posted by Allison Walters — Dec 04, 2020
College Art Association
Notice of 109th Annual Business Meeting
Friday, February 12, 2021
2:00 p.m. EST
The 109th Annual Business Meeting of the members of the College Art Association will be called to order at 2:00 p.m. EST on Friday, February 12th at the 2021 Annual Conference. Access to this meeting requires free registration for “Free and Open Sessions” and is included in paid registration. Once you have registered, please log into the online conference portal to attend the meeting.
CAA President, N. Elizabeth Schlatter will preside.
- Welcome / Call to Order – N. Elizabeth Schlatter, CAA President
- Executive Director’s Report – Meme Omogbai
- Approval of Minutes of 108th Annual Business Meeting, held in two parts, February 12 and February 14, 2020 [ACTION ITEM] See CAA 108th Annual Business Meeting Minutes.
- Financial Report: Robert Tofolo, Chief Financial Officer
- Old Business
- New Business
- Results of Election of New Directors – N. Elizabeth Schlatter, CAA President
If you are unable to attend the Annual Business Meeting, kindly complete a proxy online to appoint the individuals named thereon to (i) vote, as directed by you, for directors, and, at their discretion, on such other matters as may properly come before the Annual Business Meeting; and (ii) vote on any and all adjournments thereof. CAA Members will be notified when the proxy for casting votes becomes available — online in late December 2020. A proxy, with your vote for directors, must be received no later than 6:00 p.m. EST Thursday, February 11th, 2021.
Next Meeting – 2022
The 110th Annual Business Meeting of the College Art Association will be held in Chicago in 2022, precise date to be announced.
Colin Blakely, Secretary
College Art Association
December 10, 2020
posted by Allison Walters — Dec 04, 2020
College Art Association
108th Annual Business Meeting
Hilton Chicago, 720 South Michigan Avenue, Chicago, IL
Part I: February 12, 2020: Convocation, 6:00PM, Grand Ballroom
Part II: February 14, 2020: 2:00PM, Room 4A
Part I: February 12, 2020
David Raizman, Interim Executive Director, welcomed attendees to the Convocation and to the Association’s 108th Annual Business Meeting.
II. Executive Director’s report
Raizman noted that this year’s Annual Conference has approximately 375 ninety-minute sessions.
This year, in collaboration with the Committee on Women in the Arts, the conference offers a selection of sessions, papers, speakers, and related programming in celebration of the Centennial of Women’s Suffrage in the US. Approximately 50% of the conference’s content is focused on women-centered research, artistic presentations, and discourse. Also, as of this year, the conference program is available only in a variety of digital formats, including the conference app and a downloadable pdf file.
President Jim Hopfensperger was not in attendance, and President-Elect N. Elizabeth Schlatter was ill and could not attend the conference.
III. Awards for Achievement
The awards for achievement were presented by former Presidents: Suzanne Blier, DeWitt Godfrey, Anne Goodyear. The 2020 Professional Development Fellowships in Art History and Visual Art were presented by Raizman.
IV. Keynote address
Raizman introduced Amanda Williams, visual artist and architect, who presented the keynote address.
Part II: February 14, 2020
V. Call to Order
Raizman called the meeting to order.
VI. Approval of Minutes
Raizman asked for a motion to approve the minutes of the meeting held on February 13 and 15, 2019. Cunard made the motion, seconded by Blakely. Motion was approved.
VII. Financial Report
Robert Tofolo, Chief Financial Officer, presented the financial report for the Association for the year ending June 30, 2019. The Association posted an operating deficit of $-167,000, versus a forecasted deficit of $-189,000 and against it original budget of $57,000. The Association continues to work to budget expenses within projected revenue targets. Revenue totaled $3,523,000 against expenses of $3,690,000.
As of June 30, 2019, there were 7,773 (8,435, -8%) individual members. There were 464 (461) organizational members and an additional 617 (651, -5%) subscribers to The Art Bulletin and/or Art Journal through the Association’s co-publisher Taylor and Francis.
The market value of the investment portfolio as of June 30, 2019 was $9,609,945 versus the prior year balance of $9,514,314.
Copies of the audited financial statements for fiscal year 2019 are available and they will be posted as a PDF on the Association’s website.
The Executive Director search is ongoing, conducted by the search committee comprising Directors and staff members.
The number of attendees at this Annual Conference stands at 3,300 as of this afternoon.
VIII. Election of Board Members
Julia Sienkewicz, Vice President for Committees, presented the results of the elections of new members to the Board. The following four members were elected to the Board by the membership to serve a four-year term starting in May 2020:
- Mora Beauchamp-Byrd
- Scherezade Garcia-Vazquez
- Tiffany Holmes
- Nada Shabout
The following member was elected to the Board as an Emerging Professional Director to serve a two-year term starting in May 2020:
- Lara Ayad
IX. Old Business
Raizman called for old business. There was none.
X. New Business
Raizman called for new business. There was none.
Raizman adjourned the meeting.
posted by Allison Walters — Dec 03, 2020
As a CAA member, voting is one of the best ways to shape the future of your professional organization. Thank you for taking the time to vote! Scroll down to meet this year’s candidates and submit your online voting form.
2021 CAA BOARD OF DIRECTORS ELECTION
The CAA Board of Directors is comprised of professionals in the visual arts who are elected annually by the membership to serve four-year terms (or, in the case of the Emerging Professional Board members, two-year terms). The Board is charged with CAA’s long-term financial stability and strategic direction; it is also the Association’s governing body. The board sets policy regarding all aspects of CAA’s activities, including publishing, the Annual Conference, awards and fellowships, advocacy, and committee procedures. For more information, please read the CAA By-laws on Nominations, Elections, and Appointments.
MEET THE CANDIDATES
The 2020–21 Nominating Committee has selected the following candidates for election to the CAA Board of Directors. Click the names of the candidates below to read their statements and resumes before casting your vote.
BOARD OF DIRECTOR CANDIDATES (FOUR-YEAR TERM, 2021-2025)
Roland Betancourt, Professor of Art History, University of California Irvine, Irvine, CA
Alberto De Salvatierra, Assistant Professor of Urbanism and Data in Architecture + Director of the Center for Civilization, University of Calgary School of Architecture, Planning and Landscape (SAPL), Calgary, Alberta, Canada
Lara Evans, Interim Director, Research Center for Contemporary Native Arts, Institute of American Indian Arts, Santa Fe, NM
Charles Kanwischer, Director, School of Art, Bowling Green State University, Bowling Green, OH
Wanda Raimundi-Ortiz, Associate Professor, Studio Art, University of Central Florida, Orlando, FL
Kelly Walters, Associate Director, BFA Communication Design Program, Parsons School of Design, The New School, New York, NY
Emerging Professionals BOARD OF DIRECTOR CANDIDATES (TWO-YEAR TERM, 2021-2023)
Patricia Childers, Adjunct Faculty, New York City College of Technology, City University of New York (CUNY), Communication Design Department, New York, NY
Kelvin Parnell, Ph.D. Candidate, Art and Architectural History, University of Virginia, Charlottesville, VA
CAA members must cast their votes for board members online using the link below; no paper ballots will be mailed. The deadline for voting is 6:00 p.m. EST on February 11, 2021.
The elected individuals will be announced at CAA’s Annual Business Meeting to be held at 2:00 p.m. on Friday, February 12, 2021.
Questions? Contact Vanessa Jalet, executive liaison, at (212) 392-4434 or firstname.lastname@example.org
posted by Allison Walters — Nov 24, 2020
We’re delighted to introduce CAA members to a new series of conversations between Meme Omogbai, our executive director and CEO, and N. Elizabeth Schlatter, the president of the CAA Board of Directors. Amidst so much change in our lives, workplaces, and world, CAA leadership sat down for an informal chat on how CAA is reshaping its efforts to provide access and resources where members need it most. Meme and Elizabeth will speak on the economic implications of COVID-19, the urgent importance of members’ scholarship, and the changing terrain of this cultural moment.
This discussion is centered around the Annual Conference and CAA’s pivot towards a digital-first platform, inspired by many of the questions submitted by members.
We would love to hear your questions for future CAA Table Talk conversations. Please send them in advance to: email@example.com
Meme Omogbai is Executive Director and CEO of College Art Association (CAA). Before joining CAA, Omogbai served as a member and past Board Chair of the New Jersey Historic Trust, one of four landmark entities dedicated to preservation of the state’s historic and cultural heritage and Montclair State University’s Advisory Board. Named one of 25 Influential Black Women in Business by The Network Journal, Meme has over 25 years of experience in corporate, government, higher education, and museum sectors. As the first American of African descent to chair the American Alliance of Museums, Omogbai led an initiative to rebrand the AAM as a global, inclusive alliance. While COO and Trustee, she spearheaded a major transformation in operating performance at the Newark Museum. During her time as Deputy Assistant Chancellor of New Jersey’s Department of Higher Education, Omogbai received Legislative acknowledgement and was recognized with the New Jersey Meritorious Service Award for her work on college affordability initiatives for families. Omogbai received her MBA from Rutgers University and holds a CPA. She did post-graduate work at Harvard University’s Executive Management Program and has earned the designation of Chartered Global Management Accountant. She studied global museum executive leadership at the J. Paul Getty Trust Museum Leadership Institute, where she also served on the faculty.
Elizabeth Schlatter is the President of the CAA Board of Directors and Deputy Director and Curator of Exhibitions at the University of Richmond Museums, Virginia. A museum administrator, curator, and writer, she focuses on modern and contemporary art and on topics related to curating and issues specific to university museums. At UR, she has curated more than 20 exhibitions, including recent group exhibitions of contemporary art such as “Crooked Data: (Mis)Information in Contemporary Art,” “Anti-Grand: Contemporary Perspectives on Landscape,” and “Art=Text=Art: Works by Contemporary Artists.” She also serves on and chairs various University and School of Arts & Sciences committees. Prior to the University of Richmond, she worked with exhibitions at the Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service (SITES) in Washington, D.C, and in fundraising at the Contemporary Arts Museum, Houston. She is author ofMuseum Careers: A Practical Guide for Novices and Students (Left Coast Press, Inc.) and a contributor to A Life in Museums: Managing Your Museum Career (American Association of Museums). She has a BA in art history from Southwestern University in Texas, and an MA in art history from George Washington University.
posted by Allison Walters — Nov 20, 2020
We’re delighted to announce the Distinguished Scholar session at the 109th CAA Annual Conference will honor Salah M. Hassan.
Salah M. Hassan is the Goldwin Smith Professor of African and African Diaspora Art History and Visual Culture in the Department of Africana Studies and Research Center, as well as in the Department of History of Art and Visual Studies, and also serves as Director of the Institute for Comparative Modernities at Cornell University, Ithaca, USA. Hassan is also the Director of The Africa Institute, Sharjah, UAE. Hassan served as Professor of History of Art in African and African American Studies and Fine Art at Brandeis University, where he previously awarded the Madeleine Haas Russell Professorship in the Departments of African and Afro-American Studies and Fine Arts (2016-2017).
Hassan is a founding-editor of Nka: Journal of Contemporary African Art (Duke University Press). He currently serves as a member of the editorial advisory board of Atlantica, Journal of Curatorial Studies, and international Journal of Middle Eastern Studies, and served as consulting editor for African Arts. Hassan has contributed numerous essays to journals, anthologies, and exhibition catalogues of contemporary art, and has guest edited a special issue of SAQ: South Atlantic Quarterly, entitled African Modernism (2010). He has authored, edited, and co-edited several books, including Ibrahim El Salahi: A Visionary Modernist (2013); Darfur and the Crisis of Governance: A Critical Reader (2009); Diaspora, Memory, Place (2008); Unpacking Europe (2001); Authentic/Ex-Centric (2001; Gendered Visions: The Art of Contemporary Africana Women Artists (1997); and Art and Islamic Literacy among the Hausa of Northern Nigeria (1992), among others. Most recently, Hassan edited and introduced Ibrahim El-Salahi: Prison Notebook (MoMA and Sharjah Art Foundation Publications, 2018), and the forthcoming Ahmed Morsi: A Dialogic Imagination (Sharjah Art Foundation, 2020).
Hassan has curated a number of international exhibitions in museums and at major Biennales such as Venice and Dak’Art, including Authentic/Ex-Centric (49th Venice Biennale, 2001), Unpacking Europe (Rotterdam, 2001-02), and 3×3: Three Artists/Three: David Hammons, Maria Magdalena Campos-Pons, Pamela Z (Dak’Art, 2004), among others. He curated Ibrahim El Salahi: A Visionary Modernist was published in 2012 held at The Tate Modern in London (2013) after premiering at the Sharjah Art Museum in Sharjah, UAE (2013). In addition, he also co-curated The Khartoum School: The Making of the Modern Art Movement in Sudan, 1945-2016 (2016-2017) and When Art Becomes Liberty: The Egyptian Surrealists (1938–1965) (2016) funded by the Sharjah Art Foundation.
He is the recipient of fellowships including the J. Paul Getty Postdoctoral Fellowship as well as major grants from Sharjah Art Foundation, Ford Foundation, Rockefeller Foundation, Afrique en Créations, Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, and the Prince Claus Fund.
This session will highlight his career and provide an opportunity for dialogue between and among colleagues. The panel will include Dr. Hassan as well as the following: Chika Okeke-Agulu (Princeton University); Elizabeth Giorgis (University of Addis Ababa); and Iftikhar Dadi (Cornell University).
The live online Q&A will be held Thursday, February 11, 2021, 10:30-11:15 am EST.
posted by Allison Walters — Nov 17, 2020
This is Part II of an article that began last week in CAA News. It continues the coverage of life and work at the Asia Art Archive during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Mutual Aid, Cici Wu, Research Assistant, Asia Art Archive, New York
New York declared a state of emergency on March 7, 2020. I couldn’t foresee then that this would be my last chance to be in an art museum for many months. I was looking at the Portrait of America by Diego Rivera in the Whitney Museum, which he painted in 1933 for the Communist New Workers School in New York. The text panel said, “In keeping with the politics of the school, Rivera chose not to celebrate American values but instead to highlight uncomfortable truths about the class struggle and the country’s violence against African Americans.” In 1929, the crash of the US stock market caused many to question a capitalist system that seemed no longer compatible with the country’s democratic ideals. Artists resolved to use their art to effect change. Looking back at this period in history, when Mexican muralists were invited to make artworks by the State, it’s striking how artists were allowed to use their creativity and imagination so freely. They also imbued their art with a social role by depicting the real struggle of workers. It was uplifting.
A month before March 7, a memorial gathering for the Chinese doctor Li Wenliang was quietly held in Central Park (Fig. 1). The event was organized to stand against the further erosion of free speech in Mainland China. The park was not crowded. People were dispersed into smaller groups on a sunny afternoon, with murmurs, sighs, and tears. The flowers and banners carried words from the bottom of people’s hearts. At that moment, there was a hope that a little change could happen this time.
After March 7, events seemed to accelerate, further unveiling lies, alongside vulnerability, rage and confusion. A wound was suddenly ripped open, resulting in a flowing river of blood. Sad news stories kept coming, one after another, from Italy, Iran, the UK, the Philippines, and the rest of the world. Airlines were collapsing. Small businesses were at risk. Middle-class and working-class people started worrying about their future. All of a sudden, restaurant workers, airline employees, and gig workers were on the verge of being laid off. Immigrants and undocumented residents without families were most at risk. More than ever, we learned that our social welfare was deeply tied to our immigration status in this country. We wondered, how are we going to collectively survive other crises, such as the huge environmental shifts and resulting displacements, that will come in the future?
For a short time, New York became a site of discombobulation, isolation, and helplessness. The city was pale and empty. Workers in the arts, who were lucky enough to keep their jobs, started to work from home. Essential workers, including doctors, nurses, delivery drivers, and home caretakers, were getting off from work shattered. After a period of panic, some artists started to break out of their isolation and regather in small volunteer communities, helping food pantries, protesting against evictions, and organizing mask donations, all built upon the principle of Mutual Aid Community Agreements: “We Keep Us Safe” (Fig. 2).
The city began returning, bursting with idealistic energy. Most precious for the Asia Art Archive in America during this time has been the support and care we have been able to provide for each other. Invaluable weekly virtual meetings helped us stay connected and in dialogue, discussing together our changing thoughts throughout this critical time.
Our research collection, the Joan Lebold Cohen Archive Phase II was successfully launched online in the height of lockdown, on April 1. Three years after the launch of Phase I, the trips Joan Cohen took to China from the 1970s–2000s are finally fully available to explore and learn from: 16,453 color photographs of artists, artworks, studios, academies, exhibitions and scenes of everyday life. These images of a past world travelled through the years and arrived at a moment when nations are drifting apart towards isolation. In the midst of reimagining a new spatiotemporal organization of the world, the looks, smiles, and gestures Joan captured on film brought to mind air and light (Fig. 3).
In Beijing and Hong Kong before returning to New York in February, I was saddened to have witnessed the virus hitting the collective body multiple times. Working through the Joan Lebold Cohen Archive was a healing process, to imagine myself traveling in time and giving light to the gaps of multiple pasts. I want to end here with a quote from the essay Solidarity/Susceptibility by Judith Butler (Social Text, 2018), from her remarks on José Muñoz, the Cuban American scholar of performance and queer studies who died in 2013, as an inspiration to think about archives and the new imaginary: “The potentialities that appear as rips and tears in the otherwise seamless future of no future for those abandoned by progress are immanent and furtive possibilities within the present, indicating that this time is also another time, and always has been; it opens toward a past and a future even when, politically, the force of oblivion seeks to cover over those very openings.”
Erasures and Experiments: The COVID-19 Story in India, Noopur Desai, Researcher, Asia Art Archive, India
Today, we are experiencing an unprecedented moment as we brave the COVID-19 crisis across the world. In India, the situation is complex, similar to many parts of the world, bearing multiple strands, with implications for various aspects of our lives. When the pandemic hit India in March of this year, though early cases were found in January, the country was going through a massive political movement demanding democratic constitutional rights. The announcement of a sudden lockdown across the country on March 22 resulted in the suspension of all social gatherings including, most importantly, the ongoing nationwide sit-in protests against the Citizenship Amendment Act and the National Register of Citizens in various cities and towns.
In the midst of panic and uncertainty in conjunction with the mismanagement of the crisis, the previous two months began to appear a distant past with the erasure of politics and the transformation of public space during the lockdown. In effect, the public space was rather transformed, with images of a mass exodus as hundreds of thousands of migrant workers journeyed home from big cities after the closing down of markets, manufacturing units, and various laborer jobs. Combined with a sense of amnesia brought on by the spectacle surrounding the pandemic, the government actions (mis)used the situation to crackdown on dissenting voices, either by arresting social and political activists, defacing artworks and graffiti at protest sites (Fig. 1), or by exercising certain restrictions on media. Taken together these actions have highlighted the systemic inequality and repressive nature of the current regime.
Surrounded by this grave situation, various arts organizations, artists, and museums have had to reconfigure themselves. Several exhibitions and programs were canceled or postponed, and young arts practitioners moved back to their birthplaces or are struggling to survive in metropolitan centers like Delhi or Mumbai. Responding to the severity of the crisis, many arts practitioners and arts organizations have stepped up to create support systems, including grants for young artists, online displays of artworks, and the formation of chain-systems, wherein artists buy each other’s work. The arts community also created online auctions and other fundraising events to contribute to the relief work for migrant workers and other vulnerable populations.
Physical distancing quickly resulted in digital proximity with the arrival of webinars and online exhibitions organized by museums and galleries, although the graph of the webinars seems to be “flattening” in recent times! However, the digital world has become an intrinsic part of our lives, whether it is through virtual studio visits, webinars, and simulated gallery tours or by creating online resources for teaching and learning. In terms of art education, studio-based practice has been replaced by experimentation with the digital, though only at a few schools, as most of them do not have the resources to run online programs. Nevertheless, there have been important instances where students have used digital platforms to organize their annual exhibitions, which are required for graduation, and which for the most part have not been able to take place physically. Though physical space is crucial in contemporary art practice, this intense effort to use alternative platforms has certainly paved the way for forming new aesthetic possibilities.
While we all are grappling with this strange time, at Asia Art Archive in India we continue building our online research collections and shaping new projects. As an online platform, we have been able to continue several aspects of our work by sharing digital resources and programming via our website. Despite this, we have also faced challenges in light of changing situations. Though our collections are available online, the groundwork to build those collections requires in-person visits to archives and libraries, access to review personal archives, resources to digitize the documents, and programs to introduce the archival collections; most of these activities have been brought to a halt for now. In the meantime, we are maintaining our spirits by planning and carrying out whatever aspects of our work we can, keeping in mind the need for physical distancing. At the same we are recalibrating our working methods as we venture into the “new normal.”
posted by Allison Walters — Nov 13, 2020
November CWA Picks
November Picks from the Committee on Women in the Arts celebrate an array of exhibitions and public artworks featuring feminist and womxn artists in this transitional time. As always, our global highlights are informed by shows and events that explore social justice issues and intersectional feminism.
- The Shape Of Play: Sari Carel’s recent public art installation at Waterfront Park in Boston pushes the boundaries of modern art, sound art, childhood and play through this heavily researched and process oriented, interactive work. For more information on the piece, you can also visit here and here.
- Eunice Golden: Metamorphosis: SAPAR Contemporary presents the gallery’s first exhibition devoted to renowned artist and radical feminist Eunice Golden’s (b. 1927, Brooklyn) late paintings and prints, and an opportunity to celebrate her enduring contributions to feminism and activism since the earliest years of the feminist art movement. The exhibition features her recent large-scale series, Metamorphosis (2003-2007) and Flora (2009), evoking her early sexual bodyscapes and exploring through gestural expanse of color, rapid brushwork, and hypnotic patterning, contemporary issues around ecological uncertainties and challenges. Through Nov. 28, 2020.
- Feminist perspectives in artistic productions and art theories: The Artium Museum 2-day course directed by Directed by Xabier Arakistain, art curator, and Lourdes Méndez, professor of anthropology of art at the UPV / EHU, includes a variety of speakers around contributions of feminist artists and theorists of art and the theoretical and political problems that must be faced today in order to continue developing and disseminating art and knowledge free from androcentric and ethnocentric biases. Nov. 14-15, 2020.
- Jo Ractliffe: DRIVES: Chicago Art Institute presents the first survey of South African photographer Jo Ractliffe (b. 1961), featuring more than 100 large scale color prints, video and documentary photographs spanning her career, including dreamlike photographs made in the 1990s of the port city of Durban and on a cross-country road trip, the unsettling installation N1 Incident/End of Time(1997/99), and much more. Through April 26, 2021.
- Baltimore Museum of Art presents several current exhibitions centered on women artists and ideas. Perfect Power: Motherhood and African Art includes 40 representing the power of African mothers and maternal imagery, through Jan. 17, 2021. Candice Breitz: Too Long, Didn’t Read features two muiltichannel video installations by the South-African born artist on privilege, visibility and the fetishizing of celebrity, through Jan. 10, 2021. Shinique Smith: Grace Stands Beside, is a new deity-like figurative sculpture by the artist who was raised in Baltimore, using Baltimore resident’s donated fabric to exude, said the artist “a complex state of being that Black people and other who have endured tragic prejudice have embodied to survive and rise beyond,” through Jan. 3, 2021. SHAN Wallace: 410 is an immersive collaged environment installation by the Baltimore based artist SHAN Wallace, through Jan. 3, 2021. Other notable exhibits include: Katharina Grosse: Is It You?, Valerie Maynard: Lost and Found; Ana Mendieta: Blood Inside Outside; Howardena Pindell: Free, White and 21; Jo Small: Flying with Remnant Wings; Elissa Blount Moorhead and Bradford Young: Back and Song; all through Jan. 3, 2021.
posted by Allison Walters — Nov 12, 2020
CAA invites nominations and self-nominations for one at-large member of the Annual Conference Committee to serve a three-year term AND for the Annual Conference Chair, an at-large member of the Annual Conference Committee that serves a two-year term. The terms begins February 2021, immediately following the 109th Annual Conference.
The Annual Conference Committee, working with the CAA staff, selects the sessions and shapes the program of the Annual Conference. The committee ensures that the program reflects CAA’s goals for the conference, namely, to make it an effective place for intellectual, aesthetic, and professional learning and exchange; to reflect the diverse interests of the membership; and to provide opportunities for participation that are fair, equal, and balanced. Committee members also serve to support sessions comprised of individual papers and projects where a formal chair has not been identified.
The Chair oversees the Council of Readers and reports back to the Annual Conference Committee on session topics, including identifying possible areas of content and interest to members that are missing from the submissions received. With CAA staff, the Chair recruits Council of Readers members to read, review, and rank proposals. The Chair shapes the content to the Annual Conference from the submissions as reported back by the Council.
As a member of the Annual Conference Committee the Chair:
- Works with CAA staff and oversees the execution of the overall goals of the conference
- Ensures that the Annual Conference reflects the goals of the Association
- Makes the Annual Conference an effective place for intellectual, aesthetic, and professional learning and exchange
- Reflects the diverse interests of the membership
- Suggests conference content based on member interest
- Assists in scheduling the variety of chosen sessions, workshops, talks, etc.
- Proposes ways to increase conference participation and attendance
- Proposes new initiatives for the conference
- Proposes candidates for distinguished speakers
The Annual Conference Committee meets three times a year:
February – during the Annual Conference to examine and discuss the operational aspects of the conference which recently concluded and ideas for the upcoming conference;
May/June – on a virtual call to review the recommendations by the Council of Readers for the upcoming Annual Conference;
October – on a virtual call to review final plans and any existing changes for the Annual Conference up to two years out.
Please send a 150-word letter of interest and a CV to Mira Friedlaender (firstname.lastname@example.org), CAA manager of annual conference, by January 5, 2021 (deadline extended).
posted by Allison Walters — Nov 10, 2020
The following article was written in response to a call for submissions by CAA’s International Committee. It is by John Tain, Congyang Xie, Michelle Wong, Cici Wu, and Noopur Desai, all researchers at Asia Art Archive.
Introduction, John Tain, Head of Research, Asia Art Archive
In the first few months of this year, one thing that became clear was how deeply divided the world remained and remains, even as globalization brought us all closer physically and virtually. There have been of course the many overt racist acts around the world, and also the less visible but no less insidious effects of structural racism on individuals and communities of color. There also remains plain ignorance reinforced by geography. In long distance calls and video meetings, it became clear that what people across Asia recognized right away as a cataclysmic life-or-death disaster remained literally and figuratively a faraway concern for many people in the United States and Europe—until it wasn’t anymore.
At Asia Art Archive (AAA), we have seen the drama unfolding firsthand in both Asia and North America. Our colleagues in Shanghai went into lockdown almost as soon as the news came out of Wuhan, with our main office in Hong Kong soon to follow. For those first few weeks, outpourings of concern, sympathy, and sometimes curiosity accompanied the daily news and dreaded case tallies. Then, as the pandemic spread, it was our colleagues in New York and then New Delhi who were hit, along with the rest of the world, and it became our turn to send support and supplies when possible. We had already been in the habit of meeting regularly on Zoom as a way to work across distances, but throughout these months, talking with one other online became about more than work. It became a way to bridge the chasms keeping us apart all the more now. It is in the spirit of those conversations that I have asked my colleagues to share their thoughts, as reminders that whatever the disparities, we must deal with this together.
The Pandemic and Politics, Congyang Xie, Research Associate, Asia Art Archive, Shanghai
In early February, two weeks after the shutdown of Wuhan due to the outbreak of the coronavirus, an article was published by Slovenian philosopher Slavoj Žižek titled “Clear Racist Element to Hysteria over New Coronavirus.” Translated into Chinese and circulated through the social media platform WeChat, it quickly became one of the most widely shared texts among contemporary art practitioners in Mainland China. Žižek, who has built a large readership in China over the last decade, began by saying that “Some of us, including myself, would secretly love to be in China’s Wuhan right now, experiencing a real-life, post-apocalyptic movie set.” (https://www.rt.com/op-ed/479970-coronavirus-china-wuhan-hysteria-racist/)
More challenging statements followed. Unsurprisingly, there were all kinds of reactions within the art world, which amplified when more articles were published and circulated via WeChat by other Western thinkers who are more or less known to Chinese art practitioners, including Jean-Luc Nancy, Jacques Rancière, and especially Giorgio Agamben (Fig. 1). But the controversies around Žižek were particularly interesting. If Žižek’s text, as many have pointed out, disregarded the local context in China, the reading and sharing of the article in Chinese was also decontextualizing. The (re-)awareness of the very existence of intellectual borders that so many people tried hard to ignore may be one of the by-products of COVID-19.
Reading the text in a literal way, Žižek’s fiercest critics denounced the philosopher as naïve, if not delusional, for saying the situation in Wuhan was desirable, for ignoring the real tragedy in Wuhan, and for being indifferent to the dead and to those who were still suffering. Such opinion is based upon a humanistic attitude. The most extreme camp, however, went so far as to reach a nationalist point of view, concluding that Westerners never understand what is happening in China, and that Western theories are irrelevant and not applicable to China’s problems.
Another group of critics, non-nationalists, with a more liberal mindset, were thus highly attentive to Žižek’s call for “a new form of what was once called Communism.” Based on modern and contemporary history of China, this group considers Communism as just the flip side of the coin of authoritarianism. Taking individual freedom as a priority, this group worried that the activity-monitoring technologies used by the government in the name of containing the epidemic would eventually normalize and strengthen total governmental control over society, even after the epidemic ends.
This critical attitude towards authority was shared by a third group of people, who would agree at least partially with Žižek, citing his words that “If there were people in China who attempted to downplay epidemics, they should be ashamed.” In fact, during the first days of the coronavirus outbreak, transparency from authorities was the strongest demand from all of China’s social groups. The protest reached a peak when Li Wenliang, the whistleblower doctor who was forced to keep silent by authorities, was reported to have passed away from the deadly disease on February 7. That night, lit-candle emojis were all over social media. In response to the event, artist Zhang Peili designed a minimalist set of two T-shirts, which are worn frequently by artists and visitors to exhibitions (Fig. 2).
The debates highlight the ideological conflicts in China that have only intensified under the pandemic, though more space would be needed to map the full spectrum of opinions. Perhaps what makes Žižek’s text so appealing to art practitioners in China in the first place is the claim that “there is, however, an unexpected emancipatory prospect hidden in this nightmarish vision,” even if people may have (mis)understood it in a thousand different ways.
Separate yet Together, Michelle Wong, former Researcher, Asia Art Archive, Hong Kong
One evening in March 2020, when Hong Kong’s first wave of COVID-19 cases was subsiding, we sat in a friend’s studio to look at the image archive of an artist-run space. “100 Square Feet Park,” or the Park, as we affectionately call it, was once a storefront on Lai Chi Kok Road, facing busy traffic. The image we were looking at was of a documentary exhibition from the Umbrella Movement of 2014. A monitor was placed on a table facing the street level. Pedestrians walking by wondered whether the images shown in the monitor were live or documentary images. It struck me at that 2020 moment, as we looked at the image five years on, that I had forgotten how it felt when livestreaming news—of marches, of roads puffing with smoke, of sparks flying out from long tubes, of people in all sorts of uniforms running—was not yet a norm. I remember an inexplicably overwhelming feeling of looking at the nine images on the split-screen livestreaming for the first time, and I thought my simmering anger would rise to the boiling point if I saw one more Instagram post that attempted to theorize this over-mediation.
For some time now I have pondered the morbidity that is part and parcel of my vocation as a researcher at AAA. It is only half a joke when I describe my job as “talking to old(er) people and working on dead people stuff”. On various occasions I have described archives as haunted and haunting, trains for zombies, and repositories for art that could be undead. I still think about these things when I peer and squint at my computer screen while on Zoom/Jitsi/Skype. During the time leading up to the pandemic, and perhaps also during it (i.e. now), I think often about a generation of practitioners, many of them friends and colleagues who I have met through my work at AAA. I think of how these people, myself included, have knowingly or unknowingly committed ourselves to remembering other people’s lives. Everyone who tells stories of other people’s lives, in this case through dealing with their archives, is learning how to do so along the way, much like writers learning how to write. And as we remember these lives and tell these stories, our stories can become entangled with theirs. Sometimes, it is nice to know you can choose not to do it alone.
posted by CAA — Nov 09, 2020
The CAA Conversations Podcast continues the vibrant discussions initiated at our Annual Conference. Listen in as educators explore arts and pedagogy, tackling everything from the day-to-day grind to the big, universal questions of the field.
This week, our guests continue the conversation on art, pedagogy, and environmental justice.
Warren Cariou is a photographer, filmmaker, writer, and interdisciplinary scholar whose work often explores links between environment, culture, and storytelling, with a particular focus on Indigenous communities in western Canada. He directs the Centre for Creative Writing and Oral Culture at the University of Manitoba, where he teaches in the Department of English, Theatre, Film and Media. His petrographs can be viewed at: www.warrencariou.com
Siobhan Angus is a Banting Postdoctoral Fellow in the Department of History of Art at Yale University and a visiting scholar at the Yale Center for British Art. Her research, informed by a commitment to social and environmental justice, explores the visual culture of resource extraction in Canada, with a focus on photography and visual archives.