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


The program runs yearly, ideally taking place over two years, however, arrangements may also be made for shorter or longer engagements. Each academic year is divided into four 6-week sessions, two in the Spring, and two in the Fall. Admissions and enrollment are on a rolling basis, and participants may enter the program in either February or September.

During each year of participation, in addition to coursework, each participant will be required to organize one exhibition, and to organize and facilitate one public workshop on a topic of their choosing.


A course in which the potentials of typography as a visual manifestation of language -- and the common boundaries it shares between graphic design, writing, architecture, and art -- are explored through conversation, typographic exercises, and self-directed publishing projects.

Exercises in Close Reading: Text as Space

This seminar, facilitated by Carmen Amengual, will examine different dynamics in the relationship between text and spatiality, and explore functions and modulations of the act of reading and writing. Through readings, written exercises, and in-class discussions of different artistic practices we will explore ways of destabilizing and de-bureaucratizing language. In conjunction with the typography workshop, the course is intended to deepen our linguistic awareness and expand our relationship with the written word, opening up possibilities to build textual worlds and paths of reading beyond the mere consumption of information. We will work on different axes: orality and writing, the haptic and the physicality of language, voice, rhythm and sound, musicality, montage, graphic language, technical language, poetry, narrative, reading, time and attention. The class is ultimately geared to re-emphasizing an experiential aspect of language from the everyday debris of textual information and perpetual online comments. Can linguistic awareness lead to a re-politicization of everyday life? How does consumer culture affect our relation to language? Are there uses of language that can resist its increasingly technocratic dimension? Some authors / artists we will discuss include: Adriana Cavarero, Trinh T. Minh-Ha, Walter Benjamin, Walter Ong, Audre Lorde, Roland Barthes, Brazilian Concrete Poetry, Mercedes Azpilicueta, León Ferrari, Valentin Voloshinov, Mira Schendel, Russian Formalist, Avery Gordon, Byung Chul Han, Kenneth Goldsmith, Anne Carson, Renee Gladman and Ursula K. Le Guin, among others.


The abbreviation cf., part of the citational family including the more common i.e. ("in other words") and e.g. ("for example"), indicates an encouragement to compare an example currently in question with a reference noted as contextually adjacent to it. While mutually distinct and complex, the invitation to pair the two infers certain analogical ties are useful in expanding upon the immediate discourse. In critique, associative references (historical, artistic, theoretical, literary) more often than not are approached in passing when the example being referred to is not plainly visible/accessible to all in its detail while the artwork or exhibition presumably is. Those listening who can recall something of the reference may feel included in its referral, while potentially having a differing perspective than its characterization; those who are unfamiliar with the reference may feel excluded and ultimately have only the degree to which it is being rhetorically articulated as their discursive material for an imbalanced comparison. Cf. provides an occasion to collectively consider cultural production and praxis set in direct comparison with references of substance to advance a contextual discourse. Each presenter will be responsible for providing one reference to their current work (a film, a text, another artwork, etc.) via images, documentation, pdf/print out, or screening to ground a comparative framing. Discussion will be rigorous in its attentiveness to detail with an emphasis on careful analysis over successive weeks.

Frame and Field: Monument, Museum, and Tourism as Frame and Form

This course considers the physical and conceptual frames, forms, and conditions that can inform, and define, our experience and understanding of art and environments.