Monday, November 29, 2010

Big City Forum #22

Olga Koumoundouros

Rachel Allen Architecture

Big City Forum #22
Saturday, Dec. 11th, 2010
4 - 6 pm

Honor Fraser Gallery
2622 S La Cienega Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90034
(310) 837-0191

An engaging dialogue exploring cross disciplinary connections and jumping off points between art and architecture.

Rachel Allen
Olga Koumoundouros

Moderated by:
Ken Ehrlich

Rachel Allen, Principal, Rachel Allen Architecture
Rachel Allen grew up in San Francisco and studied at Princeton University. She was the 2002-2003 recipient of the Mercedes T. Bass Rome Prize in architecture, a yearlong fellowship at the American Academy in Rome. She currently serves on the Board of Directors of the Outpost for Contemporary Art. She has taught at Cal Poly Pomona, the Mountain School of Art, Princeton University, Rensselaer Polytechnic, SCI-Arc, UCLA, UC Riverside, and USC, and currently teaches in the new graduate program in architecture at Woodbury University. Her firm's completed work includes residential, retail, commercial and food service projects, as well as collaborations with artists such as Simparch and Christoph Buchel. She is currently working on a mixed-use complex covering three city blocks in Atwater Village, Los Angeles.

Olga Koumoundouros

Olga Koumoundouros has presented work at REDCAT, Los Angeles, Open Satellite, Bellevue, WA; Walter Phillips Gallery, The Banff Centre, Banff; AB Canada, Adamski Gallery, Aachen and Berlin, Germany, Armory Center for the Arts, Pasadena; Studio Museum in Harlem, New York; LAXART, Los Angeles; Glassell School of Art, Museum of Fine Arts, Houston; Hammer Museum, Los Angeles; Cultuurecentrum, Bruges, Belgium; LA Louver, Venice, CA. She currently is participating in Round #33 at Project Row Houses, Houston, TX and in the exhibition "Go West" at Salt Lake Art Center, Salt Lake City, Utah. She is the recipient of a Durfee Foundation grant and Creative Capital grant and a Creative Time commission. She is represented by Susanne Vielmetter Projects.

Ken Ehrlich
Ken Ehrlich is an artist and writer based in Los Angeles. He has exhibited internationally in a variety of media, including video, sculpture and photography. His project based practice interweaves architectural, technological and social themes and he frequently collaborates with architects and other artists on site-specific and community-based projects in public spaces. He is the editor of Art, Architecture, Pedagogy: Experiments in Learning (2010) published by and co-editor of Surface Tension: Problematics of Site (2003), Surface Tension Supplement No. 1 (2006) and What Remains Of A Building Divided Into Equal Parts And Distributed for Reconfiguration: Surface Tension No. 2 (2009) published by Errant Bodies Press. He currently teaches at The California Institute of the Arts (CalArts) and in the Department of Art at U.C. Riverside.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Big City Forum #21


Mass Architecture and Design

Tighe Architecture

Big City Forum #21

Goethe Institute
5750 Wilshire Blvd. #100
Los Angeles, CA 90036
(323) 525-3388

Thursday, Nov. 4th, 2010
7 – 9 pm

An engaging presentation and panel conversation exploring architecture’s role in helping to shape and define an LA based identity.

Ana Henton
Heather Roberge
Patrick Tighe

Moderated by:
Jade Chang

Ana Henton, Co-Founder & Design Principal, Mass Architecture and Design
Ana Henton received her M.A. in Architecture from Princeton University in 1996, after which she relocated to New York, where she worked for a number of firms, including Steven Holl. She was one of the founders of Freecell, an award-winning design collective that focused on high concept design/build work. In 1998, Henton moved to L.A. and worked at Frank Gehry Partners for 5 years on a number of significant projects including the new Corcoran College and Museum of Art in Washington D.C. Ana launched her own practice in 2003 concentrating on small but design oriented projects.

Heather Roberge, Principal, Murmur
Heather Roberge is a practicing architect and educator in Los Angeles. She is Associate Vice Chair of the Department of Architecture at UCLA, and is Director of the undergraduate program in Architectural Studies. She teaches graduate courses in design and technology. Murmur has a special focus on the spatial, structural and atmospheric innovation made possible by emerging digital design and manufacturing techniques. Ms. Roberge’s research focuses on the atmospheric implications of contemporary surfaces with particular interest in formal and material experimentation that engages the senses.

Ms. Roberge has taught at UCLA since 2002 and has recently attended juries at Southern California Institute of Architecture (Sci-Arc), Rice University, University of California Berkeley, California College of the Arts, and the University of Southern California. Prior to 2000, she taught in New York at Pratt Institute and Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, and was a visiting critic at Columbia University, Cornell University, and the University of Houston. Ms. Roberge received both her Bachelor of Science and her Master of Architecture degrees at The Ohio State University, where she received the AIA Certificate of Excellence and graduated Summa cum laude. In 1995, Ms. Roberge studied at the Architectural Association in London.

Patrick Tighe, Principal, Tighe Architecture
Patrick Tighe, AIA, FAAR is principal and lead designer of Tighe Architecture located in Santa Monica, California. The firm is committed to realizing an authentic, contemporary Architecture informed by technology, sustainability and building innovation. Since the inception of the practice in 2000, the firm has received numerous accolades. In 2007, Patrick Tighe was awarded the distinguished Rome Prize Fellowship from the American Academy. Honors include several National AIA Awards, the AIAs Young Architect Award, 40 under 40 Award, American Architecture Awards, a Progressive Architecture Award as local AIA Honors.

Tighe received a Master of Architecture from the University of California, Los Angeles. Prior to establishing the practice, Tighe was an integral part of the Morphosis Team where he was an Associate. Tighe is a licensed Architect in the State of California and a Member of the American Institute of Architects. Teaching appointments have been conducted at USC, UCLA, and Southern California Institute of Architecture (SCI-Arc) where Patrick is currently a Faculty Member. The work has been exhibited internationally and published extensively.

Jade Chang is a Los Angeles-based writer. Recently the West Coast Editor of Metropolis Magazine, she has also been a film columnist for the BBC and a Sundance Arts Writing Fellow; in 2007 she received the AIGA/Winterhouse Design Criticism award. As a journalist Jade has covered everything from deconstructed tomato soup to the hidden rebellion of minimalls for the LA Times, LA Weekly, Angeleno and others. She is currently the Executive Producer of Modern Luxury Media online and a Contributing Editor at Metropolis.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Big City Forum #20

Big City Forum #20
Saturday, Oct. 2nd, 2010
5 – 7 pm

Honor Fraser Gallery
2622 S La Cienega Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90034
(310) 837-0191

A gathering of four curators that are impacting and changing the future of the practice at the institutional and non-traditional context.

Andrew Berardini
Shamim Momim
Pilar Tompkins Rivas
Franklin Sirmans

Andrew Berardini is a writer living in Los Angeles. He's contributed in the past to Rolling Stone, LA Weekly, Art Review, and frieze. Recent curatorial efforts include original projects with Bruce Nauman, Dave Muller, Yoshua Okon and Raymond Pettibon. Currently he holds the positions of Los Angeles editor for Mousse and Senior Editor for Artslant, and has previously worked with Semiotext(e) Press as an editor and the Armory Center for the Arts as a curator. He recently penned a monograph on the work of Richard Jackson, published by the Rennie Collection in Vancouver.

Shamim M. Momin, former contemporary curator at the Whitney Museum of American Art, is based in New York and Los Angeles, where she is the Director, Curator, and co-founder of the recently formed Los Angeles Nomadic Division (LAND), a non-profit public art organization. Her most recent projects include The Secret (Still) Knows (2010), a reinterpretation of a group exhibition presented in Austin, TX entitled The Secret Knows (2010), LAND’s VIA/Stage 1 (2010), a suite of temporary public projects in and around Los Angeles that featured new commissions by Mexico-based artists Artemio, José León Cerrillo, Gonzalo Lebrija, and Moris. Other recent projects include PavilioM at the 53rd Venice Biennale (2009), Nothingness and Being at the Fundación Jumex (2009), a commissioned exhibition and performance by Yoshua Okón and Barry Johnston at Not to Be Reproduced (NTBR), Los Angeles (2009), and an independent group exhibition, The Station (2008), which took place in approximately 14,000 square feet of unoccupied raw space in a mid-town Miami development during ArtBasel 2008. As Associate Curator at the Whitney Museum, she co-curated both the 2008 and 2004 Whitney Biennial exhibitions, as well as solo exhibitions of Alex Bag (2009), Terence Koh (2007), Mark Grotjahn (2006), Raymond Pettibon (2005-06), and Banks Violette: Untitled (2005). As Branch Director and Curator of the former Whitney Museum at Altria since 2000, she was responsible for organizing exhibitions and commissioning more than fifty new projects by emerging artists for both solo and thematic presentations. Notable Altria projects have featured artists such as Andrea Zittel, Rob Fischer, Sue de Beer, Luis Gispert, Katie Grinnan, Mark Bradford, Dario Robleto, Ellen Harvey, Do-Ho Suh, and E.V. Day.
In addition to her Whitney exhibition catalogues, Momin has contributed to numerous other publications, including artist monographs, exhibition catalogues, and art periodicals. She participates regularly on juries and panels in the US and abroad and is a recent recipient of ArtTable’s New Leadership Award. Momin was also Adjunct Professor of Contemporary Art for Williams College for the 2007 and 2008 Semester in New York program.

Pilar Tompkins Rivas is an independent curator in Los Angeles, and director of the Latin American branch of the Artist Pension Trust, APT: Mexico City. Additionally, she is former curator of the Claremont Museum of Art (CMA). Ms. Tompkins Rivas is currently curating multiple exhibitions for the Getty Foundation's Pacific Standard Time initiative including the Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs' institutional histories of the Los Angeles Municipal Gallery and the Watts Towers Arts Center, and the UCLA Chicano Studies Research Center’s suite of exhibitions L.A. Xicano to be held at UCLA’s Fowler Museum, LACMA and the Autry Museum. Ms. Tompkins Rivas’ current projects also include the exhibition Bas Jan Ader: Suspended Between Laughter and Tears at Pitzer College, and Citizen, Particiant at Darb 1718 in Cairo, Egypt. Recent exhibitions include: Post American L.A., Multiverse, The Passerby Museum and Vexing: Female Voices from East L.A. Punk which represented the City of Los Angeles at the 2009 Guadalajara International Book Fair. In 2006, she was a founding director and curator of The MexiCali Biennial, a bi-national art exhibition and music event transcending the constraints of the US/Mexico border.

Franklin Sirmans is the Terri and Michael Smooke Department Head and Curator of Contemporary Art at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. From 2006 to 2010, he was the Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art at The Menil Collection in Houston, TX, where he organized several exhibitions including NeoHooDoo: Art for a Forgotten Faith, Maurizio Cattelan, Steve Wolfe: On Paper and Contemporary Conversations: John Chamberlain.

Sirmans has written essays for several exhibition catalogues and articles and reviews in publications such as The New York Times, Time Out New York, Essence, and Grand Street. He is the cocurator of the forthcoming exhibition Vija Celmins: Television and Disaster, (The Menil Collection and Los Angeles County Museum of Art), travels to LACMA, winter 2011.
He was the 2007 recipient of the David C. Driskell Prize awarded by the High Museum of Art, Atlanta and in 2009 was an inaugural honoree of the Gold Rush Awards by Rush Philanthropic Art Foundation.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Big City Portrait: Jenna Didier & Oliver Hess

Big City Portrait: Jenna Didier & Oliver Hess - Materials & Applications

All images and text by Anais Wade.

1. How do you define your partnership?

O: Jenna does all the work and if anything goes wrong she blames me!

J: Oliver does all the work and if anything goes wrong it's my fault!

O: I often do the shape of things and Jenna does the details. That’s what happened on the food pyramid.

J: I did the mechanical, the system, the plumbing. Oliver was the concept guy to an extent, but we had developed the idea a year ago here together with some friends at M&A based on concepts I’d learned through studying Permaculture Design. The vertical configuration using stepped basins came out of an idea I had inspired by a Chinese natural geological stepped formation I’d seen in a photo. But most of the time it is hard to trace where the concept originated.

O: Pretty much always! We’re working on so many projects at once and we don’t really monitor each other’s status. We have a weekly meeting. I work on a different project every hour or two during the day to kind of keep it fresh, and I usually weave ideas from many different angles simultaneously. We keep all that stuff kind of up in the air, it stimulates us, because we have a lot of (overlapping) - complimentary? - experience. It’s more of a matter of how we choose to challenge reality, how we choose to accept the limitations that we have, which ones we want to overcome and which ones we want to take it easy on.

2. What did you want to be when you grow up?

J: I wanted to be a toy maker when I was probably 4 years old. And then in 6th grade I wanted to be an archeologist!

O: Yeah me too! Toy designer actually when I was in 6th grade… and that was after I wanted to be a time traveler. I got that space shuttle operating manual when I was a kid and looked at all the escape systems and the emergency protocol.

3. What are you now? An Artist, a curator, a designer, an engineer?

J: I’m several things now, I can be a chameleon. We’ve infiltrated the world of architecture. People often think we’re architects because of Materials & Applications. In fact it is an art project. We invite other people to come and create their projects with us. What we like to do in our public art and M&A is creating a condition that the public can participate in at various levels. The goal is to dramatize or make tangible and visible forces that apply, sometimes those are social forces, but they vary widely depending on the site - like sometimes we look at weather systems.

O: I think we definitely transcended the title thing a couple of decades ago when computers became really accessible, and we see that the difference between specializations often times is the tools and not the knowledge. M&A does speak to that transcendence of specialization, and relies on the idea that when you are not tethered to specific fields and allow yourself to wander in the interstitial spaces you can create more things that are more imaginative, but that’s just the beginning of it! The installations are a residue of this exploratory process. I’ve only started recently using the term artist and it really comes from the fact that after enough exploration the art field is the only one that can embrace what we’re trying to do. Very few fields are able to accept that kind of exploration.

4. Why Los Angeles?

J: The same way that New York is the gateway for Europeans, San Francisco is the gateway to the West for mid-westerners. I had been in SF for several years building robots working with the robotic art scene in the mid-90s and I was not able to find work that was in a related field, like special effects. People told me I should move to LA. It has been 12 years and I have no intention to move back to San Francisco. San Francisco is a great community but LA is a place where I can have an impact through M&A. This is where journalists, writers, directors are living, people that are making culture for the rest of the world. This is where we can influence the culture.

O: I was also in the machine art scene in San Francisco at the same time as Jenna. The Internet thing was big when I left in 1998, most of my friends were becoming billionaires, everything became, and it started to feel vacuous. I had saved money, so I started traveling. My first stop was LA, then I left and moved around for a long time and came back to LA, then I left and moved around for a long time and came back to LA… for several years… I finally stayed here. LA is really exciting, but there is no pressure.

5. How do you define public space / private space?

O: We invest our identities a lot into space making, we find comfort in a lot of different places simultaneously. A big part of our work is about sharing public space and trying to inspire people to rethink how they communicate with their space . I hope that people start to understand that their own facade, yard is an opportunity for them to communicate and transform their lives in a significant way. We have a very limited vernacular on how to use public space. A lot of it is based on safety, a lot of it is based on extremely bizarre and antiquated concepts. Our neighbor plants seeds for his grass every 6 months and ties up little strings and little things to scare away the birds and signs that say “don’t piss on the grass”, there’s no rational purpose to any of that. Breaking out of that is very important.

J: My career path has been loosely focused on ideas of what is public/private and how you engage the public in a public space. M&A is a public pocket park. Sometimes it is our front yard and we’ll close the gate and have a nice little meal, and then it becomes public again. I love that private space and public space can be modulated. The difference then, is one of access, of expectation. When you enter a public space you expect things to be safer, cleaner. Private space is more of an accretion. Public space is an expression that is more deliberate.

6. How did you get to your current work? Was there an "ah!" moment, or was it more of an organic process?

J: For me it was when I met Oliver and started working together. We share this passion for invention, mechanical systems, electrical systems, responsive systems, the landscape and architecture. We needed to find a term that could embrace all these fields, so we made up “infranatural”, which embodies infrastructure and natural systems. It was that moment of synthesis that brought us together.

O: It was process oriented. Mastery of a lot of technology wasn’t very important to us, it was more about figuring out larger implications. We didn’t have a particular trajectory. There’s no clear sense of what we’re doing, it’s really about exploration. Figuring out the largest implications of what we’re trying to do is really what we’re doing.

7. One feature idea that expresses your work

O: There’s one I think more about these days: the Cloud Line idea. We both throw around ideas all the time, but the reason why the partnership is so good is that we’re not just interested in ideas, we’re interested in implementation. An example that is totally outlandish, is the Cloud Line. We were asked to submit ideas for the future of LA transit. I got fixated on the idea of blimps tethered to a cable system that goes along the Hollywood Hills from the Dodger Stadium out to SM cliffs. And there’s stops along the way where you can get out and travel down the hill on buses and bikes. It creates clouds in LA because we don’t really have weather. My friend who’s an airship designer said it’s very difficult, but the idea continues to move forward. Everybody I tell loves the idea. The great part is that we have endless ideas like that. There’s so much energy created by others enthusiasm for ideas like that, that you never know which will suddenly become a project.

J: The idea that maximizing the efficiency of a system through careful design of materials and applications can result in a beautiful solution. Being efficient doesn’t mean straight spare lines and Bauhaus-style asceticism. It can mean the effortless spiral of a vine searching for the sun as it methodically pushes out leaves and blossoms - even creating a surplus of leaves and blossoms so that damage to some of these won’t impact the overall functioning of the system. I think one feature that expresses our work is that we look very closely at the flow of energy through a system - and rather than duplicate that in simple mimicry, we look for a pattern that can be adopted to a specific site, a specific application, every time. One size does not fit all.

8. What is the most innovative aspect of your work?

O: 3 words. We prove it.

J: The website for M&A is Ideas emanate from this place. Ideas that can affect the entire world. We explore the feasibility of various concepts and want people who are interested to participate in their conceptualization and construction. The big idea now is to engage public space even further out into LA; other communities that are scabbed over by small interstitial blighted areas that could be transformed with greening, new low impact design standards, water infiltration techniques as well as public art. I am really excited about the potential of this fusion of art and ecological design and community engagement; these are three fields we’ve developed some expertise in, want to have an impact on and create continuity by helping communities in the long term. The idea would be to use M&A as a proving ground, remount the projects elsewhere, and transfer skills to the people in the new community where the project is going to live by inviting them into the entire process. It is about urban acupuncture.

9. What’s your best advice to the new creative generation?

O: My perspective is that you learn a lot from doing things. There’s a real benefit and a lot to be learned from the master-apprentice traditional system. I was in school until I was 14, I didn’t learn that much. When I started working for other people I learned everything. With the way M&A is set up, we encourage people to learn from one another. It’s not like you need a master and apprentice to form that relationship, you can learn from everybody. It’s a matter of working together with people who have skills that you want to learn and sharing the skills that you have. Not recognizing the boundaries that have been set up by academia or by industry, and rather trying to stimulate one another’s creative interest and trying to support one another. With the internet it is a bottom up educational system now, and sharing knowledge is incredibly important for the future. We see people who are unemployed and can’t find jobs because they have a very minute idea of what they’re capable of doing. They’re been programmed to believe that if they’re not doing this particular trade, they have no place in the world. It's shocking. Artists are the ones who should overcome that.

J: The key with being an artist is not to constrain yourself to a single track and try to get in a gallery and get shown. If you are an artist you have some really valuable skills that you can use to engage the rest of the world. I like to think that there are a lot of different types of personalities of people who become artists - and professionals who think and act creatively, and encourage them to take that energy and apply it to their fields. If your work is uninspiring, and you can’t break the routine there, then there’s a lot of volunteer options out there! And artists: Don’t wait for galleries to show your work!

O: There’s a lot of interesting of guerilla art in the area. Showing your work is effortless, there’s an infinite amount of possibilities!
© 2010, Big City Forum

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Big City Forum #19

Big City Forum #19

The conversation will deal with the potential of design processes to bring about change in a way that is both positive and non-complacent. Presenters will walk through their own design and family experiences and how these relate to scale and complex systems that need to be navigated on a constant, daily basis.

Thursday, August 12
7 - 9 pm

LA Forum for Architecture & Urban Design
6518 Hollywood Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90028

Tibbie Dunbar, Director/Curator, A+D Architecture and Design Museum
Dan Goods, Visual Strategist, Jet Propulsion Laboratory
Kati Rubinyi, Senior R&D Specialist, The Planning Center

Andrew Berardini, writer and art critic

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Big City Forum #18

Sean Donahue

Adam Euwens

Louise Sandhaus

Jessica Fleischmann

Big City Forum #18

Edward Cella Art + Architecture

6018 Wilshire Boulevard
Los Angeles, CA 90036
(323) 525-0053

July 31, 2010
4 - 6 pm
wine reception to follow event

A panel conversation to examine the role that design plays in fostering innovative solutions to issues of sustainability and change. Each panelist will deliver short presentations showcasing specific projects that are intended to inspire a broad dialogue with participants.


Louise Sandhaus

Principal, Louise Sandhaus Design
Former Director of Graphic Design Program at CalArts

Jessica Fleischmann
Principal, still room
Faculty Member, Otis College of Art and Design

Sean Donahue
Principal, Research Centered Design
Faculty Member, Art Center, Media Design Program

Adam Eeuwens
Partner, Rebeca Mendez Design
Co-author, “False Flat, Why Dutch Design is So Good”

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Taking The Reins benefit

Big City Forum with Pink Cloud Events is proud to present a fundraiser dinner for Taking the Reins (TTR).

Sunday, July 11th
6 - 8:30 pm
3919 1/2 Rigali Avenue
Los Angeles, CA 90039
323.906.1560 Phone

Taking the Reins is a remarkable non-profit that develops self-esteem, teamwork, responsibility and leadership skills for at-risk teenage girls through learning to ride and care for horses, sustainable gardening, and creative writing,and art lessons. Their learning center is located in Los Feliz at equestrian stables near the LA River.

The evening event will be organized as a presentation by Mia Lehrer, one of the foremost landscape architects in California, and photography based artist Alia Malley.

The goal of this benefit and presentation is to highlight the outstanding accomplishments of this creative leader, present positive creative role models to young girls in the TtR program, and expand the profile of Taking the Reins by exposing it to a larger creative community.

The evening at a glance:
*Inspiring presentation by speakers Mia Lehrer and Alia Malley in an elegant-rustic barn
*Stable & Garden tours led by the students at Taking the Reins
*Dinner and refreshments by Large Marge Sustainables
*Libations courtesy of Biergarten Pub in KTown
*Music from dublab founder Mark "frosty" McNeill
*Puppetry performance by Yelena Zhelezov

MIA LEHRER is the founding principal of Mia Lehrer + Associates, known for its design and development of a wide spectrum of ambitious public and private projects that include urban revitalization developments, large urban parks, and complex commercial projects. Born in San Salvador, El Salvador, Ms. Lehrer earned her Masters of Landscape Architecture from the Graduate School of Design at Harvard University. Today, she is internationally recognized for her progressive landscape designs, working with such natural landmarks as parks, lakes, and rivers, coupled with her advocacy for ecology and people-friendly public space.

With great appreciation for community input, Mia Lehrer prides herself and her firm on reaching out to stakeholders for their thoughts and ideas about projects which affect their neighborhoods and their lives. She is committed to protecting our environment and designing projects that will heal our earth. She believes that great landscape design coupled with sustainability has the power to enhance the livability and quality of life in our cities, and in doing so improve by great measure the quality of our environment.

ALIA MALLEY was born in California, and raised in Portland, OR. She received her BA in Critical Studies from USC School of Cinematic Arts, and her MFA from UC Riverside in 2010. She lives and works in Los Angeles. Her series Southland won the 2010 Merck Award at the Darmstädter Tage der Fotografie, and is on view as a solo exhibition at Sam Lee Galley until August 14, 2010. She was a 2009 Runner Up at the Forward Thinking Museum/JGS, and a Finalist/Honorable Mention at the Newspace Center for Photographyʼs 2008 Juried Exhibition, curated by TJ Norris. She has participated in recent group exhibitions including SHFT, curated by Edie Kahula Pereira at the Continental Gallery, Los Angeles, Sculpting Time at the Martin Art Gallery, Muhlenberg College, curated by Ara Osterweil, and the 2009 CAA Los Angeles MFA Exhibition, curated by Alex Klein.

Taking the Reins
TtR is a nonprofit organization serving adolescent girls in Los Angeles. Their programs teach life skills to mostly at-risk, teenage girls primarily through a unique, equine-based educational program. In addition, girls participate in Learning Center Programs and work on an organic farm. In eleven years, Taking the Reins has served more than 1,000 girls, empowering them to be strong, confident and courageous, and has provided them with safe haven that fosters creativity.


for more information:

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Big City Forum #16

Kaucyila Brooke

Ken Ehrlich, 2009

An intimate dialogue and conversation with artists whose work explores issues related to identity, power structures, censorship, and how these relate to larger narratives about social space.

Thursday, June 24
7 - 9 pm

Los Angeles

5750 Wilshire Blvd
Suite 100
Los Angeles, CA 90036


Kaucyila Brooke
Ken Ehrlich

Moderated by:
Glenn Phillips

Kaucyila Brooke is an artist based in Los Angeles. Her solo exhibitions include Silberkuppe, Berlin (2009); Alfred Ehrhardt Foundation/ Forum für Fotographie, Cologne (2008); Galerie Andreas Huber, Vienna (2008, 2006); Andersen-s Contemporary, Copenhagen, (2006), NAK, Aachen, Germany; Kunstvereiin Springhornhof, Neuenkirchen, Germany (2005) platform, Berlin (2004), Michael Dawson Gallery, Los Angeles(2001, 2005); Art Resources Transfer, New York (2001, 1999). Recent group exhibitions include Centre Dàrt Passerelle, Brest, France; Galician Center for Contemporary Art, Santiago de Compostela, Spain; Kunsthalle Baden Baden (2009); Daniel Reich Gallery, New York, NY (2008); Munich Kunstverein, Munich; Wattis Contemporary Art, San Francisco (2007), Museum Ludwig, Cologne; The Generali Foundation, Vienna; MUMOK, Vienna (2006); the Berlin Biennale 3, Berlin (2004). She and Jane Cottis co-produced the feature length videotape Dry Kisses Only (1990). She edited the book Gendered Geographies, pub. Hochschule fur Gestaltung und Kunst Zürich, (2002), and she produced the artist book Vitrinen in Arbeit, published by Michael Dawson Gallery, Los Angeles (2004). She is the former Director of the Program in Photography and Media at CalArts in Los Angeles where she has been a regular member of the faculty since 1992. Kaucyila Brooke is represented by Andersen's Contemporary Art, Copenhagen and Berlin (; Galerie Andreas Huber, Vienna ( and the Michael Dawson Gallery, Los Angeles.

Ken Ehrlich is an artist and writer based in Los Angeles. He has exhibited internationally in a variety of media, including video, sculpture and photography. His work interweaves architectural, technological and social themes to play with ideas of invention and circumvention; superstructure and infrastructure; consumption and waste; and site, place and location. He often collaborates with architects and other artists in site-specific and/or community-based projects to intervene in public spaces. He is the co-editor of Surface Tension: Problematics of Site (2003), Surface Tension Supplement No. 1 (2006) and What Remains Of A Building Divided Into Equal Parts And Distributed for Reconfiguration: Surface Tension No. 2 (2009). He currently teaches at The California Institute of the Arts (CalArts) and in the Department of Art at U.C. Riverside.

Glenn Phillips is Senior Project Specialist and Consulting Curator in the Department of Architecture and Contemporary Art at the Getty Research Institute. He was curator of the exhibition California Video at the J. Paul Getty Museum in 2008. He has also organized the exhibitions Photographs of Artists by Alexander Liberman (Getty Center); Time/Space, Gravity and Light (Skirball Cultural Center); Marking Time (LACE); and Evidence of Movement (Getty Center). He is co-editor with Thomas Crow of the book Seeing Rothko, which was published in 2005. He has organized a number of video series at the Getty, including Pioneers of Brazilian Video Art 1973-1983; Surveying the Border: Three Decades of Video Art about the United States and Mexico; Radical Communication: Japanese Video Art 1968-88; and Reckless Behavior.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Big City Portrait: Alexandra Grant

Text and images by Anais Wade

Sunday May 16 2010

What is your full time job?

Three words.
Why -- Fire -- Pink

Favorite letter?
E. I was obsessed with the letter E for a while… Somebody told me that it is the most commonly written letter.
And A… since it is the first letter of my name.
I'm partial to all the letters, I could take the whole alphabet!

What is love?
Love is about generosity. When I created the Love symbol for Watts House Project, it was a post-Obamic moment, when suddenly irony felt tired and being sincere and straight felt grounded and powerful. The word love functions as something that equalizes. It functions as a bridge between people who are different from one another, sets conditions where there's the possibility of positive exchange.

What's your recurring daydream(s)?
My most common day-dream is about food. How people connect through food, eating together. In the studio I spend a lot of time in meditative states, thinking of color and form. Speed, cars, I love cars… right now I'm obsessed with 1986 or 87 air-cooled engine old Porsche. Travel… Wondering how I could travel all the way to Patagonia on public transportation, going to the other end of the earth without a car…. I walked for 3 hours yesterday…. from Pasadena from my house near Highland Park. Stopping for ice cream, of course.

Art is (fill in the blank)
An exchange. I'm interested in the idea of being an artist-philanthropist, using the art to benefit a communities that don't normally encounter the art world. I'm inspired by Judith Becker's notion of the artist-citizen -- that artists can help build civic society. And Fritz Haeg's notion about "social acupuncture" -- how you can change an entire system (say a neighborhood's attitude towards gardening) just by doing inserting one specific project into an environment.

Why Los Angeles?
Because it's such a creative city -- there is so much opportunity for ideas to flourish and pragmatism to take root. The diversity of food and language. There is so much space and freedom to achieve wild ideas. In terms of my work as a text-based artist, Los Angeles' art history is a history of conceptual art and language as a plastic medium. John Baldessari, Barbara Kruger, Mary Kelley, Ed Ruscha… are practicing in LA!

Why FUCK in this painting?

I'm always cautious about throwing around words like "fuck" in my work -- it has to be the only word that works. But this new work is about the body, and as much as the body is home to the brain, it is also home to our more human sensual and sexual desires. I wanted to paint about this other side. And the painting says "FUCK spring." Cliches of spring are flowers blooming, eggs hatching, bunnies multiplying….things that reproduce. The notion of saying fuck the thing that's inherently about reproduction… seems very funny to me.

Top 6 artists in your dream art collection?

Wow that's exciting!
Gego -- Kitaj -- Richter -- Picasso -- a cemetery by Carlos Scarpa -- a letter written by Virginia Wolf

If you weren't an artist, what would you be?
I would be a novelist. Given my skill set, that would not be possible. As a child, I wanted to be Angus Young from AC/DC or a race-car driver.
Given my current skill set I'd be an aspiring inventor or entrepreneur who drives very fast.

Why not writing instead of painting words?
I don't have the patience to sit still and be a writer. In my twenties I read Hélène Cixous who wrote that she imagined herself to be a writer/painter with a brush thick with words, and I wondered what it would look like. I took it as a personal challenge.

First solo museum show at 33 years old at MOCA, wow!
Thank you. So many people think it is about who you know but I believe that the work leads the way. Creating something that the world is curious to see.

How do your collaborations work? Do you write your own story before you paint?

I am currently working with the writer Michael Joyce on the "Bodies" series, to explore the representation of the body in all its forms: biological, intellectual, sensual. I suggested to him that it would be a series of haikus and he wrote a series called the "Lost Hills Hokku".
My next project revolved around a text Hélène Cixous has given me called Philippines. The Philippine is an almond that has two nuts almonds within one shell -- there's the idea of "twining", of two selves, the perfect other that you fit with in this tiny little space. Related to this is the almond shape, the mandorla -- in European painting you can imagine a Christ figure or a Madonna in that shape. I haven't begun the visual work but I've been thinking about what will that look like.

I want to touch your paintings, they have a lot of texture.
In shifting to working in oil paint, my paintings have become lumpy and physical, about building up layers. I'm very interested in how women painters represent the feminine self or the feminine body. As a woman you're always struggling with the labor of beauty, how you keep yourself up, such as having to do your hair, smelling good and dressing… it is a science to be a woman.

When is your next show?
Haunch of Venison, July 7 2010, New York City
Honor Fraser Gallery, September 18 2010, Los Angeles

© 2010, Big City Forum

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Big City Forum #15

Sharif Guest Studio

Vivarium, Matter Management

Vivarium, Matter Management

Big City Forum #15
A conversation about presence, absence, and energy…in architecture.

Juan Azulay
Mohamed Sharif
Maria Guest

Saturday, May 29th, 2010
4 - 6 pm

Honor Fraser Gallery
2622 S La Cienega Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90034
(310) 837-0191

Juan Azulay is the director of the 10-year old Los Angeles-based firm Matter Management. His award-winning practice ranges widely in discipline, methodology and media – spanning works in architecture, such as the Aquatic Terrarium for the New Barcelona Zoo (2001) and a winning entry to the MAK’s Vertical Garden Competition (2006) and Vivarium (2010) to film – such as the feature-length The Blue Noon (2011), short film fest nominee short Yu Tsun (2008) and Flood stains (2010), a collaboration with legendary No Wave artist Lydia Lunch.
Azulay received his B.Arch. from SCI-Arc and his Master of Science in Advanced Architectural Design (MSAAD) from Columbia University. He is currently on the Design, MediaSCAPES and Visual Studies faculty at SCI-Arc, as well as serving on the Academic Council and the Admissions Committee. Previously, he taught design studios at Columbia University’s GSAP and at the ETSAV in Barcelona. Azulay’s work has been featured in Abitare, Arquitectura Viva, Quaderns, Oeste, Design Boom, Vanidad, Chronomorphologies, Architect, La Vanguardia, Espai Picasso at COAC, Abstract, Architectural Record and LA Architect. His work is part of the permanent collection of contemporary architects at the MAK in Vienna. Juan sits on the Board of Directors of the Society for Moving Images about the Built

Sharif Guest Studio
Led by Mohamed Sharif and Maria Guest, Sharif Guest Studio is a design practice based in Santa Monica, California and Cambridge, Massachusetts. Drawing on their extensive experiences in the fields of architectural practice and education, Sharif and Guest focus on creating current and engaging works.

Maria Guest, based in Cambridge, is Principal of Sharif Guest Studio. Guest currently teaches at Rhode Island School of Design, where she has led Advanced Studios and Thesis Advising since 2007. Prior to teaching, Guest worked with leading architecture practices including Office dA, Daly Genik Architects and for Morphosis Architects where, from 2000 to 2006, Guest served as Job Captain for the US Courthouse in Eugene, Oregon, Guest graduated from the GSAPP at Columbia University in 1996, where she was the recipient of the Outstanding Thesis Award, the William Kinne Travelling Fellowship, and a Federal Research Grant on the History and Preservation of 20th Century Construction Materials.

Mohamed Sharif
, based in Santa Monica, is Principal of Sharif Guest Studio. Sharif currently holds the post of Associate Professor and is Assistant Chair of the Architecture/Landscape/Interiors Department at Otis College of Art and Design in Los Angeles. Before joining Otis in 2008, he was an Associate at Koning Eizenberg Architecture in Santa Monica for three years. Prior to that Sharif worked on numerous award-winning projects with many architecture practices in the Los Angeles area. Over the past 16 years Sharif has taught at many architecture schools including Rhode Island School of Design, and has edited and published regularly, both in the United States and in the United Kingdom. From 2007 to 2009 Sharif served as President of the Los Angeles Forum for Architecture and Urban Design (LA Forum). He received his graduate (with highest distinction) and undergraduate degrees in architecture from the Scott Sutherland School of Architecture in Aberdeen, Scotland (1993, 1994) and spent a year at Illinois Institute of Technology in Chicago as an exchange student in 1990-91. His undergraduate dissertation 'On Venturi and Scott Brown' was awarded an RIBA medal and is in the permanent collection of the RIBA Library.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Big City Forum #14

Starting at the Beginning: Discussing, Seeing, Creating

As much a workshop as a presentation, this forum will present how two individuals--one a designer/educator, the other a writer/educator—stimulate seeing and thinking as means to creativity. Come prepared to talk, listen, think, collaborate, make, remake, and reflect.

Saturday, May 8th, 2010
4 - 6 pm

Honor Fraser Gallery

2622 S La Cienega Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90034
(310) 837-0191

Philip Yenawine
William Longhauser

PHILIP YENAWINE is Co Founding Director (with Abigail Housen) of Visual Understanding in Education, a non-profit developmentally-based research organization that studies how experience with art affects cognition generally. A principal result of their research is Visual Thinking Strategies (VTS.) He was Director of Education at New York¹s Museum of Modern Art from 1983-93, and has held similar positions at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago; and at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York. Among other positions, he was founding director of the Aspen Art Museum in Colorado. He is the author of How to Look at Modern Art, an editor of Art Matters: How the Culture Wars Changed America, and has written six children's books about art -- Stories, Colors, Lines, Shapes, People and Places, as well as a dictionary, Key Art Terms for Beginners. He is President of Art Matters, a foundation supporting contemporary artists, and on the board of the Santa Monica Museum of Art.

WILLIAM LONGHAUSER is a graphic designer and professor. He is the Founding Director of the Outside Institute, an educational think tank dedicated to exploring new paradigms for design education. Before moving to Los Angeles in June, 2000, he was a tenured professor at the University of the Arts,
Philadelphia, where he taught in the graphic design department since 1977 and was chairman of the department for three years.

Longhauser¹s design work has consistently received awards and has been featured in international publications and exhibitions. Six of his works were included in "Typographism" an international exhibition of graphic design at the Georges Pompidou National Contemporary Art Center in Paris. His posters have been exhibited in international poster biennales held in Helsinki and Lahti, Finland; Warsaw, Poland; and Brno, Czechoslovakia. His work was in ³Design USA,² a major design exhibition traveling to nine cities in the Soviet Union. As one of seventeen graphic designers invited to represent contemporary graphic design in America, his posters were included in the exhibition, "Contemporary U.S.A. and U.S.S.R. Poster Exhibition" shown in Ohgaki, Osaka, and Tokyo, Japan.

His work has been published in Graphis Posters, Graphis Annual, Communications Arts magazine, Idea magazine, The Annual of the American Institute of Graphic Arts, and Print's Design Annual. His posters are in the permanent collection of the Newark Museum of Art, The Cooper Hewitt Museum, New York, and the Musee D'Histoire Contemporaine, Paris.

Saturday, March 6, 2010


Big City Forum invites you to a conversation with poets, writers, and seers about literal vs metaphoric space, inscape/landscape, the visible/invisble world,liminality -- "betwixt and between"-- & proximity in motion...

Saturday, March 20th, 2010
4 - 6 pm

Honor Fraser Gallery
2622 S La Cienega Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90034
(310) 837-0191

Mathew Timmons
Elena Karyn Byrne
Vanessa Place
Teresa Carmody
Brendan Constantine

Mathew Timmons is a writer, curator and critic in Los Angeles. He is the General Director of General Projects at various locations including Outpost for Contemporary Art and The Ups & Downs, an installation series, at workspace. He also co-edits/curates Insert Press (w/ Stan Apps), LA-Lit (w/ Stephanie Rioux), Late Night Snack (w/ Harold Abramowitz) and he is the Los Angeles editor of Joyland. A chapbook, Lip Service is recently out from Slack Buddha Press. His first full length book, The New Poetics (Les Figues Press), his micro-book collaboration with Marcus Civin, a particular vocabulary (P S Books), and a chapbook, Lip Music (By the Skin of Me Teeth), are forthcoming. His work may be found in various journals, including: P-Queue, Holy Beep!, Flim Forum, The Physical Poets, NōD, PRECIPICe, Or, Moonlit, aslongasittakes, eohippus labs, Area Sneaks, Artweek and The Encyclopedia Project.

Elena Karina Byrne. Former 12 year Regional Director of the Poetry Society of America, Elena Karina Byrne, is a collage artist, teacher, editor, Poetry Consultant / Moderator for The Los Angeles Times Festival of Books, Literary Programs Director for The Ruskin Art Club. Her publications include, 2009 Pushcart Prize XXXIII Best of the Small Presses, Best American Poetry 2005, The Yale Review, The Paris Review, APR, The Kenyon Review, Ploughshares, Poetry, Volt, TriQuarterly, Colorado Review, Denver Quarterly, Painted Bride Quarterly , Barrow Street, Volt and Verse daily. Books include: The Flammable Bird , (Zoo Press /Tupelo Press 2002); MASQUE (Tupelo Press, 2008) and the forthcoming Burnt Violin (2011), and a collection of essays entitled, Beautiful Insignificance.

Vanessa Place is a writer, a lawyer, and co-director of Les Figues Press. She is author of Dies: A Sentence (Les Figues Press, 2006), La Medusa (Fiction Collective 2, 2008), and Notes on Conceptualisms, co-authored with Robert Fitterman (Ugly Duckling Presse, 2009). Her nonfiction book, The Guilt Project: Rape, Morality and Law is forthcoming from Other Press/Random House. Information As Material will be publishing her trilogy: Statement of Facts, Statement of the Case, and Argument. Statement of Facts will also be published in France by éditions è®e, as Exposé des Faits.

Teresa Carmody is the author of Requiem (Les Figues, 2005), Eye Hole Adore (PS Books, 2008), and the chapbook Your Spiritual Suit of Armor by Katherine Anne (Woodland Editions, 2009). Other work has appeared in such publications as Bombay Gin, Fold Appropriate Text, American Book Review, emohippus greeting cards 1-3, and Drunken Boat. An organizer of the original Ladyfest and co-organizer of Feminaissance, Carmody is co-director of Les Figues Press and co-curator of the Mommy, Mommy! Reading Series in Los Angeles.

Brendan Constantine is an ardent supporter of Southern California’s poetry communities and one of its most recognized poets. He has served these communities as a teacher of poetry in local schools and colleges for the last fifteen years. In addition to this, he has lead similar classes in hospitals and shelters for the homeless. In 2002 Mr. Constantine was nominated for Poet Laureate of the state.

His work has appeared in numerous journals, most notably Ploughshares, The Los Angeles Review, The Cortland Review, RUNES, and LA Times Bestseller The Underground Guide to Los Angeles. New work can be found in the Spring editions of Ninth Letter and The Boxcar Poetry Review, as well as the anthology Bright Wings, forthcoming from Columbia University Press and edited by Billy Collins. His collection, Letters To Guns, was released in February 2009 from Red Hen Press.

Mr. Constantine is currently poet in residence at the Windward School in West Los Angeles and the Idyllwild Arts Summer Youth Writing Program in Idyllwild, California.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Big City Forum #12

Ginger Wolfe-Suarez

Primitivo Suarez-Wolfe, Open House

Primitivo Suarez-Wolfe, Tumbleweed

Big City Forum invites you to a conversation about shifting concepts of place, memory, and identity.

Thursday, February 25, 2010
6 - 8 pm

2640 S. La Cienega Blvd
LA CA 90034

Primitivo Suarez-Wolfe
Ginger Wolfe-Suarez

moderated by:
Amy Pederson

Primitivo Suarez-Wolfe has a practice that includes sculpture, drawing, installation, and experimentations in residential architecture. His work is rooted in a rigorous framework of art and architecture. Suarez-Wolfe attended SCI-Arc before receiving his MFA in Sculpture at UCLA in 2000. His work has been exhibited at ACE Gallery in Los Angeles and New York, Blum & Poe Gallery, Luckman Gallery of Fine Arts at California State University at Los Angeles, Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, High Desert Test Sites, and Artist Curated Projects (forthcoming in July 2009). He is a recipient of the Emilio Sanchez Award in Art and Architecture as well as a grant from The Pollock-Krasner Foundation and Foundation for Contemporary Arts. From 2005-2008, with Ginger Wolfe-Suarez, he co-edited a publication on conceptual art entitled InterReview Journal, which is now archived at Harvard Fine Arts Library. Suarez-Wolfe has taught in the art and architecture departments at the University of Southern California, Woodbury University, and currently at the University of California at Berkeley. His work has been included in various journals and books on both art and architecture, most recently SPACECRAFT: Fleeting Architecture and Hideouts published by Die Gestalten Verlag, Berlin.

Ginger Wolfe-Suarez is an emerging sculptor, writer, and theorist whose work has used a combination of sculpture, ephemeral events, text, and performance to negotiate shifting concepts of memory- both historical, personal, imagined, and desired. The resulting installations convey mnemeticaly-situated relationships between unfixed memory and place- between experience and site. Materials have recently included wood, paint, latex, light, paper, and mirror to generate a cognizant and experiential path of the viewer's body throughout the work. She received her BFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and her MFA from the University of California at Berkeley, and her work has recently been exhibited at Artist Curated Projects (Los Angeles), Silverman Gallery, Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, Mills College Art Museum, High Desert Test Sites, and a number of peripheral but equally important sites such as the sidewalk in-front of her house, and a neighbor’s doorway. Wolfe-Suarez’s writings have been published in various books, catalogues, and journals internationally, and she is currently collaborating with Cara Baldwin on WRITING IS ACTION, a book on emerging art criticism. From 2002-2008 Wolfe-Suarez was also a co-founder and Editor of InterReview Journal. During that time she was responsible for publishing writings and artist projects by Mary Kelly, Michael Asher, Suzanne Lacy, and Daniel Joseph Martinez, among others.

Dr. Amy Pederson received her Ph.D. in Modern & Contemporary Art History from UCLA and is currently Assistant Professor and Departmental Coordinator at Woodbury University in Burbank, CA. Her doctoral thesis entailed a joint investigation of midcentury modernist painting and criticism, and Golden Age superhero comics from the same period. Her interests include critical theory and contemporary Latin American art and popular culture, as well as zombies. Pederson is also a co-curator for the 2009/10 MexiCali Biennial investigating bi-national exchanges and alternative exhibition practices not associated with traditional biennials.

LAXART is Los Angeles' leading independent non-profit contemporary art space, producing experimental exhibitions, publications and public art initiatives with emerging and mid-career local, national, and international artists.

Founded in 2005 to support the production of new work by contemporary artists, architects and designers, LAXART occupies a critical space in the cultural landscape of LA between the larger institutional and commercial sectors.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Big City Forum #11

Kim Stringfellow, Abandoned Trailer, Bombay Beach

Rebeca Mendez, Weatherscape #15

Big City Forum invites you to a round table conversation about our relationship to nature, issues of perception, land use and the built environment.

Saturday, Jan. 30th, 2010
4 - 6 pm

Honor Fraser Gallery

2622 S La Cienega Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90034
(310) 837-0191

Rebeca Mendez
Kim Stringfellow

Rebeca Méndez is a professor at UCLA, Design | Media Arts who works in photography and video art installations to explore issues of perception, specifically our relationship to technologically mediated nature. Méndez’s works are included in the permanent collections of the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, National Design Museum, NY, and Denver Art Museum, among many others.

Rebeca Méndez was born and raised in Mexico, D. F., received her BFA and MFA from Art Center College of Design, Pasadena and is professor at UCLA in the Design | Media Arts department, Los Angeles. She has exhibited widely in museums and galleries internationally. Recent gallery shows include The Beall Center for Art and Technology, Irvine, curated by Christiane Paul of the Whitney Museum, Minotti, Los Angeles, Haaz Gallery, Istanbul, AndLab Art, Los Angeles, Alyce de Roulette Williamson Gallery, Pasadena, and the Eli and Edythe Broad Art Center, Los Angeles. She has been the subject of solo exhibitions including, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, Brandstater Gallery, Riverside, California and the Laguna College of Art and Design, Laguna Beach. Méndez has participated in numerous group exhibitions including the ARCO Madrid, Spain, XBiennial in Cuenca, Ecuador, Smithsonian, Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum, New York, Freitag Historical Museum in Hanover, Centro Cultural de Belém in Lisbon, Portugal, the Muséo José Luis Cuevas, México D. F. and Pompidou Centre, Paris. Méndez lectures internationally and has been reviewed extensively by renowned publications worldwide such as The Los Angeles Times, Eye Magazine, Metropolis, I.D. Magazine, (US), Idea Magazine (Tokyo, Japan), Ronda Revista (Santiago, Chile), Plazm (US), ENE-O (Mexico, D. F.), Items (Amsterdam), and 34 Magazine (Istanbul, Turkey). Her work is represented in private and museum collections including Enrique Norten Collection, The San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, Denver Art Museum, the Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam. Méndez has received extensive national and international recognition including two Platinum Awards and two Gold Awards from Graphis, two nominations for the National Design Award (Smithsonian), and in 2008, she was awarded an art residency at the Gunnar Gunnarson, Skriduklaustur in Iceland.

Kim Stringfellow is an artist and educator residing in Los Angeles, California. She teaches multimedia and photography courses at San Diego State University as an associate professor in the School of Art, Design, and Art History. She received her MFA in Art and Technology from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 2000.

Her professional practice and research interests address ecological, historical, and activist issues related to land use and the built environment through hybrid documentary forms incorporating writing, digital media, photography, audio, video, installation, and locative media. Her work investigates repercussions of human development within the western United States evolving out of a rigorously researched area of interest focused on a particular subject, community or region to discuss complex, interrelated issues of the chosen site. Within her research, she attempts to expose human values and political agendas that form our collective understanding of these places. Ultimately, her projects are designed to create awareness, educate, and create a rich dialogue in relation to the subject at hand.

Stringfellow’s projects have been commissioned and funded by leading organizations including the California Council for the Humanities, Creative Work Fund, Graham Foundation for Advanced Studies in the Fine Arts, and the Seattle Arts Commission. Awards include Best-Art Related Website at the 1999 SXSW Interactive Festival. Her work has been exhibited at the International Center for Photography (ICP), the John Michael Kohler Arts Center, SIGGRAPH, the Rachel Carson Institute, and San Francisco Camerawork. Internationally, she has exhibited at ISEA’04 in Tallinn, Estonia and at the José Martí National Library in Havana, Cuba in 2002. During the spring of 2000, she attended the Civitella Ranieri Center Residency Program in Umbria, Italy through a grant from the Atlantic Center of the Arts. Her photographs are included in the Margulies Collection at the Warehouse in Miami, Florida and the Nevada Museum of Art. Publications include New York Times, SF Camerawork Quarterly, Sculpture, Photo Metro, Leonardo, and Artweek. Her first book, Greetings from the Salton Sea: Folly and Intervention in the Southern California Landscape, 1905–2005 was published by the Center for American Places (CAP) in 2005. The Web site for Greetings from the Salton Sea was featured in Ecotopia: The Second ICP Triennial of Photography and Video in New York City in 2006/07. Invisible-5, a collaborative audio project completed in spring 2006, funded by the Creative Work Fund was featured on NPR’s California Report on October 13th, 2006 and was included in justspace(s) at Los Angeles Contemporary Exhibitions (LACE) in fall 2007. Her second book project with CAP, Jackrabbit Homestead: Tracing the Small Tract Act in the Southern California Landscape, 1938–2008, was published in 2009. The California Council for the Humanities awarded Stringfellow a California Story Fund production grant in 2008 to develop and produce the Jackrabbit Homestead audio tour.