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New School Watch report on the Artist's Institute and Classroom program “In Search of a Recuperative Aesthetics”
Art & Education
Above: (1) Christoph Cox and Bill Brand in conversation about the work of Hollis Frampton at Hunter College. (2) Wayne Koestenbaum presents the talk “Camp Marmalade on East 65th Street” at the Artist's Institute. (3) Ben Lerner and Maggie Nelson in conversation. (4) Still from Allora & Calzadilla + Ted Chiang, “The Great Silence.” (5) Still from Hito Steyerl, “What is Contemporary?” (6) Title card from Coco Fusco and Guillermo Gómez-Peña, “The Couple in the Cage: Two Undiscovered Amerindians Visit the West.”
Above: (1) Christoph Cox and Bill Brand in conversation about the work of Hollis Frampton at Hunter College. (2) Wayne Koestenbaum presents the talk “Camp Marmalade on East 65th Street” at the Artist's Institute. (3) Ben Lerner and Maggie Nelson in conversation. (4) Still from Allora & Calzadilla + Ted Chiang, “The Great Silence.” (5) Still from Hito Steyerl, “What is Contemporary?” (6) Title card from Coco Fusco and Guillermo Gómez-Peña, “The Couple in the Cage: Two Undiscovered Amerindians Visit the West.”

Art & Education presents a new School Watch report by Felix Bernstein on the fifteenth season of the Artist’s Institute at Hunter College and the new Classroom program “In Search of a Recuperative Aesthetics,” curated by Kayla Anderson.

Passing the Impasse: The Fifteenth Season of the Artist’s Institute at Hunter College
By Felix Bernstein
“Since Jenny Jaskey became director of the Artist’s Institute at Hunter College in 2013, writers have become central to its programming. More than just commissioned respondents to featured artists, writers have been the subjects, organizers, and agents of exhibitions: in 2015, the Institute hosted an exhibition by Fia Backström that included ephemera from poet Eileen Myles’s 1992 presidential campaign; in 2016, it offered an innovative retrospective of Hilton Als’s work across mediums, mixing memoir, portraiture, and criticism; and in 2017, Benjamin Kunkel worked on a book about eco-socialism while he was a fellow there. For its fifteenth season, which ended in December, the Institute deepened its involvement with writing through workshops and lectures, replacing its usual exhibition programming with a series of events. The Writing and Talking series involved novelists, theorists, critics, poets, painters, and professors—Percival Everett, Dan Fox, Mary Gaitskill, Rivka Galchen, Wayne Koestenbaum, Ben Lerner, Fred Moten, Stefano Harney, Maggie Nelson, and Sasha Frere-Jones—in accordance with the Institute’s mission to support a “more expansive construction of the term artist.” Jaskey’s selection highlighted the generative possibility of hybridizing and challenging fixed authorial roles through a dazzling array of improvisatory, spontaneous, historicist, tragicomic, analytic, and collaborative tactics. The series’ flexible structure allowed for contingent results, less the professionalization of an MFA program and more the looseness of a salon.” [read more]

School Watch presents distilled perspectives on degree programs in the arts, with interviews, critical texts and editorial exposés on MFAs, Masters, Doctorates and certificate programs in fine arts, art history, curatorial, cultural and film studies, and other related areas of specialty.

In Search of a Recuperative Aesthetics
Curated by Kayla Anderson
“In discourses about climate change, extinction, slow violence, and lingering manifestations of colonialism, to profess hope can seem questionable—a naive, placating gesture. However, some would argue that a well-informed sense of dread or hopelessness is an equally disabling position.

At a conference I attended on approaching the Anthropocene from a humanities perspective, an economics student delivered a paper arguing that discussing climate change made him and his fellow students depressed, and therefore we should cease doing so. Avoiding “eco-depression,” to use his term, is clearly not in anyone’s best interest. But how can we face the world—a world that has come to seem like too much—and really allow ourselves to rub up against its pains and contradictions in a way that does not leave us feeling simply devastated or defeatist?

What does it mean—in art and in life—to hold these contradictions in conjunction?”

Featuring films and lectures from Anna Tsing and Donna Harraway, Allora & Calzadilla + Ted Chiang, Metahaven, Hito Steyerl, Coco Fusco and Guillermo Gómez-Peña, Walid Raad, and more. [read more]

Classroom features thematically organized lectures and conversations chosen by artists and thinkers on issues relevant to their practice and contemporary artistic discourse.

January 17, 2019