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 our media sponsor, Michigan Radio.
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.
April 11, 2013
Interaction designer Massimo Banzi helped invent the Arduino, a tiny, easy-to-use open-source microcontroller that has inspired people around the world to make the coolest things they can imagine. With a variety of sensors, the Arduino is versatile and easy to use for projects as diverse as an exhibit on brains at the American Museum of Natural History in New York, to a DIY kit that sends a Tweet when your houseplant needs water. Massimo has consulted for Prada, Artemide, Persol, Whirlpool, the V&A Museum and Adidas. He is also the author of Getting Started with Arduino and a regular contributor to both the italian edition of Wired Magazine and the online innovation magazine Che Futuro. Massimo currently teaches Interaction Design at SUPSI Lugano in Switzerland and is a visiting professor at CIID in Copenhagen.
With support from ArtsEngine, the Urban Institute for Contemporary Arts, the School of Information and the Taubman College of Architecture and Urban Planning.
April 4, 2013
Paola Antonelli is Senior Curator in the Department of Architecture and Design and Director of Research and Development at the Museum of Modern Art. Her first MOMA exhibition was Mutant Materials in Contemporary Design (1995). Her latest exhibition was 2011’s Talk to Me: Design and the Communication between People and Objects. Antonelli earned the “Design Mind” Smithsonian Institution’s National Design Award and was named one of the 25 most incisive design visionaries by Time magazine. She has been a contributing Editor for Domus magazine, an editor of Abitare, and the author of the publication Humble Masterpieces: Everyday Marvels of Design. Antonelli’s goal is to insistently promote design’s understanding until its positive influence on the world is fully acknowledged and exploited. She is currently at work on contemporary design exhibitions, and on Design Bites, a book about foods as examples of outstanding design.
With support from Taubman College of Architecture and Urban Planning and University of Michigan Museum of Art.
March 28, 2013
Alina Troyano (a.k.a. Carmelita Tropicana) straddles the world of performance art and theatre using irreverent humor and fantasy to rewrite history from the viewpoints of woman, man, child and assorted animals and insects. As a bicultural artist, she uses both spoken language and a visual language that integrates live performance with muti-media, and costumes of fruit, faux fur, camouflage, saran wrap to provide social commentary.
With support from Latina/o Studies Program, Program in American Culture, Department of Theatre & Drama, and the Office of the Provost U-M Dearborn.
March 21, 2013
Unscripted: A Conversation with Writer and Editor Daniel Okrent
Filmmaker Ken Burns has directed and produced some of the most acclaimed historical documentaries ever made, including The Civil War; Baseball; Jazz, Statue of Liberty; Huey Long; Lewis and Clark: The Journey of the Corps of Discovery; Frank Lloyd Wright; Mark Twain; Unforgivable Blackness: The Rise and Fall of Jack Johnson; The War; The National Parks: America’s Best Idea; and, most recently, The Dust Bowl. His films have been honored with dozens of major awards, including thirteen Emmy Awards, two Grammy Awards and two Oscar nominations; and a 2008 Lifetime Achievement Award from the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences.
The Central Park Five
Screening & Discussion
Saturday, March 23rd at 12 pm
As part of the 51st Ann Arbor Film Festival, Ken Burns will also take part in a screening and discussion of his newest film, The Central Park Five, at noon on Saturday, March 23rd in the Michigan Theater's main auditorium.
The Central Park Five, directed by Ken Burns, Sarah Burns and David McMahon, tells the story of five black and Latino teenagers from Harlem who, in 1989, were arrested and later wrongfully convicted of raping a white woman in New York City’s Central Park. Ken Burns will be joined by Raymond Santana (one of the “Five”), and Steve Drizin, Director of the Center on Wrongful Convictions at Northwestern. The discussion will be moderated by David Moran, Director of the Michigan Innocence Clinic.
With support from the Department of Screen Arts & Cultures, the Ann Arbor Film Festival, and the Institute for the Humanities.
March 14, 2013
Accessing the Imaginary
Lynda Barry has worked as a painter, cartoonist, writer, illustrator, playwright, editor, commentator and teacher. The creator of the comic strip that was syndicated in alternative weeklies for two decades, Ernie Pook's Comeek, she has also authored 18 books including One! Hundred! Demons!; The! Greatest! of! Marlys!, Cruddy: An Illustrated Novel; Naked Ladies! Naked Ladies! Naked Ladies! and The Good Times are Killing Me, which was adapted as an off-Broadway play. Her creative writing-how to-graphic novel, What It Is (2008), won the Eisner Award for Best Reality Based Graphic Novel. What It Is and Picture This (2010), explore creation and imagination, where play can be serious, monsters have purpose, and not knowing is an answer unto itself.
With support from the Institute for Research on Women & Gender, the Institute for Humanities and the Chelsea River Gallery.
February 21, 2013
Immigrant Movement International
Renowned politial and performance artist Tania Bruguera examines how art can be applied to everyday political life, creating a public forum to debate ideas. Her terms “arte de conducta” (conduct/behavior art) and “arte útil” (useful art) define her practice. In 2010, Bruguera launched Immigrant Movement International, a five-year project on the immigrant as a unique, new global citizen in a postnational world, with artists merging art into society’s social, political, and scientific issues. Bruguera’s work has been presented internationally at Documenta 11, at the Tate Modern, London; Künsthalle Wien, Vienna; Centre Pompidou, Paris; and the New Museum of Contemporary Art, New York.
With support from the Understanding Race theme semester and the Institute for the Humanities.
February 14, 2013
The Making of a Collector
Harald Falckenberg is one of the world's most admired contemporary art collectors. Known for his ability to stay ahead of the art market, he was among the first collectors to acquire works by major figures like Martin Kippenberger, Richard Prince and Jonathan Meese. His collection comprises over 2000 works, shown in a 65,000 sq. ft. former factory building in Hamburg. ARTnews chose Falckenberg as one of the world´s top 200 collectors. He has received the Art Cologne Prize and the Montblanc de la Culture Patronage Award, published numerous books on art and teaches art theory at Hamburg's Academy of Fine Arts.
With support from the University of Michigan Museum of Art, the Byrd Hoffman Watermill Foundation, and the Urban Institute for Contemporary Arts.
February 7, 2013
When I Last Wrote to You About Africa
Drawing on African and Western traditions, Ghanaian artist El Anatsui experiments with a range of humble materials, including wood, ceramics, paint and found objects,to create powerful works that comment on cultural exchange, translation, globalization, and impermanence. In addition to exhibitions throughout Africa, his work has been shown in Europe, the United States and Japan as well as at the Venice, Havana and Johannesburg biennales. His sculpture is held in numerous public collections around the world, including the Metropolitan museum of Art, the National Museum of African Art, and the Smithsonian Institution. Anatsui continues to live and work in Nsukka, Nigeria, but maintains close connections with his native Ghana.
El Anatsui will be interviewed by longtime colleague and University of Toronto Professor Elizabeth Harney.
With support from the University of Michigan Museum of Art (UMMA) and in conjunction with the exhibition, El Anatsui: When I Last Wrote to You about Africa, organized by the Museum for African Art, New York, and on view at UMMA beginning February 2, 2013.
January 31, 2013
Due to flight cancellations, we regret that we have had to cancel this evening's presentation by Penny Stamps Speaker Lisa Strausfeld. Strausfeld's presentation will be rescheduled for a TBD date in Fall 2013.
Lisa Strausfeld is currently Global Head of Data Visualization at Bloomberg where she was hired in 2012 to build and lead a new team dedicated to creating consumer-focused interactive data products. From 2002 to 2011 Lisa was a partner at Pentagram specializing in digital information design projects. Lisa was a recipient of The National Design Award for Interaction Design in 2010. In her presentation, Lisa discusses “Why data visualization? Why now?” — defining the attributes of successful data visualizations and how can they be generalized to other design media.
With support from AIGA Detroit – the professional association for design, the School of Information and the Taubman College of Architecture and Urban Planning.
January 24, 2013
The Architecture of Footwear
Nike designer Wilson Smith has created products for Cross Training and Basketball, Andre Agassi's signature line, and in 1997, as the dedicated designer for Brand Jordan he created the industry leading AJ 16 & AJ 17. Later he designed for Serena Williams, and Roger Federer. Today, as Creative Catalyst in the ZOO – Nike’s Special Other Operations, he focuses on Nike Better World projects, including the design direction for N7, which brings Sport and all of its benefits to USA and Canadian Native American and Aboriginal communities. Smith’s passion is in Access to Sport, aiding earthquake recovery efforts in Haiti, and adaptive design for Paralympics and other athletes with disabilities.
With support from ArtsEngine, IDSA Michigan, Yaffe Center for Persuasive Communication at the Ross School of Business and the Taubman College of Architecture and Urban Planning.
January 17, 2013
A short film directed by Renoir in the late twenties, Sur un air de Charleston is a little masterpiece. In 2028 Paris, a mysterious African explorer lands on Terra Incognita where he meets a beautiful young Parisian dancer who introduces him to the Charleston. At once surrealist and burlesque, the film is a critique of France’s racial attitudes, but it is also about the reach of transatlantic cultural exchange. Musicians Olivier Thémines and Guillaume Hazebrouck invite you to discover this astonishing movie with a ciné-concert featuring their live music, followed by a discussion on race, art and colonial history with Columbia Professor Brent Hayes Edwards.
A U-M 2013 MLK Symposium event, a part of the Understanding Race theme semester, and with support from the Department of Jazz & Contemporary Improvisation, the Department of Composition, the Department of Screen Arts & Cultures, and the Ann Arbor Film Festival.
December 6, 2012
United in Anger
UNITED IN ANGER: A HISTORY OF ACT UP is a feature-length documentary that combines archival footage with insightful interviews from the ACT UP Oral History Project to explore ACT UP (the AIDS Coalition to Unleash Power) from a grassroots perspective. The film shows the planning and execution of major actions including Seize Control of the FDA, Stop the Church, and Day of Desperation, with a timeline of the other zaps and actions that forced the U.S. government and mainstream media to deal with the AIDS crisis. UNITED IN ANGER reveals the group’s complex culture. Meetings, affinity groups, and approaches to civil disobedience mingle with profound grief, and the energy of ACT UP. Before there was Occupy Wall Street or the Arab Spring, there was ACT UP.
With support from Women’s Studies, U-M Screen Arts & Cultures, U-M School of Public Health, U-M Romance Languages and Literatures, Ann Arbor Film Festival, HARC HIV/AIDS Resource Center and Visual AIDS New York.
November 29, 2012
At Home in the Body
Janine Antoni works in many mediums, including sculpture, photography, installation and video to capture the human condition with a physicality that speaks directly to the viewer’s body. Transforming everyday activities such as eating, bathing, and sleeping into art, Antoni’s primary tool has always been her own body. She has chiseled cubes of lard and chocolate with her teeth, washed away the faces of soap busts made in her own likeness, and used the brainwave signals recorded while she dreamed at night as a pattern for weaving a blanket the following morning. She has had major exhibitions at the Whitney Museum of American Art, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, and S.I.T.E. Santa Fe. She has been awarded a John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Fellowship and the Larry Aldrich Foundation Award.
With support from Urban Institute for Contemporary Arts Grand Rapids and Cranbrook Academy of Art.
November 15, 2012
Running the Numbers
Chris Jordan explores contemporary mass culture, connecting the viewer viscerally to humanity’s collective behaviors. Running the Numbers looks at contemporary western culture through statistics. Each image portrays a specific quantity of something: 2 million plastic bottles ( 5 minutes of U.S. bottle consumption), 106,000 aluminum cans (30 seconds of can consumption), etc. Finding meaning in these mass phenomena is difficult because the phenomena themselves are often invisible, spread across the earth in millions of separate places. Jordan condenses these phenomena, causing uncomfortable feelings that, for Jordan “can become part of what connects us, as fuel for courageous action as citizens of a new kind of global community.” In conjunction with a U-M campus-wide exhibition.
With support from the Erb Institute for Global Sustainable Enterprise, Graham Sustainability Institute, College of Engineering, School of Natural Resources and the Environment, Institute for the Humanities, Palmer Commons, ArtsEngine, Program in the Environment and Chelsea River Gallery.
November 8, 2012
Design and Happiness
Renowned for eye catching album covers, posters and his recent book of life lessons, graphic designer Stefan Sagmeister is both a maverick and perfectionist. His motto is “Design that needed guts from the creator and still carries the ghost of these guts in the final execution.” In 1993 he formed Sagmeister Inc. to design branding, graphics, and packaging for clients as diverse as the Rolling Stones, HBO, the Guggenheim Museum and Time Warner, and he is the author of the design monograph Made You Look. His long-standing collaborators include the AIGA, and musicians David Byrne and Lou Reed. In 2005, Sagmeister won the Communications Award from the Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum. His Stamps presentation explores how to achieve happiness as a designer, his tactics to ensure his work remains a calling without deteriorating into a job, as well as the chances to design pieces that induce happiness in the audience.
With support from the U-M Taubman College of Architecture and Urban Planning and AIGA Detroit - the professional association for design.
October 25, 2012
Untold: An Interview with Bob Woodruff
One of the most controversial directors in Hollywood, Oliver Stone has made films that are remarkable both for their handling of subject matter and the degree of controversy such handling inspires. A producer, screenwriter, and actor, Stone is consistently identified with his more political works, including Platoon and Nixon. Despite this association, Stone has stated that his films are “first and foremost dramas about individuals in personal struggles,” and he believes himself to be a dramatist rather than a political filmmaker. His current project, the 10-part TV documentary, The Untold History of the United States, focuses on the last 60 years of America’s history, debunking some heroes while crediting those previously lost to history. Stone has received three Academy Awards and 31 nominations.
Award-winning journalist Bob Woodruff, a current ABC news reporter, will interview Stone for this Penny W. Stamps Series presentation. In the sit-down interview, Woodruff, who was severely injured while reporting in Iraq as a World news co-anchor, will discuss the motives behind Stone’s latest project and more political works.
With support from UM Screen Arts & Cultures and the Ann Arbor Film Festival.
October 18, 2012
Picturing the Unimaginable
Painter Alexis Rockman’s canvases present a darkly surreal vision of the collision between human civilization and the natural world. Drawing from diverse sources that include old master painting, science fiction and natural history, Rockman has also undertaken expeditions into the Amazon Basin, Tasmania, Madagascar, South Africa and Antarctica to research his paintings. He has worked with other artists, and with leading scientists, including paleontologist Peter Ward, naturalist Stephen Jay Gould, and NASA climatologist James Hanson. Rockman’s work is in the collections of LACMA, the Guggenheim, and the Whitney Museum of American Art. He was recently the subject of a major retrospective at the Smithsonian Museum of American Art, Alexis Rockman: A Fable for Tomorrow.
With support from the Urban Institute for Contemporary Arts Grand Rapids and Chelsea River Gallery.
October 11, 2012
One or Two Things We Know About Art
Seoul-based artist Young-hae Chang is the CEO of YOUNG-HAE CHANG HEAVY INDUSTRIES (YHCHI) a collective known for their online and installation video work that questions contemporary social and cultural conditions using black and white text and music. To coincide with their solo exhibition at the U-M Museum of Art, YHCHI will deliver a Penny Stamps talk designed especially for students interested in a career in the arts. These internationally acclaimed artists, whose works have been shown at the Tate Modern in London and Centre Pompidou in Paris, will share their creative secrets, claiming “What we have to say will change your lives... you’ll never be the same.”
With support from the University of Michigan Museum of Art, the Herbert W. and Susan L. Johe Endowment, the UM Office of the Provost, the Nam Center for Korean Studies, the Dr. Robert and Janet Miller Fund, and the Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit.
October 4, 2012
Peter Hirshberg is a Silicon Valley executive at the forefront of disruptive change in technology and media. His current passion is bottom-up innovation in the civic sphere where he engages with government and citizen teams in San Francisco, New York, Singapore and the United Nations, exploring how design, art and technology can serve as tools for civic participation. This work emphasizes the value of collaboration between artists and their cities as a“super catalyst” for the community-building process that creates a new form of urban experience through access and engagement.
With support from DLECTRICITY: Detroit’s Nighttime Exhibition of Art & Light and U-M Taubman College of Architecture and Urban Planning.
September 27, 2012
Jennifer Karady is a photographer of large-scale staged portraits who works with real people to dramatize their stories. Her critically acclaimed series, Soldiers’ Stories from Iraq and Afghanistan, has been exhibited at SF Camerawork in San Francisco, the University of Denver, CEPA Gallery in Buffalo and continues to travel the country. The project was featured in The New York Times, on National Public Radio and reviewed in Frieze. Other solo exhibitions include White Columns, Momenta Art and The Print Center in Philadelphia.
With support from U-M Student Veterans Assistance Program and the Cranbrook Academy of Art.