1. San Francisco Museum of Modern Art: Call for Proposals: Visual Activism Symposium in San Francisco, March 14–16, 2014 www.sfmoma.org (Deadline for proposals: October 1st)
The International Association of Visual Culture (IAVC) invites proposals for its third biennial symposium in San Francisco on March 14 to 16, 2014.The symposium will be an international gathering centered on the concept of visual activism. It will explore the relationships between visual culture and activist practices across a wide range of contexts. Through varied and diverse modes of image-making, artists and designers may create and manipulate tools of social change. Likewise, political activists may utilize visual strategies and objects in order to confront and address social and political issues. Art can take the form of political and social activism, and activism often takes on specific, and sometimes surprising, visual forms that are not always aligned with or recognizable by art-world frameworks. During the convening, artists, cultural producers, scholars, students, critics, organizers, activists, and citizens will engage with and offer perspectives on the many questions that arise: to what degree do forms of visual activism travel? In what ways are they necessarily grounded in geographically specific spaces and locally specific knowledge? How can theorists, scholars, and practitioners engage in conversations about abstract or oblique visual activism, such as those produced in conditions of extreme censorship? How can the complexity of governmental or commercial visual activism be approached to better address hegemonies of visual culture? How does the past become a form of visual activism in the present?Proposals should respond to these questions or related topics and may take the form of papers (20 minutes), artist talks (20 minutes), short performances (five to 30 minutes), or lighting-round interventions (five minutes). Limited funds are available to support travel. Proposals should include a 400-word abstract, links to websites with additional publications or relevant images and information, and a CV. Please send proposals to email@example.com (with” Visual Activism” as the subject line) no later than October 1, 2013. For further information about the International Association of Visual Culture, or to join the IAVC, please follow this link.
2. Open invitation for Art Shanty Projects 2014: Deadline for applications October 14th 2013
Seeking visual artists, musicians, composers, media artists, architects, poets, scientists, dancer/choreographers, writers, builders, fisher-people, outdoors-people, naturalists, puppeteers, set designers, vocalists, spoken word artists, craftspeople, storytellers, actors, playwrights, etc.interested in participating in the design and construction of ice fishing shanty-like structures, producing participatory projects, art, events and shows on frozen White Bear Lake, MN during February 2014. For 2014 we are offering: 20 Art Shanty Residencies, $1200 stipend each, on-ice support, publicity and building support. ASP residency stipends for the 2014 Art Shanty Project are intended for artists to build a shanty and spend a significant portion of time on the ice. More information, including specific proposal requirements and eligibility detailed here.
3.San Francisco Art Institute (SFAI) Richard Diebenkorn Teaching Fellowship: Call for applications Application deadline:Friday, November 1, 2013
SFAI is currently seeking applications for the Fall 2014 Richard Diebenkorn Teaching Fellowship. Established in 1998 by the generosity of the family of painter Richard Diebenkorn—both an alumnus and longtime faculty member of SFAI—the Fellowship provides an opportunity for artists to teach at SFAI and have sufficient time and financial support to work in the studio.
Through its semester-long structure that includes a residency with studio at Headlands Center for the Arts, the Fellowship not only offers each participating artist an invaluable opportunity to further their own studio work, it also leaves a deep, lasting impression on SFAI’s students. This year’s Fellowship is open only to artists who reside in the United States and outside of the Bay Area. Artists must apply by the deadline of Friday, November 1, 2013. Please see details below about important dates, application fees, eligibility, and process. Electronic submissions only: sfaicalls.slideroom.com Fellowship dates: August 25–December 5, 2014 SanFrancisco Art Institute located at 800 Chestnut Street, San Francisco, CA 94133. For more information follow this link.
4. MELLON SAWYER SEMINAR POST-DOCTORAL FELLOWSHIPS 2014-2015
John E. Sawyer Seminar on the topic of “Political Will” : Deadline for applications is December 16, 2013.
The notion of “political will” is at the heart of debates about the meaning and character of political life. It informs definitions of sovereignty, whether the popular consent of the “people” or other forms of authority. It is an idea that works to legitimize the juridical order and systems of law, in particular the legal form of the constitution. And it is implicit to definitions of democracy and cosmopolitanism alike. Yet despite its centrality, the concept of political will has remained relatively unanalyzed within political theory.
This Sawyer Seminar aims to study the topic of political will from a range of disciplinary angles, theoretical approaches, and cultural perspectives. In so doing, we hope to pose a series of questions about political will. First, how is political will genealogically related to correlative constructs, such as jurisdiction, liberalism, and governmentality, and how might a focus on political will shed new light on those terms? Second, how might one historicize and lend contextual specificity to conceptions of political will? What insights into the nature of political will can be gained from a comparative, cross-cultural analysis? Third, what role do culture, aesthetics, and desire play in forging and sustaining political will? Is it generated in the imagination and/or affective, materially grounded practices; or it is better explained as an abstract concept governed by the operations of reason? Fourth, what particular contributions do varying theoretical frameworks (deconstruction, psychoanalysis, Marxism, biopolitics, affect theory, postcolonial studies) offer to an account of political will?
While political will is a category that informs nearly all aspects of political existence, this Seminar will devote particular attention to analyzing four sub-topics related to political will: sovereignty and biopolitics, cosmopolitanism, democracy, and constitutionalism. In addition, we expect that many of our conversations will be oriented around questions of aesthetics and the imagination, thus investigating both the cultural and affective attributes of political will?
The Mellon Foundation will sponsor one postdoctoral teaching-research fellowship in the humanities, awarded for the one-year period beginning July 2014. The fellowship offers a stipend of $45,000/year. While in residence at Cornell, the Mellon Fellow will hold a department affiliation in one of the humanities departments, participate in all activities associated with the Sawyer Seminar on “Political Will,” have limited teaching duties, and have the opportunity for scholarly work. More information here.
Applicants for the Mellon Postdoctoral Fellowship on “Political Will” for the 2014/15 academic year must have received the Ph.D. degree after September 2008, and must be working on topics related to the theme of “Political Will.” Mellon Fellowships are open to international applicants. Applicants who will have received the Ph.D. degree by June 30, 2014 are eligible. Applicants who do not have the Ph.D. in hand at the time of application must include a letter from the committee chair or department stating that the Ph.D. degree will be conferred before the term of the fellowship begins.
By 1979, Tom Marioni had been gathering with friends, drinking beer, and calling it art for almost a decade. It began in 1970 when Marioni invited friends to the Oakland Musem of Art on a Monday, the day it was closed, to hang out and drink beer. The gathering’s detritus became the art for the museum-going public to experience. Marioni called it The Act of Drinking Beer With Friends is the Highest Form of Art, and began hosting nights of beer drinking at his studio and at his Museum of Conceptual Art. In the wake of countless bottles and hangovers, the work finally made an appearance at SFMoMA in 1979. It was recently reinstalled there for the museum’s exhibition The Art of Participation.
This iteration of The Act of Drinking Beer took shape as a seventies-era fridge stocked with free beer, a framed poster from Marioni’s Museum of Conceptual Art, and a sturdy wood shelf mounted on the wall that displayed 200 bottles of Anchor Steam Beer. A bare lightbulb hanging from the ceiling seems to me to represent Marioni’s “eureka moment” realization that the act of drinking beer with friends, an experience common to so many local art scenes, could become the art itself. The beer served was certainly appropriate for the venue—Anchor Steam Beer has been brewed in San Francisco for over a hundred years, perhaps the best known of a category of beer called California Common. It’s something of an anomaly, as most beer is sorted into one of two categories: warm-fermented ale or cool-fermented lager. California Common Beer blurs these categories. West Coast brewers in the late nineteenth century brewed lager yeast warm to produce a beer that retains characteristics of both ale and lager. The result is something of a hybrid, an experiment by necessity that flouts traditional wisdom and tastes good anyway.
Anchor also holds an important place in the history of craft beer. After the second World War, the American beer market was dominated (as it still is) by large breweries like Miller and Anheuser-Busch. While the Anchor Brewery in San Francisco held on after the war, it did so by producing low-quality beer. Fritz Maytag III, heir to the Maytag fortune, bought the brewery in 1965 and restored it to its former glory by slowing things down and making smaller quantities of high-quality beer. It was artful, experimental, and historically conscious—all hallmarks of craft brewing today. Craft beer categories are even more well-defined than categories in art. With precisely measured qualities like alcohol-by-volume, international bitterness units, and specific gravity I could describe a Pilsner in a few lines. Art Brut would likely take a few paragraphs. But craft beer also opens itself to radical mistreatments of its established standards, allowing for the birth of new hybrid categories like California Common.
By refusing categories, The Act of Drinking Beer allowed the social form of beer drinking to exist as an artwork in its own right. Since Marioni’s first bottle was cracked open, a slew of artists have made artwork that takes shape around shared food and beverage. But Marioni’s expansion of art’s categorical dimensions to include social gatherings is not the most interesting thing about him. The impulse to disregard categories without permission, abandoning the urge to patrol boundaries, is what truly opens up new productive avenues for artmaking. Only this kind of free-wheeling experimentation can keep art, and brewing, vital.
Over the next few weeks, I’ll be conducting and posting interviews with artists that brew to try and find out what skills, qualities, and perpsectives they bring to bear on beer. I suspect that most of them brew not to plant the flag of art on the shores of beer, but to explore untapped potentials in making a beverage they’ve been led to for reasons as varied as the refrigerated stock of a craft beer store. Just as a lager yeast and an ale-style fermentation can combine to make a beer that happily exists as both ale and lager, so too can artists and brewers disregard time-worn categories and embrace the possibilities of being two things at once. That beer can be art shouldn’t surprise us. The myriad things that artists can do with beer should.
SFMOMA’s Open Space blog has an interview with Art Practical editor Patricia Maloney, who is also one of Bad at Sports’ San Francisco correspondents. Art Practical is a new online magazine that covers the visual arts in San Francisco and shares SF-related podcast content with Bad at Sports. A brief excerpt from the interview follows; go on over and check ‘em out!
From the beginning, your strategy has been to partner with other web-based content providers. How does this strategy reflect the larger philosophy and approach of Art Practical?
In the mission statement, I wrote that Art Practical is not a proprietor of information; our goal is to generate pathways for investigation. In additional to the original content that we produce, which appears as Reviews and Features in issues, we share content with three web-based platforms—the calendar and directory Happenstand, the podcast Bad At Sports, and the forum Shotgun Review—as well as one quarterly print publication, Talking Cure.
Shotgun Review now exists as a section within Art Practical; the other entities operate fully outside of Art Practical as well as providing us with content. Our event listings for openings and closings, as well as our editorial picks, come from Happenstand; we conduct interviews that appear simultaneously as Features on Art Practical and podcasts on Bad At Sports, and many of our Features are published first in Talking Cure. Together, we function as a coalition that provides comprehensive information and analysis of events, practices and exhibitions.
Art Practical is the site that choreographs this coalition. The idea came together via conversation with and the generosity of the people involved with the respective entities you, Joseph, and Scott Oliver (Shotgun), Lucas Shuman (Happenstand), the Bad At Sports team, and Jarrett Earnest (Talking Cure). I had no interest in duplicating their activities, but instead saw an opportunity in which we could mutually support our shared objectives. Collectively, we create visibility for individual projects and a forum for critical reflection for an audience much broader than our individual efforts.
Art Practical itself is a collective endeavor, emblematic of the collaborative spirit of the Bay Area visual arts culture, which has a long local history of incubating experimentation and innovation. The team members that have created Art Practical and produce each issue have each played crucial roles in creating a model for visual arts criticism that is highly conscious of the audience it is serving. Perhaps more than anyone else, Stoyan Dabov, our developer, recognizes and articulates the ways in which familiar forms of communication are being ruptured. As the site evolves, he is pointing us toward embracing new approaches. The Editorial team, Hope Dabov, Vicky Gannon, Catherine McChrystal, and Morgan Peirce, work tirelessly in encouraging our writers to be creative, to find new modes of description and criticism, and to further define their personal voice. Their collaboration reflects our entire approach. (Continue reading here).