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Fall 2021 Penny Stamps Speaker Series line-up announced

Michigan Marching Band players at a past game on the field during a Sept. 11 tributes show.

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 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 Nova​is 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 Davis​is 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 DeChiazza​is 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


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