B.7 ROUNDTABLE Creative Methods for Disrupting Institutional Protocols

Wed Oct 20 / 11:30 – 13:00 PDT
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chairs /

  • Angela Henderson, NSCAD University
  • Brody Weaver, NSCAD University
  • Sage Sidley, NSCAD University

This roundtable invites artists, arts administrators, arts workers, students, and scholars whose work examines stasis within institutional protocols of cultural spaces such as universities, museums, and art galleries. Reflecting on a recent workshop that used counter-mapping as part of a public consultation process in a phased redesign project for the Confederation Centre for the Arts in Prince Edward Island, this round-table will foreground collaborative methodologies that invite embodied, dissonant, and multivocal accounts of public arts spaces. Participants will be encouraged to share their strategies of intervention within institutions and to discuss the challenges and limitations of facilitating these conversations. What does it mean to participate in the renewal and renovation process of such institutions? What are the ethical parameters and obligations of participation?

Angela Henderson is a visual artist, designer and educator, living and working in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada. Henderson uses installation, sculpture and drawing to explore absence as a generative condition for mapping the evolving relationships between memory and place. Interested in the potential of fallow spaces that emerge within the built environment, Henderson's work seeks to develop a poetics in spatial practice that focuses on commemoration and collective memory. Currently, Angela is an instructor in interdisciplinary design at NSCAD University and a co-investigator with the SSHRC-funded research cluster, Counter Memory Activism.

Brody Weaver (they/them) is a white-settler writer, researcher, curator, and artist based in Kjipuktuk (Halifax, Nova Scotia). Their current work explores how queer and trans* lives, bodies, and histories navigate institutional lines, with special attention to the complicities of queer liberation within settler colonialism. They use methods of participation, collaborative practice, and research-creation to examine queer memory-keeping activities, this term referring to a spectrum of activities from DIY community-based engagements that resist documentation to the 21st century's institutional Queer Museum. Brody is currently pursuing a BA in Art History and Contemporary Culture and a BFA in Interdisciplinary Arts at NSCAD University, with graduate coursework in Art Education.

Sage Sidley is the digital design researcher on this project. She is a settler originally from Rossland, British Columbia, and a recent graduate from NSCAD's MFA program in fine and media arts situated in K'jipuktuk (Halifax), Nova Scotia. In 2016, she earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts with a major in visual arts and a minor in mathematics at the University of British Columbia Okanagan. Sidley works with ideas of place and technology, in the form of expanded drawing, to explore the fluctuant roles of the observer and observed. She has attended artist residencies in Berlin, Germany and Inverness, Canada. She has held solo and group exhibitions in numerous public galleries throughout Southwestern BC and select galleries in Nova Scotia. For six years, Sidley has taught drawing to all ages privately and in public institutions. Sidley is currently a contract Drawing instructor at NSCAD University.

B.7.1 Participatory Art Crisscrossing: The University, the Art Museum, and the US/Mexico Border

MR Barnadas, Independent Artist

Social Practice artists and Collective Magpie founders Tae Hwang and MR Barnadas were invited by the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego 2016–18 to participate in an artist-led experiment to invent new ways of engaging diverse audiences both within the museum and in the surrounding regional communities. This paper presents our response as artists with the creation of the Transnational Seminar I & II as both institutional critique and institutional collaboration; along with its ethics of production, methodologies used, and the ensuing challenges, successes, and failures.

Context: As residents of the borderlands of San Diego-Tijuana, we witnessed xenophobia, anti-Mexican sentiment and observed resulting harm to our communities from the scale of microaggressions to segregation to overt racism as an ongoing challenge that intensified exponentially during these years.

Museum: The host institution, MCASD, has a mandate to serve the binational constituency of the region that we felt could be more aggressively pursued. As such, as artists, we utilized our temporary partnership with the museum as an opportunity to present counternarratives from local binational residents within a public art series and hosted solo-exhibition to bring visibility to the complex ways diversity is understood by the local public and to help expand the institution's own awareness of that nuance.

Universities/Colleges across the border: Local colleges similarly have missions to serve the greater borderlands region. We utilized our role as college educators to create experimental accredited courses that interested students applied to from colleges in both San Diego and Tijuana. Those students became the participants of the Transnational Seminars and worked collaboratively with us to create the public art interventions in both cities informed by their lived experiences and time spent working together. The 27-week seminar series was held weekly with participants crossing the US/MX Border and convening as a nomadic studio across both cities.

MR Barnadas is an interdisciplinary artist and educator dedicated to engaging with the public domain. MR (Melinda) was born in Montreal to parents from Trinidad and Peru and grew up across North America. She holds a BFA from The School of The Art Institute of Chicago in Painting/Art and Technology, and an MFA in Visual Arts with a Public Culture focus from the University of California San Diego, with a year of Visual Art Studies in Regional History at the Universidad de las Americas, Puebla in between. She has instructed courses with Woodberry University School of Architecture, Universidad Autónoma de Baja California, Tijuana; University of California, San Diego; and Bauhaus-Universität Weimar, Germany; among others. She has been a fellow of the UCSD Center on Global Justice and is currently residing in San Diego, California, producing public art commissioned works with the City of San Diego and Port of San Diego. Collective Magpie.