Visual and Critical Studies News

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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Posted on Thursday, June 6, 2013 by Matthew Harrison Tedford

This is the first installment of what will be an ongoing series of first-person "How I Got to CCA" stories by students and alumni. The following is written by Matthew Harrison Tedford (Visual and Critical Studies 2011).

My first day in San Francisco began at about 6 a.m., when my Greyhound bus crossed the Bay Bridge from Oakland and pulled into the Transbay Terminal. I disembarked, along with all my worldly possessions -- two Army duffel bags, one filled with books, the other filled with clothes and books -- and set out to start my new life on what I remember as a foggy and cold summer morning. I was exhausted from the 12-hour ride, but excited to explore San Francisco, a city I'd visited only briefly in the past.

Posted on Tuesday, June 4, 2013 by Lindsey Westbrook

Machinima! Teorie. Pratiche. Dialoghi
Ludologica, 2013
Paperback, 288 pages, 19 Euros

This collection of essays (in Italian) is edited by Visual and Critical Studies faculty member Matteo Bittanti in collaboration with Stanford University's Henry Lowood. Bittanti also wrote one of the essays. The book has been released in Italy in the ongoing Ludologica book series and features 27 contributions from scholars, artists, and critics on the topic of machinima, digital games, and contemporary art. The book jacket is designed by the new-media artist Mauro Ceolin. Watch the book trailer!

Posted on Monday, February 4, 2013 by Jim Norrena

The Tribeca Film Institute Filmmaker Programming Team has chosen CCA faculty member Cheryl Dunye as one of 10 finalists for its newest initiative -- the Heineken Affinity Award.

Dunye, a native of Liberia, has directed such feature films as My Baby's Daddy (Miramax), Stranger Inside (HBO Films), and The Watermelon Woman, which was awarded the Teddy Award at the Berlin International Film Festival in 1996.

Posted on Monday, January 14, 2013 by Jim Norrena

Events are part of the Graduate Studies Symposium

What does narrative mean to architects, artists, critics, designers, scholars, and writers? How can the unfolding of a story communicate, evoke, engage, and captivate audiences?

This exhibition and lecture/performance series explores narrative in a broad range of genres.

Narrative (Inter)actions is a series of performances, lectures, and exhibition that comprise the spring Graduate Studies Symposium at California College of the Arts.

Please join us for these exciting events:

Posted on Tuesday, December 18, 2012 by Matthew Harrison Tedford

The Walls of Hope project in progress in Monthey, Switzerland

Claudia Bernardi (today a professor in CCA's Community Arts Program, but who also teaches in a wide range of disciplines, including Diversity Studies, Fine Arts, and Visual and Critical Studies programs) was a student at the university of art in Buenos Aires in 1976, the year the military dictatorship took power in Argentina.

"Those were very dark years -- very tragic, painful, and violent. The ones who survived learned to look at life, history, and art quite differently."

Posted on Friday, November 16, 2012 by Rachel Walther

Glen Helfand (in the green T-shirt) with CCA students and Creativity Explored artists

A hall of mirrors reflecting an artist's actual view of the world; sculptural train tracks coming out of the wall and into the gallery space; colorful, hanging text-mobiles that evoke psychologically charged word-clouds; a fashion magazine devoted to one fabulous model; and a pop-up shop selling equestrian-themed T-shirts, jewelry, and drawings:

These are the works that will be on view in Fabricators, the culminating exhibition for Glen Helfand's fall 2012 ENGAGE at CCA course, at Jack Fischer Gallery in San Francisco, December 12-22, 2012. The public is invited to the reception on Saturday, December 15, 3-5 p.m.

Posted on Thursday, November 8, 2012 by Matthew Harrison Tedford

The Cast of La Bamba 2: Hell Is a Drag

"I wrote a sequel to From Dusk Till Dawn when I was in seventh grade."

So began the filmmaking career of Rob Fatal (MFA 2012). His obsession with film proceeded apace, but it took him a surprisingly long time, he says, to realize that there was a person called a director -- that movies didn't just spring into existence like Athena from Zeus's head.

Inspired by Quentin Tarantino, Mel Brooks, and Robert Rodriguez, Fatal began writing screenplays at age 12. "I loved camp and sci-fi films before I even knew they were genres." At 19 he borrowed his father's camcorder and made a 30-minute film about DJs with magical turntables. "It was accidentally campy. It was accidentally bad. But it had a lot of sincerity." Much to his surprise, it did well, even getting into a couple of festivals.

Film Maker, Filmmaker, or Artist?

Fast forward a few years. Fatal was still working in film and experimenting with video art, but not quite to the point of considering himself a filmmaker, and certainly not an "artist," whatever that meant. But one day, in the midst of editing a video documenting an experimental opera by Fatal's collaborator/mentor Juliana Snapper, he recomposed portions of the footage into a new composition and showed it to CCA faculty member Cheryl Dunye. Dunye delivered the unexpected news that what he was doing was art, and urged him to apply to CCA's MFA program. The faculty there, she said, were pushing the boundaries of genres, and dealing with gender politics and racial identity -- fields of study Fatal had been researching for years in his graduate program at Sacramento State University. CCA presented Fatal with a place to finally bridge his dual love of film theory and practice.