2018 Lecture Series

Daniel Bozhkov
November 15

The work of Daniel Bozhkov involves acts of resistance to institutionalized homogenization, aiming to be more infectious than disruptive. He uses a variety of media, from fresco to performance and video, and often works with professionals from different fields to activate public space. His projects are embedded in the worlds of genetic science, department mega-stores and world-famous tourist sites, where he enters as an intruder/visitor who produces new strains of meaning into seemingly closed systems. As a collaborator with reality, he tries to set in motion a process of accelerated archeology that is faster than the institutions’ built-in obsolescence.
This lecture is sponsored by the Print Media Department
This lecture is FREE.

Melissa Hilliard Potter
November 13
Pulp Feminism: Interdisciplinary Fiber Works

Raised among multiple generations of crafters, artists and feminists, Potter’s interdisciplinary practice considers women’s handicraft and social customs as a distinct language and history. Through socially engaged practice, she explores marginalized, and in some cases, endangered craft forms as contemporary media with social, political and artistic potential. This lecture will focus on her long-term engagement in papermaking, as well as other materials and methods to build new narratives.

This lecture is sponsored by the Fiber Department

Lucy Kim
November 10

The lecture will cover Kim’s work and process from the last 20 years, with a focus on her use of mold-making and casting as a sculptural surrogate for photography. By combining her sculptural process with painting, her work explores the mechanisms involved in the transition from subject to image. Reference and process images will be shown alongside images of art works.
This lecture is sponsored by the painting department.

Skooby Laposky
November 3

Do Philodendrons Dream of Electronic Suites in the Key of C++
Sound designer and composer Skooby Laposky will discuss the virtuosity of limitations and the use of (bio)data, open-source tools and generative systems in extending creativity in his studio and on the stage. The talk will be followed by a musical performance that utilizes the MIDI Sprout biodata sonification device.

Skooby Laposky is a composer, producer and DJ who crafts sound and music for motion, narratives, objects and events. He is the founder of WAAVES Studio and creator of boutique label Wilde Calm Records. He has performed at Juilliard, crafted robot sounds, scored films for PBS and the BBC and hypnotized countless European discotheques. He graduated from Cranbrook Academy of Art’s Printmaking department in 1999.
This lecture is sponsored by the 4D Department.

John Corso Esquivel
October 30 

“Matrixial Shadows in Gego’s Reticulárea”
John Corso is the 2018-19 Critical Studies and Humanities Fellow at Cranbrook Academy of Art. He is a tenured associate professor of art history at Oakland University in Rochester, Mich., where he is finishing a term as Doris and Paul Travis professor. He holds a Ph.D. in the History of Art and Archaeology from Cornell University, master’s degrees in art history from Cornell and Tufts, a Master of Fine Arts from The School of the Museum of Fine Arts at Tufts, and a bachelor’s degree in art from Williams College.
This lecture is sponsored by the Critical Studies and Humanities Program.

Tom LaDuke
October 25 

Tom LaDuke deploys meticulous and labor-intensive processes in the creation of his paintings and hyper-realistic sculptures. His recent paintings involve the application of four distinct layers of paint to the canvas: the first three are delicately applied with an airbrush to depict the screen of a TV that captures scenes of his studio as reflected in the glass, as well as glimpses of films playing on the screen. The fourth layer is a jarring, thick, and apparently haphazard application of oil paint that produces the effect of two separate paintings colliding on the same canvas. Using delicate materials, his sculptures painstakingly replicate objects, as seen in Flemish Veil (2010) where LaDuke recreates the cracks in a Dutch painting using eyelashes and arm hair.

This event is FREE.
This lecture is sponsored by the Sculpture Department.

Ridley Howard
October 20 

In paintings ranging from jewel-like to large-scale, abstract to figurative, Ridley Howard explores the nuances of color, shape, and composition with exquisite sensitivity. All of his works—whether precisely composed geometric abstractions, land- and cityscapes, portraits of individuals, or scenes of couples making love—are, at their core, color studies. Howard strips his subjects down, forgoing narrative and visual details, transforming them into pristine, velvety planes of pigment and collections of shapes.
This lecture is sponsored by the Painting Department.

Mariah Garnett
October 18 

Mariah Garnett mixes documentary, narrative and experimental filmmaking practices to make work that accesses existing people and communities beyond her immediate experience. Using source material that ranges from found text to iconic gay porn stars, Garnett often inserts herself into the films, creating cinematic allegories that codify and locate identity. She has received numerous awards and held solo exhibitions around the world.
This lecture is sponsored by the Photography Department.

Nontsikelelo Mutiti
October 10 

Nontsikelelo Mutiti is a Zimbabwean-born interdisciplinary artist and educator. Her practice traverses the boundaries of fine art, design, and public engagement. She is currently Assistant Professor in Graphic Design at Virginia Commonwealth University.
This lecture is sponsored by the 2D Design Department.

Leon Ransmeier
October 4

In 2005, Leon Ransmeier established Ransmeier inc., a New York based industrial design practice that has worked with Herman Miller, Hay and Wright 21. His collaboration with industry often results in subtle interventions into the way we perceive and use things. His designs have been exhibited at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, and in the 2010 and 2006 Design Triennials at the Cooper Hewitt National Design Museum in New York and is included in the permanent collections at SFMoMA and the Corning Museum of Glass.

This event is FREE.
This lecture is sponsored by the 3D Design Department.

David Crabb
September 28 

David Crabb is a 1999 graduate of the Academy’s Photography department, and is currently a Los Angeles-based author, performer, storyteller and host of The Moth. In 2013, his solo show Bad Kid was named a New York Times critic’s pick. Bad Kid, the memoir, was released in 2015 by Harper Perennial. David has taught storytelling at Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre, Occidental College, Indiana University and NYU. Since 2012, he has performed the solo pieces Bad Kid, $1800, Story Roulette, and Man in a Hole. David is the host of the live storytelling show Traumaville in Los Angeles. His next memoir, Whoever You Are I Hope You’re Okay, comes out in 2018.
Sponsored by the Niels Diffrient Professional Development Fund

September 24
AIR Presentations:
Gretchen Wilkins (Architecture) and Scott Klinker (3D Design)

This lecture is FREE

September 25

AIR Presentations:
Emmy Bright + Cooper Holoweski (Print Media) and Mark Newport (Fiber)

This lecture is FREE

September 26 

AIR Presentations:
Carla Diana (4D Design), Ian McDonald (Ceramics) and Iris Eichenberg (Metalsmithing)

This lecture is FREE 

September 20

Can I Get a Witness? – Legal Observer & Know your Rights Workshop
The National Lawyers Guild is a collective of human rights advocates working within the legal system. We provide support for political movements around the country by defending civil rights from the courts to the streets.
We maintain that everyone has the right to access and understand the law, in order to protect themselves and others against unconstitutional police practices. Know Your Rights and Legal Observer workshops provide people with the tools to make confident, informed decisions during police encounters. They cover best practices when filming and documenting police misconduct and how to protect your notes for court.

Know Your Rights workshops are facilitated with sensitivity to marginalized groups and those disproportionately targeted by racialized police violence. We believe that those most oppressed by the criminal justice system should be leading the movement and hope that our resources provide support to communities in struggle.

This event is FREE

September 19

AIR Presentations:
Rebecca Ripple (Sculpture) and Willie Wayne Smith and Martha Mysko (Visiting Artists, Painting)

This lecture is FREE

September 18

AIR Presentations:
Danielle Dean (Photography) and Elliott Earls (2D Design)

This lecture is FREE 


May 4

A Perspective on the Qingbai Porcelain Statues of Jingdezhen in the Yuan Period and Tibetan Buddhism

Sponsored by the Cranbrook Academy of Art Metalsmithing Department

May 1

Camille Ann Brewer is The Textile Museum’s first full-time curator of contemporary textile art.
Previously she served as executive director of the Black Metropolis Research Consortium, a membership organization of libraries, universities and archives dedicated to making accessible materials that document the African-American and African diaspora. Ms. Brewer formerly served as an assistant curator at the Detroit Institute of Arts and as an art consultant and curator for her own company, CAB Fine Art, building collections and organizing exhibitions for public museums, corporations, and private collectors.  

Hosted by the Fiber Department

April 25

Martin Finio is a 1988 graduate of the Irwin S. Chanin School of Architecture at the Cooper Union. A registered New York Architect since 1993, Finio spent nearly a decade at the office of Tod Williams and Billie Tsien. His experience there included the Cranbrook Natatorium, the Neurosciences Institute in La Jolla, and the Hunter Science Center at the Emma Willard School. Since 1999, he has been partnered with his wife Taryn Christoff and taught both design and studio courses at Yale University, where he teaches and tests a design philosophy rooted in the integration of building performance and spatial clarity. He has been recognized by Esquire magazine as “one of America’s most promising young architects.”

Hosted by the Architecture Department and sponsored by the J. Robert F. Swanson Lecture Fund


April 24

Sabbatical Lecture: 
Beverly Fishman, Artist-in-Residence and Head of the Painting department, and Elliott Earls, Designer-in-Residence and Head of 2D Design, will each deliver a presentation about their recent sabbaticals. Fishman will discuss living and working in New York, preparing for a solo exhibition and the motivations behind her recent body of work, which explore our contemporary global condition in which drugs construct and contest our identities and in which the production and consumption of art can seem like an addiction. Earls will discuss how disaster capitalism, day-trading strategies, YouTube and Google Adwords can form the basis of an experimental design practice.


April 23

Amanda Hunt serves on the curatorial staff for The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles as the director of education and public programs. She was previously an associate curator at New York’s Studio Museum in Harlem, where she organized shows about Rashaad Newsome and Lorraine O’Grady. Hunt curated Portland2014: A Biennial of Contemporary Art, presented by Disjecta Contemporary Art Center, and was a curator at the non-profit art space LA >< ART from 2011-2014 where she organized former Studio Museum Artist-in-Residence Steffani Jemison’s first solo exhibition in Los Angeles, as well as produced public art projects with Anna Sew Hoy, Sam Falls, and Talia Chetrit, among others. Hunt also helped to produce two major initiatives in Los Angeles, including the Pacific Standard Time Performance and Public Art Festival, co-produced by LAXART and the Getty Research Institute, and Made in LA 2012, the first Los Angeles biennial organized by the Hammer Museum in collaboration with LAXART. She has worked at various galleries and institutions including Whitechapel Gallery, London; Friedrich Petzel Gallery, New York; the Wattis Institute for Contemporary Arts, San Francisco, and the Philadelphia Museum of Art.

Hosted by the Photography Department


April 20 

Stephanie Syjuco creates large-scale spectacles of collected cultural objects, cumulative archives, and temporary vending installations, often with an active public component that invites viewers to directly participate as producers or distributors. Using critical wit and collaborative co-creation, her projects leverage open-source systems, shareware logic and flows of capital to investigate issues of economies and empire. This has included starting a global collaborative project with crochet crafters to counterfeit high-end consumer goods, presenting parasitic art counterfeiting events and developing alternative vending economies and other speculative propositions.

Hosted by the Fiber Department



Nancon Form
Annie Barrett, AIA, is an architect and educator based in New York. She is principal of BAS and a visiting professor at Princeton University where she teaches introductory and advanced design studios. Prior to forming BAS in 2014, Annie led the design of numerous cultural and civic projects as a senior project manager at Architecture Research Office including the Flea Theater Performing Arts Complex, the Brooklyn Bridge Park Environmental Education Center and the Greenwich South Strategic Framework. Her research explores the intersection of architectural form and public programming.

Hosted by the Architecture Department and sponsored by the J. Robert F. Swanson Lecture Fund


March 30

Simone Browne is Associate Professor in the Department of African and African Diaspora Studies at the University of Texas at Austin. She teaches and researches surveillance studies and black diaspora studies. Her first book, Dark Matters: On the Surveillance of Blackness, examines surveillance with a focus on transatlantic slavery, biometric technologies, branding, airports and creative texts. Along with being an Executive Board member of HASTAC and a co-editor of Errantries, she is a member of Deep Lab, a feminist collaborative composed of artists, engineers, hackers, writers, and theorists. 

Hosted by the Photography Department


March 29

John Corso Esquivel is the Critical Studies and Humanities Fellow at Cranbrook Academy of Art for the spring semester of the 2017-2018 academic year. Corso Esquivel is a critic and art historian based in Metro Detroit. His writings have appeared in the Bulletin of the Detroit Institute of the Arts, Mosaic, RACAR, Brooklyn Rail, ART21 Magazine, and Art Papers. His book, Feminist Subjectivities in Fiber Art and Craft: Shadows of Affect, is under contract with Routledge and will appear as part of the Research in Gender and Art series. Corso Esquivel is the Doris and Paul Travis Associate Professor of Art History at Oakland University in Rochester, Michigan.

Hosted by the Critical Studies and Humanities Program

March 24

Meleko Mokgosi (born in Francistown, Botswana) is an artist who works within an interdisciplinary framework to create large-scale project-based installations. Mokgosi works across history through painting, cinematic tropes, psychoanalysis, and post-colonial theory. His studio program interrogates narrative tropes and the fundamental models for the inscription and transmission of history along side established European notions of representation in order to address questions of nationhood, anti-colonial sentiments, and the perception of historicized events.

Hosted by the Painting Department


March 22

Ruby Neri lives and works in Los Angeles, CA. She first found success under a different name and in a different medium: her graffiti images of horses, made under the alias of ‘Reminisce’, could be found all over her hometown of San Francisco in the 1990s and early 2000s. Since her subsequent switch to sculpture – and to a gallery setting – human figures not equine ones have become her subject. Neri says, however, that she still wants her work ‘to have a street edge, like some kid broke in with a spray can’. Some recent solo and two person exhibitions include Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive, David Kordansky Gallery and Los Angeles Museum of Art. 

Hosted by the Ceramics Department


March 21

Against the Architectural Imagination: Sustainability’s Image Problem
Esther Choi is an architectural historian, critic and writer based in New York. She is currently a joint Ph.D. Candidate in the Department of Architecture and the Interdisciplinary Doctoral Program in the Humanities at Princeton University. Her research interests center on the entanglements between architecture and the life sciences in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, and the intersections between artistic and architectural movements throughout the twentieth century.

Choi is the co-editor of two books: Architecture Is All Over (Columbia Books on Architecture and the City) and Architecture at the Edge of Everything Else (The MIT Press). She has written for Artforum, The Journal of Architectural Education, PIN-UP, and various exhibition catalogues including Hippie Modernism and Reaper: Richard Hamilton, Sigfried Giedion. Her criticism and essays have explored the nexus of art, design, aesthetics and ethics in a variety of subject matter, ranging from inflatables to the history of biotechnology.

She has taught courses in studio art, architectural design, and theory at OCAD University in Toronto, and The Cooper Union and The New School in New York.

Hosted by the Architecture Department and sponsored by the J. Robert F. Swanson Lecture Fund

March 10

Contemporary artist and graphic designer Ryan McGinness is currently presenting the exhibitions Ryan McGinness: Studio Views and Collections Views at Cranbrook Art Museum. He will discuss his practice and upcoming publication.

Hosted by Cranbrook Art Museum


Jonathas de Andrade
March 8

Jonathas de Andrade lives and works in Recife, Brazil. The artist uses photography, installation and video to traverse collective memory and history, making use of strategies that shuffle fiction and reality. De Andrade collects and catalogues architecture, images, texts, life stories and recomposes a personal narrative of the past. Recently, de Andrade has had solo exhibitions at Museu de Arte de São Paulo(2016-17); The Power Plant, Toronto (2017); New Museum, New York (2017). De Andrade’s work was also included in “Under the Same Sun: Art from Latin America Today” at the Guggenheim Museum, New York (2014), “Question the Wall Itself” at the Walker Art Center (2016-17) and “Unfinished Conversations: New Work from the Collection” at The Museum of Modern Art, New York (2017).

Sponsored by Print Media and Studio Council


March 7

HHF Architects was founded in 2003 by Tilo Herlach, Simon Hartmann and Simon Frommenwiler. Since then, HHF Architects have realized numerous projects in Switzerland, Germany, China, France, Mexico and the USA. The scope of work ranges from urbanism and large-scale construction to public pavilions and interior design. From the beginning HHF was looking for collaborations with other architects and artists in order to widen their view on projects and enrich the quality of specific proposals. In this context, worldwide perceived group projects such as Ruta del Peregrino and the fruitful collaboration with Chinese artist, Ai Weiwei emerged. In addition to building, teaching is an important activity of the office. The principals of HHF were visiting professors at the University of Innsbruck, the Karlsruhe institute of Technology KIT, MIT School of Architecture + Planning in Boston, and will be teaching at Yale School of Architecture in 2018. HHF has also participated as jury members at numerous universities worldwide.

Hosted by the Dean’s Office

February 20

Ross Rudel makes sculptures rising from or submerging into the edges and boundaries of the gallery. He calls into question the physical aspects of nature and creates an alternative logic—a logic more suited to dreams. He shifts the perception of solid matter from fixed to fluid in a subtle and elegant way. His work physically interrupts the architecture as well as our understanding of materials and time. Rudel received his MFA from the University of California at Irvine and his BA from Montana State University at Bozeman. He lives and works in Los Angeles.

Hosted by the Sculpture Department


February 14

F***  IT
Oana Stanescu is an architect and founding partner of Family and co-founder of Friends of + POOL. Her  New York-based design firm creates ambitious and whimsical architecture, from a floating, filtering pool to a 50-foot volcano for Kanye West to a net-zero residential complex in Dallas. She has written for numerous architectural publications such as Domus, MARK and Abitare, and co-taught at the Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation at Columbia University. Stanescu was profiled in the New York Times and has lectured at the at the Bezalel Faculty of Architecture in Jerusalem and the Memphis chapter of the AIA. Before founding Family with Dong-Ping Wong, her partner in Family, Oana graduated from the University of Timisoara in Romania. Stanescu has worked at Herzog & de Meuron, OMA, SANAA, Architecture for Humanity and REX.
Sponsored by the Architecture Department and the J. Robert F. Swanson Lecture Fund 

February 13 

Currently living and working in New York, Rooney received a BA from Hampshire College in 2005 and an MFA from Tyler School of Art in 2011. In 2012 she attended the Skowhegan School for Painting and Sculpture. Recent exhibitions include group shows at Skibum MacArthur (LA) and Simone Subal (New York), with a forthcoming 2018 exhibition, Being: New Photography, at The Museum of Modern Art. She has hosted recent two-person and solo projects at locations such as: The Vanity East (Los Angeles), Raising Cattle (Montreal), Bodega (New York), Columbus College of Art and Design (Columbus), The Good Press Gallery (Glasgow), Vox Populi (Philadelphia). Her writing has appeared in Art Papers, Performa Magazine, and The St. Claire. In 2016 Rooney was part of the Center for Experimental Lectures performing her piece Deep Black Lakes.

Hosted by the Photography Department


February 7

Jessie Unterhalter and Katey Truhn are a Baltimore based artist team striving to transform public spaces into playful and vibrant experiences. Since 2011, Jessie and Katey have been consistently creating large-scale, public murals. The all inclusive and socially engaging nature of creating art for the public is a driving force in their art making. Inspired by the architectural surfaces of each environment, their dynamic paintings often curve around corners and spill onto the ground. Their work explores themes of movement and symmetry, inspired by bold color combinations, patterns in nature, and woven textiles. Over the past two years the team has been exploring tradition batik, hand dyeing, and appliqué methods in their studio where they have created several large scale framed paintings. These paintings have been exhibited in Brooklyn, Miami, Baltimore and Russia.
Sponsored by 2D and 3D Design Department 


February 6

John Corso Esquivel is the Critical Studies and Humanities Fellow at Cranbrook Academy of Art for the spring semester of the 2017-2018 academic year. He is a critic and art historian based in Metro Detroit. His current book project, Feminist Subjectivities in Fiber Art and Craft: Shadows of Affect, is under contract with Routledge and will appear as part of the Research in Gender and Art series. His writings have appeared in the Bulletin of the Detroit Institute of the Arts, Mosaic, RACAR, Brooklyn Rail, ART21 Magazine, and Art Papers. Corso Esquivel is the Doris and Paul Travis Associate Professor of Art History at Oakland University in Rochester, Michigan.

Hosted by the Critical Studies and Humanities Department

February 2 In conjunction with Maya Stovall’s solo exhibition at Cranbrook Art Museum, Liquor Store Theatre Performance Films, the Museum will host the artist’s public defense for her PhD in Cultural Anthropology from Wayne State University. The Liquor Store Theatre project is the focus of her dissertation. Stovall will discuss her theoretical framework and strategy of working across the disciplines of dance, theory, anthropology, ethnography, and contemporary art.

Hosted by Cranbrook Art Museum in partnership with the Wayne State University Department of Anthropology


February 2

Elizabeth (Dori) Tunstall is a design anthropologist, public intellectual, and design advocate who works at the intersections of critical theory, culture, and design. As Dean of Design at Ontario College of Art and Design University, she is the first black female dean in the faculty of design. She leads the Cultures-Based Innovation Initiative focused on using old ways of knowing to drive innovation processes that directly benefit communities. With a global career, Dori served as Associate Professor of Design Anthropology and Associate Dean at Swinburne University in Australia. In the U.S., she taught at the University of Illinois at Chicago. She organized the U.S. National Design Policy Initiative and served as a director of Design for Democracy. Industry positions included senior UX strategists for Sapient Corporation and Arc Worldwide. Dori holds a Ph.D. in Anthropology from Stanford University and a BA in Anthropology from Bryn Mawr College.

Hosted by AICAD Post-Graduate Teaching Fellowship


February 3

Odili Donald Odita is an abstract painter whose work explores color both in the figurative historical context and in the sociopolitical sense. Odita has said, “Color in itself has the possibility of mirroring the complexity of the world as much as it has the potential for being distinct. The organization and patterning in the paintings are of my own design. I continue to explore in the paintings a metaphoric ability to address the human condition through pattern, structure and design, as well as for its possibility to trigger memory. The colors I use are personal: they reflect the collection of visions from my travels locally and globally. This is also one of the hardest aspects of my work as I try to derive the colors intuitively, hand-mixing and coordinating them along the way. In my process, I cannot make a color twice – it can only appear to be the same. This aspect is important to me as it highlights the specificity of differences that exist in the world of people and things.” Odita goes on to express his desire to speak positively about Africa and its rich culture through his work. In recent years, Odita has been commissioned to paint several large-scale wall installations including The United States Mission to the United Nations in New York (2011), the Savannah College of Art and Design (2012), New York Presbyterian Hospital (2012), New Orleans Museum of Art (2011), Kiasma, Helsinki (2011) and the George C. Young Federal Building and Courthouse in Orlando, Florida (2013).​

Hosted by the Painting Department



Güvenç Özel
January 24

Machines, Bits and Pixels: Toward a Postarchitecture
Güvenç Özel is an architect, artist and researcher. He is the Technology Director of IDEAS, and the principal of Ozel Office, an interdisciplinary design practice located in Los Angeles, USA, working at the intersection of architecture, technology, visual arts and research on urban culture. A native of Izmir, Turkey, Özel studied architecture, sculpture, and philosophy in Bennington College, USA. In addition, he holds a Masters of Architecture degree from Yale University, where he graduated with multiple awards. Prior to establishing his own practice, he worked in the architecture offices of Rafael Vinoly, Jürgen Mayer H. and Frank Gehry, amongst others. His projects and experimental installations are exhibited in museums and galleries in the USA and Europe. He formerly taught at Yale University, Woodbury University and University of Applied Arts in Vienna, Studio Greg Lynn.

 Sponsored by the Architecture Department and the J. Robert F. Swanson Lecture Fund

January 17

Allan Wexler has worked in the fields of architecture, design and fine art for forty-five years. He is represented by the Ronald Feldman Gallery in New York City and teaches in the School of Constructed Environments at Parsons the New School for Design in New York City. Allan’s works explore human activity and the built environment. He works as an investigator using series, permutations and chance rather than searching for definitive solutions. He makes buildings, furniture, vessels and utensils as backdrops and props for everyday, ordinary human activity. The works isolate, elevate, and monumentalize our daily rituals: dining, sleeping, and bathing. And they, in turn, become mechanisms that activate ritual, ceremony and movement, turning these ordinary activities into theater. 

Sponsored by 3D Design Department