The Southland Institute
(for critical, durational, and
typographic post-studio practices)

Southland Institute Public Events

at this time all upcoming Southland Institute public events are indefinitely postponed until further notice. Please check back here, or sign up for our email list for updates

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the Southland Institute and Laurel Doody Library Supply present,
in collaboration with Brand Library & Art Center:

Distribution and Things
Circulation 1

Thursday, March 19, 6-8pm New date and time TBD
Brand Library & Art Center Recital Hall
1601 W Mountain St, Glendale, CA 91201

featuring presentations by and conversation with:

What are some ways that archives and collections of things can be translated into book form? What are places and methods for artist books and exhibition-related material to be kept where the public can discover and engage with them? How can digital content be archived, framed, and accessed with existing library frameworks?

Coinciding with the launch of this year's Laurel Doody Library Supply deposit, this event will consist of three presentations exploring some of the ways that artists, archivists, and designers approach these questions and others, followed by a discussion.


  • Warren Olds and Felix Henning-Tapley run Fount-via, a graphic design studio based in Auckland, New Zealand. They collectively bring experience producing artist books over the last two decades under the nomenclature of Clouds, Natural Selection and Studio Ahoy.
  • Fiona Connor and Bryn Roberts from Laurel Doody Library Supply will present the contents of this year's deposit, and discuss the project's motivations, intentions, and the challenges of the conflicting demands of preservation, circulation, and access.
  • Benjamin Tiven and Erik Wysocan from Library Stack will present and answer questions about Library Stack, a platform that is a combined database, archive, publisher, and distributor, connecting digital materials from art, design, theory and architecture to global library cataloging systems.

Laurel Doody Library Supply was founded to help solve the problems facing artists publishing on a small scale. The project works to distribute these rare and careful publications beyond artists' social circles, while providing for their long-term safekeeping. Once a year, the project will curate a group of publications and donate full sets to five public archives around the globe. In exchange, these partner archives agree never to deaccession the works, and to tag them as part of the Laurel Doody Library Supply collection: an archive within archives. The Library Supply project continues the legacy of Laurel Doody, a project space run out of an apartment in Miracle Mile for twelve months in 2015 - 2016, in hopes of both supporting the practices of those involved and extending these ongoing conversations to a wider, lateral audience.

Brand Library & Art Center has been a cornerstone for the arts in Southern California since 1956. This unique public library focuses on visual arts and music and provides free services and programs for a diverse community, including a collection of over 110,000 items, subject specialist librarians, exhibitions, concerts, dance performances, films, and craft programs for children and adults. Brand Library & Art Center is a branch of the City of Glendale Library, Arts & Culture Department.


Collective Question: Tolstoy College, in, built out of, and resisting assemblage

Friday, March 27, 2020 at 7:30pm New date and time TBD
MAK Center for Art and Architecture
835 North Kings Road, West Hollywood, CA 90069

In the mid-1960s at the University at Buffalo (UB), Tolstoy College was an educational community invested in themes and questions of radicalism and oppression. It formed part of a larger initiative to transform the university into a "Berkeley of the East," aligning institutional reform with increasing anti-war and civil rights activism taking place across the United States. The College engaged these issues both in the classroom and at grassroots level, bridging political zeitgeist with local discourse. Based on questions asked by the Russian author Leo Tolstoy--"How to live?" "What to live for?"--its curriculum insisted that expressions of personal and subjective experience play a central role in any reimagining of education.

The talk will discuss the impetus for the College's existence, and the politics around its demise, introducing the constellation of figures, sites, and activities that populated and propelled it. We will also show ongoing research from recent public engagements--workshops, visual assemblages, installations, publications--that propose a productive reconstitution of the College’s activities for the present-day, in the proverbial shadow of the university.

Collective Question is a working group comprising Julie Niemi, Steven Chodoriwsky, and Christopher Lee. They work by building, publishing, and talking with and through host/partner institutions and their publics. Past projects include presentations at the Université d'été of the Bibliothèque Kandinsky, Centre Georges Pompidou; furniture design for exhibiting publications and discursive events at SBC Gallery of Contemporary Art, Montreal; and a residency and zine publication with Wendy's Subway, New York.


Organizing Language | Forward / Out

Sunday, April 5, 2020 at 3pm at The Geffen Contemporary at MOCA,
as part of Printed Matter's LA Art Book Fair 2020 Classroom programming.

New date, time, and location TBD

Join the editors of the new online journal Georgia--Anthony Carfello, Shoghig Halajian, and Suzy Halajian--and Addie Tinnell, Creative Director of Commune Magazine, for a conversation about writing and publication that highlights the overlaps and gray areas between arts and cultural production and organizing and protest practices.

As Commune emphasizes and expands our understanding of the creative intelligence within global movements, and Georgia investigates the contested sociopolitical functions of art and its larger reception, the discussion will be structured around comparisons, motivations, and complications.

This programming is presented by Georgia, at the invitation of the Southland Institute.

Georgia is an online journal that looks to both artistic and organizing efforts for suggestions of a way forward, away from the complicities of cultural production and toward greater solidarity with communities in struggle.

Commune is a magazine for a new era of revolution, featuring original writing, unique graphic design, and art to underscore how the old political orientations are dead, and the answers are in the streets.


Inside Out and Upside Down: Posters from CalArts 1970-2019

Sunday, May 31, 1pm at REDCAT

Curated by Michael Worthington with Carmen Amengual, curatorial assistant



Lauren Halsey

Saturday, March 7, 2pm at David Kordansky Gallery

exhibition press image

To what extents do lettering, language, color, and signage create and/or capture culture and community? When these vernaculars are reflected into permanence, collected and dispersed, what happens to the facets they initially gathered?

Join us on Saturday, March 7 at David Kordansky to discuss the current show of Lauren Halsey's work.



American Monument: lauren woods

Saturday, February 8, 1pm at Beall Center for Art and Technology, UC Irvine

American Monument press image

curated by Kimberli Meyer
Produced by Kimberli Meyer and David Familian


Suggested parking in the Mesa Parking Structure at 4004 Mesa Rd. Irvine, CA 92617.
Please note, UC Irvine's parking fees range from $10-15 per vehicle, depending on Bren Center events taking place.
Driving directions can be found here.
For carpooling to this event, send an email with your name and contact info for coordinating.

Then, This: Revival Type in the Contemporary Era
a type design workshop with Jaimey Shapey

Saturday, January 25 and Sunday, January 26, 1-4pm. Ruberta Ave. Glendale, CA

Revival type has named itself in the cultural zeitgeist of today. Clifton, Founders Grotesk, Maelstrom, GT Eesti, are just a few examples of popular faces, all a form of revival, remix,or anthology. Just because a typeface was designed in the 18th century doesn't mean it doesn't have a workable place in the 21st century. It can, but it is up to the designer to justify its place as no longer a historical artifact, and as a living piece of design. A work that has a rich historical ancestry, but with the ability to stand up to new formats and technology, is a whole and developed idea.

Workshop Outline
The objective of the workshop is to explore the concept of typographic revivals as they exist in a digital and contemporary context. Using old specimens/books (provided), attendees will be walked through the decision making process when doing a revival. Picking a typeface sample from an old text, they will be required to draw/revive an 8+ letter word containing an n or an o, as these are the control characters type designers start with.

Questions to be examined include:
  • How does a designer translate printed material to a digital format?
  • What defines a revival, who has proposed definitions for revivals?
  • Why is a revival different from a facsimile?
  • Who owns a revival?
Additionally, the workshop will cover beginning technical aspects of the Glyphs software, including:
  • Setting up documents and file organization.
  • Drawing paths (with basic interpolation in mind).
  • Compositing (diacritics or ligatures).
  • Global spacing.
  • OpenType features.

Workshop attendees will need to bring their own Apple computer with a Glyphs license, as most type design softwares don't support a PC interface. Specimens/various texts will be provided and attendees will be able to choose one, or are allowed to bring their own if they already have one in mind. By the end of the workshop, attendees will have a basic understanding of:

  • Typographic drawing principles.
  • What it means to "revive," a typeface.
  • The differing features between type made in the digital era vs. a pre-digital era.
  • Glyphs user knowledge.
  • Where to start when beginning a type design based project, whether that be a wordmark, logotype, or full typeface.


The above resources were compiled and generously shared by Jaimey Shapey


Laura Owens: Books and Tables

Saturday, January 18, 2pm at Matthew Marks Gallery Los Angeles

Is reading an individuated act? Is looking? And touching? And what of standing? Handcrafted books on handcrafted tables calling us to attention.


photo by Ignacio Perez Meruane


Charles Gaines: Palm Trees and Other Works

Saturday, Dec 14, 1pm at Hauser and Wirth Los Angeles

In an expansive body of work over the past three decades, Charles Gaines has made perpetual inquiries into systems of language, music, notation, symbols, power, and social injustice.

As a supplement to this exhibition -- Gaines's first with Hauser and Wirth -- and in a nod to the pedagogical dimension of his practice, over the last few months Gaines has been delivering a series of 10 lectures on Thursday afternoons from 5-6pm called A Library of Ideas "on the tenets of aesthetics and critical theory in art, with the lectures recorded and played on loop throughout the course of the exhibition." (Three of these lectures, on December 12, 17, and 19 have yet to occur and are open to the public with reservation).

How do the forms of the work, the exhibition, the library, the public lecture, the classroom, critique, and even our own discussion, complement and contradict each other? Among the palm trees, what becomes public, for how long, and for whom?

Julie Cho and Erin Segal: On care, vulnerability, generosity, and publishing practice

Wednesday, December 4, 2019 at 7pm at the Women's Center for Creative Work (WCCW)
2425 Glover Place, Los Angeles, CA 90031

Thick Press is a collaboration between a social worker, Erin Segal, and a graphic designer, Julie Cho, who organize their publishing practice (in content and in form) around care work and the work of care. How do care work-related concepts (relationality, dialogic pedagogy, and slowness) inform our design process and our dissemination practice? In the context of late capitalism, how does our approach engender a more generous graphic design practice? How do we move away from conventional models of authorship and identity into spaces of vulnerability, openness, and collaboration? In those spaces, what does collaboration look like? These are some of the questions that Julie and Erin address as they perform a transcribed, edited conversation about their publishing practice.

Further Reading from Thick Press:

identity: presses / publishing process / practice

Abigail Raphael Collins: Out of Play: Ep. 1-4

Sunday, November 24 at 5pm at the Women's Center for Creative Work (WCCW)
2425 Glover Place, Los Angeles, CA 90031
co-presented with Los Angeles Contemporary Archive (LACA)

Collins' six part experimental documentary Out of Play looks at overlaps between media and militarization in Southern California. Each episode focuses on one person situated at the intersection between image making and war making. Collins interviews a combat videographer, a role player living in character for months on a military base, an actor interpreting transcripts provided by the head of redactions for the US Army, and the Army's public affairs liaison to Hollywood.

In this talk Collins will share some of this new work, speak about how the she is implicated as a maker of moving images, and explore ways the entertainment industry works to fill in gaps left by the US military's redactions.

Abigail Raphael Collins works with video, installation and photography. Her interdisciplinary projects builds on documentary and experimental moving image practices to reconsider relationships between media and systemic violence through a queer feminist lens. She received her MFA from UCLA in 2015 and her BFA from Cooper Union in 2009. Recent exhibitions have been at the Pasadena Armory, Marathon Screenings, Angels Gate Cultural Center, PØST, Torrance Art Museum, USC Station Gallery, and UCLA. She is the recipient of the Toby Devan Lewis Fellowship, UCIRA grant, and a former resident at Shandanken and Seoul Art Space Geumcheon. She is the upcoming Emerging Curator at LACE for an exhibition on silence and protest. She currently teaches at CalArts and Pepperdine University


B L U E W A V E L u t z B a c h e r

Saturday, Nov 23, 12pm
University Art Gallery, UC Irvine
712 Arts Plaza Irvine, CA 92697

B L U E W A V E L u t z B a c h e r is the final large-scale multimedia installation of Bacher's forty-year career, produced in the seven month period prior to her death in May, 2019.

Moments after learning how to refer to another we learn that this is a pseudonym, not them yet them, so long as we attribute. Possessively non-possessive. Non-possessively present. Does this carry to the material output they cultivated? Not theirs while ours, so long as we consider?

We suggest parking in the Mesa Parking Structure at 4004 Mesa Rd. Irvine, CA 92617.

Please note, UC Irvine's parking fees range from $10-15 per vehicle, depending on Bren Center events taking place.

Driving directions can be found here.

For carpooling to this event, send an email with your name and contact info for coordinating.

Further Reading:


Plan B: Spirit of the Bauhaus

Saturday, Nov 16, 1pm at HMCT

Plan B: Spirit of the Bauhaus is an exhibition inspired by the historical spectre of the Bauhaus on the occasion of its one hundredth anniversary. It features work produced by ArtCenter College of Design Study Away students working between Berlin and Los Angeles.

In the year of the Bauhaus' 100th anniversary, what are the pedagogical residues that linger? What avenues remain unexplored, and which are ready to be retired? For the better part of the 21st century, some contemporary educators have advocated for moving beyond what's been described as a dated framework, some notable examples include "Towards a Critical Faculty" (2006), and recently, the touring workshop "It's Time to Throw the Bauhaus Under the Bus" (2019). This year in particular has seen a number of exhibits and initiatives set aside some of these analyses for a celebratory centennial stance. Siting the discussion within an exhibition made by students responding to the Bauhaus, 100 years after its founding, from within one of its descendent institutions, these questions are among many others to be explored.

Lauren Williams: The Co-Constitutive Nature of Neoliberalism, Design, and Racism

Friday, November 15, 2019 at 7pm at the Women's Center for Creative Work (WCCW)
2425 Glover Place, Los Angeles, CA 90031

Lauren Williams will present a paper that she published earlier this year in Design and Culture: The Journal of the Design Studies Forum, The Co-Constitutive Nature of Neoliberalism, Design, and Racism.

From the introduction: "An oft-repeated design adage -- derivative of the Bauhausian "less is more" -- harps that good design, when done well, should become invisible (Spool 2009). US constructs of race -- all in service of maintaining a particular composition of whiteness -- have been so well designed that their existence is presumed to be fact and their operations and consequences are rendered invisible, insidious, ubiquitous, and relentlessly adaptive. Neoliberalism forms an ideological backdrop and indispensable tool in the development of mainstream commercial design, social design, and the construction of racism, especially as it manufactures a haze of post-racial delusions. Both race and neoliberalism have been designed to deliberately produce certain consequences and conceal their operations. To refer to race and neoliberalism as designed is not to imply that they are static artifacts; rather, it calls on the iterative procedural quality of design and acknowledges that once designed objects are placed into the world they become the subject of use, redesign, and innovation by many authors many times over.

This essay explores the origins of neoliberalism, racism, and design, and benchmarks the confluence of their histories in the United States in the 1960s, a decade which reconfigured and drew these systems even closer together over the following four decades. These shifts preceded a rapid move toward neoliberal de-politicization and privatization; they paved the way for post-raciality (the notion that racism is extinct); and set up the advent of Design Thinking and the primacy of empathy, its operative element."

Lauren Williams is a visiting instructor at the College for Creative Studies in Detroit who has also taught at ArtCenter College of Design in Pasadena. She is a designer, researcher, and educator who works with visual and interactive media to understand, critique, and reimagine the ways in which social and economic systems distribute and exercise power. Her work seeks to expose and unsettle power and often prioritizes engaging people through design in service of imagining and manifesting a more equitable present and future.

Acid Free II

November 1-3, 2019 11-7 at Blum and Poe
2727 La Cienega Blvd. Los Angeles, CA

For Acid Free II, the Southland Institute contributed its modular furniture to various areas of the fair to provide seating and reading areas for fair-goers. In addition to booth B13, benches were placed in the 2nd floor stairwell and vestibule between the upstairs portion of the fair and 'The Den,' where various programming happened throughout the weekend.

Typography workshop with Nicole Killian:
moveable/mobile, new/no bookends

Friday, October 25, 2019 6:30-9:30pm at the Women's Center for Creative Work (WCCW)
2425 Glover Place, Los Angeles, CA 90031

Free and open to the public but space is limited, so RSVP is required. To reserve your space, please send us an email with your name and contact information.

This workshop will be surrounding moveable/mobile messages using our digital archives as a way to manipulate and build language. The images we hoard, the pictures we take, our screenshot receipts and phone notes -- our quotidian space has shifted to the desktop, the heavy phone we keep in our pocket.

We carry them on our back like a turtle with its shell. Through this workshop, we will examine the pixels we hoard as a way to create new contexts, new images, new language. By taking the elements outside of their original context can we imagine them as building blocks that are always becoming? Can the things we love be constantly bound and reimagined at the same time?

The goal of the workshop is to shapeshift.

Nicole Killian's work uses graphic design, publishing, video, objects and installation to investigate how the structures of the internet, mobile messaging, and shared online platforms affect contemporary interaction and shape cultural identity from a queer perspective. They are interested in the repetition, looping, and dissemination of content. They think about catnip and bird toys, scratching and the depths (or voids) of the desktop folder.

Nicole is currently the co-director of the Design, Visual Communications MFA and Assistant Professor in the Department of Graphic Design at Virginia Commonwealth University. They appreciate a good karaoke performance, are co-creator of annual publication ISSUES with Sarah Faith Gottesdiener, and recently served as guest editor for the Walker Art Center's Soundboard and organized How Will We Queer Design Education without Compromise?



Selections from the Hammer Contemporary Collection and the Grunwald Center for the Graphic Arts.

Saturday, Oct 19, 1pm at The Hammer Museum

What does it mean to be a guest in another's remembrances of domestic space constituting an aesthetically charged life? This Saturday, Discussions in Exhibitions enters belonging, which draws from the writings of bell hooks in her collection of essays, "Belonging: A Culture of Place" (2009), organized by Erin Christovale, associate curator, with Vanessa Arizmendi, curatorial assistant.

Rodney McMillian, Chairs and Books, 2004
Found armchair, found books. Dimensions variable.
Hammer Museum, Los Angeles.
Gift of Peter Norton. © 2004 Rodney McMillian

Typography Workshop with Masato Nakada:
Becoming Water / A Few Simple Cuts Will Let You Build a Container

Sunday, October 13, 2019 1-5pm
Location TBA

This workshop introduces the potential play and curiosity of web typography and layouts. By learning the basics of HTML and CSS markups and how the two components inform each other, participants will quickly gain coding confidence to pour water (content) into a make-shift container (basic to complex, dynamic layouts). The end result of this workshop is to construct dynamic, typographic web posters.

-No Coding Experience Required
-Bring Your Laptop
-Sign to

Workshop is free and open to the public but space is limited, so RSVP is required. To reserve your space, please send us an email with your name and contact information.

Masato Nakada co-runs a graphic design practice called the co-runs a Graphic Design practice called The Happening Studio with Karen To Nakada in Los Angeles. He has lectured and led workshops on web development, typography, and chance operations at Otis College of Art and Design, CalArts, and Temple University Tokyo.

Laura Coombs: Forever New

Monday, Sept. 9, 2019 at 7pm at the Hoffmitz-Milken Center for Typography (HMCT)
950 South Raymond Avenue, Pasadena, California 91105

The Fall 2019 Southland Institute Public Events Series begins with "Forever New" a talk by Laura Coombs, presented in partnership with HMCT. Coombs is the graphic designer at the New Museum, the only museum in Manhattan dedicated entirely to contemporary art. A beacon of progress, its mission is aimed at "confronting the present," being a "catalyst for broad dialogue," and ever-seeking "New Art, New Ideas." Situated in a rapidly gentrifying neighborhood, the museum is on the precipice of doubling its architectural footprint and exhibition space. Simultaneously, the institution's workforce recently voted to unionize, and is currently negotiating for more equity, more security, less hierarchy, and the power to be heard. Design and typography reflect this diverse ecosystem as visual evidence. This lecture will detail a design practice within the progressive cultural domain of downtown New York. It will be a look into a diverse publication, print, and type design practice--weaving within it a look at a growing institution, and a discussion of how design functions within this layered ecosystem and renders visible power, equity, relationships, and community.

Laura Coombs is a graphic designer in New York specializing in communication design, visual identities, publications, and type design within the cultural domain. Currently the Senior Designer at the New Museum, she also teaches at Princeton and designs books with GSAPP's publishing imprint, Columbia Books on Architecture and the City. She works with artists, curators, architects, and writers on a variety of cultural projects, usually several at once. As an educator, she has been a guest critic or lectured at the Yale School of Art, Cooper Union, Pratt, Parsons, GSAPP, and Werkplaats Typografie. Her work has been awarded the Toby Devan Lewis Prize for excellence in art, the 2018 Brno Biennial, and the AIGA 50 Books | 50 Covers best book of 2018. Her work has been published by magazines including Computer Arts, Art in America, Interview, and with Phaidon publishers. Originally from Texas, Laura received an MFA in graphic design from the Yale School of Art and a Bachelor of Architecture degree from Cornell University.

Otis MFA GD Art Book Fair

Saturday, July 6 and Sunday, July 7 2019 at Otis College of Art and Design
9045 Lincoln Blvd. Los Angeles, CA 90045

Aurora Tang: Revisiting Charles Jencks' Daydream Houses of Los Angeles

Tuesday, June 25, 2019 at the MAK Center for Art and Architecture, 7:30pm

In the 1970s, architectural historian and cultural theorist Charles Jencks began photographing the exaggerated houses that he encountered driving around Los Angeles, including in West Hollywood. At a time when residential architecture in America was becoming increasingly standardized, he called attention to these fantasy houses that had been modified or built to exude personal character and variation.

Daydream Houses of Los Angeles, published by Rizzoli in 1978, includes Jencks' snapshots of about 60 of these expressive and excessive houses, paired with witty captions and oftentimes an address, so readers could embark on their own house tours.

In this illustrated presentation, a collaboration with the Southland Institute, Aurora Tang will discuss her ongoing rephotography project revisiting Daydream Houses of Los Angeles, considering the informal photograph, the enthusiast, the tour, the changing appearance of our city's residential neighborhoods, and the significance of Jencks' book today, over 40 years after its release.

Aurora Tang is a curator and researcher based in Los Angeles. Since 2009 she has been a program manager at the Center for Land Use Interpretation. From 2011-2015 she was managing director of High Desert Test Sites. She has taught at Otis College of Art and Design, and is a founding board member of Common Field.

Discussions in Exhibitions:
Maryam Jafri: I Drank the Kool-Aid But I Didn't Inhale

Sunday, May 26, 12pm at ICA LA

Maryam Jafri: I Drank the Kool-Aid But I Didn't Inhale, Product Recall: An Index of Innovation (2014-15) tracks the failed, the faltered, and the forgotten of American consumerism's yesteryear gambits of branded and boxed ambition. These reacquisitions, through a reckoning of pointed display, now critically incite a concomitant call and response of the whats, the hows, and the whys of this curious lot while accompanying provenance lay bare procedural narratives of the whens, the wheres, and the who's to aid in our discursive corroboration.


Niloufar Emamifar: The Architecture of the Unremarkable

Friday, May 24, 2019 at the MAK Center for Art and Architecture, 7:30pm

The Architecture of the Unremarkable is a study of the contradictory ways in which space is constituted by the reciprocal materialization of the law. It aims to question how the spatialization of legal loopholes, as the infinite generator of interpretive arguments, may be used to destabilize the governed structure and resist institutionalization. The lecture focuses on Emamifar's collaboration with WORKNOT!, a collective of artists and architects dedicated to the representation of life and work of today's cognitarians. Their project, MOSHA (Framing The Common) centers on the study of the shared space in modern apartment buildings in Iran and the legal regulation of such common spaces.

Niloufar Emamifar is an artist currently living and working in Los Angeles. She received her BFA in Interior Architecture from Soore School of Architecture, Tehran, Iran and her MFA in Studio Art from the University of California, Irvine, CA. She has participated in exhibitions at SculptureCenter, Essex Street Gallery, Los Angeles Contemporary Exhibition, Venice Biennale of Architecture and Human Resources Los Angeles. Her research and practice explores the interrelations between social and physical space in order to ask questions regarding urban interstices, the territorialisation of the city and lawscape.

Dina Abdulkarim: All the Trees and I was Still Bowling Alone

Tuesday, April 30, 2019 at the MAK Center for Art and Architecture, 7:30pm

H o m e t o w n C e l e b r a t i o n
Acrylic, wallpaper, gift-wrapping paper, collage, and colored pencils on paper
6 ft x 7.5 ft

Drawing on her training in architecture and planning to explore the themes of home, citizenship, and identity exchange that she presents in her work, Dina Abdulkarim discusses the visual and cultural influences that have shaped her appreciation of patterns and the institution of their collective meaning. She describes how, through distinct architecture and specific interiors, the use of patterns, materials and textures form the shared social aesthetics of the very personal space of the home. She also speaks about how the experience of living and studying city planning and urban design in the U.S. altered her concept of home and added a new set of patterns and meanings to it. In her large-scale paintings, Abdulkarim overlaps different geometries of arabesque motifs and aerial views of suburban communities and different materials to represent the cultural, spiritual, and everyday realities of the places that represent home, which go beyond the simple distinction of the East and the West, are complex, organic, and constantly at influx.

Dina Abdulkarim is a Middle Eastern-born, American artist. She received her training in architecture, urban design, and planning. She then attended CalArts where she completed her MFA in 2015. In addition to running her studio in Pasadena, Dina is a faculty of urban and regional planning at Cal Poly University, Pomona.

Discussions in Exhibitions:
Michael Rakowitz: Dispute Between the Tamarisk and the Date Palm

Saturday, April 27, 2019 at REDCAT, 2pm

Discussions in Exhibitions pursues a common ground within Michael Rakowitz: Dispute Between the Tamarisk and the Date Palm.

The Tamarisk opened his mouth and spoke. He addressed the Date Palm: "My body ...... the bodies of the gods. (The reference is to statues of tamarisk wood.) You grow your fruits but someone places them before me like a maid approaching her mistress. You do not provide the measuring vessels. You are ...... minor crops, but I ....... Your attendants ...... before me for you." In his anger the Date Palm answered him. He addressed his brother the Tamarisk: "You say: "If people build daises for me and beautify them too, they certainly do not swear by the gods before clay (?)." -- You may be the body of the gods in their shrines and people may name with a good name the daises of the gods, but it is silver that can pride itself as the overlay of the gods. ......, describe your beauty!" -The Electronic Text Corpus of Sumerian Literature


Non-Terminal Education and Post-Linear Curricula:
Rethinking Structures of Higher Education in (Graphic) Design

a conversation with Adam Feldmeth, Jessica Wexler, Joe Potts, Lauren Williams, Masood Kamandy, Nicole Killian, Ramon Tejada, and Yasmin Khan-Gibson

April 12, 2019 at The Geffen Contemporary at MOCA, part of Printed Matter's LA Art Book Fair 2019 Classroom programming.

Traditional structures and hierarchies by which design educators have framed and understood culture and the academy are of diminishing relevance in an evolving cultural context characterized by rapid evolution, simultaneity, erosion of expertise and disciplinarity, and spiraling debt. As other disciplines develop new models to describe and prescribe the evolution of their practices, how can design educators (and administrators) articulate new structures that frame our understanding of our practices and the contexts in which they unfold? Exploring and proposing alternate structures for higher education, with attention to the connections between curricular, pedagogical, and economic concerns, Workshop Project and the Southland Institute have been examining different ways that interwebbed institutions create networked landscapes of pedagogical heterodoxy, to be navigated over the course of a lifelong education. Presented by The Southland Institute and Workshop Project.

David Weldzius: Bethlehem No More

April 5, 2019 at Los Angeles Contermporary Archive (LACA), Ground floor courtyard.

Untitled (Parking lot and ironworks, Bethlehem, Pennsylvania),
June 2017. Digital scan from 4 × 5 in. negative. Courtesy of the artist.

Details from: A Graveyard and Steel Mill in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, November 1935.
Walker Evans (left image courtesy of the Museum of Modern Art,
right image courtesy of the Metropolitan Museum of Art).

Two days before the November 2016 election, David Weldzius drove to Bethlehem, Pennsylvania to restage Walker Evans's photographs taken there in November 1935. From Evans' perspective of the giant blast furnaces from atop St. Michael's Cemetery, Weldzius could not locate the Sands Casino Resort, an $800 million project built on Bethlehem Steel's former oar yard in 2007. Over the course of the next several months, Weldzius would return to Bethlehem regularly. His research and photography were soon published into an essay, "Slouching Towards Bethlehem: Four Meditations on the Old and New Spirits of Capitalism" by XTRA in 2018. Borrowing his lecture title from a Luis Rodriguez poem which underscores the consequences of Bethlehem Steel's closure in South Los Angeles, Weldzius intends to synthesize the narratives of steel production in the Rust Belt and the American Southwest.

co-sponsored by X-TRA.

Discussions in Exhibitions:
How to Take / Make Good Pictures, in Zoe Leonard: Survey

Sunday, March 17 at 2pm at the Geffen Contemporary at MOCA

Included in the survey of Zoe Leonard's works is an arrangement which has variously been credited in title as "How To Take Good Pictures" and "How To Make Good Pictures" in the different iterations during its ongoing presentation under conditions of display. This example, consisting of a consecutive row of book stacks of varying heights, draws from a "How to-" guide first published by Kodak in 1911 with continued publication annually throughout the 20th century.

The arrangement orients a number of probable inquiries not limited to: the use value of a photography manual over successive decades in print; the evolution of cover design over the better part of a century; the implicit and explicit circumstances of brand-sponsored advertisement as the center of something categorically instructional; and most curiously the subtle yet significant shift between the action of making and that of taking when it comes to photographic production which is reflected in the decision to replace the former with the latter somewhere down the line. Rather than give attention to the broader exhibition, this event is particular in the concerted attention it gives to a specific example.

Discussions in Exhibitions:
Wang Xu: Garden of Seasons

Saturday, March 9 at 12:30pm at the Vincent Price Art Museum and Cascades Park, Monterey Park, CA

Discussions in Exhibitions opens a discussion on the day the exhibition Wang Xu: Garden of Seasons closes. The contents and levels of negotiation cited here--municipal, sculptural, iconographical, locational and temporal--encourage sifting through the dynamics of a project simultaneously static and non-static, unrealized and re-conceived, negatively in-situ and ostensibly displaced from multiple sites.

This discussion will begin at "Cascades Park" (also known as "Heritage Falls Park") 1.5 miles north of the museum on Atlantic Blvd at 12:30pm followed by the brief commute down the road to reconvene at the museum exhibit around 1pm.

Discussions in Exhibitions:
I Wish to Communicate with You: Corita Kent and Matt Keegan

Saturday, February 23 at 3:00pm at Potts, 2130 Valley Blvd. Alhambra, CA 91803

Discussions in Exhibitions convenes within I Wish to Communicate with You: Corita Kent & Matt Keegan for a communal consideration of the aesthetic ABC's of communication brought on by this call and response unfolding around the architectural edges of shared space.

From the press release:

Corita Kent (1912 - 1986) was an educator, nun, activist, and artist working primarily in serigraphy. She produced her International Signal Code Alphabet series during the summer of 1968 in Cape Cod, while on sabbatical from teaching at Immaculate Heart College in Los Angeles. In the same year, Sister Corita would decide to leave the Sisters of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, the religious order she had entered more than three decades before, for a secular life. Based on the International Code of Signals, the system of maritime signal flags used to communicate between ships, Corita overlaid imagery and letterforms from eighteenth-century illustration and antiquarian books atop the twenty-six flag designs -- corresponding to A-Z -- creating intricate, polychromatic compositions. Incorporating passages from sources such as Leonard Cohen, Winnie the Pooh, and the Book of Revelation, and brimming with homophones and varieties of word play, Corita's take on the alphabet illustrates the artist's idiosyncratic relationship to language and her interest in mass communication and popular ideals.

Matt Keegan (b. 1976) is an interdisciplinary artist based in Brooklyn, New York. His varied artistic output often explores the possibilities of language as form. Created in response to Corita's signal code alphabet, Keegan's Cutouts (c is for Corita) is a series of twenty-six paper cut-outs that playfully tease out the aesthetic dimensions of linguistic signs and systems. Folding and cutting sheets of silkscreened paper into abstract geometric permutations, the works evoke Rorschach-like shapes and interpretations.

Bowes Line, Glassworks, and Making the Tyne Documentaries. A selection of films by Amber collective. presented by the Southland Institute and Fiona Connor

Ruberta Avenue, Glendale, CA

A screening of three films by Amber, a film and photography collective that came together in the UK in 1968, moving to Newcastle-Upon-Tyne the following year with a commitment to documenting cultural, political and economic changes in the region. Films shown were digital copies of Bowes Line (1975), Glassworks (1977), and Making the Tyne Documentaries (2007).

Discussions in Exhibitions:
Adrian Piper: Concepts and Intuitions, 1965-2016

Saturday, December 15 at 11am at the Hammer Museum

Discussions in Exhibitions meets within "Adrian Piper: Concepts and Intuitions, 1965-2016" to broaden the potential for reflexive dialogue occurring throughout the rooms of the exhibition in negotiating the space between our varied concepts and intuitions of it as a public. In addition to the robust educational programming that has accompanied this retrospective in the way of symposium, panel discussion, numerous artist-led interpretative talks, and curatorial walkthroughs, Saturday, December 15 affords an occasion to hear Adrian through listening to each other.

Janna Ireland: Looking, Past and Through: Paul R. Williams, West Hollywood, and the Spotless Mirror

December 13, 2018 at the MAK Center for Art and Architecture

Photographer Janna Ireland, in collaboration with the Southland Institute, discussed intersections of photography, architecture, motherhood, race, domesticity, portraiture, class, and documentation in four bodies of work about Greater Los Angeles.

Ireland's interest in architecture began with West Hollywood (2012), a series of black and white photographs capturing pockets of stillness and isolation amidst the buzz of the city. Two years ago, Ireland began researching and photographing the buildings of Paul R. Williams, the legendary Angeleno architect who, over the course of a 50-year career, designed more than 2000 buildings. These photographs, part of an ongoing project, were exhibited last winter at Woodbury University’s Hollywood gallery in There Is Only One Paul R. Williams, curated by Andrea Dietz and Audrey Landreth and organized by the Julius Shulman Institute.

In The Spotless Mirror, and her most recent body of work, Milk and Honey, Ireland explores gendered spaces, domesticity, isolation, black identity, and the performance of femininity in a house in the San Fernando Valley. The photographs embody an intermingling of reality and fantasy, place and image, interior and exterior.

Janna Ireland was born in Philadelphia, but has chosen Los Angeles as her home. She holds an MFA the from UCLA Department of Art and a BFA from the Department of Photography and Imaging at NYU. She currently teaches photography at Pasadena City College. Ireland is the 2013 recipient of the Snider Prize, presented by the Museum of Contemporary Photography, Columbia College Chicago. In 2018/Earlier this year, she was named a Cultural Trailblazer by the Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs. Her work has been shown in solo exhibitions in Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Chicago, and in group exhibitions across the United States and internationally. She has been published in Aperture, Art Papers, Vice, and The Los Angeles Times.

Discussions in Exhibitions:
Cf. Cameron Rowland / John Knight

Sunday, November 25 at 2pm at MOCA Grand Avenue (upper plaza and exterior stairwell landing)

A publicly motivated occasion to gather between Cameron Rowland's "2015 MOCA Real Estate Acquisition" (2018) and John Knight's "The Artist's Museum: MMX, a work in situ, The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles (MOCA), October 2010" (2010) to comparatively discuss these two works as respective examples of interrogative response to invitations from this institution. Each utilizes nuanced signage located adjacent and external to the main entrance raising manifold inquests in the process. The discussion, facilitated by Adam Feldmeth, is independent of internal museum programming.

Rowland's addendum to the donors plaque, an exterior inclusion to his current show D37, is installed on the mid-landing of the staircase leading to the lower plaza and lobby while Knight's engraved contribution to the 2010 group exhibition, The Artist's Museum, and since then an acquisition of the permanent collection, continues to adorn the granite-clad column immediately across from the street-level ticket office.

A pamphlet accompanying D37 is available as a pdf on the MOCA website here.

Silas Munro: W.E.B. DuBois's Data Portraits: Visualizing Black America

Friday, June 8, 2018 at Los Angeles Contermporary Archive (LACA)

W. E. B. Du Bois was a prolific author, renowned sociologist, fierce civil rights advocate, co-founder of the NAACP, and a historian of black lives. He was also a pioneer of data visualization. Working with ink, gouache, graphite, and photographic prints, Du Bois and his student and alumni collaborators at Atlanta University generated crisp, dynamic, and modern graphics as a form of infographic activism. 63 brightly colored broadsheets were exhibited in Paris and made 20 years before the founding of the Bauhaus. These visualizations offer a prototype of design practices now vital in our contemporary world—of design for social innovation, data visualization in service to social justice, and the decolonization of pedagogy.

Munro's design work and writings have been published in many forms at home and abroad. As an educator, he focuses on expanded design studies. He has been a critic and lecturer at many internationally ranked art and design programs including CalArts, Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA), NC State, RISD, and the Yale School of Art. Munro serves as Assistant Professor in Communication Arts and MFA in Graphic Design at Otis College of Art and Design, and Advisor and Chair Emeritus in the MFA Program in Graphic Design at Vermont College of Fine Arts. He holds a Master of Fine Arts from California Institute of the Arts (CalArts) and a Bachelor of Fine Arts from Rhode Island School of Design (RISD).

Suggested Southland Area Events

A selection of Los Angeles area events selected and recommended by the Southland Institute

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