Fall 2021 Penny Stamps Speaker Series line-up announced
A new season of the Penny Stamps Distinguished Speaker Series will connect audiences to new media experiences with respected leaders and innovators from a broad spectrum of creative fields in partnership with Detroit Public Television and PBS Books.
While the Stamps Speaker Series plans to bring back the in-person theatrical experience soon, this season will continue to present a virtual series that audiences beyond Ann Arbor will be able to experience each Thursday night from the comfort of home.
“Through the digital frame, the Penny Stamps Speaker Series continues to meet artists where they are, while also looking to provide the local audience with many in-person opportunities to experience the work of the guests first hand through gallery exhibitions,” said Chrisstina Hamilton, director of the Penny Stamps Speaker Series at the University of Michigan Stamps School of Art & Design.
The fall 2021 lineup includes 11 speaker series events including renowned transmedia artist Stephanie Dinkins, New York based artist, writer and scholar Coco Fusco and award winning Ghanaian-British architect Sir David Adjaye. Hamilton also said that they plan to offer access to never-before-released events from the Penny Stamps Speaker Series archive.
All speaker series events will be webcast on Thursdays at 8 p.m at the U-M Stamps Website, at dptv.org and on the Penny Stamps Series Facebook page. Audiences can also tune in to watch talks and join the conversation on the Penny Stamps Series Facebook page. Pending speaker permission, most events will be archived in the Past Lectures/Videos section.
Fall 2021 Penny Stamps Speaker Series Events
September 16, 2021
Stephanie Dinkins creates platforms for dialogue about artificial intelligence as it intersects race, gender, aging, and our future histories.
Through her work, Dinkins has become a central figure nationally and internationally recognized for exposing bias and inequity within artificial intelligence systems. Weaving together art production and exhibition, community-based workshops and public speaking all with the intention of encouraging action towards making artificial intelligence systems more inclusive, accessible and transparent.
In her Stamps talk, Dinkins will discuss her new and interactive installations and workshops that build on her concept of Afro-now-ism and how her work develops a dialogue with the audience on the hierarchies embedded within machine learning and AI architecture and one’s individual agency in transforming the algorithms within it.
The first survey of renowned transmedia artist Stephanie Dinkins’ work is on view at Stamps Gallery (201 S. Division St.) through October 23, 2021.
In partnership with the Stamps Gallery.
September 23, 2021
Andrea Zittel’s sculptures and installations transform everything necessary for life — eating, sleeping, bathing, and socializing — into artful experiments in living. Blurring the lines between life and art, Zittel’s projects extend to her own home and wardrobe. Wearing a single outfit every day for an entire season, and constantly remodeling her home to suit changing demands and interests, Zittel continually reinvents her relationship to her domestic and social environment. Influenced by Modernist design and architecture from the early twentieth century, the artist’s one-woman mock organization, A – Z Administrative Services, develops furniture, homes, and vehicles for contemporary consumers with a similar simplicity and attention to order. Seeking to attain a sense of freedom through structure, Zittel is more interested in revealing the human need for order than in prescribing a single unifying design principle or style.
Zittel’s most recent body of work consists of creating structural furniture pieces in planar configurations. These pieces make use of flat surfaces and right angles in minimal shapes and with a limited color palette. Her furniture pieces often feature many of her other works, such as weavings and wool tapestries which give warmth to the harshness of steel and aluminum.
Note: This is a special archival release of content that has never before been shared online.
With support from the University of Michigan Museum of Art (UMMA), Institute for the Humanities, and Detroit Creative Corridor Center (DC3).
September 30, 2021
Detroit artist Rashaun Rucker explores black male identity through American ornithology. In his hybrid portraits, he combines the images of black men with the anatomical features of rock pigeons, both cast aside and conditioned, unable to free themselves from their imposed fates or surroundings.
Rashaun Rucker was born in Winston-Salem, NC, and is a product of North Carolina Central University and Marygrove College. He makes photographs, prints and drawings and has won more than 40 national and state awards for his work. In 2008 Rucker became the first African American to be named Michigan Press Photographer of the Year. He also won a national Emmy Award in 2008 for documentary photography on the pit bull culture in Detroit. Rucker was a Maynard Fellow at Harvard in 2009 and a Hearst visiting professional in the journalism department at UNC-Chapel Hill in 2013. In 2014 Rucker was awarded an artist residency at the Red Bull House of Art. In 2016 Rucker was honored as a Modern Man by Black Enterprise magazine. In 2017 Rucker created the original artwork for the critically acclaimed Detroit Free Press documentary 12 and Clairmount. His work was recently featured in HBO’s celebrated series Random Acts of Flyness and Native Son. In 2019 Rucker was awarded the Red Bull Arts Detroit micro grant and was named a Kresge Arts Fellow for his drawing practice. Rucker’s work is represented in numerous public and private collections.
Rashaun Rucker’s work is on view at the Institute for the Humanities (Suite 1111, 202 S. Thayer St.) from September 13th through October 15, 2021.
In partnership with the Institute for the Humanities.
October 7, 2021Author of Are You My Mother? A Comic Drama, Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic and the comic strip Dykes To Watch Out For, graphic novelist Alison Bechdel is preoccupied with the overlap of the political and the personal spheres.
Her 2012 memoir Are You My Mother? A Comic Drama delved into not just her relationship with her own mother, but the theories of the 20th century British psychoanalyst Donald Winnicott.
In 2006 she published Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic. Time magazine named it the Best Book of 2006. It was adapted into a musical and it opened on Broadway at the Circle in the Square Theater on April 19, 2015, and won five Tony Awards, including “Best Musical.”
Her most recent book, The Secret to Superhuman Strength (May 2021), continues her investigation of the relationship between inside and outside, in this case the outside where she skis, bikes, hikes, and wanders in pursuit of fitness and, incidentally, self-transcendence.
The recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship, Bechdel has drawn comics for Slate, McSweeney’s, The New York Times Book Review, and Granta.
This event is a special limited archival release of content never before shared online. This talk will be available for a limited period, from Thursday, October 7‑Thursday, October 28 (three weeks).
In partnership with the Institute for the Humanities.
October 14, 2021
New York based artist, writer and scholar Coco Fusco presents a virtual talk entitled The Rights to Have Rights. In this talk Fusco will present research on Cuban artists confronting the state, and work dealing with repressed histories of the revolutionary era in Cuba. This talk will be followed by a Q&A moderated by U‑M Professor Larry La Fountain-Stokes (American Culture, Latino/a Studies, Romance Languages and Literatures, and Women’s and Gender Studies).
Coco Fusco is an interdisciplinary artist and writer. She is a recipient of a 2021 American Academy of Arts and Letters Arts Award, a 2021 Latinx Artist Fellowship, a 2018 Rabkin Prize for Art Criticism, a 2016 Greenfield Prize, a 2014 Cintas Fellowship, a 2013 Guggenheim Fellowship, a 2013 Absolut Art Writing Award, a 2013 Fulbright Fellowship, a 2012 US Artists Fellowship and a 2003 Herb Alpert Award in the Arts. Fusco’s performances and videos have been presented in the 56th Venice Biennale, Frieze Special Projects, Basel Unlimited, two Whitney Biennials (2008 and 1993), and several other international exhibitions. Her works are in the permanent collections of the Museum of Modern Art, The Walker Art Center, the Centre Pompidou, the Imperial War Museum, and the Museum of Contemporary Art of Barcelona. She is represented by Alexander Gray Associates in New York. She is a Professor of Art at Cooper Union.
Fusco is the author of Dangerous Moves: Performance and Politics in Cuba (2015). She is also the author of English is Broken Here: Notes on Cultural Fusion in the Americas (1995); The Bodies that Were Not Ours and Other Writings (2001); and A Field Guide for Female Interrogators (2008). She is the editor of Corpus Delecti: Performance Art of the Americas (1999) and Only Skin Deep: Changing Visions of the American Self (2003). She contributes regularly to The New York Review of Books and numerous art publications.
Note: This event will be streamed live. It will not be recorded or available after its original airdate and time of 10/14 at 6 pm.
Presented with support from Center for World Performance Studies, Arts Initiative, and UMMA.
October 21, 2021
Ocean Body is a multi-screen film and music installation directed and designed by Mark DeChiazza and collaboratively created with composer — vocalists Helga Davis and Shara Nova who embody a sculpture built for two by Annica Cuppetelli, artist and Lecturer II at the Stamps School of Art & Design.
Ocean Body examines the decade-long close friendship between Davis and Nova and seeks a necessary bridge for the division that exists not only in our society, but in ourselves.
Shara Novais the founder of the chamber pop band My Brightest Diamond. She has composed works for yMusic, Brooklyn Youth Chorus, Young New Yorkers’ Chorus, Brooklyn Rider, Nadia Sirota and Roomful of Teeth, among others. Her orchestrations have been performed by the North Carolina Symphony, Indianapolis Symphony, American Composers Orchestra and the BBC Concert orchestra. Her baroque chamber opera You Us We All premiered in the US at BAM Next Wave Festival in in 2015. Nova is a Kresge Fellow, Knights Grant recipient, and a United States Artists fellow.
Helga Davisis a vocalist and performance artist with feet planted on the most prestigious international stages and with firm roots in her local community. Davis was principal actor in the 25th-anniversary international revival of Robert Wilson and Philip Glass’s seminal opera Einstein on the Beach. She is artist in residence at National Sawdust and Joe’s Pub, host of the eponymous podcast HELGA on WQXR, winner of the 2019 Greenfield Prize in composition, a 2019 Alpert Award finalist, and the 2018 – 21 visiting curator for the performing arts at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum.
Mark DeChiazzais a director whose multifaceted practice encompasses filmmaking, choreography, scenic and media design, and installation. His work has been presented in national and international venues including Brooklyn Academy of Music, Lincoln Center, John F. Kennedy Center of the Arts, Guthrie Theater, Singapore International Festival of Arts, Les Subsistances, Chicago’s Museum of Contemporary Art, and many more. He first collaborated with Shara Nova in 2019, when they co-created the massive outdoor music-performance work Look Around, celebrating Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra’s 125th anniversary season, featuring over 600 performers from over 30 local groups.
Ocean Body is on view at the Wasserman Projects gallery in Detroit (3434 Russell St.) from September 25, 2021.
In partnership with Wasserman Projects.
October 28, 2021Studio Moross is a creative design studio focusing on art direction, branding, print, and moving image set up by graphic artist and art director Aries Moross.
Aries Moross is a graphic designer, illustrator, and art director based in London, and is recognized for their typographic illustrations. Moross has been profiled in Dazed & Confused, Vice, and Creative Review, who selected them for a Creative Future award in 2007.
Aries Moross set up Studio Moross in 2012, fueled by their desire to build a multifaceted team and approach a broader scope of projects. This sense of collaboration runs strongly throughout the Studio today and specialist partners are often invited onto projects, providing additional expertise as needed.
Studio Moross’ skillset is extensive, with work that includes live show direction, broadcast design, and festival campaign direction. The team undeniably finds themselves at home working with music talent, with creative direction for artists such as Kylie, Disclosure, Sam Smith, The Blessed Madonna, and Jade Bird. Yet, the Studio is widely known for the color and energy they bring to every project, whether through branding, illustration or motion design. Previous clients include MTV, Spotify, VH1, Nike, Warner, and the BFI.
Based in Stockwell, South London, Studio Moross firmly believes in supporting the community in which it is situated. Over the years the Studio has continued to offer work experience to local schools and provides pro bono design services to South London based organizations like Art 4 Space and The Advocacy Academy.
November 4, 2021
How to make freedom and playfulness – traditionally granted to artists – accessible to a wider audience? And, how to design situations or objects that stimulate activity and participation, that could lead to a transformation in a viewer or a social context? During this talk, Amsterdam-based designer Tereza Ruller (studio The Rodina) tries to answer these questions. She identifies performative components in graphic design processes and results. With examples of her recent projects, Ruller proposes the term “performative design” for a practice that incorporates graphic design, playfulness, bodies, action, and eventness (understanding this as a unique time and space). Performance becomes an alternative mode of value production and a space for critique and imagination.
The Rodina (Tereza and Vit Ruller) is a post-critical design studio with an experimental practice drenched in strategies of performance art, play and subversion. The Rodina invents ways in which experience, knowledge and relations are produced and preserved. In their work, Tereza and Vit often explore the spatial and interactive possibilities of virtual environments as a space for new thoughts and aesthetics that come forward from between culture and technology. The studio works mostly for cultural clients such as Harvard GSD (USA), Sonic Acts Foundation (NL), and Hyundai Card Library Seoul (KR).
In partnership with Taubman College of Architecture and Urban Planning.
November 11, 2021
Shizu Saldamando is an LA based Japanese/Latinx American mixed media artist whose portraits give visibility to urban youth, part of subcultures and countercultures. She has explored portraiture for two decades, capturing images of real people, her friends from the punk scenes in San Francisco’s Mission District, and those in the creative community in LA. Primarily concerned with portraiture and drawings, she experiments with a broad range of surfaces and materials from wood panels to bed sheets. Saldamando’s practice employs tattooing, video, painting and drawing on canvas, wood, paper, and cloth, and functions as homage to peers and loved ones. Her mother’s family is Japanese American and survivors of the Japanese American Internment camps. Her father is a Chicano from Nogales, AZ.
Shizu Saldamando’s work is on view at the Institute for the Humanities (Suite 1111, 202 S. Thayer St.) from November 2nd through December 10th, 2021.
In partnership with the Institute for the Humanities.
November 18, 2021
The debate about restitution and the ethics of Western museums’ owning African artworks collected during the era of colonization has never been more in the public eye. Most well-known, perhaps, are the “Benin bronzes,” artistic and royal heirlooms made since the 13th century by highly specialized metalworkers in the Kingdom of Benin (now southern Nigeria). In 1897, British forces sacked the capital of this prosperous kingdom. They tore sculptures and plaques from the palace walls, and took them back to Europe, where the looted treasures were sold to museums and private collectors. The royal court of Benin, Nigerian officials, and high-profile scholars such as Professor Chika Okeke-Agulu (Princeton) have been demanding their return for decades. Increasingly, museums based in the Global North have been listening to these calls for repatriation, and some have pledged to return works from their collections. To provide a new home for the repatriated works, plans for a new Edo Museum of West African Art (EMOWAA), are currently in development with world renowned architect Sir David Adjaye leading the building design project.
On the occasion of Wish You Were Here: African Art & Restitution, a public investigation into our own collection at the University of Michigan Museum of Art (UMMA), Sir David Adjaye and Professor Chika Okeke-Agulu will discuss their current and recent projects that address how works of art may re-enter the societies they were torn away from. Laura De Becker, Interim Chief Curator and the Helmut and Candis Stern Curator of African Art at UMMA, will introduce the event.
Wish You Were Here: African Art & Restitution is on view at the University of Michigan Museum of Art (525 S. State St.) through July 3, 2022.
In partnership with UMMA with support from Taubman College of Architecture and Urban Planning