The Magazine of California Institute of the Arts Spring/Summer 2010
As we look forward to the Institute’s 40-year anniversary next fall, this issue of CalArts magazine — which includes our 2008–09 annual report — focuses in large part on new academic programs and curricular developments at our six schools. As exciting as these programs are in their own right, it is all the more remarkable that we, as an institution, have managed to expand educational resources for our students in spite of a global economic crisis. I recall the comments of a trustee who last year pointed out that the financial constraints imposed on us by the economic downturn would have the salutary side effect of making CalArts more strategic about the future. In consequence, the trustee predicted, we would emerge from the crisis stronger than ever. Today, though the long-term implications of the recession have yet to be fully sorted, that trustee has been proven exactly right. CalArts took the steps necessary to adjust to changing financial realities — cutting budgets, freezing salaries, and significantly enhancing financial aid — and has emerged this year with record enrollments and balanced budgets. Moreover, the stories in this issue demonstrate that we are staking our claim to new territories in the arts and entertainment. These recent programmatic initiatives ensure that graduates are fully prepared for the rapidly evolving demands of their disciplines and that CalArts remains at the leading edge of innovation in the arts worldwide. In addition to the academic areas highlighted in the annual report portion of the magazine, a feature on the fast-growing Program in Music Technology: Intelligence, Interaction and Design casts light on the latest chapter in the Institute’s long heritage in the field of music technology. Another feature anticipates our 40th anniversary celebration with a look back at how Walt Disney’s original vision for CalArts connected with the civic vision that was taking shape in the Los Angeles of the 1960s. Those parallel visions were brought full circle by the late Roy E. Disney, whom we remember in this issue. As one of the most influential supporters in the history of CalArts, Roy made it possible for us to establish the Roy and Edna Disney/ CalArts Theater (redcat) in downtown Los Angeles, alongside some of the city’s other iconic cultural institutions. While there is much to celebrate, we also have plenty of work ahead. What I hope you will see is that CalArts — with a great deal of help from our friends—has weathered the storm and is moving forward on a great many fronts. On behalf of our community, I thank the many donors large and small who have continued to give so generously. Without your help, no amount of passion, intelligence and creativity could have carried us to this moment. We are deeply grateful. steven d. lavine President, CalArts
Headliners 5 The CalArts Story
Revisited 11 2008–09 CalArts Annual Report 25 KarmetiK Machine Orchestra 31 Dispatches
CalArts is published twice each year by the CalArts Office of Advancement. California Institute of the Arts Steven D. Lavine, President Arwen Duffy, Vice President, Advancement Armik Allen, Director of Advancement Services Wendy Shattuck, Executive Director of Public Affairs Editorial: Stuart I. Frolick and Freddie Sharmini Design: Scott Taylor and Tasheka Arceneaux-Sutton Type in this issue includes Spektro Gothic and Spektro Roman by Andrea Tinnes (Art mfa 98). Photography: Scott Groller and Steven A. Gunther Telephone: 661 255-1050 E-mail: email@example.com
Letter from the President / Contents
Music faculty Ulrich Krieger performed his underwater composition Aquacoustica inside the CalArts pool this past March. Aided by faculty colleague Clay Chaplin (Music mfa 99), who manned the sound board and computer topside, Krieger, a certified scuba diver, plunged in and played cymbals, metal plates, Chinese stress balls, a Tupperware box and a plastic didgeridoo underwater for more than an hour, with the resulting music emanating from submerged hydrophones and audible only in the pool. â€œPeople have no directional hearing underwater,â€? Krieger said, adding that sound also travels four times faster in water than through air.
Headliners CAP at 20: Arts Luminaries Join CalArts in Celebrating Landmark Anniversary California Institute of the Arts marked the 20th anniversary of its Community Arts Partnership (cap) youth programs with a series of 20 special master classes led by distinguished “artist ambassadors” from all disciplines in the arts. The “20 for 20” master class presentations were accompanied by a celebratory event hosted on April 22 by Creative Artists Agency (caa) in Century City. At the event Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa praised cap’s ever-growing contribution to the lives of Southland youth, while CalArts paid tribute to cap’s most generous donors over these 20 years.
Widely acknowledged for its success in encouraging college attendance, and for inspiring the creation of parallel or related programs at other colleges and universities, cap brings the resources of CalArts— most importantly in the form of a teaching corps composed of faculty, student instructors and alumni—into partnerships with community organizations, social service agencies and public schools in order to deliver free college-level arts education to underserved youth throughout the county. Since cap’s founding, more than 200,000 elementary, middle and high school students have received arts training through its programs, which cover all of the artistic disciplines taught at CalArts. “The opportunity to make art helps young people thrive in a way that no other school subject can,” said cap Council Co-Chair and former CalArts trustee Ambassador Frank Baxter. “Arts instruction boosts learning, develops creative and critical thinking skills, and builds confidence, self-esteem and motivation. cap’s programs close the achievement gap across socio-economic boundaries and have a tremendous
impact on the academic and professional development of participants.” cap’s 20 for 20 master classes began in March, when first announced by Ambassador Baxter and CalArts Board of Trustees Chairman and cap Council Co-Chair Austin Beutner. All but three of the master classes were held at cap partner sites such as Plaza de la Raza and Watts Towers Arts Center—cap’s first two partners, incidentally. The remaining three master classes took place at Nickelodeon and Sony Imageworks studios and at the studio of artist Mark Bradford (Art mfa 97, bfa 95). “Our 20-year anniversary is a huge milestone,” said Glenna Avila, the Wallis Annenberg Director of cap who has led the program since 1990. “Celebrating 20 years of collaborative youth arts education with 20 incredible artists sharing their creative spirits with the cap youth participants is amazing. It’s the perfect way to acknowledge the cap program’s commitment to providing high-quality arts training for the next generation of young artists.”
Airborne Toxic Event
Carrie Ann Inaba
Randy Alpert, Alan Bergman and Billy Campbell Join Board Music ambassadors comprised Grammy Award-winning jazz legend and CalArts faculty member Charlie Haden, indie rock band Airborne Toxic Event, and classical pianist Rufus Choi. Live-action film, television and theater ambassadors: Academy Award-nominated actor Ed Harris (Theater bfa 75, The Hours, Pollock), director Brett Ratner (X-Men: The Last Stand), actor Miguel Sandoval (Medium), and actor Cress Williams (Grey’s Anatomy). Animation ambassadors: Academy Award-nominated director Henry Selick (Film/Video mfa 77, Coraline), director Mark Osborne (Film/Video bfa 92, Kung Fu Panda), writer-producer Jorge Gutierrez (Film/Video bfa 97, mfa 00, El Tigre: The Adventures of Manny Rivera), and animators from Sony Pictures Imageworks and Nickelodeon Animation Studios. Dance ambassador: dancer and Dancing with the Stars judge Carrie Ann Inaba. Visual arts ambassadors: artists Edgar Arceneaux (Art mfa 01), Mark Bradford, Sam Durant (Art mfa 91) and Catherine Opie (Art mfa 88). Multidisciplinary ambassador: writer and photographer Harry Gamboa Jr. The key donors to cap whose vision and philanthropy were celebrated at the April 22 ceremony were Herb and Lani Alpert and The Herb Alpert Foundation; Wallis Annenberg and The Annenberg Foundation; The Capital Group Companies Foundation; the City of Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs; Michael and Jane Eisner and The Eisner Foundation; The Hearst Foundations; The James Irvine Foundation; James and Anahita Lovelace; Jon and Lillian Lovelace; David Maurer and The Maurer Family Foundation; and The Wallace Foundation. The event at caa, said Avila, “was a great opportunity to thank our wonderful donors for supporting and sustaining the cap program in such a significant way.”
The Institute’s Board of Trustees has confirmed songwriter, musician and record producer Randy Badazz Alpert, Walt Disney Studios head Alan Bergman, and entertainment industry executive William M. Campbell iii as its newest members. Randy Badazz Alpert (Art bfa 77) was only 22 when he co-wrote and co-produced the Grammy Award-winning hit “Rise” for his uncle Herb Alpert. He later went on to write the no. 1 song “Hypnotize” for The Notorious B.I.G. Alpert has owned and operated Los Angelesbased Scream Studios for 21 years, during which he has coordinated the recording of more than 700 albums and singles. Artists whose music has been recorded or mixed at Scream include Nirvana, u2, Paul McCartney, Bob Dylan, Madonna, Michael Jackson, Sting and Rihanna. He also served as a mixer, re-mixer, arranger or orchestrator on albums by Queen, Janet Jackson, Ozzy Osbourne and Ice Cube, among many others. Alan Bergman became president of The Walt Disney Studios in 2005 after serving in various executive capacities with the company since 1996. As president, he is responsible for the studio’s business and legal affairs, finance, and post-production, as well as studio franchises, Disneynature and The Muppets Studios. Bergman was a key player in Disney’s acquisition of Pixar Animation Studios. Most recently, he was involved in negotiating a long-term live-action distribution deal with DreamWorks. Before joining Disney, Bergman spent more than seven years at PricewaterhouseCoopers in the firm’s entertainment practice. William M. “Billy” Campbell iii is a 20-year veteran of television programming. He has served as president of Discovery Networks, where he led the Discovery Channel and tlc through double-digit ratings increases. He oversaw the production of cable’s highest-rated natural history program, Planet Earth, and signature Discovery Channel series like Deadliest Catch, Dirty Jobs, Meerkat Manor and World Poker Tour. Campbell recruited Ted Koppel to Discovery and spearheaded the network’s partnership with cycling legend Lance Armstrong. Before joining Discovery, he was president of Miramax Television, where he executive-produced— and appeared in — the Emmy nominated Project Greenlight. Campbell has been a programming executive with cbs and abc; he has also served as president of camera rental company Panavision.
Seven CalArts Students Receive $50,000 Beutner Scholarships
Beutner Family Award recipients (from left) Alice Holland, Jesse Lee Stout, Robert Cucuzza, Whitney Smith, Diana Arterian, Keaton Macon and Richard Valitutto.
Austin Beutner, chairman of the Board of Trustees, and his wife Virginia have awarded seven new scholarships of up to $50,000 each to support CalArts Bachelor of Fine Arts (bfa) and Master of Fine Arts (mfa) candidates during their final year of study. The awards for the 2010–2011 academic year, which mark the first round of a $1 million, four-year gift by the Beutners to support 20 exceptional students, originally comprised five scholarships only. The creative skill and passion of the finalist students, however, galvanized the Beutners to supplement their original pledge and give two additional awards this year. The new scholarship is called The Beutner Family Award for Excellence in the Arts. The awards are designed to reward each recipient’s proven excellence in his or her chosen métier and ease the progression from college to professional life during that student’s last year at CalArts. “Each applicant made such an impressive and heartfelt application for the award,” said Virginia Beutner. “After getting to know the candidates and their work, Austin and I felt a personal connection to each one and a real desire to help them achieve their creative goals. We are truly honored to help support their work, their dreams, and the vision that each recipient has to make a difference in the world through their art.” The 2010–2011 recipients of The Beutner Family Award for Excellence in the Arts are Diana Arterian (mfa Writing Program, School of Critical Studies), Robert Cucuzza (mfa Directing Program, School of Theater), Alice Holland (bfa Program in Dance, The Sharon Disney Lund School of Dance), Keaton Macon (mfa Program in Art, School of Art), Whitney Smith (bfa Program in Film and Video, School of Film/Video), Jesse Lee Stout (mfa Program in Graphic Design, School of Art) and Richard Valitutto (mfa Piano Program, The Herb Alpert School of Music). “Austin and Virginia Beutner’s far-sighted gift allows these talented students to spend their final year at CalArts without incurring debt and make a smooth transition to the next phase of their artistic careers,” said CalArts President Steven D. Lavine. “The Beutner Family Award affirms the Institute’s commitment
not only to educate the artists of the future but also to help launch them into productive careers after graduation. Austin and Virginia’s generosity will continue to make an enormous difference in the lives of these outstanding young artists long after they graduate from CalArts.” “As a recipient of the Beutner Family Award,” said poet Diana Arterian, “I feel a new a sense of validation concerning my poetry and the directions in which I hope to take it. This is a wonderfully generous recognition of my work, and I am very thankful.” Dancer and choreographer Alice Holland said the Beutner Family Award has now made it possible for her to complete her fourth year at CalArts. “Transitioning from student life into the professional world can be difficult,” she noted, “but because of the Beutner family’s gracious contribution, I can focus on my career.” “This generous award,” remarked painter and sculptor Keaton Macon, “will undoubtedly contribute to the resources that I will need to further my practice, and I am very pleased to be one of the lucky recipients. The next step is to break into the art world to continue and elaborate on the conversations I have been concerned with here at CalArts.” The scholarship recipients were chosen by a committee consisting of Austin and Virginia Beutner, Steven Lavine, Dean of Enrollment Management Carol Kim, music faculty Marc Lowenstein, and alumnus Stephen Hillenburg (Film/Video mfa 92), the creator of SpongeBob SquarePants. Austin Beutner has chaired the CalArts board since 2006. He is the first deputy mayor of Los Angeles and the city’s chief executive of economic development and business policy. He and Virginia are passionate advocates for the arts, especially for young people. The couple is the main sponsor of the International Children’s Film Festival held annually at the Roy and Edna Disney/CalArts Theater (redcat). He also serves as co-chair of CalArts’ Community Arts Partnership (cap) Council, while she serves on the redcat Council.
Headliners/The CalArts Story Revisited
t the 1964 gala premiere of Mary Poppins, which doubled as a fundraiser for the recently incorporated California Institute of the Arts, Walt Disney presented a short film entitled The CalArts Story. Produced in the style of Disney live-action shorts of the period, the film put forward
Disney’s vision of the Institute as an integral part of the emerging cultural infrastructure of Los Angeles, alongside the Music Center and
the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (both under construction at the time), the proposed Hollywood Museum, and already existing venues like the Hollywood Bowl. Forty-six year later, Walt Disney’s original conception of a school for all the arts has been borne out —in ways that were manifested early on, but also in circuitous, even surprising ways. The new campus, for example, was built away from the city in Valencia, not near the Hollywood Bowl as first planned, and yet today the Roy and Edna Disney/CalArts Theater (redcat) has given the Institute— and its founding values—its place at the heart of the revitalized cultural landscape of downtown Los Angeles. Here is a look back at The CalArts Story—what the original vision offered and what CalArts has in fact delivered.
Walt Disney and founding trustee Lulu May von Hagen inspecting an early model of the proposed CalArts campus sited in the Hollywood Hills.
From The CalArts Story:
“Like the Music Center before it, and the County Art Museum, CalArts at the moment is half dream, half reality. The CalArts campus, as visualized here, is still in the planning stage.”
Sebastian Cabot, the narrator of The CalArts Story, sets the scene by pointing to the ambitious cultural projects already underway in L.A.: “The County of Los Angeles is bringing to completion an impressive new Music Center, the permanent home of the Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra. A community’s magnificent dream being realized on a grand scale. Still another part of that dream: The Los Angeles County Art Museum.”
The new CalArts campus was eventually re-sited from the Hollywood Hills to Valencia. Ground was broken in 1969 and the 60-acre complex opened in 1970. bottom: The latest addition to the campus: the Wild Beast music pavilion, dedicated this spring.
“Whether the student desires to become instrumentalist, singer, conductor, composer, the basic beginnings are much the same. Whether his leaning is towards the popular or the classical, his success is equally hard-won. And CalArts will prepare him with the finest of professional instruction.”
below: In 2003, the LA Phil moved from the Music Center’s Dorothy Chandler Pavilion to its new home: the iconic Frank Gehry-designed Walt Disney Concert Hall.
above: The CalArts New Century Players were configured into a full orchestra for a 2006 performance at Disney Hall.
The Disney Hall building also became home to another entity: redcat, the Institute’s downtown venue for the presentation of experimental performance and art.
The CalArts Story Revisited
“From the beginning, CalArts designers and illustrators have known publication in first-rate magazines, an honor amounting to national recognition.”
The faculty and alumni of the CalArts Program in Graphic Design helped chart the direction of contemporary design in the 1980s and ’90s. clockwise: Work by Mr. Keedy, Lorraine Wild and Ed Fella—all current members of the faculty—and alumnus Geoff McFetridge (mfa 95).
“The whole CalArts idea is that of the Renaissance, harking back to the kind of training Michelangelo knew, where master worked with pupil, where professional teachers apprenticed, where one artist learned from another.”
“The unique CalArts concept envisions not merely a school of art and music, but a literal and all-inclusive community of the arts. Thus, to this solid beginning there will one day be added schools of the dance, of opera, of drama — in fact, of all the performing arts.”
The Center for New Performance, the Institute’s professional producing arm, develops and presents original interdisciplinary works. Recent productions included Carl Hancock Rux’s Smoke, Lillies and Jade (below), the collaboratively created interactive opera ah! (bottom left), Sandeep Bhagwati’s Vineland Stelae (bottom right), a full-evening structured musical improvisation. The tradition of students working with accomplished practicing artists has continued throughout CalArts’ history. above: animation legend Jules Engel, founder of the CalArts Animation Program, and John Lasseter (bfa 79), who established Pixar as today’s pre-eminent animation studio.
“The CalArts philosophy is that art is a wedding of many techniques, that the new may have unexpected beginnings. Thus, in the atmosphere of a creative workshop, commonplace materials suddenly take on fresh forms. The inventive may lead to the unorthodox, even the humorous — but that’s rather the point. The curious mind must seek its own path toward expression.”
“At the annual CalArts fashion show, the students’ creations are as chic as any to be seen in the finest salon.”
“At CalArts, the student will be educated in the sciences and humanities but will spend most of his time in the development of artistic talents.”
The School of Critical Studies, originally established to give CalArts students a well-rounded education and an intellectual framework for artmaking, now has two graduate degree programs: the mfa Writing Program and the ma Aesthetics and Politics Program. below: An off-campus reading by Writing Program students. bottom: Black Clock, the nationally acclaimed literary journal published by the Writing Program.
above: A recent School of Theater class focused on the making of inflatable objects that could be presented as either elements of theatrical set design or as sculpture. below: The Scene Shop, where numerous fantastical sets have been created.
Chouinard’s Fashion Design Program was not continued when CalArts opened the new campus in 1970, but the annual CalArts Fashion Show (above) carries on to this day—as one of the social highlights of each academic year. below: Even more extravagant creations are produced by students in the School of Theater’s Costume Design Program.
The CalArts Story Revisited
“Nowadays the player of popular music must be a thoroughly trained musician, extremely versatile and capable of the most exacting kind of professional performance.”
above left: current faculty member and alumnus Art Jarvinen (mfa 81) found new musical possibilities in a Calder mobile. below: Danny Holt (mfa 06) playing piano and percussion instruments simultaneously. “Here is the CalArts of tomorrow, an acropolis crowning the hills above Hollywood — if present plans materialize and the site can be made available.”
“CalArts students of necessity are in close touch. Sculptors mix with singers, painters with printmakers — and between times find opportunity to know each others work and informally exchange ideas.”
The planned county-owned site in Hollywood’s Cahuenga Pass, which today houses the John Anson Ford Theatres, was not made available. CalArts, instead, erected its campus 30 miles to the north, in the “new community” exurb of Valencia. Ironically, the then-relative isolation of this location is likely to have had a beneficial effect, during the Institute’s first decade, in fostering a spirit of unbridled creative experimentation that has become a permanent hallmark of the school.
The close interaction of artists from different disciplines, creatively and socially, has remained central to the CalArts experience. left: The year-end show presented by the Center for Integrated Media, which brings together mfa students from all six CalArts schools. below left: An outdoor confab in the early 1970s. left: An on-campus installation and performance by Elana Mann (mfa 07). “I’m interested in how students interact with the campus,” she said, “and how CalArts is both separate from and part of its surrounding community.”
“CalArts will be dedicated to the future, in the knowledge that man’s greatest achievements have occurred at those moments in history when all the arts flourished together, nourishing each other through some mysterious cross-fertilization of ideas and techniques.” “A hub of the art world chosen for its central location, for accessibility to staff and student alike...and within easy reach of the downtown Music Center, the art museum and the galleries of the area.” To see The CalArts Story, go to: calarts.edu/calarts_story.
The ethos of “interdisciplinarity” had led many Calartians to move beyond conventional forms and genres. above: Visual artist Mike Kelley (mfa 78, above) incorporates performance as a key element of his practice. While the campus was not built near other Los Angeles cultural institutions as first planned, the film’s vision of a central CalArts presence in the city became a reality decades later with the establishment of redcat in the Walt Disney Concert Hall complex. above: President Steven Lavine and CalArts trustees examining a model of redcat. right: redcat’s distinctive marquee.
above: The Wooster Group staged the L.A. premiere of North Atlantic at redcat. right: Barry McGee: Advanced Mature Work, an exhibition held at the Gallery at redcat.
above: CalArts students and faculty performing in the cnp’s production of What to Wear, a genre-defying opera by Richard Foreman and Michael Gordon. right: Faculty member I Nyoman Wenten (mfa 74) in Intimate Immensity, a multimedia work by founding faculty Morton Subotnick.
above: Toy Story, directed by John Lasseter (bfa 79), combined skillful traditional storytelling with cg animation technology.
Alumni: We invite you to join us on campus on Saturday, October 9, for “Reunion 2010: Tomorrow Started Here,” a celebration of the 40th anniversary of CalArts. For more information, please visit calarts.edu/reunion2010.
The CalArts Story Revisited/2008–09 CalArts Annual Report
2008–09 CalArts Annual Report the 2008–09 academic year began with a global financial crisis that sent a shockwave through the U.S. economy. Higher education was impacted on multiple fronts, with market losses reducing endowment values and forcing budget cuts. Responding to this crisis, CalArts moved swiftly to contain operational costs, grow financial aid resources for students, and protect the strength of its academic programs. We conserved our assets by temporarily reducing our dependence on endowment payout, thereby allowing our investment portfolio to recover more rapidly, while at the same time keeping our faculty intact. We enrolled one of our largest—and most promising—classes. CalArts finished the year in a position of strength, thanks not only to careful management of its resources, but also to the generosity of its community of donors. Throughout this enormously difficult period, our donors continued to offer their support. With donations ranging from $10 annual fund gifts to $1 million grants, alumni, parents, friends and organizations gave what they could—$14.5 million in all. Their generosity brought the Campaign for CalArts to a successful conclusion* and ensured the Institute’s continuing strength. Instead of retrenching, CalArts looked forward. We planned strategic growth and pressed on with significant new academic offerings, which are profiled in this annual report. These new programs challenge and energize our students and contribute to bolstering CalArts and contemporary artistic practice in general. I thank you for your continued dedication to CalArts. You stood by us during challenging times, and we are deeply grateful. Our commitment to artmaking excellence, creative experimentation, critical reflection and the diversity of voices is undiminished. Together, we will spark innovation and grow leadership in the arts for years to come. Sincerely,
austin beutner Chairman, CalArts Board of Trustees May 2010
* The Fall/Winter 2009 issue of CalArts magazine detailed the campaign’s impact.
An installation by Lea Rekow, a visiting artist last fall with the institute-wide Center for Integrated Media. The center’s director, Tom Leeser, now also heads the new Program in Art and Technology.
etting the pace for progressive arts education is an ongoing endeavor for CalArts. Just as students and faculty strive every day to create new forms and expressions, so too is it incumbent upon the Institute to continue meeting student demand and to stay abreast of the fast-moving world of the visual, performing, media and literary arts. For this reason, the strategic growth of academic programs is one of CalArts’ top priorities as we begin our fifth decade. In the last two years alone, each one of the Institute’s six schools has either established a new program or substantively enriched its existing curricular offerings.
New Academic Programs and Initiatives
The School of Art’s new Master of Fine Arts (mfa) Program in Art and Technology launches next fall with its first class of four students. Headed by digital media artist, writer and curator Tom Leeser, the director of the institute-wide, interdisciplinary Center for Integrated Media, the two-year graduate program is designed to enable advanced students to investigate creative and critical issues in contemporary artmaking that involve new and emerging technologies—from web-based systems to interactive media, from immersive installation to hybrid performance and beyond. “When CalArts first opened the Center for Integrated Media as a place to survey the intersection of art with computers, we were far ahead of the curve,” says Leeser. “Other institutions have since caught up and now it’s the critical examination of technology and culture that is the next step forward. The challenge for students in the program will be to explore technology while developing a critical point of view regarding the social and political aspects of cultural production today and the role that technology plays within it.” Centered around both a studio-based practice and intensive dialogue with fellow students, faculty and visiting artists, the program’s curriculum includes group critiques, technical and critical seminars on various topics in the
field of culture and technology, independent studies, and a strong emphasis on one-on-one mentoring by faculty. The main shape of the curriculum calls for the development of a thesis project in the first year in residence, and the production and presentation of that project in the second year. Leeser points out that the program will be based in a shared “affinity space,” a collaborative studio where the open exchange of ideas and skills can be facilitated. “I’m extremely excited about the possibilities of the program,” he adds. “The combination of the creative and critical sensibilities of the School of Art with the expanding fields of diy technology and Relational Art promises to be transformative.” The Program in Art and Technology will also expand the interdisciplinary exchange with other technology-based programs across the Institute. “This new mfa program,” says School of Art Dean Thomas Lawson, “grows very naturally from the work we have seen in the Center for Integrated Media this past decade, and provides us with a platform for growth that brings new and more complex ways of working collaboratively into the school’s already very rich mix.”
2008â€“09 CalArts Annual Report
California Institute of the Arts Statement of Activities for the Year Ended June 30, 2009
l ta to un re r st te ic d
l ta to
as se ts
Governmental grants Gifts and private grants Endowment and investment income Net realized gains (losses) on investments Net unrealized losses on investments Auxiliary enterprises Other
Net tuition and fees
Tuition and fees Less financial aid
revenues and other additions
44,825,029 (12,394,393) 32,430,636
1,469,241 2,673,769 7,775,651 3,713,723 1,145,523 1,219,468 (8,779,325) 168 (12,841,125) (108,719) 2,538,005 1,941,819 214,006
1,469,241 14,163,143 2,364,991 (8,779,157) (12,949,844) 2,539,005 2,155,825
Net assets released from restrictions and reclassifications
Total revenues and other additions
Instruction Academic support Student services Institutional support Auxiliary enterprises
28,072,298 8,186,867 2,766,657 9,696,255 2,516,504
28,072,298 8,186,867 2,766,657 9,696,255 2,516,504
Change in net assets before classification based on change in law New asset reclassification based on change in law
Change in net assets Net assets at beginning of year
Net assets at end of year
Gifts and Government Grants July 1 2008â€“June 30, 2009
Trustees Alumni Parents Faculty/Staff Individuals Corporations Foundations Government grants
2,525,889 61,549 229,129 16,864 1,339,418 497,206 9,471,637 14,141,693 1,490,691 $15,632,384
Unrestricted Temporarily restricted Permanently restricted
Gifts and Government Grants by Purpose
redcat 6.9% program endowment 8.9% capital improvement 9.5% scholarships 10.7%
scholarship endowment 14.9%
academic programs 15.8%
community arts partnership 16.2%
annual support 17.1%
2,673,769 9,244,892 3,713,723 $15,632,384
2008–09 CalArts Annual Report
James Wiltgen, co-director of the ma Aesthetics and Politics Program.
Now in its second year, the School of Critical Studies’ Master of Arts (ma) Aesthetics and Politics Program serves as a unique forum for artists and scholars to survey and contribute to contemporary aesthetic, critical and political discourse. This highly concentrated one-year program is designed for artists who seek to deepen the theoretical and political dimensions of their work, and for Bachelor of Arts (ba), Bachelor of Fine Arts (bfa) or Master of Fine Arts (mfa) degree holders who wish to combine artistic practice with a scholarly career, says Program Co-Director James Wiltgen. The program currently has a complement of nine ma candidates and seven core faculty members. But with applications for 2010–11 up by more than 30 percent over the previous year, Wiltgen adds, the faculty is aiming to enroll at least 10 students next fall. “The ma Aesthetics and Politics Program takes as its focus what the work of art does, that is, how it functions, in the public sphere,” Wiltgen explains. “How does it impact not just any given viewer but larger reading communities, larger blocks of critical thinkers who write about aesthetics?”
Core courses include three seminars on contemporary political theory, aesthetics, and critical discourse in the arts, as well as a thesis workshop. Electives, meanwhile, allow students to further explore topics such as comparative politics, global and postcolonial studies, and new and emerging aesthetic forms and technologies. The program also has its own guest speaker series. To obtain the ma degree, students are required to complete a thesis project over the summer following the second semester. “Our students have varying backgrounds,” Wiltgen points out. “Some are more theoretical; some are more artistic, like one student with a theater background who wants to read Adorno to enhance his understanding of Beckett; and some are curatorial—those who want to have a better command of politics and art so they can curate with a more sophisticated approach.” What kinds of projects are being pursued by Aesthetics and Politics students? “One of my two mentees,” says Wiltgen, “is working on Foucault’s analysis of schools in Austria and Chicago in relation to contemporary neoliberalism and the economic meltdown. The other mentee has a music bfa from CalArts. He is looking at how politics is shaping contemporary music, using Gustavo Dudamel at the LA Phil as one example. “One of the chief motivations behind this program is to enhance the interaction between critical and creative thinking, so that scholars and artists can work together to reflect on art and the artmaking process.”
New Academic Programs and Initiatives
This year’s iteration of The Next Dance Company, which represented the graduating bfa class of 2010, produced a pair of full-evening concerts at redcat last month.
New Academic Programs and Initiatives
During the past two academic years, The Sharon Disney Lund School of Dance has introduced new initiatives that, together, allow CalArts dancers and choreographers to bring their work to wider audiences, make connections with colleagues nationally and internationally, and more effectively transition to their professional careers. The first of these is the formation last year of The Next Dance Company, a new resident ensemble that each year includes the entire graduating Bachelor of Fine Arts (bfa) class. Designed by Dean Stephan Koplowitz to “closely mirror the experiences graduates are likely to encounter in professional companies,” The Next Dance Company gives bfa candidates the opportunity to create, perform and produce their own original choreography or perform in repertory choreographed by faculty and guest artists. This combined work, which is prepared in a weekly four-hour class throughout the spring semester, culminates with formal concerts presented on campus and at the state-of-the-art Roy and Edna Disney/CalArts Theater (redcat) in downtown Los Angeles.
“What’s special about The Next Dance Company is that it’s exclusively for our graduating class,” says bfa candidate Julia Romanskaya. Before this company was formed, fourth-year bfas would be lucky to be in one piece in an evening of 10 or 11 works at the end of the year. The Next Dance Company’s concert will likely include between seven and 10 works, and we’re all dancing in at least three. Right now I’m in a trio that we’re choreographing; I’m in a duet choreographed by Stephan; and I’m part of Reggie Wilson’s piece—he’s the guest choreographer who won this year’s Alpert Award in the Arts in the dance category. Performing at redcat is going to be a blast!” In another new initiative, the school’s Summer Study Program provides funding for students to receive additional training and professional exposure at festivals, workshops and intensives across the United States and Europe. Last summer, 27 CalArts students attended programs at, among other institutions, the San Francisco Conservatory, lines Ballet, Hubbard Street Dance Chicago, the Joffrey Ballet’s Academy of Dance, the Limón Dance Company, Complexions Dance, the Bates Dance Festival, Summer Stages Dance and the International Dance Intensive in Barcelona. “The Summer Study Program,” says Koplowitz, “expands the experience of professional dance for our students, and the connections they make in other cities helps open new opportunities for them.”
2008–09 CalArts Annual Report
Donor Honor Roll, July 2008–June 2009 The support of our generous donors makes all that we do at CalArts possible. This honor roll acknowledges all contributors to CalArts in 2008–09, including active pledges and gifts made from July 1, 2008, through June 30, 2009. On behalf of the CalArts community, we thank you, our friends and supporters, for making the Institute the best place in the world for working artists to teach and learn. We have made every effort to ensure the accuracy of this document. If an error or omission has occurred, please contact the Office of Advancement at 661 222-2745 so that we can correct our records. Contributions made by two or more individuals with different surnames are listed alphabetically by only one of the surnames; please check under all related surnames to find the acknowledgment. (d) — deceased
$5,000,000 and above
The Herb Alpert Foundation
Anonymous Steven Bochco MaryLou Boone Rita and Joseph M. Cohen Timothy Corrigan Anne Schwartz Delibert and Arthur C. Delibert Tina and Robert J. Denison Ms. Abigail Disney and Mr. Pierre Hauser The Dumont Foundation Dwight Stuart Youth Foundation The Jacques and Natasha Gelman Trust Harriett and Richard Gold Hearst Corporation Hollywood Foreign Press Association Teena Hostovich and Doug Martinet; Eric and Kim Kaufman; Lockton Insurance Brokers, Inc. JL Foundation Constance and Daniel Kunin laika Dr. Gerard V. LaSalle (mfa 76) and Ms. Nina Ferrari (mfa 78) Tom and Colleen Lee Frank McHugh-O’Donovan Foundation The Mesdag Family Foundation Nickelodeon Nimoy Foundation Michael N. Nock (bfa 95) Peter Norton Family Foundation Ovation TV Wendy Keys and Donald Pels Anthony and Jeanne Pritzker Family Foundation Susan E. Ranft Janet Dreisen Rappaport Lynda and Stewart Resnick The Rosenthal Family Foundation Maria and Rudyard Smith The Shubert Foundation, Inc. Catharine and Jeffrey Soros Trust for Mutual Understanding ubs Wealth Management ag Tom and Janet Unterman Angelle and Roger Wacker The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts
Anonymous Joan Abrahamson and Jonathan Aronson The Academy Foundation of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Aileen Adams and Geoffrey Cowan The Ayco Charitable Foundation The Cecile and Fred Bartman Foundation Kamala and David L. Berry (bfa 73) David Berry and The Berry Family Foundation Suzanne Deal Booth and David Booth Nancy (bfa 83) and David Bossert (bfa 83) Edythe and Eli Broad California Arts Council Dr. Edwin E. Catmull Bridgid Coulter and Don Cheadle (bfa 86) Richard W. Cook Cotsen Family Foundation Richard and Jean Coyne Family Foundation Sheri and Roy P. Disney DreamWorks Animation skg Eve Steele and Peter Gelles Ann and Gordon Getty Foundation Good Works Foundation Graham Foundation for Advanced Studies in the Fine Arts Harold W. Grieve Charitable Trust Henry Mayo Newhall Foundation John C. Herklotz Marilyn and Jeffrey Katzenberg LA Louver Gallery, Inc. Jon Lapointe (mfa 95) Janet Sternburg and Steven D. Lavine The Lincy Foundation Larry Mathews and Brian Saliman Wendy Stark Morrissey Anne and Harrison Price Lee and Lawrence J. Ramer John Rubeli Shamrock Holdings, Inc. Leah and Martin Sklar The Fran and Ray Stark Foundation Debbie and Elliot Webb Adele Yellin
$1,000,000–$4,999,999 The Ahmanson Foundation The Eisner Foundation Michelle Lund, Brad Lund and the Sharon D. Lund Foundation
$500,000–$999,999 Patricia Disney Roy E. Disney Family and Foundation The Walt Disney Company Foundation Idyllwild Arts Foundation Mr. and Mrs. Jon B. Lovelace S. Mark Taper Foundation
$100,000–$499,999 William H. Ahmanson (d) The Annenberg Foundation Ambassador Frank and Kathy Baxter Virginia and Austin M. Beutner Brand New School The Capital Group Companies Charitable Foundation Colburn Foundation Tim Disney Veronica and Robert Egelston Marianna and David Fisher The Getty Foundation The Hearst Foundations The James Irvine Foundation Barb and Edward Jourdenais Jill and Peter S. Kraus Walter Lantz Foundation Susan Disney Lord Anahita and James B. Lovelace Jamie and Michael Lynton Jonathan Notaro (bfa 99) Abby Sher United Plankton Charitable Trust Luanne C. Wells
CalAr CalArts $1,000–$9,999 Anonymous (7) Adobe Systems Incorporated David Agnew and Paula Edwards William B. Anawalt Angeles Investment Advisors, llc Bob and Linda Attiyeh Elizabeth and Kevin Barlog Doreen and David Barsky Gail Landis and R. Victor Bernstein Virginia and Robert Bettle Susan Bienkowski Blue Sky Studios Bon Appetit Management Company Bottega Management Group Harold V. Braun Moira Brennan Jessica E. Smith and Kevin R. Brine Pierre and Jocelyne Brunet Mr. Richard Bucher (98) Ms. Kathryn Bucher (mfa 00, bfa 96) Theresa L. and Larry C. Bucher Theresa Lloyd Bucher Foundation Jeffrey Calman Cartoon Network Darrel K. and Susan L. Chapman Chocolate Swan, Inc. Cinema Real Estate, Inc. Edward E. and Alicia-Garcia Clark Pamela and V. Shannon Clyne The Carol and James Collins Foundation Consulate General of the Netherlands, Los Angeles and New York Sherry and Kenneth Corday Eric Darnell (mfa 90) Shelby DeCou Rosette Delug Bobbi and Paul Didier Susan and Jonathan Dolgen Arwen (mfa 94) and Sean Duffy Dunard Fund USA Eggs ’n’ Things of Valencia Erik T. Ehn Jane Eston (bfa 73) Emi Fontana Foundation for World Arts Furlined Olga Garay “CalArts Bob” Gerlach Marc and Mariannick Gobe Diane and Michael Gorfaine The Gorfaine/Schwartz Agency, Inc. Jonathan L. Greene Foundation Grenzebach Glier & Associates, Inc. Elyse and Stanley Grinstein Elliot Handler Harpo Foundation Mary W. Harriman Foundation Amy Madigan and Ed Harris (bfa 75) John Heard Heather Henson (04) Mr. and Mrs. Richard R. Henszey Brian R. Holt
John Hughes Claudia Huntington Imagine Films Entertainment Tatiana and Todd James Linda and Jerry Janger The Japan Foundation Charmaine Jefferson and Garrett Johnson Ruth Grace Jervis (bfa 86) Kenneth Johnston Ollie and Marie Johnston (d) Judith and Steaven Jones Eungie Joo JP Morgan Jules Engel Trust Harvey L. Karp Sarah and John Kobara Bill Kramer Ilene Kurtz-Kretzschmar and Ingo Kretzschmar John and Maria Laffin Trust Riea and Steven Lainoff Daniel Langlois Margo Leavin Ed Levin and Mindy Lauerlevin Barbara Lindemann Jeanne and Michael Lipsitt Sanford Litvack Los Angeles County Arts Commission Marlene and William Louchheim Lauren McAuliffe and Douglas MacLaren Michael D. Marks (mfa 76) Deborah Marrow Martin Sosin–Stratton– Petit Foundation The Maurer Family Foundation, Inc. Dale and Gordon McWilliams Inger and Paul Mejean Kristy Santimyer-Melita and S. Daniel Melita Walter E.D. Miller Deborah and Timothy Moore Shelley Wagner and David Mortimer Donald R. Mullen, Jr. John E. Musker (77) National Performance Network Native Instruments North America, Inc. New England Foundation for the Arts Joan and Fred Nicholas The Northern Trust Company C. Roderick and Nancy O’Neil Patsy and Arnold Palmer Phaedrus Foundation Todd J. Pimentel (bfa 91) Lore and Richard Pittman Pixar Animation Studios Lisa and Michael Pressman (bfa 72) Regen Projects, Los Angeles Honorable Vicki Reynolds and Murray Pepper Rhythm & Hues, Inc. Mr. and Mrs. Peter L. Richardson Howard S. Richmond Robert Gore Rifkind Foundation Nancy Daly Riordan (d) Irene Romero Lynn and Edward Rosenfeld Roth Family Foundation Araceli Ruano and Andre Pineda
Judith O. and Robert E. Rubin Stuart Rudnick and Doreen Braverman Nancy and Edward Rydzak Jack (mfa 80) and Carol Sanders Linda and Miguel Sandoval Robin and Lawrence Sapanski Lisa and William Schaeffer Sam Schwartz Henry Selick (mfa 77) Luanne Seymour Brooke Adams and Anthony Shalhoub Barbara and Richard Springfield Elliot and Danielle Stahler Rand Steiger (mfa 82) and Rebecca Jo Plant Terrianne Steinhauer (bfa 84) Amanda and Nicholas Stonnington The Strauss Foundation, Maurice and Violet Strauss Katharine B. Sutphin (bfa 77) David Teiger Claire Telford Turner Broadcasting System, Inc. Valencia Wine Company Andrea and John Van de Kamp Joanna Going and Dylan Walsh Weingart Foundation Frederick R. Weisman Philanthropic Foundation Nanik and Nyoman Wenten Barbara Wien Erik Wiese (96) Jenny Williams and Joan Henehan Nancy Englander and Harold Williams Christy Willits Kenneth P. Wong
$999 and Below Anonymous (7) Matt August (mfa 97) Gwynn Adik (bfa 95) and Dave Wasson (bfa 90) Herman Adler Dr. and Mrs. Dimitris Agamanolis Priscilla Allen Ahern (bfa 70) Randle Akerson (bfa 77) Melissa Alcazar (bfa 04) Mark Allen (bfa 99) Rachel and Bob Allen William R. Alschuler John Altschul Elaine Amromin Mr. and Mrs. Henry F. Anderson iii (bfa 88) Margaret Kranz Anderson (37) Jamie Angell (mfa 86) Michelle Anglade (bfa 83) Mr. and Mrs. Thomas E. Arett Steven Avalos (bfa 82) Leslie Lashinsky (mfa 76) and Stanley Ayeroff (71) Mr. and Mrs. R. John Bache Jeri Weiss and Wally Baer Janet Baetz Jack H. Baily The Bank of New York Mellon Aminta Bardales Marjorie and Frank Barrett-Mills Jim Baumann (bfa 72) Linda Baumgardner (mfa 08) Jean Beauregard Zachary Behrens (bfa 03) Barbara and Harold Bend Tony and Cary Berg John and Janet Bergamo (bfa 77) Nancy Berman and Alan Bloch Steven (bfa 82) and Patricia Bilow Joni L. Binder (mfa 89) Rebecca G. Black (mfa 90) Katie and Marshall Black Beth Block (mfa 77) Alan Blomquist The Boeing Company Michael Boom (mfa 79) Adrian T. Borneman Bosco Foundation, Inc. Pussadee and Bruce Braly Christo Bresnahan (bfa 92) David Brisbin (mfa 82) Deborah Brochstein (mfa 88) Beth Brody (mfa 79) Mrs. V.R. Brooker David Brown (bfa 92) Jeffrey Brown Ellen and Steven Buchwalter Irving L. Burgie, Jr. (mfa 82) Holly and Stephan Burgin Ingrid Calame (mfa 96) and Shelby Roberts (mfa 91) Izumi and David Cantrell Marjorie Carlson Ronald Carn Martin and Catherine Carpenter Joyce Carson John J. Casbarian (mfa 71) Manuel Castells Joseph A. Celeste (80) Jerry Chan Margaret Craig-Chang (mfa 80, bfa 76) and Gary Chang (mfa 77) Alan and Sarah Chaplin Michael T. Charney Jeffrey Chernin Mark Chung (mfa 96) Keisha Laren Clarke (bfa 98) Alice B. Clements Kevin Cohen (bfa 94) Joan and Kenneth Cohn Jan Turner Colburn Lori (Waldron) Collier (bfa 85)
Elizabeth Pulsinelli (nfa 92) and Allen Compton (mfa 95) Claudia Conner Gary Conrad (bfa 84) Kristen (mfa 07) and Thomas Coogan Darice Richman Cooper and Jay Cooper Daniel Cork (mfa 83) Joe, Deborah and Rory Cowal Ruth Cox (bfa 74) David Coy (bfa 73) Beth Curley Dorit Cypis (mfa 77) John D’Amico (83, mfa 09) and Keith Rand Tenaj Davis (bfa 80) Tommy Davis Brenda and Perry DeAugustine Amber DeForest (93) Paul Demeyer (mfa 77) Mr. and Mrs. Mark Devine (bfa 85) Angela A. Diamos (bfa 76) Michael L. Dieden Michael Dimeo (81) Carolie Dixon (mfa 87) Marianne Doherty Linda Pape and David Dollenmayer Carola Donnerhak and David Boncarosky Mark Dornfeld (bfa 77) Eric Drachman (mfa 94) Holly Marie du Rivage (mfa 95) Allan and Susan Duckworth Annette Hannah Dunkelman (mfa 75) Ronald G. Dunlap (bfa 73) Paul DuPratt (mfa 84) Matthew Easley Cathey Edwards (mfa 85) Colleen Egger (mfa 74) Monty J. Eglin (bfa 85) James J. Eigo (bfa 72) David Emerson (mfa 84) Valerie Epps Stephanie Escalante Jan Walzer-Etzel and David Etzel Susan Evens Stanley Ewald, dc Fairfield County Community Foundation, Inc. Elisabeth Familian Rita and Kenneth Farfsing Michael Feibish and Julia Newton Jenna Feldman (mfa 08) Magda Ferl Christine Ferriter (mfa 93) and William Lebeda (mfa 93) Fidelity Investments Charitable Gift Fund Michael Fink (mfa 75) Jennie Prebor and Frederick Fisher Cinthea Fiss (mfa 93) Nancy Floyd (mfa 87) Charlotte and Bill Ford Simone Forti Scott Foster (82) Daniel Fox Jeffrey B. Franzel (75) Marion Garver Fredrickson (bfa 95) Kimiko and Larry Fukumoto Stephen Gaines (72) Ann and Samuel Garcia Frederick B. Gardner Ben Garfinkle (mfa 76) Catherine and Roland Garneau GE Fund Oscar Gerardo Joanne K. Gibson, ph.d. Jeff Gifford (mfa 88) Denise R. Gillman (mfa 97) Giving Back to Education Barbara Glauber (mfa 90) Nick Glennie-Smith Andrew Gold (mfa 79) Barbara Goldenberg
2008–09 CalArts Annual Report
New Academic Programs and Initiatives
This year the School of Film/Video has implemented the first of two significant expansions to the curriculum of its world-renowned Bachelor of Fine Arts (bfa) Program in Character Animation. This addition involves a new three-hour weekly class dedicated exclusively to the development of independent projects carried out in the spring semester by third- and fourth-year bfa students. Designed to provide a rigorous feedback and advisory structure for self-guided work, this class also allows students to collect academic credits “for the type of projects they are most personally engaged with in the final two years of the program,” says Film/Video Dean Steve Anker. In the second stage of its curricular expansion beginning next fall, the Program in Character Animation is adding a newly developed track focused on computer-generated (cg) animation that will work in conjunction with the traditional animation track. Though cg animation has long been a part of the existing curriculum, the new track will enable students to produce the bulk of their animation work, especially in the third and fourth years, on industrystandard 3-d software such as Maya. The school enlisted alumnus Gregory Griffith (Film/Video bfa 90), a veteran of Disney (Beauty and the Beast) and Sony’s Naughty Dog video game unit, to develop the curriculum for the cg track. “We’ve developed an intensive, holistic curriculum founded on and integrated with ongoing traditional studies so our students can use these complex, highly diversified industry-standards tools to create computer graphic films that are of the same standard as the traditional films,” says Griffith.
“These tools have become so complex and varied, with so many skill sets and professional applications—modeling, lighting and shading, 3-d character animation, effects, previsualization and so on—that the term cg really only describes the technologies in question rather than a genre of animation. As a film school in a four-year degreegranting art institute, our focus is on training each student as a filmmaker, not as a specialist technician. The goal is to provide a sufficiently complete generalist education so that our students can confidently and creatively use these computer tools to produce personal, artistically expressive films.”
courtesy of the artists
cg work by Character Animation student T.J. Fuller (above) and faculty Robert Domingo (top right).
Griffith adds that he conducted a comparative analysis of some 50 other cg animation programs. “The most exciting part I’ve discovered is that the successful implementation of the new curriculum will make the Program in Character Animation unique; it’s going to separate us from other schools.” Dean Steve Anker notes that the school is maintaining its longstanding support for the broadest array of animation techniques, rooted in the fundamentals of cinematic storytelling. “We have, for example, drawn renewed student and industry attention,” Anker says, “for our commitment to stop-motion animation, thanks to the success of films like Coraline, directed by alumnus Henry Selick (Film/Video mfa 77), and Fantastic Mr. Fox.”
Andrew Tholl (below) and Milen Kirov (right), the first two doctoral candidates in the PerformerComposer Program.
New Academic Programs and Initiatives
“The program includes plenty of research and writing,” says Milen Kirov, “but I especially like the practical aspect of it—of writing and performing my music, and involving faculty and students in my concerts. Everyone is very supportive and responsive. CalArts welcomed pianist-composer Milen Kirov (Music bfa 02) and violinist-composer Andrew Tholl (Music mfa 09) as its first two doctoral candidates last fall when The Herb Alpert School of Music at CalArts launched the new Doctor of Musical Arts (dma) track of its flagship Performer-Composer Program. The dma is not only the first doctoral degree to be offered by the Institute; it is also the first doctoral program nationwide to focus on the integration of performance and composition into a single continuum of creative practice. “Intensive while also highly individualized, the dma Performer-Composer Program is designed expressly for advanced music artists who are able to fuse technical performance virtuosity and innovative composition models in the course of developing an original and distinctive body of creative music,” says Music Dean David Rosenboom, holder of the school’s Richard Seaver Distinguished Chair in Music and coordinator of the Performer-Composer Program. “The program is not a double major; each area, performance and composition, depends on the other in order to be fully realized.” The three-year program, which culminates with the completion of a doctoral project, further encompasses scholarly and pedagogical work. dma candidates may work with any member of the school’s Performance and Composition faculties.
“In the 21st century, the world is a much smaller place and boundaries are not what they used to be. I’m interested in mixing and mashing up things, and finding the common threads that connect the origins of dance and theater and music. Being an improviser, I’m looking to cross the divides between the written and the improvised—the created-in-the-spur of the moment. And it involves movement and speech and so forth, pulling them together in a sort of balance. “CalArts is at the forefront of music, with very talented faculty and students to work with for your projects. And the school is very supportive of new endeavors and ideas.” Rosenboom notes that the dma Performer-Composer Program draws on “all areas in the matrix of music education,” including research in new materials, preservation and history, theories of musical languages, global cultural investigations, and critical thinking about musicmaking. “Our dma performer-composers will be prepared to bring demonstrably unique and cogent artistic visions to bear in a variety of professional careers, as leaders in both public and private cultural sectors, in education, and in individual artistic entrepreneurship.”
2008â€“09 CalArts Annual Report
courtesy of the artist
Abner and Roz Goldstine Patricia Gonzalez and David Johnson (bfa 72) M.B. Gordy (mfa80) Gorleski Family Bruce Green (bfa 73) Mark and Dede Greenbaum Marcia Greengard (bfa 78) Denise and Jay Gruska Shem Guibbory (Music 74) Peggy Wolff Gutterman (bfa 72) Bernard R. Haber (bfa 52) Alan Haigh (72) Don and Jan Hall Vicky Hamrick (mfa 88) Steve Hanson (bfa 87) Stina Hanson (mfa 07) Ruth Hayes (mfa 92) Mary Beth Heffernan (mfa 94) Michael J. Henderson (mfa 83) Maurice Herman (bfa 72) James (mfa 75) and Marilynn Hildebrandt Harriet Webb Hill (mfa 76, bfa 74) Elizabeth Levitt Hirsch Lee Hodgson (mfa 83) Timothy C. Hoiles Get Off The Shoes, Inc./ Jim Holmes (mfa 83) Kimberly and Kenneth Hoover Judith A. Hopkins (mfa 87) and Stephen J. Callis (mfa 87) Doris J. Horton Rita K. and D. Dean Houchin James Newton Howard Jose and Deanna Ingco Carol and Jack Irving Istituto Italiano Di Cultura Mary Ivory Smith (mfa 87) and Stanley W. Smith Ray Jacob (49) Joshua Jade (mfa 00) Jacquelin Jaquith Roman Jaster (bfa 07) Barry Johnson (89) Judith A. Johnson Chip Jones (mfa 92) Mrs. Jacque E. Jones Leonade Jones Amy and Owen Joyner Shaun Kadlec Marilyn and Bob Kaiser Mark Kalesniko (bfa 85) Karen and Stephen Kallmyer Stephen A. Kanter, md Jonathon Kassel (bfa 02) Steve Kassel (bfa 81) Dennis Keeley (bfa 75) Flora and Charles Kendall Anton Kern Janice Kern Deborah Tilton and Michael Keusch Robert P. Khoury Tae and Hye Kim John King (bfa 76) Elizabeth Kinser Melissa Kirby Mindy Kligman (mfa 76) Stephan Koplowitz and Jane Otto Ava and Daniel Kordansky Mr. and Mrs. Richard Koshalek Pauline Kowitz Shawn Krause (94) Amy Kravitz (mfa 86) and Steven Subotnick (mfa 86, bfa 84) David S. Kroth (bfa 87) Jane and Roger Kroth Virginia and Lawrence Kruger Atsuko Kubota (mfa 00) Jose Kuri and Monica Manzutto Alfred K. Ladzekpo Margaret and John Lam Linda and George Lamb
Eileen and Nicholas Lane Rebecca and Adam Lane Mary LaPointe Mr. and Mrs. Philip Lashinsky Jonathan Lasker (77) Lasseter Family Foundation Beatrice Lawluvi and Kobla Ladzekpo (bfa 71) David Lee (98) Sandra M. Lee-Sung (bfa 83) Betsy LePlatt (bfa 83) Eleanor Levey Charles Levin (bfa 75) Stanley M. Levine (mfa 72) Elizabeth and Mark Levy Katherine Leyton (bfa 92) Karianne and Richard Anthony Licon (94) Joao Lima Kenneth Lombino Frank W. Long (mfa 90) Michelle Longosz (mfa 95) and Matt Hammer Dianna and Daniel Look Mark Loughridge (mfa 94) Arlene Ludwig Renee and Meyer Luskin Blake Lyman (mfa 07) Donald Lyman Kathan Lynch (bfa 85) Jorja and Michael Lynn Gary Mairs and Kathleen Logue Christian Manchester (99) Elana Mann (mfa 07) and Jean-Paul Leonard Chris and Darius Mannino (mfa 06) Margo Johnson (mfa 93): Superseed.com Raul P. Martinez Bill and Susan Maxfield Terence S. McFarland (mfa 03, bfa 00) Maria Nolen and William McHale Janet R. McMurray Cynthia and Eric McNussen Michael S. Metcalfe (mfa 68) Ivy Mayer Microsoft Corporation Joel and Sandy Miller Anne and Harold Mills Tracy Leigh Selwyn-Modell (bfa 83) and John K. Modell (83) Jennifer E. Moody (mfa 93) Peter Moore (bfa 69) T.J. Moran Amelia Moreno Chris Moreno (mfa 96) Jerry and Linda Mroczkowski Joseph Mullen (bfa 06) Tony and Reena Newhall Charlene Newton and Mark Townley Mr. and Mrs. Edwin J. Niecikowski Kali Nikitas (mfa 90) and Richard Shelton (mfa 90) Mark Nordman Joan Nordman Peggy E. Olson (mfa 83) Electra Reed Oâ€™Mara (bfa 83) Liz and David Ondaatje Catherine Opie (mfa 88) Paulette Orlemann Peter Otto (mfa 83) and Theresa Tunnicliff (mfa 83) Marc Pally (mfa 78) Nancy and Lew Palter Laura Parker (mfa 86) Chris Parnell Morriss and Donna Partee Francesca Nadia Penzani (mfa 99) Cynthia Pepper (bfa 84) and Val D. Hornstein Helen and Ronald Perry Joy and Gerry Picus Sheila Pinkel
Martha Pitrelli Dana Plays Laura and Richard Pohl (bfa 79) Dorothy and Stuart R. Pohlman Lionel Popkin David and Beverly Porter Thomas B. Poynor Marcia and Robert Prichard Theodora Carras Primes (97) Charlene Reichert and Thomas Prince Ruth Rainero (bfa 75) Skip Rapoport (mfa 77) Mary Rappazzo Hall Marilyn and Bradley Raymond Ann and James Ream Michele Reckon-Golden Rosemary Reed Annie Reed Teita and Tom Reveley Jonathan G. Richter (mfa 96) Susan Rokisky-Ring and Dennis Ring Roberts & Tilton Steven Robinson (bfa 82) Angela Reyes and Atilio Romero Ropolo Charitable Trust Felicia Rosenfeld and David Linde Barbara and Thomas Rosko Daniel Rothblatt Sydelle Rothstein David Rousseve Hubbard S. Russell Kathryn and Daniel Ryan Barbara and Chris Saler Mita and Jitendra Sandhe Paul and Christine Sarbanes Suzanne M. Sato Mary Scelba Meredith Lynsey Schade (mfa 05) Alicia Schudt-Schechter and Robert Schechter Mel and Sherie Scheer Stephen Schendel Dr. Linda Schwarz and Jonathan Schwarz Socrates Sclavenitis Josh Selzer (mfa 90) Mr. and Mrs. George B. Senick Gene Serdena (bfa 84) Mother of Teela Shine Fredric and Lynn Shore Anne H. Siberell (bfa 53) Mr. and Mrs. Mike Simon Gwendolyn Gomez and Richard Siref Elaine Sisman and Martin Fridson James F. Sitterly (mfa 80) Brigid Slipka and Jesse Aasheim Hester and Benedict Smith Lisa and Wes Smith Sandra Faith Smith and Sasha Laen Smith Jim Snodgrass (bfa 80) Allegra Fuller Snyder Joel Snyder Barry Socher Susan Solomon Joseph Somerset Faith and Ronald Souders Christopher W. Spears (mfa 02) Louise and Ronn Spencer Michael J. Spooner (bfa 81) George and Sharon Sprenger Donna Spruijt-Metz (mfa 76, bfa 74) Linda Stack Robert Stadd (bfa 79) and Rachel X. Hobreigh Nicole Stark Karen and Larry Stein (mfa 74) Julie Stern Loraine Stern, md Susan and Daniel Stern Laurie and Dan Stillmaker
Carl Stine (mfa 76, bfa 72) James M. Stoecker (mfa 93) Corky Hale Stoller and Mike Stoller Nelson Stone Mr. Thomas J. Stones iii and Mrs. Denise Palm Stones (bfa 76) Robin Sukhadia (mfa 07) Steve Sutor The Stephen Swofford Family Eva and Jack Taber Mr. and Mrs. Gary K. Takiguchi Emilie S. Talbot (mfa 89) Darlene and Phil Talmadge Thomas Taplin (bfa 79) Paul S. Taub (mfa 78) Webster Terhune (bfa 77) and Jaclyn Udaloff Mr. David Jude Thomas (mfa 88, bfa 85) Fred Thompson iii Annukka and Nils Thoren Janice Tipton (mfa 78) and Allan Vogel Hideaki Tokunaga (mfa 97, bfa 95) Breck Tostevin Tiffanie Tran Adam Travis (mfa 04) Nina and Jerry Treiman Terri Treloggen-Clark Josie Trinidad (bfa 02) David H. Tubbs (bfa 81) Nandranie and Gary Tuck Dolores Tukick Marvin L.B. Tunney (mfa 85) Kubilay Uner (mfa 91) Carrie Ungerman (mfa 90, bfa 88) United Way of Santa Barbara County Libby Van Cleve (mfa 84) and Jack Vees (mfa 86) Louisa Van Leer (mfa 06) Susanne Vielmetter, Los Angeles Projects Jon Wagner Marsha and Alvin Wakasa Kevin Walker (mfa 07) James T. Wallace Mrs. Carol Walley James David Walley (mfa 82) Cheryl and James Walters Scott Ward (mfa 79) Mr. Chris Warner Hope and Lee Warner Gene Weber Mr. and Mrs. Ralph A. Wehby Bernie Weiss and Julie Heldman Loraine Weissburd (mfa 94) Christina Benson and Kenneth Wells Leslie Raffel and Robert Wemischner Carrie (bfa 86) and David Wendt (mfa 88) Melissa Wetzig Richard Wetzig Cynthia and Robert Wexler Sally Louise White Mr. and Mrs. Brad and Josie Whitmore Harry Whitney Sydney and Paul Wilson Meghan Wincor (bfa 03) Sally Winter Tim Wolf (81) J.F. Wong Millen and James Wong Mark (Woody) Wood (mfa 80) Frank S. Wyle Robert Yamin Beverly Yelich Jeanette Yew (mfa 06) ymca Santa Monica/Westside Michael Zachary (79) V. and K. Zamaryonov Renee and Tim Zepezauer
Gifts in Kind John L. Adams (bfa 73) Andrew Adelson Cathy Akers (mfa 06) William R. Alschuler William B. Anawalt Anawalt Lumber and Building Material Company of Montrose Bell Computer Wanda Bryant Greg Celaya Sharon Cheslow (08) Kenn Cox Ms. Abigail Disney and Mr. Pierre Hauser Arwen (mfa 94) and Sean Duffy Jacqueline Dunnington Sarah Easton Maureen Furniss Dr. Jeanette and Mr. Jerry Gadt Frederick B. Gardner Anna Grey Laura Heit Brent Held Ed Hudson Yoko Kanayama (mfa 99) Kirin Brewery of America Carolyn Kleefeld Lacy Avenue, llc Janet Sternburg and Steven D. Lavine Diane Levine Stanley M. Levine (mfa 72) Donald Long Tammy McGinnis Terry Mulligan David Nelson (mfa 75) Peter Norton Judy and Stan Phillips Seth Polen Edward Rubel Santa Monica Museum of Art Corky Hale Stoller and Mike Stoller Studio Adi Nes Karla Talavera Janet and Tim Trotter Christy Willits Yamaha Corporation of America
CalArts Friends of CalArts (FoCA) FoCA recognizes leadership annual giving. Membership is given to donors who make current-use gifts toward an unrestricted fund or to general scholarship.
Board of Trustees
FoCA Sponsor Angelle and Roger Wacker
Officers Austin M. Beutner, Chairman Retired Founding Partner, Evercore Partners Santa Monica, ca Thomas L. Lee, Vice Chairman Former Chairman and ceo, The Newhall Land and Farming Company Valencia, ca
Robert J. Denison Chairman, First Security Management Santa Fe, nm Tim Disney Chairman, Uncommon Productions Los Angeles, ca Robert B. Egelston Former Chairman, The Capital Group Companies, Inc. Los Angeles, ca
James B. Lovelace, Vice Chairman Senior Vice President, Capital Research Global Investors Los Angeles, ca
Michael D. Eisner Former ceo and Chairman, Walt Disney Company Founder, The Tornante Co. llc Beverly Hills, ca
Peter Norton, Vice Chairman Computer Software Entrepreneur, Retired, Norton Family Office Santa Monica, ca
David I. Fisher President and Director, Capital Group International, Inc. Los Angeles, ca
Trustees Joan Abrahamson President, The Jefferson Institute Los Angeles, ca Aileen Adams Civic Leader Los Angeles, ca Randy Alpert Songwriter/Musician/Record Producer Calabasas, ca Alan Bergman President, The Walt Disney Studios Burbank, ca David A. Bossert Creative Director, Special Projects, Walt Disney Animation Studios Burbank, ca Nancy Buchanan, Faculty Trustee School of Film/Video, CalArts Valencia, ca Manuel Castells Wallis Annenberg Chair of Communication, Technology and Society, usc Annenberg School of Communication Los Angeles, ca
Harriett F. Gold Civic Leader Los Angeles, ca Charmaine Jefferson Executive Director, California African American Museum Los Angeles, ca Peter S. Kraus, Ex Officio/ Chairman, Board of Overseers Executive Vice President, Merrill Lynch & Company New York, ny Steven D. Lavine, Ex Officio President, CalArts Valencia, ca Michelle Lund President, The Sharon D. Lund Foundation Los Angeles, ca Jamie Alter Lynton Civic Leader Los Angeles, ca Willem T. Mesdag Partner, Red Mountain Capital Partners llc Los Angeles, ca
William Campbell Entertainment Industry Executive Beverly Hills, ca
Colleen Morrissey President, John and Colleen Morrissey Foundation Treasurer, Edmund and Mary Shea Family Foundation Los Angeles, ca
Don Cheadle Actor Los Angeles, ca
Lawrence J. Ramer Chairman, Ramer Equities, Inc. Los Angeles, ca
Joseph M. Cohen Chairman and ceo, htn Communications llc New York, ny
Janet Dreisen Rappaport Civic Leader Los Angeles, ca
Richard W. Cook Former Chairman, The Walt Disney Studios Burbank, ca Timothy P. Corrigan President, Timothy Corrigan, Inc. Los Angeles, ca Jahcobie Cosom, Student Trustee School of Film/Video, CalArts Valencia, ca
Araceli Ruano President, Los Angeles County Arts Commission Pasadena, ca David L. Schiff Chairman, The Schiff Company Beverly Hills, ca Joseph Smith Music Industry Veteran Beverly Hills, ca Nicki Voss Stern, Staff Trustee Office of Admissions, CalArts Valencia, ca
Thomas E. Unterman Founder and Managing Partner, Rustic Canyon Partners Santa Monica, ca Roger Wacker Vice Chairman, Private Bank Wealth Management us, ubs ag Century City, ca Elliot D. Webb Executive Vice President, International Creative Management, Inc. (icm) Century City, ca Luanne C. Wells Civic Leader Beverly Hills, ca Trustees Emeritus V. Shannon Clyne Owner, csb Private Equity Los Angeles, ca Douglas K. Freeman Senior Partner, Freeman, Freeman & Smiley Los Angeles, ca Jeffrey Katzenberg Chief Executive Officer DreamWorks Animation skg Glendale, ca Jon B. Lovelace Chairman Emeritus, Capital Research & Management Co. Los Angeles, ca William S. Lund Chairman, wsl Associates Paradise Valley, az C. Roderick O’Neil Chairman, O’Neil Associates South Glastonbury, ct Michael Pressman Director and Executive Producer New York, ny Harrison A. Price Chairman and President, Harrison Price Company Pomona, ca
courtesy of ruey sun
Anonymous (2) Joan Abrahamson and Jonathan Aronson Aileen Adams and Geoffrey Cowan The Herb Alpert Foundation The Ayco Charitable Foundation Elizabeth and Kevin Barlog Linda Baumgardner (mfa 08) Gail Landis and R. Victor Bernstein Kamala and David L. Berry (bfa 73) David Berry and The Berry Family Foundation MaryLou Boone Suzanne Deal Booth and David Booth Harold V. Braun The Broad Art Foundation Edythe and Eli Broad Dr. Edwin E. Catmull Chocolate Swan, Inc. Bridgid Coulter and Don Cheadle (bfa 86) Rita and Joseph M. Cohen Richard W. Cook Timothy Corrigan John D’Amico (83, mfa 09) and Keith Rand Roy E. Disney Family and Foundation Patricia Disney The Walt Disney Company Foundation Veronica and Robert Egelston Marianna and David Fisher Ann & Gordon Getty Foundation Marc and Mariannick Gobe John Heard Hearst Corporation Teena Hostovich and Doug Martinet; Eric and Kim Kaufman; Lockton Insurance Brokers, Inc. Linda and Jerry Janger Ruth Grace Jervis (bfa 86) Jill and Peter S. Kraus Kraus Family Foundation Riea and Steven Lainoff Tom and Colleen Lee Ed Levin and Mindy Lauerlevin Barbara Lindemann Jeanne and Michael Lipsitt Marlene and William Louchheim Michelle Lund, Brad Lund and the Sharon D. Lund Foundation Jamie and Michael Lynton Amy Madigan and Ed Harris (bfa 75) Frank McHugh-O’Donovan Foundation The Mesdag Family Foundation Deborah and Timothy Moore Joan and Fred Nicholas Peter Norton Family Foundation Lore and Richard Pittman Anne and Harrison Price Lee and Lawrence J. Ramer Janet Dreisen Rappaport Mr. and Mrs. Peter L. Richardson Robert G. Rifkind, Esq. Robert Gore Rifkind Foundation Nancy Daly Riordan (d) Linda and Miguel Sandoval Schwab Fund for Charitable Giving Barbara and Richard Springfield Elliot and Danielle Stahler Amanda and Nicholas Stonnington The Strauss Foundation, Maurice and Violet Strauss Tom and Janet Unterman Weingart Foundation Jenny Williams and Joan Henehan
Kenneth P. Wong
2008–09 CalArts Annual Report
mfa candidate Ruey Sun created the video design for fellow mfa student Dan Rae Wilson’s staging of Sun: A Poem for Malcolm X Inspired by His Murder, written by Adrienne Kennedy.
The School of Theater’s most recent academic offering, the Master of Fine Arts (mfa)-level Video for Performance Specialization, was launched two years ago as part of the Scene Design Program with faculty Bob and Colleen Bonniol, founders of the award-winning, Seattle-based mode Studios. Available primarily to graduate students in the Scene Design Program, this specialization is also open to mfa candidates in the school’s other theatrical design programs. Rapidly evolving video technologies have made it possible for innovative theater artists to incorporate video in live performance. At the same time, performers have begun to use video as an extension of their own ideas, not simply as an extension of the performance design. “The landscape of production,” says Bob Bonniol, “has expanded far beyond traditional theater design curricula. Contemporary production design now has to include facets of cinematography, video surfaces in scenic roles, and an increasing amount of interactivity that includes performers and audiences.”
This specialization, he points out, explores the aesthetics and practice of using video both as a “character” in a live performance and as scenery— as one element of the overall presentation but also as an art form in its own right. The curriculum, Bonniol says, “weaves together significant foundations in producing media for use onstage, adding many of the core classes from the Institute’s Center for Integrated Media, as well as immersion in critical analysis, dramaturgy, direction, scenic design, lighting design, and puppetry. “The results are seen and felt throughout the Institute, as our students are much in demand for collaboration with all aspects of the theater school, dance school, experimental animation, opera, and others. “CalArts has made a commitment to producing artists who are ready to engage at the highest level in entertainment design. Our students have gone on to produce amazing work on Broadway (Young Frankenstein), in live music concerts (Nickelback, Creed, Ludacris), television (American Idol, So You Think You Can Dance), and opera (The Met’s current Ring Cycle, as well as LA Opera’s separate production of Wagner’s four-opera magnum opus).”
New Academic Programs and Initiatives
CalArts Board of Overseers
Peter S. Kraus, Chairman Chairman and ceo, AllianceBernstein New York, ny
Ambassador Frank Baxter, Co-Chair Chairman Emeritus, Jefferies & Company, Inc.
Harriett F. Gold, Co-Vice Chair Civic Leader Los Angeles, ca
Cora Cahan President, New 42nd Street, Inc. New York, ny Adele Chatfield-Taylor President, American Academy in Rome New York, ny Mary Sharp Cronson Founder and Producer, Works & Process at the Guggenheim New York, ny Patricia Cruz Executive Director, Harlem Stage New York, ny Abigail Disney Co-Founder and President, Daphne Foundation New York, ny Stephanie French Board of Directors, The Waterman Center New York, ny Jonathan Galassi President and Publisher, Farrar, Straus & Giroux, llc New York, ny Daniel Langlois President, Terra Incognita Montreal, Quebec Geraldine Laybourne Zelnick Media New York, ny Sanford M. Litvack Gilbert C. Maurer Director, The Hearst Corporation New York, ny Michael Pressman Director and Executive Producer Brooklyn, ny Judith O. Rubin Chairman of the Board, Playwrights Horizons New York, ny Harold Williams President Emeritus, The J. Paul Getty Trust Los Angeles, ca
Tim Disney, Chair Chairman, Uncommon Productions Los Angeles, ca
Catharine Soros, Co-Vice Chair Arts Patron Los Angeles, ca Councilors Edgar Arceneaux Artist Los Angeles, ca Virginia Beutner Civic Leader Pacific Palisades, ca Jeffrey Calman Santa Monica, ca Ilene Kurtz-Kretzschmar Arts Patron Los Angeles, ca William S. Lund Chairman, wsl Associates Paradise Valley, az Leonard Madson Project Manager, Bottega Management Group Kimbery Marteau Emerson Civic Leader Beverly Hills, ca Antonio Mejias-Rentas Arts and Entertainment Editor, La OpiniĂłn Los Angeles, ca S. Daniel Melita Arts Patron Laguna Beach, ca Araceli Ruano President, Los Angeles County Arts Commission Pasadena, ca John Rubell President, Chop Shop South Pasadena, ca Dorothy R. Sherwood Civic Leader Beverly Hills, ca Eve Steele Arts Patron Los Angeles, ca Adele Yellin Arts Patron Los Angeles, ca Advisors to Council Clara Kim Director and Curator, Gallery at redcat Steven D. Lavine President, CalArts Mark Murphy Executive Director, redcat Lynn R. Rosenfeld Vice President, Special Projects, CalArts
Academic and Administrative Officers Steven D. Lavine President
Austin Beutner, Co-Chair Retired Founding Partner, Evercore Partners Santa Monica, ca
John Bache Associate Provost
Glenna Avila, Ex Officio Wallis Annenberg Director, cap Valencia, ca Peggy Funkhouser Retired President & ceo, Los Angeles Educational Partnership Los Angeles, ca John Hughes President, Rhythm & Hues, Inc. Los Angeles, ca Judy Johnson Executive Director, Cotsen Family Foundation Los Angeles, ca
Janet Sternburg Senior Advisor to the President
Nancy J. Uscher Provost
William Schaeffer Vice President and Chief Financial Officer
Michael Carter Associate Vice President and Chief Information Officer, Information Technology
Karla Talavera Associate Vice President and Controller
Jesse Smith Assistant Vice President, Facilities
Jenny Krusoe Consultant
Lynn R. Rosenfeld Vice President, Special Projects
Steven D. Lavine, Ex Officio President, CalArts Valencia, ca
Arwen S. Duffy Vice President, Advancement
Robin Lithgow Administrative Coordinator, Arts Education Branch, Los Angeles Unified School District Los Angeles, ca Susan Disney Lord Civic Leader Santa Monica, ca James B. Lovelace Senior Vice President, Capital Research Global Investors Los Angeles, ca William Lowman President, Idyllwild Arts Janice Pober Vice President, Corporate Affairs, Sony Pictures Entertainment Culver City, ca Janet Dreisen Rappaport Civic Leader Los Angeles, ca Araceli Ruano President, Los Angeles County Arts Commission Los Angeles, ca Rona Sebastian President, The Herb Alpert Foundation Santa Monica, ca Simbi Khali Williams Actress Pasadena, ca Jan Kern Civic Leader Nancy Uscher, Ex Officio Provost, CalArts Valencia, ca
Thomas Lawson Dean, School of Art Nancy Wood Dean, School of Critical Studies Stephan Koplowitz Dean, The Sharon Disney Lund School of Dance Steve Anker Dean, School of Film/Video David Rosenboom Dean, The Herb Alpert School of Music at CalArts, and Richard Seaver Distinguished Chair in Music Ellen McCartney Leslie Tamaribuchi Acting Co-Deans, School of Theater Jeffrey N. Gatten Dean, Division of Library and Information Resources Carol Kim Dean of Enrollment Management Yvonne Guy Dean of Students Glenna Avila Wallis Annenberg Director, Community Arts Partnership (cap) and the Santa Clarita Valley Arts Partnership (scvap) Mark Murphy Executive Director, Roy and Edna Disney/CalArts Theater (redcat)
California Institute of the Arts is accredited by the Accrediting Commission for Senior Colleges and Universities of the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (wasc). The School of Art is an accredited institutional member of the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (nasad). The Sharon Disney Lund School of Dance is an accredited institutional member of the National Association of Schools of Dance (nasd). The School of Music is an accredited institutional member of the National Association of Schools of Music (nasm). The School of Theater is an accredited institutional member of the National Association of Schools of Theater (nast). For information about wasc and its accrediting process, contact: wasc 985 Atlantic Avenue, Suite 100 Alameda, ca 94501 510 748-9001 firstname.lastname@example.org For information about nasad, nasd, nasm and nast, visit: arts-accredit.org For additional information about CalArtsâ€™ accreditation, contact: Office of the Provost California Institute of the Arts 24700 McBean Parkway Valencia, ca 91355 661 255-1050 ext. 2124
2008–09 CalArts Annual Report/KarmetiK Machine Orchestra
Musical Minds Meet Musical Machines by lauren pratt
from its early, heady days, CalArts has always stood for progress, not only creative and conceptual, but also technological—developing new tools in making new, unprecedented art. The Institute’s founding faculty, after all, included figures like computer music pioneer Morton Subotnick and video art trailblazer Nam June Paik. Today, The Herb Alpert School of Music at CalArts is forging ahead with one of the Institute’s most ambitious efforts in the field of creative tech: the Program in Music Technology: Intelligence, Interaction and Design (iid). This Bachelor of Fine Arts (bfa) program, says Music Dean David Rosenboom, is radically expanding the envelope of contemporary musicmaking with completely original instruments and ingenious uses for conventional instrumentation in live performance. Lauren Pratt is associate producer of music programs at the Roy and Edna Disney/CalArts Theater (redcat).
INSTRUMENTS JOINED IN, BUILDING TEXTURES, COLORS AND RHYTHMS. SOME OF THESE WERE PLAYED BY THE MEMBERS OF THE ORCHESTRA; OTHERS PLAYED... THEMSELVES.
KarmetiK Machine Orchestra “Music Tech: iid is changing the very definition of what musical instruments can be, and what it means to ‘play’ new ‘intelligent’ instruments, instruments which can actually restructure themselves in response to how they are played,” Rosenboom says. “Musical instruments can be an interface between one form of intelligence, such as a human performer, and another, such as an invented intelligent system. Conceived in such a way, instruments offer much more than a one-to-one response to a playing action: press a key, get a sound. They can activate compositional systems, produce variations on what is being played, re-order the ways they produce sound, and even call up entire multimedia, multisensory worlds.” Bearing out Rosenboom’s words was a recent performance, at the Roy and Edna Disney/CalArts Theater (redcat), by the KarmetiK Machine Orchestra led by Ajay Kapur, director of Music Tech: iid. The stage set alone offered a fantastical sight, at once futuristic and archaic. A three-level frieze of instruments—a conglomeration drawn from the Balinese, Indian, aboriginal Australian, Irish folk and Western classical traditions— was accoutered with a Rube Goldbergian array of electronic and mechanical gear. As the house lights dimmed, a crimson wash fell over the stage and blackclad performers moved to their stations. Toward the back, an eight-foot motorized “rain stick” turned slowly, hypnotically, generating a drone from falling sand, lentils, and bb-gun pellets. The first movement of Digital Sankirna began with the intricate twangs of the sitar, plucked by Kapur; it was then followed by the haunting, microtonal slide of the dilruba bowed by Curtis Bahn. Soon other instruments joined in, building textures, colors and rhythms. Some of these were played by the members of the orchestra; others played... themselves. They were playing not in the way a drum machine can play itself, but actually responding to and interacting with the shifts, nuances and complexity of the overall performance. The KarmetiK (“karma + kinetic = Energy of Karma”) Machine Orchestra’s program was divided into three components: “Interfaces” (i.e., points of interaction between two systems), “Robots,” and “People.” Each instrument on stage, as much as it might have looked like its traditional namesake, was either an interface or a robot. Both the sitar and the dilruba were interfaces—the “ESitar” and the “EDilruba”—which converted the musical gestures of the performers to midi (Musical Instrument Digital Interface) and osc (OpenSound Control, a format for messaging across media), sent this data to a computer laptop in real time, and then “talked” with the other instruments on stage. These, in turn, generated their own musical replies. Other interfaces, used either during the intro or later in the program, were the “Arduinome,” a button controller
Members of the KarmetiK Machine Orchestra, featuring Ajay Kapur on “ESitar” and Curtis Bahn on “EDilruba,” rehearsing for a performance at redcat. Also pictured: Chi-wang Yang (Theater-Integrated Media mfa 07), who directed the staging of the redcat concert.
that reacts to user-programmable software; the “MultiLaser Gestural Controller,” which translates performer hand gestures into sound-controlling cues; and the “DigitalDoo,” which outfitted the ancient Australian didgeridoo with sensors that convert the degree of tilt and hand pressure applied by the player into electronic signals. Then there were the robot instruments. Sixfoot-tall “Tammy” consisted of a handcrafted and tuned marimba, a self-plucking drone generator, and five bells, all of which are played, by the robot, using push and rotary solenoids—devices that convert energy into linear motion. The “Reyong Bot” was made up of seven Balinese pot gongs, with solenoids acting as both beaters and dampers, while the “MahaDeviBot” featured 12 Indian percussion instruments played by more solenoids and, not least, a wooden mask of the Mahadevi goddess that bopped up and down in tempo. A tortoiselike wooden speaker pod accompanied each robot, with six speakers in each pod diffusing highly spatialized sound. KarmetiK’s 90-minute program showcased different components of the orchestra, with solo turns for each robot and interface. The sounds of the ESitar and the EDilruba morphed into an orchestral combination of sounds from all over the world and some sounds unique to their sources, with discernible form and effective and evocative musical movement. The rapt capacity audience, some seated on carpets on the floor, was able to see the action of the robots close up thanks to a network of tiny cameras that sent video footage to be projected on a large Plexiglas cube suspended above the stage. These views alternated with washes of saturated hues pulsing in time to the music. Each robot and interface featured in this concert was designed, built and programmed by either students in or mentors to the Program in Music Technology: Intelligence, Interaction and Design, who include worldfamous music technology innovators Trimpin, Perry Cook, Curtis Bahn and the classically trained Kapur. The elaborate staging and the real-time video playback were designed and executed by a team of faculty and students from the CalArts School of Theater led by Head of Technical Direction Michael Darling and Associate Technical Director Jeremiah Thies. What can a Music Tech: iid student expect to achieve in this program? “We teach students engineering skills; how to do software programming; how to do electrical engineering, how to design their circuits, how to design new instruments for the future,” says Kapur. His colleague Martijn Zwartjes, he adds, “teaches them how to build their own synthesizers, build their own way of making computer-generated sound from scratch, develop their own sound.” For students who come into the program from a classical background, “we teach them how to put sensors on their instruments, how to make their instruments talk to their computers. We teach them how to make their trumpet, let’s say, sound like it’s from Mars—but only their Mars. They decide what they want to hear.” Today, career opportunities in music technology are ever-growing, ranging from recording to software design, to multimedia, to the gaming industry, to new instrument design, to music and film production. For this reason, says Kapur, CalArts’ music tech curricula have always tried to develop the conceptual and technical foundations on which students can then build upon in any number of these closely related fields. “Most students are also performers and composers in some significant measure,” he points out. “So the most important thing is always the music.”
CalArts Owner of both a computer and a drum set at age eight, Kapur went on to earn an undergraduate degree at Princeton University and a PhD from the University of Victoria. It was during his time at Princeton that his “mentor for life,” Perry Cook, revealed to him how computers and electronic components could transform a simple everyday object, like a coffee cup, into a musical instrument. Concurrently with his studies in tabla, sitar, and traditional Western music theory and practice, Kapur’s music tech work allowed him to “use computers in a live performance setting — that is, without staring into a laptop! — and create completely new sounds; to make the computer itself a part of my instruments.” Following his doctorate, The Herb Alpert School of Music was the perfect place for Kapur to land. The Institute already boasted a well-developed Program in Music Technology and a rich history of developing new arts technologies—including electronic music synthesizers (Serge Tcherepnin), video synthesizers (Nam June Paik and Shuya Abe), software for multimedia performance (Mark Coniglio), software for learning (Morton Subotnick), advanced signal processing (Tom Erbe), musical interfaces with the human nervous system (David Rosenboom), and live long-distance tele-presence performance (the Center for Experiments in Art, Information and Technology [ceait]). CalArts, moreover, was home to two of the great contemporary masters of Indian music, tabla player Swapan Chaudhuri and sarodist Aashish Khan, with whom Kapur continues his classical Indian music practice. Finally, the eclectic and immensely vibrant world music community at CalArts offered new roads down which the idea of computerassisted instruments could travel and new possibilities for exploring music forms and traditions from all around the globe. Meason Wiley (bfa 09), Music Tech: iid’s post-graduate assistant, started studying in the program during its transition to the current set-up. “Ajay was behind the shift from most Music Tech: iid students using the laptop as their primary instrument to having them build instruments to interface with their computers instead. I came to CalArts to learn more about audio production and sound design, and I am leaving with many more career skills than I had ever imagined. The students believe that they own this program, and it’s not unusual to see them working 18-hour days on their instruments.”
The KarmetiK Machine Orchestra performed at redcat in January.
THE WORLD MUSIC COMMUNITY AT CALARTS OFFERS NEW ROADS DOWN WHICH THE IDEA OF COMPUTER-ASSISTED INSTRUMENTS CAN TRAVEL IN EXPLORING FORMS AND TRADITIONS FROM AROUND THE GLOBE.
This year alone, faculty and students from Music Tech: iid are presenting five papers at the nime (New Interfaces for Musical Expression) conference and two papers at the icmc (International Computer Music Conference)—an extraordinary showing for a music school with only some 260 students. In his three years at CalArts, Kapur has mentored dozens of bfa students, and sent three on to full-ride graduate programs at UC Santa Cruz and the New Zealand School of Music. Other graduates are now working for Google and Nokia, Kapur says, “on ‘creative engineering’—that’s what they call it. And these companies love our students because not only are they creative and know how to do engineering, they come up with new solutions for problems. We’re preparing them for the future while they are helping shape that future.” The Program in Music Technology: Intelligence, Interaction and Design has now developed a Master of Fine Arts (mfa) curriculum. Pending approval by the National Association of Schools of Music (nasm), the mfa program expects to enroll its first students in the fall of 2011.
To see a video about the KarmetiK Machine Orchestra and the making of its instruments, go to: blog.calarts.edu/2010/01/26/the-karmetik-machine-orchestra-at-redcat.
KarmetiK Machine Orchestra
Ajay Kapur, director of Music Tech: iid
KarmetiK Machine Orchestra/Dispatches
Dispatches: News from faculty, alumni, students and other members of the CalArts community
School of Art The 2010 Whitney Biennial, the 75th edition of the Whitney Museum of American Art’s signature survey, opened in February, this time with a smaller complement of artists (55) than in years past, but still showcasing a sizable contingent of artmakers from CalArts (7). Featured in the biennial are faculty Michael Asher (see also the next column) and Martin Kersels and alumni James Casebere (mfa 79), Josephine Meckseper (mfa 92), Kelly Nipper (mfa 95), Lesley Vance (mfa 03) and Erika Vogt (Film/Video mfa 03). This biennial, simply titled 2010, eschews spectacle in favor of more understated consideration, as reflected in the contributions of the two CalArts faculty members. Asher’s intervention called for the Whitney to remain open to the public 24-hours a day for an entire week —a duration the museum, citing budgetary and personnel limitations, shortened to three days (from 12 a.m. on May 26 through 11:59 p.m. on May 29). Kersels’s 5 Songs, meanwhile, was an oversize assemblage of found and fabricated objects that functioned as both a sculpture and a performance space for use by five artists, performers and directors throughout the run of the exhibition. Its five constituent objects were arranged by the performers as individual units or used together as a single stage. The first of five artists enlisted by Kersels to explore his piece’s stage-like possibilities was the School of Theater’s Travis Preston, artistic director of the Institute’s Center for New Performance (cnp). To cap off the CalArts showing, Michael Asher was named as this biennial’s winner of the Bucksbaum Award, a prize whose recipient is selected by all other artists in the exhibition. The honor comes with a $100,000 stipend from the Bucksbaum Family Foundation and a solo exhibition at the Whitney. (Two biennials ago, in 2006, Mark Bradford [mfa 97, bfa 95] collected the Bucksbaum Award.)
Michael Asher, Christina Fernandez (mfa 96), Kira Lynn Harris (mfa 98), Daniel J. Martinez (bfa 79), Allen Ruppersberg (Chouinard 67), Allan Sekula (see next page for more), and James Welling (bfa 72, mfa 74) were among the 21 artists commissioned to create new artworks for display on existing advertising billboards throughout Los Angeles in a farstretching urban intervention organized by the mak Center for Art and Architecture. This public art exhibition, called How Many Billboards? Art in Stead, was curated by Kimberli Meyer (mfa 95), director of the Los Angeles branch of the mak. Photo faculty Judy Fiskin had 15 pictures on display at The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, as part of the anniversary exhibition Collection: moca’s First 30 Years. She also presented a solo show in early spring at Angles Gallery. Colombene Jenner (bfa 97) was a featured speaker at this year’s South by Southwest (sxsw) Interactive Conference, where she presented new ideas for communal computing platforms. Jenner works for the interactive agency Schematic, crafting Microsoft Surface and iTV user interface designs for clients such as Cablevision, Starz/Vongo and Motorola. mfa candidate Karolina Karlic and Maria Schriber (mfa 09) represented CalArts at Jeunes Talents 2010, French Impressions: New Photographic Perspectives, a group exhibition conceived in the spirit of Robert Frank that premiered in April at Louis Stern Fine Arts in West Hollywood and continues on to New Orleans and New York.
courtesy of the whitney museum of american art
Liz Larner (bfa 85) and Alpert Award winner Catherine Opie (mfa 88) presented a pair of new solo exhibitions, at Regen Projects and Regen Projects ii, respectively, in West Hollywood. Larner’s self-titled show consisted of new sculptures of arcing forms drawn from the figures of smiles, hearts, and flowers— ideograms that overlay each other formally and metaphorically. Opie’s Twelve Miles to the Horizon was a suite of photographs that, with the ocean as backdrop, explored the shifting mise en scène of light, color, movement, and the tension between boundaries and limitlessness.
above left: Martin Kersels, Study in Orange & White #4, 2009. Collection of the artist. Courtesy of Galerie Georges-Philippe & Nathalie Vallois, Paris, and Mitchell-Innes & Nash, New York. left: Josephine Meckseper, Mall of America, 2009. Collection of the artist. Courtesy of VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn.
School of Critical Studies Writing faculty Bruce Bauman co-curated and hosted a series of readings by emerging writers this March at Apexart Gallery in New York. He was also a panelist at the Los Angeles Times Festival of Books.
Tokyo-based designer Ian Lynam (mfa 04) wrote an in-depth essay called “Heft, Gravy, and Swing: The Life and Times of Oswald Cooper” for the March issue of Idea, Japan’s top graphic design magazine. The piece was a study of the 1920s-era Chicago type and lettering designer, famed for his Cooper Black typeface. Copiously illustrated with proofs of Cooper’s work, unpublished typefaces, and photographs of rare design work, Lynam’s essay brought Cooper’s legacy into a contemporary context. Faculty member Allan Sekula’s 1974 phototext collection This Ain’t China: A Photonovel was re-presented at e-flux in New York. This work was shown with a new piece, Eyes Closed Assembly Line, which was shot in the port city of Guangzhou, China. In other news, Sekula’s essay on Canadian artists Carole Condé and Karl Beveridge was published in the latest volume of Camera Austria. Las Cienegas Projects, a new artist-run gallery in Los Angeles, presented two concurrent solo exhibitions by faculty member Millie Wilson and alumna Bari Ziperstein (mfa 04). Wilson’s I am not here anymore but i am fine featured appropriated photographs in small light boxes in a darkened gallery, arranged around a large glass object-filled chrome cabinet reminiscent of the Wunderkammers of centuries past. Ziperstein’s Decorative Protection < Protecting Decoration comprised a pair of forced perspective tableaux, each held within domestic window frames, that transformed a gallery wall into a portal mediating between security-minded domesticity and an overgrown garden filled with detritus.
Andrea Lambert’s (mfa 08) debut novel, Jet Set Desolate, was published by Future Fiction London. Set among freewheeling twentysomethings in post-millennial San Francisco, the book has been hailed by Stephen Barber (Cities of Oblivion) as “a ferocious and brilliant debut: black and extreme and sizzling.” This novel was Lambert’s mfa Writing Program thesis project.
The cover of Credit, Mathew Timmons’ conceptual print-ondemand book.
Poet and Writing Program coordinator Mathew Timmons (mfa 05) has shaped several years’ worth of credit card offers and, more recently, collection notices into an 800page, full-color book of collages and found poetry titled Credit. Though the publisher of this tome is Timmons’ Blanc Press, he used as his means of production and distribution the print-on-demand site Lulu.com. The catch is that Credit—which runs at the largest page count and with the maximum frills offered by Lulu—can only be printed one copy at a time after individual readers pony up $199.99 for each book.“The book is as conceptual as the idea of credit itself,” writes Brian Joseph Davis on the book blog of The Globe and Mail. “And just as punishing.” Faculty member Jon Wagner submitted a paper on the future of narrative as part of an experimental writing panel at the Southwest Popular Culture Conference in Albuquerque. He then went on to present a paper — “Greenaway in Japan: Pages and Screens from The Pillow Book”—at the 50th-anniversary international conference of the Society of Cinema and Media Studies held in Los Angeles. Meanwhile, Wagner is continuing work with Lynne Goodhart on a book about the relationship of Zen Buddhist philosophy to the epic poetry of the French Modernists Yves Bonnefoy and Saint-John Perse. Christine Wertheim, chair of the mfa Writing Program, teamed up with Film/Video colleague Nancy Buchanan to organize the symposium “Citizen Divas: Women, Art and Social Justice” at The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles. The symposium included a presentation by Andrea Bowers (Art mfa 92).
courtesy of the artist
Dean Nancy Wood presented a newly discovered film by ethnographer Thérèse Rivière at a conference in Brittany, France. The film documents the Chaoui, the eastern Algerian Berber tribe studied by Rivière and her colleague Germaine Tillion—the subject of a 2003 biography by Wood.
© richmond ballet, all rights reserved. photo by aaron sutten
Novelist, cultural critic and mfa Writing Program faculty member Steve Erickson was among the seven recipients this year of the Academy Award in Literature. Conferred by the American Academy of Arts and Letters, the prize “honors exceptional accomplishment in any genre.” The awards were formally presented in New York at the Academy’s annual ceremonial. On the same day this accolade was announced, the American Society of Magazine Editors named Erickson among the finalists of the 2010 National Magazine Awards. In fact, he was nominated three times over for his Los Angeles magazine arts criticism column: One piece, “No Ordinary Fad,” revisited the music of the Beatles following the release of new digital remasterings of 14 of the Fab Four’s albums, as well as new digital versions used in the video game Rock Band; the second, “War Games,” reviewed both Kathryn Bigelow’s The Hurt Locker—now a multiple Oscar winner (see page 34)—and the British political comedy In the Loop by satirist Armando Iannucci; the third column, “The Final Frontier,” assessed the last season of the Battlestar Galactica TV series.
Poet, art critic, lyric essayist and nonfiction author Maggie Nelson received a Guggenheim Fellowship from the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation. She has most recently written three books of nonfiction: Bluets; Women, the New York School, and Other True Abstractions; and The Red Parts: A Memoir. Nelson’s new book, The Art of Cruelty, a work of art criticism, is forthcoming from W.W. Norton. The Writing Program faculty member is also the author of several books of poetry, including Something Bright, Then Holes; Jane: A Murder; The Latest Winter; and Shiner.
The Sharon Disney Lund School of Dance Richmond Ballet returned to New York’s Joyce Theater this spring with a program that included Vestiges, created by choreography faculty Colin Connor. First commissioned in 2000 and performed several times since by the ballet, most recently in 2009, Vestiges has been described by Spectrum as “nothing short of hypnotic.” It is the third Connor opus to appear on the stages of the Joyce. In other projects, he has been working on a dance film, Shorelife. Performances of other works this winter have included Pyre, by the Eisenhower Dance Ensemble, and arena, by the Canadian Children’s Dance Theatre. Connor has two big projects forthcoming: a performance of his work Corvidae is taking place in May at the Kennedy Center in Washington, and in September the Los Angeles Theater Center is presenting the first fullevening of his choreography in L.A. The program includes The Body Is A House without Walls and The End of Magic, both of which were developed with CalArts dancers.
School of Film/Video During the past year, Katie Diamond (bfa 03) has performed with the Metropolitan Opera Ballet and the Mark Morris Dance Group, toured a solo concert featuring works by Jose Limón, Anna Sokolow and fellow alum Jonathan Fredrickson (see below), and taught a workshop in Santiago, Chile, at the dance studio of CalArts classmate Francisca Garcia (bfa 03). Diamond also adjudicated the international dance competition Talenti in Palcoscenico in Brindisi, Italy. Jonathan Fredrickson (bfa 06), a member of the Limón Dance Company, has been invited to create two new dances for Limón’s upcoming season. His earlier commission for the company, The Edge of Some World, debuted in December at the Beijing National Performing Arts Center. In other news, Hubbard Street Dance Chicago’s second company, hs2, premiered Fredrickson’s Luna Sea in Aachen as part of its Germany tour this past March. His piece had been selected as one of the winners of Hubbard Street’s Choreographic Competition last year. Choreographer Sahar Javedani (mfa 03) concluded her whirlwind four-day residency at Dance Theater Workshop in New York with two work-in-progress performances of The Turquoise Lounge. The piece is inspired by a true story of a group of travelers detained together at an airport. Lounge examines the “physical and emotional territories of allegiance,” questions Western and Middle Eastern stereotypes, and charts “linguistic confrontations, visceral resignations and voracious appropriations” of its characters, says the artistic director of compani javedani. Ryan Mason (bfa 07) is dancing as a member of johannes wieland, the resident company of the Staatstheater Kassel in Germany. He is currently collaborating on the company’s new production, entitled Roadkill, which features original music by Ben Frost. It premieres this July in New York at Dance Theater Workshop.
Vestiges by Colin Connor, performed by Richmond Ballet. Dancers: Cody Beaton and Angela Hutto.
Movement seen through the camera’s eye was the subject of the inaugural San Francisco Dance Film Festival in March. One of the festival’s two honorees was dance film faculty Mitchell Rose, who spoke and showed several of his works—including a preview of a newly completed dance film called Advance. Rose then traveled to Atlanta for a stint as juror for that city’s annual film festival. He also presented an evening of film that concluded with his trademark audience-participation performance piece, The Mitch Show.
The Institute was once again well-represented, with seven entries, at the International Film Festival Rotterdam. Returning to the continent was faculty member James Benning’s Ruhr, following its U.S. premiere at redcat. Fellow faculty Janie Geiser, of the School of Theater’s Cotsen Center for Puppetry and Arts, and Lewis Klahr, of the Schools of Film/Video and Theater, each contributed a short animated film: Geiser with Ghost Algebra and Klahr with Wednesday Morning Two A.M. Also featured were Laida Lertxundi’s (mfa 07) short My Tears Are Dry and Akosua Adoma Owusu’s (Art–Film/Video mfa 08) lyrical documentary me broni ba (my white baby). mfa candidate Gregory Rentis, of the Film Directing Program, showed his thesis film Sundown and Rotterdam veteran Deborah Stratman (mfa 95) debuted the doc Walking Is Dancing. James Benning then went on to take part in the Berlin International Film Festival, where he gave a live film performance of his latest work, Reforming the Past, a reworking of his own North on Evers in hd accompanied by live narration. Tim Burton (bfa 79) has enjoyed a banner year. First, he was the subject of a major—in fact, unprecedented—retrospective presented by The Museum of Modern Art in New York. Bringing together hundreds of artworks, film-related objects and moving image works, the exhibition was moma’s largest-ever effort devoted to a filmmaker. It also included screenings of 14 of Burton’s feature films. Not on the moma list was his latest, Alice in Wonderland, with Johnny Depp, Anne Hathaway and Helena Bonham Carter. The film, which opened in March as the no. 1 movie worldwide, was hailed by The Hollywood Reporter as “truly, madly wonderful” and a “whimsically appointed dazzler.” The cavalcade of accolades continued at this year’s Annie Awards, the highest honors in animation, as Burton, along with CalArts trustee emeritus Jeffrey Katzenberg, received the Winsor McCay Award for lifetime contributions to the art of animation. Finally, Burton was selected as jury president for this year’s Cannes Film Festival. Disney/Pixar’s Up, directed and co-written by Pete Docter (bfa 90), made a clean sweep of the major animation feature prizes during this past awards season when Docter stepped up to the podium to collect the Oscar for Animated Feature Film at the 82nd Annual Academy Awards. Coraline, written and directed by Henry Selick (mfa 77, see next page for more), and The Princess and the Frog, co-directed and co-written by John Musker (77) and John Clements, were in contention for the same prize. The Disney/Pixar hit,
courtesy of dreamworks animation (top) and the academy of motion picture arts and sciences.
The Herb Alpert School of Music
above: Alumnus Chris Sanders cowrote and co-directed DreamWorks Animation’s How to Train Your Dragon. left: Pete Docter accepts the Oscar for Best Animated Feature Film.
moma’s Documentary Fortnight, the museum’s ninth annual showcase of international nonfiction film, included Alexandria Hammond’s (bfa 02) debut feature Strange Things (Bagay Dwol). Shot in the city of Cap-Haïtien on the north coast of Haiti, the documentary tracks a massive epidemic of orphanhood, numbering some 500,000 youth, that was well underway before this year’s devastating earthquake in that country. co-executive produced by past Academy Award winners John Lasseter (bfa 79) and Andrew Stanton (bfa 87), was also up for the overall Best Picture Oscar, which went to The Hurt Locker (see below). Up had previously collected the top animated feature prize at the Golden Globes, the Annie Awards, the National Board of Review, the baftas, and a host of Film Critics Circle Associations in cities across the U.S. The other CalArts winner on Oscar night was Chris Innis (mfa 91), who received the Film Editing prize with her husband Bob Murawski for their work on The Hurt Locker. The couple had earlier garnered top Film Editing honors at the baftas. As for the Best Picture and Best Director winner at the Oscars, it should be remembered that The Hurt Locker’s Kathryn Bigelow, the first woman to win both those awards, taught a film class at CalArts in the early 1980s at the invitation of then-faculty member John Baldessari (Chouinard 59) of the School of Art. Baldessari knew Bigelow from the New York art scene and her film and performance collaborations with artists Lawrence Weiner and Vito Acconci. Billy and Aaron, directed by Rodney Evans (mfa 96), and The Travelogues, by Dustin Thompson (mfa 09), were selections of the Tribeca Film Festival. Billy and Aaron is a drama about African American composer Billy Strayhorn and the consequences of his decision to live as an openly gay man in the homophobic jazz milieu of the 1940s. The Travelogues, a poetic survey of natural and manmade landscapes, was also selected by the traveling Black Maria Film Festival.
The 2010 Sundance Film Festival offered screenings of the award-winning Thompson, by Jason Tippet (bfa 08), a short documentary that follows two lifelong friends in suburban California who drift apart in their senior year of high school. Next door at Slamdance, the lineup included a trio of inventive animated shorts by Calartians: Deux Regards, by Minkyu Kim (bfa 09) and Kang Min Kim (bfa 09); Visit, by Kang Min Kim; and Over the River and Through the Higher Dimensions, by Dillon Markey (mfa 09). DreamWorks Animation’s 3-d extravaganza How to Train Your Dragon, co-written and co-directed by Chris Sanders (bfa 84) and Dean DeBlois, became the second major studio release this year helmed by a Calartian (following Tim Burton’s [bfa 79] Alice in Wonderland [see previous page]) to top the box office charts on its opening weekend. “Seeing Dragon in 3-d really is a must,” said the Chicago Tribune. “Its formidable realm of Vikings and dragons and nerds (oh my!) should be enjoyed to the fullest extent theaters allow.” The movie notably features character animation work by CalArts faculty James Hull, Morgan Kelly (bfa 03) and Scott Wright. Following this year’s Oscars, in which Henry Selick’s (mfa 77) Coraline went head to head with Disney/Pixar’s Up, Selick has now struck an exclusive long-term deal to make stopmotion features for Disney/Pixar. The deal reunites Selick with longtime friends John Lasseter (bfa 79), Disney’s creative chief, and Brad Bird (76), director of The Incredibles and Ratatouille. It also marks the industry’s renewed interest in the technique of stopmotion animation, vigorously supported all along by the CalArts School of Film/Video.
Guitar faculty Woody Aplanalp’s (bfa 94, mfa 99) rock band Old Californio has a new cd called Sun Drunk Angels coming out this summer from Parasol Records. Earlier this year, Aplanalp performed with another one of his groups, Ricardo Lemvo and the Makina Loca, which combines Congolese soukous music with salsa. That outfit also features drummer Kiko Cornejo (bfa 98), bassist Dante Pascuzzo (bfa 00) and trombonist John Roberts (mfa 99). Associate Dean Susan Allen (bfa 73) joined with faculty colleagues David Johnson (bfa 72), Amy Knoles (bfa 82) and Vicky Ray, and alums Nick Terry (mfa 04) and Phala Tracy (mfa 03) at the University of San Diego to play selections of Pierre Boulez’s Sur Incises, under the direction of the maestro himself. This performance was part of symposiums held in conjunction with Boulez receiving the Kyoto Prize for lifetime achievement. The music legend had invited the ensemble based on the CalArts New Century Players’ rousing rendition of the notoriously difficult Sur Incises at the 2003 Ojai Music Festival. In other news, Allen was on tour in Russia last fall, appearing at venues in St. Petersburg, Moscow and Novosibirsk, and teaching harp and improvisation at the Tchaikovsky Conservatory of Music and the Music College of Novosibirsk. Allen also made a new recording with Roman Stolyar and other noted Russian improvisers. This February, percussion faculty Randy Gloss (mfa 97) appeared with Adam Rudolph’s (mfa 88) Go: Organic Orchestra, prompting LA Weekly music critic Greg Burk, writing on the site metaljazz.com, to rave: “Randy Gloss’ work on pandeiro (Afro-Brazilian tambourine) was one of the most amazing demonstrations of concentrated virtuosity I’ve ever seen.” In fact, Gloss is so attuned to performing on the pandeiro, as well as the South Indian kanjira, that he has been consulting with drum manufacturer Remo Inc. on the company’s new line of those instruments. Elsewhere, Gloss and his percussion group Hands On’Semble, with Andrew Grueschow (bfa 96, mfa 99) and Austin Wrinkle (bfa 97, mfa 99), recorded music for Disney’s liveaction movie Prince of Persia: Sands of Time, due out this summer.
School of Theater Ustad Aashish Khan, one of the world’s foremost exponents of the sarode, is playing at this year’s Ojai Music Festival. Long at the forefront of the renaissance in Indian classical music, and a collaborator with artists such as George Harrison and Eric Clapton, the renowned CalArts faculty member is leading three performances, on the morning of Sunday, June 13, and twice throughout the weekend at free Beyond the Bowl events. David Rosenboom, dean of the school and holder of the Richard Seaver Distinguished Chair in Music, is putting the finishing touches on his new double-cd forthcoming from Pogus Productions. The release features a new recording of the influential 1985 concert-length composition Zones of Influence, written for percussionist William Winant, who originally played an array of percussion instruments interfaced to a groundbreaking digital interface called the Touché, which was designed by Rosenboom and synthesizer inventor Donald Buchla. This time around, the piece relies on brand-new software for the Touché developed by Rosenboom and Martijn Zwartjes, of the school’s expanding Program in Music Technology. (The upgraded interface is now dubbed the Touché ii.) Back in the fall, Rosenboom and three faculty colleagues — Michael Colombier PerformerComposer Chair Vinny Golia, experimental filmmaker Maureen Selwood of the School of Film/Video, and Nicholas England Chair I Nyoman Wenten (mfa 74) — had traveled to Indonesia for a residency at the Jakarta Institute of Arts in Java, performances at the Indonesian Arts Festival in Jakarta, and additional presentations and workshops at the Indonesian Institute of Arts in Denpasar, Bali. Wadada Leo Smith, coordinator of African American Improvisational Music, led his acclaimed Golden Quartet in a performance this April at Barnsdall Gallery Theater in Los Angeles. Smith was recently the subject of two music magazine cover stories, in the February issue of the The Wire and the January issue of Jazzis.
Graduating bfa lighting designer Brandon Baker received the Gilbert Hemsley Jr. Internship in Lighting at Lincoln Center for the 2010–11 season. Baker is one of only a handful of undergraduates to ever receive this much-coveted internship. Head of Scene Design Christopher Barreca created the sets for the world premiere of In A Garden by Howard Korder at South Coast Repertory in Costa Mesa. Earlier, Barreca had collaborated with Teatre Pokoleniy in St. Petersburg, Russia, on the premiere of Pitersburg. The Center for New Performance (cnp) at CalArts and the School of Theater, in association with The Getty, staged a multilingual production called Piedra de Sol (“Sunstone”) at the Getty Villa in Pacific Palisades. Adapted and directed by Mexican playwright María Morett, the play was based on the surrealist love poem of the same name by Nobel laureate Octavio Paz. Piedra de Sol is the inaugural production of Duende CalArts, an initiative founded by Marissa Chibas, the head of the mfa Acting Program, to explore Latin arts and culture. The play was presented in connection with the Getty exhibition The Aztec Pantheon and the Art of Empire. Virginia Grise (mfa 09) has won the 2010 Yale Drama Series with the already acclaimed play blu—the dramatist’s CalArts thesis project. The competition was adjudicated by David Hare (The Absence of War, The Vertical Hour, Gethsemane), who selected Grise’s work from more than 950 submissions. The play, which deals with a Mexican American family’s response to the loss of a son in Iraq, will be published by Yale University Press and receive a reading at Yale Repertory Theatre. Grise’s award came with the $10,000 David C. Horn Prize. This honor represented the third time blu has been recognized, following a fellowship from the Jerome Foundation in Minneapolis and the Kendeda Graduate Playwrighting Award from Atlanta’s Alliance Theater.
Olivia Henry (bfa 08) and Alina Phelan (bfa 95) starred in Circle X Theatre Company’s debut production of Lascivious Something, by Sheila Callaghan, at [Inside] the Ford in Los Angeles. Also in L.A.: A number of Calartians appeared in The Shakespeare Center’s staging of Romeo and Juliet. Diona Reasonover (mfa 09) as Juliet was joined by Evan Cleaver (mfa 09) as Tybalt, Will Green (mfa 09) as Paris, and Bruce Beatty (bfa 86) as the Prince. The production, set in the 1930s, was directed by Chris Anthony (mfa 95). Head of Lighting Design Donald Holder designed the lighting for Twyla Tharp’s Come Fly Away on Broadway and at the Alliance Theatre in Atlanta. He also designed the lighting for the world premiere of Jake Heggie’s opera Moby Dick at the Dallas Opera and the new musical Johnny Baseball at the American Repertory Theater in Cambridge, ma. After a two-decade hiatus, Paul Reubens (bfa 73) reprised the iconic character of Pee-wee Herman with a stage show that ran for four weeks at Club Nokia @ l.a. live. The new Pee-wee Herman Show was an adaptation of the 1981 stage production at the Groundlings Theater that catapulted Reuben’s comic creation to national fame—in the multiple Emmy Award-winning Pee-wee’s Playhouse, the offkilter Saturday morning kids show that aired on cbs from 1986 to 1991, and in a pair of movies, the first of which, Pee-wee’s Playhouse, was directed by fellow alum Tim Burton (Film/Video bfa 79, see page 33). Scene designer Shannon Scrofano (mfa 06, see next page for more) co-programmed a conference entitled “Theater, Engagement and Democracy in the 21st Century” at Woolly Mammoth Theatre in Washington. Assistant Dean and Head of Management Stephanie Young was elected to serve on the board of directors of the United States Institute for Theatre Technology (usitt).
Before its production in May at the Getty Villa, Piedra de Sol was first presented on campus last fall. Directed by María Morett, the play was the inaugural production of Duende CalArts, a Latin arts initiative founded by faculty member Marissa Chibas.
Institute CalArts mfa candidates Toussaint Jeanlouis, from the School of Theater, and Ellen Reid, from The Herb Alpert School of Music, were selected to travel to Europe for the winter session of Feldstärke International — a program that each year allows some 50 artists from a wide variety of disciplines to work and learn together in close collaboration. Administered by centquarte in Paris and pact Zollverein in Essen, Germany, Feldstärke’s third partner this year was CalArts. During the fall semester, artists drawn together by Feldstärke visited the CalArts campus for a weeklong series of workshops and collaborative projects that culminated with a group exhibition. The spring semester brought the European return leg, with weeklong sessions in Essen and Paris — all aimed at fostering cooperation and surpassing boundaries through the common language of art.
cast performs live, defying the politically enforced physical separation of the two peoples. “The Closest Farthest Away breaks ground artistically, politically and technologically,” said The Miami Herald. “It succeeds beautifully in evoking a surreal world of longing, memory and frustrated attachment that should be intimately familiar to many in Miami.” American Theatre magazine called the interaction of live and filmed performance “beautiful. . . nearly holographic.” Havana’s Granma, for its part, proclaimed: “There is no doubt that The Closest Farthest Away is a stimulating piece of understanding through art, an open bridge, and a revolution on the impending need to leave behind our prejudices.” The script was written by Joy Tomasko (Theater mfa 06), Agnieska Hernandez and Boris Gonzalez Arenas, with additional writing by Jane Pickett (Theater mfa 08). Chi-wang Yang provided the theatrical direction while Aleigh Lewis and Arenas directed the filmed segments. The cast included Armando McClain (Theater mfa 09), Yipsia Torres Cuevas and Andrea LeBlanc (Theater mfa 01). Raul Perez Ureta directed the cinematography and Sage Lewis composed the music; among the musicians were Caleb Epps (Music mfa 07) and Derrick Spiva Jr. (Music mfa 08). Other credits: film production by Yasef Ananda, theatrical production by Miranda Wright (Theater mfa 09); set design by Shannon Scrofano (Theater mfa 06); sound design by Nathan Ruyle (Theater mfa 08); lighting design by Jeannette Yew (Theater mfa 06); sound recording by Kirin Kapin (Music mfa 07). Funding for this project came from, among other sources, the Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs and the CalArts Interdisciplinary Fund. courtesy of the artists
CalArts alumni Armando McClain, playing an American biologist in love with a Cuban doctor, and Andrea LeBlanc, as a government interrogator, in scenes from The Closest Farthest Away.
calarts library archive
In March, three CalArts schools joined forces to stage the world premiere of Dice Thrown, an interdisciplinary, chance-based opera composed and conceptualized by Alpert Award winner John King (Music bfa 76), with musical direction by music faculty Marc Lowenstein and choreography by Dean Stephan Koplowitz. This joint project from The Herb Alpert School of Music, the School of Theater, and The Sharon Disney Lund School of Dance took as its inspiration the 1897 poem by Stéphane Mallarmé called “Un coup de dés jamais n’abolira le hasard” (“A Throw of the Dice Will Never Abolish Chance”). Presented at the Walt Disney Modular Theater on campus, the opera had every element of its performance and production determined by chance operations; each night’s version was unique.
After nearly five years of development, an unprecedented interdisciplinary collaboration between Calartians and artists from Cuba culminated with the first productions of The Closest Farthest Away (“La Entrañable Lejania”), a combination of live theater, film and music that received its world premiere in Havana in December and its U.S. premiere in Miami this March. Setting out to break barriers between cultures and art forms, the piece was conceived by composer Sage Lewis (Music mfa 08) and Film/Video mfa candidate Aleigh Lewis, and carried out with theater director Chi-wang Yang (Theater–Integrated Media mfa 07) and director-writer Boris Gonzalez Arenas. The odds-defying love story of an American marine biologist and a Cuban doctor brings live and recorded performance into a single continuum: The Cuban actors, filmed in 2007, appear in multichannel video projections while the American half of the
Remembering Roy E. Disney, 1930–2009 On December 16, 2009, after a valiant struggle with cancer, Roy E. Disney passed away. Others have written about his critical role in the rejuvenation of The Walt Disney Company and the revival of feature animation. His success as an investor through Shamrock Holdings, his passion for sailing, and his widespread philanthropic commitments are well known. I will limit this remembrance to his longtime relationship with CalArts. Roy first became a trustee in 1967, when his father, Roy O. Disney, was working to fulfill his brother Walt’s dream of a school for all the arts. When his father died in 1971, a large part of that responsibility fell to Roy, a responsibility he wore lightly and bore nobly through CalArts’ early raucous days, its many ups and downs in the 1970s and early ’80s, and finally through its rise to national prominence from the late 1980s to the present. When I became president in 1988, after a long period of transition that led to a rising deficit, Roy might very well have said, “Enough. Now it’s someone else’s turn to carry the burden.” Instead, he offered me a challenge: He would continue to support CalArts, but only if CalArts proved capable of attracting additional donors. We did just that, and not only did Roy continue year in and year out to be CalArts’ most generous donor, he also helped us to meet new challenges as they arose and to seize new opportunities. He was there for us in 1994 when CalArts suffered the $42 million damage of the Northridge earthquake; he was there again in 1997 when Silicon Graphics gave us the opportunity to bring our computer technology up to the state of the art. Above all, he was there to help create the possibility of redcat, and then to give, first one, and then a second major gift, toward its construction. Characteristically—for Roy was a modest man who never sought public acclaim—the Roy and Edna Disney/CalArts Theater is named not for Roy but for his parents. My sense is that what lay behind Roy’s unswerving dedication to CalArts might have begun as family loyalty but rested ultimately on his commitment to the creative imagination, a commitment shown first in the 20 years he worked on nature films, later in his leadership in the renaissance of Disney animation and his passion to see Fantasia 2000 completed, and, finally, in the sailing film Morning Light, which he completed in 2008. Roy understood that CalArts’ task was to foster a parallel creative independence in its students. I am happy that Roy lived to see the responsibility he had taken on as a young man fulfilled in what CalArts has become. I know he was also pleased to see his son, Tim, become personally engaged with CalArts and in recent years, his children, Susan, Abigail and Roy Patrick, as well. I wish he could be with us for the next chapter in CalArts story. We will miss him. Steven D. Lavine
from top: Roy E. Disney at the 2007 redcat Gala; with Steven Lavine and Frank Gehry in front of an architectural model of redcat, 1997; with Bob Egelston at the 1992 Trustee Awards; and with founding trustee Lulu May von Hagen, CalArts’ first president Robert Corrigan and others at the CalArts Groundbreaking, 1969.
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front cover: Students at work in a Chouinard Art Institute technical workshop, as seen in The CalArts Story, a 1964 short film that made the case for Walt Disney’s vision of CalArts—an arts college in which practitioners from different disciplines come together in one place and inspire each other to innovate, to develop new forms and expressions.
back cover: Faculty member Martin Kersels and his large-scale kinetic sculpture Tumble Room, which was fabricated in the School of Art’s Super Shop.