American Monument Think Tank Marathon at the Beall Center for Art + Technology
American Monument Think Tank Marathon at the Beall Center for Art + Technology
For two days scholars, lawyers, community activists, civil rights leaders, students, artists, and the public will process and discuss issues addressed by the monument
Irvine, Calif., February 20, 2020 – The Beall Center for Art + Technology at University of California Irvine (UCI) presents the final public program for American Monument, the Think Tank Marathon, on Friday and Saturday, March 6 and 7, from 12:00 – 7:00 pm. Free and open to the public, but space is limited.
In recent years, evidence of police violence has reached a new level of exposure, allowing increased public access to formal investigations of police brutality. In 2014, artist/cultural organizer lauren woods began to examine police records and court transcriptions in cases where a police officer killed an unarmed black civilian. She focused on officers’ claims citing “fear for their own lives,” ultimately used to justify the killings as lawful. This work grew into American Monument, an interactive sound sculpture, research project, and mode of public engagement and education.
American Monument’s first full iteration, 22/2019, launched at the Beall Center for Art and Technology at UCI on October 4, 2019 and is installed through April 4, 2020. The artist and her collaborator Kimberli Meyer are Black Box researchers in residence at the Beall, and have partnered with leading thinkers across disciplines at UCI, resulting in collaborations with the School of Law and the departments of African American Studies, Social Ecology, Art History, and Art. During the Fall 2019 quarter, collaborators led think tanks on topics such as sound and the law, the fourth amendment, linguistics in relation to racial bias in law enforcement, and community activist response strategies.
For Think Tank Marathon, American Monument is inviting scholars, lawyers, community activists, civil rights leaders, students, artists, and the public to process and discuss issues addressed by the monument. Working inside the installation at the Beall Center, a chain of sessions will take up multiple threads raised by the artwork. The program is co-sponsored by UCI Law’s Center for Law, Equality, And Race (CLEAR).
- David Goldberg, Digital Media Theorist, Strategist and Developer
- Kaaryn Gustafson, Professor and Associate Dean, UCI Law; Director, CLEAR
- Sora Han, Professor of Criminology, Law and Society, UCI
- Taylor Jones, PhD Candidate, University of Pennsylvania, Linguistics
- Hamid Khan, Organizer, Stop LAPD Spying Coalition
- James Lamb, JD Candidate 2020, UCI Law
- Sara Mokuria, Co-founder, Mothers Against Police Brutality
- Jasson Perez, Senior Research Analyst, Action Center on Race and the Economy
- Jared Sexton, Professor of African American Studies, UCI
- Aziz Sohail, MFA Candidate in Art (Critical and Curatorial Studies), UCI
More to be announced.
Reserve a spot through the Beall Center for Art + Technology website: beallcenter.uci.edu/exhibitions/american-monument
Sign up for updates here: laurenwoodsartist.com/american-monument-mailing-list.html
American Monument is a participatory inter-media monument conceived as nomadic and continually expanding, moving across the country year-to-year, “unveiled” at universities, museums, storefronts, community centers, and churches. The artwork provides a vehicle for analyzing the complex relationship between the construction of race, material violence, structural power, and monumentality itself.
In 2018, American Monument initiated an extensive Freedom of Information Act request process. Close readings of use-of-force reports, prosecutor reports, witness testimonies, 911 calls, and body and dash cam videos revealed a consistent and disturbing problem: police use of white dominant cultural constructions and stereotypes of “Blackness,” mined from pop culture, to justify fatal violence.
The centerpiece of American Monument, Archive I, is an interactive sound sculpture. Encountering a grid of silently spinning black and white turntables on pedestals, visitors may choose to play an acetate record of audio materials gleaned from record requests, setting the apparatus and sound in motion. Each turntable represents one police murder. Supporting the main sculpture are reflection spaces to ponder law as a culture, including Archive II, which displays documents associated with each case represented in Archive I.
American Monument and its Think Tank Marathon is made possible by the generous support of the Mike Kelley Foundation for the Arts, a founding and continuing grantor to the artwork; the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts; the University of California Humanities Research Institute; UCI Advance Program for Equity & Diversity; Leonardo Art Science Evening Rendezvous; and the Beall Family Foundation. Additional backing comes from Grand Central Art Center, Santa Ana.
Special thanks to collaborators Sara Daleiden, Sora Han, Simon Leung, and Carol Zou
About The Beall Center for Art + Technology: The Beall Center is an exhibition and research center located on the campus of the University of California, Irvine. Since its opening in 2000, the Beall Center’s exhibitions, research, and public programs have promoted new forms of creation and expression. For artists, the Beall Center serves as a proving ground — a place between the artist’s studio and the art museum — and allows them to work with new technologies in their early stages of development. For visitors, the Beall Center serves as a window to the most imaginative and creative innovations in the visual arts occurring anywhere. The Beall Center promotes new forms of creative expression by: exhibiting art that uses different forms of science and technology to engage the senses; building innovative scholarly relationships and community collaborations between artists, scientists and technologists; encouraging research and development of art forms that can affect the future; and reintroducing artistic and creative thinking into STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Math) integrated learning in K-12 to Higher Education. The Beall Center’s curatorial focus presents a diverse range of innovative, world-renowned artists, both national and international, who work with experimental and interactive media. Many of these artists have shown their works primarily within group exhibitions or have a limited number of solo exhibitions in the US. The Beall Center is committed to exhibiting these artists in a way that more fully expresses their individual body of work. We strive to present a direct connection between our programs and the larger trajectory of the history of video, installation art, kinetic and cybernetic sculpture. Our approach is not to exclusively emphasize the technological aspects of works, but to present experimental media projects that are equally strong aesthetically, conceptually and technically. The Beall Center received its initial support from the Rockwell Corporation in honor of retired chairman Don Beall and his wife, Joan; the core idea being to merge their lifelong passions - business, engineering and the arts - in one place. Today, major support is generously provided by the Beall Family Foundation.
About UCI Claire Trevor School of the Arts: As UCI’s creative laboratory, the Claire Trevor School of the Arts explores and presents the arts as the essence of human experience and expression, through art forms ranging from the most traditional to the radically new. The international faculty works across a wide variety of disciplines, partnering with others across the campus. National-ranked programs in art, dance, drama, and music begin with training but end in original invention. Students come to UCI to learn to be citizen-artists, to sharpen their skills and talents, and to become the molders and leaders of world culture. For more information, visit www.arts.uci.edu.
About the University of California, Irvine: Founded in 1965, UCI is the youngest member of the prestigious Association of American Universities. The campus has produced three Nobel laureates and is known for its academic achievement, premier research, innovation and anteater mascot. Led by Chancellor Howard Gillman, UCI has more than 36,000 students and offers 222 degree programs. It’s located in one of the world’s safest and most economically vibrant communities and is Orange County’s second-largest employer, contributing $5 billion annually to the local economy. For more on UCI, visit www.uci.edu.
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