Established with the generous support of alumna Penny W. Stamps, the Speaker Series brings respected emerging and established artists/designers from a broad spectrum of media to the School to conduct a public lecture and engage with students, faculty, and the larger University and Ann Arbor communities. Additional support is provided by series sponsors Michigan Radio, WUOM 91.7 FM and Arts @ Michigan.
Unless otherwise noted, all programs take place on Thursdays at 5:10 pm at the historic Michigan Theater, located at 603 E. Liberty Street in downtown Ann Arbor, and are free of charge and open to the public.
January 16, 2014
Antimonuments and Subsculptures
Mexican-Canadian media artist Rafael Lozano-Hemmer creates interactive installations that are at the intersection of architecture and performance art. Using technologies such as robotics, computerized surveillance and telematic networks his light and shadow works are “antimonuments for alien agency”. With solo exhibitions at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, the Fundación Telefónica in Buenos Aires and the Museum of Contemporary Art in Sydney, he was the first artist to officially represent Mexico at the 2007 Venice Biennale. He has also shown at Biennials and Triennials in Havana, Istanbul, Liverpool, Montréal, Beijing, Moscow, New Orleans, Seoul, Seville, Shanghai, Singapore and Sydney.
January 23, 2014
Michael Graves began his career in the 1960s as a creator of private houses in the abstract and austere style of orthodox Modernism, his compositions influenced by the work of Le Corbusier. In the late 1970s, however, Graves began to reject the bare and unadorned Modernist idiom as too cool and abstract, and he began seeking a richer architectural vocabulary that would be more accessible to the public. He soon drew remarkable attention with his designs for several large public buildings in the early 1980s. The Portland Public Service Building (usually called the Portland Building) in Portland, Ore. (1980), and the Humana Building in Louisville, Ky. (1982), were notable for their hulking masses and for Graves’s highly personal, Cubist interpretations of such classical elements as colonnades and loggias. Though somewhat awkward, these and other of Graves’s later buildings were acclaimed for their powerful and energetic presence.
By the mid-1980s Graves had emerged as arguably the most original and popular figure working in the postmodernist idiom. He executed architectural and design commissions for clients around the world. In the early 1980s he created a playful and iconic teakettle (as well as a number of additional products) for the Alessi design firm, and he later created a line of household items, including kitchenware and furniture, for the discount retailer Target.
Among his later large-scale projects were the restoration of the Washington Monument (2000) and the expansion of the Detroit Institute of Arts (completed 2007). In 2001 Graves was awarded the American Institute of Architects Gold Medal (AIA) for lifetime achievement.
January 30, 2014
Transforming Our Cities Through Art and Design
Candy Chang is an artist who reimagines public spaces to help us make sense of our lives. After losing someone she loved, she created the Before I Die public art project on an abandoned house in her neighborhood in New Orleans to invite people to share their personal aspirations in public space. Since then, over 400 Before I Die walls have been created in over 60 countries by passionate people all over the world. The Atlantic called it "one of the most creative community projects ever" and it has recently been turned into a book published by St Martin's Press. She graduated from the University of Michigan with a double major in Architecture and Graphic Design and went on to receive a Masters in Urban Planning from Columbia University. She has created public art projects in New Orleans, Hong Kong, Las Vegas, and New York City, and her work has been exhibited in the Venice Biennale, the Centre for the Living Arts, and the Smithsonian Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum. She is a TED Senior Fellow, a Tulane Urban Innovation Fellow, and a World Economic Forum Young Global Leader.
February 6, 2014
Degenerate Art Ensemble's work is inspired by punk, comics, cinema, nightmares and fairy tales driven by the energy of live music and their style of visceral movement theater and dance. These immersive meditations tear away the the waking world revealing alternate realities filled with characters that are transformers - the weak becoming strong, the good becoming evil- expressing unimaginable possibilities. The group throws audiences into this world, asking them to make sounds en-masse enveloping and activating the space. Characters climb over the audience - removing the barriers that normally separate, creating an environment that arouses our interconnectedness. The work is an exorcism through collision and conflict striving to create communion, soul-exchange and collective transformation. Degenerate Art Ensemble has recently collaborated with the legendary theater director Robert Wilson, and the renowned Kronos Quartet and was the subject of a large scale museum exhibition.
February 13, 2014
Whether using an economy of line, color and text to pinpoint the human condition or to succinctly depict social commentary, New York-based Luba Lukova’s work is undeniably powerful and thought provoking. Her masterful use of provocative metaphors gives the viewers art to not only appreciate visually but intellectually. Lukova's work has received numerous awards and has been exhibited widely in the US and around the world. Solo exhibitions include: UNESCO in Paris, DDD Gallery in Osaka, La MaMa Gallery in New York, and the Art Institute of Boston. Her work is currently on view at New York's Museum of Modern Art as a featured image for the newly opened exhibition "Designing Modern Women".
Lukova is the author of the critically acclaimed Social Justice poster portfolio containing visual reactions to many of the pressing issues of our time. Her new book, Graphic Guts, featuring her social commentary art, will be published later this year by Clay & Gold.
February 20, 2014
South African technology journalist Toby Shapshak writes and speaks about innovation in Africa. He is the editor and publisher of Stuff magazine, he co-hosts a TV show on CNBC Africa ; and writes a weekly column for the Financial Mail.
Formerly a senior newspaper reporter covering everything from crime to politics, he has been writing about innovation, telecoms and the internet and the impact it has on our lives for more than 15 years, including the Sunday Times, Business Day, Mail & Guardian, The Financial Mail, The Times, City Press, ThisDay, and The Weekender.
March 13, 2014
Development projects the world over run into one crucial point: For a project to live on, it needs to be organic, owned and sustained by those it serves. In 1972, Sanjit “Bunker” Roy founded the Barefoot College, in the village of Tilonia in Rajasthan, India, with just this mission: to provide basic services and solutions in rural communities with the objective of making them self-sufficient. These “barefoot solutions” can be broadly categorized into solar energy, water, education, health care, rural handicrafts, people’s action, communication, women’s empowerment and wasteland development. The Barefoot College education program, for instance, teaches literacy and also skills, encouraging learning-by-doing. (Literacy is only part of it.) Bunker’s organization has also successfully trained grandmothers from Africa and the Himalayan region to be solar engineers so they can bring electricity to their remote villages.
As he says, Barefoot College is "a place of learning and unlearning: where the teacher is the learner and the learner is the teacher."
March 20, 2014
Where Do We Come From? What Are We? Where Are We Going?
Artist, policy advocate, and researcher Laurie Jo Reynolds has worked for over two decades to address the negative representations of people in prison. Her “Legislative Art” participates and intervenes in government systems, with the goal of concrete political change. For the past eight years Reynolds has focused on Tamms Correctional Center, the notorious supermax prison in southern Illinois designed for sensory deprivation. As a 2010 Soros Justice Fellow, Reynolds researched and advocated for best practices to stop sexual abuse and reduce crime recidivism. She produced cultural events and conceptual art objects as part of an education program to open dialogue about the unintended consequences of the public sex-offender registry and residency restrictions. Reynolds was awarded a 2013 Creative Capital grant to produce the Honey Bun Comedy Hour, a video and performance variety show depicting the horror, boredom, and small mercies of prison life.
March 27, 2014
Often referred to as a "Rock ‘n Roll anthropologist", Penelope Spheeris is an American director, producer and screenwriter. Her first "auteur" feature project was The Decline of Western Civilization (1981), a punk-rock documentary that she wrote, produced, and directed. The film is the opening act of a trilogy by Spheeris depicting life in Los Angeles at various points. The second film, The Decline of Western Civilization Part II: The Metal Years covers the Los Angeles heavy metal scene of 1986-1988. The third film, The Decline of Western Civilization III chronicles the gutter punk lifestyle of homeless teenagers in the late 1990s.
Spheeris' feature films include Suburbia (1984), Dudes (1987), Black Sheep (1996) and Wayne's World (1992).
April 3, 2014
Shahzia Sikander experiments with the formal constructs of Indo-Persian miniature painting using video, animation, mural and collaboration with other artists. She has pioneered an interpretive and critically charged approach to the anachronistic genre of miniature painting. Underpinning the work is also Sikander’s interest in paradox, societies in flux, and formal and visual disruption as a means to cultivate new associations.
Sikander has received the Medal of Art by the US Secretary of State, Hilary Rodham Clinton (2012), John D. and Catherine T MacArthur Foundation Achievement ‘Genius’ award, (2006) and the National Pride of Honor by the Pakistani Government (2005). In 2006, the World Economic Forum, Davos, Switzerland appointed Sikander as a Young Global Leader.
With support from the University of Michigan Museum of Art (UMMA) and in conjunction with the exhibition, “Doris Duke’s Shangri La: Architecture, Landscape, and Islamic Art”, on view at UMMA January 25 - May 4, 2014.
The exhibition was organized by The Doris Duke Foundation for Islamic Art, which is also providing generous support for its presentation at UMMA and national tour. Additional lead support for UMMA’s installation and related programming is provided by the University of Michigan Health System and the University of Michigan Office of the President. Other generous support is provided by the Monroe-Brown Foundation Discretionary Fund for Outreach to the State of Michigan, the Katherine Tuck Enrichment Fund, and the University of Michigan Center for South Asian Studies, CEW Frances and Sydney Lewis Visiting Leaders Fund, Department of the History of Art, Institute for Research on Women & Gender, Institute for the Humanities, Islamic Studies Program, and the Penny W. Stamps School of Art & Design.
April 10, 2014
Jewelry designer David Yurman founded his company in New York in 1980, and quickly became known as America’s leading fine jewelry and luxury timepiece designer. He is also an artist with a lifelong passion for design and innovation. At the age of sixteen in Provincetown, David learned direct welding from Ernesto Gonzales. In the 1960s, he studied at the Art Students League in Manhattan and apprenticed with master sculptors Jacques Lipchitz and Theodore Roszak.
In the American Craft Movement of the late 1960s through the 1970s, David exhibited his work at juried art and craft shows around the country. In 1982, Yurman created the first cable bracelet—a twisted helix in sterling silver and gold with brilliant gemstones on its finial ends. The bracelet became an icon, synonymous with craftsmanship, innovation and design. The artistic expression that defined the origin of this brand has continued throughout the evolution of the company.
Along with the simple goal to make beautiful things to wear, David remains actively committed to supporting the community and the arts, through the David and Sybil Yurman Humanitarian and Arts Foundation.