Visual and Critical Studies News

Posted on Friday, October 10, 2014 by Laura Braun

Matteo Bittanti, a writer, artist, and teacher in the Visual Studies program at California College of the Arts, told me that we're still waiting for the video game version of Martin Scorsese's The Last Temptation of Christ or Pier Paolo Pasolini's The Gospel According to St. Matthew, but that we shouldn't hold our breath.

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Posted on Thursday, September 11, 2014 by Emily Holmes

Adrienne Skye Roberts’ (MA Visual and Critical Studies 2009) installation titled It Is Our Duty to Fight, It Is Our Duty to Win / We Must Love Each Other and Protect Each Other / We Have Nothing to Loose But Our Chains (2013), shown at San Francisco’s Root Division gallery, depicted the following words on a sign that rested against a white wall:

“To be treated like everybody else.”

Hand painted in simple black lettering on a white picketing sign, it is easy to imagine these words chanted with pride, determination, and defiance during a political march.

Listen to a recorded audio of the chant »

Five other similar signs featured different statements and demands, such as “The hope to see my children again.” The people who spoke these words did not always have the freedom to practice the civil right of protesting.

In fact, the work reflects the answers of previously incarcerated women whom Roberts asked, “How did you survive prison?” “What do you need to survive now that you are out?” “And what does a world without mass incarceration look like?”

Visit the artist's website »

Posted on Monday, June 30, 2014 by Simon Hodgson

Photo: Zack DeZon

How does an engineer reinvent himself? One possible answer: at art school.

In 1996, just a year after graduating from Johns Hopkins University with a degree in civil engineering, Bruce King-Shey felt lost.

A lifelong musician, he switched tracks from engineering to take an entry-level job at the Annapolis Symphony. But when his career in arts management began to feel stalled, he wasn’t sure where he should turn next.

Today King-Shey (Industrial Design 2004, MA Visual Criticism 2005) is vice president of design innovation at food and beverage giant PepsiCo.

His circuitous career path offers much insight into how an arts education can unlock hidden talents.

Posted on Thursday, June 26, 2014 by Laura Braun

Another rare account of LGBT life in the U.S. during the war was captured in Tina Takemoto's documentary, Looking for Jiro , Graves noted. The documentary unearths the story of Jiro Onuma, a gay Japanese man who was incarcerated in central Utah during World War II. Takemoto is an artist and associate professor at the California College of the Arts in San Francisco.

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Posted on Wednesday, June 18, 2014 by Lindsey Westbrook

Grand Theft Vito
Concrete Press, 2014
Paperback, 234 pages, $99

Between July 3 and 25, 2013, the San Francisco-based artists COLL.EO (comprised of Visual Studies faculty member Matteo Bittanti and partner in crime Colleen Flaherty) walked through the streets of Liberty City, the fictional metropolis of Grand Theft Auto IV, under the guise of Vito Acconci. Titled Following Bit, the performance was meant as a replay of Acconci’s seminal Following Piece (1969). Forty-four years earlier, Acconci followed for an entire month a random person each day in New York, stopping only if they entered a private space. Acconci typed up an account of each "pursuit" and sent a report to a different member of the art community the subsequent month.

COLL.EO’s 2013 replay generated an enormous set of data, consisting of 23 digital videos in high definition over 118 gigabytes in size; 13,300+ digital photos; 60 digital prints; 23 written accounts sent in tweet form, plus several typewritten pages of notes, framed and mounted to a board.

A Game Art walkthrough, this book provides a unique, in-depth documentation of Following Bit and the related art mod Grand Theft Vito (2013) through texts, screengrabs, annotations, and a long conversation between COLL.EO and the San Francisco-based artist Carlo Ricafort.

Posted on Thursday, May 8, 2014 by Rachel Walther

Jen Banta Yoshida interviews Nancy Hom for her Bernice Bing documentary

Jen Banta Yoshida (MA Visual and Critical Studies 2009) is many things: an activist, a writer, an artist, a San Francisco native. For the past seven years, she has been delving into the biography of the artist Bernice Bing.

Her intensive research culminated in The Worlds of Bernice Bing, a documentary film released in late 2013. (Watch the trailer »)

The film will screen next at the Crocker Art Museum in Sacramento on June 26, 2014 , followed by a Q&A with Jen Banta Yoshida and Lenore Chinn.

Bing was also a San Francisco native. She was born in 1936 in Chinatown and worked in the city for most of her life, as a painter and an activist for community-based arts.

Posted on Wednesday, February 26, 2014 by Allison Byers

Team members Kristina Kotlier (MArch 2013) (left) and Raine Paulson Andrews (MArch 2014) (right) with a STAND UP supporter

In spring 2013, three CCA students came together with one common goal: to make a difference with an IMPACT Social Entrepreneurship Award from CCA’s Center for Art and Public Life.

Robert Gomez (MFA and MA Visual and Critical Studies 2013), Raine Paulson Andrews (MArch 2014), and Kristina Kotlier (MArch 2013) were indeed one of three teams who won the award for summer 2013, and the project they carried out, STAND UP with Jamaica, was a major turning point for all of them.

Posted on Monday, November 11, 2013 by Lindsey Westbrook

Smaller Than Life
Concrete Press, 2013
Hardcover, 80 pages, $57.99

Operating in the hybrid zone between sculpture, craft, miniature making, and conceptual art, Visual Studies faculty member Matteo Bittanti creates seven self-portraits that simultaneously appropriate and reconfigure a peculiar medium: die-cast model cars. This limited-edition book features photographs by the artist Colleen Flaherty and a long conversation between Bittanti and the Bay Area artist Juan Carlos Quintana.

Posted on Monday, August 19, 2013 by Allison Byers

Bing grew up during a period in history when discrimination based on race and gender was prevalent in America, but her talent enabled her to win a scholarship to attend the California College of Arts and Crafts (now known as California College of the Arts) where she earned her BFA.

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Posted on Tuesday, August 6, 2013 by Allison Byers

Next up is Dorothy Santos who will be with us for the next four weeks. A freelance writer, blogger, curator, visual and critical studies geek, Dorothy is currently pursuing a master’s degree at California College of the Arts, where she is researching computational aesthetics, programming, coding, and open source culture and their effects on contemporary art.

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