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Academics . Community Works . Unruly Engagements Conference . Conference Program 

Conference Program

Unruly Engagements was part of CIA’s year-long series of events and exhibitions exploring socially engaged art. Below is the schedule from the conference that took place from November 6-8, 2014.

Thursday, November 6


Keynote speaker: Shannon Jackson

Friday, November 7

9:00–11:45am [2 concurrent sessions]

Socially Engaged Art and the Public Sphere, Part 1 

  • Gabriel Villalobos Villanueva, Faculty of Architecture at UNAM, Mexico City: “Which Public Sphere?” 
  • Laurencia Strauss and Maura Pelletieri, Washington University, St. Louis, MO: “Impossible Wants”
  • Barbara Caveng, Independent artist, Berlin: “'Though this be madness, yet there is method in it’—Three Unruly Projects”
  • Carol A. Stakenas, (SPAN) Curator-at-Large, Jules Rochielle, (SPAN) Founder, and Director of Social Design Collective, John Spiak, Director/Chief Curator at Grand Central Art Center (Santa Ana, CA), and Christina Vassallo, SPACES' Executive Director (Cleveland): "Social Practices Art Network, (SPAN) Survey and Together Workshop launch"

Historical Precedents and Present Strategies of Social Practice

  • Craig Smith, School of Art and Art History, College of Fine Arts, University of Florida: “The World Series of Relation: Spaces of Encounter
  • Allison Rowe, Independent artist, Toronto: “The Instrumentalization of Social Practices”
  • David Gutiérrez Castañeda, National Autonomous University of Mexico, Southern Conceptualism Network: “Restitution Exercises: Suzanne Lacy and Skin of Memory (Medellín, 1999)” 
  • Carol Zou, Head Poncho, Yarn Bombing Los Angeles, Otis College of Art and Design Graduate Public Practice: “Crafting the Social: Refiguring Social Practice through Women's Work”
  • Izabel Galliera, Art and Art History Department, McDaniel College, MD: “Socially Engaged Art in Hungary’s Second Society, 1956-1980”


Lunch On Friday

Ben Kinsley, Jessica Langley, Jerstin Crosby, Independent artists, New York City: “Janks Archive: A Collection of Insult Humor from Around the World”

1:30–4:15pm [two concurrent sessions]

Urban Design and Design in the City as a Force for Change

  • Kajsa G. Eriksson and Lena TH Berglin, Vague Research Studios, Gothenburg, Sweden: “Fluid Design: Resilient Artistic Processes in Public Space”
  • Dru McKeown, TOIstudio, Cleveland: “Performative Installations: Greening Gordon Square, 2686 Ones, and Other Projects”
  • Allison Schifani, Postdoctoral Scholar, Digital Humanities, Baker-Nord Center for the Humanities, Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland: “Speculative Urbanism: Imagining Rust Belt Futures”
  • Jeffrey Kruth, Cleveland Urban Design Collaborative, Kent State University: “Seeking Alternative Commons through the Community Design Process in Cleveland”

Aesthetics, Ethics, and Politics

  • Taliesin Thomas, Institute for Doctoral Studies in the Visual Arts, and Director, AW Asia, New York: “Al Weiwei and Social Activism in the Internet Age”
  • Michael Stone-Richards, College for Creative Studies, Detroit: “Care, Play, and the Subject of Social Practice”
  • Liza Kim Jackson, York University, Toronto, Environmental Studies/Red Wagon Collective and Nancy Halifax, York University, Toronto, Critical Disability Studies/Red Wagon Collective: “Difference, Immiseration and Art in a Women's Shelter”
  • Elle Flanders and Tamira Sawatzky, Public Studio, Toronto: “Visit Palestine: Change Your View”
  • Justine Williams, Performance and Interactive Media Arts, Brooklyn College (PIMA), and Yale School of Drama: “Let’s All Watch How We Watch: The Machine Poetics of Machine Project, a Trans-disciplinary Art Space for the Digital Age”


Exhibition Panel Discussion

  • Maj Hasager (Denmark)
  • Dor Guez (Israel)
  • Susan Jahoda (New York City)
  • Chi-Yu Liao (Taiwan)
  • José Carlos Teixeira (Portugal)
  • Caroline Woolard (New York City)
  • Moderated by Bruce Checefsky, Director, Reinberger Galleries,
    Cleveland Institute of Art


Exhibition Opening Reception

Community Works: Artist as Social Agent

Saturday, November 8

9:00–11:45am [2 concurrent sessions]

Artists as Activists: Voices from the Great Lakes Region

  • Amy M. Mooney, Curator and Associate Professor of Art History, Columbia College Chicago, and Neysa Page-Lieberman, Curator and Director of Exhibitions, Performance and Student Spaces, Columbia College Chicago: “RISK: Empathy, Art, and Social Practice”
  • Melissa Smedley, Artist-at-Large and Nanette Yannuzzi, Artist/Rabble Rouser: “Frack Age”
  • Keith Hayes, Designer, Milwaukee: “sp/acement”
  • Marin Abell, Catron Visiting Artist/Professor, Washburn University, KS: “Before the Casinos Come”
  • Justin A. Langlois, Emily Carr University of Art and Design, and Broken City Lab, Vancouver, BC: “Antagonism as Form”

Student Agency and Society: Visions for the 21st Century Art School

  • Tina Carlisi, Concordia University, Montreal: “Student Movement/Student Agency: New Visions for the 21st Century Art School”
  • Erin Colleen Johnson, University of West Georgia, and Rachel Reese, Georgia State University: “Cross-curricular experience and social practice in the urban and rural fine arts classroom”
  • Paul Stewart, Tate Gallery, and Teesside University, and Mary O'Neill, University of Lincoln, UK: “’Just Say No’: Alternative Strategies to Art Education”
  • Carol Padberg, Hartford Art School, University of Hartford: “Rethinking the MFA! (Or, a Cautionary Tale of Academic Boldness)”
  • Maureen Connor, Social Practice Queens, Queens College, and Susan Jahoda, University of Massachusetts, Amhurst: “Pedagogy Group: Teachers’ Lounge”


Lunch on Saturday

Misha Rabinovich (Los Angeles), Caitlin Foley (Los Angeles), and Zach Dunn (Ann Arbor), artists, educators, and co-founders of the Disaster Solutions Institute: “Energizing Community with Mobile Sauna Sweat Batteries”


Socially Engaged Art and the Public Sphere, Part 2

  • Brett Hunter, School of Art and Design, Alfred University, NY: “Threads in the Fabric: Artists, Citizenship, and Communities”
  • Anna Hart and Tilly Fowler, Central Saint Martins, University of the Arts, London: “Terms & Conditions [A Performed Public Reading]”
  • Catherine Bernard, Art History, SUNY College at Old Westbury, NY: “Guerilla 2.0”
  • Annabel Manning, Independent artist, Charlotte, NC: “Out of the Shadows: Undocumented and Unafraid, a Collaborative Art Project between Annabel Manning and Immigrant Youth Forum, United 4 the Dream and Familias Unidas”
  • Jen delos Reyes, Art and Social Practice, Portland State University, OR: “Unruly Engagements: Closing Remarks”

Suggested reading

Click here for a suggested reading list to get you started.