.4 Presentation—"Un-free Space": Reflections on Dimensions of Citizenship, Preston Bradley Hall
Presenters from Dimensions of Citizenship, U.S. Pavilion: Alissa Anderson; Iker Gil; Andres Hernandez; Ann Lui. Moderated by Jonathan Solomon.
In Metropolis magazine’s review the 16th Venice Architecture Biennale, titled “Freespace,” critic Phillip Denny pointed at a critical paradox that emerges from the intersection of architecture and politics. "The US Pavilion is a razor-sharp exhibition that confronts visitors with evidence of the un-free territories of American geography," wrote Denny. "But it also begs the question: Can architects do more than represent structures of injustice?" In this panel, contributors present their work and expand upon the central claim made by the exhibition, Dimensions of Citizenship: that it is vital for the architecture to engage in understanding, shaping, and envisioning what it means to be a citizen today and in the future. Presenters include: Alissa Anderson, from Studio Gang; Andres Hernandez, participant in collaboration with Amanda Williams and Shani Crowe; associate curator Iker Gil; and co-curator Ann Lui. This panel will explore a year of collaborative work between architects, designers, curators, thinkers, and theorists, spanning between Chicago, Venice, and beyond. What does it mean to present the United States as a site of critical research and design practice on civitas and belonging— during an era of Trump, growing nationalism, and violence against those perceived as “other,” often executed through the built environment?
1.5 Presentations, Price Auditorium
Occupying Public Space—Visual Communication as Civil Action
Professor Anat Katsir, head of the MDes program in Visual Communication at Bezalel Academy of Arts and Design Jerusalem
“Designing is not a profession but an attitude.”
— Lászlo Moholy-Nagy
War. Refugees. Weapons of Mass Destruction. Global Warming. Illiteracy. Overpopulation. In times of global crisis, like we are facing now, the world of design can be and should be an agent of social change. In the prosperous 90s, the motto of design was “Good design is good business.” Today, designers (and most important to me, visual communication designers) are required to take responsibility for the world they live in and to change public agenda. As educators we have an important role in transforming our students into responsible and active citizens, not to be just servants of corporate powers, but instead be an amplifier to those who are not heard, or not heard enough.
Neo-capitalism takes place in well-designed spaces, usually air-conditioned and full of light. It enables the privileged citizens to enjoy the “good life,” which basically means to make money and spend money. Magazines, advertisements, billboards—they all guide us through this jungle of new, designed consumer products. But we—designers who, let’s admit, create and fuel this fantasy—must be the first to see those who are left outside: the homeless, the unemployed, the hungry, and the sick. This presentation addresses two major civil uprisings that were both extraordinary examples of the way visual communication can be a generator and an accelerator to social change. The first is the Students’ Revolt in Paris 1968, which may justly be called “the mother of all occupy movements.” The second is The Tent Protest, which started as a housing protest in Tel-Aviv in the summer of 2011 and turned into an unprecedented public civil action that Israel had never seen before. Art and design students were at the heart of the uprising in both cases, shaping the massages and fueling the revolt, demonstrating their power to create a significant social change.
The tools of visual communication are an enormous amplifier. Our role as educators is to teach our students to use them wisely.
Giving Voice to Citizens through Community-Based Research and Advocacy
Allison Druin, associate provost for research and strategic partnerships, Pratt Institute
Civic engagement can mean marches in Washington or writing your senator. But at Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, New York, it means giving voice to change through our research activities. We help local communities in Brooklyn challenge urban policies concerning low-income
housing and public transportation. We work with nonprofit groups to identify where community and government services information can make a difference for undocumented immigrants. With textile partners, we reimagine new materials, processes and ethical practices to create practical roadmaps to reduce human health and ecological impacts. At Pratt, we not only embrace teaching on these topics in our School of Liberal Arts and Sciences, or our School of Information, we lead research through our campus-wide centers to support community-based research and advocacy. This presentation will highlight why research matters in an independent art and design school like Pratt.
STEM to STEAM—A Political Roadmap Drawn By Artists
Allina Babette, executive director of government relations and external affairs, Rhode Island School of Design (RISD); Mara Hermano vice president, integrated planning, RISD
The relevance of higher education is under question given the continuously increasing cost of college attendance; art and design institutions feel this more acutely. Art and design institutions are often ignored when looking for examples of how we are educating engaged
citizens who contribute to the public good. In the context of an increasing focus on science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM), students at RISD called for representation in national education and research policy. This presentation will discuss how the science, technology, engineering, art, and math (STEAM) movement was born out of a need to foreground creativity—art and design in particular—as contributing to economic development and innovation. Examples of how students helped shape national policy and how they showed that artists and designers participate productively in a broader civic agenda while finding pathways to careers beyond what are traditionally thought of as outcomes of an art and design education, will be shared.
The Artworld We Want
Clint Jukkala, dean of the School of Fine Arts, Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts (PAFA); Monica Zimmerman, director of museum education, Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts
In fall 2017, the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts opened an exhibition of photographs by Chuck Close. Women artists alleged sexual misconduct in December just after students had left for winter break. With the the exhibition scheduled to run into April, how would the museum and school respond? As soon as students returned to campus, PAFA called a community forum, inviting students, staff, and faculty to discuss the exhibition, allegations, and what to do next. After additional feedback from students and the PAFA community, the result was a pop-up project titled The Art World We Want. The space directly outside of the Close exhibit was activated to reframe the exhibition. Students helped create a graphic chart that examined questions of equity in the studio, classroom, museum and art world. Work from PAFA's permanent collection exploring issues of power and the body were installed, and an interactive timeline invited visitors to comment on how we get to the art world we want. A series of programs was also launched. The final program on the last day of the Close exhibition was a student take-over of the gallery. Students closed and locked the door to the Close exhibition and plastered it with prints they made in the gallery.
12:00–1:00 p.m.—Lunch, SAIC Ballroom
1:00–2:30 p.m.—Murmurs and Manifestos (TBA), The LeRoy Neiman Center
1:00–2:30 p.m.—Session 2, multiple locations
2.1 Panel- TBA
2.2 Panel- The Creaturely Citizen, Morton Auditorium
Panelists: Joseph Altshuler, lecturer, SAIC; Joyce Hwang, associate professor, University at Buffalo; Fred Scharmen, assistant professor, Morgan State University; Stewart Hicks, assistant professor, University of Illinois at Chicago.
Julia Sedlock, Cosmo Design Factory
The Creaturely Citizen brings together a panel of architectural practitioners whose work addresses the nature of subjectivity in a range of social and political contexts where the definition of citizen is expanded to include nonhuman persons and animate objects. For us, “creatureliness” help us articulate subjectivity, character, and agency for human and nonhuman actors. Creatures encompass a broad range of biological and cultural beings, including live animals, domestic pets, literary beasts, taxidermy displays, and other artistic likenesses, with particular emphasis on architecture and objects in our built environment that conjure a capacity for coming to life through formal embellishments and functional enhancements. Creatures exhibit physical and behavioral characteristics, enacting animate relationships between what something looks like and how it operates in the world. From structures that look
like creatures, to structures that accommodate creatures (including space stations), the work of panel members initiates a conversation about who and what we include when defining our social and political boundaries.
2.3 Panel and workshop—College Art Association’s (CAA) Committee on Intellectual Property: Intellectual Property Education for Creative Citizens, Sharp Building, room 327
Panelists: David Raskin, Mohn Family Professor of Contemporary Art History, SAIC; Kelly Salchow MacArthur, associate professor, Michigan State University; Emily Lanza, counsel, US Copyright office, Office of Policy and International Affairs; Gunnar Swanson, associate professor, East Carolina University; Melissa Eckhause, lecturer, Texas A&M University
Anne Goodyear, past president, College Art Association
Intellectual property law guides the social and economic exchanges of creative works that foster a broad citizenry of artists and designers. Abuses and even misconceptions of the intellectual property law can erode this citizenry. Respectful and productive citizenship depends upon sufficient legal knowledge to ensure fair and sustainable transactions. But many art and design educational programs do not provide sufficient instruction for students to operate confidently within the intellectual property framework. How can educators better equip their students to navigate intellectual property law so that it is an inherent part of their creative process and thus their professional practice as art and design citizens?
2.4 Presentations, Price Auditorium
Blurring the Hierarchy
Susan Frame, director, Jakmel Ekspresyon
This presentation compares the hierarchy and curriculum of classic Eurocentric art schools to postcolonial structures in order to deconstruct the hierarchy and create a radically inclusive space that promotes citizenship on all levels while actively constructing a curriculum that is relevant to underserved communities. The students and staff become agents of transformation in their own community. As a white American working in the nonprofit sector Susan Frame processes the concept of the Eurocentric art school curriculum within the context of Haiti, a country with a post-colonial history. She applies a community-based approach to engage with stakeholders. Frame asks the students questions to ensure the answers are coming from their culture. In this space of reference, she sees how her classical Eurocentric art school experience has a similar structure to post-colonial structures. Deconstructing the hierarchy and collaborating with the students to create programming creates ownership, radical inclusion, and relevancy in the curriculum.
The Academic: Citizen or Subject?
James Barmby, PhD, associate vice president, student experience and registrar, Nova Scotia College of Art and Design
Is your academy’s culture more of a republic or a corporation? The culture in which you work is determined by the direction in which you and your colleagues are pulled, if indeed you are pulled at all.
Think of institutions as groups whose members interact for the purpose of furthering society, like universities, legislatures or courts of law. Consider organizations as hierarchical with the purpose accomplishing specific objectives, which is typical of a business, a nonprofit, or a government agency. Is your academy an institution or an organization? Does your academy stand on neutral ground and seek a common understanding, or does a leader charged with a set of objectives direct you? Is your academy trying to be both an institution and an organization? How can you tell? This presentation explores the distinctions between institutional and organizational cultures and how each affects the academic.
Sustainability Across Campus, Resident Life—Facilities Collaborations
Abigail Holcomb, assistant dean of student affairs for Residence Life, SAIC; Hannah Slodounik, sustainability coordinator, SAIC
As a Second Nature Climate Commitment signatory, SAIC is focused on reaching carbon neutrality in a way that engages students, the broader SAIC community, and the City of Chicago. Maintaining a robust partnership with Residence Life is crucial to success. Although environmental sustainability has always been incorporated into the year-long programming of Residence Life, more recent collaborations with campus facilities has resulted in increased impact. By integrating sustainability programming into Residence Life, SAIC is able to help students develop and incorporate habits that spill over into their work as artists, designers, and citizens. This presentation will provide an overview of recent programs including SAIC Unplugged, an energy reduction competition; move-out waste reduction; and a student-developed sustainability week.
Back to Basics
Eleanor Fuchs, Fuchs Consulting
These are difficult times in education. A declining college-age population, restrictive regulatory environment, and rising tuition rates leave institutions with insufficient enrollment, limitations to innovation, and an unfortunate necessity to maintain an attractive price point. Furthermore, credential inflation is devaluing of the very degrees we provide and subsist on. The potential risks associated with this bubble are vast, from declining interest to diminished brand to mission creep. Colleges must reflect on their purpose and how they will meet the needs of future learners. This presentation will discuss the impact of credential inflation on Association of Independent Colleges of Art and Design (AICAD) institutions with recommendations for how its members can mitigate risk without sacrificing a quality arts education. Topics covered will include education inflation, accreditation, assessment, and competency-oriented curricula as they relate to access.
Brad Johns, executive director of fabrication & instructional resources, SAIC
Makers have a natural tendency to work collectively and, when oriented by a mission for social action, can act as a dynamic community for good. This lecture will sample a slice of maker-led social initiatives, examine their human impact, and seek to frame out a series of tactics and attitudes for makers and educators to co-opt and repurpose. Threads will include knowledge-base and skill sharing, trades and local economies, makerspaces/maker-communities and of course, the radical role that art and design education can play in catalyzing maker-based citizenry.
2. 5 Presentations, Preston Bradley Hall
CitizenDesigner in the International Arena
Enrique Limon, adjunct professor of architecture, Pratt Institute
The UN Habitat III New Urban Agenda aims to be a concise, action-oriented, forward-looking, and universal framework of actions for housing and sustainable urban development. Designers throughout the world now are designing in foreign soils more than ever as a result of the global network of information provided to them. The questions at hand, are: What is the role and responsibility of the citizen-architect designing in a foreign country with various social and cultural differences, with limited local resources? And what are the results? How does the design of urbanism differ from what it might be in the architect’s local grounds? Does the architect work with the host country or is it an imposed design? By 2050 the world urban population is expected to nearly double, making urbanization one of the 21st century’s most transformative trends. As the population, economic activities, social and cultural interactions, as well as environment impacts are increasingly concentrated in cities, this poses massive sustainability challenges in housing, infrastructure, basic
services, food security, health, education, decent jobs, and natural resources. In order live among our species, we need to plan cities which respect our diverse and ever shrinking eco-systems. We must create eco-self-sustaining cities addressing the issues of climate change, biodiversity, land degradation, renewable energy, waste management, and disaster risk management. By readdressing the way cities and human settlements are planned, advanced, developed, governed, and managed, the New Urban Agenda will help to end poverty and hunger in all its forms and dimensions; reduce inequalities; promote sustained, inclusive, and sustainable growth; realize gender equality and empowerment of all women and girls; improve human health and well-being; foster resilience; and protect the environment.
Littoral Commons—Using Art and Design to Engage the Public in Shaping the Future of the Shared Landscape Along the Water’s Edge
Emily Vogler, department chair of landscape architecture, RISD
This presentation will explore the commons that exist at the interface between land and water, a space that is critical for maintaining physical access to water as well as the preservation of shared water resources. It will specifically look at the use of sculptural and ceramic modular forms that can help to support the ecological and hydrologic functions of these unique landscapes as well as promote citizen participation in shaping the shared landscape. Three projects will be discussed in the presentation that including: ceramic modules to reduce erosion along the irrigation ditches in New Mexico, sculptural forms installed in the intertidal zone to support oyster and mussel habitat in urban restoration projects, and living shorelines designed to stabilize the coastal edge and provide habitat along the coastline of Narragansett Bay.
Border as Architectural Type
Jake Matatyaou, JuneJuly/SCI-Arc; Kyle Hovenkotter, JuneJuly, Pratt Institute
Borders occupy an important part of our physical, political, and cultural landscapes. Physical and virtual borders are being built at a faster pace than ever before, from the wall dividing Israel from Palestine, to the barriers separating the United States and Mexico, to the fences being constructed throughout Europe. Architects have proven reluctant participants in discourses of border politics, having little, if anything, to say about the border as either a spatial condition or a cultural artifact. It is important for architects to engage the border as a specific architectural type as it is a physically experienced and collectively owned part of our design culture. Our presentation will analyze contemporary border conditions through various art and design practices in order to understand the border as a simultaneous assemblage of physical, virtual,
and temporal devices of control and connection. Case studies will include: Dan Graham, Video-Architecture-Television, 1979; Francis Alÿs, The Loop, Tijuana - San Diego, 1997, and The Green Line, 2004; Hito Steyerl, How to Kill People: A Problem of Design.
2:30–3:00 p.m.— Break
3:00–4:30 p.m. Murmurs and Manifestos (TBA)—The LeRoy Neiman Center
3:00–4:30 p.m.—Session 3, multiple locations
3.1 Panel— Beyond the Mid-Terms: CCA/MICA/For Freedoms Residency in Creative Citizenship, Fullerton Hall
Eric Gottesman, co-founder, For Freedoms Initiative and assistant professor of art + design, SUNY-Purchase; Jaime Austin, director of exhibitions and public programming, California College of the Arts; Julianne Kirgis, associate provost for faculty and academic partnerships, California College of the Arts; Colette Veasey-Cullors, associate dean, Design and Media, Maryland Institute College of Art; Kate McGrain, project coordinator, MICA Voter Access Initiative, Maryland Institute College of Art; and Maddie Wolf, student leader, Chair/Political Action Club, Maryland Institute College of Art
Michael Patterson, vice president for student affairs, MICA
Like many AICAD institutions, CCA and MICA have long-standing programs and initiatives focusing on community-based and publicly engaged approaches to art and design education. More recently, they have focused attention on voter access and civic engagement initiatives as part of local, regional, and national efforts to increase participation in the electoral process on college and university campuses and in their neighboring communities. In the spring of 2018, CCA and MICA worked with the For Freedoms national organization to establish the “For Freedoms Residency in Creative Citizenship.” At its core, this residency is an artistic and organizational strategy for building frameworks for democratic participation on our campuses and in our local communities.
This panel will discuss the history, purpose, and future planning for the CCA/MICA/For Freedoms Residency in Creative Citizenship and share perspectives from a range of participants including For Freedoms leadership, academic and student affairs organizers, student leadership, and others involved in the design and delivery of this project. Our main interest is in discussing how arts-based initiatives of this kind can serve as a platform for building sustainable organization, infrastructure and programming around creative citizenship, democratic practice, and the role of the arts in political and social action campaigns. This panel is intended to connect to the Friday “working lunch” on ForFreedoms.org.
3.2 Panel—Infusing Diversity, Inclusion and Equity into Co-Curricular Programming and Community Engagement—The Practice of Student Collaborations, Price Auditorium
Patrick Spence, associate dean, Campus Life, SAIC; Maureen Keefe, vice president of student affairs, Massachusetts College of Art and Design (MassArt); Helen Matusow-Ayres, vice president of student affairs, Pratt
This panel will include perspectives from three different AICAD schools on how they partner with students to ensure that co-curricular programming meets the needs of their diverse communities while exposing all students to different ideas and customs and civic engagement. Each school will discuss specific programs and structures they have implemented to work with students to educate the community. SAIC will focus on the Multicultural Affairs Advisory Committee, which brings together representatives from all affinity groups on campus and hosts specific programs such as the Decolonization Dinner. Pratt will focus on its Community Engagement Board and how the school educates students about the communities they are serving. MassArt will share findings from their pilot Anti-Racism Dialogue Group Project (ARDGP).
3.3 Panel—Art, Design, and Community Engagement—Programs for Active Citizenship, Morton Auditorium
Aileen Wilson, director of Center for Art, Design, and Community Engagement K-12, Pratt Institute; Shalini Agrawal, assistant director, Center for Art + Public Life, California College of the Arts; Ken Krafcheck, director of community arts MFA, MICA; Patrick Rowe, visiting assistant professor in art and design education, Pratt Institute
Paul Sproll, department chair, Department of Teaching + Learning in Art + Design; director, Project Open Door, RISD
AICAD member schools offer a variety of different programs and courses that engage with the community and advance active citizenship. These initiatives demonstrate a wide range of theoretical rationales, processes, and pedagogies in art, design, and education, including socially engaged art and design practices, community-based art and design education, and studio-based access and opportunity programs. In response to curriculum and community needs, art
and design schools have developed innovative approaches to service learning or civic engagement. Conversations led by professional organizations on the role of higher education in producing more informed, engaged and socially responsible citizens ignited service learning or civic learning focused courses on campuses across the country. In this panel participants will present programs in their schools that engage in diverse ways with community with the goal of stimulating a discussion on the opportunities and challenges for art and design schools in the development of active citizenship.
3.4 Panel—Defining Ethical Frameworks and Principles of Practice for Designing with People, Sharp Building, room 327
Maria Rosario Jackson, institute professor in the Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts, Arizona State University; Sarah Cunningham, executive director for research at Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) School of the Arts and director of the Arts Research Institute, VCU; Sanjit Sethi, Corcoran School of the Arts & Design, Columbian College of Arts & Sciences, The George Washington University; Jamie Bennett, executive director, Art Place
Sean Donahue, core faculty, Art Center College of Design
Gwynne Keathley, vice provost for research and graduate studies, MICA
The Defining Practices panel explores the ethical frameworks and principles of practice for human subject engagement appropriate to art and design research and examines the role of institutions to support and advance the unique goals of creative intervention. The discussion will consider the academic infrastructures, research methods, and review protocols needed to responsibly promote and legitimize this work. Building on discussions over the last year with a wide community of art and design educators and practitioners, the goal is to advance a national dialog regarding the design and support of appropriate ethical frameworks for human subject engagement in the arts.
The panel discussion will explore the following questions:
• What are the ethical frameworks necessary for creative engagement?
• What is the role of institutions to explore, support, and advance these practices?
• In addition to defining meta-disciplinary models or pedagogical approaches, what is the institutional and administrative infrastructure necessary for this work?
3.5 Presentations, Preston Bradley Hall
Naïve Direct Realism and the Case for Visual Studies
Mark Campbell, dean-associate professor, The University of the Arts
Naïve Direct Realism argues for the veracity of the senses and an "access to the world" theory of perception. This short presentation will outline the basic arguments in support of the theory, then quickly move to the principle theme, first conflating aesthetic experience with everyday lived experience, then asserting the social value of sense acuity as an essential aspect of citizenship. Here the principle reference text is Art As Experience by John Dewey. In this classic work, Dewey offers a view of the artist as, “being alive with electric consciousness of the qualitative dimensions of experience...commuting constantly between imaginative conceptual planning and intimate sensory contact with (the material world).” Dewey goes on to establish aesthetic experience as “experience in integrity,” and by linking it with everyday lived experience, as being social and ethical at its foundation. References to the direct, nontransferable value of studio art training, the neurosciences, and the capabilities movement will support the argument asserting the social centrality of the artist.
Art of the Common—Art Activism in Postindustrial Detroit
Vince Carducci, dean of undergraduate studies, CCS
For decades, the city of Detroit has been an icon of urban disinvestment. The devastation has taken on a romantic patina in the photographic genre known as “ruin porn," images of the city’s deliquescing architecture, often printed in large format with a glossy sheen, circulated in the media and exhibited in galleries and museums internationally. The Motor City’s identity as an avatar of modernity gone awry possesses scopophilic allure, but there is another tendency that has emerged, which can be termed the “art of the common.” The art of common exists in the interstitial zone between public and private as customarily understood. This study surveys the work of art activists in the Banglatown neighborhood of Detroit using Jaques Rancière’s notion of aesthetic community and Eric Olin Wright’s concept of real utopias as its primary theoretical lenses.
The Case for the URban Ecomuseum—Empowering Divested Neighborhoods through Community-focused Museums
Kaity O’Reilly, Arts Administration and Policy Graduate Student, SAIC
“The Case for the Urban Ecomuseum: Empowering Divested Neighborhoods through Community-focused Museums” explores the concept of the ecomuseum, a type of museum usually in relation to nature or ecology, as a potential model for the success of urban
community-focused and engaged museums. This paper argues that the ecomuseum would be a successful model to be undertaken as it prioritizes the input and involvement of the community for the museum to best serve and provide resources to their community. This is essential to consider for urban-based museums as the communities these institutions serve lack the political and social agency to effect change and preserve their heritage with the rising threat of gentrification. This paper examines two case studies, the Jane Addams Hull-House Museum and the Smithsonian Anacostia Community Museum, as examples of institutions already embodying these practices, therefore showing how this model can be successfully implemented to best serve urban communities.
Another World is Possible—building bridges through art and social action
Elizabeth Jabar, Associate Dean and Director of Public Engagement, Maine College of Art
Democracy requires imagination. How might the citizen activist and citizen artist work together to develop a set of skills and opportunities that allow us to be more effective in the world? Drawing from the models and tactics of social movements, activist art, and social practice that inform Maine College of Art’s (MECA) public engagement minor, this presentation defines the Citizen Artist Designer and delivers a call to action for civic engagement, discourse and coalition building. How can we fight for something that we can’t imagine? The Citizen Artist Designer builds spaces of risk that are necessary for stirring collective imagination through civic participation, social experience, and experimentation. Discussing the strategies of co-creation, critical reflection, dialog, collaboration, and relationship building the presentation argues for moving beyond artist projects to sustainable platforms for a more inclusive active partnership between institutions, organizations and the community where individuals co-labor and co-create the world we want to inhabit.
Founding Collaborative Art Practices as Nation-Building
Stephanie Koch, SAIC
It has been said that today’s moment is oddly familiar; there exists a resemblance to the years of the ‘60s and ‘70s. While the artists of those decades felt an urgent need to tackle their immediate events and conditions, the focus of today’s emerging artists, curators, and writers feels more diffuse. Within their works, one can trace a resonance of embedded energies not overtly declared. There is an underlying desire to create a world that is other to the current space and time in which we live. There is a need to construct a sacred space for oneself and one’s personal experience. They reckon with their heritage or lack thereof, and they search for their place in history. Rural and urban precarity meet ill-fitting categories of identification to create a climate of uncertainty. Those born into unwelcoming worlds and unreliable environments have a different reaction than those who assumed they would be protected. In response to a foundational promise of home, of belonging and of care yet to be fulfilled, these makers feel their way and make their worlds anew. Many emerging makers are unaware of each other’s concerns and considerations. Siloed and singular, many do not engage collaboration and, as a result, have not found affinities which could resolve these isolating feelings. To that end, I declare the intention of Founding, an art event which will unite these works and consider how they respond to our moment. Outwardly, the nation has a deeply divided image. But, whether or not fully realized, feelings of discontent, confusion, and alienation reside within everyone. Founding proposes a new mode of affiliation through a reimagining of the nation, roused by a gathering of voices which speak to feelings of displacement and of discontent; to wishes for home, for belonging and for care.
05:00–7:00 p.m.: Evening Programming TBA
7:30–9:30 p.m.—VISION DINNER: Local/National/Global Models of Collaboration for Creative Citizenship, (Location TBA)
On the evening of Thursday, November 8, the VISION DINNER brings faculty and administrators across AICAD institutions together to provide a new context to spark conversation about the ways art and design institutions might collaborate to advance creative citizenship. This session, organized as a dinner in the evening, will provide a framework for AICAD colleagues to envision new projects, connections, models of distributed engagement, or shared experiences that might re-envision the form, delivery, pedagogy, and impacts of community engagement in art and design education. This dinner follows the format of a Vision Dinner that MICA hosted at the AICAD Symposium at Ringling College of Art & Design in Sarasota, Florida, in fall 2016 with faculty and leadership from various institutions that prompted “out of the box” discussion and planning. The goal is to catalyze new models of collaboration among AICAD schools’ programs.