Master’s Program in Aesthetics and Politics


Spring 2016

Immigration: Art/Critique/Process Symposium

REDCAT, 631 W. 2nd St, Los Angeles CA 90012
March 17 and 18, 2016

Organized by James Wiltgen, School of Critical Studies, CalArts
and Beatriz Cortez, Central American Studies, CSUN

This symposium will address immigration as a concept that not only describes the movement of peoples across borders, but that also engages with a constant refashioning that defines our city and our region. Immigration demands our reevaluation of concepts such as human rights, the human, the citizen, the immigrant. What lives count and what lives are made invisible? How is immigrant labor justified in a language that speaks of biopolitics and governmentality? How can we move beyond the territorialized and rigid formation of identities to speak instead of unfolding identities engaged in multiple, simultaneous processes of collective becoming? Are we entangled/enmeshed with each other? How does the climate crisis impact global migration? The two-day event will include the participation of artists, curators, critics, cultural theorists, and philosophers.

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Thursday, March 17th

4:00 – 4:30pm Opening Remarks:
James Wiltgen

4:30 – 6:30pm Performance:
Regina José Galindo
Rafa Esparza
Nao Bustamante

6:30-7:30pm Border Crossers
Chico MacMurtrie

7:30 – 8:30pm Reception

8:30pm Documentary:
Frontera: A Sketch for the Creation of a Future Society (77 min., 2014)
A Project by Laboratorio 060
Direction: Lourdes Morales, Javier Toscano, Iván Lomelí
Followed by a Q&A with: Ruth Estevez and Javier Toscano

Friday, March 18th

10:30 – 11:00am Opening Remarks:
Beatriz Cortez

11:00am – 12:30pm Cultural Critique:
Michael Ned Holte
Kency Cornejo
Ricardo Roque Baldovinos

12:30 – 2:00pm Break for lunch

2:00 – 3:30pm Curatorial Practices:
Tyler Stallings
Pilar Tompkins Rivas
Jennifer Doyle

3:30 – 4:00pm Coffee Break

4:00 – 5:00pm Virtual Reality:
Use of Force (2014)
By Nonny de la Peña
Followed by a Q&A with Nonny de la Peña

5:00 – 5:30pm Coffee Break

5:30 – 7:30pm Visual Art:
Louis Hock
Ronald Morán
Yoshua Okón
Harry Gamboa Jr.

7:30 – 8:30pm Reception

8:30pm Keynote:
Claire Colebrook
“Scale and Refuge”

Speaker Biographies

Nao Bustamante is an internationally known artist, originally from California. Her work encompasses performance art, video installation, visual art, filmmaking, and writing. She has exhibited at the Institute of Contemporary Arts in London, the New York Museum of Modern Art, The San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, Sundance International Film Festival, Outfest International Film Festival, El Museo del Barrio Museum of Contemporary Art, First International Performance Biennial, Deformes in Santiago, Chile and the Kiasma Museum of Helsinki, among others. In 2001 she received the prestigious Anonymous Was a Woman fellowship and in 2007 named a New York Foundation for the Arts Fellow, as well as a Lambent Fellow. In 2008 She received the Chase Legacy award in Film and was the Artist in Residence of the American Studies Association in 2012. In 2013, Bustamante was awarded the CMAS-Benson Latin American Collection Research Fellowship and a Makers Muse Award from the Kindle Foundation. In 2014/15 Bustamante was the Queer Artist in Residence at UC Riverside and in 2015 she was a UC MEXUS Scholar in Residence at the Vincent Price Art Museum in Los Angeles. Bustamante’s video work is in the Kadist Collection. She is alum of the San Francisco Art Institute, New Genres Program and the Skowhegen School of Painting. She is Associate Professor and Vice Dean of Art at the USC Roski School of Art and Design. She lives and works in Los Angeles.

Claire Colebrook is Edwin Erle Sparks Professor of English at Penn State University. She has written books and articles on literary theory, feminist theory, contemporary European philosophy, poetry, visual culture and queer theory. She is the author of New Literary Histories (Manchester UP, 1997), Ethics and Representation (Edinburgh UP, 1999), Deleuze: A Guide for the Perplexed (Continuum 1997), Gilles Deleuze (Routledge 2002), Understanding Deleuze (Allen and Unwin 2002), Irony in the Work of Philosophy (Nebraska UP, 2002), Gender (Palgrave 2003), Irony (Routledge 2004), Milton, Evil and Literary History (Continuum 2008), Deleuze and the Meaning of Life (Continuum 2010), and William Blake and Digital Aesthetics (Continuum 2011). She co-authored Theory and the Disappearing Future with Tom Cohen and J. Hillis Miller (Routledge 2011), and co-edited Deleuze and Feminist Theory with Ian Buchanan (Edinburgh University Press, 2000), Deleuze and History with Jeff Bell (Edinburgh 2008), Deleuze and Gender with Jami Weinstein (Edinburgh UP 2009) and Deleuze and Law (Palgrave) with Rosi Braidotti and Patrick Hanafin. She is the co-editor, with Tom Cohen, of a series of monographs for Open Humanities Press: Critical Climate Change. She recently completed two books on Extinction for Open Humanities Press: The Death of the Posthuman, and Sex After Life. She is now completing a book on fragility (of the species, the archive, and the earth).

Kency Cornejo is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Art and Art History at the University of New Mexico. She is a scholar of modern and contemporary Latin American art history with a specialization on Central America and its diaspora. She obtained her doctoral degree from Duke University and holds an MA from the University of Texas at Austin and a BA from UCLA. Her work explores the intersection between race, gender and coloniality in art and visual culture, and addresses issues of racism, violence, femicide, immigration, prisons, captivity, transnationalism, gangs and Diasporas. From her research, she has designed and taught courses such as ‘Art, Visual Culture & Politics in Central America,’ ‘Experimental Art and Politics in Latin America, Post 1968,’ and ‘Decoloniality, Indigeneity and Art in Latin America.’ She has published on these topics and is currently working on her first book manuscript based on her dissertation, Visual Disobedience: The Geopolitics of Experimental Art in Central America, 1990-Present. Kency was born in Los Angeles to Salvadoran immigrant parents and raised in Compton, California.

Beatriz Cortez is a visual artist and a cultural critic. She was born in El Salvador and migrated to the United States in 1989. She holds a Ph.D. in Latin American literature from Arizona State University where she wrote her dissertation on post-war Central American fiction. She has written on the aesthetics of cynicism in Central America, racism and culture, indigenous rights, violence, and memory. She teaches literature, art, and film courses in Central American Studies at California State University, Northridge. Her current research interests include nomadism, simultaneity, and multiple temporalities in the dislocated experiences of populations in movement. Her artwork explores simultaneity, as well as the existence in different temporalities and different versions of modernity, particularly in relation to memory and loss in the aftermath of war and the experience of immigration, and in exploration of possible futures. She lives and works in Los Angeles.

Jennifer Doyle is professor of English at UC Riverside. Her publications include Campus Sex/Campus Security (Semiotexte, 2015), Hold It Against Me: Difficulty and Emotion in Contemporary Art (Duke University Press, 2013) and Sex Objects: Art and the Dialectics of Desire (University of Minnesota Press, 2006). She is currently working on a book about segregation logics as accessed in artworks engaged with sport cultures. In 2015, she curated Nao Bustamante: Soldadera for the Vincent Price Art Museum, and is a member of Human Resources Los Angeles, where she has been collaborating on a series of events exploring the meaning and possibilities of decolonization within the worlds of experimental art.

Rafa Esparza was born, raised, and is currently living in Los Angeles. Esparza is a multidisciplinary artist who works in a range of mediums from installation to sculpture, drawing to painting, with the key dynamic live performance. He is inspired by his own relationship to colonization and the disrupted genealogies that result from such encounters. Esparza is persistent in staging situations where he attempts to experience a time and space inaccessible to him. Using live performance as his main form of inquiry, he addresses site specificity, materiality, memory and (non)documentation as primary tools in interrogating, critiquing and examining ideologies, power structures and binaries that problematize the “survival” process of historicized narratives and the present environments wherein people are left to navigate and socialize. Esparza traverses a variety of loci, entering and exiting traditional art spaces in favor of more relevant contexts to both address and problematize specific audiences, communities and public sites throughout the city of Los Angeles. He is a recipient of an Emerging Artist 2014 California Community Foundation Fellowship for Visual Artists, a 2014 Art Matters grantee, and a 2015 recipient of a Rema Hort Mann Foundation Emerging Artist Grant.

Ruth Estévez (b. 1977. Bilbao, Spain) is a writer, curator, and stage designer. She is currently the curator and director of REDCAT Gallery in Los Angeles. Between 2007 and 2011, Estévez served as the chief curator at the Museo de Arte Carrillo Gil, Mexico City, where she curated various exhibitions and projects with artists such as Guy Ben-Ner (Fold along the line, 2009), Mark Manders (Obra de Referencia, 2011), and Fernando Ortega (Levitacion asistida, 2008), among others. In 2010 Estévez cofounded LIGA-Space for Architecture in Mexico City, an exhibition platform dedicated to the experimentation in the field of architecture and spatial practice. Her current work at REDCAT has brought to Los Angeles artists like Javier Téllez (Games are forbidden in the labyrinth, 2014), Pablo Bronstein (Enlighment discourse on the origins of Architecture (2013), Allora & Calzadilla (Apotomē, 2014), Agency (Assembly: Before and After the Split second recorded), 2015) among others. Forthcoming exhibitions include a newly commissioned project with João Maria Gusmão and Pedro Paiva, Camell Collective (Carla Herrera Prats and Anthony Graves), Ana Prvacki and Raimundas Malašauskas and a group exhibition called “Hotel Theory”, a project that looks at the performance of theory in contemporary art. She is also working on re-staging a historical performance piece from Argentinian artist Leon Ferrari in collaboration with The Getty Institute in 2017. She has written for numerous exhibition catalogues and art publications and has independently organized exhibitions in Spain, France, Belgium, and the United States, as well as in Mexico.

Regina José Galindo is an internationally acclaimed visual artist specializing in performance art. Her work has been widely exhibited in solo and group exhibitions including at Padiglione d’Arte Contemporanea, Milan, Italy; the 49th, 51st, 53rd, and 54th Venice Biennale, Venice, Italy; the Moscow Biennale; the Museum of Contemporary Art and Design, San José, Costa Rica; the Canary Islands Biennial, Canary Islands, Spain; the Festival of Corporeal Art, Caracas, Venezuela; the Museum of Latin American Art, Long Beach, CA, and at the Tate Modern, London, U.K. Galindo is the recipient of several awards and honors, including the Golden Lion for the best artist under 35 from the 51st Venice Biennale (2005), the Prince Claus Award from the Netherlands (2011), and the Grand Prize at the 29th Ljubljana Biennial of Graphic Arts in Ljubljana, Slovenia (2011). Her work is included in collections such as the Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris, France; the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York, NY, U.S.; the Castello di Rivoli – Museum of Contemporary Art, Turin, Italy; the Daros Latinamerica Collection, Zurich, Switzerland; the Blanton Museum of Art, Austin, TX, U.S.; the Museum of Contemporary Art, San José, Costa Rica; and the Pérez Art Museum Miami and Cisneros Fontanals Collection, both in Miami, FL, U.S. She lives and works in Guatemala.

Harry Gamboa Jr. is a Los Angeles-based artist/writer/educator. He is the founder/director of Virtual Vérité (2005-Present), the international performance troupe. In addition, he is a co-founder of Asco (1972-1985), the Chicano performance group. He is a faculty member of the Photo/Media Program at the California Institute of the Arts, and a lecturer with the Chicana/o Studies Department at California State University, Northridge. His work has been exhibited nationally/internationally at the Whitney Museum of American Art, Museo del Palacio de Bellas Artes in Mexico City, Centre Pompidou in Paris, Tate Liverpool, and Los Angeles County Museum of Art, among several others. He has delivered artist talks at the Smithsonian American Art Museum, Harvard University; Dartmouth College; Stanford University, Cornell University, and Universitair Centrum Sint Ignatius Antwerpen. His oral history is included in the Smithsonian Archives of American Art. He is the author of several books including: Aztlángst 2 a fotonovela; Fallen selected poems; and Urban Exile: Collected Writings of Harry Gamboa Jr., published by the University of Minnesota Press. His work has been featured in international publications including Art in America, Frieze, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Los Angeles Times, Le Monde, El Pais, Arte al Dia, and in October 2011, his photograph, “Decoy Gang War Victim,” served as the cover image for Artforum.

Louis Hock is an artist and independent filmmaker. His work has been exhibited at numerous national and international art institutions including the Museum of Modern Art in New York, the Whitney Museum of American Art, the Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles, and the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. He has also been shown at La Panadería and Ex Teresa in Mexico City, the International Center of Photography, the Puerto Rico Triennial, the Wexner Center in Ohio, the University Art Museum in Long Beach, the Museo del Barrio in New York City, the Museo del Palacio de Bellas Artes in Mexico City, among others. His cine-mural Southern California screened at the Getty and Martin-Gropius Bau as part of the “Pacific Standard Time” exhibition. His public video artwork Homeland is installed at the Bradley International terminal at LAX. His videos The Mexican Tapes: A Chronicle of Life Outside the Law (1986), and The American Tapes: Tales of Immigration (2013) document the life and times of a community of undocumented Mexican workers in Southern California. Two of his collaborative public art works (with Liz Sisco and David Avalos) Welcome to America’s Finest Tourist Plantation (1988) and Art Rebate / Arte Reembolso (1992) were recently accessioned by LACMA. Hock lives and works in Encinitas, California and is a Professor Emeritus of the University of California, San Diego Visual Arts Department.

Michael Ned Holte is a writer, independent curator, and co-director of the Art Program at the California Institute of the Arts. He has written monographic essays on artists including Kathryn Andrews, Hani Armanious, Charles Gaines, Richard Hawkins, Alice Könitz, Shio Kusaka, Roy McMakin, Ricky Swallow, Paul Sietsema, and Clarissa Tossin, and has contributed to periodicals such as Afterall, Artforum International, Art Journal, The Brooklyn Rail, East of Borneo, Frieze, Pin-Up, and X-TRA. Holte has organized exhibitions in Auckland, Los Angeles, New York, and Torino, and, along with Connie Butler, was curator of the 2014 edition of “Made in L.A.” at the Hammer Museum. He is organizing the exhibition “Routine Pleasures,” which will open at the MAK Center for Art and Architecture in spring 2016.

Chico MacMurtrie is internationally recognized for his large-scale, kinetic installations, and interactive public sculpture. Graduated from UCLA in 1987, he has exhibited internationally, and has received the support of many granting agencies including the Rockefeller Foundation and the Daniel Langlois Foundation. His awards include five grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, Vida Life, CEC Artslink and the Ars Electronica award. Chico MacMurtrie is the Artistic Director of Amorphic Robot Works (ARW) a collective he founded in 1991, consisting of artists, scientists, and engineers. Currently operating out of Brooklyn, NY, ARW is dedicated to the study and creation of movement as it is expressed in anthropomorphic and abstract robotic forms. MacMurtrie has been working for the past 10 years on his innovative inflatable sculptures, which have been exhibited in major museum shows and other international venues, including: Reina Sofia Museum, Madrid (2008); MUAC, Mexico City (2009); ZERO1 Biennial San José (2010); Beall Center for Art and Technology, Irvine, CA (solo show 2011); Richard L Nelson Gallery / UC Davis, CA (2011); 9th Shanghai Biennale (2012); Pioneer Works, Brooklyn (solo show 2013; 2015); SESC, Sao Paulo (2014); Cité des Sciences, Paris (2014); Triennial of New Media Art, NAMOC, Beijing (2008; 2014).

Ronald Morán was born in El Salvador in 1972. He graduated with a degree in Fine Arts from the National Center for the Arts, CENAR. He also studied Applied Arts at the Dr. José Matías Delgado University in San Salvador, as well as participated in several artist residencies in México and Spain. In 2006 he was selected by Exit Magazine in Madrid, Spain, as one of the top one hundred most influential Latin American contemporary artists. He has represented El Salvador in many international biennials, such as the 2010 IV Beijing International Art Bienalle in Beijing, China; the 2008 X Havana Biennale in Havana, Cuba; the 2007 VII Venice Biennale, in Italy, among others. His work explores social issues in different media. He lives and works in El Salvador.

Yoshua Okón was born in Mexico City in 1970 where he currently lives. His work, like a series of near-sociological experiments executed for the camera, blends staged situations, documentation and improvisation, and questions habitual perceptions of reality and truth, selfhood and morality. In 2002 he received an MFA from UCLA with a Fulbright scholarship. His solo shows exhibitions include: Piovra, Kaufmann Repetto, Milan; Poulpe, Mor Charpentier, Paris; Octopus, Cornerhouse, Manchester and Hammer Museum, Los Angeles and SUBTITLED, Städtische Kunsthalle, Munich. His group exhibitions include: Antes de la resaca, MUAC, Mexico City; Incongruous, Musèe Cantonal des Beux-Arts, Lausanne; The Mole´s Horizon, Palais des Beaux Arts, Brussels; Amateurs, CCA Wattis; San Francisco; Laughing in a Foreign Language, Hayward Gallery, London; Adaptive Behavior, New Museum, NY and Mexico City: an exhibition about the exchange rates between bodies and values, PS1, MoMA, NY, and Kunstwerke, Berlin. His work is included in the collections of Tate Modern, Centre Pompidou, Hammer Museum, LACMA, Colección Jumex and MUAC, among others.

Nonny de la Peña has been called “The Godmother of Virtual Reality” by Engadget and The Guardian, while Fast Company named her “One of the People Who Made the World More Creative” for the pioneering work in immersive journalism. As CEO of Emblematic Group, she uses cutting edge technologies to tell important stories—both fictional and news-based—that create intense, empathic engagement of the part of viewers. A Graduate of Harvard University and a former correspondent for Newsweek, de la Peña has more than 20 years of award-winning experience in print, film and TV. Her virtual reality work has been featured by the BBC, Mashable, Vice, Wired and many others. Showcases around the globe include the Sundance and Tribeca Film Festivals, the World Economic Forum in Davos, The Victoria and Albert Museum, Moscow Museum of Modern Art, and Games for Change.

Ricardo Roque Baldovinos (San Salvador, 1961) received his bachelor in Letters from Universidad Centroamericana José Simeón Cañas (El Salvador), and his M.A. in Literature and Ph.D. in Comparative Literature from the University of Minnesota. He is currently professor in the Department of Communications and Culture at the Universidad Centroamericana José Simeón Cañas. He has been visiting scholar at the University of Nebraska Lincoln, the University of California Davis, the University of Richmond, as well as Universidad Rafael Landivar (Guatemala), Universidad de Costa Rica and Universidad de Chile. He was editor of Cultura, a journal published by El Salvador’s Consejo Nacional de la Cultura y el Arte. He is the author of the books Arte y parte (San Salvador, 2001) and Niños de un planeta extraño (San Salvador, 2012), as well as numerous papers on Central American Literature and Cultural Studies. He is co-editor of Tensiones de la modernidad (2010), the second volume of a History of Central American Literatures.

Tyler Stallings is the Artistic Director of the Culver Center of the Arts and Director of Sweeney Art Gallery at the University of California, Riverside. He was chief curator at Laguna Art Museum from 1999 to 2006. His curatorial projects focus on contemporary art, with a special emphasis on the exploration of identity, technology, photo-based work, and urban culture. Exhibitions that he has curated, most of which are accompanied by major catalogs and books, include Free Enterprise: The Art of Citizen Space Exploration, Lewis deSoto & Erin Neff: Tahquitz, The Great Picture: The World’s Largest Photograph & the Legacy Project, Margarita Cabrera: Pulso y Martillo, Mapping the Desert/Deserting the Map: An Interdisciplinary Response, Intelligent Design: Interspecies Art, Your Donations Do Our Work: Andrea Bowers and Suzanne Lacy, Absurd Recreation: Contemporary Art from China, Truthiness: Photography as Sculpture, The Signs Pile Up: Paintings by Pedro Álvarez, CLASS: C presents Ruben Ochoa and Marco Rios: Rigor Motors, Whiteness, A Wayward Construction, Desmothernismo: Ruben Ortiz Torres, and Kara Walker: African’t. He was a guest writer and co-curator for the book and exhibition, Backyard Oasis: The Swimming Pool in Southern California Photography, 1945-1980, organized by Palm Springs Art Museum as part of the multi-institutional Getty Research Institute initiative, Pacific Standard Time: Art in L.A., 1945-1980. He is also the co-editor of the anthology, Uncontrollable Bodies: Testimonies of Identity and Culture (Seattle: Bay Press, 1994), and is a columnist for KCET-TV’s Artbound program.

Pilar Tompkins Rivas is Coordinator of Curatorial Initiatives at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA). Currently she is co-curating the exhibitions A Universal History of Infamy and Home – So Different, So Appealing for LACMA in conjunction with the Getty’s Pacific Standard Time: LA-LA initiative slated to open in 2017. Within her role at the museum, she co-directs the UCLA-LACMA Art History Practicum Initiative and The Andrew W. Mellon Undergraduate Curatorial Fellowship program. Since 2002, she has curated and organized dozens of exhibitions in the US, Colombia, Egypt, France, and Mexico, working with established, mid-career, and emerging artists from around the world. As part of the Getty Research Institute’s Pacific Standard Time: Art in L.A. 1945-1980, Tompkins Rivas curated Civic Virtue: The Impact of the Los Angeles Municipal Art Gallery and the Watts Towers Arts Center and co-curated the suite of exhibitions, L.A. Xicano, at LACMA, UCLA’s Fowler Museum, and the Autry National Center. Previously she was Curator and Director of Residency Programs at 18th Street Arts Center, and has held positions as Arts Project Coordinator at the UCLA Chicano Studies Research Center, Curator of the Claremont Museum of Art, and Director of the Latin American branch of the Artist Pension Trust.

Javier Toscano (Mexico City, 1975; lives and works between Berlin and Mexico City) is a filmmaker, visual artist, writer, tactical urbanist and critical geographer. He was a founding member of Laboratorio 060 (, 2003-2013), an interdisciplinary team that worked around contemporary art topics. Together they won the first prize, the Best Art Practices Award (Bolzano, Italy, 2008), for their project Frontera, A sketch for the creation of a future society, and an Honorary Mention for their project The Cause (CDA-projects, Istanbul, Turkey, 2012). He is also a founding member of Nerivela ( based in Mexico City, and the MonadenScience collective, active in Europe, with whom he works at the crossroads of social sciences, urbanism, film and artistic practices. His book on Walter Benjamin (Un mundo sin Dios, pueblo de fantasmas) won the First Accésit as the Essay Prize from the University of Navarra, Spain, in 2006. He holds a PhD in Philosophy on a double program at UNAM in Mexico and the Freie Universität in Berlin (DAAD Fellow 2009-2010). He has been awarded post-doc fellowships in Paris (Université de Paris IV-Sorbonne, 2011-2012) and Berlin (FU Berlin, 2014-2016). He is currently a member of the steering committee of the International Critical Geography Group (

James Wiltgen holds a Ph.D. in History from the University of California, Los Angeles, where he wrote his dissertation on the development of television in Brazil. He has written on Latin American film, sado-monetarism, Deleuze, and the inhuman. He currently teaches at both the BFA and MA level in the School of Critical Studies at the California Institute of the Arts where he combines contemporary theory and historical analysis in his courses on science fiction/horror film, music of the Americas, and speculative aesthetics. His current projects include an analysis of the scientific and aesthetic paradigms involved in the intersection of the Cold War and the dynamics of the image, and questions of realism and materialism. He has also worked extensively on questions of global violence, the forces of war, and the wages of peace.

Fall 2015

Questioning Aesthetics Symposium: When is Art Political? 

November 6th-7th, 2015

To ask “when is art political?” is to ask what conditions of artistic production and reception make it possible for art to be political. As conditions change, “political art” may no longer be political, “non-political” art may become political, and so on. Through short, lively presentations and discussions with the audience, this two-day conference establishes a shift in approach by leaving the quest for an essence of political art aside in order to inquire instead into the ever-changing conditions that make art political.

This two-day conference is hosted by the School of Critical Studies at the California Institute of the Arts. The conference is supported by the MA Aesthetics and Politics program, and made possible with additional support from the Transdisciplinary Aesthetics Foundation and the Equity and Diversity Program at CalArts.


Friday, November 6th, REDCAT

Visit for tickets for 11/06

10:30am: Introductions

Arne De Boever

Michael Kelly


Leandro Katz, “‘Please, No Slogans’”

Bérénice Reynaud, "The polis Behind the Image"

Moderator: Beatriz Cortez


Edwin Hill, “Hatin’ on Charlie: The Politics of the Punchline against Charlie Hebdo in French Rap in the wake of the January 2015 Attacks”

Martín Plot, “What Could Be Political Art?”

Moderator: Armen Avanessian



Introduction, Arne De Boever

Lecture, Thierry de Duve, “When is Art Political? Suzanne McClelland's Call With Information” 

Conversation with Martin Plot

Saturday, November 7th,
West Hollywood Public Library

Council Chambers; All events on 11/07 are
free and open to the public

10:30am: Introductions, Arne De Boever and Michael Kelly


Davide Panagia, “On the Unusability of Art for Politics”

Mimi Thi Nguyen, “Beauty and Failure”

Moderator: Sidsel Meineche-Hansen


Roundtable Conversation with All Participants

Moderators: Arne De Boever and Michael Kelly

Speaker Biographies

Armen Avanessian studied philosophy and political science in Vienna and Paris. After completing his dissertation in literature, he worked at the Free University Berlin from 2007-2014. He has previously been a Visiting Fellow in the German Department at Columbia University and in the German Department at Yale University and visiting professor at various art academies in Vienna, Nuremberg and Basel. He is editor in chief at Merve Verlag Berlin. In 2012 he founded a bilingual research platform on Speculative Poetics, including a series of events, translations, and publications: In Fall 2015, he is Visiting Faculty in the MA Aesthetics and Politics program at the California Institute of the Arts. 

Beatriz Cortez is an artist and a writer. Her academic work explores contemporary Central American literature and the construction of memory after an experience of war and immigration. She is the author of Aesthetics of Cynicism: Passion and Disenchantment in Postwar Central American Fiction, and is co-editor of (Per)Versions of Modernity: Literatures, Identities, Displacements, and of a special issue of Revista Iberoamericana on contemporary Central American cultural studies. Her work as an artist explores simultaneity, the existence within different temporalities and different versions of modernity, particularly in relation to memory and loss in the aftermath of war, the experience of immigration, and in exploration of possible futures. She teaches in the Central American Studies Program at California State University, Northridge. She lives and works in Los Angeles.

Arne De Boever teaches American Studies in the School of Critical Studies at the California Institute of the Arts, where he also directs the MA Aesthetics and Politics program. He is the author of States of Exception in the Contemporary Novel (2012) and Narrative Care: Biopolitics and the Novel (2013) and editor of Gilbert Simondon: Being and Technology (2012) and The Psychopathologies of Cognitive Capitalism: Vol. 1 (2013). He edits Parrhesia: A Journal of Critical Philosophy and the critical theory/philosophy section of the Los Angeles Review of Books. He is also a member of the boundary 2 collective and an Advisory Editor for Oxford Literary Review.

Thierry de Duve is Distinguished Lecturer at Hunter College, New York, and was Kirk Varnedoe Visiting Professor at the Institute of Fine Arts, New York University, in Fall 2013. His publications in English include Pictorial Nominalism (1991), Kant after Duchamp (1996), Clement Greenberg Between the Lines (1996, 2010), Look—100 Years of Contemporary Art (2001), and Sewn In the Sweatshops of Marx: Beuys, Warhol, Klein, Duchamp (2012). In 2013–14, he published six essays in Artforum, which he will gather in a book tentatively titled Duchamp’s Telegram. He is presently finishing a book of essays on aesthetics, forthcoming from the University of Chicago Press. In Fall 2015, Thierry is Theorist in Residence in the MA Aesthetics and Politics program at the California Institute of the Arts. 

Sidsel Meineche-Hansen is an artist whose practice explores nervousness as a form of institutional critique. Her work manifest as exhibitions, publications and cross-disciplinary seminar series. In 2015 she co-edited ‘Politics of Study’, published by Open Editions. She currently works as an associate professor at the Funen Art Academy, Denmark and she will be a visiting scholar at CalArts, USA, in Fall, 2016.

Edwin Hill is associate professor in the Dept. of French & Italian and the Dept. of American Studies and Ethnicity at the University of Southern California. His research focuses on music, sound, and the dynamics of race, gender, and (post)colonialism in France, the Caribbean, and the US. His first book, Black Soundscapes, White Stages (Johns Hopkins UP, 2013) explores the aesthetic and ideological tensions between French West Indian poetry and popular music in the first half of the 20th century. His current book project, La Rage: Losing It in Culture and Society, analyzes the creation and circulation of anger, outrage, and “animatedness” in the black diaspora. 

Leandro Katz is an Argentine/American artist, writer, and filmmaker, known for his films and his photographic installations. His works include long-term projects that deal with Latin American subjects, and incorporate historical research, anthropology, and visual arts. He has published eighteen books and artists’ books, and has produced seventeen narrative and non-narrative films. His documentary essay El Día Que Me Quieras (1997) received the Coral Prize at the Latin American Film Festival, Havana, among others. From 1965 until 2006 he lived in New York where he conducted creative and academic activities. He currently shuttles between Buenos Aires and Los Angeles. 

Michael Kelly is Professor of Philosophy at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte; Editor-in-Chief of the six-volume Encyclopedia of Aesthetics (Oxford University Press, 2014, second edition); author of A Hunger for Aesthetics: Enacting the Demands of Art (Columbia University Press, 2012); Founder and President of the Transdisciplinary Aesthetics Foundation; and co-organizer of the “Questioning Aesthetics Symposium” series (Pratt Institute, UC Berkeley, CalArts, RISD, etc.).

Mimi Thi Nguyen is Associate Professor of Gender and Women’s Studies and Asian American Studies at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. Her first book is The Gift of Freedom: War, Debt, and Other Refugee Passages (Duke University Press, 2012; Outstanding Book Award in Cultural Studies from the Association of Asian American Studies, 2014). Her following project is called The Promise of Beauty. She has also published in Signs, Camera Obscura, Women & Performance, positions, and Radical History Review. 

Davide Panagia is Associate Professor of Political Science at UCLA and Co-Editor of Theory & Event. He is a political and cultural theorist whose work specializes in the relationship between aesthetics and politics, with an ongoing curiosity about the diverse ways in which the sensation of value is generated and assembled in political societies. Along with numerous articles in political theory, cultural aesthetics, and film and media studies, his monograph publications include The Poetics of Political Thinking (Duke, 2006), The Political Life of Sensation  (Duke, 2009), and Impressions of Hume: Cinematic Thinking and the Politics of Discontinuity (Rowman and Littlefield, 2013). 

Martín Plot (Ph.D. New School for Social Research) is Research Professor of Political Theory at the Argentine CONICET/Institute of Advanced Social Studies, UNSAM. He is also a Research Fellow in Political Thought in the MA Aesthetics and Politics Program at CalArts and the author of, among other books, The Aesthetico-Political (Bloomsbury, 2014) and Indivisible (Prometeo, 2011). 

Bérénice Reynaud is a film critic/historian/ theoretician and a film/video curator who teaches at the California Institute of the Arts. She studied philosophy at Paris-Sorbonne, Cinema Studies at New York University and was a Helena Rubenstein fellow at the Whitney Museum Independent Studies Program. As a critic, her main areas of expertise have been American independent/ experimental film/ video; films and video by women; Chinese cinema and video; African cinema; gender and feminist film theory. She is the author of Nouvelles Chines, nouveaux cinemas (Paris: Cahiers du cinéma, 1999) and Hou Hsiao-hsien's "A City of Sadness" (London: BFI, 2002), and has co-edited a collection of texts on feminist film criticism, Vingt ans de théories féministes sur le cinéma - Grande-Bretagne et États-Unis (Paris: CinemAction, 1993). She is currently working on a book on sexual politics in the Chinese Martial Arts movie.

Fall 2014

This Isn’t About the Future: Black Digital Culture Now

"Do Androids Dream of How People Are Sheep", courtesy K. Franklin

Our yearly Fall conference, curated by MA faculty Douglas Kearney, will continue the MA program's investigation into contemporary digital culture, this time from a Black Studies perspective. 


a two-day conference

Supported by the School of Critical Studies.
Sponsored by the CalArts’ MA Aesthetics and Politics Program 

with support from the CalArts School of Film/Video, The Collective, and the Equity and Diversity Program, Office of the Provost

Visit for tickets to the 11/14 keynote

All events on 11/15 are free and open to the public



FRI 11/14 8:30 PM –10:00 PM @ REDCAT


Yesterday’s Afrofuture is today, so instead of scanning the horizon for the Mothership, this two-day, multivenue conference brings urgency to address happenings on the ground right now. Featuring scholars, writers, and artists, This Isn’t About The Future: Black Digital Culture Now addresses sousveillance, Black Twitter, genealogy, AutoTune and Vocoders, getting Embedded, Post- and posting, the digital body in art, the racial narrative of facial recognition software, activism, and more. This conference, curated by CalArts faculty member, Douglas Kearney, is driven by a need to acknowledge but also to question. 

What is presence in our present? What does the digital mean for historically black sites of social performance including passing, code-shifting, signifyin(g), and other forms of hiding in plain sight? How do we understand diaspora, today? If the digital has so profoundly shifted us, is it time we founda new North Star?


Fri 11/14 REDCAT

631 West 2nd Street

Los Angeles, CA 90012

8:30PM - 10:00PM 

Keynote Address Feenin’: R&B’s Technologies of Humanity 

This lively multimedia talk by writer and scholar Alexander Weheliye, professor of African American Studies at Northwestern University, gives a critical history of the intimate relationship between R&B music and technology since the late 1970’s. Weheliye is the author of Phonographies: Grooves in Sonic Afro-Modernity and Habeas Viscus: Racializing Assemblages, Biopolitics and Black Feminist Theories of the Human.


Sat 11/15 WEHO

The West Hollywood Library 

625 North San Vicente Blvd West Hollywood, CA 90069

9:30AM - 10:15AM 

A New North Star?: An orienting conversation 

Here, members of the panels will respond to prompts designed to launch the day’s dialogue. This will be a less formal conversation.


10:25AM - 12:00PM 

PANEL 1 3/5s of a PROFILE?: The Black Cyber Body 

With its proliferation of images, comment flame wars, and its working of utility into entertainment and entertainment into utility, the Internet is a teeming site of racial(ized) performance. How do black users—from gamers, to artists, to students, to shoppers—whose bodies have historically served as entertainment/utility—navigate, transform, and engage the digital realm? Is it an emancipatory frame, a Global Interzone, or just another block (as in barricade, ‘hood, and/or auction)? 


Simone Browne 

Jennifer González 

Victoria Hungerford


1:25PM - 3:00PM 

PANEL 2 The Stoop 3.0: Community Remixed For The Digital Present 

Community incubates activism, discourse, culture, and conflict. As illustrated via imperialism and colonialism, the concept of “Nation” need not be linked to geographic proximity, a shift with implications for postcolonialism, global capitalism, social movements, and others. Does digital culture, which only seems omnipresent, reinscribe colonial reach and if so, is it capable of revising it? What is our understanding of social media as a tool for building communities, activism, and what are the natures of these new aggregates? 


Anna Everett 

Stephanie Greenlea


3:20PM - 5:00PM 

PANEL 3 Talking Cloud: (Re)Memory, Dis-Memory, and The New-Old Archive(s) 

The information is out there, and, perhaps for some—way way out there; of course, it’s also back there when we are speaking of memory. Yet the digital transforms the concept of “there” and of memory, eliminating geographical distances and putting in work on temporal ones as well. What does this mean for members of the African diaspora who have, for reasons before and after the Middle Passage, pursued the reckoning and recovery of histories, genealogies, and cultural inheritances to produce existential integrity, popular art, and scholarship? How are archives both transformative and transformed in the Digital Era? 


Tisa Bryant 

Thomas Allen Harris


5:15PM - 6:00PM 

Closing Discussion 

SIMONE BROWNE is Assistant Professor in the Department of African and African Diaspora Studies at the University of Texas at Austin. She teaches and researches surveillance studies, popular culture, digital media and black diaspora studies. She completed her Master’s degree and her PhD in Sociology and Equity Studies in Education at the University of Toronto. Her work has been published in International Feminist Journal of Politics, Critical Sociology, Cultural Studies, and Citizenship Studies. Her book, Dark Matters: On the Surveillance of Blackness (forthcoming with Duke University Press), examines surveillance with a focus on transatlantic slavery, biometrics, airports, borders, and creative texts.

TISA BRYANT is the author of Unexplained Presence, a collection of fiction-essays focused on myth-making and black presences in film, literature and visual art. She is co-editor and publisher of the cross-referenced journal of narrative and storytelling possibility, The Encyclopedia Project, and co-editor of War Diaries, an anthology on black gay men’s desire and survival. A member of the Dark Room Collective, she recently participated in a reunion tour celebrating the 25th anniversary of their nationally-renowned African diasporic reading series and arts exhibition. Her writing has recently appeared or is forthcoming in Animal Shelter, Black Clock, Bombay Gin, Mandorla, Reanimation Library’s Word Processor Series, and Viz. She teaches fiction and hybrid forms in the MFA Creative Writing Program at the California Institute of the Arts, and lives in Los Angeles. 

DR. ANNA EVERETT is a Professor of Film, Television and New Media Studies at the University of California, Santa Barbara (UCSB). She is the former director of the Center for Black Studies, former department chair of Film and Media Studies and the former Interim Associate Vice Chancellor for Diversity, Equity and Academic Policy at UCSB. Her many publications include the books Returning the Gaze: A Genealogy of Black Film 

Criticism, 1909-1949; Learning Race and Ethnicity: Youth and Digital Media (for the MacArthur Foundation’s series on Digital Media, Youth, and Learning), New Media: Theories and Practices of Digitextuality, AfroGeeks: Beyond the Digital Divide, Digital Diaspora: A Race for Cyberspace, and Pretty People: Movie Stars of the 1990s, among others. She has received a Ford Foundation Fellowship, and served twice as a Fulbright Senior Fellow. She has worked as a visiting professor in the Netherlands, Canada and Tunisia. 

PROFESSOR JENNIFER A. GONZÁLEZ teaches in the History of Art and Visual Culture department at the University of California, Santa Cruz and at the Whitney Museum Independent Study Program, New York. She has written for numerous periodicals including Aztlán, Frieze, Bomb, Camera Obscura, and Art Journal. Her essays about digital bodies and critical race studies have appeared in anthologies such as The Cyborg Handbook, Race in Cyberspace, Visible Worlds and Only Skin Deep: Changing Visions of the American Self. Her first book Subject to Display: Reframing Race in Contemporary Installation Art (MIT Press, 2008) was a finalist for the Charles Rufus Morey Book Award, which honors an especially distinguished book in the history of art in the English language. Her second book, Pepón Osorio was published by University of Minnesota Press (2013). 

STEPHANIE GREENLEA holds a Ph.D in African American Studies and Sociology from Yale University, and completed her undergraduate work at Emory University. Her dissertation, entitled “Free the Jena Six! Racism and the Circuitry of Black Solidarity in the Digital Age,” explores the ways in which everyday uses of emerging technologies extend black protest traditions into the 21st century. In addition, Greenlea has written on the technospiritual practices within black communities and the technological appropriations within black motorcycle clubs. She locates her interdisciplinary research and teaching in the intersections of the sociology of social movements, technology studies, and black studies. Greenlea currently works in the labor movement as a lead organizer at UNITE HERE in New Haven, Connecticut. 

THOMAS ALLEN HARRIS Raised in the Bronx and Dar-Es-Salaam, Tanzania, award-winning producer/writer/director Thomas Allen Harris is the founder and President of Chimpanzee Productions, a company dedicated to producing unique audio-visual experiences that illuminate the Human Condition and the search for identity, family, and spirituality. Chimpanzee’s innovative performance-based documentary films have received critical acclaim at International film festivals and have been broadcast on PBS, the Sundance Channel, ARTE, and others. Mr. Harris’ videos and installations have been featured at MOMA, the Whitney Museum of American Art Biennial, the Corcoran Gallery, Reina Sophia, London Institute of the Arts, Gwangju Biennale, and the Long Beach Museum of Art. Mr. Harris lectures widely on the use of media as a tool for social change.

VICTORIA HUNGERFORD received her MA in Aesthetics and Politics from the California Instituteof the Arts (CalArts). Her research revolves around the intersections of Dork, Nerd, Geek cultures and sexual harassment, utilizing feminist theories to inform her work. She particularly looks at the theoretical underpinnings of the aesthetic and political moments and modalities within digital communities and identities. She is the co-owner of Donegee Media and is currently working on a documentary “Road to GeekGirlCon” that explores the contribution of female DNGs on the west coast, as a way to establish an empowered network of female changemakers/content creators and to highlight historical and contemporary impact females have on the Dork, Nerd, Geek community.

ALEXANDER G. WEHELIYE is professor of African American Studies at Northwestern University where he teaches black literature and culture, critical theory, social technologies, and popular culture. He is the author of Phonographies: Grooves in Sonic Afro-Modernity (Duke UP, 2005), which was awarded The Modern Language Association’s William Sanders Scarborough Prize for Outstanding Scholarly Study of Black American Literature or Culture and Habeas Viscus: Racializing Assemblages, Biopolitics, and Black Feminist Theories of the Human (Duke UP, 2014). Currently, he is working on two projects. One of which is Feenin: R&B’s Technologies of Humanity, a critical history of the intimate relationship between R&B music and technology since the late 1970’s.

Fall 2013

The Politics of Parametricism:
Digital Technologies and the Future(s) of Sociality

Port to Port, Advanced Data Visualization Project courtesy of SIDL (Spatial Information Design Lab, Columbia University), in collaboration with Thomson Reuters Research Unit.

Friday 15th & Saturday 16th November 2013
REDCAT, 631 W 2nd St, Los Angeles, CA 90012

A conference curated and organized by: Matthew Poole & Manuel Shvartzberg

Hosted by: The MA Aesthetics & Politics Program at CalArts and The Gallery at REDCAT

Lead sponsor: Autodesk (

Media Sponsor: eVolo Magazine (

Guest Speakers: Phil Bernstein (Autodesk), Benjamin Bratton (UCSD), Christina Cogdell (UCD), Teddy Cruz (UCSD), Peggy Deamer (Yale), Andrés Jaque (Office for Political Innovation), Laura Kurgan (Columbia), Neil Leach (USC, Los Angeles), Reinhold Martin (Columbia) & Patrik Schumacher (Zaha Hadid Architects, London).


Part 1: Keynotes, Friday 15th November 2013

Part 2: Panel 1, Saturday 16th November 2013

Part 2: Panel 2, Saturday 16th November 2013

Part 2: Panel 3, Saturday 16th November 2013


PARAMETRICISM has been heralded as the new avant-garde in the fields of architecture and design—the next ‘grand style’ in the history of architectural movements. Parametric models enable digital designers to create complex structures and environments as well as new understandings of space, both real and virtual.

Whether as tools for democratic action or tyrannical spectacle; self- and community-building capabilities; a post-humanistic subject; or, the mediatized politics of our various futurisms—all these themes are figured within the Parametricist discourse.

This conference, which includes a range of high profile international speakers from architectural practice and theory, will explore urgent questions that concern the social and political ramifications at stake in the evolution of this new design paradigm.

Download Press Dossier | Download Press Release

Keynote Event

THE POLITICS OF PARAMETRICISM conference will open with individual presentations and a debate between Reinhold Martin (Associate Professor, Columbia University) and Patrik Schumacher (Partner, Zaha Hadid Architects) at 7pm on Friday November 15th, 2013, at the REDCAT theatre in Downtown Los Angeles.

Architecture and politics: Parametricism within or beyond liberal democracy?

At the very core of the debates surrounding Parametricism is the question of what political agency can or should be ascribed to architecture. Two diffuse yet clearly distinguishable sides seem to have formed around this question: those who, like Patrik Schumacher, defend the notion that architecture and politics ought to be considered structurally excluded domains of thought and action; and those who, like Reinhold Martin, consider these fields integrally tied together, albeit indeterminately.

Parametricism may thus present itself as a case study of the relation between technology and ideology, where the many tropes of contemporary politics and culture – from post-Fordism to experiments in social representation – come together through and within a specific architectural imaginary.

In this debate, Martin and Schumacher will address this cultural paradigm and tackle what is perhaps the most urgent question for this new social, political and architectural condition: Can or ought Parametricism develop strictly within the confines of liberal democracy, or could it be pursued through more radical political valences?

Image courtesy of Peter Vikar.



“Architecture and politics: Parametricism within or beyond liberal democracy?” – a discussion with Reinhold Martin and Patrik Schumacher

Reinhold Martin: On Numbers, More or Less

Patrik Schumacher: Thesis on the Politics of Parametricism


10AM-12N – Panel 1: Introduction to Parametricism: historical and technological context

Phillip G. Bernstein: Finding Value in Parameters: How Scripting Beyond Form Changes the Potential of Design Practice

Christina Cogdell: Breeding Ideology: Parametricism and Biological Architecture

Neil Leach: There is no such thing as a political architecture; there is no such thing as digital architecture

2-4PM – Panel 2: Parametricism, the commons and social representation

Teddy Cruz: The New Political: Where the Top Down and the Bottom up Meet 

Peggy Deamer: Parametric Schizophrenic

Laura Kurgan: The Method is the Message

4:45-6:30PM – Panel 3: Designing subjectivities, curating new models of sociality

Benjamin H. Bratton: The Always Partial System: For an Inhuman Parametricism 

Andrés Jaque: Architecture as Rendered Society


Matthew Poole is a freelance curator and contemporary art theorist living in Los Angeles. His curatorial projects and writing explore the contradictions of neoliberal politics and how they are transforming contemporary art, curatorial practices, the built environment and the political currencies of culture more generally. Before moving to LA, Matthew was the Director of the Centre for Curatorial Studies, in the School of Philosophy & Art History at the University of Essex, UK. His recent projects can be viewed online at:

Manuel Shvartzberg is an architect and writer. He has worked for, among others, OMA/Rem Koolhaas, and was project architect for David Chipperfield Architects in London, where he led a number of international arts/cultural projects between 2006 and 2012. In 2008 he co-founded the award-winning experimental practice Hunter & Gatherer, with which he has lectured and made various projects on questions of contemporary art, architecture, and critical theory. Since 2011 he has been teaching in Los Angeles, California, at CalArts and University of Southern California. Manuel is currently based in New York City where he is enrolled in the Ph.D in Architecture program and is a graduate fellow of the Institute for Comparative Literature and Society at Columbia University.


Benjamin H. Bratton is a theorist whose work spans Philosophy, Art and Design. At the University of California, San Diego, he is Associate Professor of Visual Arts, Director of The UCSD Design Theory and Research Platform and D:GP, The Center for Design and Geopolitics. His research is situated at the intersections of contemporary social and political theory, computational media & infrastructure, architectural & urban design problems, and the politics of synthetic ecologies and biologies. Current work focuses on the political geography of cloud computing, massively-granular universal addressing systems, and alternate models of ecological governance. His next book, The Stack: On Software and Sovereignty, was recently published by MIT Press.

Phillip G. Bernstein is a Vice President at Autodesk, a leading provider of digital design, engineering and entertainment software, where he leads Strategic Industry Relations and is responsible for setting the company’s future vision and strategy for technology as well as cultivating and sustaining the firm's relationships with strategic industry leaders and associations. An experienced architect, Phil was formerly with Pelli Clarke Pelli Architects where he managed many of the firm’s most complex commissions. Phil teaches Professional Practice at the Yale School of Architecture where he received both his B.A. and his M.Arch. He is co-editor of Building (In) The Future:  Recasting Labor in Architecture (2010) and BIM In Academia (2011). He is a Senior Fellow of the Design Futures Council and former Chair of the AIA National Contract Documents Committee.

Christina Cogdell is a cultural historian who is a Chancellor’s Fellow and Associate Professor in the Department of Design at the University of California at Davis. Her research investigates the intersection of popular scientific ideas and cultural production, in particular art, architecture and design.  She received her Ph.D. in Art History from the University of Texas at Austin (2001), her M.A. in American Studies from the University of Notre Dame (1994), and her B.A. in American Studies from UT Austin (1991). She is the author of Eugenic Design: Streamlining America in the 1930s (2004, 2010), winner of the 2006 Edelstein Prize for outstanding book on the history of technology, and co-editor with Susan Currell of the anthology Popular Eugenics: National Efficiency and American Mass Culture in the 1930s (2006). Her work has been included in Visual Culture and Evolution (2011), Art, Sex, and Eugenics (2008), and published in Boom: A Journal of California, American Art, Design and Culture, Volume, Design Issues and American Quarterly. She has received fellowships from the Mellon Foundation, the American Council of Learned Societies, the Canadian Centre for Architecture, the Penn Humanities Forum at the University of Pennsylvania, the Wolfsonian Design Museum, the Georgia O'Keeffe Museum Research Center for the Study of American Modernism, and the American Philosophical Society. She is currently writing her second monograph on today’s “generative architecture” in relation to recent scientific theories of self-organization, emergence and the evolution of complex adaptive systems.

Teddy Cruz was born in Guatemala City. He obtained a Master in Design Studies at Harvard University in 1997 and established his research-based architecture practice in San Diego, California in 2000. He has been recognized internationally for his urban research of the Tijuana-San Diego border, and in collaboration with community-based nonprofit organizations, such as Casa Familiar for advancing border immigrant neighborhoods as sites of cultural production, from which to rethink urban policy and propose new models of inclusive housing and civic infrastructure. In 1991 he received the prestigious Rome Prize in Architecture and in 2005 he was the first recipient of the James Stirling Memorial Lecture On The City Prize, by the Canadian Center of Architecture and the London School of Economics. In 2008 he was selected to represent the US in the Venice Architecture Biennial and in 2011 he was a recipient of the Ford Foundation Visionaries Award, the Global Award for Sustainable Architecture and was named one of the 50 Most Influential Designers in America by Fast Company Magazine. Teddy Cruz is currently a professor in public culture and urbanism in the Visual Arts Department at University of California, San Diego, and the co-founder of the Center for Urban Ecologies.

Peggy Deamer is Assistant Dean and Professor of Architecture at Yale University. She is a principal in the firm of Deamer Studio. She received a B.Arch. from The Cooper Union and a Ph.D. from Princeton University. Her dissertation on Adrian Stokes emphasized the relationship he explored between vision, the body, and craft. Articles by Ms. Deamer have appeared in Assemblage, Praxis, Perspecta, Architecture and Psychoanalysis, and Harvard Design Magazine, amongst others journals and anthologies. The work of her firm has appeared in Dwell, The New York Times; Architectural Record and House and Garden, amongst others.  She is the editor of The Millennium House and Architecture and Capitalism: 1845 to the Present and co-editor of Re-Reading Perspecta; Building in the Future: Recasting Architectural Labor; and BIM in Academia. Recent articles include “The Changing Nature of Architectural Work,” in Design Practices Now Vol II, The Harvard Design Magazine no. 33;  “Detail Deliberation,” in Building (in) the Future: Recasting Labor in Architecture; “Practicing Practice,” in Perspecta 44; “Work,” in Perspecta 47; “Design and Contemporary Practice” in Architecture from the Outside; and “Marx, BIM, and Contemporary Labor,” in BIM Futures, 2013.

Andrés Jaque is an architect whose work explores the role that architecture plays in the making of societies. In 2003 he founded the Office for Political Innovation, a trandisciplinary agency engaged with the making of an ordinary urbanism out of the association of heterogeneous architectural fragments. Jaque has lectured at a number of universities around the world, including Berlage Institue, Columbia University GSAPP, Princeton University, Bezalel Academy, Universidad Javeriana de Bogota, and the Instituto Politecnico di Milano, amongst others. His work has been exhibited at the Schweizerisches Architekturmuseum in Basel, the Instituto Valenciano de Arte Moderno (IVAM), the Biennale di Venezia, and at the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in New York City. He is also the author of other works like Teddy House (Vigo, 2003, 2005), Mousse City, (Stavanger, 2003), Peace Foam City (Ceuta, 2005), Skin Gardens (Barcelona, 2006), the Museo Postal de Bogotá (Bogotá, 2007), Rolling House for the Rolling Society (Barcelona, 2009), the House in Never Never Land (Ibiza, 2009), the ESCARAVOX, (Madrid, 2012), Hänsel and Gretel's Arenas (Madrid, 2013). He is currently teaching at GSAPP, Columbia University.

Laura Kurgan is Associate Professor of  Architecture at the Graduate School of Architecture Planning and Preservation at Columbia University, where she directs the Visual Studies curriculum, the Spatial Information Design Lab and is Co-Director of the Advanced Data Visualization Project. She is the author of Close Up at a Distance: Mapping, Technology, and Politics (Zone Books, 2013). Her work explores things ranging from digital mapping technologies to the ethics and politics of mapping, building intelligence, and the art, science and visualization of big and small data. Her work has appeared at the Cartier Foundation in Paris, the Venice Architecture Biennale, the Whitney Altria, MACBa Barcelona, the ZKM in Karlsruhe, and the Museum of Modern Art. She was the winner of the United States Artists Rockefeller Fellowship in 2009.

Neil Leach is a Professor at the University of Southern California. He has also taught at the AA, Columbia GSAPP, Cornell University, DIA, IaaC and SCI-Arc. He is the author, editor and translator of 24 books, including Rethinking Architecture, The Anaesthetics of Architecture, Designing for a Digital World, Digital Tectonics, Digital Cities, Machinic Processes, Swarm Intelligence, Scripting the Future, Fabricating the Future and Camouflage. He has been co-curator of a series of international exhibitions including the Architecture Biennial Beijing. He is currently a NASA Innovative Advanced Concepts Fellow working on robotic fabrication technologies for the Moon and Mars.

Reinhold Martin is Associate Professor of Architecture in the Graduate School of Architecture, Planning, and Preservation at Columbia University, where he directs the PhD program in architecture and the Temple Hoyne Buell Center for the Study of American Architecture. He is a member of Columbia’s Institute for Comparative Literature and Society as well as the Committee on Global Thought. Martin is a founding co-editor of the journal Grey Room and has published widely on the history and theory of modern and contemporary architecture. He is the author of The Organizational Complex: Architecture, Media, and Corporate Space (MIT Press, 2003), and Utopia’s Ghost: Architecture and Postmodernism, Again (Minnesota, 2010), as well as the co-author, with Kadambari Baxi, of Multi-National City: Architectural Itineraries (Actar, 2007). In 2012, Martin co-curated with Barry Bergdoll “Foreclosed: Rehousing the American Dream,” at the Museum of Modern Art in New York, for which he and Bergdoll also co-edited the exhibition catalogue. Currently, Martin is working on two books: a history of the nineteenth century American university as a media complex, and a study of the contemporary city at the intersection of aesthetics and politics.

Patrik Schumacher is partner at Zaha Hadid Architects and founding director at the AA Design Research Lab. He joined Zaha Hadid in 1988 and has since been the co-author of many key projects, a.o. MAXXI – the National Italian Museum for Art and Architecture of the 21st century in Rome. In 2010 he won the Royal Institute of British Architects’ Stirling Prize for excellence in architecture.

Patrik Schumacher studied philosophy, mathematics, and architecture in Bonn, London and Stuttgart, where he received his Diploma in architecture in 1990. In 1999 he completed his PhD at the Institute for Cultural Science, Klagenfurt University.  In 1996 he founded the "Design Research Laboratory" with Brett Steele, at the Architectural Association in London, and continues to teach in the program. Since 2000 Patrik Schumacher is also guest professor at the University of Applied Arts in Vienna. In 2010 and 2012 he published the two Volumes of his theoretical opus magnum ‘The Autopoiesis of Architecture’. His lectures and essays in architectural theory are available at In 2002 Patrik Schumacher curated ‘Latent Utopias - Experiments within Contemporary Architecture’ and he is currently planning the exhibition ‘Parametricism – The New International Style’.


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Last edited by sblake on Jan 25, 2016
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