Qualcomm Institute Kicks Off Spring 2014 Exhibition in Gallery@Calit2

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"Senses of Care: Mediated Ability and Interdependence" Runs April 10 - June 13

San Diego, March 27, 2014  -- On April 10, 2014, the Qualcomm Institute at the University of California, San Diego will kick off its Spring 2014 exhibition, Senses of Care: Mediated Ability and Interdependence, in the gallery@calit2. The opening of the exhibition will feature a talk by the curatorial team, led by UC San Diego associate professor of communication Brian Goldfarb, as well as a reception, both open to the public. The exhibition runs through June 13 in the gallery on the first floor of Atkinson Hall. It will remain in the gallery through the summer, but will be viewable by appointment only.

Poster for the Senses of Care exhibition

The gallery@calit2 is the primary art showcase of the Qualcomm Institute, the UC San Diego division of the California Institute for Telecommunications and Information Technology (Calit2).

The exhibition will feature an array of artifacts and works by artists and design initiatives that raise provocative questions about the dynamics of care, interdependence and diversity of ability. Senses of Care features artists whose works deal with topics ranging from disability fashion to do-it-yourself (DIY) prosthetics to creative modes of reframing sensory experience, for example, foregrounding our bodily sensation of sound by a deaf performance artist. These projects point toward a spectrum of possibilities that emerge around what are commonly understood as limits or challenges to ability. The represented artists demonstrate ways of reorienting notions of “challenged” away from individual capability and toward challenges of forging an open and inclusive world.

”Elements of this show will point to ways out of deficit models and individualistic conceptions of health and (dis)ability through aesthetic, technical and performative responses to mutual needs and support,” explained curator Goldfarb. “More than universal design, the orientation of the work turns prevailing frames of accommodation on their side and on their head. They enact possibilities for bridging radically distinct experiences of embodiment, sensory perception, and cognition.”

Artists and their projects in the exhibition will include:

  • Cathy Greenblat, with selections from her photo exhibit, Love, Loss, and Laughter, which documents caring relationships in the context of Alzheimer’s;
  • Park McArthur and the Care Collective collaborated on It's Sorta Like a Big Hug, a record of McArthur’s experience of being cared for by a collective of friends in her New York City neighborhood;
  • Christina Stephens (AKA AmputeeOT) presents a selection of short videos as well as DIY prosthetics (e.g., the artist went viral worldwide when she posted a video showing her building a prosthetic leg made out of Lego blocks);
  • Chun-shan (Sandie) Yi, whose Crip Couture installation of sculptural and fashion artifacts suggests what the Taiwan-born artist calls “the possibility for a new genre of wearable art, Disability Fashion”;
  • Christine Sun Kim is represented by video of an interview recorded in connection with the deaf artist’s 2013 performance at the Ultima Oslo Contemporary Music Festival in Norway;
  • Petra Kuppers and the artists’ collective, The Olimpias (where Kuppers is Artistic Director), will present documentation from their Salamander Project, a community performance project that combines underwater swims and free writing;
  • The Sins Invalid Performance Project presents their film, Sins Invalid: An Unashamed Claim to Beauty (2013), which documents their efforts to incubate and celebrate artists with disabilities, and to explore themes of sexuality, beauty, and the disabled body, impacting thousands through live performance;
  • Sara Hendren and Brian Glenney co-founded The Accessible Icon Project, a social design effort that allows open-access use of a newly-designed icon, and provides guides and suggestions for public advocacy events that can begin with the icon, opening dialogue about inclusive architecture, schools, workplaces, and beyond; and
  • The Senses of Care curatorial team created other components, including displays about mobile, distributed and participatory care technology; documentation of techniques for addressing “crip temporality” in academic settings; and a reading resources area.

The curatorial team includes Brian Goldfarb in collaboration with: John Armenta, Christina Aushana, Amanda Cachia, Ivana Guarrasi, Louise Hickman, Jennifer Marchisotto, Amanda Martin Sandino, Jamie Rau, and Haydee Smith.

The gallery@calit2 gratefully acknowledges additional support from the Vice Chancellor Office of Equity, Diversity and Inclusion, the Communication Department, the Critical Gender Studies Program, the Ethnic Studies Department, the Literature Department, the Visual Arts Department, as well as The School of International Relations and Pacific Studies and the International Studies Program.

The gallery@calit2 and campus partners will stage a variety of public programs during the course of the exhibition, including screenings, a community performance workshop, etc. These additional events will be announced at a later date.

About the Curators

Brian Goldfarb is Associate Professor of Communication at UC San Diego. His research and creative production focus on visual/digital culture, disability and education. His book, Visual Pedagogy, considers media technologies used in the 20th century to advance models of pedagogy in the U.S. and globally. Goldfarb's current projects include Global Tourette, a documentary and media exchange project engaging cultural and professional responses to Tourette Syndrome internationally; and Carescape, a digital book exploring patient communities in the digital age. As a curator at the New Museum of Contemporary Art (1993-97), he organized exhibitions such as alt.youth.media and initiated their online programming.

Collaborating members of the curatorial team include an interdisciplinary group of Ph.D. students working together across the Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences: John Armenta (Communication), Christina Aushana (Communication), Amanda Cachia (Visual Arts), Ivana Guarrasi (Communication), Louise Hickman (Communication), Jennifer Marchisotto (Literature), Amanda Martin Sandino (Literature), Jamie Rau (International Studies), and Haydee Smith (Literature).

About the Artists

Cathy Greenblat is Professor Emerita of Sociology at Rutgers University, where she served for 35 years as a member of the Department of Sociology, Women’s Studies, and the Bloustein School of Planning. The author of 16 books, including the photography books Alive with Alzheimer’s and Love, Loss and Laughter, and more than 100 articles, she has lectured worldwide. Since 2002 Greenblat has been engaged in a cross-cultural photographic project on aging, dementia and end-of-life care. From 2002-’12, she was Artist in Residence at the University Hospital Network in Nice, France, and an Honorary Research Fellow at the International Observatory on End of Life Care at Lancaster University in the United Kingdom. In 2012 Greenblat was named an Honorary Professor at Glasgow Caledonian University. In 2013 her long-term project, Love, Loss and Laughter: Seeing Dementia Differently, toured seven states in Australia. Greenblat earned her Ph.D. from Columbia University. www.cathygreenblat.com

Christine Sun Kim is a New York City-based performance artist who recently received her MFA in Sound/Music at Bard College. Her drawings, sculptures and performances have been featured in various exhibitions and programs, among them Recess Activities, Inc., New York City; Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Troy, N.Y.; TCB Gallery, Melbourne, Australia and Takt Kunstprojektraum, Berlin, Germany. She participated in the Youth Insights Artist Residency at Whitney Museum in 2010 and the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council Swing Space program in 2009. Kim has been the recipient of various awards, including the 2012 Newhouse Award through the Wynn Newhouse Foundation in New York, 2009 Harvestworks Educational Scholarship and the 2009 Emergency Grant from Foundation for Contemporary Arts. Additionally, Kim has been an educator at the Whitney Museum since 2006 and is actively involved in developing the programming initiatives for deaf audiences. http://christinesunkim.com

Petra Kuppers is a professor at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, where she teaches performance studies and disability studies, and she is on the faculty of Vermont’s Goddard College MFA program in Interdisciplinary Arts. Kuppers is a performance maker and community artist, a witnessing critic and theorist, as well as an educator and a disability culture activist. She is the Artistic Director of The Olimpias, an artists’ collective that creates collaborative, research-focused environments open to people with physical, emotional, sensory and cognitive differences and their allies. Her book about The Olimpias arts-based research practices, “Disability Culture and Community Performance: Find a Strange and Twisted Shape,” won the biennial Sally Banes Award from the American Association for Theatre Research. http://www.goddard.edu/people/petra-kuppers

Park McArthur graduated from Davidson College in 2006 and from The University of Miami with an MFA in sculpture in 2009. She is currently attending the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture and recently participated in the Whitney Independent Study Program. She works on individual and collective projects concerning disability, care and correspondence. She has contributed to Aspect Magazine: The Chronicle of New Media Art and The International Journal of Feminist Approaches to Bioethics’ forthcoming issue on vulnerability. Her artwork has been included in group exhibitions at the Smithsonian Museum, ICA Philadelphia and Botkyrka Konsthall Sweden. http://www.parkmcarthur.com

Christina Stephens is a practicing occupational therapist, clinical researcher and peer educator who chronicles her journey from foot crush injury to amputation and beyond. She offers insights from both sides of the therapeutic relationship between healthcare receiver and provider. Her long-term project, AmputeeOT, touches on issues related to healthcare, occupational therapy, prosthetics, manual wheelchairs, medical equipment, Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome, and more.

Chun-Shan (Sandie) Yi received a BFA and MA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and an MFA from the University of California Berkeley. She has worked as an art therapist in Taiwan and helped to establish disability culture in China. She is currently residing in Chicago completing her PhD in Disability Studies at the University of Illinois. http://www.cripcouture.org

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