posted by CAA — August 06, 2018
The CAA 2019 Annual Conference will offer up to thirty, 60-minute art-making and Professional Development Workshops, which will be free and open to the public.
This summer, we surveyed our members to determine what kinds of Professional Development Workshops would be most helpful. Members shared that there was the highest need for workshops on grant writing; finding grant funding and fellowship opportunities; pedagogy; diversity and inclusion; job searching and networking; publishing advice; online learning platforms and technology; financial planning, strategies and negotiation. Workshops related to exploring art-making and design are also desired.
Twenty of these workshops are generously supported by the Emily Hall Tremaine Foundation and will be led by MFA students and/or entry level, part-time faculty local to the 2019 Annual Conference in New York. Workshop leaders will receive a complimentary one-year CAA membership, a full Annual Conference registration for 2019, and a small stipend. (Please note that there may be only one leader for each Tremaine Foundation-supported workshop.)
In addition to those funded by the Tremaine Foundation, CAA will offer additional Professional Development Workshops. Workshop leaders will receive a full Annual Conference registration for 2019 and a small stipend. (Please note that there may be only one leader for each workshop.) These workshop leaders do not need to be from the local New York area.
Proposals will be selected by the Annual Conference Committee.
While workshops will be scheduled concurrently with conference sessions, we will do our best not to schedule with overlapping content.
Proposal Deadline for all Professional Development Workshops is August 31, 2018.
posted by CAA — June 05, 2018
The Getty Foundation has awarded CAA a grant to fund the CAA-Getty International Program for an eighth consecutive year. The Foundation’s support will enable CAA to bring twenty international visual-arts professionals to the 107th Annual Conference, taking place February 13-16, 2019 in New York City. Fifteen individuals will be first-time participants in the program and five will be alumni, returning to present papers during the conference. The CAA-Getty International Program provides funds for travel expenses, hotel accommodations, per diems, conference registrations, and one-year CAA memberships to art historians, artists who teach art history, and museum curators. The program will include a one-day preconference colloquium on international issues in art history on February 12, 2019, to be held at Parsons School of Design.
The CAA-Getty International Program was established to increase international participation in CAA and the CAA Annual Conference. The program fosters collaborations between North American art historians and curators and their international colleagues, and introduces visual arts professionals to the unique environments and contexts of practices in different countries. Since the CAA-Getty International Program’s inception in 2012, 105 scholars have participated in CAA’s Annual Conference. Historically, the majority of international registrants at the conference have come from North America, the United Kingdom, and Western European countries. The CAA-Getty International Program has greatly diversified attendance, adding scholars from Central and Eastern Europe, Russia, Africa, Asia, Southeast Asia, Caribbean countries, and South America. The majority of the participants teach art history (or visual studies, art theory, or architectural history) at the university level; others are museum curators or researchers.
One measure of the program’s success is the remarkable number of international collaborations that have ensued, including an ongoing study of similarities and differences in the history of art among Eastern European countries and South Africa, attendance at other international conferences, publications in international journals, and participation in panels and sessions at subsequent CAA Annual Conferences. Former grant recipients have become ambassadors of CAA in their countries, sharing knowledge gained at the Annual Conference with their colleagues at home. The value of attending a CAA Annual Conference as a participant in the CAA-Getty International Program was succinctly summarized by alumnus Nazar Kozak, Senior Researcher, Department of Art Studies, National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine: “To put it simply, I understood that I can become part of a global scholarly community. I felt like I belong here.”
Artists and scholars are members of CAA because of the connections they form at our Annual Conference. But putting together an Annual Conference is no small task. The process to plan and execute the CAA Annual Conference takes the CAA staff and committees nearly a full year. You might have noticed that we opened the portal for session submissions for the 2019 Annual Conference in New York, February 13-16, just five days after we ended the LA meeting.
We received nearly 1,000 submissions for the 2019 Annual Conference – the highest number in CAA’s history. We had more than 4,200 attendees in Los Angeles. We hope to see more than 5,000 in New York.
As we set ourselves to planning CAA 2019, we take into consideration your ideas and comments. Working from feedback from the Annual Conference survey and from conversations in person we will make the NYC meeting even better.
Here is what you told us:
- More than 73% were satisfied with the 2018 Annual Conference, so that means we will keep doing a lot of the things that we do. However, many of you hated the Los Angeles Convention Center and the distance from the hotels. This is not something we plan to do again.
- There were a few problems with onsite registration and we are re-thinking how we perform this function. Even though we have a seasoned staff in this area, it is only something done once a year and we only do it for three days. That is not an excuse; it’s just that we have to get it perfect on the first day.
- About two thirds of those who attended were art historians or curators. One third of you are practicing artists. 76% of you are associated with a college or university. That tracks closely to our overall membership. Designers have said that they want to participate and you will see that we will have more offerings for them in the years to come.
- You like the phone app and the positive, welcoming feeling at the Annual Conference and the diversity of sessions. The 90-minute sessions seem to be popular. Many of you like the off-site events and enjoyed going The Getty, The Broad, The Huntington Library, and The Hammer Museum. We will continue to offer off-site events. The Book and Trade Hall remains popular. You liked hearing Catherine Opie and Helen Molesworth.
- Some of you were frustrated that there were several sessions happening on the same topic at the same time. We hate when that happens as well, and we do everything we can to avoid it. The problem is that some panelists have no flexibility in their schedule and we are forced to offer the sessions at the times the panelists can be there. But trust us, we will continue to try to not schedule topics on the same topic at the same time.
- Some felt that there was a broad diversity of topics while others felt that there were not enough sessions on their area of concentration. We want to hear more about this. Let us know how we can make this better. Remember – the members are the ones who control what is offered by submitting on a variety of topics.
- Many of you want more professional development sessions. We hear you and we will be offering more in NYC. Stay tuned for a Professional Development Survey coming your way soon. We are also making it a goal to have childcare at the New York meeting!
- Many didn’t like the fact that the Los Angeles Convention Center only had one coffee cart. It did not help that it was poorly staffed and closed mid-afternoon (Yikes!). The NYC Hilton will have many more options, and so will the immediate vicinity outside the Hilton hotel.
- On one hand, many of you liked being in LA; others hated the city and felt it was too expensive and spread out.
- While we can all use more chairs and places to sit, an overwhelming 83% of you believed that you had an opportunity to network with colleagues – one of the most important reasons we offer the Annual Conference.
- 83% of you are considering coming to NYC and we look forward to seeing you!
Keep telling us what you think. It’s how we put together a great Annual Conference.
CAA invites nominations and self-nominations for individuals to serve on eight of the thirteen juries for the annual Awards for Distinction for three years (2018–21). Terms begin in May 2018; award years are 2019–21. CAA’s fifteen awards honor artists, art historians, authors, curators, critics, and teachers whose accomplishments transcend their individual disciplines and contribute to the profession as a whole and to the world at large.
Candidates must possess expertise appropriate to the jury’s work and be current CAA members. They should not hold a position on a CAA committee or editorial board beyond May 31, 2018. CAA’s president and vice president for committees appoint jury members for service.
Jury vacancies for spring 2018:
- Charles Rufus Morey Book Award: two members
- Art Journal Award: one member
- Distinguished Feminist Award: one member
- Distinguished Teaching of Art Award: two members
- Distinguished Teaching of Art History Award: two members
- Artist Award for a Distinguished Body of Work: one member
- Distinguished Artist Award for Lifetime Achievement: one member
- CAA/American Institute for Conservation Award for Distinction in Scholarship and Conservation: one member
Nominations and self-nominations should include a brief statement (no more than 150 words) outlining the individual’s qualifications and experience and a CV (an abbreviated CV no more than two pages, may be submitted). Please send all materials by email to Aakash Suchak, CAA grants and special programs manager; submissions must be sent as Microsoft Word or Adobe PDF attachments. For questions about jury service and responsibilities, contact Tiffany Dugan, CAA director of programs and publications.
Deadline extended! New deadline is: Thursday, May 31, 2018.
posted by CAA — April 02, 2018
Has your CAA membership lapsed? Spring is the time to come back to CAA. Rejoin CAA during the month of April and get 25% off any Tiered membership level.
We are working hard to add new member benefits all the time, like publisher discounts, hotel discounts, discounts on legal services, and website design and printing services. We are speaking out on behalf of the profession to ensure the visual arts remain strong and vibrant. We are making CAA the organization every professional in the visual arts must be part of.
Plan on participating in the 2019 Annual Conference, February 13-16, 2019? Submissions are due April 27, 2018.
Join your colleagues and fellow professionals in creating the programming for the largest gathering of art historians, artists, designers, curators, arts administrators, museum professionals, and others in the visual arts.
Offer valid from April 1–April 30, 2018 to all individual lapsed members for a one-year membership. Log in to your CAA account to view the discount code. Code will be visible after log in from April 1–April 30, 2018.
Questions? Contact Member Services at 212-691-1051, ext. 1.
posted by CAA — March 05, 2018
Many thanks to everyone to made it to the 106th Annual Conference at the end of February. We had more than 4,200 people attend. Members enjoyed their sessions, as well as many of the opportunities to visit locations in LA outside of the Convention Center. We have also received lots of positive feedback on the new logo and the Cultural and Academic Network Hall.
We will be sending out a survey to the participants in the very near future. We are interested in your feedback about everything from session contact to the price of local coffee. So keep notes of your impressions so you can let us know.
In the meantime, you can:
Read these takeaways from the 2018 conference:
Sans Cowl (Artforum)
Scholars weave craft into the art history canon at CAA (The Art Newspaper)
Photo of Helen Molesworth and Catherine Opie: Rafael Cardenas
Photos of conference attendees and book and trade fair: Allison Walters
Instagram: Joelle Te Paske
CAA 2019 Annual Conference
February 13-16, 2019
New York, NY
Beginning March 1, 2018, CAA members are invited to submit the following proposals for review to the 2019 CAA Annual Conference Committee: Complete Sessions, Sessions Soliciting Contributors, and Individual Paper/Project proposals. Submissions that cover the breadth of current thought and research in art and art practice, art and architectural history, theory and criticism, studio art, pedagogical issues, museum and curatorial practice, conservation, design, new media, and developments in technology are encouraged.
The submissions portal closed on April 27, 2018.
PROPOSAL SUBMISSION TYPES
The organizer has complete information about the session including names and affiliations of all session participants, presentation titles, abstract texts, etc.
Session Soliciting Contributors
The organizer proposes a session title and abstract that will require a call for participation. The list of accepted Sessions Soliciting Contributors will be posted on the CAA website in late June or early July, 2018. Session organizers select papers and projects based on their own requirements. See CAA 2019 Call for Participation section below for more information.
An individual CAA member may submit an abstract (with title), which, if accepted, will be included in the 2019 conference as part of a composed session with others accepted in this category based on subject area or compatible content.
OPENS: March 1, 2018
DEADLINE: April 27, 2018 [closed]
Please note: To submit a proposal, individuals must be current CAA members. All session participants, including presenters, chairs, moderators, and discussants, must also be current individual CAA members. Please have your CAA Member ID handy as well as the member IDs of any and all participants as this is a required field on the submission form. Please note that institutional member IDs cannot be used to submit proposals. If you are not a current individual member, please renew your membership or join CAA.
The Annual Conference Committee members review over 800 submissions each year. They take into account subject areas and themes that arise from accepted proposals to present as a broad and diverse a program as possible. The Committee selects between 250-300 sessions for each conference and it must, at times, make difficult decisions on submissions of high merit.
CAA schedules the conference program so that there are back-to-back sessions with similar content. However, given the number of sessions, this is not always possible. All sessions are 90 minutes in length and are scheduled Wednesday, February 13, through Saturday, February 16, in the following timeslots:
- 8:30—10:00 AM
- 10:30 AM—12:00 PM
- 2:00—3:30 PM
- 4:00—5:30 PM
- 6:00—7:30 (Thursday, February 14, and Friday, February 15, only)
CAA AFFILIATED SOCIEITES AND CAA COMMITTEES
CAA Affiliated Societies and CAA Committees may each submit for one guaranteed session in the Complete Session or Session Soliciting Contributors category according to the general session proposal deadlines. Visit Affiliated Society membership for more information on participating in the CAA Annual Conference.
GENERAL PROPOSAL SUBMISSION INFORMATION
- Session and paper/project abstracts should be no more than 250 words in length.
- Please follow the Chicago Manual of Style for your submission.
- The accuracy of information in the submission is important as, if selected, it will be transferred to the conference program, abstracts booklet, website, etc., exactly as written.
- March 1 – April 27: Call for Proposals (includes Complete Session, Session Soliciting Contributors, Individual Paper/Project)
- Early July: Notifications sent to all submitters
- July: Call for Participation for accepted Sessions Soliciting Contributors posted on CAA website
- End July: Notifications sent to accepted individual paper/project participants regarding composed session configurations
- Late August: Organizers of Sessions Soliciting Contributors finalize session information and notify accepted contributors
- September 4: Deadline for updated accepted session content entered into portal by original submitter for all categories for print and web publications (includes any required edits to abstracts, titles, and speaker order)
- mid-September: CAA 2019 Annual Conference schedule finalized
- October 8: CAA 2019 Annual Conference schedule posted on CAA website; online conference registration opens
- December 16: Early conference registration closes
- December 17: Advance conference registration opens
- February 8: Advance conference registration closes
FORTHCOMING CALLS FOR SUBMISSIONS
OPENS: May 21, 2018
DEADLINE: August 15, 2018
CAA invites proposal submissions for Poster Sessions at the CAA 2019 Annual Conference. Poster Sessions offer excellent opportunities for informal discussion and conversation focused on topics of scholarly or pedagogical research. Proposals require a description of the project (up to 250 words), with a title and member CV.
OPENS: May 23, 2018
DEADLINE: September 14, 2018
Registered exhibitor at the 2019 conference are welcome to propose full sessions or workshops (ninety minutes in length) for inclusion in the full-conference program. These sessions should convey practical information, professional expertise, or historical/scholarly content and may not be used for direct marketing, sales or promotion of products, publications, or services or programs.
Call for Participation for accepted Sessions Soliciting Contributors
The CAA 2019 Call for Participation (CFP) for accepted Sessions Soliciting Contributors will be posted on the CAA Annual Conference website on June 29, 2018. Submissions will be accepted for review through August 6, 2018.
Beginning June 29th, 2018, single paper or project submissions in response to the CFP should be sent directly to the session chair(s)—if there is more than one session chair, send materials to both chairs. Proposals should include a proposal form (found at the end of the CFP), an abstract of your presentation, a cover letter to chair(s), a shortened CV, and work documentation (if necessary).
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Q: Do I have to be a CAA member to submit a proposal?
A: All conference participants (presenters, chairs, discussants) must be CAA members to participate in the annual conference. A CAA member ID number will be requested for all conference participants in the online submission form. However, if you do not have all CAA ID numbers available for participants, you may enter them when you obtain them. If you are not a member of CAA at the time you submit the proposal, you will not be prevented from submitting. You may work on the submission in stages until the proposal deadline.
Q: Is CAA membership required to participate on a CAA session?
A: Yes, ALL session participants (presenters, chairs, discussants) must be members of CAA in order to participate in vetted conference sessions.
Q: Is CAA membership required to participate on an Affiliated Society guaranteed session?
A: Yes, all session participants (presenters, chairs, discussants) must be members of CAA in order to participate in guaranteed Affiliated Society sessions.
Q: Can someone who is not a CAA member participate in a panel?
A: We require all conference session participants to be CAA individual members.
Q: How long is a session?
A: All CAA 2019 sessions are ninety minutes in length. Please plan either session or paper/project presentations accordingly.
Q: How many people should be on a panel?
A: For a traditional ninety-minute session, we suggest one chair, four participants, and one discussant. This format allows introductions, fifteen-minute presentations, and Q&A. CAA encourages innovative session formats but all session participants must plan accordingly.
Q: How many ways can I participate in conference sessions?
A: To allow a greater number of CAA members to participate in the conference, CAA members can participate in the following roles only once during a conference: chair, presenter, discussant. They can serve in all three roles, but cannot perform any of these roles more than once. For example, they can serve as chair and present in one session, and serve as discussant at another session, but cannot present twice.
Q: Can I attend the session for free if I am presenting on that session?
A: While you cannot attend a session for free, even for the one you are presenting in, we do offer a number of conference registration options including full registration, day passes, and single session time slot tickets.
Q: Can I plan something other than a traditional panel?
A: YES! Feedback from our attendees reveals that they want to take in information and learn in formats other than several people sitting at table in front of a session room. They very much want more interaction with panel participants. We strongly encourage you to think about presenting your content in a manner other than the traditional panel format. While planning your session, you are reminded that we cannot deviate from the ninety-minute time limitation.
Q: Can I have a two-part session?
A: The Annual Conference Committee aims to include as many contributors as possible reflecting the range of scholarship and expertise. In the submission process, please make the request and the committee will evaluate this based on the number of subject areas received as well as the logistical possibilities.
Q: If I am selected to participate as an individual paper/project participant how is my session arranged?
A: Accepted individual paper/projects are organized by the Annual Conference Committee and the CAA staff into what is called Composed Sessions with other individual paper/projects based on subject area or compatible content. Since there is no formal chair for Composed Sessions a mentor is assigned to the group to provide guidance as needed. Sometimes participants identify one in the group to act as chair, sometimes a CAA member outside the group is asked to lead, other groups choose to go without this formal role.
Q: Are there sessions that are free and open to the public?
A: The mid-day time slot (12:30 – 1:30 PM) is free and open to the public. This time slot is reserved for business meetings and special conversations on hot topics for the field. There are other events throughout the conference which are also free. Check the schedule when it is posted in October for details. Please remember to check back often as the schedule is updated as the conference approaches.
For more information about session proposals for the 2019 Annual Conference, please contact Mira Friedlaender, CAA manager of programs, at 212-392-4405 or Tiffany Dugan, CAA director of programs and publications, at 212-392-4410.
posted by CAA — February 15, 2018
The 2018 Annual Conference kicks off next week in Los Angeles! Here are some tips for first-time attendees:
- We expect between 3,500 and 4,000 in attendance.
- Wear comfortable shoes. The Convention Center is large and there is a lot of walking. Most people dress business casual.
- Be sure to talk to other conference attendees. Making connections is one of the most important things about the Annual Conference.
- 300 ninety-minute sessions on art making and art history topics – many have Q+A sessions at the end. You don’t need to reserve a space for a particular session, however, space may be limited in due to popularity.
Session times are: 8:30 AM, 10:30 AM, 2:00 PM, 4:00 PM, and 6:00 PM
- Use the Annual Conference App or the printed program to make your selection as to which sessions you want to attend. Select sessions in your own field, but also attend a session that interests you but you don’t know that much about.
- Key Conversation sessions- 12:30 to 1:30PM each day. These cover more topical and current art topics.
- Printed programs are $10. The mobile App for phone is free. There is Wi-Fi throughout the convention center.
- Book and Trade Fair: Approximately 90 exhibitors by publishers and art supply makers
- Cultural and Academic Network Hall: Booths by 52 colleges and cultural orgs
- Interviews between colleges and attendees
- Idea Exchange
- Candidate Center
- Poster sessions
- There are many off-site events, some of which are free and some of which have a fee. Check the conference website for the list and see if they are sold out.
- There are professional development workshops and mentoring sessions. Check the conference website or the App for details.
- Be sure to check out the Media Lounge and ArtSpace, where the Annual Distinguished Artist Interviews take place.
- If you are a presenter, there is a Speaker Ready Room for you to prep.
- The CAA Annual Meeting takes place on Friday at 2:00 PM. All are welcome to attend.
- Other services available include a Business Center, Quiet Room, and Lactation Room.
- General CAA questions can be answered at the Welcome Booth in the Registration area in Concourse Foyer.
- Bus service will run between the hotels and the Westin, Biltmore JW Marriott and the Convention Center – mostly in the morning and end of day. Check the Shuttle Bus Schedule icon in the App for service hours.
106th CAA Annual Conference Schedule Highlights
Tuesday, February 20, 2018
- Meet and Greet for early arrivals at the Convention Center
Wednesday, February 21, 2018
- Registration open 8:00AM to 7:00PM
- Sessions run at Convention Center
- 6:00 – 7:30PM – Convocation, Awards for Distinction, and keynote speech by Charles Gaines. Reception will follow in the Registration Area.
- Tour of the Broad Museum – Jasper Johns exhibition (sold out)
- Hauser & Wirth after party (sold out)
Thursday, February 22, 2018
- Registration open 8:00AM to 7:00PM
- Book and Trade Fair opens, 9:00AM-6:00PM
- Cultural and Academic Network Hall opens, 9:00AM-6:00PM
- Sessions run at the Convention Center
- Distinguished Scholar Award and Conversation, 4:00-5:30PM
- Board of Directors Voting ends, 6:00PM
- Getty Center Reception at 7:00PM – buses will be provided
Friday, February 23, 2018
- Registration open 8:00AM to 7:00PM
- Sessions run at Convention Center
- Distinguished Artist Interviews, 3:30-5:30PM
- CAA Annual Business Meeting 2:00PM at Convention Center
- Receptions run at night at hotels for reunions
Saturday, February 24, 2018
- Registration open 8:30AM to 2:30PM
- Sessions run at Convention Center
posted by CAA — February 06, 2018
Drawing on his childhood in Puerto Rico and his adult life as a social worker in the Bronx, artist Pepón Osorio creates meticulous installations incorporating the memories, experiences, and cultural and religious iconography of Latino communities and family dynamics. The 2018 CAA Distinguished Artist Awardee for Lifetime Achievement, Osorio is a professor in the Community Arts Practices Program at the Tyler School of Art at Temple University. He is also the recipient of a 2018 United States Artists Fellowship, among many other awards and fellowships.
CAA media and content manager Joelle Te Paske worked with Pepón in 2016 on reForm, a project responding to school closures in Philadelphia in collaboration with students, teachers, and Temple University. In the project high schoolers, affectionately nicknamed “Bobcats” after their former school mascot, were invited to contribute to an art installation at Tyler School of Art, where they also met with local politicians to advocate for community-based school reform.
Joelle caught up with Pepón in January 2018 to hear his thoughts on being an artist and professor, and to learn about his hopes for the year ahead.
This interview has been edited for length and clarity.
JTP: I’m happy to be speaking with you. When I heard that you were getting the award, it was great news!
So, we find ourselves in 2018—how are you doing? What’s on your mind?
PO: I think that I am still processing the fact that we are in 2018 and 2017 didn’t look very good for us. Both as an artist and a citizen. I’m hoping that we begin to tell the truth in a country of lies. I hope that is what 2018 is like. This is a very interesting moment with the CAA lifetime achievement award, because I’ve been mostly thinking in retrospect. How in the world did we get here? How did we get here and how did this happen?
I’m looking in retrospect and trying to see where energy is stored and how to rejuvenate so I can move forward with a new perspective. That’s where I’m at.
JTP: I love that—looking for pockets of energy that are there, but haven’t quite been found.
PO: That in addition to how do we tell the truth in a country of lies? What does that mean? Everything’s been blurry to the point that you begin to doubt. That’s where we are.
JTP: Definitely. And what does your work look like right now?
PO: I am working on a couple of ideas. My production is very, very, very small. I don’t produce tons of work. I only produce work that I feel is urgent and is important. So I’m working on a whole bunch of ideas for possible pieces. Of all those ideas, one will emerge and come out. I’m working with that and also teaching. I’m trying to perfect the transformation of my methodology into a philosophical pedagogy. I’m trying to figure that out without losing touch with my creative self and my sense of curiosity.
JTP: When you say philosophical, do you mean putting together a formal pedagogy? Or more in a spiritual way?
PO: Well, both. I have been teaching at Tyler over the years and I feel that I always want to be able to center myself in my pedagogy in the way that I center myself in my artistic practice.
I’m looking at what I’m really good at and that which I know most, which is my methodology of getting my work done, my practice. How do I transform that into a pedagogy of philosophy? That I can go around and teach something that I feel has this philosophy at the center of the work, similar to my artistic practice. Those are the things that I’ve been doing. A lot of looking in retrospect. Really looking in retrospect at the system.
JTP: That’s great. I’ve enjoyed being at CAA because I’ve been thinking more about history. It’s always there for you to learn from. The more you dig into it, the more you learn about the moment you’re in.
JTP: What are the biggest changes you’ve seen in your time at Tyler as part of the faculty?
PO: The changes that I’m seeing at Tyler are new faculty members are coming in with a preoccupation that seems to be different from the history Tyler was built on. I’m looking at faculty members who are much more interested and preoccupied with things other than the object; where new faculty members are coming in with a clear understanding of what the true intention of becoming an artist is.
So I’m seeing that. I’m seeing transformations. We obviously have a new dean who is also looking at ways of transforming the past into a bright and hopeful future. Which is basically what I think this whole nation should be looking at.
JTP: I’m with you. Feels a little blurry, as you said, right now.
PO: Exactly. I think that the new blood and new faculty members that are coming to Tyler are interested in redefining a lot of concepts. I see that a lot in the world. I see that a lot with new generations of people coming up who are very interested in: “Let’s redefine this thing, because the system as it is simply doesn’t work.”
JTP: Would you say that’s your favorite part of being on the faculty at the moment?
PO: Yes. Also because I always feel that I found a niche in this. As an artist, dealing with the social, the political, the truth, and interdisciplinary work that creates very complex, chaotic environments—all that stuff seems to be so unacademic. I came in and I just felt like, “What in the world? What is my place in all this?” Little by little, by joining a new faculty and redefining, it’s making perfect sense. I’m finding myself more and more comfortable. That there are people around me that are supportive, that understand my trajectory and understand how I got to where I am now, whatever that place is.
It’s wonderful and I think to me that is a highlight. It’s finding a space in academia that feels comfortable and that I can bring the complexity of who I am into it, without necessarily having to be only one person.
JTP: I think that’s beautifully put. Everyone brings their own experiences. No one wants to be part of a monolithic institution that doesn’t let people be themselves …well, ok, some people do. But it’s interesting to me there’s so much more openness for that than I thought there might be, coming to a traditional academic membership organization like CAA, for instance.
PO: Basically, for me, it feels that this is not in demand. I am not filling up a demand of what all the people want to see. This is who I am. In relationship to the earlier question, I just feel like I was able to figure out a way to become myself in a world where people have demands of, “Oh you should be a professor.” Everybody thinks that you should be a [certain type of] professor. No. You just can’t be anybody else but who you are. It just so happened that being a professor is part of that.
We are looking at being an artist from a three-dimensional reality and in a more inter-dimensional way—that being an artist and professor is a very complex human being. I love that. I’d love to embrace that and not hide it from anyone. As a professor, I come in with all my imperfections as well. It’s not like I’m trying to correct them, I’m just going to do a balancing act with all this. That’s me, anyway.
JTP: If there was one thing that you would recommend to students or artists that they should be reading that they aren’t, what would you recommend?
PO: I’m not sure, but a student did ask me the other day if I have a recommendation of what he should be reading and what came out, which is really interesting, was feminist literature. Just listen to that stuff, read it, and understand what it means so then you can place yourself, as a male, in a place of understanding. That’s all.
JTP: I love it—you say, “Yes, I have an answer. Feminist literature.” Done.
PO: I think that women should be reading it, but I think that men should be getting into it and reading and understanding where it comes from. I think that people, mostly men, will probably begin to empathize with the reality and the system, the fact that it’s not supportive of women.
JTP: I’m curious if you’ve attended CAA conferences in the past? What did you think?
PO: I have participated in the past. I have been in a couple of them.
JTP: It’s my first experience with the conference. It’s enormous.
PO: Yes, it always surprises me how the college system is much bigger than what I always think of it. I just wish that there were much younger people coming in to turn this thing upside down.
JTP: I agree. We’re trying to think of different ways to get closer to that. This year I know that we’re doing outreach to high schools in LA for all the free events. How amazing would it be to have a whole bunch of juniors and seniors in high school from a local public LA high school show up at the LA convention center alongside established, older academics? Just everybody.
PO: So both of them can see each other. Both of them can see each other and it’s like, “Okay, this is what’s coming up,” and the younger will say, “Oh, this is what it’s been.”
Find a happy medium somewhere in there. It’s just too much of the extremes. That’s my reaction. Too much of the extremes.
JTP: I agree. It reminds me of reForm, even just in terms of space—basically allowing people to feel comfortable. I just loved that the Bobcats (high school students who collaborated on the project with Osorio) walked through the main space of Tyler to get down to their classroom. It made Tyler theirs, in a way.
PO: A lot of people asked me, “Why aren’t you doing this piece in their neighborhood?” It was because the chances for the students to come into a college and to occupy space in a college environment were one in a million. I just thought if we can open up a space for them to occupy a classroom, open up a space for them to understand and to begin to look at the social architecture of a university, that’s more than enough for me.
I think that’s basically what I’m referring to when I’m talking about the CAA conference. If we can only suggest and show up a little bit more, that it’s much bigger than that, and that there’s a world out there both ways, that’s it. That’s what needs to happen. So people can come and begin to think differently. That was exactly what happened with the Bobcats. I said, “I’m just doing this at the institution because there are multiple functions in which the institution can work. This is one of them.” We think about institutions as the only place for education. Education is much bigger than that.
JTP: I agree, and I think that gets us closer to the truth you were talking about earlier. It opens up many more opportunities.
PO: Yes. It unties that sense of curiosity in all the kids’ minds.
JTP: Do you think artists can change the world?
PO: I think artists have changed the world. I think that the changes that I have seen in this country are not by artists alone, but I think that they have. When you’re talking about artists, I think you’re mentioning just these single artists changing the world, and I don’t think that that has happened. But I don’t think that that cannot happen.
I’m saying yes, because in the changes that I’ve seen in the world, there has always been an artist behind that. I do agree, but I don’t think that an artist alone can do it.
To break it down, I think that creativity has always been at the center of world’s change. Artists have always been on the periphery of it. Sometimes at the center of those changes.
JTP: Great, thank you. Lastly, you touched on this a bit, but what gives you hope for the future?
JTP: Pepón, I’m right there with you. The possibility that it won’t be how it is right now.
PO: Exactly. That’s all. I just hope for change.
CAA’s Annual Conference Convocation, including the presentation of the Awards for Distinction, will occur February 21, 6:00-7:30 PM and will be livestreamed.
For the second year in a row, CAA is proud to partner with our sponsors, multinational publisher, Routledge, Taylor & Francis, and art materials specialist, Blick Art Materials, on student scholarships to assist CAA student members with conference costs.
Routledge, Taylor & Francis Student Scholarship
CAA’s Annual Conference Partner Sponsor, Routledge, Taylor & Francis supports four CAA student members with complimentary registration and an additional $250 in scholarship money to help with conference expenses such as travel, housing, or meals. The 2018 winners are:
Session: The Poetics and Politics of “Anonymous” Craft, February 21, 4:00 – 5:30 PM
Blick Art Materials Student Scholarship
CAA’s Annual Conference Presenter Sponsor, Blick Art Materials supports conference registration fees for four CAA student members. The 2018 winners are:
Session: The Elements and Elementality in Art of the Premodern World, February 21, 10:30 AM – 12:00 PM
Session: New Directions in Black-British Art History, February 24, 4:00 – 5:00 PM
Member of CAA Committee on Women in the Arts
Meeting: February 21, 10:00 AM -12:00 PM
Yi Yi Mon Kyo
Session: Making Things Modular, February 24, 8:30 – 10:00 AM
See Us Pick the Winners at the CAA Offices
Criteria for the Scholarship
Awardees were chosen at random and fulfilled the following criteria:
- Individuals were registered for the Annual Conference by the Early Registration deadline
- Individuals are current CAA members with proof of student status
- Individuals did not receive conference registration or travel reimbursement from their institution or employer
We look forward to seeing you in Los Angeles! The 106th Annual Conference is February 21-14, 2018. Click here to explore the conference program.