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Exhibitions and Events

Winter 2018 Penny Stamps Speaker Series line-up announced

Molong Duon and Deokkyun Yoon, both mechanical engineering PhD students, and Chinedum Okwudire, associate professor in mechanical engineering, examine the effectiveness of their new, faster 3D printing algorithm. Photo: Evan Dougherty, Michigan Engineering

The University of Michigan Stamps School of Art & Design’s Penny Stamps Speaker Series is pleased to announce their Winter 2018 lineup.

The Penny Stamps Speaker Series brings respected innovators from a broad spectrum of fields to the School to conduct a public lecture and engage with students, faculty and the large University and Ann Arbor communities. This fall, the Series will present 12 speaker series events including Brian Selznick, author and illustrator of The Invention of Hugo Cabret, filmmaker Hito Steyerl, Jamaican artist Ebony G. Patterson and many more.

In addition to the main line-up, two visiting artist will offer special events in both Ann Arbor and Ypsilanti: robotics artist Chico MacMurtrie and performance artist Joseph Keckler.

Unless otherwise noted, all programs take place on Thursdays at 5:10pm at the historic Michigan Theatre (603 E. Liberty St.) in downtown Ann Arbor and are free of charge and open to the public.

Winter 2018 Penny Stamps Speaker Series Events

Claudia Rankine With P. Carl: Theater Matters: Activism, Imagination, Citizenship

January 18, 2018

Macarthur “Genius” Fellow Claudia Rankine and dramaturg P. Carl explore ways that contemporary theater and performance can catalyze and promote social justice in America. Rankine and Carl are currently collaborating on the upcoming world premiere of Rankine’s play The White Card. Claudia Rankine is the author of five collections of poetry, including Citizen: An American Lyric and Don’t Let Me Be Lonely; two plays, including Provenance of Beauty: A South Bronx Travelogue; and numerous video collaborations. She is the editor of several anthologies, including The Racial Imaginary: Writers on Race in the Life of the Mind. Rankine is a Chancellor of the Academy of American Poets and teaches at Yale University as the Frederick Iseman Professor of Poetry. P. Carl is the Distinguished Artist-in-Residence at Emerson College and a writer and lecturer on theater, gender, and inclusive practices. He is the former director of HowlRound Theatre Commons and the recipient of the 2017 Art of Change Fellowship from the Ford Foundation.

This talk is the keynote event for No Safety Net, a series by UMSCo-presented by the University Musical Society.


Chico MacMurtrie: Border Crossers: Part 1

Special event: January 23, 2018, 7 p.m. at the Riverside Art Center (76 N. Huron St, Ypsilanti, MI 48197)

Chico MacMurtrie is an award-winning artist, renowned internationally for his large-scale sculptures, whose work combines materiality and robotics. As the Artistic Director of Amorphic Robot Works (ARW), an interdisciplinary creative collective located in Brooklyn, New York, MacMurtrie has received numerous awards for his experimental new media artworks, including five grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Andy Warhol Foundation Grant, the Rockefeller Foundation Fellowship, VIDA Life 11.0, and Prix Ars Electronica. Chico MacMurtrie was awarded the Guggenheim Fellowship in Fine Arts in 2016. MacMurtrie/ARW are currently focusing on the development of Border Crossers — a series co-created with U-M faculty, staff, and students — featuring lightweight robotic sculptures that will attempt to cross the U.S.-Mexico border and other borders around the world. The inflatable sculptures rise up to several stories high and extend across a given threshold. Their choreographed performance, originating on both sides of the border, would stage a symbolic connection.

In partnership with the Institute for the Humanities, with support from the Michigan Council for the Arts & Cultural Affairs and the Arts Alliance.


Hito Steyerl: Bubble Vision

January 25, 2018

Hito Steyerl’s prolific filmmaking and writing occupy a highly discursive position between the fields of art, philosophy, and politics and explore capitalism’s social, cultural, and financial imaginaries. Her films and lectures have increasingly addressed the presentational context of art, while her writing has circulated widely through publication in both academic and art journals. Her recent solo exhibitions include the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles (2016); Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofia, Madrid, Spain; Artists Space, New York; Institute of Modern Art, Brisbane, Australia (2015); Van Abbemuseum, Eidenhoven, The Netherlands; ICA, London, UK; Künstlerhaus Stuttgart, Germany (2014); Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago (2013). Group exhibitions include the German Pavilion, 56th Venice Biennal, Venice, Italy; Cut to Swipe, Museum of Modern Art, New York; The Way of the Shovel: Art as Archaeology, MCA Chicago; and many more. Hito Steyerl lives and works in Berlin. This talk is in collaboration with Becoming Digital, a year-long project of the Taubman College of Architecture and Urban Planning considering changes underway in architecture and visual culture caused by the increasing ubiquity of digital technology.

In partnership with the Taubman College of Architecture and Urban Planning.


Ebony G. Patterson: They Were…

February 1, 2018

In much of her work, Jamaican artist Ebony G. Patterson explores the use of feminine gendered adornment in the construct of urban masculinity, within the dancehall community and in popular culture. Patterson embellishes photographic tapestries by hand with beading, sequins, fabric, and jewelry — the resulting works are visually seductive, while revealing underlying questions about stereotyping, visibility, and race. Patterson’s solo exhibitions and projects have been shown internationally and in the U.S. Patterson serves on the Artistic Director’s Council for Prospect.4, New Orleans (2017), and will present solo exhibitions at Perez Art Museum, Miami, and Monique Meloche Gallery, Chicago, in 2018. She has been featured in publications such as The New York Times, Frieze, Interview, Vogue, and the International Review of African American Art. In her solo exhibition Of 72, on view at the Institute for the Humanities Gallery from January 11-February 9, 2018, Patterson remembers the violent 2010 Tivoli Incursion in Kingston, Jamaica. An exhibition reception at the IH Gallery will follow this speaker series talk.

In partnership with the Institute for the Humanities.


Joseph Keckler: Dragon at the Edge of a Flat World

Special event: February 7, 2018, 5:30 p.m. at Rackham Auditorium (915 E. Washington St, Ann Arbor 48109)

Straddling the worlds of music, art, and performance, Joseph Keckler has garnered acclaim for his rich, versatile 3+ octave voice and sharp wit. Keckler’s live performances have been seen at SXSW Music, the New Museum, Issue Project Room, the BAM Fischer Center, Joe’s Pub, the Afterglow Festival, and many other venues. He has received residencies from MacDowell and Yaddo, as well as a Franklin Furnace Grant and a Fellowship in Interdisciplinary Work from the New York Foundation for the Arts. His most recent performance piece, I am an Opera, was commissioned by Dixon Place. The Village Voice named him Best Downtown Performance Artist, 2013. For this special speaker series event, Keckler will read from his latest book, Dragon at the Edge of a Flat World (Dragon Point Press, 2017). Drawn from the stories of his life, Keckler’s essays explore the corners of downtown New York, where he made his name performing his songs and plays, and back to the Midwest, where everything began. The texts included in Dragon at the Edge of a Flat World represent both the continuation and foundation of Keckler’s work on stage.

Supported by the Institute for the Humanities and the Chelsea River Gallery.


Stephen Burks: Towards a New Perception of Design

February 8, 2018

Stephen Burks believes in a pluralistic vision of design that is inclusive of all cultural perspectives. His ongoing Man Made project bridges the gap separating authentic developing-world production, industrial manufacturing, and contemporary design. Independently and through association with many nonprofit organizations, he has worked as a product development consultant throughout the globe. Through his New York studio, Stephen Burks Man Made, many of the world’s leading design-driven brands have commissioned Burks to develop collections that engage hand production as a strategy for innovation for manufacturers worldwide. His work has been exhibited internationally, including solo museum exhibitions at the Studio Museum in Harlem and the Museum of Arts & Design. He has received the Illinois Institute of Technology Alumni Professional Achievement Award, the Brooklyn Museum Young Modernist Award, the Architektur & Wohnen Audi Mentor Prize, and the 2008 United States Artists Architecture & Design Target Fellowship Grant, as well as the 2015 Cooper Hewitt National Design Award in product design.

Supported by the Detroit Creative Corridor Center, stewards of the UNESCO City of Design designation.


Jaime Hayon: Design Follows Function, and then What?

February 15, 2018

Spanish artist-designer Jaime Hayon was born in Madrid in 1974. From his very first collections, Hayon has been at the forefront of a new wave that blurs the lines between art, decoration, and design, leading a renaissance in finely crafted, intricate objects within the context of contemporary design culture. After founding Hayon Studio in 2001, his wide client base has spanned diverse functions and mediums, including domestic furniture for b.d. barcelona, Cassina, Fritz Hansen, &Tradition, and Magis; lighting fixtures for Parachilna, Metalarte, and Swarovski; and sophisticated objects for Bisazza, Lladró, and Baccarat. He has also executed complete interiors for leading hotels, restaurants, museums, and retail establishments worldwide. Hayon has won numerous awards, including multiple Elle Decoration International Design Awards. TIME Magazine lauded Hayon as a creative icon “visionary”; Wallpaper magazine recognized Hayon as a “Top 100 Designer” and one of the most influential creators of the last decade.

Supported by the Detroit Creative Corridor Center, stewards of the UNESCO City of Design designation.


Chico MacMurtrie: Border Crossers: Part 2

Special event: February 16, 2018, 5:30 p.m. at UMMA (525 S State St, Ann Arbor 48109)

Chico MacMurtrie is an award-winning artist, renowned internationally for his large-scale sculptures, whose work combines materiality and robotics. MacMurtrie is currently focusing on the development of new work for Border Crossers, a collection of robots that will eventually be transported and deployed at the border between the United States and Mexico. As part of the Border Crossers project, cross-disciplinary U-M student teams will make and design a robot and an autonomous vehicle, representing all that can be achieved through working together, overcoming roadblocks, and creating solutions for the future. A performance of the student-made robot and vehicle will take place in front of UMMA at 4:30 pm, before the presentation. Border Crossers installation will be on view at the Institute for the Humanities Gallery from February 16 – March 23 with an opening reception and additional performance there immediately following the speaker series talk.

In partnership with the Institute for the Humanities.


Giorgia Lupi: Data Humanism

March 8, 2018

Giorgia Lupi is an award-winning information designer, author, and co-founder of Accurat, a data-driven design firm where she serves as design director. She is also the co-author of Dear Data, an aspirational hand-drawn data visualization book. Lupi’s work is part of the permanent collection of the Museum of Modern Art, where in 2017, she was commissioned to do an original site-specific art piece. Lupi has won numerous awards, including the “Lezioni di Design” Prize at Milan’s Design Week in 2016; she has been featured in The New York Times, Guardian, Washington Post, and many other major media outlets. With an M-Arch from FAF in Ferrara, Italy and a PhD in Design from Politecnico di Milano, Lupi’s data visualization process is driven by opposing forces: analysis and intuition, logic and beauty, numbers, and images. She believes we will ultimately unlock the full potential of data only when we embrace its nature, making data part of our lives, inevitably making it more human in the process.

Supported by the Detroit Creative Corridor Center, stewards of the UNESCO City of Design designation.


Chelsea Manning: A Conversation with Heather Dewey-Hagborg

March 15, 2018

Chelsea Manning speaks on the social, technological, and economic ramifications of Artificial Intelligence, and on the practical applications of machine learning. She is an advocate of queer and transgender rights and government transparency. During her time as an intelligence analyst for the U.S. Department of Defense, Manning publicly disclosed classified documents that she felt revealed human rights abuses and corruption connected to the U.S. wars in Iraq and Afghanistan during her deployment in Iraq in 2009. Upon being sentenced to 35 years for leaking government documents, she publicly identified as a trans woman and asserted her legal rights to medical therapy. After serving seven years in military prison, President Barack Obama commuted her sentence; she was released in 2017. Heather Dewey-Hagborgis a bio-political artist and educator. In her creative collaboration with Chelsea Manning, Probably Chelsea (2017), Dewey-Hagborg received cheek swabs and hair clippings from Manning to create DNA-derived sculptural portraits. The work illustrates a multitude of ways in which DNA can be interpreted.

Co-presentation with the Institute for Research on Women and Gender, the Office of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion, and Munger Graduate Residences, with additional support from the Rackham Graduate School and the Knight-Wallace Fellows.


Yvonne Rainer: A Truncated History of the Universe for Dummies; a Rant Dance

March 22, 2018

Yvonne Rainer, one of the founders of the Judson Dance Theater (1962), made a transition to filmmaking following a fifteen-year career as a choreographer/dancer (1960-1975). Her experimental feature-length films include Lives of Performers (1972), Privilege (1990), MURDER and murder(1996), and many others. Rainer returned to dance in 2000 via a commission from the Baryshnikov Dance Foundation (After Many a Summer Dies the Swan). Museum retrospectives of her work — including drawings, photos, films, notebooks, and memorabilia — have been presented at Kunsthaus Bregenz and Museum Ludwig, Cologne (2012); the Getty Research Institute, Los Angeles; Jeu de Paume, École des Beaux Artes, La Ferme du Buisson, Paris, and Raven Row, London (2014). Rainer’s published work includes the memoir Feelings Are Facts: A Life (MIT Press, 2006), Work: 1961-73 (1974), The Films of Y.R. (1989), A Woman Who…: Essays, Interviews, Scripts (1999), and Moving and Being Moved (2017). She is a recipient of two Guggenheim Fellowships, a MacArthur Fellowship, and a U.S.A. Fellowship.

Supported by the Ann Arbor Film Festival.


Brian Selznick: Struck With Wonder

March 29, 2018

Brian Selznick has been making children’s books since 1991. His illustrated novel The Invention of Hugo Cabret won the 2008 Caldecott medal and was the basis for Martin Scorsese’s Oscar-winning movie Hugo. Wonderstruck, his 2011 follow up to The Invention of Hugo Cabret was made into a movie by celebrated filmmaker Todd Haynes with a screenplay by Selznick. The Marvels, the third book in a trilogy loosely connected to Hugo and Wonderstruck by themes of family and discovery, was published in 2016. Celebrated as much for their stunning object quality as for their rich narrative, Selznick’s books are best summarized in his own words: “It’s not exactly a novel, not quite a picture book, not really a graphic novel, or a flip book or a movie, but a combination of all these things.” Selznick has also worked as a puppeteer and a set designer, and began his career as a bookseller at Eeyore’s Books for Children in New York City. Working with Christopher Wheeldon at the Joffrey last year, he wrote a new narrative for a re-imagined Nutcracker, which takes place in Chicago during the construction of the 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition. His newest project is a 200-page illustrated book for beginning readers called Baby Monkey, Private Eye, written by his husband, Dr. David Serlin.

Supported by the Zell Visiting Writers Series and the Chelsea River Gallery.

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