News Items: January 2015

The spring semester is poised to begin, and we’d like to quickly round-up a few recent news items:

For the first time, our annual alumnae/i newsletter has been hosted online as a PDF – take a look here!

The Program will be hosting a couple CAA-related events over the coming weeks: next Friday between 1:00 – 4:00 pm, students participating in the annual conference will present their papers to faculty and fellow students in the Art History Lounge. And on Thursday February 12th, alumnae/i, current and prospective students are invited to the Program’s annual CAA Breakfast in the East Suite, on the 4th floor of the New York Hilton, 1335 Avenue of the Americas, from 7.30 to 9:00 am.

Upcoming conference “The City is Ours, The Body is Mine: Urban Spatial Practices in Contemporary Latin America,” organized by Liz Donato, Mya Dosch, and Luisa Valle now has a website. Take a look:

Finally, our own Commons website is now officially mobile-friendly, so be sure to visit from your phone or ipad in the future!


CFP: Accelerationism, Speculative Realism and Aesthetics


Art History PhD students Matilde Guidelli Guidi, Sydney Stutterheim and Jonathan Patkowski have organized a conference in collaboration with Professor David Joselit on speculative realism, accelerationism and aesthetics that will be held at The Graduate Center on March 27th, 2015 – Interested parties are invited to submit a paper abstract of 300-500 words along with a CV to by January 15th, 2014.

Full CFP details below!

In a global context marked by widespread financial speculation, data circulation, ecological catastrophe and political paralysis, speculative realism and accelerationism have emerged as significant challenges to modes of thought and action grounded in the experience of human subjects. By focusing on ontology rather than epistemology, speculative realists consider modes of existence and agency of things beyond anthropocentric frameworks. Accelerationism refuses nostalgic modes of Leftist resistance to imagine the progressive potential hidden within capitalist technologies that appear to shatter traditional forms of identity.

We invite artists, curators, scholars and graduate students to examine the implications of accelerationism and speculative realism for artistic and curatorial practice, as well as the opportunities and limitations of non-anthropocentric aesthetico-critical strategies.

Papers may address both historical and contemporary subjects in the visual arts, architecture and performance, and consider such questions as:

  • Does accelerationism or speculative realism have an aesthetics?
  • How might these philosophies allow for a renegotiation of boundaries between art, technology, ecology, and science?
  • Can they offer new perspectives on established critical categories – such as autonomy, alienation, reification, realism, and fetishization – and related artistic strategies – i.e., estrangement, mimesis, and détournement?
  • How might accelerationism allow for a reconsideration of future- and technologically-oriented artistic practices, from historic avant-garde fusions of man and machine to 1990s cyberpunk, or alternatively account for the fixation on temporal passage and obsolescence in much recent art?
  • Does the materiality of art allow it to speculate on modes of being in the world beyond traditional limits of human subjectivity? Can art- and exhibition-making engage with the natural sciences to take up the problems of the Anthropocene?

This daylong conference will feature international speakers including Anselm Franke and Miguel Abreu.

Conference funding provided by the John Rewald Endowment of the Ph.D. Program in Art History, and The James Gallery at The Center for the Humanities at The Graduate Center, CUNY.

Contact details (address, e-mail, and telephone number) and academic affiliation should be provided along with CV and abstract. Selected speakers will be notified by January 30, 2015.

New Student Publications: Alison Weaver in Afterimage, William Simmons in Frieze

New Student Publication

As the fall semester winds down, we want to highlight a couple of new student publications: Alison Weaver has article on Nam June Paik in Afterimage and in Frieze, William Simmons reviews the Art Institute of Chicago’s current exhibition on Pictures-generation artist Sarah Charlesworth.

Click through the links for PDFs!

And be sure to visit the Paik retrospective at the Asia Society before it closes on January 4th.

December 12th: Saisha Grayson Opens Brooklyn Museum Exhibition “Chitra Ganesh: Eyes of Time”

We’re very happy to pass along the news that Saisha Grayson, PhD Candidate and Assistant Curator at the Brooklyn Museum’s Sackler Center for Feminist Art, has organized a new exhibition opening this Friday: “Chitra Ganesh: Eyes of Time.”

Exploring ideas of femininity, empowerment, and multiplicity, Brooklyn-based artist Chitra Ganesh draws inspiration from the Museum’s encyclopedic collection, including representations of the goddess Kali, to create a site-specific multimedia installation for the Herstory Gallery.

Chitra Ganesh: Eyes of Time centers on a monumental mural that takes Kali, the Hindu goddess of destruction and rebirth, and other figures from Judy’s Chicago’s The Dinner Party as starting points for portraying female power and plurality. The artist expands on this theme by showcasing works from our Egyptian, Indian, and Contemporary collections.

For more than a decade, Ganesh has used the iconography of mythology, literature, and popular culture to bring to light feminist and queer narratives. One of her first major works,Tales of Amnesia (2002)—a zine inspired by Indian comic books that the Museum acquired out of our 2004 exhibitionOpen House: Working in Brooklyn—is also on view.

More on the exhibition at the Brooklyn Museum website. Make sure to visit!

New Library Resource: Streaming EAI Videos

Electronic Arts Intermix

The Graduate Center Library recently announced that they will now provide proxy-server access to a wide variety of streaming videos owned by Electronic Arts Intermix. Founded in 1971, EAI is a pioneering nonprofit resource that fosters the creation, exhibition, distribution and preservation of media art. The ability to access their holdings online will prove immensely useful for students working in this field!

For more information on library resources available to Graduate Center Art History students, make sure to visit

December 9th: Media Farzin speaks at SVA

Media Farzin

On Tuesday, December 9th from 6-8 p.m., Media Farzin, PhD Candidate in Art History and faculty member of SVA’s MFA Fine Arts Program, will speak about her current curatorial, art, and research projects. The presentation is part of the Program’s ongoing 2014-15 faculty talks series.

For more information on this series, and other public programs at the MFA Fine Arts Program, click here.

December 5th: Emily Braun Discusses Juan Gris at the Metropolitan Museum


On Friday, December 5th at 5pm,  Emily Braun, Distinguished  Professor of Art History at Hunter College and The Graduate Center, and Curator of the Leonard A. Lauder Collection, will discuss the work of artist Juan Gris in the Metropolitan Museum’s Bonnie J. Sacerdote Lecture Hall, in a talk entitled “Pulp Fictions: Fantômas and the Pasted Paper Collages of Juan Gris.”

The talk is free with museum admission and held in conjunction with the landmark exhibition Cubism: The Leonard A. Lauder Collection. On view until February 16, 2015, the exhibition presents Lauder’s remarkable collection of Cubist art to the public for the first time. Make sure to visit!

More information on public programs related to the exhibition can be found here.

December 5th: Hito Steyerl and Prof. David Joselit in Conversation

Hito Steyerl

Organized by the Department of Public Programs.
Room C201, 6:30-8:30pm

As an artist who has exhibited widely in museums and galleries worldwide, and as an influential media theorist, Hito Steyerl has had a major impact on how we understand the character of digital worlds—equally in terms of politics, economics, and aesthetics. In conversation with Graduate Center Distinguished Professor David Joselit, Steyerl will expand on her understanding of the political economy of images, or what she has called “poor images” or the “wretched of the screen.”

Seating will be limited so register now to reserve a spot!

Hito Steyerl is a filmmaker and writer. She teaches New Media Art at University of the Arts in Berlin. Steyerl studied film at the Academy of Visual Arts in Tokyo, the University of Television and Film in Munich, and holds a Ph.D in philosophy from the Academy of Fine Arts, Vienna. Steyerl’s work focuses on contemporary issues such as feminism and militarisation, as well as the mass proliferation and dissemination of images and knowledge brought on by digital technologies. Her work has been exhibited in numerous solo and group exhibitions including documenta 12Taipei Biennial 2010, and 7th Shanghai Biennial, and her written essays have appeared in journals such as e-flux and eipcp.

David Joselit is Distinguished Professor of Art History at The Graduate Center, CUNY. His work has approached the history and theory of image circulation in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries from a variety of perspectives, spanning Marcel Duchamp’s strategy of the readymade, in which commodities are reframed as artworks, to the mid-twentieth ecology of television, video art, and media activism, and the current conditions of contemporary art under dual pressures of globalization and digitization. He is author of Infinite Regress: Marcel Duchamp 1910–1941 (MIT Press, 1998), American Art Since 1945 (Thames and Hudson, World of Art Series, 2003), Feedback: Television Against Democracy (MIT Press, 2007), and After Art (Princeton University Press, 2012).

December 4th: Jack Crawford, “Queer Memory” Gallery Tour, James Gallery

Join Jack Crawford, PhD student in Art History, on Thursday, December 4th at 4 pm  in a discussion-based tour of “The Lenin Museum”. The tour will interrogate intersections of queer presence and institutional memory. Considering queer to be both an identity category and a critical modality, we will explore the question of how to remember queerly.

More information on this and other programs associated with “The Lenin Museum” can be found here.

Cosponsored by the Ph.D. Program in Art History; CLAGS: The Center for LGBTQ Studies; and Public Science Project


November 25th: Gwendolyn Shaw, “Presence and Public Space” Gallery Tour, The James Gallery

Gwendolyn Shaw

On Tuesday, November 25th at 6:30 pm, join Gwendolyn Shaw, Ph.D Program in Art History, for a gallery tour and conversation about Yevgeniy Fiks’ exhibition “The Lenin Museum.” History, subjectivity, and social recognition rely on issues of visibility and legibility. This visibility often relies on the invisibility of others whose tacit absence gives meaning to larger structures of organization and power. This tour will address the ways resistance is possible – and most effective – through the strategic deployment of presence and absence, occupying space and affect.

More information on this and other programs associated with “The Lenin Museum” can be found here.

Co-sponsored by the Ph.D. Program in Art History; CLAGS: The Center for LGBTQ Studies; and Public Science Project.