Freshly Minted

On Thursday, April 4th, the Visual & Critical Studies Program will present Freshly Minted, a panel discussion about life after art school, moderated by VCS faculty member Peter Hristoff. The following text from the SVA event announcement contains information about the panelists and the topics that will be discussed.

This panel discussion, moderated by fine artist and SVA faculty member Peter Hristoff, examines the challenges that post-BFA art-school graduates face. Artists Timothy Bergstrom, Shannon Broder, Sophia Dawson, Elan Jurado, Cassandra Levine, and Kenneth Rivero discuss issues such as: “the MFA dilemma” (whether to pursue an MFA, and when); post-graduation “survival” tactics, including repaying student loans, renting a studio, managing living expenses, and finding the time to make new work; the undergraduate/graduate experience; and strategizing a career. Participants discuss how these concerns affect their artistic practice and give brief presentations on their recent work. Presented by the BFA Visual & Critical Studies Department.

You can also find a little more background information on the event e-vite, shown in  the image above (click to see a larger version online).

Freshly Minted will take place at 7 p.m. on Thursday, April 4th, 2013 in the SVA Theatre at 333 West 23rd Street (between 8th and 9th avenues). The lecture is free and open to the public. For more information, please contact the theatre at 212-592-298 or

Posted by: Jeff Edwards | March 23, 2013

Coming on April 5th: We’re All Videofreex at the SVA Theatre

We're All Videofreex

On Friday, April 5th from 4 to 9 p.m., the MFA Art Practice Department will present the symposium We’re All Videofreex: Changing Media and Social Change from Portapak to Smartphone at the SVA Theatre. The symposium was organized with support from the  MFA Photography, Video and Related Media, BFA Fine Arts and BFA Visual & Critical Studies departments.

Here is a description of We’re All Videofreex from the event announcement on the SVA website:

David A. Ross, chair, MFA Art Practice Department, and Ron Simon, curator of television and radio at the Paley Center for Media, reunite members of the pioneering video collective, the Videofreex, for the symposium We’re All Videofreex: Changing Media and Social Change from Portapak to Smartphone. Between 1969 and 1978, the group shot hundreds of hours of real-time video with newly invented portable cameras and founded Lanesville TV, the first pirate TV station. Simon leads a discussion about Subject to Change, the Videofreex production commissioned—and subsequently dropped—by CBS, in the context of the challenges to traditional journalism brought on by the introduction of video and the emerging counterculture. Following a screening of the group’s work and a Q&A, Ross moderates a panel on the Videofreex’s contribution to video-art history and renewed significance at a moment in which the proliferation of personal recording devices and decentralized broadcasting platforms fuel uprisings worldwide.

For more information including a detailed schedule of events in the symposium, visit the event announcement at the link above. You can also learn more and watch footage from the Videofreex at the We’re All Videofreex Tumblr.

[Poster image: David Cort shooting ‘Mayday Realtime,’ photo courtesy the Videofreex.]

Posted by: Jeff Edwards | March 20, 2013

Peter Hristoff in two new exhibitions this month

sublime porte

This month, VCS faculty member Peter Hristoff is showing works in two new exhibitions in the New York City area. The first is Sublime Porte: Art and Contemporary Turkey at the Dr. M. T. Geoffrey Yeh Art Gallery/Sun Yat Sen Hall at St. John’s University in Queens. Here’s a little more about it, quoted from the exhibition listing on the St. John’s University website:

St. John’s University is honored to present Sublime Porte: Art and Contemporary Turkey, an exhibition which features a broad range of contemporary works by a select group of emerging and internationally acclaimed artists whose works respond to Turkey’s rich cultural diversity. The exhibition addresses issues of race, gender, sexuality, religion and politics as well as broader arguments concerning art, culture and globalization.

In addition to Peter, Sublime Porte includes works by artists Osman Akan, Burak Arikan, Kezban Batibeki, Nezaket Ekici, Paul Fabozzi, Murat Germen, Gözde İlkin, Michael Marfione, Alex Morel, Arzu Ozkal, Gulay Semercioglu, Orkan Telhan, Elif Uras and Halil Vurucuoglu.. It will be on display from March 14th to May 2nd, 2013. For more information including the gallery address, please visit the link above.


Peter’s work is also currently on display through April 20th at the Hotel Particulier at 6 Grand Street in Manhattan, in the group exhibition DYNASTY, curated by Amy Goldrich, Christopher K. Ho, Omar Lopez-Chahoud, and Sara Reisman. Here’s a little more about this exhibition:

Hotel Particulier is pleased to present DYNASTY, on view from January 31 to April 20, 2013, an exhibition modeled on the cross-generational dynamics of families. The curators created a fictional family: Sara Reisman “married” Christopher K. Ho, and Reisman’s “sister” Amy Goldrich “married” Omar Lopez-Chahoud. Each couple then bequeathed their primary asset – the gallery space itself – to artist-children.

Seven artists comprise the first generation: Sean Fader, Nikki Reisman, Jose Ruiz, Matthew Schrader, and Kristof Wickman (invited by Ho and Reisman), as well as Liz Magic Laser and Ali Banisadr (invited by Goldrich and Lopez-Chahoud). Magic Laser partnered with Becca Albee to collaborate in a single project, while Banisadr invited artists who inspire him: Gregory Crane, Peter Hristoff, Pooneh Maghazehe, Pat Mason, Tom McGrath, Aaron Spangler, and Sandra Vazques De La Horra. Fader opted to collaborate with Naomi Miller, Schrader shared his space with S.G. Schell, and Wickman bequeathed his space with Ethan Greenbaum, Kristen Jensen, Martin Murphy, Steven Rose, Andrew Norman Wilson, Bryan Zanisnik, and his father Dick Wickman.

The exhibition includes performances addressing familial and filial relations, creative influence, and the evolution, growth, distribution, and consumption of ideas and objects over generations and time. Taking place at Hotel Particulier is Mary Mattingly and Greg Lindquist’s midnight dinner based on Gordon Matta-Clark’s restaurant Food, a gathering spot for a diverse “family” of artists in the ‘70s. Other performances include Sean Fader and Naomi Miller’s blind dating service; Andrew Norman Wilson’s Lie Down Comedy; and Bryan Zanisnik’s piece involving his biological parents.

For more information about this show including event times and locations, visit the DYNASTY page on the Hotel Particulier website.


One additional note: Peter will be holding another drawing marathon from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. on April 20th. You can read a description of it here, and find the course number and registration details here. (You can also find a few images from the spring 2012 drawing marathon here.)

Posted by: Jeff Edwards | March 18, 2013

Tomorrow at noon: a lunchtime lecture by artist Haseeb Ahmed

Here’s an announcement I just received from Bret Schneider, Assistant to VCS Department Chair Tom Huhn:

Tomorrow afternoon (Tuesday), from noon-1pm in room 401C artist Haseeb Ahmed will be giving a brief presentation of his work. He’ll be discussing recent research at both MIT and the Jan Van Eyck Academy, as well as current exhibitions.

Feel free to bring your lunch!

We hope to see you there.

Posted by: Jeff Edwards | March 14, 2013

Amy Wilson’s trip to CCA in San Francisco

CCA banner

A photo of  the building at CCA where Amy gave her visiting artist lecture last week.


Last week during SVA’s spring break, VCS faculty member Amy Wilson traveled to San Francisco to serve as a guest artist at the California College of the Arts. While she was there, she delivered an artist’s talk to students in the school’s MFA Fine Arts program, and held studio visits with several of them afterward. Amy’s lecture was presented as part of a class designed to prepare students for life after art school. During the talk, she covered her career as a working artist after her graduation from the Yale MFA Sculpture program, the jobs she’s had over the years, exhibitions she’s been in, her gallery, and the current state of the art market in New York and elsewhere.

Here’s a comment from Amy about her visit to CCA:

I always really like going to speak at other schools and meeting a different group of students there. It gives me an interesting perspective on what we’re doing at SVA.

The class I spoke to was specifically designed to give their graduate students “real world” skills for surviving in the art world. Things are quite different for artists in SF than in NYC (for instance, there are more opportunities for grants in SF, but fewer opportunities to show in commercial gallery spaces), so part of the reason why I was there was to report on the things I see as an artist on the East Coast.

While she was at CCA, Amy also spent a little time looking at some of the surrounding area. Here are a few photos that she took while she was there.


During her stay in San Francisco, Amy visited the exhibition “Al-Mutanabbi Street Starts Here” at the San Francisco Center for the Book (click to enlarge). You can read more about this exhibition and the project behind it at this website.


One of the works in “Al-Mutanabbi Street Starts Here”: the sculptural book Witness by artist Miriam Schaer.

Needles and Pens

While she was walking around town during her first day in San Francisco, Amy ran across Needles and Pens, an independent zine shop and art gallery in the Mission District.

Carrier Pigeon

Some of the stock at Needles and Pens. Carrier Pigeon is a New-York-based illustrated fiction and fine art magazine (more about it here). This issue includes a built-in sound sculpture by Chris Dunnett; you can see/hear a video of it here.

The Appeal of Tragedy

This Tuesday, March 12th, The Visual & Critical Studies program will present the “The Appeal of Tragedy,” a lecture by Paul Schwaber:

Aristotle considered tragedy central to the engaging claim that great verbal art has on us. Nietzsche, Freud and many others have recognized tragedy as opening usefully—enjoyably, distressingly, puzzlingly and safely—to the mysteries and fascinations of persons, families, politics and culture. Closely examining Shakespeare’s tragedies Romeo and Juliet and King Lear, Schwaber will discuss their continuing hold on us and what they may tell us both of art and of ourselves.

Paul Schwaber is Professor of Letters at Wesleyan University and a practicing psychoanalyst. He has published extensively on the relations of imaginative literature and psychoanalysis. He co-edited Of Poetry and Power: Poems Occasioned by the Presidency and by the Death of John F. Kennedy (Basic Books) and is the author of The Cast of Characters: A Reading of Ulysses (Yale University Press).

“The Appeal of Tragedy,” will take place at 6 p.m. this Tuesday, March 12th in Room 101C at 133/141 West 21 Street in New York City (between 6th and 7th avenues). The lecture is free and open to the public.

Posted by: Jeff Edwards | March 2, 2013

The VCS Chair Reading for March 2013


This month’s entry in the VCS Chair Readings series is a selection from the September 2012 issue of the journal Modernism/Modernity. Here are some comments about it from VCS Department Chair Tom Huhn:

I’m very happy to pass on and recommend this illuminating essay by Amy M. Von Lintel, “Wood Engravings, the ‘Marvelous Spread of Illustrated Publications,’ and the History of Art.” Von Lintel explores the prominent role played by wood engravings in the circulation of art historical images in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. Her essay details how important wood engravings were for the transmission and dissemination of art historical images for both popular as well as academic art history audiences. There’s much to be learned here in regard to the kind and quality of art historical images that were circulating before the widespread adoption of the photograph as the primary medium of reproduction. I trust you will enjoy the essay.

You can download “Wood Engravings, the ‘Marvelous Spread of Illustrated Publications,’ and the History of Art” via this link.

The previous entries in the VCS Chair Readings series are also all available for download at

Posted by: Jeff Edwards | February 26, 2013

Romke Hoogwaerts and MOSSLESS Magazine


Back in 2009, VCS student Romke Hoogwaerts started MOSSLESS, a website featuring a new interview with a different photographer every two days. In late 2010, Romke used Kickstarter to fund the first issue of MOSSLESS Magazine, an annual print spinoff of the original site. The inaugural issue focused on four young photographers (Alana Celii, Bobby Doherty, Brea Souders and Sean Vegezzi), with original photos and interviews from each, an introduction written by Susan Bright, and art direction by Jesse Hlebo of Swill Children. It was printed in an edition of 500, and initially released at Printed Matter in January 2012.  (You can see a few images of the first issue at this link.)

The second issue of MOSSLESS was released last September at the NY Art Book Fair (you can read more about it here, and see some images of it here). For that issue, Romke received a lot of creative assistance from ex-VCS student Miriam Grace Leigh, who has since become his editorial and publishing partner.

From February 20–May 14, 2012, MOSSLESS was also included in the MoMA exhibition “Millennium Magazines,” a survey of experimental art and design magazines published since 2000. (In 2011 Romke also had a video included in “The Unseen Eye,” an exhibition at George Eastman House International Museum of Photography and Film that I wrote about in this post.)

You can read a little more about MOSSLESS in this interview with Romke conducted by Rebecca O’Keefe for the blog articles. The MOSSfull blog also offers some additional information, including inspiration and behind-the-scenes posts.


Posted by: Jeff Edwards | February 21, 2013

“Singer-songwriters” by Audrey Nicolaides

Today’s post presents a short piece by VCS student Audrey Nicolaides that she wrote for my senior essay workshop, a class that deals with the essay as a distinct literary form and also prepares students to write their final VCS thesis paper. (You can read a little more about it in this post from 2011.)

Throughout the semester, I give my students a series of short writing assignments that ask them to address a specific topic from their own perspective. The assignment prompts are often fairly open-ended, and have dealt with both art and non-art subjects. A few weeks ago, I asked the class to write about something from outside the art world that’s had a profound influence on their artistic practice. This was Audrey’s response. I’m very glad that she agreed to let me share it here.


I was raised in a house where the unsaid has its own seat at the dinner table. From the torpid calm of my suburban childhood, I remember mostly the incredible weight of silence, the thickness of it, so thick it could be knifed. I had a lonely childhood, spent mostly alone with my parents. My half-sister visited us once a month but the twelve years age gap extended like a gulf between us and we remained strangers to each other. I don’t think any of us were happy, except the dog maybe, certainly not my mother whose neurosis punctuated our lives like a despot. I learned to suppress my feelings at a very early age to defend myself against her crippling unhappiness, which would periodically burst out of her in torrents of angry words and slammed doors, before deflating just as suddenly as it had started. Sometimes, my father tried to appease her but mostly he remained silent, unflinching, waiting for the storm to pass while pouring himself another glass. I knew nothing but silence and the dull ache of this ordinary form of violence. I can still hear her shouting, slicing through the air, wrecking havoc on the false equilibrium of our house, littering the floor with broken eggshells. I used to be scared of her until I learned how to retreat inside myself.

I’ve had enough, I cans see it and almost know that there is no one there to help you, there is no one there to hold you, let it go. I’ve felt enough, can’t really feel it anymore. And I know I’m closing off [1]. I lost the ability to speak, or maybe I never had it; I progressively detached myself from everyone and everything around me.  I was alone but not lonely, I was, and still am, an outsider. The moon is closer to the sun than I am to anyone [2]. I used to spend long hours in our attic, looking outside the roof window at the boundless sky and the clouds rolling. Watching the glistening leaves of our neighbor’s tree I swore to myself, over and over again, that I would get out of there. My parents are masterworks of repression and I am a stone: hard grey, the heaviest weight, the clumsiest shape, the earthiest smell, the hollowest tone [3]. Desiccated by my family dynamics and the ossified conventions of the French upper-middle class, it would have been so easy for me to yield to complacency, lowered expectations and unfulfilled dreams. I could have become, like most people, a minor work of depression. I only survived because I found other rocks to wreck my heart upon.

And I think I believe that if stones could dream, they would dream of being laid side by side, piece by piece, and turned into a castle for some towering queen they’re unable to know [4].

Singer-songwriters taught me how to speak, how to articulate myself in the confine of privacy. If I told you the truth you wouldn’t like what I said. I almost believed I was dead [5]. I was able to dissociate my public life from my inner life, and if in the real world I talked about studying political science and a career in the high administration, in my head I was leaving on a quest. If you love me let me leave in peace, please understand that the black sheep can wear the Golden Fleece and hold the winning hand [6]. How I wish I could have said that; but my parents neither understand English nor poetry. I realized in the midst of my teenage melancholy that I could either let life wash over me until nothing remained but a shiny dead pebble or flee. I fled. Packed and all eyes turned in, no one to see on the quay, no one waving for me, just the shoreline receding. Ticket in my hand and thinking wish I didn’t hand it in [7]. Singer-songwriters opened a space, a window overlooking a private world that allowed me to survive within the suffocating walls of my house. They planted seeds on the arid mountainsides of my inner landscape and taught me how to cultivate it, how to magnify the everyday and bear the weight of it. They have stirred in me a desire for beauty and a craving for the ever more. Listening to their songs is like being born into the world, blithe with the pain of soaked lungs learning how to breathe. Mad, they seep through the walls of my fortress; walking the tension between the infinite and the grind of reality, with nothing but their songs, architects of splendor, and their words, finally, woven into mine to describe the reliefs of my private geography.

With the wall where you drew windows overlooking hidden gardens torn apart by jagged mountains climbing up into the air and crumbling down into a fountain where the water waits forever like a quiet distant treasure [8].

by Audrey Nicolaides


[1] Okkervil River, “Show Yourself” from I Am Very Far (2011)

[2] Nada Surf, “80 windows” from The Proximity Effect (1998)

[3] Okkervil River, “A Stone” from Black Sheep Boy  (2005)

[4] Okkervil River, “A Stone” from Black Sheep Boy  (2005)

[5] Nada Surf, “Killian’s Read” from Let Go (2002)

[6] Okkervil River, “Black Sheep Boy” from Black Sheep Boy (2005) cover after Tim Hardin

[7] Okkervil River, “Lost Coastlines” from The Stand ins (2008)

[8] Okkervil River, “Another Radio Song” from Black Sheep Boy: Appendix (2005)

Posted by: Jeff Edwards | February 17, 2013

Oona Tempest’s timeline of the 20th century

I’ve written before about the timeline assignment Amy Wilson gives in her Art in Theory 1900-2000 class. Each student is asked to create a summary of 20th-century history that includes at least 40 major events and 15 art movements. The choice of format is left to the student; examples from prior years have included everything from simple chronological diagrams with points marking dates and facts on a straight line to videos and complex graphs.

Today’s post features excerpts from a timeline created by Oona Tempest for last semester’s class. Oona presented her information as a series of drawings, each of which illustrates an artwork from a specific movement and three events from the same period. (You can take a closer look at each image by clicking on it.)

If you’d like to see more work by Oona, check out her website (you can also find a link to it listed in the student websites to the right).






« Newer Posts - Older Posts »