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ASU alum combines electronics, music and Mason jars


Herberger Institute grad Cristóbal Martínez (BA, Studio Art, 2002; BFA, Painting, 2002; MA, Media Arts & Sciences, 2011) plans to use a $5,000 artist research and development grant from the Arizona Commission on the Arts to expand and reinvent the artists’ collective he directs at the Pueblo Grande Museum.

Two other Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts alums also received artist research and development grants for 2016 from the commission: Carla Keaton (BFA, Painting, 2009) and M. Jenea Sanchez (BFA, Intermedia Art, 2007; MFA, Intermedia Art 2011). Download Full Image

A digital media artist who lives in Mesa, Martínez leads Radio Healer. He describes it as an indigenous electro-acoustic performance of experimental music composed for, and played on, traditional and electronic indigenous instruments.

Radio Healer’s members are all Chicano or Native American artists.

Martínez is also a member of the Indigenous interdisciplinary arts collective Postcommodity, which has collaborated with the ASU Art Museum several times, most recently in the fall of 2015, when Postcommodity erected a two-mile “repellent fence” of tethered balloons that bisected Arizona’s border with Mexico.

Article Source: East Valley Tribune
Deborah Sussman Susser

Communications and media specialist, Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts

480-965-0478

ASU Art Museum hosts celebration of ceramics and Valley-wide studio tour, Feb. 20-21


February 9, 2016

The ASU Art Museum’s Ceramics Research Center is pleased to present the 15th annual Self-Guided Ceramic Studio Tour, held this year from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Feb. 20-21. The tour is free and open to the public.

The tour is set to coincide with the return of the ASU Art Museum Ceramics Research Center’s biennial gala, Ceram-A-Rama, which will be held Feb. 20 at the museum’s new Brickyard location on Mill Avenue and will feature food, music, dancing and the opportunity to bid on artwork donated by well-known local, national and international artists. There will also be a live auction featuring work by notable ceramic artists Jun Kaneko, Patti Warashina and Sergei Isupov, as well as renowned Southwestern artists Kurt Weiser, Virgil Ortiz, Max Lehman, Patricia Sannit and Christine Golden. Information on Ceram-A-Rama can be found at asuartmuseum.asu.edu/ceramarama. Download Full Image

The self-guided studio tour is a two-day, Valley-wide celebration of ceramic arts that features the work of more than 50 professional ceramic artists. It offers the public a rare opportunity to view working and living spaces of participating artists and view demonstrations of wheel-throwing, hand-building and glazing techniques. Participating artists have a wide range of both functional and sculptural artwork on exhibit and for sale.

As a recent transplant from the East Coast, ASU Art Museum Curator of Ceramics Garth Johnson is impressed by the Valley’s flourishing ceramic community.

“With the New York Times and other publications all declaring that ceramic art is ‘white hot,’ the Phoenix area has always been a hotbed of ceramic artists and enthusiasts,” Johnson said. “The Self-Guided Ceramic Studio Tour is one of the true hubs of the Valley’s ceramics community, as well as a destination for collectors across the country.”

In addition to the 13 studio locations throughout the Phoenix metro area that are hosting artists, the ASU Art Museum’s Brickyard location will be open throughout the tour weekend with extended hours to match the tour time. Printed brochures that include photos, directions to studios, maps and demonstration schedules are available for free at all ASU Art Museum locations or online as a downloadable pdf at asuartmuseum.asu.edu/studiotour.

This year’s Ceram-A-Rama will honor Paul J. Smith, legendary curator and director emeritus of the Museum of Arts and Design in New York City. Over the course of his long career, Smith helped give shape to the studio craft movement as he worked with hundreds of artists who would come to define the field. When asked about Smith, Johnson said, “With his history of pushing boundaries and working tirelessly for craft, Smith has been a major influence for a new generation of scholars and curators.”

When he was working and traveling, Smith was always photographing artists in their studios and professional lives. The Ceramics Research Center’s current exhibition, “Paul J. Smith Portraits: A Journal of the Ceramics Community,” pairs 20 of Smith’s artist portraits with corresponding pieces from the ASU Art Museum’s unparalleled collection, including such notable artists as Toshiko Takaezu, Peter Voulkos, Maria Martinez and Beatrice Wood. For its Ceram-A-Rama celebration on Feb. 20, Smith will be in attendance to help celebrate the exhibition and Phoenix arts community.

Tickets for Ceram-A-Rama start at $25 and can be purchased at asu.artmuseum.asu.edu.ceramarama.

The ASU Art Museum Ceramic Studio Tour is organized by the Ceramics Research Center Artist’s Advisory Committee.

To learn more about the ASU Art Museum, call 480-965-2787 or visit http://asuartmuseum.asu.edu.

 
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Food, fun and fitness as West campus kicks off Night of the Open Door

From fitness to food, fun for the family at West campus' Night of the Open Door.
February 7, 2016

The West campus kicked off a month of open-house events at Arizona State University's campuses during Night of the Open Door on Feb. 6. From fitness to food, there was fun for the whole family. The event featured events and interactive activities in mathematics and natural sciences, humanities, arts, social sciences, education and business. 

If you missed the fun, don't worry: There are four more free Night of the Open Door events this month:

  • Downtown Phoenix campus: 4-8 p.m. Friday, Feb. 12 
  • Polytechnic campus: 5-9 p.m. Friday, Feb. 19
  • Thunderbird campus: 4-8 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 20
  • Tempe campus: 4-9 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 27

Read more about what's in store at each campus here and here.

Check ASU Now after each event for photo galleries, and follow along as our crew shows all the fun on Snapchat (search for username: ASUNow).

 

 
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ASU art professor aims to change the way we talk about birth.
Talking about what really happens during birth is still largely taboo.
Researchers Saisto & Halmesmäki: 6-10% of women have major fear of childbirth.
February 3, 2016

Art, oral-history project aims to share women’s birth stories without judgment

“Birth is this thing that ties everyone together.”

Forrest SolisForrest Solis is an associate professor in the School of Art, an academic unit of ASU’s Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts. is seated in her studio adjacent to her Phoenix home when she makes this statement. The air in the studio is rich with the scent of oil paint emanating from the many canvases resting haphazardly against every free inch of wall in the small space.

Each one is part of the Arizona State University associate professor’s latest artistic endeavor, “Creative Push,”“Creative Push” has received initial funding from ASU’s Institute for Humanities Research, the School of Art and the Arizona Commission on the Arts. an ongoing art and oral-history project that aims to record and disseminate women’s birth stories without judgment.

The larger-than-life scenes depicted on the canvases in Solis’ studio tell her personal story of the labor and delivery of her son, an experience she describes as traumatic.

“It was a really amazing experience,” she said. “But was it magical and beautiful? No.”

And that’s something she wasn’t expecting — mostly because she didn’t really know what to expect.

“I think books like ‘What to Expect When You’re Expecting,’ while they’re very useful, don’t give you the whole picture,” said Deborah Sussman Susser, an ASU colleague of Solis’ who co-teaches the creative writing workshop “Mothers Who Write” and who contributed her own birth story to “Creative Push.”

The “whole picture,” according to Solis and many other women who participated in the birth story project, includes things that people just aren’t willing to talk about; things like women’s bodies and their various parts and functions.

The project serves as a platform to present an ever-growing collection of recorded birth stories and visual artworks: The birth stories are from members of the public who wished to share her story; artists then used those stories as inspiration to create artwork.

The recorded stories also serve as a research tool for organizations such as the Kinsey Institute in Indiana and ASU’s Institute for Humanities Research. More than 50 stories and 25 artworks have been created so far.

All of it can be heard and viewed in a virtual exhibition on the “Creative Push” website. An exhibition of 20 stories and their respective artwork will take place Feb. 4-13 at the ASU Step Gallery in downtown Phoenix, with the opening reception from 6 to 9 p.m. Feb. 5, coinciding with the First Fridays art walk. Preceding the reception will be a screening of Irene Lusztig’s film “The Motherhood Archives,” from 4 to 6 p.m. Lusztig will be present to introduce her film and answer questions afterward.

Even in the year 2016, in a society that prides itself on advancements and breakthroughs in fields ranging from technology to social justice, the idea of openly discussing what’s really going on with a woman’s body during pregnancy, labor and delivery makes people squeamish. As a result, the topic is largely avoided, and women end up ill-prepared for — and often unreasonably uncomfortable with — one of mankind’s most necessary, most natural, most life-changing tasks.

But don’t worry; it gets worse.

A stack of books on a shelf.

A stack of birth books in ASU associate
professor Forrest Solis' Phoenix studio.
Solis hopes to paint a fuller picture of
the birth experience with the "Creative
Push" project.

Photo by Deanna Dent/ASU Now

Even though nobody wants to talk to a pregnant woman about, say, how she’s concerned because she’s leaking fluid, they’re happy to talk to her about what she should or shouldn’t be doing.

“Every decision you make, from the moment you conceive, you’re being judged on,” Solis said. “You cannot be at a restaurant eating a sandwich with sprouts in it and not have someone say, ‘Oh, you’re not supposed to have sprouts.’ I mean, every single thing. Coffee, wine, that’s the obvious stuff. But it’s everything. … And you feel like when you’re pregnant, it’s this series of denials: you can’t have this, you can’t do this, you can’t do that. And then you feel all this judgment about it.”

The icing on the cake of many women’s pregnancies? Once the baby arrives, it’s “mommy-who?”

“Mothers almost always get left out of the birth once the baby arrives,” said ASU creative writing grad student Natasha Murdock.

“Nothing else matters, but the baby, or at least, that's how it seems,” Murdock continued. “Somehow the mother's experience of birth is erased once the baby is born. Of course the baby is important, that's the whole point, right? But that doesn't invalidate or make disappear the fact that the mother just went through something hugely profound and complex and painful, and a lot of the time, something very traumatic.”

All these issues that negatively affect a woman’s experience of pregnancy and giving birth — lack of preparation; discomfort with one’s own natural body functions; judgment-induced shame or guilt; and isolation — led Solis to pursue “Creative Push.”

“Being an artist and a new mom, I had this twofold thing happening where I wanted to express my experience through my art, and I also wanted to talk about my experience, and I wanted to hear other women’s experiences,” said Solis. “But I didn’t think there was a place for that.”

So she created one.

“In seeking other women telling their stories, I’m seeking companionship … and I want to create a network of support ... and to validate those stories. Because quite frankly, just because millions of women do it, and just because it’s been happening for hundreds of thousands of years doesn’t mean that your personal experience isn’t important and doesn’t have meaning.”

And just because you haven’t given birth doesn’t mean you can’t participate. Former ASU grad student Haylee Bollinger created a sculpture based on Murdock’s story. Though she is not a mother herself, listening to Murdock’s story deeply affected her.

“When I listened to [Natasha’s birth story] I was feeling really upset for her because I didn’t understand how the doctors could ignore all these things she was telling them. … I was so indignant on her behalf,” Bollinger said.

After all, as Sussman Susser pointed out: “Everybody has a mother. And everybody, I think, has a vested interest in how mothers are treated in society.”

For Murdock, “Creative Push” reinforces that sentiment by doing one thing very well: listening.

“[Forrest] listened to [my birth story] without judgment or advice or dismissiveness. She didn't try to make me feel better or tell me I should be happy my son was here. She just listened. It was amazing,” she said.

It’s not hard to do, said Solis, because “it’s really interesting when you hear these women talk about their experiences. And they speak so beautifully because it’s from the heart. When they’re telling their story, they begin to find meaning in it just by telling it.”

None of this would have happened, though, if Solis had listened to the nagging voice inside her head feeding off yet another harmful female-directed stereotype.

“In the art realm, there’s this joke that if you are a mother, you’re going to start making art about motherhood. It’s a degrading joke,” she said.

“So when I thought about making artwork on this topic, I had to go through feelings of inadequacy, like does it make me feel like less of an artist than I am? And I didn’t want other artists to feel like that, so part of [‘Creative Push’] has been finding other mom artists. And most have made artwork on [the topic of birth and motherhood] but it’s just in their personal archive; they would never share it. Now there’s a place where those things can exist and we can enjoy them and celebrate them.”

Fellow female artist and ASU art professor Mary Hood, who also contributed artwork to “Creative Push,” is glad Solis didn’t shy away from tackling birth and motherhood through art.

“I think there’s a larger conversation to be had, and I’m hoping for Forrest that this exhibition kind of jump-starts some of those conversations, on a community level and hopefully on a larger level,” Hood said. “I think Forrest is being brave and adventurous in taking this on as a topic.”

As for scaling the topic, Solis has every intention of taking “Creative Push” national — and perhaps, one day, international.

She has been working closely with Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts Dean Steven Tepper to secure the funding that would allow her to do so.

“Dean Tepper has been a huge proponent of the project,” Solis said, “and I really think he’s going to make some positive changes here.”

By the end of 2016, Solis hopes to have 100 stories, more than 50 participating artists and another exhibition.

In addition to the “Creative Push” website, the audio recordings are housed as an oral-history archive in the ASU Digital Library, where the full-unedited interviews are available for download.

To learn more about the project, become a participating artist and/or storyteller and to see the “Creative Push” artwork and listen to birth stories, visit www.creativepush.org.

2 ASU alumni awarded fellowships from National Endowment for the Arts


February 3, 2016

The National Endowment for the Arts celebrates its 50th anniversary in 2016. Their first act of the year was to award creative writing fellowships of $25,000 to provide writers with the time and space to create, revise, and research. From a pool of 1,763 applicants, just 37 were selected.

Two of this year’s recipients, Kevin Haworth and Vedran Husić, are graduates of the same program at Arizona State University: the Department of English’s master of fine arts program in creative writing. The Department of English is part of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. Images of Kevin Haworth and Vedran Husić Download Full Image

National Endowment for the Arts director of literature Amy Stolls said of the recipients: “These 37 extraordinary new fellows provide more evidence of the NEA’s track record of discovering and supporting excellent writers.”

Those at ASU who worked with Haworth and Husić as students were thrilled, but not surprised by their selection.

Professor of English Melissa Pritchard, who retired in December 2015, was on graduate committees for both alumni. She remembers them as, “extremely talented, highly intelligent, wildly driven writers.

“Kevin was in a graduate class of mine where we read novels, then practiced writing shadow ‘mini-novels.’ When Kevin read his aloud, we all realized he had a real novel, an important novel, on his hands. Unanimously, we urged him to write it.

“Vedran would read stories in workshop that would leave all of us stunned, unable to say a word. They were magnificent stories.”

Pritchard went on to say, “both Kevin and Vedran were extraordinary students, and have become extraordinary writers. I’m so proud of them.”

Haworth, a 1997 ASU grad, is the author of three books — “Famous Drownings in Literary History,” “The Discontinuity of Small Things” and “Far Out All My Life” — and co-editor of “Lit from Within: Contemporary Masters of the Art & Craft of Writing.” His essays and short stories have been published in Creative Nonfiction, Fourth Genre, and The Chicago Tribune’s Printers Row, among other venues, and he writes a monthly column for Michigan Quarterly Review. Haworth has taught writing and literature at Arizona State University, Antioch Writers Workshop, 826 Michigan, Ohio University, and Tel Aviv University. He is the Director of Carlow University’s MFA in creative writing.

Husić, who received his ASU degree in 2013, has published fiction in Ecotone, Witness, North American Review, The Massachusetts Review, Blackbird, and elsewhere. A recipient of a Fellowship from the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown, he’s at work on a novel about the 1914 assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand in Sarajevo. Husic is pursuing a doctorate in creative writing at The University of Missouri, where he also teaches.

ASU’s program in creative writing, from which Haworth and Husić both graduated, recently celebrated its 30th anniversary in 2015.

Since 1990, 81 of the 138 American recipients of the National Book Award, the National Book Critics Circle Award, and the Pulitzer Prize in Poetry and Fiction were previous NEA creative writing fellows.

From a release by the National Endowment for the Arts, with contributions from ASU’s Jenny Irish. 

Kristen LaRue

coordinator senior, Department of English

480-965-7611

ASU community art exhibit explores the idea of home


February 2, 2016

We each have our own idea of what makes a home: a place of shelter, protection, refuge, comfort, family and respite. Other living things create and build habitats for sanctuary, safety and nourishment. Home often means security and belonging, and it can form feelings and memories of comfort as well as discomfort.

This is the essence of “House, Habitat, Home: A Community Art Exhibition,” now open in the University Center on Arizona State University’s Downtown Phoenix campus. Organized by the College of Public Service and Community Solutions, the exhibit provides individuals, schools and community organizations the opportunity to share their art with thousands of people in the downtown ASU community, placing art created by working professionals alongside emerging artists of all ages. This is Home, Polka Dot Suite and Mist Cycle “House, Habitat, Home: A Community Art Exhibition,” is now open in the University Center on Arizona State University’s Downtown Phoenix campus. Download Full Image

The exhibition, which runs through May 4, is displayed on the first, second and third floors of the University Center, 411 N. Central Ave, Phoenix, and features more than 160 works of art submitted for display in a response to a community-wide call to artists. Included are works of various media such as paintings, collages, pencil drawings, sculpture — all created out of a desire to celebrate the meaning of home.

Beverly K. Brandt, Professor Emerita with the Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts, provides a calming image of home in her watercolor, "Earth, Air, Water: At Home by the Bay." In cool greens and blues, homes along the water are depicted in a manner that is harmonious with the nature in which they are situated.

“My favorite medium is watercolor. It is so difficult to work with; yet, the results can be breathtaking if done right,” she said.

Brandt, who has only recently become familiar with the community arts program, added, “What a great opportunity to attract work from all ages, all backgrounds, diverse media, diverse visions. The ASU Downtown campus is having a profound effect on Phoenix, and a community arts program seems like a great way to celebrate the changes that have come about since ASU began showing a greater presence in the downtown area."

Carson Bilger, a teacher at Madison Simis in Phoenix, has had his art students participate in three community art exhibitions at the ASU Downtown Phoenix campus. This year, the students chose to create colorful and imaginative homes by using paint, Styrofoam, paper and other three-dimensional materials.

Bilger stated, “I use it as an opportunity for students who are excelling and interested in the arts to create collaborative pieces. ... Having an end goal, like displaying at ASU, is a great motivating factor for the students to create high-quality pieces and work their hardest. “

In one of her submitted works, "Agave," ASU art student Amanda Johnson feels that she was able to discover and reflect on her newfound love of the desert and desert botanicals. Johnson decided to participate in the exhibition because the title grabbed her attention.

“It’s amazing how one word can evoke so many different emotions,” she said. “I think it is important to have an arts community that ties all of the campuses together ... to see how we all influence each other and come together to make things happen.”

James Lowman, an artist in a group called Art Challenge, encouraged the group’s nine members to submit works of art.

“[We] had just completed a series of pieces with the topic ‘Show Me Where You Live.’ This seemed to match with the ‘House, Habitat, Home’ theme,” he said. 

The group submitted paintings, prints, drawings, collages and works in other media. Art Challenge had been involved with the downtown art scene through First Fridays and was intrigued and excited about the locale of ASU’s downtown art exhibition.

Lowman stated, “Art lovers, passersby, and the general public are exposed to art that is often home grown, yet is amazingly expressive. Seeing a show of this nature is a real opportunity to experience a cross-section of our identity as a community. “

Through this exhibition, the college hoped to encourage artists to observe the world that we live in and to consider its wonder. The exhibition shares the explorations of ideas of home and habitat seen through artists’ eyes.

One of those artists is Rosemarie Dombrowski, lecturer at the Downtown Phoenix campus.

“I’m primarily a writer, so if I’m venturing away from pure text, I tend to gravitate towards mixed-media. I like to incorporate verse fragments into pieces that have an ‘arts and crafts’ aesthetic with an emphasis on sustainability,” she said. “I love being involved with projects that foster collaboration between ASU students, faculty, staff and the greater downtown community. This campus for me, represents the epicenter of that type of engagement.”

The Action, Advocacy, Arts program is part of an ongoing community exhibition series held each semester in University Center at the ASU Downtown Phoenix campus. The gallery is free and open to the public from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily, except for holidays. Guided tours may be arranged by contacting Carrie Tovar, curator of art, at carrie.tovar@asu.edu.

 
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Want to see a pool table shaped like Cuba?
Art exhibit inspired by restored U.S./Cuba relationship.
January 29, 2016

ASU Art Museum hosts exhibit inspired by the restored relations between U.S., Cuba

The Arizona State University Art Museum opens “Love Me Two Times” on Saturday, Jan. 30, a unique exhibition divided between two recent projects by Cuban-born, Bay Area-artist Tony Labat. The title refers to the newly restored diplomatic relations between Cuba and the United States.

The first of the two projects, “Irregular Encounter: Leveling the Field,” was commissioned for the Havana Biennial in 2012. The installation at the ASU Art Museum will rely on audience participation, as it consists of a customized billiards hall with bleachers, a cafe/bar stand and the highlight — a handmade pool table in the shape of the island of Cuba.

A pioneer of video installations, Tony Labat has been an important player in the California performance and video scene since the early 1980s. His work often identifies with the “outsider,” whether the artist or the immigrant. Having emigrated to the U.S. in the 1960s, he himself has often been caught between the U.S. and Cuba’s severed diplomatic relations, and his work makes frequent commentary on labor, migration, displacement and marginalization.

While researching how to build a pool table in Cuba, Labat discovered a world of underground “billiards” clubs. After a decades-long ban on billiards, communities created unauthorized pool halls in their homes. At one of these Labat met a young man named Tatin, who had come into building pool tables quite accidentally. A local police chief had a few pool tables left over from the 1950s in the basement of the police station, and he asked Tatin to fix and renovate one table. In exchange for his services, he was given one of the tables. By deconstructing it, Tatin taught himself how to build one from scratch. The police chief then looked “the other way” and let Tatin develop a “pool hall” in his home. The custom-made pool table he built for Labat was milled from one tree — possibly a type of walnut tree, from which the cue sticks were also made — while a saddle maker constructed the pockets.

When the table premiered at the 2012 Havana Biennial, “Irregular Encounter: Leveling the Field” became the first “sanctioned” Cuban pool hall in 50 years, by the way of art. Other than the story and fabrication, perhaps the most important aspect of the table is its unusual shape: the island of Cuba itself. The new configuration forces each player into an equal place as they try to figure out how the balls respond to curved, rather than straight rails. Labat’s conceptual take on the traditional billiards table mirrors the current-day politics — a new era is beginning where the old rules no longer apply.

“Irregular Encounter: Leveling the Field” is the second project in the new ASU Art Museum series "Encounter," where artists re-imagine and re-contextualize the museum collection to address larger issues relating to the current social and cultural climate of Arizona and the world at large. For "Encounter," Labat will choose a selection of the museum’s seminal contemporary Cuban collection that will be displayed in the installation of “Irregular Encounter: Leveling the Field.”

For the second project in “Love Me Two Times,” titled “Day Labor: Mapping the Outside,” Labat set up a surveillance system outside the window of his studio and, during the course of six months, recorded the activities of the laborers while also recording himself producing artwork in his studio. The cameras were camouflaged in three exterior flowerpots aimed at Cesar Chavez Street in San Francisco’s Mission district, a location known as the place to pick up day laborers. This multi-channel video installation also relates to famed conceptual artist Bruce Nauman and what he describes as “dead time” in the studio. Here Labat refers to the day labors waiting to be offered a job and poses the question, “What is the difference between informal economy and the art economy?” Both are large unregulated markets with implications in the global economy.

Join the artist at the ASU Art Museum Spring 2016 Season Opening Receptions at 5:30 p.m. (for members and alumni) and 6:30 p.m. (for the public), on Friday, Jan. 29, at both the ASU Art Museum and ASU Art Museum Brickyard.

Sponsored by Macayo’s Mexican Kitchen and the ASU Art Museum Creative Impact Board. 

This exhibition is supported by the Helme Prinzen Endowment.

Deborah Sussman Susser

Communications and media specialist , Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts

480-965-0478

 
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New ASU prof looks at music through a new sensory experience.
From fronting punk bands to ASU, new prof explores the sensations of sound.
January 28, 2016

ASU professor uses custom-built instruments to explore multi-sensory effects of music

Editor's note: This is part of a series highlighting new faculty members at Arizona State University. Find a complete listing of new 2015-2016 faculty here.

Lauren Hayes fronted punk and ska bands in her teens, is a wiz at the keyboard and played the role of Deborah Harry in a tribute band from Scotland called Gentleman Prefer Blondie.

Now she’s teaching classes at ASU.

But the new assistant professor of sound studies in Arizona State University’s School of Arts, Media and EngineeringThe school is a collaborative initiative between the Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts and the Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering. doesn’t want you to go by her resume; she’d rather you look at her pedigree.

Classically trained in piano since the age of 4, Hayes (pictured above) is a composer, performer and improviser with a doctorate from the University of Edinburgh. She has produced a large portfolio of work, research and music, including three albums. Hayes said her father, David, who played in Motown tribute bands in the 1960s and tinkered with electronics, was her greatest influence.

“We always had a piano, but another aspect was the amount of electronics, computers, Lego mechanics and instruments in the house,” Hayes said. “My dad would solder his own guitar effects, and that influence helped me on my own path.”

Hayes was recording at age 8, which was right around the same time she got into experimental music.

“I’d improvise for hours on the piano. I’d think certain things were hilarious and I’d shout them out to my parents, emulating contemporary classical music that I’d heard,” Hayes said. “When you’re young, you’re told that it’s just noise and that’s not how you’re supposed to play it. But that’s a practice I do now because it’s what I teach.”

For many years Hayes has given multisensory workshops for various groups, including those with sensory impairment, learning difficulties and autism. These workshops use vibration and music to explore the links between sound and touch, often resulting in custom-built instruments designed specifically for a user.

At ASU, Hayes will teach Introduction to Digital Sound and conduct future research examining the performance practices of live electronic and electro-instrumental musicians within various distinct musical communities.

“My work is very much based around the physical experience of technology and digital media in relation to sonic art and music, particularly for performers and audiences,” Hayes said. “I want to find more ways where people can be more interactive so there’s no division between the performer and the audience.”

Last year, as a visiting professor at ASU, Hayes was able to accomplish that goal when she participated in an all-day music festival at Phoenix’s Clarendon Hotel featuring artists who performed in the lobby, a rooftop entertainment space and outside on the pool deck. Hayes played live electronics, which could be heard above and below water by people who used the hotel’s pool, thanks to a pair of underwater speakers.

Hayes said she wants her students to push their artistic boundaries, and inspire them through trial and error.

“I’m not trying to impose my musical aesthetics on anyone because I want to find out what are their backgrounds, what are their interests and get them to try things they haven’t done before,” Hayes said. “I want to encourage them to make mistakes and fail, but more important, help them develop their own personalized practice through the tools I’m going to give them in class. ”

It’s almost like Hayes is channeling her Blondie roots, telling the students to find the answers “One Way or Another.”

 

Woman uses instruments.

Assistant professor Lauren Hayes demonstrates her electronic musical instrument in the small studio in her office on Jan. 27. She uses a computer program, a MIDI controller and keyboard along with a video game controller to produce sounds. Photos by Charlie Leight/ASU Now

 

Listen to selections of Hayes' compositions here.

Reporter , ASU Now

480-727-5176

ASU Art Museum presents a unique exhibition by Cuban-born artist Tony Labat


January 28, 2016

On Jan. 30, 2016, the Arizona State University Art Museum opens “Love Me Two Times,” a unique exhibition divided between two recent projects by Cuban-born Bay Area-artist Tony Labat. The title refers to the newly restored diplomatic relations between Cuba and the United States.

The first of the two projects, “Irregular Encounter: Leveling the Field,” was commissioned for the Havana Biennial in 2012. At the ASU Art Museum, the installation will rely on audience participation, as it consists of a customized billiards hall with bleachers, a café/bar stand and the highlight—a handmade pool table in the shape of the island of Cuba. ony Labat, “Irregular Encounter: Leveling the Field,” installation view. Image courtesy of the artist. Photo courtesy of Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts Download Full Image

A pioneer of video installations, Tony Labat has been an important player in the California performance and video scene since the early 1980s. His work often identifies the “outsider,” whether the artist or the immigrant. Having emigrated to the U.S. in the 1960s, he himself has often been caught between the U.S. and Cuba’s severed diplomatic relations, and his work makes frequent commentary on labor, migration, displacement and marginalization.

While researching how to build a pool table in Cuba, Labat discovered a world of underground “billiards” clubs. After a decades-long ban on billiards, communities created unauthorized pool halls in their homes. At one of these Labat met a young man named Tatin, who had come into building pool tables quite accidentally. A local police chief had a few pool tables left over from the 1950’s in the basement of the police station, and he asked Tatin to fix and renovate one table. In exchange for his services, he was given one of the tables. By deconstructing a pool table, Tatin taught himself how to build one from scratch. The police chief then looked “the other way” and let Tatin develop a “pool hall” in his home. The custom-made pool table he built for Labat was milled from one tree, possibly a type of walnut tree, from which the cue sticks were also made, while a saddle maker constructed the pockets.

When the table premiered at the 2012 Havana Biennial, “Irregular Encounter: Leveling the Field” became the first “ sanctioned” Cuban pool hall in 50 years, by the way of art. Other than the story and fabrication, perhaps the most important aspect of the table is its unusual shape: the island of Cuba itself. The new configuration forces each player into an equal place as they try to figure out how the balls respond to curved,rather than straight rails. Labat’s conceptual take on the traditional billiards table mirrors the current day politics – a new era is beginning where the old rules no longer apply.

“Irregular Encounter: Leveling the Field” is the second project in the new ASU Art Museum series Encounter, where artists re-imagine and re-contextualize the museum collection to address larger issues relating to the current social and cultural climate of Arizona and the world at large. For Encounter, Labat will choose a selection of the museum’s seminal contemporary Cuban collection that will be displayed in the installation of “Irregular Encounter: Leveling the Field.”

For the second project in “Love Me Two Times,” titled “Day Labor: Mapping the Outside,” Labat set up a surveillance system outside the window of his studio and, during the course of six months, recorded the activities of the laborers while also recording himself producing artwork in his studio. The cameras were camouflaged in three exterior flowerpots aimed at Cesar Chavez Street in San Francisco’s Mission district, a location known as the place to pick up day laborers. This multi-channel video installation also relates to famed conceptual artist Bruce Nauman and what he describes as “dead time” in the studio. Here Labat refers to the day labors waiting to be offered a job and poses the question, “What is the difference between informal economy and the art economy?” Both are large unregulated markets with implications in the global economy.

Labat was born in Havana, Cuba, in 1951, and emigrated to the United States in 1966. He received both a B.F.A. and an M.F.A. from the San Francisco Art Institute. His videos and installations have been included at the The Museum of Modern Art, New York; San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; The Hague; Australian Centre for Photography, Sydney; Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles; The Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston; Museo de Arte de Ponce, Puerto Rico; The Kitchen, New York; Museo de Arte, Bogota, Colombia; Centro Arte Contemporaneo Wifredo Lam, Havana; P.S.1 Contemporary Art Center, Long Island City, N.Y.; J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles; and the Seville Biennale, Spain, among others. His videos are part of the permanent collections of numerous institutions, including Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris; Kunstmuseum, Bern; Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam; and the Long Beach Museum of Art, California. He lives in San Francisco.

Join the artist at the ASU Art Museum Spring 2016 Season Opening Reception, on Friday, Jan. 29, 2016 at the ASU Art Museum and ASU Art Museum Brickyard.

Members and Alumni Preview 5:30–6:30 p.m.
Public Reception 6:30–8:30 p.m.

Sponsored by Macayo’s Mexican Kitchen and the ASU Art Museum Creative Impact Board. 

This exhibition is supported by the Helme Prinzen Endowment.

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ABOUT THE ASU ART MUSEUM 
The ASU Art Museum, named “the single most impressive venue for contemporary art in Arizona” by Art in America magazine, is part of the Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts at Arizona State University.

To learn more about the museum, call 480.965.2787, or visit asuartmuseum.asu.edu.

Location/Parking: The museum has three locations across the metro Phoenix area: the ASU Art Museum at 10th Street and Mill Avenue, on ASU’s Tempe campus; the ASU Art Museum Brickyard at 7th Street and Mill Avenue, in downtown Tempe; and the ASU Art Museum International Artist Residency Program Project Space at Combine Studios, in downtown Phoenix. Designated parking is available at all three locations.

Admission: Free at all three locations.

Hours: The ASU Art Museum and ASU Art Museum Brickyard are open 11 a.m.–8 p.m. on Tuesdays (during the academic year), 11 a.m.–5 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday. The museum is closed on Sundays and Mondays. The ASU Art Museum International Artist Residency Program Project Space in downtown Phoenix at Combine Studios is open by appointment.



Media Contact:
Julio Cesar Morales
ASU Art Museum
415-992-2041
julio.morales@asu.edu

Emerging Artists III features dance explorations of social stigma and transformation


January 25, 2016

Emerging Artists is a series of dance performances featuring choreography from the graduating MFA in Dance students in the ASU School of Film, Dance and Theatre. These thesis projects are the accumulation of several years of study, exploring a variety of issues through movement, interactive media and performance.

This year’s iteration of Emerging Artists III will feature Ricardo Alvarez and Jenny Gerena. Emerging Artists III Photo by Tim Trumble courtesy of Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts

Alvarez’s work, “It’s My Party,” is an immersive multi-media production that focuses on understanding the social and personal issues surrounding HIV stigma. Drawing from a series of round table conversations with newly diagnosed HIV+ young adults, Alvarez seeks to illuminate how HIV+ individuals find empowerment and personal acceptance.

“My hope is to show others that although it may be difficult for someone to accept their HIV+ diagnosis, that it doesn’t have to change who they are,” Alvarez said. “They are not a statistic; they are not a bad person; they do not deserve to feel ashamed.”

Gerena’s production, “Flesh Narratives,” is series of 5 distinct pieces that explores the power of personal narrative and storytelling as told through the language of the body. The interplay of creation and destruction, the transformation of seasons and the transformative power of water are examples of themes explored in each work.

“I aim to create pieces that allow the dancers as well as the audience to feel a sense of nostalgia, perhaps taking them back into their personal memory bank to assign meaning to what they are experiencing,” Gerena said. “In short I make choreography to communicate, share and provoke emotions or thoughts that extend beyond our physical understandings of our reality.”

Emerging Artists III, featuring Ricardo Alvarez’s “It’s My Party” and Jenny Gerena’s “Flesh Narratives,” is playing at the Dance Lab in the Nelson Fine Arts Center room 122 on ASU’s Tempe campus at these times: 

6:30 p.m. Jan. 29
7:30 p.m. Jan. 30
2 p.m. Jan. 31

Tickets are $16 for general admission; $12 for ASU faculty, staff and alumni; $12 for senior citizens; and $8 for student. Tickets can be purchased online or by calling 480-965-6447.

Communications Program Coordinator, ASU Art Museum

480-965-0014

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