Looking towards aspects of the African diasporic tradition and its tools, such as cooperative creation, improvisation, and deep listening, we are provided both inside and outside of the context of musicianship, guides that can play significant and important roles in our lives as active neighbors in community. These are social tools to carry with us day-to-day.
For this third workshop for the class Fate is Kind, we will be joined by artist, musician, and 9th Ward elder Douglas Ewart. Centering our focus on the techniques and histories of so-called jazz, “social music” as it was described by Miles Davis, or simply, as described by the Art Ensemble of Chicago, Great Black Music we will, in general, think through how this traditions qualities play a role for non-musicians to be more attentive neighbors. And in specific, we’ll listen to how these attitudes and qualities have played out in Douglas’ life and work, and what his experiences in cooperative creation can teach us moving forward in common.
In preparation for our visit to the Fate is Kind class by 9th Ward neighbor, artist and musician, Douglas Ewert, we are viewing this conversation between Roscoe Mitchell, Muhal Richards Abrams, Frederick Berry, and George Lewis.
As well, we are listening to the first hour of a series of radio programs originally broadcast in the late 60s on NYC’s WBAI, a long conversation between composers John Cage and Morton Feldman.
From her pre-academic days in radical feminist media networks to her focus on art and labor, craft and activism, and now the role of dance as a cultural form of grassroots resistance to repressive structures, Julia Bryan-Wilson has paid unique focus on how matters of everyday existence intertwine with deep rooted needs for cultural production as a social force for change. For this first session in the Mt. Analogue Discussions, Confluence Studio’s on-going series of conversations with artists, academics, activists, and global thinkers, we are proud to collaborate with the Art Dept. of Carleton College to host a discussion with Bryan-Wilson about how she sees her role as an art historian who works across difference and geographies and how she sees her work as a scholar as co-extensive with her work as an activist. Through this personal frame we hope the discussion will provide space to reflect more broadly on both the state of artistic production today as well as the role that the academy could play in furthering the cause of equity and equality.
About Julia Bryan-Wilson
Julia Bryan-Wilson is Doris and Clarence Maro Professor of Modern and Contemporary Art at the University of California at Berkeley, where she also directs the university’s Art Research Center. Her research interests include theories of artistic labor, feminist and queer theory, critical race theory, performance and dance, production/fabrication, craft histories, photography, video, visual culture of the nuclear age, and collaborative practices. She is the author of Art Workers: Radical Practice in the Vietnam War Era(University of California, 2009); Art in the Making: Artists and Their Materials from the Studio to Crowdsourcing(with Glenn Adamson, Thames & Hudson, 2016); and Fray: Art and Textile Politics (University of Chicago, 2017). She is the editor of OCTOBER Files: Robert Morris (MIT Press, 2013), and co-editor of three journal special issues (“Amateurism,” Third Text, 2020; “Visual Activism,” Journal of Visual Culture, 2016; and “Time Zones: Durational Art in its Contexts,” Representations, 2016).
Each social landscape is embedded with its own unique, ever changing, psychological elements. The city, its dense and frenetic nature, creates a space of swirling social transformations where each day represents new possibilities of living in proximity. Time, as with everything, has its effects, and attitudes change. These changing attitudes find form in the urban landscape through our interactions as well as the structures we build and vice versa.
For our second workshop in the Mt. Analogue class Fate is Kind: Abstraction and Patterning in a Life with Others we will be joined in conversation by Jennifer Newsom, architect (Dream the Combine) and professor of architecture at the University of Minnesota to discuss the ways that artists can help illustrate these social flows and patterns, their forms and attitudes.
As always we will seed, as well as continue, our conversation through Social Margins, the Confluence social annotation platform; “an assembly in text.”
Cities and Memory: Monuments, Publics, and the Conflicts of History
Workshop #1 – Cities and Memory: Monuments, Publics, and the Conflicts of History
Discussion Begins @
11:10am / Friday Feb. 5th
How do we memorialize historical events, most especially when those events are not singular, linear, or even history for many, but continuous living arrangements that are yet to recognize any sense of finality or definitive social transformation? For the first workshop discussion in Fate is Kind: Abstraction & Patterning in a Life with Others Powderhorn neighbor and artist Xavier Tavera will join our discussion as we think through the role of monuments and memorials, the events of the MPLS Uprising, and the manner by which monuments as historical markers act as specific objects which can record, obscure, empower, and / or manipulate People’s History.
In parallel with our discussion we will begin our series of social annotations, continuations of our conversations using the online software Hypothesis to create an “assembly in text” concerning our present conditions as 9th Ward neighbors, those conditions larger meanings and connections, as well as considerations for ways to transform those conditions for the better by looking more broadly at how they relate across time, place, and experience.
We will be reading two essays in parallel with our discussion, wherein our collective notes will be part of Social Margins: An Assembly in Text, Confluence’s collective annotation platform.
Ágnes Erőss – Living Memorial and Frozen Monuments: The Role of Social Practice in Memorial Sites
For as many MT.A classes as we can afford to, we want to offer funding for neighbors to attend. For instance, for Fate is Kind we have roughly $250 for about five students. In brief, we want this to be a norm because, as college students gain social capital from attending elite colleges, and in time potential income and economic and social stability, we want to, in whatever ways we can, provide various forms of capital, economic and otherwise, for MT.A students.
Confluence Studio is starting a neighborhood based school and our first class, Fate is Kind: Abstraction and Patterning in a Life with Others, a collaboration with Ross Elfline and Carleton College, is set to commence next month. Our first class is on Friday, February 5th. We’re looking for neighbors to join the class and can offer a $250 honorarium for your participation.