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Rewind Review Respond Vol. 2 | Spring 2021

Rewind Review Respond is an online forum where CCA students write about recent events and the ideas that affect their practice, communities, and fields of study. As the pandemic has taken away interstitial time before and after an event where we might debrief on a lecture, panel, screening, or roundtable, this digital space intends to fill that void of informal discourse to a certain extent. We invite you, the CCA community, to take time to rewind your week back to these events to take a deeper dive into ideas discussed, and respond to these reviews. RRR is organized by the Exhibitions Department, and edited by Katherine Jemima Hamilton and Liz Godbey, with editorial and graphic design by Sarah Chieko Bonnickson.

Contents:

Digital Drawing Room: MFA Fine Arts

CCA MFA Showcase 2021

April 8–April 29, 2021

As part of RRR's mission to be a digital space for students to converse, the work in "Digital Drawing Room: MFA Fine Arts" provides insight into individual graduating MFA students' work. Written by students in Glen Helfand and Maria Porges' respective graduate writing seminars this past fall and spring, this series of interviews and artist profiles brings the reader closer to the artists and their artwork. Reflections from a handful of MFA Fine Arts students on life in art school, at home, provide insight into a year of learning through many crises, and small solutions. In the absence of a physical opening for the MFA show with in-person head-to-heads and heart-to-hearts, the authors of this series provide another avenue for those of us at home to engage in and celebrate this class's culminating body of work. 

ACQUAINT YOURSELF WITH THE MFA FINE ARTS CLASS OF 2021


Interview Series: BFA Senior Thesis Conversations

BFA Senior Thesis Conversations

March 29–April 26, 2021

by Daniela Segovia

BFA Senior Thesis Conversations are live virtual events where graduating students from CCA's Textiles, Photography, Individualized Studies, Sculpture, Glass, Printmedia, Jewelry and Metal Arts, Ceramics, Community Arts, and Painting and Drawing programs publicly share their capstone work. Each event features student presentations, responses from art professionals, and time for discussion. Through this online presentation we celebrate each student’s dedication to art-making during their time at CCA, and provide a way for family, friends, and the general public to connect with and celebrate student work.

This spring, in anticipation of these events, we invited seniors to share their influences, their artwork, and their plans for the future with us.

BROWSE THE BFA SENIOR THESIS CONVERSATIONS INTERVIEW SERIES


Dilemmas Remixed: Tao Leigh Goffe’s Sound Method for Confronting Colonialism

Visual & Critical Studies Forum | Tao Leigh Goffe

Wednesday, April 14, 2021

by Gordon Fung

Tao Leigh Goffe is a multifaceted artist-scholar who works as a DJ and professor at Cornell University in Africana Studies and Feminist, Gender, and Sexuality Studies. Her Afro-Asian lineage inspires her to research the cultural intermarriages that occur in the Caribbean. Through extensive research in colonial histories, she develops her passions to discuss decolonizing and Black feminism through remixing techniques.

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Practice as Pedagogy: Mabel Wilson’s Memorial Lecture for Sandra Vivanco

Sandra Vivanco Memorial Lecture: Mabel Wilson
Tuesday, April 13, 2021

by Shih Ting Huang

Sandra taught design studio and organized many travel studios to Peru, Brazil, and Mexico. These travel studios gave her a platform to bring students to various places and contexts to explore Latin American modernists—something she studied in her own research, practice, and pedagogy. The buildings in Sandra’s hometown, Ayacucho city in Peru, showed her directly how Europeans grafted their facilities onto Mesoamerican and Incan language and architecture.

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Enrique Chagoya’s Satirical Discourse on Settler-Colonialism and Social Injustice

Lecture by Enrique Chagoya

Thursday, April 8, 2021

by Gordon Fung

Chagoya’s etching and aquatint work Against the Common Good II (1983) imitates Goya’s etching Contra el bien general (1810, first realized) from the series of 82 prints created during 1810–20 titled Los desastres de la guerra (The Disasters of the War). Both images show a diabolic bat-winged man drafting his evil plan, though in Chagoya’s version the man is Ronald Reagan. In the 1980s, the Reagan Administration backed and funded the right-wing rebel group Nicaraguan Contras. The name of the terrorist group echoed the title of Goya’s work, as “contra” means against. The extremist group violated human rights and sparked terrorism that severely hurt Nicaraguan civilians.

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The Monumental Enlightenment: Karyn Olivier and Jeffrey Gibson’s Reconceptualizations of Monuments

Monuments – Must Change: Reimagining the role of monuments now featuring Karyn Olivier and Jeffrey Gibson

Monday, March 29, 2021

by Gordon Fung

Monuments silently surround us. Their static timelessness has left their stories untold, and implications overlooked. The burning questions of ours leftover are: Why are monuments crucial to our lives? What are their roles in our communities? Who is the agency behind the monuments themselves? Who and what are they representing? Offering some insights, Karyn Olivier, a Philadelphia-based public art and installation artist, and Jeffrey Gibson, a Hudson-based interdisciplinary artist of Mississippi Choctaw-Cherokee ancestry, joined together to share their interpretations of monuments.

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Indigenous Food on Indigenous Land: Café Ohlone Founders on Contemporary Traditions

CCA@CCA Virtual Brunch: A Conversation Exploring Self-Nourishment with mak’amham / Café Ohlone

Thursday, March 25, 2021

by Katherine Hamilton

Vincent Medina (Chochenyo Ohlone) and Louis Trevino (Rumsen Ohlone) began mak-’amham or Café Ohlone at the back of a book shop just south of UC Berkeley in 2018. Small but mighty, the pop-up cafe was a way to rekindle the pair’s love of their ancestors’ traditional food and share their culture with family, friends, and the larger community around them. The restaurant’s founders joined an intimate group of students and faculty on March 25th to discuss how their food and restaurant are challenging colonial narratives about Indigenous peoples, how they are feeding their spirits, and how we might provide for ours.

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History in the Present: Peaches and Honey Talk Drag

PEACHES and HONEY: The Past, Present, and Future of SF Drag

Thursday, March 25, 2021

by Menaja Ganesh

As our speakers discussed drag in contemporary times, especially with queer youth, the conversation naturally moved towards how one can sustain oneself financially and emotionally by nurturing craft and performance. Drag is an art form that contains within itself layers and multitudes

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An Evening with Peaches and Honey: A History of San Francisco Drag

PEACHES and HONEY: The Past, Present, and Future of SF Drag

Thursday, March 25, 2021

by Daniela Segovia

Every year, California College of the Arts and the Queer Cultural Center of San Francisco collaborate to bring together socially, nationally, and globally renowned artists, writers, filmmakers, performers, and scholars for a series of conversations. On the evening of March 25th, I had the privilege of learning about the vast history of the San Francisco Drag scene with drag Superstars of San Francisco Honey Mahogany and Peaches Christ.

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When Government Fails, Mutual Aid Speaks—On Creating the Reciprocal Utopias Through Artist-Activists’ Tactical Strategies

A Roundtable on Art & Mutual Aid

Tuesday, March 23, 2021

by Gordon Fung

We have been witnessing our government’s persistent failure to dissolve social, financial, and racial injustice. Can mutual aid offer solutions to tackle the pandemic and hate crimes? How can we create a safe space where different voices can speak for justice and equality? How can our artworks empower the community in the face of unreliable government? We artist-activists are obligated to devise a practice that bolsters our communities’ well-being. Reciprocity, generosity, and equity among mankind would be an attainable Utopia if planted through mutual aid.

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David Shrobe: Pushing the Boundaries of Painting, Sculpture, and Collage

David Shrobe Lecture

Thursday, March 11, 2021

by Isha Tripathi

Historical movements of revolution and rebellion have also influenced themes addressed in his work, notably the Haitian Revolution and the U.S. antislavery and civil rights movements. Although there are many historical references in the imagery, there is a sense of timelessness when viewing the works—they feel both personal and intimate. He achieves this figuratively and conceptually by juxtaposing historical imagery and frames with contemporary patterns, creating new kinds of human forms that have an imaginary quality. He brings in elements of classical portraiture only to deconstruct it.

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Stories in a Time of Truth-Telling: A Student-led Round Table with Mary Graham and Audrey Howatt

Student Roundtable Discussion: Stories in a Time of Truth-Seeking

Wednesday, March 10, 2021

by Daniela Segovia

One is born and bestowed with a myriad of stories. One can harbor these memories, histories, fables, and poems all while existing and allowing one’s own story to be built. The space of creating narratives allows us to pick up new journeys, leave behind those that no longer serve us, and merrily stop participating in consistently recurring themes that are present in our lives. Emotional, euphoric, even melancholic feelings stand within our lived experience. All these profound conversations can be found in painting classes, more specifically within the student body.

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Adapting Interaction Design Towards a Multimodal Future

Cheryl Platz: Capturing Customer Context for an Upside-Down World

Friday, March 5, 2021

by Rachel Poonsiriwong

As humans, we interact with the world around us by embracing different natural modes of communication to engage all five senses. However, ubiquitous technological devices like laptops and mobile phones seem to position themselves as “one-stop shops” instead of fostering possibilities for multi-modal interaction models. This is especially true in the context of certain customer experiences like online shopping, where the visual component of human experience is singularly engaged over the other senses like touch, taste, sound, and smell. However, as designer and design educator Cheryl Platz put it, “there is no one true interface.”

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R: Reconstruction is Everything

Reconstruct Everything, a lecture by V. Mitch McEwen

Tuesday, March 2, 2021

by Shih Ting Huang

On March 2nd, Principal of Atelier Office in New York City, assistant professor at the Princeton University School of Architecture, and director of the Black Box Research group V. Mitch McEwen presented the lecture “Reconstruct Everything,” which focused on McEwen’s exhibition “Reconstructions: Architecture and Blackness in America,” on view now at the MoMA NYC... McEwen shared some pages from her notebook with the audience, so they could better understand the process of curating the exhibition—something crucial to understanding the show’s themes. McEwen wrote the letter “R” on the notebook’s front, meaning Reconstruction, Reparations, and Republica.

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Sowing the Seeds of Positive Change—A Dialogue on YBCA’s Mission on Nourishing Arts and Community

A Conversation with Meklit Hadero & Penelope Douglas: What does the true act of community investment look like?

Thursday, February 25, 2021

by Gordon Fung

Artists hold the crucial key to spark positive changes in society through their creative expressions. Though being determined to serve their communities, artists are often facing financial concerns. With limited budgets, local organizations, like small businesses and local unions, are unable to compensate the artists’ efforts. Financial supports from cultural investors can provide affirmation to artists’ contributions through funding community art projects. Meklit Hadero and Penelope Douglas, two leading social entrepreneurs in the cultural sector, shared their valuable experience doing community investment work at YBCA.

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CCA Center: An interview with Katayoun Bahrami, Gordon Fung, and Alia Moussa

CCA Center

Ongoing

by Kristen Wawruck

A few days before Election Day this past November, a new presence within the CCA social media sphere appeared. Defined by a sense of urgency around getting out the vote, the Instagram platform @CCA.Center made its debut through a coordinated series of bold, graphically designed posts. Since then, three images at a time appear in succession, creating discrete stripes of visually diverse artworks within a tiled grid.

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Defining Decolonial: Julieta González on Memories of Underdevelopment: Art and the decolonizing turn in Latin America, 1960 - 1985

Lecture by Julieta González on her exhibition Memories of Underdevelopment: Art and the Decolonial Turn in Latin America, 1960-1985

Thursday, February 25, 2021

by Katherine Hamilton

When considering a historical period in hindsight, how do we, as cultural workers, historians, and artists, map a term like “decolonial” onto the past? Can we retroactively christen a time when visual artists reacted against their governments’ false promises of riches brought from modernist development as “decolonial”? How can past “decolonial” actions be discussed when such a term’s etymology has evolved with global capitalism’s many “turns”?

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Vivian Sming Shares Bookmaking Tips with CCA GD

Vivian Sming / Sming Sming Books

Monday, February 22, 2021

by Sarah Chieko Bonnickson

On February 22, artist Vivian Sming joined the undergraduate design course Typography 2, taught by Associate Professor and Chair of the Graphic Design program, Rachel Berger. Sming runs the publishing studio Sming Sming Books, where she explores books as “art, discourse, exhibition, and archive.” Since founding her studio in 2017, she has worked with a range of artists to collaborate on artists’ books, zines, and editions that experiment with and push the boundaries of the book form.

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"Living Instruments:" the noise of collective bodies in "Rito por el Mapocho" and "El veroír empezó" (2019) by Cecilia Vicuña

Screening & Conversation: Cecilia Vicuña and Daniel Borzutsky

Thursday, February 11, 2021

by Consuelo Tupper-Hernandez

Over the past decade in Chile, the body has become the most crucial space for public meaning to be challenged and transformed. This transformation is especially prominent in Vicuña's films, as she makes work responding to situations in which the body is directly affected... Within this context, and responding to levels of violence that regard certain human bodies as disposable, the collectives that perform in Vicuña's videos decide to transform themselves into living instruments, as if they could sing, murmur, moan, and yell their way out of pain and injustice.

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The Howler's Fifth Edition Gets Real with Glammy Rose Spencer and Jacob Boehme

In Conversation: Glammy Rose Spencer + Jacob Boehme

Wednesday, February 10, 2021

by Sonya Thorne

Glammy and Jacob acknowledged the struggle of the last 12 months under the COVID-19 pandemic, remarking that this amplified fear of getting sick and being infectious or contagious has been especially triggering for poz folks. Jacob further explained the difficulty of his position as both a poz and Indigenous person, noting that he has been battling with himself about receiving the COVID-19 vaccine. Given the long history of medical abuse and racism towards Australian Indigenous communities, many Indigenous folks are skeptical about taking the vaccine when it arrives.

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The Exploration of Existence and Beyond through Language: CCA’s Creative Writing Program Presents Mihee Kim and Rita Stradling

MFA Writing Student Reading Series: Mihee Kim and Rita Stradling

Monday, February 8, 2021

by Isha Tripathi

Kim and Stradling’s readings explored the metaphysical, asking: What is the nature of existence? How do texture, materiality, the supernatural, and the spirit world play a role in our reality/presence? An audience member made an off-the-cuff comment about Zoom resembling a seance. This comment became relevant to an event exploring writing about human existence and beyond.

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Amy Suo Wu, Interviewed by Ex. Design

Alt Knowledges Exhibition Series Gallery Hours

February 5–9, 2021

by Howsem Huang

Steganography is the art and science of hiding in plain sight. What’s interesting about this practice is that it becomes a research method to talk about the politics of invisibility: For me, it’s about a negotiation of what is invisible and what is visible. In the steganographic fashion zine called Thunderclap (2017) I published the work of He-Yin Zhen, an anarcho feminist from 1907. The work was conceived to evade governmental surveillance and censorship, but at the same time, I still wanted to reveal the meaning of the work covertly. I designed the work for an audience on the street that might coincidentally come across her work and thereby access it in an undercover and subversive manner.

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Alt-Design, Alt-Mind—Empowering Designs through Decentralizing Capitalism: Alt-Knowledge’s “No. 7”

Alt Knowledges Exhibition Series Gallery Hours

February 5–9, 2021

by Gordon Fung

In its form, No. 7 resembles the instruction arts or conceptual works of Sol LeWitt, Yoko Ono, Fluxus, and even John Cage. Conceptual artists in the 1960s and 70s attempted to dematerialize and challenge the formality established by the Art market and so-called “high art” through their anti-Art manner. If anti-Art is proven to be a successful tactic that promotes anti-materialism and decentralization, “anti-design” might also be a path worthy of exploring in the contemporary era.

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Rejecting Exclusionary Othering: Insights on the exhibition "Unfaithful Kami" with student curator Ji Yun Kim

Alt Knowledges Exhibition Series Gallery Hours

February 5–9, 2021

by Sarah Chieko Bonnickson

On a recent afternoon, I logged into Zoom to talk with student curator Ji Yun Kim, who—together with classmates Kaja Berry, Yixun Li, Ruiyi Liu, and Janel Mitchell—developed the exhibition Unfaithful Kami to showcase a selection of projects and the working practices of design collective Hardworking Goodlooking. In addition to discussing some of the concepts behind the show, our conversation also included the struggles of working remotely and the satisfaction of bringing ideas to life under challenging circumstances.

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Dismantling Capitalism and Colonialism Beyond the White Cube: Alt Knowledges Exhibition Debuts Online

Alt Knowledges Exhibition Series Gallery Hours

February 5–9, 2021

by Rachel Poonsiriwong

I had spent the first thirty minutes unable to access Unfaithful Kami, the first virtual exhibition in the Alt Knowledges series which featured publishing "hauz" Hardworking Goodlooking.... My status as a virtual viewer was now dependent on large technology companies like Twitch instead of on art institutions that used to host exhibitions in their spaces. I noticed that Alt Knowledges' reliance on Twitch, a profit-making entity, directly contradicted Hardworking Goodlooking's anti-capitalist production techniques of cottage-industry press-printing.

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Contributors

Sarah Chieko Bonnickson is currently an MFA student at California College of the Arts, where she is studying Design. She also holds a BA in Rhetoric from UC Berkeley, with a concentration in Narrative and Image and a Minor in Art History.

Gordon Fung is a composer, folk-instrumentalist, and cartomancer. Gordon is pursuing a BFA in Individualized Studies in light of bridging the multi-disciplinary practices for creating installations, performance, and conceptual works.

Liz Godbey is a graduate student pursuing a Dual Degree in Visual + Critical Studies and Fine Art whose practice involves writing, painting, drawing, and collage.

Katherine Hamilton is a curator, educator, and Dual-Degree MA Curatorial Practice and Visual Critical studies student at CCA.

Howsem Huang is an undergraduate student pursuing BFA degrees in both Graphic Design and Photography at CCA. His works explore political, cultural interconnection and contradiction between East Asia and Western values.

Menaja Ganesh is an interdisciplinary artist, with a focus on graphic design, printmaking, installation, and performance. They are a senior in the graphic design program at CCA.

Shih Ting Huang is a graduate architecture student who focuses on environmental issues and trying to design a sustainable future.

Rachel Poonsiriwong (she/her) is an interaction designer and art curator passionate about social impact. She recently interned at Microsoft, is currently curating an art exhibition at Root Division, and is also volunteering with the Asian American Women Artists Association.

Daniela Segovia is an individualized studies artist with a focus on painting, textiles, and printmaking.

Sonya Thorne is an interdisciplinary artist and 2nd year MFA candidate exploring the intersection of queer bodies, abjection, and materiality. 

Isha Tripathi is an interdisciplinary artist who primarily works with drawing, painting and photography. She is currently pursuing a BFA in Painting and Drawing at CCA.

Consuelo Tupper-Hernandez (Chile, 1992) is an interdisciplinary artist and writer, currently a second year MFA Fine Arts student at CCA.

Kristen Wawruck is a writer and curator and is an MA candidate in Visual and Critical Studies.



Do you have questions or opinions about what you read? Have you seen an event at CCA you’d like to report on? Please email exhibitions@cca.edu to contribute to our Letters to the Editor series, or to submit to Review Rewind Respond.