ASU Art Museum presents first survey of video work by Miguel Angel Rios in ‘Landlocked’ exhibition

September 10, 2015

The ASU Art Museum is pleased to present "Miguel Angel Rios: Landlocked," the first survey of video work by the Mexico City-based artist. The exhibition will be on view Sept. 12 to Dec. 26, 2015 in the Top and Kresge galleries at the ASU Art Museum’s Mill Avenue & 10th Street location in Tempe.

Landlocked follows Rios’ remarkable journey into an artistic practice that addresses issues of power, apathy and violence. Incorporating an innovative use of social and political narratives and original production techniques, the exhibition includes four never-before-seen works commissioned by the museum. Those new works, explains ASU Art Museum curator Julio Cesar Morales, are “very much site-specific and grounded in a new approach to land art. Rios challenges traditional modes of representations within landscape.” Miguel Angel Rios, “Piedras Blancas,” 2014. Still from video. Image courtesy of the artist and Sicardi Gallery. Photo courtesy of Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts Download Full Image

“To date these are the most ambitious and challenging video projects of Rios’ career,” says ASU Art Museum Director Gordon Knox. “Landlocked is an excellent example of the way the ASU Art Museum seeks to support artists that have had a transformative impact on their peers and on subsequent generations.”

In addition to the video installation, a portion of the exhibition is dedicated to Rios’ process, intended to give a look into the mind of the artist. Viewers are invited into Rios’ “studio of curiosities,” where they can view research materials, photographs, works on paper, storyboards, production ephemera and video documentaries of the making of some of his most-acclaimed works.

Landlocked is part of the Contact Zones series of exhibitions at the ASU Art Museum, which focuses on contemporary migration and its intricate uncertainties within border culture, destiny and contested histories. The series includes new commission-based video installations, public engaged programs, guest-curated exhibitions and artist initiated projects.


Miguel Angel Rios is known as “an artist’s artist,” a reference that traces back to his well-known paintings and collage work of the late 1980s and 1990s, which were included in the seminal 1994 exhibition Mapping, curated by Robert Storr at the New York Museum of Modern Art.

“At the height of his career, Rios picked up a video camera, and without hesitation or fright, shifted mediums and artistic processes in the late 1990s,” says Morales. “His early experiments with sound and video would provide the emotional power that he later mined by pushing the boundaries of a camera to its limits and at times to its destruction.”

Ríos studied at the Academy of Fine Arts in Buenos Aires, Argentina, and has received numerous awards, including the John Guggenheim Fellowship. A selection of his exhibitions includes the 2015 Lyon Biennale, France; DOCUMENTA (13) Kassel, Germany; Perez Art Museum, Miami; Des Moines Art Center, Iowa; Artists Space, New York; Museo de Arte Carrillo Gil, Mexico City; Hirshhorn Museum, Washington, D.C.; John Weber Gallery, New York; Torino Triennial, Torino, Italy; and New Museum of Contemporary Art, New York.

His work is included in the collections of The Museum of Modern Art, New York; La Maison Europeene de la Photographie, Paris; Hirshhorn Museum, Washington D.C.; Patricia Cisneros Collection, Miami; Phoenix Art Museum; The Museum of Fine Art, Houston; Centro de Arte Contemporaneo Reina Sofia, Madrid; Isabel and Agustín Coppel Collection, Mexico City; Boris Hirmas Said Collection, Chile; Kadist Foundation, San Francisco; and MALBA Museo de Arte Latinoamericano, Argentina.

Landlocked coincides with two other presentations of Rios’ work around the world, including his debut at the 2015 Lyon Biennale, curated by Ralph Rugoff and a solo project, Endless at Sicardi Gallery in Houston. Both projects will run concurrently with the ASU Art Museum exhibition. For more information, visit


On Tuesday, Sept. 1, 5:30–7:30 p.m., the ASU Art Museum will host a public preview of the exhibition with curator Julio Cesar Morales and the artist. Morales will also lead a tour of the exhibition as part of the museum’s #ThirdWednesday series on Wednesday, Nov. 18, 2015 at 1:30 p.m.

An opening reception for the exhibition will be held Friday, Sept. 11, from 6:30–8:30 p.m. (with a members, alumni and press preview from 5:30–6:30 p.m.).

All ASU Art Museum events are free and open to the public.


A 150–page catalogue designed by renowned Mexican designer Fernando Corona will accompany the exhibition. The publication includes essays by Brazilian curator and writer Paulo Herkenhoff, an interview with curator Julio Cesar Morales and additional text by visual artists Carlos Amorales, Cristobal Lehyt and Javier Tellez, with an introduction by ASU Art Museum director Gordon Knox.


This exhibition is supported by The Diane and Bruce Halle Foundation as part of an ongoing series of exhibitions at the ASU Art Museum focusing on innovative Latin American art and artists.

Additional support was provided by Sicardi Gallery.

Public Contact: 
Juno Schaser
PR Specialist

Media Contact:
Juno Schaser
PR Specialist

ASU Regents' Professor mines big data to monitor environment

September 10, 2015

Janet Franklin isn’t the sort of person who likes to raise alarms, but when she talks about the environment, people should take notice.

She says humans are wreaking havoc on Mother Earth, and her perspective carries the weight of big data as she monitors the dynamics of Earth’s changing climate and surface. Janet Franklin Janet Franklin, an ASU professor in the School of Geographical Sciences and Urban Planning and a Regents’ Professor for the 2014-2015 academic year, says climate change is occurring with unprecedented speed. Download Full Image

“In a decade we had gone from having to rely on the predictions of models about climate change to having amassed heaps and heaps of observational evidence of climate change attributable to human-generated greenhouse gasses from use of fossil fuels and other activities,” said Franklin, an ASU professor in the School of Geographical Sciences and Urban Planning and one of four Regents’ Professors for the 2014-2015 academic year.

“Rapidly melting mountain glaciers was the stunning one — this was even before the more recent dramatic losses of Arctic sea ice. I made a conscious decision to address climate-change impacts on ecosystems in my research and have done so ever since.”

The research started when she was 12. That’s when she attended a lecture by Linus Pauling at Stanford University with her father, who was a San Francisco-area physician. Pauling spoke about his Nobel Prize-winning research on sickle cell anemia.

“I was so excited about what he (Pauling) described, although I barely understood it,” Franklin said. “I decided I wanted to be a molecular biologist and solve life puzzle sciences.”

Franklin has been solving those puzzles ever since. Her research bridges the academic disciplines of geography and biology by using various kinds of satellite imagery, remote sensing and climate and topographic data.

“Everyone talks about big data these days, but they mean millions of tweets or stock-market transactions,” Franklin said. “I have always enjoyed the technical challenges of working with these big geospatial data sets to monitor the dynamics of the Earth’s surface.”

What she is finding isn’t exactly the kind of data that is encouraging or uplifting. However, it’s a message that needs to be taken seriously.

“Climate change is occurring with a speed that is virtually unprecedented in Earth’s history, but land-use change — deforestation, urbanization, conversion of prairies to crops and rangeland — over the past 10,000 years and especially 500 years has an even more immediate and profound effect on natural systems everywhere,” Franklin said. “Only by considering these global change factors together can we make evidence-based projections or recommendations of resource conservation and land management strategies.”

Franklin’s latest research project takes her to two sites in northern California — the Sierra National Forest and the Tehachapi Mountains — where she is studying refuge areas for plants and tall trees during the state’s most severe drought in recorded history.

As for Franklin’s career, it is anything but dry. She was elected to the National Academy of Sciences in 2014 for her pioneering work employing geospatial data and spatial analytical tools to examine the evolving biodiversity of ecosystems over time, as they relate to the physical environment, ecological processes and human influences. In June, she was named Regents Professor, an honor that has left her “flattered, honored, surprised and humbled.”

“This has been a big year,” Franklin said. “I’m the kind of scientist who has been quietly doing my work for three decades. I never expected this kind of recognition. It feels pretty nice.”

Reporter , ASU Now