Need Help?

Skip to Content

CCA Portal


Rewind Review Respond Vol. 1 | Fall 2020

Last updated on Sep 08, 2023

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 in Fall 2020 was edited by Katherine Jemima Hamilton and Bryndis Hafthorsdottir, with graphic design by Sarah Chieko Bonnickson.

Volume I of Review Rewind Respond was our initial attempt at connecting the CCA community through writing during an entirely digital school year. Amid a global pandemic and a politically fraught election year in the U.S., this Volume centered voices speaking from the margins, calling for long-overdue actions towards equity, justice, empathy, and speaking truth to the many forms of oppressive power that separate and disjoint our relations to one another. The writing below includes event reporting and exhibition reviews, different in form but united by the authors' conspicuous passion for community and dialogue. 


Socially Distanced, Socially Engaged


November 2020–November 2021

Response by Sarah Chieko Bonnickson

Pandemic conditions have been difficult for creative people working in all mediums. Material restrictions increased stresses, and differing levels of access to functional workspace have presented ongoing challenges to making art. Artists with socially driven practices have also faced limitations on how they can work in their communities when the dangers of virus transmission prevent us from being in physical proximity to others. In response to the unique challenges of artmaking that are both socially distanced and socially engaged, students have been experimenting with new ways to connect with people and create community.


Finding Truth in Society Through Art

Aaron Coleman Artist's Talk

Wednesday, November 18, 2020

Response by Shih Ting Huang

His advisor asked him, "What kind of person do you want to become?" ...He wanted to become an artist who impacted society, changing the way people think about the role of stereotypes in society. After this moment, Coleman's works became much more unique, radical, and iconic, transforming his medium into mixed media that brings together comics, graffiti, pop, and street culture in a way that highlights the tension between these styles.


Relationships Do the Heavy Lifting

Second Helping: CCA@CCA Post-Election Town Hall

Monday, November 16, 2020

Response by Katherine Hamilton

The results of the 2020 General election left us with more questions than answers. How can activists and allies amplify initiatives that electoral politics have never touched? How do we ensure the initiatives and movements activists began long before this election cycle carry on beyond January 2021? The panelists on CCA@CCA’s November 16th gathering, Second Helping: CCA@CCA Post-Election Town Hall, are asking themselves and their communities these questions and demanding answers, and creating the conditions for us to develop solutions.


In Art, We United; In Compassion, We Trust

Believe in Truth: Painting Program Student-Led Roundtable Discussion

Wednesday, October 28, 2020

Response by Gordon Fung

At CCA, we are blessed to have a cohesive and supportive community of faculty, staff, and students from different cultural backgrounds, open to cultural and constructive exchanges. Though we are challenged by dystopia, institutional racism, environmental damages, and all kinds of inequalities that will not be mended overnight under new governmental leadership, our community ties keep us healthy and strong.


Vernacular Research and Decolonizing Design

Hardworking Goodlooking: Unrelearning

Friday, October 23, 2020

Response by Sarah Chieko Bonnickson

Calling into question values and narratives taken for granted and our unconscious conditioning, how can we imagine new ways of being, knowing, and creating? In sharing Hardworking Goodlooking’s approach to decolonization, as well as their own experiences with this process, Balaguer and Kristoff make a strong argument for their closing statement: “to destroy is to build.”


CCA@CCA Hosts Virtual Brunch: A Conversation on Performance Art in Times of Social Distance

Wednesday, October 21, 2020

Response by Isha Tripathi

Co-moderated by CCA faculty Sam Vernon and Graphic Design student Menaja Ganesh, this event explored how two performance artists are navigating their art practices under the limitations of COVID-19. During this tumultuous time, many artists have asked themselves, “How do I adapt my art practice and continue to build exposure for myself in the middle of a pandemic? How can I use objects and materials at hand in my home as a part of my practice?"


Discipline and Punish: Food as a Tool for Control

Las Nietas de Nonó | The Circle: Autonomy Beyond the Nation-State

Tuesday, October 20, 2020

Response by Rachel Poonsiriwong

Throughout colonization in the Americas, European invaders have used food as a tool to control Indigenous peoples. In Puerto Rico, Spanish conquistadors provided inadequate food and tainted water to the native Taíno peoples, forcing them into famine and malnutrition. In Canada, colonizers wiped out the buffalo, a major food and life source to the First Nations living on the plains, coercing them into moving into reserves away from their homelands. This complicated relationship between food and power is explored by Puerto Rican artists Mulowayi Iyaye and Mapenzi Chibale, known internationally as Las Nietas de Nonó.


Material Histories of Migration

Sarah Lopez / Keynote Lecture for Make. Act. Resist: A Teach-In on Borders and Migration

Monday, October 19, 2020

Response by Katherine Hamilton

How do we use architecture to tell stories? In many ways, the history of architecture is also the history of civilizations. The pyramids tell us of the great power and intelligence of ancient Egyptian civilizations. The ruins of Rome tell the stories of powerful emperors and the wisdom of the Roman culture. Lady Liberty represents a commitment to the home of the free. But what about the laborers who stacked the stones of the pyramids? Or those who brought the stones out of the quarries to build the Pantheon? And what of the people promised new lives in exchange for low paying jobs but who still did not find freedom in the home of the brave?


To Vote or Not to Vote? What is Your Answer?

What is your voting story?

Thursday, October 15, 2020

Response by Gordon Fung

To some people, voting is just a story, a right one could neglect by casting silence or not voting. To others, voting is an unattainable dream that fighters for freedom and democracy are fearlessly dying for.


In the Name of Justice, We Can Do It

CCA@CCA Artwork Campaign

October 13–December 1, 2020

Response by Gordon Fung

In an enthusiastic response to CCA’s prompt, 66 CCA students, faculty, staff, and alumni contributed more than 80 artworks that deal with social activism and democratic participation. The artists weave together the many issues at stake in this election and beyond, including racial violence, gender inequality, xenophobia, and environmental awareness, among other topics.


The Power of Design on the Road of Racial Equality

Graphic Design and Social Justice Activism

Tuesday, October 13, 2020

Response by Gordon Fung

The Design Action Collective’s cooperative nature allows the designers to reflect each other’s values. Being a non-hierarchical union, the members are able to share a spectrum of political thoughts through democratic decision making.


The Infiltrators

The Infiltrators: A Film by Alex Rivera and Cristina Ibarra

Monday, October 12, 2020

Response by Hannah Waiters

The film uses historicism, anecdotes, reenactment, and unique biographies as methodologies to encourage hope in those facing similar dire circumstances. This film guided a lesson in how one fights for individual and collective freedom from a standpoint where such liberties are far out of reach.


Sowing Power: Reclaiming Autonomy Through Plants, Doulaship, and Community Healing

La Loba Loca | The Circle: Autonomy Beyond the Nation State

Thursday, October 8, 2020

Response by Rachel Poonsiriwong

Vreni Michelini-Castillo calls Loba's form of work "decolonizing knowledge." This term points to reclaiming knowledge that the Western institutional system had taken away—and continues to hide—from nonwhite communities that informed a self-sufficient way of living. During their talk, Loba shared what autonomy means to them, how they came to explore a path of practicing midwifery and herbalism and the importance of learning about menstruation and moon cycles.


Dioganhdih | The Circle: Autonomy Beyond the Nation-State

Dioganhdih | The Circle: Autonomy Beyond the Nation State

Monday, October 5, 2020

Response by Menaja Ganesh

How can we imagine Indigenous sovereignty outside of capitalist oppression? To make self-governance a reality, one must constantly undo and unlearn colonial practices ingrained within us.


Learning from the Game

Reclaiming Land Pt. II: Exquisite Properties

Thursday, September 24, 2020

Response by Shih Ting Huang

Coming to terms with the idea of property through games helps people understand that property is often bound in questions of access and social justice. Property ownership shapes the spatial qualities of the collective and individual through its very design. This workshop reshaped my idea of what properties are and could influence my own future practice as an architect or a designer. Under limited rules, we can design our space in creative ways.


We Have So Much Further to Go

CCA@CCA Hosts Virtual Brunch: A Conversation on Art in Times of Social Distance

Wednesday, September 23, 2020

Response by Katherine Hamilton

We're beginning to understand how the function of art in society has changed in the age of social distancing. Many of our professional lives have become dances on a thread tied to dire questions from "the Art World" on one side, and real questions of precarity and survival on the other. We've also learned to be more comfortable being uncomfortable and learned to question the structures that upheld pre-pandemic "normalcy."


Have You Thought About the Land You Live on Now?

Reclaiming Land Pt. I: Property in Crisis

Monday, September 21, 2020

Response by Shih Ting Huang

Questions of properties—such as who owns them, who lives in them, who profits off of them—often deal with complicated issues such as racial inequity, climate, defunded public health, and exploitative markets. The ideas shared at the symposium called for the de-commodification of property for racial and social equity, challenging the dominant notion of property as belonging solely to an individual buyer.


How Can Race Transform Architecture History?

Race and Modern Architecture: Book Launch

Friday, September 18, 2020

Response by Shih Ting Huang

The book diagnoses architecture with a race problem, making us rethink race and architecture entirely. In past textbooks, there is a lot of racist information which directs students to have incorrect ideas about the history of architecture, and why buildings are the way they are now. This book is a step towards a discussion about something much more extensive than architecture.



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.

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.

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

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.

Hannah Waiters is a visual researcher, curator and interdisciplinary artist on the staff of the Fine Arts Museum of San Francisco where her research expands scholarship on curatorial interpretation of selected works in European Paintings permanent collection. Hannah is currently pursuing a MFA and a MA 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 to contribute to our Letters to the Editor series, or to submit to Review Rewind Respond.