Critical Studies News

Posted on Thursday, October 15, 2015 by Chris Bliss


San Francisco, Calif., August 25, 2015 -- More than 250 educators, artists, designers, and scientists from across North America will participate in the 2015 AICAD Symposium: Exploring Science in the Studio, November 5–7 at California College of the Arts (CCA) in San Francisco. 

The symposium, sponsored by a National Science Foundation (NSF) grant and the Association of Independent Colleges of Art and Design (AICAD), examines the role of science in contemporary art and design education.

One of the oldest and most influential art and design schools in the country, CCA is pursuing ways to enable its students to take their places as scientifically literate problem solvers in a variety of careers.

Posted on Friday, September 11, 2015 by Laura Braun

SFMOMA additionally announces the promotion of Joseph Becker to associate curator of Architecture and Design, after serving the museum as assistant curator since 2008. Becker has contributed to several of the museum’s Architecture and Design exhibitions and acquisitions. He was curator of Field Conditions (2012) and Parra: Weirded Out (2012) as well as co-curator with Dunlop Fletcher of Lebbeus Woods, Architect (2013) and co-curator of ParaDesign (2011) with Henry Urbach and Dunlop Fletcher.

Posted on Friday, December 5, 2014 by Laura Braun

Artist, educator, and human rights activist Claudia Bernradi, works at the intersection of art and conflict. For 30 years, Claudia has participated in investigations of human rights violations, working with the Argentine Forensic Anthropology Team in Argentina, Buenos Aires. From this experience, she recognized that art could be used to articulate the communal memories of survivors of human rights atrocities. The Disappeared Are Appearing Mural Project was created by relatives of those who disappeared during the military dictatorship in Argentina.

Posted on Wednesday, June 18, 2014 by Lindsey Westbrook

Kids on YouTube: Technical Identities and Digital Literacies
Left Coast Press, 2014
Paperback, 272 pages, $34.95

Critical Studies faculty member Patricia G. Lange wrote this academic ethnographic monograph on understanding kids’ everyday engagement with new media. Debunking the stereotype of the self-taught computer whiz, Lange describes the collaborative social networks kids use to negotiate identity and develop digital literacy on the 'Tube. Her long-term ethnographic studies also cover peer-based and family-driven video-making dynamics, girl geeks, civic engagement, and representational ethics. This book operates in the realms of new media studies, communication, science and technology studies, digital anthropology, and informal education.

The book was recently profiled on Henry Jenkins's blog.

Posted on Wednesday, June 11, 2014 by Lindsey Westbrook

Critical Studies faculty member Christine Metzger is a crafty scientist. She’s “crafty” in the CCA sense of the word, but she’s also “canny” and “astute,” having spearheaded, along with faculty member Stuart Kendall, former faculty member Rachel Schreiber, and former staff member Kathy Butler, a very long but very happily concluded campaign for a National Science Foundation grant.

The grant of $200,000 was not only more than they’d requested, but also one of the largest NSF awards ever made to an art college.

Over three years, it will support Exploring Science in the Studio, an innovative project dedicated to the idea that science at CCA should be more than just a general education requirement. The aspiration is to integrate science into the arts, enabling art and design students to develop an understanding of their native fields from a science-based perspective.

Posted on Wednesday, April 9, 2014 by Laura Braun

Aimee Phan, author of the novel The Reeducation of Cherry Truong, says without hesitation that her husband is her Vera. Phan and the poet Matt Shears, both professors at California College of the Arts, have two young children (ages two and five, respectively). Shears prepares 90 percent of the family’s meals these days—a duty he took up after they welcomed their first child.

Posted on Monday, November 11, 2013 by Lindsey Westbrook

Architecture Xenoculture
eVolo, 2013
Paperback, 300 pages, $24.95

“Xenoculture” is a term coined by the Iranian writer and philosopher Reza Negarestani to describe the need for embracing and exploring the unexpected, the alien. This fifth issue of eVolo, coedited by Benjamin Rice (Architecture and Critical Studies faculty), borrows the idea and explores works by architects and designers who detach from everything that architecture is supposed to be and look like, including preconceived forms and aesthetics, to look into new architectural and design possibilities.

The featured architects and designers include Hernan Diaz Alonso, Servo, Francois Roche, Marc Fornes, Kokkugia, Zaha Hadid, Volkan Alkanoglu, and Rafael Lozano, among others.

Posted on Tuesday, September 24, 2013 by Lindsey Westbrook

Mountain of Paradise: Reflections on the Emergence of Greater California as a World Civilization
Peter Lang International Academic Publishers, 2013
Hardcover, 212 pages, $79.95

Mountain of Paradise by Critical Studies faculty member Josef Chytry challenges conventional taxonomies of world civilizations by introducing a new and formidable candidate: the civilization of Greater California presently incubating as the evolution of California into a veritable "nation-state" or "world commonwealth" according to contemporary commentators and scholars.

Through a series of reflective essays, Chytry clarifies the momentous implications of this claim by a thorough account of the genealogical origins of "California," permutation into its speculative moment of self-identity thanks to prolonged creative interchange with European thought and philosophy, advancement to status of a socioeconomic powerhouse by the 1950s and 1960s, invention of distinctly Californian variants of political economy by the 1970s and 1980s, and present domination over regions formerly classified as "Greater California."

Posted on Tuesday, June 4, 2013 by Lindsey Westbrook

Modern Print Activism in the United States
Ashgate, 2013
Hardcover, 270 pages, $99.95

Director of Humanities and Sciences Rachel Schreiber edits this book devoted to the explosion of socially and politically activist print culture that occurred in the United States at the turn of the 20th century. These essays focus on specific groups, individuals, and causes that relied on print as a vehicle for activism. They also take up the variety of print forms in which calls for activism have appeared, including fiction, editorials, letters to the editor, graphic satire, and non-periodical media such as pamphlets and calendars.

Posted on Monday, April 29, 2013 by Jim Norrena

Alumnus Neil Grimmer in Times Square after opening the New York Stock Exchange

Neil Grimmer (BFA Sculpture 1995) epitomizes success.

He’s an accomplished conceptual artist and designer (with past exhibitions at Catharine Clark Gallery, New Langton Arts, Southern Exposure, and Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, among others) and today serves as CEO of Plum Inc. (formerly Nest Collective), a pioneer and global provider of premium, nutritious organic baby food with brand name Plum Organics, which Forbes magazine named #19 on its 2013 list of "America's Most Promising Companies."

And he's a dad on a mission. Watch video »