Established with the generous support of alumna Penny W. Stamps, the Speaker Series brings respected emerging and established artists/designers from a broad spectrum of media to the School to conduct a public lecture and engage with students, faculty, and the larger University and Ann Arbor communities. Additional support is provided by series sponsors Michigan Radio, WUOM 91.7 FM and Arts @ Michigan.
Unless otherwise noted, all programs take place on Thursdays at 5:10 pm at the historic Michigan Theater, located at 603 E. Liberty Street in downtown Ann Arbor, and are free of charge and open to the public.
September 11, 2014
An award-winning actress, playwright, and teacher, Anna Deavere Smith uses her singular brand of theatre to highlight issues of community, character, and diversity in America. Based on her recent one-woman show Let Me Down Easy, this lecture/performance will combine stories of her creative journey with insights into the fragility and resilience of the human body and spirit.
Smith has appeared in the films Philadelphia, An American President, The Human Stain, and Rent, and in television on The Practice, The West Wing, and currently, Nurse Jackie. The founder and director of the Institute on the Arts and Civic Dialogue, she teaches at New York University.
September 18, 2014
Founding members of the art collective Pussy Riot and Zona Prava, Nadya Tolokonnikova and Masha Alekhina are Russian conceptual artists and political activists. In August 2012, following an anti-Putin performance in Moscow Cathedral of Christ the Saviour, they were sentenced to two years' imprisonment. In March 2014 they opened the Mordovia office of Zona Prava, their newly created prisoners’ rights NGO. Tolokonnikova and Alekhina are Lennon Ono Grant for Peace recipients.
Pussy Riot is a feminist punk guerilla performance collective of approximately 11 women. Their unauthorized public performances address feminism, LGBT rights, and opposition to Russian President Putin.
Zona Prava (Zone of Rights) was founded by Nadya and Masha on their December 2013 release from prison. The goal of Zona Prava is to aid those in prison who are ready and willing to fight for their rights. The organization provides information, legal representation, safety monitoring, advocacy and oversight.
September 25, 2014
Named in Creativity Magazine’s annual “Creativity 50” , and in Forbes Magazine’s Top 25 Most Creative People in Advertising, “Rei Inamoto is Chief Creative Officer of AKQA, an advertising agency with offices across the globe. He is responsible for delivering creative solutions for clients such as Audi, Google, Nike and Xbox. In 2012, Rei was inducted into “The Hall of Achievement” by the American Advertising Federation, honoring the top young talent of the industry. Rei is also a graduate of the Stamps School.
October 2, 2014
Fred Tomaselli explores reality dislocation and the broken dreams of utopianism in colorful, complex works that utilize painting, photo collage, newsprint and unorthodox materials. Recently, he has had a solo show at the Modern Art Museum, Fort Worth Texas and was included in the Adelaide International. In 2010, a 20-year survey of his work originated at the Aspen Art Museum, traveled to the Tang Teaching Museum and ended at the Brooklyn Museum of Art. His work has also been shown at the Museum of Modern Art, The Whitney Museum, and the Los Angeles Museum of Contemporary Art, among others. The most recent book on his work, Fred Tomaselli: The Times, was released the Spring of 2014.
October 9, 2014
Phil Gilbert is an entrepreneur and self-proclaimed "startup guy". At IBM, his mission is grand: to transform one of the world's most iconic companies - and the technologies it creates to power the systems of the world. Phil was born in 1956, the same year that IBM's Thomas Watson, Jr. hired the company's first head of Design, Elliot Noyes. When Phil was ten, Watson declared "good design is good business." At the age of 27 - in 1983 - Phil started his first company and worked with the inventors of the Lisa, Macintosh and Windows. Startup #2 came in 1997 and #3 in 2002. When Lombardi Software (startup #3) was bought in 2010 by IBM, Phil assumed that #4 was just down the road. And then the strangest thing happened...
October 16, 2014
Friends since college, Curt Ellis and Ian Cheney are the stars and co-creators of King Corn, the Peabody Award-winning documentary about their year growing one acre of corn and seeing it transformed into high fructose corn syrup and fast-fattened beef. After King Corn, Cheney and Ellis teamed up to create the Truck Farm film and education project, based on a whimsical farm-on-wheels planted in the back of a 1986 Dodge pickup. They are also the co-founders of FoodCorps, a national team of Americorps leaders who connect kids to real food and help them grow up healthy. In 2011, Cheney and Ellis were the youngest recipients ever to receive the prestigious Heinz Award for their work using humor and innovation to engage people about sustainable food. Ellis is currently Executive Director of FoodCorps, and Cheney, a Knight Journalism fellow at MIT, recently directed the feature documentary The Search for General Tso.
October 17, 2014
Friday, October 17, 5:30 pm
Helmut Stern Auditorium
Multimedia artist Amie Siegel and UMMA’s Adjunct Media Arts Curator Kathleen Forde explore of Siegel’s work Provenance (on view August 16 – December 7, 2014) and their shared interest in uncommon odysseys. Through the travels of a modernist chair designed by Le Corbusier and Pierre Jeanneret, Provenance offers a fresh take on the global trade of commodities and the ever-changing nature of monetary value in the art world.
Lead support for the exhibition Amie Siegel: Provenance is provided by the Herbert W. and Susan L. Johe Endowment. Additional generous support is provided by the University of Michigan Institute for the Humanities, Penny W. Stamps School of Art & Design, and Taubman College of Architecture + Urban Planning.
October 23, 2014
Founded by Stuart Wood, Flo Ortkrass and Hannes Koch in 2005, Random International is a collaborative studio for experimental creative practice. Taking science as a means to develop a new material vocabulary, their work invites consideration of the man/machine relationship through explorations of behavior and natural phenomena — with the viewer an active participant.
Rain Room, the work for which the studio is best known, was exhibited at MoMA following its debut at the Barbican Centre. The immersive installation is an environment of perpetual ‘rainfall‘ through which visitors can walk and yet remain dry. Random furthers the use of water as a raw material in Tower: Instant Structure for Schacht XII, which pulls falling water into an architectural form, instantaneously. Set amid a former coal mine, Tower is the first in an ongoing series of instant structures that the studio continues to develop.
October 30, 2014
Japan’s leading electronic composer and visual artist, Ryoji Ikeda orchestrates sound, visuals, physical phenomena and mathematical notions into immersive live performances and installations. Ikeda’s projects include 'datamatics' using the moving image, sculpture, sound and new media to explore our perception of the data that permeates our world; and 'spectra' a large-scale installations employing intense white light as a sculptural material and transforming public locations in Amsterdam, Paris, Barcelona and Nagoya. Ikeda has performed and exhibited worldwide including the Australian Centre for the Moving Image, Melbourne; MIT, Boston; Centre Pompidou, Paris; Sónar Festival Barcelona; Tate Modern, London; Art Beijing; Museo de Arte, Bogota; and Hamburger Bahnhof, Berlin, among many others. His albums +/-, 0°C, matrix, dataplex, and test pattern, have pioneered a new minimal world of electronic music. matrix won the Golden Nica Award at Ars Electronica in 2001.
November 6, 2014
For more than two decades, Latvian photographer Inta Ruka has photographed the people of Latvia to provide an undisguised view on the current state of flux in Latvia since its integration into the European Union. From 1984 to 2000, she photographed primarily in the rural area of Balvi and, later on, increasingly in the capital of Riga. In the series "People I happened to meet", she strikes up conversations with unknown people in order to ask them for a portrait. In "Amalias Street 5", she focused on the inhabitants of an apartment complex in Riga. Her photographs have been shown at the 48th Biennale of Venice, the Photography Centre in Istanbul and the Barbican Arts Centre in London.
November 13, 2014
Anab Jain is a designer, filmmaker and founder of the London-and-India-based design studio Superflux, which she runs in partnership with Jon Ardern. Through their work and approach, Anab helps shapes the studio's vision as a new kind of design practice — one that is responsive to the unique challenges and opportunities of the 21st century. Jain wants designers to adopt new roles as sense-makers, translators and agent provocateurs who can create a visceral connection with the complexity and plurality of the worlds we live in, and open up an informed dialogue that will help shape better futures for everyone.
November 20, 2014
Since 1993, when Françoise Mouly joined The New Yorker as art edito,r she has been responsible for over 1,000 of the magazine’s signature covers, many of which were chosen by The American Society of Magazine Editors as 'best cover of the year'. She is also the Publisher and Editorial Director of TOON Books, an imprint of comics and visual narratives for young readers. And she founded and coedited (with collaborator and husband Art Spiegelman) the groundbreaking comics anthology RAW; The New York Times-bestselling Little Lit series; and the TOON Treasury of Classic Children’s Comics. Born in Paris, Françoise Mouly studied architecture at the Beaux Arts before she moved to New York in 1974. Ms. Mouly was awarded France's highest honor, the Legion of Honneur.
December 4, 2014
Seth Ellis is an artist, and designer. He makes site-specific narratives that explore the stories inherent in material culture, place, and everyday objects. His work utilizes the mass-manufactured artifacts of Modernist industrial society as the loci of installations combining multimedia experience design, local history, and storytelling to trace the webs that connect local communities across time and space. Ellis’ work has shown in galleries, streets, and storefronts, festivals and symposia, in America, Europe, and several points in the Atlantic Ocean.