Issues and Artists is part of the UCSC Visiting Artist Program, taught by E.G. Crichton this quarter, and focuses on key issues in contemporary art, art theory, and curatorial practice through lectures, discussions and readings. The course will consist of a series of lectures designed to familiarize students with theories and practices surrounding current (and shifting) topics of interest in the larger art world. All visiting artist lectures listed below are free and open to the public. Parking on campus requires purchase of a guest parking pass at the Performing Arts lot.

UCSC Media Theater Monday/Wed 7:00-8:45pm

MOIRA ROTH & Slobodan Dan Paich* 27-Jan  
All lectures are FREE and open to the public

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Lectures generously sponsored by:
The Visiting Artist Program: UCSC Art Department "Issues and Artists"
The Division of the Arts
Sesnon Gallery and the Charles Griffin Farr Fund
*Porter College Distinguished Artist & Lecturer Fund
**UCSC Alumni Association Special Funds





April 1 Jennifer González
April 8 Mildred Howard*
April 15 Amalia Mesa-Bains*
April 22 Diane Covert X-Ray Project*
April 29 Amy Balkin**
May 6 Bayeté Ross Smith
May 11
Amalia Mesa-Bains* return visit
May 18 Wendy Sue Lamm
May 20 Kota Ezawa
May 27 John Jota Leaños

2009 Lectures generously sponsored by:
The Visiting Artist Program: UCSC Art Department "Issues and Artists"
*Sesnon Gallery contact <>
**Co-hosted by the Digital Arts and New Media program [DANM] and the
Art, Technology and Culture Colloquium [ATC]
UCSC History of Art and Visual Culture Department

Artists Bios:

Jennifer González writes about contemporary art with an emphasis on installation art, digital art and activist art. She is interested in understanding the strategic use of space (exhibition space, public space, virtual space) by contemporary artists and by cultural institutions such as museums. More specifically, she has focused on the representation of the human body and its relation to discourses of race and gender. Jennifer González is Associate Professor and Chair of the History of Art and Visual Culture Department at the University of California, Santa Cruz. Her essays and reviews have appeared in Frieze, World Art, Diacritics, Art Journal, Bomb, numerous exhibition catalogs, and anthologies, including With Other Eyes: Looking at Race and Gender in Visual Culture and Race in Cyberspace. Her recent book is Subject to Display, Reframing Race in Contemporary Installation Art (MIT Press, 2008).

Mildred Howard
Known for her sculptural installations and mixed media assemblage work, Mildred Howard has been the recipient of numerous awards, including the Adeline Kent Award from the San Francisco Art Institute and a fellowship from the California Arts Council. Howard's work has been exhibited internationally including recent shows in Cairo, Egypt and Bath, England, as well as Creative Time in New York, The New Museum in New York and galleries from Boston, Los Angeles, Atlanta and Santa Fe. Other commissions and installations were executed for the Museum of Glass in Tacoma, Washington, the San Francisco International Airport, the San Jose Museum of Art, and for inSITE San Diego. She is currently one of the artists in the Sesnon Gallery group exhibition, Some Assembly Required race, gender and globalization, at Porter College running through April 18.

Dr. Amalia Mesa-Bains is an educator, artist and cultural critic. Her work, primarily interpretations of traditional Chicano altars, resonates both in contemporary formal terms and in ties to her community and history. As an author of scholarly articles and a nationally known lecturer on Latino art, she has enhanced understanding of multiculturalism and reflected major cultural and demographic shifts in the United States. As an artist her works have been exhibited in both national and international venues including the National Museum of American Art at the Smithsonian; the Whitney Museum of American Art at Phillip Morris; and San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. She is a recipient of a distinguished MacArthur Fellowship. Dr. Mesa-Bains is a professor and the Director of the Visual and Public Art Department at California State University at Monterey Bay. She is currently one of the artists in the Sesnon Gallery exhibition, Some Assembly Required: race, gender and globalization, at Porter College running through April 18.

Diane Covert X-Ray Project Diane Covert has been a documentary photographer since the 1970's. Her projects include documenting the bankruptcy of family farms across the Midwest, investigating a meat packing plant, a look at inmates in a large county jail, and a documentary of the inside of a large public hospital, including surgery, childbirth, and emergency response for a major heart attack. She worked for the White House during the Ford and Carter presidencies, making images of them in the Midwest. She also made a series of portraits and lengthy interviews with Holocaust survivors in Boston. She has taught photography at the Kansas City Art Institute and is represented in several collections including The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, The Enid and Crosby Kemper Foundation, The Hall Family Foundation, The Musee de l'Elysee and the Museum of Photographic Arts, SBC Corp, Cargill Incorporated and others.

Amy Balkin’s projects consider how we occupy the social and material landscapes we inhabit. Her projects include Public Smog, This is the Public Domain, and Invisible-5. Public Smog (2004+) is a public park in the atmosphere that fluctuates in location and scale, constructed through a series of economic and political activities and gestures. This is the Public Domain (2001+) is an ongoing effort to create a permanent international commons, free to all in perpetuity, through the legal transfer of 2.634 acres of land near Tehachapi, California, to the global public. Invisible-5 (2006) is a self-guided environmental justice audio tour of California’s Interstate-5 highway corridor, made in collaboration with artists Tim Halbur and Kim Stringfellow, and organizations Greenaction for Health and Environmental Justice, and Pond: Art, Activism, and Ideas. The project investigates the stories of people and communities fighting for environmental justice along the I-5 freeway, through oral histories, field recordings, found sound, recorded music, and archival audio documents. It also traces natural, social, and economic histories along the route. Her recent works include the video Reading ‘Climate Change 2007: Synthesis Report Summary for Policymakers’ (2008), and Sell Us Your Liberty, Or We’ll Subcontract Your Death (2008), a series of sign rubbings of Bay Area entities implicated in the local, everyday production of war. She has received grants from the Creative Work Fund and the Louis Comfort Tiffany Foundation, and in 2007 she travelled to Greenland with Cape Farewell, a project to bring artists and scientists to the Arctic. She lives in San Francisco.

Bayeté Ross Smith is an artist, photographer and arts educator. He began his career as a photojournalist, working with the Philadelphia Inquirer, the Charlotte Observer and Newsday, in New York City. Bayeté is represented by the Patricia Sweetow Gallery in San Francisco, California. His work has been exhibited through out the U.S. and Internationally. "Along The Way" a video mosiac created with the Cause Collective was an official selection for the 2008 Sundance Film Festival. "Along The Way was originally a public art commission for the Oakland International Airport. Bayeté 's work has been featured at the Goethe Institute in Accra, Ghana, the Zacheta National Gallery of Art, in Warsaw, Poland, the Leica Gallery and Rush Arts Gallery in New York, and with the San Francisco Arts Commission, at City Hall in San Francisco.

Wendy Sue Lamm has spent many years as a correspondent from Israel. Known for her ability to express the underlying, enduring beauty of real, daily events, Ms. Lamm’s photographs are exhibited in numerous museums and galleries in Europe and Asia including Stockholm Stadsmuseet, Milan’s FORMA International Center of Photography, the Louvre in Paris, and Japan’s Asahi Museum; and are featured in international publications such as The New York Times Magazine, Newsweek, Elle, Geo, Der Spiegel, L’Espresso, Republica, Figaro. Her portraiture is highly sought after by major artists in recording and entertainment. Ms. Lamm’s first book From the Land of Miracles, published in Europe and North America, is a reflection on the fragile balance of the daily lives of Israelis and Palestinians in peace and in war. After earning a BA in Humanities from the University of California at Berkeley in 1988, Ms. Lamm accepted photographic assignments for the next eight years that spanned America--from the border towns of El Paso, Texas & Juarez, Mexico, to metropolitan daily newspapers & magazines in New York, Los Angeles, and San Francisco. As a member of the Los Angeles Times team reporting on the 1994 earthquake in Northridge, CA her photos were part of the coverage that earned the Times a Pulitzer Prize. From 1996 to 2005 she was based in Jerusalem, Paris and Stockholm. Acclaim for her work in those years includes World Press Photo Awards and the National Press Photographers Picture of the Year Awards. In 2005 Ms. Lamm returned to her native Los Angeles.

Kota Ezawa is a Japanese-German artist currently based in San Francisco. He is best known for animated videos and light boxes that reinterpret contemporary iconic photographs. Ezawa meticulously recreates, frame-by-frame, animated sequences from television, cinema, and art history using basic digital drawing and animation software. His aesthetic is a highly stylized mixture of Pop Art, Alex Katz, and paint-by-numbers pictures. Ezawa forces us to acknowledge the historic and cultural distance between us and the depicted figures that feature so prominently in America’s public memory. In his 2002 work Simpson Verdict, Ezawa animates the delivery of O.J. Simpson’s verdict using the courtroom footage as source material while keeping the original audio from the footage in place. His stylistic artificiality underscore the manufacturing of the historical spectacle and paradoxically preserve the power of the original events. Ezawa’s ability to wring genuine emotion from the artificial makes clear his allegiance with previous Pop masters like Warhol and Lichtenstein. HIs awards include the 2010 Eureka Fellowship, Fleishhacker Foundation, San Francisco, CA; the 2006 SECA Art Award; and the 2005 Videomaker Award, Bay Area Video Coalition.

John Jota Leaños is a social art practitioner who utilizes all and any media to engage in diverse cultural arenas through strategic revealing, tactical disruption, and symbolic wagon burning, His practice includes a range of new media, public art, installation, and performance focusing on the convergence of memory, social space and decolonization. Originally from Pomona, California he identifies as part of the mainly hybrid tribe of Mexitaliano Xicangringo Güeros called “Los Mixtupos” (mixt-up-oz). Leaños' work has been shown at the Sundance 06 Film Festival, the 2002 Whitney Biennial in New York, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles, and Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Leaños is a Creative Capital Foundation Grantee and has been an artist in residence at the University of California, Santa Barbara in the Center for Chicano Studies (2006), Carnegie Mellon University in the Center for Arts in Society (2003), and the Headlands Center for the Arts (2007). Leaños is currently an Assistant Professor of Social Practices and Community Arts at the California College of the Arts.


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