2014 Lecture Series

September 12, 2014
Lauren Kalman
“But if the Crime is Beautiful…”
Sponsored by Cranbrook Art Museum

Lauren Kalman will be discussing her work including her most recent project But if the Crime is Beautiful.… Her work combines functional and craft objects, sculpture, photography, video, installation and performance. Her fabricated objects reflect sculptural ornamentation and adornment and are combined with the body and design objects to produce images and videos. Her work has been featured in exhibitions at the Renwick Gallery at the Smithsonian American Art Museum, Museum of Contemporary Craft, Contemporary Arts Museum Houston, Museum of Fine Arts Boston, and the Museum of Arts and Design.

September 15, 2014                       
Cranbrook Academy of Art Artist-in-Residence Lectures, “Good Luck, Bad Luck, Chance and Failure”
Mark Newport, Beverly Fishman, Bill Massie

September 16, 2014                                                        
Cranbrook Academy of Art Artist-in-Residence Lectures, “Good Luck, Bad Luck, Chance and Failure”
Heather McGill, Scott Klinker, Elliott Earls, Iris Eichenberg

September 17, 2014                                                        
Cranbrook Academy of Art Artist-in-Residence Lectures, “Good Luck, Bad Luck, Chance and Failure”
Liz Cohen, Randy Bolton, Anders Ruhwald

Jane Lackey – “Mapping Active-Passive”

September 19, 2014
Jane Lackey
Visual Artist
“Mapping Active-Passive”
Sponsored by the Warner Lecture Fund and the Fiber Department

Jane Lackey is not only a 1979 graduate of Cranbrook Academy of Art, she also served as an Artist-in-Residence and Head of Fiber Department from 1997 through 2007. In her lecture at Cranbrook, Lackey will discuss influences and resources that have guided the trajectory of her work over time. Long engaged in cross-disciplinary intersections, Lackey’s artworks infuse materials and process with active thinking. Conceptual ideas are slowly traced, entwined and materialized in drawings, sculpture, and installations. Her work has been exhibited in venues including Wellcome Trust, London; Contemporary Art Space, Osaka; I Space, Chicago; Exit Art, NYC; Tang Museum, Syracuse;Detroit Institute of Arts; The Art Gym; Bellevue Art Museum; and New Mexico Museum of Art. Prior to her appointment at Cranbrook, Lackey also served as Head of the Fiber Department at Kansas City Art Institute. She is currently an independent artist based in Santa Fe, New Mexico.

September 21, 2014
Shelley Selim
Jeanne and Ralph Graham Collections Fellow at Cranbrook Art Museum
Scott Klinker
Designer-in-Residence for 3D Design at Cranbrook Academy of Art
“The Living Structures of Ken Isaacs: A Conversation with Shelley Selim and Scott Klinker”
Sponsored by Cranbrook Art Museum

Ken Isaacs’s Living Structures—hand-made, low-cost, multifunctional furniture and architectural units—challenged ideas of how people could sit, work, and live within their own homes and the broader built environment. In her curator’s talk, Shelley Selim will examine how the former Cranbrook Academy of Art student and instructor radically deconstructed conventional notions of modernism during the mid-century. Immediately afterward, Selim will be joined by Cranbrook Academy of Art 3D Designer-in-Residence Scott Klinker for a gallery discussion about the impact of Isaacs’s work on contemporary design practice.

 David Cabianca – “An Afternoon with David Cabianca”

September 25, 2014
David Cabianca
“An Afternoon with David Cabianca”

September 28, 2014
Geoffrey Reynolds
The Mary Riepma Ross Director of the Joint Archives of Holland at Hope College
“Plastic Fantastic: Michigan’s Boat Building Industry and the Use of Fiberglass Reinforced Plastic (FRP)”
Sponsored by Cranbrook Art Museum

The history of building fiberglass boats in Michigan began in the early 1950s. Like many states in the United States following WWII, Michigan began experimenting with reinforced fiberglass plastic (FRP) in the construction of many objects. From this new boat building material sprang an entire industry that provided consumers with safe, low maintenance, affordable pleasure on the water and hundreds of jobs for local craftsmen. Today, fiberglass and craftsman still come together to provide a solid economic footing for many Michigan residents.

September 29, 2014
Pan Gongkai
Professor and President of the China Central Academy of Fine Arts
“Ink Painting as a Sample of Chinese Contemporary Art”

Prof. Pan Gongkai will discuss the growing interest in “New Ink” art both domestically and internationally. He will address the questions ink painting traditions confront today, in a time when the medium has to build relevance within today’s contemporary art practice. Pan Gongkai will present his own art practices to highlight the alternative ways he combines tradition with contemporary — contemporary installation work with ink elements, contemporary video installations presenting reflections on Chinese aesthetic mechanics behind ink painting, and ink painting practices developed from self-discipline and the evolution of tradition.

Pan Gongkai is an internationally renowned artist, theoretician, and educator. He is the current President of the China Central Academy of Fine Arts (CAFA) in Beijing and a former president of the China Academy of Art (CAA) in Hangzhou. Melt, his recent and large-scale digital installation, was featured at the 54th Venice Biennale. Pan’s ink paintings have been exhibited in major art museums in Beijing, Hong Kong, Macau, New York, San Francisco, and Tokyo. He is the author of many publications and an active researcher. Over the last ten years, he directed a comprehensive research study on modern Chinese art, titled The Road of Chinese Modern Art, the results of which were published in 2012, and are now critically influencing Chinese scholarship on the liberal arts.

Jacob Gaboury – “On Uncomputable Numbers: Toward a Queer History of Computing”

October 2, 2014
Jacob Gaboury
Assistant Professor
“On Uncomputable Numbers: Toward a Queer History of Computing”
Sponsored by Studio Council

What makes a computer queer? This lecture advances a queer theory of computing through a set of foundational queer figures in the early history of computation and mathematics. Drawing on the long history of queer engagements with the anti-social, the negative, and the outside, Gaboury identifies queerness in the breakdown and failure of technical systems, and in theories of uncomputability first articulated by Alan Turing in the 1930s.

Jacob Gaboury is an Assistant Professor of Digital Media and Visual Culture at Stony Brook University and a staff writer for the art and technology organization Rhizome at the New Museum for Contemporary Art.

Eric Shiner – “Andy Warhol and His World”

October 5, 2014
Eric Shiner
Director of The Andy Warhol Museum
“Andy Warhol and His World”
Sponsored by Cranbrook Art Museum

Eric Shiner is the Director of The Andy Warhol Museum, the most comprehensive single-artist museum in the world, located in Pittsburgh, Penn. At The Warhol Museum, Shiner organized Factory Direct: Pittsburgh, an exhibition that showcased the artwork of 14 established contemporary artists invited to conduct artist residencies in Pittsburgh-based factories. In addition, Shiner led The Warhol team in creating Andy Warhol: 15 Minutes Eternal, the largest traveling exhibition of Warhol artwork in Asia, as well as the first retrospective of appropriation artist Deborah Kass, titled Before and Happily Ever After.

Shiner is a scholar of contemporary Japanese art and a leading authority on Andy Warhol. He received a Bachelor of Philosophy in The History of Art & Architecture and Japanese Language & Literature from The University of Pittsburgh Honors College in 1994, an M.A. in The History of Art from Osaka University in 2001, and an M.A. in The History of Art from Yale in 2003.

Joseph Tanke – “Part One: Classical Aesthetics”

October 7, 2014
Joseph Tanke
Associate Professor and Chair of the Graduate Program in Philosophy
“Part One: Classical Aesthetics”
Sponsored by the Critical Studies and Humanities Program

The first lecture as part of Joseph Tanke’s Critical Studies residential fellowship will examine the very idea of the aesthetic as it was first constituted within classical German philosophy. It is proposed that this word, “aesthetics,” is used far too expansively in contemporary discussions of art and culture, and that it is in fact best reserved for naming the interdisciplinary conversation in philosophy, literary theory, art theory, and the sciences inaugurated by the publication of Alexander Baumgarten’s Aesthetica in 1750.

Tanke is an Associate Professor and Chair of the Graduate Program in Philosophy the University of Hawaii, Manoa. He has published and lectured extensively on issues in aesthetics, art theory, Continental philosophy, and the history of philosophy.

Be Original Americas Panel Discussion

October 8, 2014
Be Original Americas Panel Discussion
(Rob Kirkbride, Joseph Connell, Felicia Ferrone, Scott Klinker, Clark Malcolm, Antoine Roset)
“Nuts, Bolts and Creativity: A look at the Work that Goes into Original Design”
Sponsored by Be Original Americas

Rob Kirkbride, Senior Editor for The Monday Morning Quarterback, delves into the hard work, time, effort and money that goes into creating truly original design, reinforcing the idea that original design does not come “free” and therefore isn’t free to steal! His esteemed panelists will be Joseph Connell, Principal, Perkins+Will (Chicago); Felicia Ferrone, Principal of fferrone design and independent curator and educator; Scott Klinker, Designer-in-Residence at Cranbrook Academy of Art; Clark Malcolm, Writer/Editor for Herman Miller; and Antoine Roset, Executive Vice President, Ligne Roset/Roset USA and Vice President and Charter Member of Be Original Americas.

Formed in 2012, Be Original Americas is an association of like-minded consumers, design professionals, educators, institutions, and businesses who recognize the critical importance of original design and are committed to the protection of its consumers and authors. Together they seek to inform, educate, and influence — promoting the vital social and economic interests that are inherently linked to the integrity of authentic design.

October 12, 2014
Gregory Wittkopp
Director of Cranbrook Art Museum and the Center for Collections and Research
Iris Eichenberg
Artist-in-Residence and Head of Metalsmithing at Cranbrook Academy of Art
“Studio to Factory: Paul Evans’s (Eight-Month) Education at Cranbrook”
Sponsored by Cranbrook Art Museum

Although brief, the time Paul Evans spent as a student in the studios of Cranbrook Academy of Art—his final year of formal education—was a formative chapter in his life. It was at Cranbrook that he was exposed to the world of art outside the realm of metalsmithing, and where he began to develop a style that was as indebted to contemporary currents in the fields of painting, sculpture, and ceramics as it was to the Scandinavian tradition of metalsmithing that he had honed at the School for American Craftsmen in Rochester. While several more years would pass before he developed the sculpted and faceted furniture that defined his career, it was at Cranbrook that this direction began to take form.
Following the lecture, join Gregory Wittkopp and Iris Eichenberg in the galleries as they engage in a conversation about Paul Evans’s work.

Todd Shalom – “Elastic City and the Participatory Walk”

October 14, 2014
Todd Shalom
Director/Founder of Elastic City
“Elastic City and the Participatory Walk”
Sponsored by Studio Council

Todd Shalom works with text, sound, and image to re-contextualize the body using vocabulary of the everyday. Shalom will discuss poetic decision making, how artists adapt to the walk form, and how Elastic City plays with its own form as a method of survival. Todd Shalom is the founder and Director of Elastic City. Todd’s work has been presented by organizations such as Abrons Art Center, Creative Time, ISSUE Project Room, The Kitchen, The Museum of Modern Art, The New Museum, P.S.122 and Printed Matter. He is a graduate of the MFA Writing Program at California College of the Arts and also holds a BS in Business Administration from Boston University. Todd is a member of the core faculty in Pratt Institute’s MFA in Writing program.

Joel Stone – “Boom Town: Detroit in the Roaring ‘20s”

October 16, 2014
Joel Stone
Senior Curator of the Detroit Historical Society
“Boom Town: Detroit in the Roaring ‘20s”
Co-sponsored by the Cranbrook Center for Collections and Research and the Detroit Historical Society

From the dust and smoke of the nineteenth century, Detroit burst into the national spotlight in the early twentieth century. The automobile business was at full throttle, resulting in a city that grew faster than any other on the continent. Adding to the excitement and intrigue, national Prohibition created a demand for alcohol that our Canadian neighbors gladly addressed. Rum running became the region’s second largest industry. Conventions loved Detroit, and so did organized crime. Boom Town met the Wild West.

October 26, 2014              
Gerhardt Knodel
“Let The Games Begin!”
Co-sponsored by Cranbrook Art Museum and Wasserman Projects

The field of textiles, once relatively isolated, now is a ubiquitous medium freely used in all disciplines of art. Knodel has worked through that history, and in a new body of work he is probing fresh associations with the textile medium in relation to contemporary issues and its opportunity to function in this time as an agent of change.

Following a long and eventful journey at Cranbrook Academy of Art where he was head of the Fiber Department (1970-1995) and Director of the Academy (1995-2007), Knodel returned to full-time studio practice in 2008. A selection of his new work will be on display at Wasserman Projects from September 20 through November 7, 2014.

David Jablonowski – “Stone Carving High Performance”

October 28, 2014
David Jablonowski
“Stone Carving High Performance”
Sponsored by the Metalsmithing and Sculpture Departments

The lecture will follow a format which brings together the work and thinking process of sculptor and installation artist David Jablonowski. Jablonowski (born in Bochum, Germany in 1982) artistically examines the surface and the evolution of contemporary communication technologies. In the form of sculptures, videos, and installations, he focuses on the development of language as a technically reproducible code and aesthetic production with regard to the communication of knowledge and information. Based in Amsterdam, artist David Jablonowski held large-scale solo exhibitions at venues such as BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art, UK; Kunstverein Muenster, Germany; Gemeente Museum Den Hague, The Netherlands; and Dallas Contemporary, Dallas Texas.

Giulio Cappellini – “Cappellini Dream”

October 30, 2014
Giulio Cappellini
“Cappellini Dream”
Sponsored by the 3D Department + Haworth Inc.

Giulio Cappellini is director of the world-famous Italian furniture manufacturer Cappellini. The Milanese architect has worked since 1979 with the spirit and the aims of a man in continuous renewal. Over the years, his work has become the designer’s choice in contemporary design, both for bringing his brand name into the world, and as art director of other important design brands. Cappellini’s more important project, the “company,” transformed Cappellini into one of the biggest “trend setters” worldwide.

Chris Tysh -“An Evening with Chris Tysh”

November 4, 2014
Chris Tysh
“An Evening with Chris Tysh”

Portia Vescio – “Scandals, Scalawags and (Un) Savory Stories”

November 6, 2014
Portia Vescio

Assistant Director of the University Archives at Michigan State University
“Scandals, Scalawags and (Un) Savory Stories”
Co-sponsored by the Cranbrook Center for Collections and Research and Michigan State University Archives & Historical Collections

We all love our alma maters, but how well do we really know them? Using documents and photographs, archivist Portia Vescio recalls some of the more scandalous people and events from Michigan State University’s history. From students in open rebellion to undercover Pinkerton agents, these stories show how the college overcame adversity and how sometimes a bad situation turned into a beautiful friendship.

John Underkoffler – “An Afternoon with John Underkoffler”

November 7, 2014
John Underkoffler
Founder of Oblong Industries, Inc.
“An Afternoon with John Underkoffler”

Remember the data interface from Minority Report? Well, it’s real, and John Underkoffler invented it.

Underkoffler led the team that came up with the point-and-touch interface called g speak – and it is going to change the way we interact with data. His company, Oblong Industries, was founded to move g-speak into the real world. Oblong is building apps for aerospace, bioinformatics, video editing and more. But the big vision is ubiquity: g-speak on every laptop, every desktop, every microwave oven, TV, dashboard.

Underkoffler worked on human machine interfaces at MIT’s Media Lab for over two decades, spending his pre-Hollywood years as a Researcher at MIT’s prestigious, multidisciplinary Media Lab. There, he toiled on a myriad of intellectually minded projects encompassing everything from holography to computer graphics to electronic publishing. In addition to his work on “Minority Report,” he also served as a Science and Technology Consultant on Ang Lee’s comic-book opus “The Hulk.”

Ed Fella – “History, Commercial Art, Art, and the American Vernacular”

November 9, 2014
Ed Fella
Graphic Designer
“History, Commercial Art, Art, and the American Vernacular”

Ed Fella, born in 1938, practiced as a commercial artist in Detroit, Michigan, for three decades before enrolling at the Cranbrook Academy of Art, where he received an MFA in design in 1987. That year, he joined the faculty at California Institute of the Arts and has continued his career as a self-described “exit level designer,” undertaking a wide ranging series of idiosyncratic projects that stubbornly resist categorization, though they freely partake of the conventions of graphic design, typography, photography, illustration and fine art.

At the lecture, Fella will be presented with a Distinguished Alumni Award, given to Academy graduates who have demonstrated creativity, innovation, leadership, and vision through their contributions to the practices of architecture, art, and design, as well as to Cranbrook Academy of Art. Fella will also discuss his current exhibition Ed Fella: History, Commercial Art, Art and the American Vernacular which opens at the College for Creative Studies on November 8, and will be on display until December 13, 2014.

Joseph Tanke – “Part Two: Contemporary Aesthetics”

November 11, 2014
Joseph Tanke
Associate Professor and Chair of the Graduate Program in Philosophy
“Part Two: Contemporary Aesthetics”
Sponsored by the Critical Studies and Humanities Program

This second lecture as part of the Critical Studies residential fellowship will unfold as a critical overview of the various ways in which the idea of the aesthetic has recently been appropriated for different ethical and political projects. While Tanke will explain how these strategies were to some degree marked out by Kant’s Critique of Judgment (1790), or anticipated by Friedrich Schiller’s Letters on the Aesthetic Education of Mankind (1795), our attention will be directed at the recent arguments found in the writings of Jean-François Lyotard and Jacques Rancière. Joseph J. Tanke is an Associate Professor and Chair of the Graduate Program in Philosophy the University of Hawaii, Manoa. He has published and lectured extensively on issues in aesthetics, art theory, Continental philosophy, and the history of philosophy.

November 13, 2014
Frank Boles
Director of Central Michigan University’s Clarke Historical Library
“Up North with the Hemingways”
Co-sponsored by the Cranbrook Center for Collections and Research and Clarke Historical Library, Central Michigan University

In 1899, Dr. Clarence Hemingway and his wife Grace Hall Hemingway purchased property on Walloon Lake near Petoskey and constructed a summer cottage. Their son Ernest would make the people who lived in and near the cottage, as well as the surrounding lakes and communities, internationally famous through the stories and books he wrote. But before he won the Nobel Prize for Literature, and before he published his first story, “Ernie” spent all of his summers “Up North” as just another summer person with his family, the Hemingways. Listen to the fascinating stories of those simple, family summers, as well as more about the “Up North” experience the family lived from 1900 to 1921.

November 16, 2014
Shanna Merola
Photographer and Social Activist
“Bearing Witness: Art as Activism”
Sponsored by Cranbrook Art Museum in collaboration with Cranbrook Institute of Science and the exhibition Women of Vision: National Geographic’s Photographers on Assignment.

Shanna Merola is an artist committed to grassroots activism and the role that photography plays in creating social justice. In her lecture, Merola will share images from her recent assignment in Ferguson, Missouri, where she documented the heightened militarization of Mike Brown’s neighborhood as the community rallied to protest the response of the police. Images of armored vehicles in residential areas and police in riot gear hold a striking resemblance to Merola’s previous body of work “Black Day in July,” based on the Detroit Rebellion of 1967. She will make connections between the two uprisings, including interviews with Detroit residents who experienced the events of 1967 firsthand.

Shanna Merola is an artist, photographer, and political activist. In 2011, she graduated from Cranbrook Academy of Art with an MFA in Photography. She lives and works in Detroit, Michigan, where she teaches at the College for Creative Studies and is the Legal Observer Coordinator for the National Lawyers Guild, Detroit Chapter. Merola will also explore her work with the National Lawyers Guild.


November 18, 2014
Lane Relyea
Writer and Educator
“How Flextimers and Networkers Have Re-shaped the Institution of Art”
Sponsored by the Critical Studies and Humanities Program

As with other professionals, artists have been lured into social life as the social itself has become increasingly ensnared within the logic of labor valuation and economic exchange — that is, as services and short-term contracts have shifted emphasis away from factory jobs and commodity production and onto individual “human capital” and its improvised, on-demand performances. As a result, the art world today develops beyond a formerly dominant system comprised of the studio, gallery, and museum. The new system of standardization is what this lecture will address — a system that dictates conformity in the production, distribution and reception of not art objects but rather of artists themselves and the limits and expectations guiding their interaction. Relyea teaches in the Department of Art Theory & Practice at Northwestern University and is the editor-in-chief of Art Journal. He has written widely on contemporary art since 1983, and his book Your Everyday Art World, which explores the effects of communication networks on artistic practice and its contexts, was published last year by MIT Press.

December 2, 2014
Eileen Quinlan

“An Evening With Eileen Quinlan”
Quinlan is a photographer who has participated in more than 100 group shows and mounted a dozen solo shows around the world. Her work is in the permanent collections of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Museum of Modern Art, Whitney Museum of American Art, among others.
Sponsored by the Photography Department

December 9, 2014
Anthony Byrt
Director of Research at Auckland’s Whitecliffe College of Arts & Design
“Clammy Pipes, and Other First World Problems”
Sponsored by the Critical Studies and Humanities Program

Since leaving Michigan last year after a Critical Studies Fellowship at Cranbrook Academy of Art, Detroit has been nagging at Anthony Byrt — so much so that he decided to write about it in his forthcoming book that examines the impact of globalization on contemporary New Zealand art. In this lecture, Anthony will focus on the work of New Zealand photographer Yvonne Todd, framing it in relation to questions of suburbia and monstrosity. The lecture will deal with sex, cars, passive-aggressive teenagers, Mike Kelley and Matthew Barney, and end up either on Auckland’s North Shore, or somewhere south of 8 Mile, or both — two sides, Byrt will argue, of the same modern coin.

Byrt is a New Zealand art writer and currently the Director of Research at Auckland’s Whitecliffe College of Arts & Design, where he oversees the Critical Studies components of the MFA program.

December 13, 2014
Fabio J. Fernández
“Post-Cranbrook: Making, Thinking, & Repaying Student Loans”
A 2002 graduate of the Academy’s Sculpture Department, Fabio J. Fernández will speak about his studio practice and his curatorial practice and share some useful insights about life after Cranbrook.

December 14, 2014
Marcos Lutyens
Artist Marcos Lutyens will conduct a mass hypnotism revolving around The Cranbrook Hall of Wonders exhibition. The performance will turn the viewer into a kind of living collection that undergoes the stages of search and acquisition.Marcos Lutyens is based in Los Angeles and in Europe. Lutyens has exhibited internationally, including 340 performances at dOCUMENTA(13) as well as with many other institutions including the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, the Centre Georges Pompidou, the Royal Academy, the National Art Museum of China, and PS1, New York. Currently he is undertaking a creative role as part of the curatorial team for the 14th Istanbul Biennial.