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Oberlin College Tehnology in Music and Related Arts Program

9 Nov

It was a great experience to be in a Residency at the Oberlin Conservatory of Music – the Liberal Arts College in Ohio.

My residency takes place at TIMARA department ( Technology in Music and Related Arts )that has outstanding music studios and equipment. I have an access to six soundproof studios for recording and producing electro-acoustic music, as well as a networked lab of G5 Macintosh computers – each with a synthesizer keyboard and a full array of music software. I have been fortunate to meet and collaborate with a visiting professor at TIMARA department, Lyn Goeringer  – Lyn works in a vast array of artistic fields; she is an inter-media composer, performer and sound artist. Having a chance to interact and collaborate with her was the most important part of my Residency here. In our collaboration, my part has been to provide a visual concept and the real-time manipulation of sound and video for Lyn’s music performance. This collaboration also involves Sam Fisher, who is a student and TIMARA’s Lab assistant. Sam has been programming my visual concepts using the “Max msp jitter” software. In addition to this specific art project, Lyn has helped me to understand better the sound as a medium, which I have intuitively used in my light-sound installations. Overall, this collaboration has helped me to expand my professional horizons and deepen the understanding of my own artwork.

 Besides the audio-video manipulations that I have worked with in the above-mentioned project, Sam has also helped me learn how to use the audacity program for sound that will be very helpful for my future work.

 I would also like to emphasize that this was my first experience of a Liberal Art college and I find it very enriching. Unlike my educational experience at the Faculty of Fine Arts in Belgrade, this College offers rich and varied opportunities for students to develop essential college-level skills in a variety of fields as well as to invent their own program of study without the need to focus on one Major field ( e.g. you can take classes in Science as well as classes in Composition which is so amazing!. I feel like this concept of learning opens up the opportunity for broader critical thinking, and help you grow and experience world in an interdisciplinary way.

At Oberlin, I have had a chance to attend classes of several courses, including “Site and sound”; ” Intro to Electroacoustic Music”; and “Advanced  Electroacoustic Music”. This gave me an insight into these subjects and provided an opportunity to learn how teachers work with students in this kind of environment. Students are encouraged to discuss and participate during classes, which I find very stimulating and thought-provoking. I also had a chance to meet people from the Physics department and to talk to
them on novelties in Physics, which was interesting. Overall, participation in classes and conversations that I have had with various TIMARA’s professors and students was a very nice and enriching experience.


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Besides my activities at the College, I have also had a chance to visit Allen Memorial Museum in Oberlin as well as “Cleveland Art Museum” and “Cleveland MOCA” in Cleveland. These visits made my stay here even more fulfilling. In addition, meeting local artists and going to the art events (art exhibitions, music concerts and lectures) was a great cultural experience.

Overall, this was an amazing professional experience!! Thank you ArtsLink for providing this opportunity to me!

Informal programs and exchanges with the CCA students

9 Nov

I spend a lot of time with the CCA students: I attend their classes and teach classes as well,  and in addition to this they organize many programs for me outside of the college that we go together to. I have to admit that hanging out with them is one of the most fun aspect of my time here: they are incredibly smart, kind and generous in sharing all the insider tips regarding San Francisco, it’s art scene and nightlife. The excursions, museum visits and other programs give us chance for many informal, but deep discussions – I enjoy them a lot. Here is a selection of some of the best moments:


excursion to Marin with students from the 2nd year: Jesi, Rodrigo and Heidi


Election party at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts with 1st year students:

Pierre-Francois, Marja, Callie and Leila


Historical moment: the last class by Jens Hoffmann at the CCA Curatorial Practice program


visiting the Headlands Center for the Arts with Leila, Marja and Megan


de Young Museum and Golden Gate Park with Marion and Leila


Sausalito and the International Orange exhibition with Megan


trip to the Silicon Valley and the Zero1 Biennial with Antonia


Dia de los Muertos in the Mission


Halloween with Esther


Highlights of the CCA Lecture Series: Terry Smith, Claire Fontaine and Hal Foster

8 Nov

CCA’s lecture series each week offers many public talks by prominent international artists, curators and other art professionals. I have attended several  events and was particularly excited to have the chance to attend Terry Smith’s and Claire Fontaine’s and also to join the dinners with them. 


Claire Fontaine, Julian Myers, Leigh Markopoulos,Jens Hoffmann, Terry Smith, Micki Meng, Tijana Stepanovic

Terry Smith’s new book, Thinking Contemporary Curating is the first book to offer an in-depth analysis of the international curatorial practice and the thinking that underpins it. During his lecture Mr. Smith raised such questions as “Do curators think in ways that are unique to their profession? Can curatorial thought be distinguished from the thinking processes within the myriad of closely related practices—especially art criticism, art history and art making—and from curating within other kinds of museum or display spaces, public and private?”


I imagine all of us who practice curating felt a deep resonance with his ideas about how (and if) curators can take on roles far beyond exhibition making, like writing the history of curating, creating discursive platforms and undertaking social or political activism, as well as rethinking spectatorship. Familiar questions, aren’t they?  After the lecture Mr. Smith was interviewed by Jens Hoffmann.


Another interesting talk was given by Claire Fontaine, a Paris-based artist collective together with Hal Foster, the renowned art critic and art historian. They have discussed the political impotence in the contemporary culture and the possibilities of radical protest. Jens Hoffmann also joined the discussion, as he was who invited Claire Fontaine to participate in the Capp Street Project and also to his show When Attitudes Became Form. Become Attitudes, currently on view in the Wattis Institute of Contemporary Art

Further information:


Terry Smith is the Andrew W. Mellon Professor of Contemporary Art History and Theory in the Department of the History of Art and Architecture at the University of Pittsburgh. His major research interests include global contemporary art; the histories of multiple modernities and modernisms; the history and theory of contemporaneity; and the historiography of art history and art criticism. Among Smith’s most recent publications is What is Contemporary Art? (2009), a book that examines and categorizes multiple definitions of the contemporary in art.

Claire Fontaine is a Paris-based collective artist, founded in 2004. After lifting her name from a popular brand of school notebooks, Claire Fontaine declared herself a “readymade artist” and began to elaborate a version of neo-conceptual art that often looks like other people’s work. Working in neon, video, sculpture, painting and text, her practice can be described as an ongoing interrogation of the political impotence and the crisis of singularity that seem to define contemporary art today. But if the artist herself is the subjective equivalent of a urinal or a Brillo box – as displaced, deprived of its use value, and exchangeable as the products she makes – there is always the possibility of what she calls the “human strike.” Claire Fontaine uses her freshness and youth to make herself a whatever-singularity and an existential terrorist in search of subjective emancipation. She grows up among the ruins of the notion of authorship, experimenting with collective protocols of production, détournements, and the production of various devices for the sharing of intellectual and private property.

Harold “Hal” Foster is an American art critic and historian. He was educated at Princeton University, Columbia University, and the City University of New York. He taught at Cornell University from 1991 to 1997 and has been on the faculty at Princeton since 1997. In 1998 he received a Guggenheim Fellowship. Foster’s criticism focuses on the role of the avant-garde within postmodernism. In 1983, he edited The Anti-Aesthetic: Essays on Postmodern Culture, a seminal text in postmodernism. In Recodings (1985), he promoted a vision of postmodernism that simultaneously engaged its avant-garde history and commented on contemporary society. In The Return of the Real (1996), he proposed a model of historical recurrence of the avant-garde in which each cycle would improve upon the inevitable failures of previous cycles. He views his roles as critic and historian of art…


8 Nov

Lecture by Tijana Stepanovic,

presented by the CCA Graduate Program in Curatorial Practice,  7 November 2012, 7.15 pm


Tijana Stepanović is a curator and head of ACAX | Agency for Contemporary Art Exchange, an international department of the Ludwig Museum–Museum of Contemporary Art in Budapest, Hungary.

Under her leadership, ACAX has collaborated with Documenta, Manifesta, the Istanbul Biennial, the Liverpool Biennial, Paris Photo and PHotoEspaña, among others, as well as with hundreds of local and international artists, curators and organizations. As a curator she is dedicated to transdisciplinary approaches; her interest lies primarily in the video art of the Post-Socialist countries and in the intersection of art, social psychology, and science.

Join us to hear Stepanović talk about the contemporary Hungarian art scene, her curatorial projects focusing on Europe’s Post-Socialist region, as well as the practices and projects of numerous Hungarian artists.
Presented by the Graduate Program in Curatorial Practice and made possible by the generous support of CEC Artslink. The lecture will take place in Room GC7 of the Hooper Graduate Building on CCA’s San Francisco Campus.

This Is How We Do Dat: Warsaw to New Orleans

8 Nov

This Is How We Do Dat: Warsaw to New Orleans
A talk by Polish curator Marianna Dobkowska, currently in residency at the Joan Mitchell Center.
Saturday, November 10th, 2 p.m., Joan Mitchell Center, Indigo Building at 2285 Bayou Road

Francis Thorburn VOJAGE WISŁA, 2012, courtesy of Magda Starowieyska/CCA Ujazdowski Castle/Francis Thorburn

Polish curator Marianna Dobkowska, a fellow of CEC ArtsLink, has spent the last month in residence at the Joan Mitchell Center exploring the visual arts scene of New Orleans. 

During Dobkowska’s talk on Saturday afternoon, she will present some of the projects she produced at Artists-In-Residence Laboratory, a residency program where she is a curator. Founded in 2003, Artists-In-Residence Laboratory is a department of the Center for Contemporary Art Ujazdowski Castle in Warsaw, one of the major institutions of contemporary art in Poland. A-I-R Laboratory hosts up to 30 international artists a year and focuses on production and research based practices within the context of the residency treated as an artistic medium.

Marianna Dobkowska curates exhibitions, projects and residencies, edits and designs publications and produces new works at the Center for Contemporary Art Ujazdowski Castle in Warsaw. She studied art history at Warsaw University and curating at Jagiellonian University in Cracow. She was a curator and manager of the Polish-Norwegian production and research based project and exhibition, Rooted Design for Routed Living. Alternative design strategies and editor of the book under the same title as well as assistant manager of Re-tooling Residencies, a project dedicated to investigate the current condition of the residency models and fostering development of new residency-based initiatives in Eastern Europe. Dobkowska’s recent curatorial projects include a solo show of American artist Jesse Aron Green The Allies, a cycle of exhibitions of young Ukrainian artists Transfer and We Are Like Gardens – a permaculture garden established in the park surrounding CCA Ujazdowski Castle. Following the New Orleans residency, she will continue her research in New York as a Residency Unlimited fellow and in Mexico City at La Galeria de Comercio. During her residencies, Dobkowska focuses on social practice art, grassroots initiatives and programs that have a wide community base.

Marianna Dobkowska’s residency at the Joan Mitchell Center is supported by CEC ArtsLink within the ArtsLink Residencies program and Polish Culture Institute in New York.

More about A-I-R Laboratory:

Joan Mitchell Center 
2275 Bayou Road, NOLA 70119 504.940.2500 |

Private Time: 4 Episodes

7 Nov

Time is running, time is passing and right now it is really running out! At least that is the feeling right now here in L.A.

Time has also been good to me, I have met wonderful artists, seen good arts, had inspiring ideas for the future. But back to the present- tonight I am presenting at LACE part of what I have been doing here-

As you see, it also ended up to be an event dedicated to the different layers of time. I have commissioned Los Angeles electronic musicians and sound artists to create new scores for video work by Latvian artists. This event will feature performances by Glenn Bach, Infinite Body, Yann Novak, and Steve Roden accompanying a video program including Long Day (2012) by Krišs Salmanis, We used to live a private life (2011) by Kate Krolle and Visualisation of Thoughts (2011) and Still Life (2011) by Linda Konone.

I am really eager to see and hear the performances!

Here are links to musicians websites:

Meeting colleagues in San Francisco

4 Nov

My professional program in San Francisco consists of attending classes of the CCA faculty members, informal exchanges with student connected to different programs, excursions and museum visits and meetings that I set up with local art professionals. In this post I elaborate on the latter!

Before my arrival in San Francisco I had started to explore the local art scene and to contact people I was particularly interested in. Fortunately, I managed to meet almost all of them; here are some of the most interesting encounters:


Jens Hoffmann has been the director of the Wattis Institute for Contemporary Arts, but as of  November 1st he is the Deputy Director of the  Jewish Museum in New York. We  already knew each other as Jens has participated in our Check-in Budapest curatorial visitor program and later ACAX became the official Hungarian partner of the Istanbul Biennial. Jens is leaving soon for New York to become the deputy director of the Jewish Museum, so these were his last days in the city. I attended his last class at the CCA – a historic moment!


Jessica Silverman (on the left) had just returned from Paris when we met, where she participated at the FIAC for the third time. Although she opened her gallery only six years ago, she has already become one of the most significant galleries on the west coast. She represents mostly emerging and mid-career artists. More here:


Rudolf Frieling is a curator of media arts at San Francisco Museum of Modern Art Before that he was curator and researcher at ZKM, Center for Art and Media in Karlsruhe, Germany. I was particularly interested in his project because it provided a good opportunity to discuss the video art of Europe and the US, and ACAX’sTransitland (video art from Central and Eastern Europe) project as well.


Tanya Zimbardo (on the right) is an assistant curator of media arts at San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. Tanya graduated in the first year of the CCA Curatorial Practice MA Program (founded in 2003), and has worked for the SFMoMA for 6 years. She gave me a general introduction to the museum’s activity and her work as well.



I met Marjorie Schwarzer (exploring an art work in the photo) at the Oakland Museum and spent 3 wonderful hours exploring the museum’s collection and talking about the history of the US and its museums. Her immense knowledge is very impressive; check out her book Riches, Rivals and Radicals: 100 Years of the Museum in America. Marjorie is  a visiting scholar in museum studies at the University of San Francisco  and she is also working with CCA Curatorial Practice program. As she worked a lot in the field of museum education – just like me – after the museum tour we mainly exchanged our experiences on this topic.



Steven Wolf, owner of the Steven Wolf Fine Arts gallery Steven told me a lot about the art world of the 70s and 80s in the Bay Area, he is very generous in sharing his knowledge. I particularly liked his enthusiasm for the punk scene and the music in general. Currently he shows paintings of Scott Williams whose studio is recreated inside his gallery.


I met Kevin B. Chen at the Intersection for the Arts, an interdisciplinary art organization that dedicates itself to community building and facilitating social changes. It was founded in the early 1960’s and works in the performing, literary, visual and interdisciplinary arts. The organization is famous of being an inclusive collaborative place. I have also met one of the CCA students there, Patricia, who is primarily interested in the post-colonial theory and in working with arts, artists and narratives of the Filipino Diaspora. Consequently, being an intern at the Intersection seems to be the best choice for her at this stage.

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Betti-Sue Hertz is the director of Visual Arts at  Yerba Buena Center for the Arts (YBCA), “an integrated site of creative endeavor” as they call themselves. Betti-Sue is currently working on exhibitions connected to issues of migration and identity and on another one about South Africa. Beside the institution there was another thing that impressed me a lot: its location, the Yerba Buena Gardens, check out the photos! (The Garden hosts a Marin Luther King memorial as well)