Posts in Conversations

Interviews, exchanges, and in-depth dialogue between writers, artists, curators, and creative practitioners of all types

5 Questions: Ed Osborn

08.24.2012  |  By
Filed under: Conversations

[Five questions to SFMOMA artists, staff, or guests. I recently caught up with Ed Osborn, who is at SFMOMA to install his work Night-Sea Music (1998) on the museum’s third-floor landing. The work will be on view until November and if you can’t get to the museum in person, check out this video of the piece in action. Ed is a sound artis... More

The Modern Art Notes Podcast: Robert Adams

08.16.2012  |  By

Today at Modern Art Notes, Tyler Green interviews American photographer Robert Adams. SFMOMA has many pictures by Mr. Adams in the collection, and an interview with the artist is a rare treat. Thanks to Tyler for sharing a clip of the podcast — on Adams in relation to Carleton Watkins — with us! Please welcome him.

The American photographer Robert Adams is the subject of a nine-venue retrospective that has recently arrived at the Yale University Art Gallery, the institution that organized the exhibition. Titled The Place We Live, the exhibi... More

The Visual as a Quickening Sound Vibration: An Interview with Musician Oluyemi Thomas, Part III

08.05.2012  |  By

Originally from the musically rich Motor City, Detroit, Michigan, Oluyemi Thomas has been a San Francisco Bay Area resident since 1974. Thomas studied both music and mechanical engineering at Washtenaw College. He creates ordered compositional free music that he acknowledges as part of, but not limited to, what is called jazz. Over a career spannin... More

The Visual as a Quickening Sound Vibration: An Interview with Musician Oluyemi Thomas, Part II

08.05.2012  |  By
Filed under: Conversations

Originally from the musically rich Motor City, Detroit, Michigan, musician/composer/multi-instrumentalist Oluyemi Thomas has been a Bay Area resident since 1974. He studied both music and mechanical engineering at Washtenaw College. Thomas creates ordered compositional free music that he acknowledges as part of — but not limited to — what is cal... More

The Visual as a Quickening Sound Vibration: An Interview with Musician Oluyemi Thomas, Part I

08.04.2012  |  By
Filed under: Conversations

My interest in doing this interview with Oakland musician Oluyemi Thomas stems from a desire to get a wide range of answers to some questions that have held my interest for a number of years now. For example, how does the jazz aesthetic show up in the visual field? And, what are the visual markers indicating that we are “seeing” jazz? My goal is to explore the intersection between jazz music, spirituality, and ritual and to explain how these things are made present in the visual field. There are so many unexplored implications in the notion... More

We thought the world we built would be forever: An Interview with Lenn Keller

06.16.2012  |  By
Filed under: Conversations

Maybe it has something to do with turning 29, but it seems that all I want to do lately is talk with older generations of queer artists and political organizers about their lives and work. Last week I met with Lenn Keller, a Bay Area filmmaker and photographer whose practice straddles the worlds of artmaking, political activism, and queerness. I first saw Lenn’s work in 2010 when her exhibition Fierce Sistahs: Art, Activism, and Community of Lesbians of Color in the Bay Area, 1975–2000 was on display at the San Francisco Public Library. Fie... More

5 Questions: Tammy Fortin

06.05.2012  |  By
Filed under: Conversations

[Five questions to SFMOMA artists, staff, or guests … although today I’m posting all seven questions with Tammy Fortin, because I couldn’t bring myself to cut a single one. Tammy is a 9-to-5er at SFMOMA as the assistant to the curator of media arts, Rudolf Frieling. She is also a musician and writer. Tomorrow is also her last day at the museum. Miss you already, Tammy!]

 

Do you collect anything?

I collect a lot of things by accident. I’m a sentimental person. If you gave me a scrap of paper and you wrote a really nice ... More

5 Questions: Lynn Marie Kirby

05.09.2012  |  By
Filed under: Conversations

[Five questions to SFMOMA artists, staff, or guests. Lynn Marie Kirby is a San Francisco–based artist and teacher. Her collaborative video project with Li Xiaofei, Hello? 你好!, is on view through June 17 as part of the Descriptive Acts exhibition.]

Do you collect anything?

Collaborators.

If you could steal any artwork in the world to have up in your home, what would it be?

Must be Vermeer, judging from the picture that Alexis Petty just took of me for this blog. Alexis and I meet frequently in this café as we are collaborating on a projec... More

5 Questions: Anthony Discenza

05.09.2012  |  By
Filed under: Conversations

[Five questions to SFMOMA artists, staff, or guests. Anthony Discenza is a visual artist, adjunct professor at CCA, and resident of Oakland. His sound installation A Viewing (The Effect) is on view through June 17 as part of the Descriptive Acts exhibition.]

Do you collect anything?

I maintain an extensive collection of beautiful, hand-blown anxieties, fears, and intimations of doom.

If you could spend an afternoon with anyone, living or dead, who would it be?

Hmm, that’s a tough one. Maybe Philip K. Dick, he’s def in my top five. (... More

Toma las Calles! Take It to the Streets! An interview with Melanie Cervantes of Dignidad Rebelde

04.26.2012  |  By
Filed under: Conversations

If it is true that there has never been a movement for justice without the arts, and I believe it is, then the recent history of movement building in the Bay Area exists in part through the work of Melanie Cervantes and Dignidad Rebelde, the collaborative project of Cervantes and Jesus Barraza. If you have ever attended a protest in the Bay Area organized by a coalition of social justice organizations and activists or the Occupy movement, you have seen their work: bold digital and screenprints depicting community members demanding justice and a... More

5 Questions: Alejandro Cartagena

04.09.2012  |  By
Filed under: Conversations

[Five questions to SFMOMA artists, staff, or guests. Alejandro Cartagena is a photographer from Monterrey, Mexico. His work is on view in the Photography in Mexico exhibition through July 8. This Friday he speaks live on the web for Rooftop TV. Blue Bottle Coffee also created a flight of ice cream inspired by Cartagena’s photography. Yum!]

Do... More

5 Questions: Daniela Rossell

04.09.2012  |  By
Filed under: Conversations

[Five questions to SFMOMA artists, staff, or guests. Photographer Daniela Rossell lives in Mexico City. Her series Untitled (Ricas y Famosas) is on view in the Photography in Mexico exhibition through July 8. You can watch Daniela and others speak live on the web this Friday as part of Rooftop TV.]

 

Do you collect anything?

I collected erasers as a child. Erasers as replicas of all sorts of things — sushi, ice cream, animals, etc. It has been the collection I have taken the most seriously in terms of dusting it off and having it on pro... More

5 Questions: Pablo Lopez Luz

04.09.2012  |  By
Filed under: Conversations

[Five questions to SFMOMA artists, staff, or guests. Pablo Lopez Luz is a photographer living in Mexico City. His work is on view through July 8 as part of the Photography in Mexico exhibition. Pablo, Daniela, and Alejandro will be speaking live on  the web this Friday as part of Rooftop TV.]

Do you collect anything?

I have a photography collectio... More

5 Questions: SECA 2010 Award Winner Kamau Amu Patton

03.13.2012  |  By
Filed under: Conversations

[Five questions to SFMOMA artists, staff, or guests. Kamau Amu Patton is a winner of the 2010 SECA Art Award, and his work is on view in the fifth-floor galleries. He may be familiar to Open Space readers; last year we posted a talk he gave on Nata Piaskowski.]

Do you collect anything?

A/V cables. Cables are quite interesting. They are about connect... More

5 Questions: SECA 2010 Award Winner Ruth Laskey

03.13.2012  |  By
Filed under: Conversations

[Five questions to SFMOMA artists, staff, or guests. Ruth Laskey is a winner of the 2010 SECA Art Award, and her work is on view in the fifth-floor galleries.]

Do you collect anything?

No. But I have a lot of books.

If you could steal any artwork in the world to have up in your home, what would it be?

A skyspace by James Turrell … I would love to spend time with one of those each day. This might have to do with my apartment being somewhat small and dark.

If you weren’t an artist, what would your gig be?

Chances are I would be working th... More

5 Questions: SECA 2010 Award Winner Mauricio Ancalmo

03.13.2012  |  By
Filed under: Conversations

[Five questions to SFMOMA artists, staff, or guests. Mauricio Ancalmo is a winner of the 2010 SECA Art Award. His work is on view in the fifth-floor galleries through April 3.]

Do you collect anything?

Everything except collectibles.

If you could steal any artwork in the world to have up in your home, what would it be?

The caves of Lascaux.

Who was... More

5 Questions: SECA 2010 Award Winner Colter Jacobsen

03.13.2012  |  By
Filed under: Conversations

[Five questions to SFMOMA artists, staff, or guests. Colter Jacobsen is a winner of the 2010 SECA Art Award. His work is on view in the fifth-floor galleries through April 3.]

If you could steal any artwork in the world to have up in your home, what would it be?

I wouldn’t steal artwork, even given the opportunity. My backpack was recently stolen. If anyone knows of its whereabouts, please let me know. Thank you. There weren’t really any valuables inside except for two full notebooks. But those are only valuable to me. I doubt the t... More

Mission Accomplished

02.17.2012  |  By

 

Last month, I convinced a friend to come with me to an exhibition, Baldessari Class Assignments (Optional), at California College of the Arts’ Wattis Institute of Contemporary Art. Before I had a chance to visually make sense of anything in the exhibition I was greeted by an overpowering sweet smell of vanilla and pastry. The source ... More

Curators Corey Keller and Julian Cox discuss Francesca Woodman and Ralph Eugene Meatyard

02.16.2012  |  By
Filed under: 151 3rd, Conversations

On view in San Francisco for just a few more days are two major photography exhibitions: Ralph Eugene Meatyard at the de Young and Francesca Woodman at SFMOMA. On January 26th, Julian Cox, Founding Curator of Photography for the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco and Chief Curator at the de Young, and Corey Keller, Associate Curator of Photography at SFMOMA, talked to each other via G-chat, and discussed the two artists, their work, and their place in the history of photography.

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There is no movement for justice without the arts: Interview with Jeff Chang and Favianna Rodriguez

02.01.2012  |  By
Filed under: Conversations

Jeff Chang and Favianna Rodriguez are artist-organizers and the initiators of Culture Strike, an ongoing project that began in 2010 as a protest of Arizona’s SB 1070 law. Culture Strike aims to raise consciousness about immigration issues among artists. For the past two years, delegations of artists traveled to the US/Mexico border to learn first-hand about the struggles for migrant justice through witnessing legal procedures, meeting with grassroots organizers and visiting physical sites along the border. The hope is that the artists wil... More

We’ll Miss You Libby Garrison – 19 years!

01.13.2012  |  By
Filed under: 151 3rd, Conversations

Do you collect anything?

One of the things that I collect was actually inspired by an exhibition that we had here at SFMOMA about 10 years ago called California Pottery; that’s where I learned to love Bauer ringware pottery. I have several small bowls and a butter plate. I prefer the black ringware because it’s the rarest. When I got married four or five years ago I happily found out that my husband collected Bauer flowerpots, so between the two of us we have quite a nice collection.

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New YEAR, New COLUMNISTS

01.11.2012  |  By
Filed under: Conversations

Happy New Year! (I think Jan. 11 still counts for that?) I’m thrilled to announce our stellar new lineup of columnists for the season. We had a fantastic time at a kickoff dinner last night, and I’m delighted I get to spend the next few months in their warm and intelligent company.

Please welcome writer, curator, and educator Tirza True Latimer; artist Tucker Nichols; writer, editor, and U.K. transplant Tess Thackara; multidisciplinary artist Charlene Tan; and the illustrious Steven Wolf, former newspaper reporter and the founder of... More

Artists of the 99%: An Interview with Sara Powell of Kaleidoscope Free Speech Zone

12.19.2011  |  By
Filed under: Conversations

On Saturday, December 3rd, I attended the Mission district neighborhood march for housing rights, where I heard Sara Powell speak at a rally in front of the 24th Street BART station. Powell is a longtime activist and artist who opened the neighborhood community art and education space Kaleidoscope Free Speech Zone in 2009. Located near the corner ... More

5 Questions: Simon Fujiwara

11.18.2011  |  By
Filed under: Conversations

[Five questions to SFMOMA artists, staff, or guests. For this iteration I sat down with London-born, Berlin-based artist Simon Fujiwara. Tonight at 8 p.m. he performs The Boy Who Cried Wolf, in which he tracks his own identity and sexuality through three sites (the bar, the wedding, and the mirror). There is also a rotating stage.]

Do you collect anything?

I collect a lot of things. Every winter I go to Mexico, and I generally arrive with nothing and send a container of objects and artifacts back to Europe. My studio basically looks like a pro... More

Manitoba Museum of Finds Art: Interview with Alberta Mayo

11.07.2011  |  By

From Tanya Zimbardo, SFMOMA assistant curator of media arts:

If you had visited the waiting area of the directors’ offices at SFMOMA between 1975 and 1978, you would have encountered an exhibition not advertised on the museum’s official schedule: one of the 23 shows organized by Alberta Mayo under the auspices of the Manitoba Museum of Finds Art (MMOFA). Mayo, then assistant to Director Henry Hopkins and Deputy Director Michael McCone, directed her own museum within “the other museum,” turning her administrative space into the venue for... More

5 Questions: Ann Magnuson

10.24.2011  |  By
Filed under: Conversations

[Five questions to SFMOMA artists, staff, or guests. Today I spoke with Ann Magnuson, artist, singer, performer extraordinaire. She will be performing a David Bowie– and Jobriath-inspired piece, The Rock Star as Witch Doctor, Myth Maker, and Ritual Sacrifice, on Thursday as part of Now Playing.]

What would I find in your refrigerator right now?

The most incredible organic eggs from Landers, which is this little desert town just north of Joshua Tree. There is a lady there who feeds her chickens all organic vegetables, and she nurtures them q... More

Artists of the 99%: A Call to Action

10.18.2011  |  By
Filed under: Conversations

Over the past month I have witnessed and participated in the local contingent of the now-global movement known as Occupy Wall Street/Occupy Together. The goal of this nonviolent movement, fueled by people in 1,497 cities throughout the world, is to challenge capitalism by protesting major banks, corporations, and the top 1% of people who benefit from our country’s current economic system. Through taking over public space, consensus-based general assemblies, demonstrations, direct actions, workshops, teach-ins, defense against police bruta... More

5 Questions: Michael Namkung

10.14.2011  |  By
Filed under: Conversations

[Five questions to SFMOMA artists, staff, or guests.  Michael Namkung is a San Francisco artist who uses movement to create his work. He’ll be at the museum on Sunday for Yerba Buena Family Day, during which he will perform one of his Wall Sit drawings and families will be able to take part in drawing gym activities. Free!]

If you weren’t ... More

Skype Artist Interviews: Tiago Carneiro da Cunha and Klara Kristalova

10.03.2011  |  By
Filed under: Conversations

Since neither of the artists was able to be here for the opening of the current New Work exhibition, I made these videos to introduce SFMOMA’s audiences to Tiago Carneiro da Cunha (Brazil) and Klara Kristalova (Sweden). Generally, we interview artists when they come into town, but I thought that a Skype video chat would be a great workaround. I was delighted that both artists agreed to essentially invite me into their homes for a conversation.

Interviewing artists is my favorite part of my job, hands down. Having gotten to know them through the objects they make, I find it priceless to be able to spend an hour or so talking through their ideas with them. Most of the interviews that we conduct are very formal — a talking head in front of a neutral gray background with a classic three-point lighting setup. Part of this is because when we started producing video content in the 1990s, the only people who made interview videos were professionals, TV people, and documentarians. Time... More

5 Questions: Dominic Angerame

09.29.2011  |  By
Filed under: Conversations

[Five questions to SFMOMA artists, staff, or guests. Today we hear from Dominic Angerame, a filmmaker and the executive director of Canyon Cinema. Tonight Dominic is joined by filmmaker and Canyon Cinema cofounder Bruce Baillie for a screening of his film Quick Billy in the museum’s Wattis Theater.]

Do you collect anything?

I am a collector o... More