VALS Archive

Andy Bichlbaum of The Yes Men - March 29, 2016

The 2016 Adams-Tillim Lecture

Andy Bichlbaum is one half of The Yes Men. Armed with quick wit and thrift store suits, the duo impersonates big-time corporate criminals to draw attention to crimes against humanity and the environment.  As a result of their two decades of work, the Yes Men have discovered that tackling hard-boiled issues with huge dollops of laughter is a powerful tool for change, and now they want everyone to get involved in the fight.

Yuko Kikuchi - November 17, 2015

Yuko Kikuchi is a Reader at TrAIN (Research Center for Transnational Art Identity and Nation) and CCW graduate school at University of the Arts London. Her research interests include topics such as modernities in art and design in East Asia, cultural identities in the colonial and post colonial context and design histories and historiography. Her key works include Mingei Theory and Japanese Modernisation: Cultural National- ism and Oriental Orientalism, “Transnational Modern Design Histories in East Asia” and “Negotiating Histories: Traditions in Modern and Contemporary Asia-Paci c Art.”

Michael Suh - November 3, 2015

Born in Guangxi, lives and works in Beijing, China. Curator and Executive Director for the Museum of Contemporary Art Beijing. Other positions include founder and director of the vibrARTion project, Curator & Deputy Director for International Coordination, China Sculpture Institute, ISC Member of International Committee, KAO (Kinetic Art Organization) Executive Director for China. Major activities include Yuzi Paradise International Sculpture Project, Beijing Olympic Sculpture Project, NordArt China Pavilion for Chinese Cultural Year in Germany, Forms of the Formless: Chinese Contemporary Art, Passages: Sculpture by Zeng Chenggang, etc.

Nancy Nowacek - October 27, 2015

Nancy Nowacek makes sculpture, performance and large-scale installations to produce exchange between the body and labor and leisure, the built and natural environment. By drawing on grammars of exercise, functional movement, architecture, urban planning and engineering systems, her work collapses thinking into doing to reinstate the body as relevant technology, channel for experience and site of imagination.

Mark Allen – September 29, 2015

Mark Allen is an artist and curator based in Los Angeles. In addition to his individual artwork in drawing and painting, he is the founder and executive director of Machine Project, a non-profit organization exploring art, technology, natural history, science, music, and poetry in an informal storefront in the Echo Park neighborhood of Los Angeles. Under his direction Machine has produced over 1000 events, workshops and installations, including exhibits at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, the Museum of Contemporary Art in Denver, the Contemporary Art Museum St Louis, and the Walker Museum in Minneapolis.

Claire Van Vliet - May 5, 2015

Claire Van Vliet is a fine artist, illustrator, and typographer who founded Janus Press in San Diego, CA, in 1955. Van Vliet has been crafting intricate handmade books in the Northeast Kingdom for decades. Her vision and craftsmanship is internationally respected. For this artist, the medium is the message.

Beka Economopoulos and Jason Jones – March 31, 2015

Climate, Capitalism, and Creativity: The Natural History Museum

Beka Economopoulos and Jason Jones are cofounders of Not An Alternative (NAA), a 10-year-old Brooklyn-based arts collective and nonprofit organization with a mission to affect popular understandings of events, symbols, and history. Through engaged critical research and design, the group curates and produces interventions on material and immaterial space, bringing together tools from architecture, theory, exhibition design, and political organizing.

Aman Mojadidi – March 3, 2014

Participating in Politics: Art and Advocacy in Afghanistan

Afghan-American performance and conceptual artist Aman Mojadidi’s work is based on personal experiences intertwined with curatorial and academic research. Continuously exploring the “geography of self,” his work combines traditional storylines and postmodern, often parodist, narrative strategies to approach themes such as belonging, identity politics, conflict, cultural traditions (be they real, imagined, invented), as well as the push to and resistance against modernization.

Sarah Tanguy – November 11, 2013

Curator as Agent of Change

Sarah Tanguy is a curator for Art in Embassies, US Department of State and an independent curator and critic. Recent projects include Mapping: Memory and Motion in Contemporary Art; Vanishing Boundaries, a joint US/Lithuania photography exhibition; Taken for Looks, a food-inspired exhibition; Breaking Bread, a Cuba/Russia/US exhibition, and an ongoing series for the American Center for Physics. She has written for The Washington Times, Sculpture, New Art Examiner, and other publications.

Cora Cohen – November 5, 2013

A visual artist and Guggenheim Fellow known for works that draw on contemporary urban and philosophical sources, Cohen’s current paintings are based on seemingly contradictory ways of seeing and painting. Mark making as figuration is followed by acts of erasure. Discernible imagery gives way to uncertainty, waywardness, and displacement.

Learn more about Cohen here.

Michael Rees – October 22, 2013

Michael Rees is an artist working in themes of figuration, language, technology, and the social to weave a sculptural mélange. He has shown his work widely including the Whitney Museum in the 1995 Biennial and again in “Bitstreams” in 2001, the MARTa Museum in Germany, Art Omi, The Pera Museum in Istanbul, The Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art, and in private galleries such as 303 , Bitforms, Basilico Fine Art, Pablo’s Birthday, Favorite Goods and elsewhere.

Learn more about Rees here.

Caroline Woolard – October 1, 2013

The 2013 Adams-Tillim Lecture

Caroline Woolard is a Brooklyn based, post-media artist who explores civic engagement and communitarianism. Her work is collaborative and often takes the form of sculptures, websites, and workshops. Woolard is a co-founder of OurGoods.org and Trade School, two barter economies for cultural producers, and a coordinating member of SolidarityNYC, an organization that promotes grassroots economic justice.

Learn more about Woolard here.

Fred Wilson – September 17, 2013

The 2013 Adams-Tillim Lecture

Fred Wilson is a conceptual artist whose work explores the relationship between museums, individual works of art, and collections of other kinds. Wilson is a 1999 MacArthur Fellow and represented the United States at the 2003 Venice Biennale. His work can be found in several public collections, including The San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, The Tate Modern in London, The Museum of Modern Art in New York and the Whitney Museum of American Art.

Lorraine O’Grady - May 5, 2012

The 2012 Adams-Tillim Lecture

Born in Boston in 1934 to West Indian parents, O’Grady came to art late, not making her first works until 1980.In O’Grady’s work, the idea tends to come first, and then a medium is employed to best execute it. Although it’s intellectual content is rigorous and political, the work is generally marked by unapologetic beauty and elegance.

Learn more about O’Grady here.

Xaviera Simmons – March 20, 2012

Xaviera Simmons transplants diverse narratives into agrestal, engineered, and somatic landscapes. Using photography, audio, sculpture, performance, and video, Simmons traverses assumptions surrounding place, time, the populations that activate given contexts, and the capacity of record and memory to alter perceptions. Simmons grounds sociopolitical, personal, and art histories by testing them within the limits of experienced terrain.

Herb Tam – November 15, 2011

Born in Hong Kong and raised in the suburbs of San Francisco, Herb Tam graduated with a graphic design degree from San Jose State University and an MFA in Fine Arts from the School of Visual Arts. A highly respected curator since 2003, he has worked with a wide range of arts institutions, including the Exit Art, the Queens Museum of Art, New York Foundation for the Arts, the Asia Society, and Creative Capital Foundation. He is now Curator and Director of Exhibitions at the Museum of Chinese in America (MOCA) in New York City.

Elizabeth Demaray - November 8, 2011

Demaray knits sweaters for plants, fabricates alternative forms of housing for hermit crabs, and creates listening stations for birds that play human music. Her current project involves culturing lichen on the sides of skyscrapers in NYC. I’m interested in our culture’s interactions with nature and the nature of what we consume. She is an Associate Professor of Art at Rutgers University.

Learn more about Demaray here.

Deborah Gans – October 18, 2011

Deborah Gans is the Principal of Gans studio and professor in the Architecture School at Pratt Institute. Deborah Gans is an editor of Bridging the Gap: Rethinking the Relation of Architecture and Engineering, which was honored by the AIA International Book Awards, of The Organic Approach and of Extreme sites: Greening the Brownfield. She is author of The Le Corbusier Guide.

Learn more about Gans here.

Amy Lipton – September 13, 2011

Lipton recently curated exhibitions include Down to Earth: Artists Create Edible Landscapes for the Schuylkill Center, and Into the Trees for the Fields Sculpture Park at Art Omi in Ghent, NY. She organized Human/Nature: Art and the Environment with The Nature Conservancy, a series of discussions bringing artists and scientists together.