YoYo Magazine R/Evolution Part I Listen. Read. Think.Participate!
Editors’ Notes Moira Williams
Hairy Vetch Exchange
Janet Owen Driggs
Return of the Octopus
Dinty W. Moore Philip Hartigan
Janeil Engelstad’s interviews of: Rudolf Sikora Eva H Anna Daučíková
Interviews From Eastern Europe
Editors’ Notes When we sent out the call for submissions around the theme R/Evolution, we didn’t imagine we’d receive work about the whimsy of mules shattering teacups or lawn mowing men embarking on a comedic revolt. We were delighted, however, in the deeply thoughtful interactions of Kitty Ross with her obsolete animals and fine china and to laugh at Dinty Moore’s depiction of suburban mutiny. We did predict the most obvious interpretation of our topic, of course—war—but we were thrilled to find that subject visited in the evocative, intensely personal remembrances of artists and writers who lived through the changes in Eastern Europe. These were generously shared with Janeil Engelstad, who in turn shared them with us. Phil Hartigan’s pieces made us think of how military interactions ripple through the generations, circling back to Moore’s story by zeroing in on how we construct masculinity in our culture. Another theme in this issue, touched on by Moore and Ross, is the manipulation of our natural world. Moira William’s project “Hairy Vetch Exchange” deals with this head-on as she germinates seeds on her body and then uses the plants to remediate polluted soils. The resulting harvest is ground to make bread for a communal meal. Her project coaxes nourishment from ruin, and makes manifest, in the most literal way possible, how our environment and our bodies are inextricably entwined. Janet Owen Driggs also draws on nature in her essay “Return of the Octopus.” From Zucotti Park to Oakland, from sea to shining sea, the Occupy movement captured the attention of the country, and Janet Owen Driggs traces the long tentacle of political imagery in “Return of the Octopus.” She documents how this iconic imagery of protest against the corrupting influence of capital has evolved over time and demonstrates how this historic trope has new resonance. We hope you enjoy this conversation/collection. Amber Ginsburg Kristin Ginger Rebecca Keller And don’t forget, if any of these works resonate with yours, submit to http://www.yoyomagazine.org/submissions.html for the R/Evolution II issue.
Listen. Read. Think. Participate!
Hairy Vetch Exchange Moira Williams
Using the body as a source of architecture and sustainability, I germinate hairy vetch seeds in my armpit until the seeds sprout.
I transplant these hairy vetch seedlings into my Dirt Shirt, which is filled with soil from a Superfund site in my Brooklyn neighborhood. I use public water sources and rain to hydrate the seedlings via an irrigation system built into the Dirt Shirt.
The seedlings are then transplanted to further detoxifiy the Superfund soil. Once the soil is amended, I harvest the hairy vetch seeds, grind them into flour, make bread for the community, and serve it.
Moira serving bread made from the ground hairy vetch seeds in a gallery.
Return of the Octopus Janet Owen Driggs
In the variety show of our political imaginary, the octopus has put in a long-running performance
as a cartoon villain. For at least two centuries, propagandists have used this underwater master of disguise to portray the threat of alien forces and Machiavellian power manipulations.
Its use by American cartoonists reached a peak in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries as they sought to describe the often-murky operations of national monopolies such as Standard Oil, the Federal Reserve, and the Southern Pacific Railroad (SPRR) —to name but a few. Latterly, however, the eightlegged star has waned. Whereas the octopus was once the political commentators’first choice for a metaphor to depict the workings of power, the fat cat and the greedy pig have now muscled in. Cartoonists regularly use these domesticated animals to characterize banks, corporations, and governmental institutions as rapacious, predacious, and sleekly vicious.
The Curse of California by G. Frederick Keller – the image that started it all for Octupy – appeared in San Francisco-based publication the Wasp in 1882. It depicts SPRR as an octopus that controls production and trade in the state.
While the contemporary images offer cogent commentary on the characteristics of contemporary powerbrokers, two things are being lost with the decline of the octopus. First: the creature’s multitentacled capacity to illustrate the systemic operations of power. Second: the opportunity to explore the octopus as a metaphor for horizontal collaboration rather than hierarchical control.
The following image essay traces a little of the aforementioned history and outlines a recent project – a giant octopus puppet – that it inspired. An attempt to revive the octopus as an illustration of power, Octupy, which I made with Matthew Driggs and about seventy-five other Occupiers, was also an effort to perform power in ways that contradicted the diagram. While The Curse clearly references SPRR’s owners – two of them comprise the eyes, for instance – this is primarily a portrait of the structure and strategies of their corporation. Should readers believe, for example, that SPRR merely builds railroads, the cartoon makes clear the company’s interlinked interests in finance, mining, agriculture, telecommunications, and lumber. It speaks to the corporation’s excessive control in these areas, not least by its depiction of nine lifesqueezing tentacles, with a tenth lurking in reserve. And it elucidates relationships between such seemingly disparate conditions as Nob Hill wealth and the desolation of Mussel Slough, where seven people died as a result of an SPRR land dispute in 1880. The events at Mussel Slough inspired Frank Norris, author of The Octopus, A Story of California, to describe SPRR as “the leviathan, with tentacles of steel clutching into the soil, the soulless Force, the iron-hearted Power.1”
Politician Alfred Owen Crozier drew this devilish octopus for his 1912 book U.S. Money vs. Corporate Money, “Aldrich Plan,” Wall Street Confessions! Great Bank Combine! An impassioned argument against the Federal Reserve System, the book asserts that it would create a vast profitmaking machine for Wall Street financiers.
Frank Norris: The Octopus: A California Story, Doubleday, Page & Co., 1903.
Keller’s Curse helps us visualize the distributed – often seemingly unrelated – parts that comprise the corporate whole, and provides a compelling illustration of the ruthlessness with which that centralized power pursued its profits. In addition, by anchoring his image in the Mussel Slough cemetary (lower lefthand corner), Keller evokes the source of SPRR’s profit, which was not the laying of rails but the acquisition of public land.
influenced a 1922 speech in which New York Mayor John Hylan said: “The real menace of our Republic is the invisible government, which like a giant octopus sprawls its slimy legs over our cities, states and nation….at the head of this octopus are the RockefellerStandard Oil interests and a small group of powerful banking houses.”3 In contrast to the previous images, which diagram exploitative systems, Schrank has drawn a picture of an exploitative relationship that suggests at least two reasons why the
SPRR was established in 1865 as a land holding company. Railroad building was an excellent way to acquire US land at this time because the (privately owned) nationwide rail network received massive public subsidization in the form of land grants. SPRR received almost seven million acres of public land, along with their natural IPublished in The Independent on Sunday in 2009, this Schrank cartoon responds to resources and potential the fact that bankers continued to receive huge bonuses despite their responsibility for agricultural for financial collapse. and residential relationship endures. The cat’s hulking size development, both of which SPRR stimulated 2 and latent power counterpoint the woman’s aggressively . apparent affection for the creature. (Is she aware that her cat is monstrous? If she comes Although he later married into the Rockefeller to realize what she is living with and declines family, it seems likely that Crozier’s drawing to feed him, what then might he do?) Implying that we, all of us, have nurtured the 2 For a fascinating account of just one of SPRR’s multi-pronged campaigns in this regard – the marketing of Southern California to potential residents as a contemporary Garden of Eden – see Douglas Cazaux Sackman’s Orange Empire, University of California Press, 2005.
3 Mayor John Hylan: Hylan Takes a Stand on National Issues,” The New York Times March 27, 1922, p. 3
rapacity and power of bankers to horror-show dimensions, this cartoon also suggests that change is possible only if we understand the size and shape of power. Only if she stops being blinded by affection or familiarity will the old lady be able to recognize her condition and take action to change it. A literary grandchild of Keller’s Curse,
Taibbi’s description offers a powerful moment of intellectual and visceral recognition. In addition to this (surprisingly cute) silhouette, his words have spawned grassroots vampire squid imagery. As one example: On December 12, 2012 Occupy Wall Street people wore squid hats to march in solidarity with their west coast counterparts during an action titled: “Day Without Goldman Sachs.”
Molly Crabapple’s stencil/ protest sign Vampire Squid references a 2009 Matt Taibbi article in which the journalist describes Goldman Sachs as “a great vampire squid wrapped around the face of humanity, relentlessly jamming its blood funnel into anything that smells like money.”
Octupy was inspired by the very particular resonance that the octopus metaphor has for California. Wanting to explore some of the background to contemporary socio-political and economic circumstances in the State, and translate the nineteenth century cartoons into contemporary relevance, we initiated a public discussion at Occupy LA,. Octupy grew from that conversation. A representation of the artificial corporate
body operated by over forty natural human bodies, Octupy also presented a picture of horizontality in action. Coming after the Pasadena Rose Parade’s traditional regiment of marching bands and floats, each of which carried a petalized corporate and/or military message, the wobbly-butmostly-synchronous Octupy offered an exuberant expression of self-determined cooperation.
The puppet was constructed over five-weeks at Occupy LA. We used bamboo, bicycle inner tubes, and plastic wrap for the head, and we used a process similar to patchwork for the tentacles. Cutting and piecing old plastic shopping bags to make yards of plastic “skin” created time for conversation, while the frequent question “what are you doing?” inevitably led to discussions of local history and the hierarchical operations of power. In addition, because the bulk of an octopus’s neurons are distributed throughout its body, the creature offered a wonderful metaphor by which to vision and discuss the Occupy movement’s horizontal power relations. Diagrams and construction photos are available at www.performingpublicspace.org.
On November 20, 2011, as rain poured from a lead sky, a giant plastic octopus undulated out of the Occupy LA camp and up the steps of City Hall, gathering people into its maw. Adults and children, puppeteers and passersby, the people held placards that identified them as members of the 99%: “student,” “home owner,” “uninsured,” and so on. The 70-feet long, 20-feet tall octopus gobbled them all up. The puppet undulated again on January 2, 2012 as part of Occupy the Rose Parade. In lieu of City Hall, we made puppet “accessories” that illuminated Octupy’s stance. They included a wearable house, which ran away from the “hammer of foreclosure,” which was wielded by a tentacle, and an enormous pair of pants. Blazoned with “99%,” the pant’s pocket held a dollar, which the octopus tried to extract using a massive hand.
We organized Octupy initially because we wanted to make the corporate tentacles visible by literally winding them around the columns of City Hall. However, as the project got underway, it became clear that the octopus offers a visual metaphor not just for the hierarchical operations of corporate capitalism, but for the organization of power per se. 4 Alvin Powell, â€œThinking Like an Octopusâ€?, Harvard Gazette, October 2010: http://news.harvard.edu/gazette/story/2010/10/thinking-like-an-octopus/. Retreived 3.12.12
We’d like to explore that idea more fully in the future, but for now we are enjoying this octopus-like visual representation of the “Declaration of the Occupation of New York City.” Created by the Arts and Culture Group of the NYC General Assembly, its entwined threads make visual both the interlinked nature of “all our grievances,” and the workings of a collaborative, multi-vocal congregation. In a fictional war between humans and machines in the Matrix films, the flying Sentinels, aka “squiddies,” battle human soldiers who wear clunky, bipedal metal suits. With movements that resemble those of a high-speed octopus swarm, the Sentinels’ coordinated behavior suggests that they are part of, or controlled by, a collective mind.
Representing a chilling power structure in which self-expression, self-determination and consensus building appear to have no existence, the fearsome Sentinels pose a literal threat to the human bodies on-screen, while reinforcing the off-screen paradigmatic notion that “one” is properly a radically independent individual. Unconscious devotion to the model of the human being that Western thought has propounded for over five centuries always seems to get in the way of collaboration. In addition to helping us visualize hierarchical organizations of power, perhaps the time has come for the octopus to lend its tentacles to visualizations of collective behavior that can help us all get over our selves.
Katherine L. Ross
Three years ago, my studio burned to the ground—taking thirty years of my work with it. All that remained were hundreds of porcelain shards, the wreckage of sculptures, and my two mules, which lived in a section of the studio. The pair stood calmly nearby as the building burned.
This fire arrived on the heels of my years-long interest in hybridity, genetics, and the manipulation of the natural world. I sought out what was likely the first manmade animal hybrid: the mule, a cross between the horse and the donkey. Being sterile, they exist only for the labor of man, who created a creature which is, on average, stronger, healthier, and smarter than a horse or donkey. Just 100 years ago, 25 million mules worked in the U.S., but by the end of WWII, they had been rendered obsolete by heavy mechanical equipment. Now, they have all but disappeared in the U.S. Having lost their original purpose, they are now bred primarily for appearance—for delicate, chiseled heads and fine-boned legs. To find out what it would be like to be wholly responsible for an animal that exists entirely for my own purposes, I bought a yearling
mule, the progeny of a Poitou donkey sire and a Clydesdale draft horse mare. Developed in the Middle Ages, only about 180 Poitou donkeys remain in existence. When I bought Oopie (short for Allie Oop), she was the only Poitou/Clydesdale mule in the U.S. All equines are herd animals, and most equines develop behavioral issues, anxieties, and health problems if isolated. I acquired another mule, Willibald–the offspring of a Percheron draft horse and a mammoth jack—and Oopie and Willi soon became inseparable. For the last seven years, I have trained these mules in the dressage riding discipline, which began as the highest level of equine training for cavalry movements and battlefield maneuvers. I have been training obsolete animals in an obsolete military discipline. I have a new studio space where I am reinventing my practice, free from the crowding influence of work that no longer exists. Porcelain is my material of choice, and the teacup serves as a point of fusion, a rotational concept, for my investigation of hybridity and obsolescence. The porcelain teacup was developed for use tea rituals intrinsic to elite social hierarchies, and as those elitist social structures have decomposed, the social role of the tea cup has nearly disappeared. The once ubiquitous industrial production of bland and banal porcelain ware continues today as a flood of plastic and disposable utilitarian ware that chokes landfills and oceans. The teacup is the ceramic equivalent of the mule.
Both the teacup and the mule are the ghosts of their own histories. In the video on the next page, they perform a dressage dance interaction, a mule performs a piaffe (a calm, composed, elevated trot in place) over a single unfired porcelain teacup and saucer. The equine knows there is something underneath him, and he tries to avoid it. However, the propulsion of the piaffe movement and his awkward attempts to avoid the cup cause him to lose track of where it is, and he smashes it—animating the inanimate, forming a synergy of their obsolescence. Interspecies collaborations in art are often one-sided. The human usually uses the animal without levying its decision-making abilities or eliciting active, volitional contribution to the project. Desiring a more collaborative effort, I have allowed my mules unrestricted access to my studio to investigate ceramic materials and objects. They are curious animals and want to understand objects in their environment; it is a survival skill for them.
When confronted with danger, horses usually run, while donkeys often stay and fight—a mule, equal parts horse and donkey, has both instincts. Through investigation, it determines what is safe and what is not, then decides how to respond. I set up situations, but let my mules decide what to do in them. Neither of us completely understands the other’s intentions, agenda, or umwelt, but we have learned to trust each other when it comes to our reactions. This synergy creates a new way for us to work toward an unknown outcome. It is anyone’s guess what comes after the collapse of all social, historical, and cultural relevance and reference to the mule, the teacup, and dressage. As our societies have moved from these social artifacts to a more conjugated meaning of life and art, our historical referents may falter—or they may find a way to preserve themselves.
the above photo to view a video of three dressage dance interactions in which the mule performs a piaffe (a calm, composed, elevated trot in place) over a single unfired porcelain teacup and saucer).
Crabgrass Revolution Dinty W. Moore
mimics a man being strangled, his arm holding the rope, his tongue lolling out of the left I’m half-awake, making coffee, vaguely side of his mouth. “We come home, our wives registering the drone of neighborhood lawnpick up the slack. ‘Mow the lawn,’ and we mowers, when I realize someone’s knocking mow. ‘Take out the rubbish,’ and we drag at my door. plastic sacks out the door as fast as our chubby “Wait a minute,” I holler. little legs can carry us. ‘Spend time with JuBut Mort comes in anyway. nior,’ and we hit the floor making truck noises “Good news,” he shouts. Mort wears a and getting rug lint on our good clothes. We’re red t-shirt that doesn’t quite reach the waistlike trained dolphins at the circus, the ones that band of his corduroy shorts. His tummy is ride bikes and balance balls on their noses.” pale, like the underside of a fish. “I think those are seals.” “Mort,” is all I manage to say in re“Men used to be men, Hamilton. We’d sponse. frolic in the woods, eat live chickens with “Really good news.” My neighbor’s our teeth. We did as we pleased, when we left hand runs over his yellow hair. His t-shirt pleased.” rides up his belly and rests on the shelf below “And?” Mort is a queer guy, even for a his breasts. For a moment, he looks panicked. neighbor. “Mort,” I say. “Spit it out.” “And I’m gonna grow me a jungle, set “It’s like this, Ham. I’m not mowa lawnchair dead in the middle. At night I’ll ing my lawn either. Been looking at your light torches.” Mort’s eyes flare. “I’ve got yard, all weedy, au naturel, and I’m dothese Kon-Tiki jobbers that Wendy made me ing the same.” He pauses, pulls himself up buy, and we never use ‘em because who the straight. “I told Wendy this morning.” hell can we invite for a picnic? And, Ham . . .” “Mort,” I say. “What?” He grins. “Hell, I’ve told everyone. He gets teary-eyed, throws his pudgy The guys are psyched. It’s a brave thing arms around my neck. “You’ve saved my you’ve done. A far braver thing than ... than damn life. Just this little talk between guys, whatever.” regular guys, has made me feel so emascu“Mort.” lated.” He stops, grins. “This is big, Hammer“Emancipated, Mort.” man. This is about more than just crabgrass He doesn’t hear. Instead, he turns, and dandelions.” springs through my door and down the steps, “What are you talking about?” dances a jig on my small front patch of un“Revolution! What do we do all day? tended turf. We sit at desks, wear ties, grow hemorAs if on signal, all the mowers in the rhoids. Some jerk-off tells us what to do. A neighborhood click off at once. tie is just a polyester noose, Hambone!”Mort Bob across the street grins and waves.
Interviews From Eastern Europe Edited by Janeil Engelstad
In 2006 I arrived Bratislava, the capital of the Slovak Republic, to teach a course in social practice and arts management as a Fulbright scholar at the Academy of Fine Arts and Design. My aim was to teach students how to produce social practice projects that engaged communities and made positive change in the world. In Bratislava, I began to talk with my new neighbors and colleagues about their experiences during the Cold War. People expressed their opinions about communism, democracy and capitalism. They spoke about revolution and how daily life had changed since 1989. Many of the stories were so compelling that over time I shaped them into what would become Voices From the Center. As the project developed, I expanded my research from Slovakia to Hungary, Czech Republic and Poland, which gave a broader view of the various types of communism throughout the region, and exposed the cultural differences in the various revolutions
that swept throughout the Eastern Bloc countries after the fall of the Berlin Wall. Criss-crossing Central Europe, I met and talked with people in large cities, such as Budapest, Warsaw and Prague and also in small, rural villages hidden in the various corners of each country. Often, I was welcomed with regional specialties such as haluĹĄky (potato dumplings) and homemade slivovitz (plum brandy) and at other times, I was met with scepticism and restraint, which would eventually vanish over the course of a conversation. One interview led to another. I talked with former dissidents and communist party apparatchik, married couples and, in an unusual and highly engergized group interview, a dozen people from a village that was known for its anti-communist stance throughout the Socialist period. In each of these conversations, my objective was to gain a deeper understanding of the culture and people. The content is theirsâ€”their stories, their dreams, their fears and hopes for the future.
Artist, former dissadant Bratislava, Slovak Republic In the early days of the revolution we had no idea what was going to happen, minuteby-minute, hour-by-hour. More and more people were demonstrating every day and we feared that the government would turn the army against us. But the pressure coming from the tribunes and from the people on the squares was enormous. The result of this pressure was a breakdown of the power of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Czechoslovakia. It was very important to have this breakdown for the new government
was formed without any of the attributes from socialism. In the first days after the revolution there arose an amazing solidarity among the citizens. People who didnâ€™t know each other were joining hands. If we would have been orbiting the Earth during this time and we would have looked down at Czechoslovakia, we would have seen a country that was glowing and shining with love. It was so strong that I feel it even now, twenty years later.
Author Budapest, Hungary The Hungarian society is in trouble.
There is no responsibility.
When everything was privatized, it was all sold to the West. Very few Hungarians own anything. We are a colony of England, Germany and Austria. The Koreans, they took all of the car factories.
The government makes many promises. Promises cost nothing.
We donâ€™t have our own industry or agriculture anymore. Our agriculture was world famous. Unemployment is high. And the richest 100 Hungarians? They all live abroad. Without having information we are not informed.
We live today we want to eat today. We were not ready for capitalism. Not ready to handle it. The dictatorship before, we could bear that one. Now, there is much more crime. Much more violence. We are the victims and we are the witnesses.
Otherwise nothing has changed. We are still We donâ€™t know what the political parties really living with Socialism. want. There are people who are liars, fascists, dictators, still. They do whatever they want.
Anna Daučíková Artist, Activist, Professor Bratislava, Slovak Republic
In 1968, I was 18. In Czechoslovakia there was, like many other places, a hippie movement. There was the Iron Curtain and we were isolated, but … there was a youth movement where sexuality was set free. But…this is my criticism of the 1960s, is that this sexual revolution was a revolution for heterosexual men and those women who were able to go with them. There was a certain sexual freedom, which I could call bisexuality, but this bi-sexuality had a condition and the condition was that there had to be a man and then you can be free… There is a dark part to it, which was that women had to be obedient to the imperative of making love to a man. …It was a sexual revolution with conditions.
People in Soviet Union, generally, had less prejudice about sexual life then here in Czechoslovakia. They had a different moral structure ... And, many people understood same sex relationships as love. … At the same time, there was in the Soviet Union a law against same sex relationships so you had to be somewhat careful or you could go to prison. In the ‘90s you would never see gay people holding hands on the street and now you can see it. People are much more open. …So it is getting better. There is still a long way to go and a lot of work to be done, but it is getting better.
The material from Voices From the Center, originally used to produce an interactive web based project, has generated exhibitions, public art, transit posters and community programs throughout Central Europe and the USA. For more information: www.voicesfromthecenter.net
Be Groovy to Each Other & Soldier Boy Philip Hartigan
I find that the answers I have stumbled upon in my work over the last ten years have all been rooted in personal experience, memory, and an attempt to balance explicit narrative content with the vaguer symbolic possibilities of art. Small moments of personal evolution absorb me, rather than moments of grand revelation. I end up telling stories about my childhood: my father was in the military, and he died on active duty in the 1960s. After he died, my mother, brother and I moved in with my grandfather, a coal miner. We lived in a house with no bathroom and only one tap, and we bathed a tin tub in front of a coal fire. With my grandfatherâ€™s bust, nestled in coal, and in other work, I have found myself narrating childhood memories, mostly grim.
Click the photograph to hear â€œSoldier Boy.â€?
Contributors Dinty W. Moore
Dinty W. Moore, is author of The Mindful Writer: Noble Truths of the Writing Life, as well as the memoir Between Panic & Desire, winner of the Grub Street Nonfiction Book Prize in 2009. He worked briefly as a police reporter, a documentary filmmaker, a modern dancer, a zookeeper, and a Greenwich Village waiter, before deciding he was lousy at all of those jobs and really wanted to write memoir and short stories.
Janet Owen Driggs Janet Owen Driggs is a writer, artist and curator who, along with Matthew Owen Driggs, frequently participates in the collective identity “Owen Driggs.” Her interests focus on those physical sites where “one” meets “the other”, and their relationship to life experience and social organization. Individually Janet has exhibited her work internationally, including in the United States, Europe, Scandinavia and Brazil. She has curated exhibitions and screening programs in the United Kingdom, United States, People's Republic of China and Mexico. Janet is a co-author of “Preserving a Home for Veterans” (Les Figues Press, 2012) and editor of “Not A Cornfield: History/ Site/Document” (Annenberg Foudation, 2006). Her writings have been published most recently in: Artillery, ArtUS, The Guardian, Art Review, and KCET’s “Artbound” blog, in addition to the volumes “How Many Billboards? Art In Stead”, “Hammer Projects 1999-2009”, and “Heike Baranowski – Kolibri”.
Collaboratively and independently, Janeil Engelstad has produced exhibitions and multiform projects throughout the world. Her creative practice and community advocacy work often dovetail into projects that address political, social and environmental concerns. Her process includes embedding herself in communities, extensive research and building working coalitions between arts institutions, universities, government agencies, NGOs, communities and individuals.
She is the Founding Director of MAP - Make Art with Purpose, an innovative, international platform and virtual resource center for artists, designers and architects working in social practice. Engelstadâ€™s work has been supported by numerous foundations, government agencies and corporations and featured in media outlets, such as Art News, Flash Art, Metropolis, Timeout, New York Times, Chicago Tribune, Los Angeles Times, NBC Nightly News, and the NBC Today Show. She has taught and lectured at universities throughout North America and Europe.
Katherine Ross Katherine has been a member of the School of the Art Institute faculty since 1981. She is currently the Chair of the Ceramics Department. From 2008 to 2010 she served as the Interim Dean of Graduate Studies at the SAIC. She received her bachelorâ€™s degree in 1976 from the State University of New York at Fredonia and her MFA in 1980 from Tulsa University. Previous to SAIC she taught briefly at the University of Delaware.
Recent exhibitions include the 65th Scripps Annual, Jingdezhen National Ceramic Museum, China; Sanbao Ceramic Art Museum, China; The Centers For Disease Control Museum in Atlanta; NYSC of Ceramics at Alfred University, NY; Kohler Art Center, WI; San Angelo Museum of Fine Arts, TX; and the Urban Center For Contemporary Art, MI. Katherine is the recipient of many awards and grants including the Arts Midwest/NEA Grant, Indiana State Arts Commission Master Fellowship, Banff Center for the Arts Residency, and the Williamson Memorial Artist In Residence at Indiana State University. She has been named a Walter Gropius Master Artist by the Huntington Museum. She is a member of the International Academy of Ceramics, Geneva, Switzerland.
Moira Williams’ performance-based work invites public interactions and gestures of exchange. She is currently a fellow in the Laundromat Project’s Create Change Program, Bronx, NY. She is a founding member of the walking cooperative Walk Exchange. Her Recent work has been seen at No Longer Empty’s This Side of Paradise Bronx, NY, The Dorsky Curatorial Gallery, NY, The Brooklyn Food Conference, NY, Rumite Netherlands, D.U.M.B.O. Arts Festival, NY, Flux Factory, NY, and the Philadelphia Marathon. Moira is presently working on a living, mobile shelter for her upcoming New York to New York Walk. She can also be found walking to the DeKalb post office in Bushwick, NY, where she mails her daily letters to the Milky Way.
Moira Williams holds a BFA from the School of Visual Arts, a Certificate in Spatial Politics and an MFA from Stony Brook University.
Philip Hartigan Philip Hartigan is a multimedia artist working with personal narratives. He was born in the UK, and now resides in Chicago, USA, where he is part of the adjunct faculty of Columbia College Chicago.