October 25, 2017

"Reframing The House of Dust"

California Institute of the Arts (CalArts)

"Friends" gather inside the House of Dust for a screening, c. 1971. CalArts Archive.

The CalArts MA Aesthetics and Politics Program is proud to announce “Reframing the House of Dust,” an international interdisciplinary project to be hosted on campus during the spring 2018 semester.

A collaboration between French curators Sebastien Pluot and Maude Jacquin of the Art in Translation program and CalArts faculty and students in the Schools of Critical Studies and Art, "Reframing the House of Dust” will undertake a semester-long engagement with legendary Fluxus artist and former CalArts faculty member Alison Knowles’s sculpture House of Dust, which was installed on the CalArts campus in 1970. The original House of Dust structure derived from a poem by the same name that was computer-generated in quatrains from four lists created by the artist. Knowles translated one of the quatrains (a house of plastic/in a metropolis/using natural light/inhabited by people from all walks of life) into a tangible form: two houses rendered from plexiglass with organic forms (titled collectively House of Dust).

"Reframing the House of Dust” will involve the construction of a new structure on the CalArts campus during Wintersession 2018, based on a different stanza from the original poem. MA students will collaborate on the design and building of the house with Knowles herself, as well as CalArts faculty and students from around the Institute. During spring semester 2018, the newly-built house will serve as a site for readings, performances and exhibitions, and a focal point for graduate courses on Fluxus, experimental architecture and housing issues. “Reframing the House of Dust” is also the theme of the MA program’s 2018 symposium, which will feature an exciting international roster of cultural critics, media theorists, art historians and artists.

For more information on the MA Aesthetics and Politics Program, go to, or contact Seth Blake at [email protected].

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