CCA News

Posted on Thursday, October 12, 2006 by Kim Lessard

Ben Lerner

Ben Lerner, who teaches in the MFA Program in Writing and the Writing and Literature Program, has been selected as a National Book Award finalist in the poetry category, for his book "Angle of Yaw" (Copper Canyon Press).

The announcement was made yesterday by poet Lawrence Ferlinghetti at City Lights Books in San Francisco.

The winner in each of the four categories—fiction, nonfiction, poetry, and young people's literature—will be announced at the National Book Awards benefit dinner and ceremony in New York City on November 15, 2006. The dinner will be hosted by writer Fran Lebowitz.

Each winner receives $10,000 plus a bronze statue; each finalist receives $1,000 plus a bronze medal.

The finalists were selected by four panels of judges. Their decisions were made independent of the National Book Foundation, and their deliberations were confidential.

The judges for the poetry category were James Longenbach (chair), Jimmy Santiago Baca, Li-Young Lee, Claudia Rankine, and C. D. Wright.

To be eligible for a 2006 National Book Award, a book must have been published in the United States between December 1, 2005, and November 30, 2006, and must have been written by a United States citizen. This year the judges chose from a record 1,259 entries submitted by publishers.

About Ben Lerner

Ben Lerner is from Topeka, Kansas. His first book, "The Lichtenberg Figures," won the Hayden Carruth Award from Copper Canyon Press and was named by Library Journal as one of the best books of poetry published in 2004.

A former Fulbright Scholar in Spain, Lerner cofounded and coedits "No: A Journal of the Arts."

Posted on Thursday, October 5, 2006 by Kim Lessard

The CCA Center for Art and Public Life, together with the Association of Independent Colleges of Art and Design (AICAD) and Massachusetts College of Art, will present the community arts symposium "Crafting a Vision for Art, Equity, and Civic Engagement: Convening the Community Arts Field in Higher Education," November 2–4.

The symposium will bring together artists, students, scholars, and community activists to experience and exchange best practices in the field of community arts. Featured events will include installations, performances, and visual and literary presentations.

Posted on Thursday, October 5, 2006 by Hannah Eldredge

Donald Fortescue, *Self Contained*, 2001

The FOR-SITE Foundation has awarded its first Educator Fellowship to Donald Fortescue, associate professor and chair of the Wood/Furniture Program at CCA. Fortescue has been awarded the opportunity to organize a graduate-level course at the FORE-SITE residency site near Nevada City for fall 2007 and will also receive a monetary award to cover materials, supplies, and transportation.

"I am honored to be awarded FOR-SITE's first Educator Fellowship. It is exciting to be challenged to set up a practicum at FOR-SITE and to make connections between the urban institution of CCA and the edge-of-wilderness collaborative site provided by FOR-SITE. I can't wait to get up there next year with my students and see what comes out of the experience," said Fortescue.

The FOR-SITE Foundation is a nonprofit organization dedicated to the creation, understanding, and presentation of art about place and provides learning opportunities that extend beyond the parameters of traditional academic curricula.

The foundation's board of directors awards an annual fellowship to a gifted educator affiliated with one of the foundation's educational partners.

For more information on the FOR-SITE Foundation, visit FOR-SITE Foundation. For more about the CCA Wood/Furniture Program, see Wood/Furniture.

Posted on Wednesday, October 4, 2006 by Brenda Tucker

Bonnie Sherk, Crossroads Community (The Farm), 1980

Curated by Will Bradley, "How to Build a Universe That Doesn't Fall Apart Two Days Later" revolves around contrasting visions of the future put forward in California in the mid-1970s. The exhibition is on view in the Logan Galleries November 28, 2006–March 24, 2007, on the San Francisco campus of California College of the Arts. An opening reception will take place on Tuesday, November 28, from 7:30 to 9:00 p.m. The exhibition and reception are free and open to the public.

Posted on Wednesday, October 4, 2006 by Brenda Tucker

Timothy Leary/Electronic Arts, Mind Mirror, 1984

"Radical Software: Art, Technology, and the Bay Area Underground" charts previously unexplored connections between art, technology, radical politics, and the psychedelic avant-garde.

Posted on Friday, September 29, 2006 by Brenda Tucker

The Moniac, illustration by Max Gschwind

Michael Stevenson, one of New Zealand's most prominent internationally recognized artists, is a 2006 Capp Street Project resident artist at the CCA Wattis Institute for Contemporary Arts. His exhibition, "c/o the Central Bank of Guatemala," is the result of his intense investigation into the world's first economic computer and will be on view in the CCA Wattis Institute's Logan Galleries on the San Francisco campus of California College of the Arts from November 28, 2006 through March 24, 2007. An opening reception will take place November 28 from 7:30 to 9:00 p.m.

Posted on Tuesday, September 12, 2006 by Brenda Tucker

Michael Palmer

Michael Palmer, CCA's spring 2007 writer in residence, has been selected as the recipient of the 2006 Wallace Stevens Award from the Academy of American Poets. The $100,000 prize recognizes proven mastery in the art of poetry. The judges for the award were poets Robert Hass, Fanny Howe, Susan Stewart, Arthur Sze, and Dean Young.

Robert Hass, on selecting Palmer to receive the award, wrote, "Michael Palmer is the foremost experimental poet of his generation, and perhaps of the last several generations—a gorgeous writer who has taken cues from Wallace Stevens, the Black Mountain poets, John Ashbery, contemporary French poets, the poetics of Octavio Paz, and from language poetries.

"He is one of the most original craftsmen at work in English at the present time," Hass continued. "His poetry is at once a dark and comic interrogation of the possibilities of representation in language, but its continuing surprise is its resourcefulness and its sheer beauty."

Palmer will give a public reading at CCA in February 2007 as part of the Graduate Lecture Series.

About Michael Palmer

Michael Palmer was born in New York City in 1943 and has lived in San Francisco for more than 30 years. He is the author of numerous books of poetry, including "Company of Moths" (New Directions, 2005), which was short-listed for the Canadian Griffin Poetry Prize; "Codes Appearing: Poems 1979–1988" (2001); "The Promises of Glass" (2000); "The Lion Bridge: Selected Poems 1972-1995" (1998); "At Passages" (1996); "Sun" (1988); "First Figure" (1984); "Notes for Echo Lake" (1981); "Without Music" (1977); "The Circular Gates" (1974); and "Blake's Newton" (1972). He is also the author of a prose work, "The Danish Notebook" (Avec Books, 1999).

Palmer's work, which is both alluringly lyrical and intensely avant-garde, has inspired a wide range of poets working today. Palmer draws on many disparate poetic traditions to create a new voice, a voice that has opened ways to write out of the confines of specific schools of poetry. Palmer has brought his powers of synthesis to his collaborations with artists in several mediums. For over 30 years he has collaborated with the Margaret Jenkins Dance Company, and he created the text for their piece "Danger Orange." Visual artists he has collaborated with include Gerhard Richter, Micaëla Henich, Sandro Chia, Jess Collins, and Augusta Talbot.

Palmer has also translated work from French, Russian, and Portuguese. He edited and contributed translations to "Nothing the Sun Could Not Explain: Twenty Contemporary Brazilian Poets" (Sun & Moon Press, 1997) and "Blue Vitriol" (Avec Books, 1994), a collection of poetry by Alexei Parshchikov. He also translated "Theory of Tables" (1994), a book written by Emmanuel Hocquard, a project that grew out of Hocquard's translations of Palmer's "Baudelaire Series" into French.

Palmer's honors include two grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, a Lila Wallace-Reader's Digest Writer's Award, a Guggenheim Foundation fellowship, and the Shelley Memorial Prize from the Poetry Society of America. In 1999, he was elected a Chancellor of the Academy of American Poets.

About the Award

The Wallace Stevens Award is given annually by the Academy of American Poets ( to recognize outstanding and proven mastery in the art of poetry. Established in 1994, the award carries a stipend of $100,000.

The previous recipients are W. S. Merwin, James Tate, Adrienne Rich, Anthony Hecht, A. R. Ammons, Jackson Mac Low, Frank Bidart, John Ashbery, Ruth Stone, Richard Wilbur, Mark Strand, and Gerald Stern.

Posted on Thursday, September 7, 2006 by Brenda Tucker

Brenda Laurel

Renowned designer, researcher and author Brenda Laurel has been appointed chair of the MFA Program in Design at California College of the Arts (CCA), Provost Stephen Beal announced today. In this position, Laurel will provide the vision and leadership for the program and engage in collegewide strategic planning. Her start date at the college is September 15.

Under Laurel's leadership, CCA will introduce a new curriculum for the graduate design program in fall 2007. The new program will include disciplined-based tracks in graphic design, industrial design and interactive design. Design students will share common coursework in theory and criticism, research, materials, tools, processes and entrepreneurship. Through special-project studio courses, students will explore transdisciplinary collaborations and will culminate their studies with individual thesis projects.

"I'm tremendously excitied about the opportunity to build a graduate design program with a transdisciplinary approach at its core," Laurel said. "The strengths of CCA and the Bay Area design community are great assets in creating a muscular education for tomorrow's design leaders."

CCA's MFA Program in Design was founded in 2000. Lucille Tenazas served as chair from the program's inception until 2003. Stuart McKee has been chair since 2003 and will continue to teach in the program.

"Interest in our design programs has increased significantly over the last few years, and we are particularly excited about the proposed expansion of our graduate design program," commented Beal. "Brenda Laurel is universally acknowledged as a leader in the field of human-computer interaction, and her extensive experience as a designer, writer, researcher and educator makes her the ideal person to lead our graduate design program. We are extremely fortunate to have her joining the college in this capacity."

About Brenda Laurel

Brenda Laurel's work focuses on interactive narrative, human-computer interaction, and cultural aspects of technology. She designed the curriculum for the graduate Media Design Program at Art Center College of Design and chaired the program from 2002 through 2006. She also served as senior director and distinguished engineer at Sun Microsystems Laboratories in 2005–6.

Laurel was one of the founding members of Interval Research Corporation in Palo Alto, where she coordinated research activities exploring gender and technology and coproduced and directed the Placeholder Virtual Reality project. She was also a founder and vice president of design of Purple Moon, an Interval affiliate that was formed to design interactive media for girls based on this research. She has worked as a software designer, producer and researcher for many companies, including Atari, Activision and Apple.

Laurel has published extensively on topics including interactive fiction, computer games, autonomous agents, virtual reality and political and artistic issues in interactive media. She is the author of "Design Research: Methods and Perspectives" (M.I.T. Press, 2004), "Utopian Entrepreneur" (M.I.T. Press, 2001) and "Computers as Theatre" (Addison-Wesley, 1991). She is also the editor of "The Art of Human-Computer Interface Design" (Addison-Wesley, 1991).

Laurel holds an MFA and PhD in theater from Ohio State University.

About California College of the Arts

Founded in 1907, California College of the Arts (formerly California College of Arts and Crafts) is the largest regionally accredited, independent school of art and design in the western United States. Noted for the interdisciplinary nature and breadth of its programs, CCA offers studies in 20 undergraduate and 6 graduate majors in the areas of fine arts, architecture, design and writing. The college offers bachelor of architecture, bachelor of arts, bachelor of fine arts, master of architecture, master of arts and master of fine arts degrees. With campuses in Oakland and San Francisco, CCA currently enrolls 1,600 full-time students.

Posted on Wednesday, August 30, 2006 by Brenda Tucker

Wen-Hua Hu, Trans-sensing

Every year I.D. magazine searches for the best work from the top design schools around the world. Three CCA alumni from the class of 2005 were recently honored in the Student Design Review 2006.

CCA alumna Wen-Hua Hu (Graphic Design '05) won the competition's top prize for her thesis project, Trans-sensing: Seeing Music, in which she developed a complex graphic system to explore what it would be like to see music. She based the project on the idea of synesthesia, literally "joined perception," the rare neurological condition in which the senses cross.

Posted on Monday, August 14, 2006 by Jim Norrena

Maxine Chernoff

Maxine Chernoff

November 3, 2006
3:30–5:30 p.m., Writers' Studio, San Francisco campus

Maxine Chernoff is a professor and chair of the Creative Writing program at San Francisco State University. With Paul Hoover, she edits the long-running literary journal New American Writing.