December 1, 2012
Panels 2013


All panels meet at MFA Art Criticism & Writing
132 West 21st Street, 6th Floor

All events are free and open to the public

SESSION 1: 10:00 A.M. TO 11:30 A.M.

Respondent: Alexandra Nicolaides (Student) and Kurt Ralske (School of the Museum of Fine Arts Boston, Faculty)

Art is produced as part of an intricate, global, and often unnoticed network. Increasingly, artists have used that system in their artworks. This panel investigates artists exposing and subverting the institutional structures of art as art.

  • John A. Tyson, Afterlives of “Systems Esthetics” (Emory University, Art History, PhD Candidate (ABD))
  • Jonathan Frey and Amanda Sepanski, Transformation Design (Pratt Institute, Graphic Design, 2nd year MFA)
  • Elizabeth S. Hawley, Art, Activism, and Media Manipulation: WochenKlausur’s Social Interventions (City University of New York: Graduate Center, Art History, Level II PhD)

The Aesthetics of the Sentient Object
Respondent: Sabrina Mandanici (Student) and Nancy Princenthal (SVA Faculty)

Digital and virtual seem to be the predominant terms of the 21st century. They affect our ways of seeing and how we relate to objects – how we think about them and, consequently, how we think about art. Yet, human beings are not only defined by their intellect, but also by their ability to see and feel through their senses. This panel explores artistic practices and philosophical discourses that encourage sentient perception.

  • Simon Belak, New Sensuality (University of Ljubljana, Faculty of Arts, Philosophy Department Student)
  • Amanda L. Cachia, Cannibalizing Sound: Deaf Performance as a Site of Trespass (University of California at San Diego, Department of Visual Arts, Ph.D. Candidate)
  • Chelsea Haines, What Makes Paint Political? (City University of New York: The Graduate Center, Department of Art History, Research Fellow)
  • Milan DelVecchio, We Archipelago: A Productive Reaction to the Collective Unconscious, in a Conscious State (School of Visual Arts, Computer Arts, MFA)

SESSION 2: 11:45 A.M. TO 1:15 P.M.

Of the Word
Respondent: Egor Sofronov (Student) and Alan Gilbert (SVA Faculty)

This panel will examine construction, Interpretation, and ascertainment of meaning, its translation and attribution, following certain specificities of these operations in contemporary art and culture.

  • Clarinda MacLow, Free the Orphans (City College of New York, Digital and Interdisciplinary Art Practice Program, MFA Candidate)
  • Anita Paz, In search of Meaning: The Written Word in the Age of Google (University of Oxford, History of Art and Visual Culture, MSt)
  • Ignas Petronis, How to interpret politically? Hermeneutic study of feminist artists-activists’ civil disobedience in Serbia (Geneva University of Art and Design, Critical Curatorial Cybermedia Department, Masters Student)
  • Tatiane Schilaro Santa Rosa, Breaking with Fluency: Irreconcilability of Words and Worlds in Contemporary Art (School of Visual Arts, Art Criticism & Writing, MFA Candidate)

Indented Margins
Respondent: Eric Sutphin (Student) and Susan Bee (SVA Faculty)

Grouping pornography, virtual culture, spiritual practices and bachelorhood within a framework of “the marginal” is potentially problematic and likely to raise eyebrows. This panel’s intention is not to conflate these divergent expressive modes qualitatively or to force them into a theoretical apparatus. Rather, the aim in bringing these presentations together as sites of inquiry is to foreground the expressive potentiality of these disparate topics through the critical engagements of the panelists’ research.

  • Ayanna Serenity Dozier, Oh. Beep Yeah!: Performing Posthuman Sexuality and the Pornokitsch Aesthetic in the Visual Arts (New York University, Media, Culture, and Communication, MA)
  • Jason Derouin, Bachelor Culture Spectacle (Texas Tech University, Fine Arts, specializing in Critical Studies and Artistic Practice, PhD Candidate)
  • Samantha Fein, Reframing Haitian Narratives through Artistic Expression of Afro-Caribbean Spirituality (Maryland Institute College of Art, Mount Royal School of Art, MA)
  • Jessica A. Martin, The Evolution of Online Pornography: Sex, Technology and Conceptual Frameworks (York University, Gender, Feminist and Women’s Studies, PhD Candidate)

SESSION 3: 2:00 P.M. TO 3:30 P.M.

Identity: Construction, Transmission, Rejection
Respondent: Victoria Potucek (Student) and Ann Lauterbach (SVA Faculty)

The nature of identity in the lingual sense is often defined by its own limitations and the polar oppositions in terms that are constructed by cultural “norms”. Reznick, Chen and Mellender acknowledge these constructions and their societal impacts in order to move beyond them. Branching out into regions that resist strict definition, interpretation, and the value judgements typical to the discussion of identity and what people are, the presentation of these works is an attempt to bridge the gap left by images informed by our limited language structures.

  • Christopher Cheng (Crissian Chen), The Beer Commercial and the Paradox of Masculinity
    (Maryland Institute College of Art, Photographic and Electronic Media, MFA)
  • Jordan Reznick, Imperceptible Politics: The Photograph and The Aesthetic Experience (University of California at Santa Cruz, Visual Studies, PhD Candidate)
  • Susan Mellender, The Body as Medium: Gender-nonconforming in Contemporary Performance Art (Hunter College, Art History, MA)

Communication/Isolation/Retaliation: Our Responses to the Age of Information
Respondent: Rabia Ashfaque (Student) and Lucy Raven (SVA Faculty)

How are we connected? The virtual, the simulated, the networked: we refer to our technological state of existence by many names. From studying the impact of the Internet, to exploring the function of logic, computation, game theory and surveillance technologies, in this panel, we will explore a number of ways in which we communicate information and why it is important to study the ways in which we are connected.

  • John Ryan, Declarations of Interdependence: Experiments in Networked Interdividualism (Art Center College of Design, Media Design Practices, MFA)
  • Anna C. Natale and Dolores Galindo, DroneART, a Product of Surveillance Criticism (Federal University of Mato Grosso – UFMT, Brazil, MA Student and Faculty)
  • Rachel Law, The Vortex & Meshtectonics (Parsons New School for Design, Design & Technology, MFA)

KEYNOTE ADDRESS: 4:00 – 5:30pm
SVA Theatre, 333 West 23 Street, New York City
Free and open to the public

Lawrence Weschler
Director Emeritus, New York Institute for the Humanities at New York University


For over a decade now, in the National Book Critics Circle Award winning Everything that Rises: A Book of Convergences, and in the ongoing contest that book spawned on the website, Lawrence Weschler has been exploring the way images (but also poems, musical themes, etc.) set a context for the reception of subsequent instances. We see by way of what we have already seen. We create by way of our entire prior sensorium. In this profusely illustrated talk, Weschler will consider a spectrum of such convergent effects, from apophenia (the tendency of humans to see patterns where none exist) through co-causation, fractalization, influence (forward and backward, direct and unconscious), homage, apprenticeship, allusion, quotation, appropriation, cryptomnesia (verbatim appropriation without realizing you’re doing so), through outright plagiarism… Fun for the entire family.

School of Visual Arts

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