Arizona State University (ASU) has announced the spring 2009 participants of Future Arts Research
(F.A.R.) @ ASU. In this groundbreaking artist-driven research program, artists and scholars apply their creative methodologies to new research in a broad range of fields, working with academic departments across the university and others in the Phoenix community. This spring, F.A.R. will host installation artist Franco Mondini-Ruiz, designer and engineer Dr. Natalie Jeremijenko, performance duo Los Torreznos, multi-media artist Christine Rebet, and head of New York University’s department of American Studies, Andrew Ross, among others.
“Rather than working within the College of Arts, F.A.R. participants will collaborate with the departments of biology and engineering here at ASU,” said Program Director Bruce W. Ferguson. “Through this interdisciplinary approach, participants contribute new insights into global dialogues about contemporary social, environmental and economic issues.”
Based in downtown Phoenix, F.A.R. hosts 10-15 leading national and international artists, critics and scholars each year who conduct research in collaboration with the Phoenix community and multiple academic departments at ASU. The program differs from traditional artist residencies in that its participants work outside the University’s Herberger College of the Arts. F.A.R. artists use the city’s physical, social and intellectual environment as a platform for conceptualizing and presenting research and producing new art work.
Through F.A.R.’s critic-in-residence program, the first of its kind in Phoenix, participants and local artists will receive feedback through studio visits from respected art critics and scholars. Through their informed perspectives, these critics will also share new insights into the practices of contemporary artists currently at work throughout the world.
“Among many other remarkable projects in 2008, F.A.R. brought us a powerful performance by Anna Deavere Smith, The Arizona Project. This timely new work commemorated the naming of ASU’s College of Law for Justice Sandra Day O’Connor,” said Michael Crow, president of Arizona State University. “Through its collaborative methodology and diverse participants, F.A.R. realizes ASU’s mission to weave creative programs into its downtown campus and the greater community. We’re looking forward to more inventive new work from this year’s group of F.A.R. artists.”
The program’s spring 2009 participants will include:
• Bernard Khoury, a Beirut-based Lebanese architect noted for his exploration of conflicting public and private interests through temporary architectural installations in Beirut. Khoury will engage in discussions with ASU students and will give a public
lecture. (February 9-13)
• Mats Stjernstedt, international curator and director of Index, a branch of the Swedish Contemporary Art Foundation in Stockholm, will participate in F.A.R.’s Critic-in-Residence program. While in Phoenix, Mats will give a public lecture, speak to students and conduct studio visits with local artists. (Feb. 16-20)
• Andrew Ross, head of the American Studies program at NYU, will continue his ongoing research examining the geography of labor in the Phoenix arts community. Ross will present his findings through informal lectures in Phoenix, encouraging reflection and ongoing discussion within the community, and suggesting new projects and roles for the arts in Phoenix. (March 6-8)
• Dr. Gerald McMaster and Kent Monkman will present a public discussion of
Monkman’s work. The large-scale paintings of Native Canadian Artist Kent Monkman were recently included in “Remix: New Modernities in a Post-Indian World,” at the Heard Museum in Phoenix, curated by Native Canadian curator and painter Gerald McMaster. Monkman uses overt homoerotic themes in his revisions of 19th-century imagery depicting the conquest of the Western U.S. and of Native Americans. (March 10-14)
• Christine Rebet, a New York-based French artist known for her work in video animation and multi-media, will restage the first lecture about magic given by influential magician John Mulholland in 1927. The re-created text will carry hidden references to Mulholland’s later career, during which he taught secrets of the trade to the military and CIA. A group of young Phoenix-based magicians will perform the magic tricks narrated by the lecturer. (March 27-28)
• Franco Mondini-Ruiz, a San Antonio-based Mexican-American artist known for his commentary on class, gender and the clash between white American culture and immigrant Mexican culture in south Texas. Mondini-Ruiz will partner with the Ceramics Research Center and the Office of Community Engagement at ASU to create a sitespecific installation of found ceramic works, and a related performance, installed and performed in a local Mexican food market. The work will coincide with a meeting of the National Council on Education for the Ceramics Arts in Phoenix. (April 3-11)
• Los Torreznos, a Madrid-based Spanish performance duo dedicated to a conceptual investigation of social and political terrain, will present 35 Minutes (2002), a performance given in Spanish which explores the absurdity of language, as well as Identity (2009), a performance given in English as part of the Phoenix Fringe Festival. (April 4-5)
• Natalie Jeremijenko, an Australian-born, New York-based inventor and engineer whose work merges engineering, biology and art to explore socio-political issues, who will participate in the “Robots ‘R Us” symposium (April 17-19)
In addition to facilitating the projects of this year’s individual participants, F.A.R. will also present “Robots ‘R Us,” the first 2009 presentation of F.A.R. X change, a biannual series of lectures and events focusing on topics of relevance to ASU and the Phoenix community, taking place April 17 to 19.
“Robots ‘R Us” will explore innovations in robotic technologies and interactions between humans, robots and digital media. The symposium will include lectures, demonstrations and a multi-media exhibition at the Arizona Science Center, Gamebots, which has been produced in collaboration with the Arts, Media and Entertainment department at ASU and the university’s SMALLab/robotic team, led by Professor David Birchfield. Symposium participants will be announced shortly.
The F.A.R. X change series was inaugurated in 2008 with The Desert Between Us, a symposium focusing on the field of desert aesthetics. Participants included artists Jananne Al-Ani, Rebecca Belmore, Christian Thompson and Osvaldo Yero, among others.
Also in the program’s inaugural year, F.A.R. commissioned The Arizona Project, a new work from award-winning actress and playwright Anna Deavere Smith. This one-woman performance explored women’s relationships to the U.S. Judicial System through the stories of former Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor and others. F.A.R. also welcomed artists Rebecca Belmore and Osvaldo Yero, who installed a twelve-foot sand sculpture, Solo, on Tohono O’odham Nation land near the Arizona-Mexico border, a work which sought visibility for contemporary indigenous cultures, immigrants and other displaced peoples. F.A.R. also recently hosted interdisciplinary First Nations artist Dana Claxton, who participated in “Map(ing), Multiple Artists Printing,” a five day community-based project organized by the ASU Printmaking department.