— 2020 Practicum Descriptions

Heather Hart

Heather Hart will be developing a project about thresholds, that combines research, woodworking, and connecting Black communities.

“Liberation is a spatial practice”- Mario Gooden, Dark Space

I make public sculpture, and am the co-founder of Black Lunch Table (https://blacklunchtable.com/). My practice sits at an intersection of art (+architectures, publics), play, and Black activism… kind of.

This summer, I will be working on a special project involving thresholds. I need to work with someone who is good at Rhino and/or Sketchup and who is also excited about Black communities. Alternatively, I could use someone who is skilled at woodworking. I am recovering from some health stuff, so I needs someone who can handle lumber for me. Most of that work would entail using jigsaws, circ saws, and miter saws— along with other hand tools. 

My summer’s focus will be on producing really fun sculptures! I am looking for someone smart, dependable, with positive vibes. Studio flow is fun, laid back, music selection is jamming and the space has windows in Long Island City, close to MoMAPS1.

Pablo Helguera

Pablo Helguera is looking for someone passionate about research, drawing, education, performance, socially engaged art, games, installation, archiving and artist books.

This summer, I will be working on a diverse series of creative projects which bring together my interest in immersive experiences, games, performance, and socially engaged pedagogy. Firstly, I’ll be putting together a series of immersive environments for a NY-based exhibition. I will be writing/staging a play that corresponds to each of these environments, bringing together immersive theater techniques, as well as my background in performance. For this project, I’ll need creative assistance with researching the (to-be-determined!) thematic that each environment will engage. Along these same lines, I’ll be preparing another installation project which take the shape of a house built into an exhibition space. Each exhibition room will be a different exploration/recreation of a particular room in this imagined house.

In addition to these exhibitions, I am currently developing a boardgame (perhaps an art-world version of monopoly!), and would appreciate some assistance from someone interested in graphic design/ game design. I am also publishing an encyclopedia of my Artoons, which will aspire to be a comical visual dictionary of the arts. 

Lastly, I need someone to assist in the final stages of project management for a series of reliefs that will be permanently places in the exterior of a public library in the Rockaways. These reliefs depict a series of literary quotes translated into the Feynman Diagrams, a “language” that physicist Richard Feynman created to address nuclear physics.  

Ongoing tasks in the studio include helping organize/document a large group of collages I have been working on, and helping me organize the studio. This practicum is ideal for someone who can work independently. I am committed to help you pursue your own research interests and help connect you with people and cultural resources in the city!

Marisa Morán Jahn

Marisa Morán Jahn will be making a 20-foot tall interactive copper sculpture that functions like a safe lightning rod.

This summer, I’ll be working on ZAP: A Snatchural History of Copper (working title; I know there’s a lot going on there), a book, film, and public sculpture that explores copper, an element found in motherboards, our homes, electrical wires, lightning rods, and the IUD (intrauterine device) implanted in Jahn’s own ‘snatch’ (womb).

ZAP! (for short) involves a lot of different kinds of skills, many of which I don’t know how to do—but you might!

I have NO IDEA how to make this, but expect to have fun learning how: “A 20-foot tall (inter)active copper sculpture that functions like a safe lightning rod, ZAP! commemorates the tiny one-inch, T-shaped copper intrauterine device (IUD) used by 21 million women across the world yet almost always hidden from view, literally and discursively.” I do have a copper specialist, a lightning and grounding expert, and reproductive technologists onboard to help guide the making of this monument. So you won’t get zapped.

Here are the parts I DO know how to do and that I can teach you:

  • Artmaking: uh, flubbing around until I figure out how to match the right medium to the concept;
  • Filmmaking: producing, fundraising, scriptwriting. I am okay at cinematography/editing and usually involve others to join my team to lead on this end;
  • Writing for a a book: organizing, researching, and writing

I am looking for a mentee who ideally possess some of the following skills: casting and mould-making, woodworking/carpentry, sewing, fabrication, photography, video production, video editing, audio editing, other misc. crafts! I am best paired with those who embrace unexpected surprises and understand that the shifting nature of collaborative work means that sometimes, what we’re making will shift mid-way.

Baseera Kahn

Baseera Khan will be working on a range of projects including a performative lecture, a solo exhibit, a new commissioned series of large-scale collage works, and planning ahead for an upcoming performance series. 

This summer, I will be preparing proposals/materials for various exhibitions and performance serie(s) around the world. I also need someone to assist me in preparing for a solo exhibition at Atlantic Contemporary where I will be exhibiting pieces from Privacy ControlsSeats(both furniture and wall works), Collages, and Sound Blankets

Additionally, I have been asked to make a new set of collage works on a larger scale as a new commission for Wexner Center for the Arts (which accompanies another exhibit). As I work on these collages, I will be addressing the relationship between art and institutions— I am probing how institutions can foster coalition building, critical participation, and the consideration of other positions, possibilities, and perspectives. This show will include a multigenerational group of artists whose work takes on exigent social issues. Artists in the show are re-forming and reorienting our position to structures, mechanisms, and effects of power, and ultimately produce openings, pathways to ethical awareness, and spaces of understanding. 

Lastly, The Public Art Fund has invited me to explore areas of New York City where my work can exist in public space. I am considering a massive column with personalized hieroglyphs inscribed onto the shaft of the outer walls. I would not make this out of concrete, I’d love to venture super lightweight synthetic materials – fake rock.

I am looking for a mentee who can keep up with my website, and archive some of my works into a document. I would like someone who has a physical know-how to install work and lift somewhat heavy objects, as I keep a pretty substantial storage facility in LIC, Queens.

Amy Khoshbin

Amy Koshbin will be redefining/reclaiming/f***ing up politics through artmaking and YouTube.

This summer, we’re going to change the world together while having a damn good time in my studio on Governors Island, provided through the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council Residency. I’m an Iranian-American artist, rapper, and politician, and I’m creating a video art series about how to run for office for YouTube, producing a rap album, further developing You Never Know (a political campaign speech/rap performance that showed at the Whitney Museum) to take on tour, and creating a series of drawings/collages/paintings/soft sculptures for an upcoming solo exhibition at Project for Empty Space about personal and cultural transformation.

I’m expanding the boundaries of artmaking beyond the gallery/institution. We as artists have much more power than we think to universally shift culture in a positive direction. I’ve taken that idea into the political realm and am running for City Council in Brooklyn to demystify the complex structures of government and expose ways we can change the system from the inside out while enjoying ourselves. Our main project will be creating a how-to-run-for-office video art/YouTube series for anyone to use to run in their area, and we will be dropping videos weekly (some of which I’ll be rapping in with crazy animation—entertainment is key!).

If you ever wanted to learn to be a YouTube star, join me. I am seeking mentees and collaborators that know how to shoot video on DSLR cameras, and edit on Adobe Premiere Pro. Ideally, you would also have some experience or are willing to learn to:

  • Animate video
  • Edit sound files
  • Create graphics for use in videos/online/promotion (Photoshop, Illustrator, etc.)
  • Organize and collect info in Google Docs (sheets and docs)
  • Photograph (mainly for documentation)
  • Research
  • Give honest feedback
  • Have adventures

Steve Lambert

Steve will be working on a video series for the Center for Artistic Activism that teaches audiences how to implement creative processes within bureaucracies.

By the summer, I’ll be working on video production and editing for a series of short videos on artistic activism. The videos will summarize and/or support ideas from the Center for Artistic Activism’s multi-day curriculum and be distributed to a network of our alumni around the globe. 

These videos also present the fundamentals from the course, including: the history of artistic activism, how to craft a long term campaigns, how to engage audiences, and how to implement the creative process within a bureaucracy.

You should have experience with video production and post production. It’s helpful if they’re familiar with; lighting, syncing wild sound, micro four thirds equipment, editing, color grading, and compression. 

Jen Liu

Jen Liu will be engineering beef cells through nanotech materials, painting, sculpting, and exploring speculative technologies, self-defeating object design, and toxicity, among other subjects. 

All my work means to expose the emotional and material underbelly of the global industrial complex, while resisting the implicit exploitations of documentary methods. Environmental toxicity, synthetic femme bodies, speculative technologies, self-defeating object design, and manipulating texts against their stated purposes, are all core concepts within the greater whole.

Concretely: I’ll be working on genetic engineering beef cells through nanotech materials, and a series of gold, graphic paintings on paper. There will be some other projects in the works this summer too, which will most likely encompass choreography, sculpture, and my favorite medium, video + 3D animation.  I’ll be looking for a mentee whose material interests and skills are diverse, and may be able to work on multiple projects simultaneously – but more importantly, someone whose investment in engaging with and creating political discourse through artistic means, is their front focus.

LaJuné McMillian 

LaJuné McMillian’s will be using motion capture data from Black performers for new media projects involving performance, games, animation, and VR.

This summer, I will be working on the Black Movement Project— an online database of motion capture data from Black performers and Black character base models, currently underrepresented in available online databases. This library will be used for various extended (virtual, augmented, mixed) reality projects, performances, games, and research purposes. 

I will need to work with a mentee interested in learning about (or who already knows) New Media tools such as Unreal, Motion Capture, 3D modeling/rigging; however—most importantly— I am looking for someone who is interested in social justice, as it refers to the body, and ethical ways to archive movement data. 

William Powhida

William Powhida will be exploring culture, capital, and governance through research/investigation-based projects that use photography, political satire, and a variety of paper-based media. 

I will be continuing to explore the themes of my 2019 show Complicities including the connections between culture, capital, and governance. My studio will either be located in Bushwick or Greenpoint, Brooklyn. 

Through ongoing research and investigation, I will be developing a new body of work for exhibitions this fall related to a project I am currently planning for a multi-stage exhibition, TwentyTwenty, at the Aldrich Contemporary Museum of Art that opens in June. 

The show will explore the political implications for the election year primarily through photo-based media and we are invited to revise our work in the show over the summer and into the new year.  I am planning on using the opportunity to experiment with image production in the studio through works on paper using a variety of media. 

In addition to my own studio projects, I will be continuing work on a contract-based ‘store-to-own’ project to transfer works in my inventory to interested parties. I am currently developing the project into an alternative art fair in collaboration with a group of artists including the McCoys, Jennifer Dalton, and Peter Rostovsky.  I will also be continuing work with the Artist Studio Affordability Project and the (De)Institutional Research Team, which may pose other areas of research, inquiry, and engagement with issues affecting artists in New York. All of these projects are areas of possible participation for prospective mentees with an interest in research-based practices, social justice, and political satire.  

Aliza Shvarts

Aliza Shvarts will be preparing her solo exhibition Potfuchfor A.I.R., which draws research into reproductive labor and political histories of the potluck to ask: What if a potluck offered not just food, but allthe materials we might need to reproduce ourselves and others? 

This summer, I am looking for a mentee to help me accumulate materials and conduct outreach for my A.I.R. Artist Fellowship Exhibition entitled “Potfuch,” which draws on my ongoing research and work surrounding reproductive labor in its broadest social, biological, and representational senses.

 We often compartmentalize different forms of reproductive labor, for example distinguishing between the care of the home (cooking, cleaning, etc.), the care of the body (sex, childbirth, heath, etc.), the care of the mind (education, etc.), and the care of the community (culture, activism, etc.).With this exhibition, I propose the form of a “potfuch,” which is a social gathering modelled on a potluck, but one where guests are invited to bring any kind of material needed for the maintenance and reproduction of the home, body, mind, or community— challenging the implicit divisions of these labors within heteropatriarchal models of family and community life. 

The neologism performs a detournement of this important social form, asking attendees to imagine what a communal table might look like if we bring these different forms of reproductive labor together and turned to the “luck of the pot” to provide for our collective reproductive needs more broadly. The dishes, materials, and objects guests bring to a potfuch should address biological needs or social needs, and can include (but are not limited to): food and vitamins; sex toys, prophylactics, and contraceptives; diapers, menstrual pads, and tampons; breast pumps and access to breast milk; at-home pregnancy tests, fertility tests, and HIV tests; access to medicine; access to semen and other reproductive matter; seeds and plants; pillows, blankets, sleeping bags; clothing; access to shelter; educational materials; and cultural and recreational materials such as music, movies, etc. 

Over the course of the exhibition (which runs July 2-August 2, 2020), my mentee will help me not only maintain and replenish the Potfuchmaterials, but also organize discursive events (panels, meet-ups, etc.) that engage issues of reproductive labor. I need someone who shares an interest in queer and feminist understandings of reproductive labor (or wants to learn about it); someone comfortable talking on the phone and emailing strangers; someone with good organizational skills. I offer many readings/references, and a variety of ever-evolving strategies for materializing theory- and research-based practices.

Dannielle Tegeder

Danielle Tegeder will be preparing for a solo exhibition in New York in the fall while maintaining a busy painting practice in her Times Square studio. 

I am looking for an eager candidate to join me in my studio as I prepare for a solo show and other projects in Mexico City and New Orleans in January of 2021. I’d like to work with someone who is detail-oriented, flexible, and who can keep track of several tasks while remaining organized. You would need to be able to assist with studio management, such as emailing, packing works, grant writing, painting and drafting art work, managing deadlines, and using Photoshop and InDesign. Interests in abstract painting, Constructivism, intersecting media, installation, and architecture are a plus!

My studio is located at the Elizabeth Foundation for the Arts in Times Square. It is one of the biggest studio residencies, so there will be many opportunities to meet and connect with the other artists in the building. I’m hoping to offer insight into how to sustain a long-term studio practice in NYC, as well as any advice in regards to pursuing a career in the arts.

Clement Valla

Clement Valla will be in the studio this summer, working on 3D scans of plants, rocks, and animals as he thinks about the ways we observe nature through technology. 

This summer, I’m seeking a mentee who will consider what it means to see and think in a post-perspective era with me. We will use 3-D scanning, 3-D manufacturing, and digital textile printing to create things that hover between pictures and sculptures. These technological apparatuses will be aimed at the natural world, and in particular rocks.

I will be working on pictures, videos and sculptures for an upcoming exhibition and some group shows. The works are all based on 3D scans of plants, rocks and animals, and we’ll be focusing on some of the unexpected and stranger ways computer pictures shape our observations of nature.  We will use photography, 3D scanning, 3D manufacturing, digital textile printing, and digital weaving to create things that hover between pictures and sculptures.

Here’s what we’ll be doing on a practical level, so some experience in any of these would be great:

  • photography
  • sewing and garment making
  • fabrication (including metal cutting, drilling and soldering)
  • photogrammetry
  • 3d modeling and  3D manufacturing processes
  • computer programming or scripting (javascript, python, or anything simple!)