Spring Lecture Series


All lectures are held in Cranbrook Art Museum’s deSalle Auditorium and are free to ArtMembers and students with identification, and included with Museum admission for the general public. The Museum will remain open prior to each lecture. Parking is available in the Cranbrook Art Museum parking lot and in the parking deck next to the Institute of Science.

January 22, 2015 6:00 pm
“Snarkitecture: Making Architecture Perform The Unexpected“

Alex Mustonen and Benjamin Porto will trace the evolution of Snarkitecture, a collaborative practice operating between the disciplines of art and architecture. The discussion will focus on the studio’s larger installations as well as smaller-scale object collaborations

Sponsored by the 3D Department
January 27, 2015 6:00 pm
“Repeating Islands“
Jaimey Hamilton Faris

Jaimey Hamilton Faris is Associate Professor of Critical Theory and Contemporary Art History at the University of Hawai’i Mānoa, and she is the 2015 Spring Critical Studies Fellow at Cranbrook Academy of Art. This lecture explores the relevance of islands in the age of environmental degradation and cultural-political globalization. Expanding upon Caribbean scholar Antonio Benítez-Rojo’s concept of “repeating islands” (1992), Hamilton Faris discusses the ways in which artists address the historical recurrence of land appropriation, colonization, resource extraction, and development.

Sponsored by the Critical Studies and Humanities Program
January 29, 2015 6:00 pm
“Acts Of Curiosity Exhibition And Performance Series“
Jack Craig and Jennifer Nelson

Exhibition opening within The Cranbrook Hall of Wonders exhibition at Cranbrook Art Museum by Detroit designer Jack Craig and a lecture on the history of the Wunderkammer by Jennifer Nelson, Assistant Professor of Art History at the University of Michigan.

February 3, 2015 6:00 pm
“The Genius of the System“
Luc Sante

Luc Sante examines how photography is seldom entirely within the control of the artist and almost always represents a collaboration with chance. This keeps the meaning of the photograph in flux; it is changed by successive generations of viewers. Sante sees photography as a broad continuum of which self-consciously artistic expression occupies only a small portion, but across which artistic realization can potentially be found at any point at any time. He is the author of the books Lowlife: Lures and Snares of Old New York, Kill All Your Darlings: Pieces 1990-2005, and Folk Photography: the American Real Photo Postcard, 1905-1930.

Sponsored by the Photography Department and the Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit (MOCAD)
February 8, 2015 3:00 pm
“Beverly Fre$h Presents “Whats All This?”“
Zack Ostrowski

Using Power Point, a state-of-the-art presentation software designed especially for effective communication, Beverly Fre$h (Zack Ostrowski) will discuss his most recent work including “OUTSKIRTS” and “MR. MDWST.” These works expose audiences to new methods of examination, focusing on the peripheral elements of American culture and the often-marginalized context of the rural Midwest.

February 8, 2015 4:00 pm
Patrick Hill

Detroit sculptor Patrick Hill adds his work to The Cranbrook Hall of Wonders exhibition on February 6 as part of the “Acts of Curiosity Exhibition and Performance Series.” Join us as he discusses his work.

February 10, 2015 6:00 pm
“An Evening With Daniel Joseph Martinez“
Daniel Joseph Martinez

Martinez is an artist, a professor of theory, practice and mediation of contemporary art at the University of California, Irvine, where he teaches in the Graduate Studies Program and the New Genres Department. Martinez lives and works in South Los Angeles. Throughout his career, he has engaged in an interrogation of social, political, and cultural mores through artworks that have been described as nonlinear, asymmetrical, multidimensional propositions.

Sponsored by the Photography Department
February 17, 2015 6:00 pm
“Mapping Systems“
Francis Halsall

Francis Halsall is a Lecturer in the History/Theory of Modern & Contemporary Art at National College of Art and Design, Dublin where he is director (with Declan Long) of MA Art in the Contemporary World. Halsall was also the 2014 Spring Critical Studies Fellow at Cranbrook Academy of Art. He is currently completing a short book called “Systems Aesthetics” and a major research project (and book) on Niklas Luhmann’s aesthetics. His lecture will focus on how social systems might be imagined, visualized, and mapped with examples from a forthcoming workshop and collaboration which will explore different strategies for ‘cognitive mapping’ social environments.

Sponsored by the Critical Studies and Humanities Program
March 4, 2015 6:00 pm
“An Evening With Kim Dickey“
Kim Dickey

Artist Kim Dickey explores how we construct environments both physically and psychologically while in response to what is natural vs. cultural, interior vs. exterior. The artist’s intensely assembled, glazed terracotta and porcelain works consist of many thousands of unique, yet seemingly uniform elements. Dickey creates reflexive sculptural landscapes that refer to their own construction while beguiling us toward an elaborate reverie. She is currently a professor at the University of Colorado at Boulder.

Sponsored by the Ceramics Department
March 5, 2015 6:00 pm
“Knoll Lecture In Design Presents Lighting Designer Lindsey Adelman“
Lindsey Adelman

Lindsey Adelman designs and produces lighting in Manhattan. Inspired by structural forms found in nature, as well as the visual tension that results from mixing hand-blown glass with machine-made metal parts, her signature chandeliers have made her one of the most in-demand lighting designers in America. Her work has been exhibited at the Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum, Design Miami, Nilufar Gallery, and BDDW, among others. In recent years, the studio has embraced a philanthropic mission supporting the Robin Hood Foundation to fight poverty in New York City. Adelman credits much of the studio’s current success to this desire to make an impact.

Sponsored by the Knoll Lecture Fund
March 6, 2015 6:00 pm
“Artist’s Talk: Adam Lee Miller“
Adam Lee Miller and Laura Mott

Detroit based artist/musician Adam Lee Miller and Curator of Contemporary Art and Design, Laura Mott, will share their thoughts regarding the themes of the exhibition Theater of the Mind in an informal gallery discussion.  The talk will take place in front of Miller’s painting and drawings in the museum’s main gallery.

March 6, 2015 7:00 pm
“Acts Of Curiosity Exhibition And Performance Series“
Biba Bell and Robert Aiki Aubrey Lowe

A performance by dancer Biba Bell (Detroit) with musician Robert Aiki Aubrey Lowe (New York) as part of The Cranbrook Hall of Wonders exhibition at Cranbrook Art Museum.

March 7, 2015 4:00 pm
“Some Thoughts On Occupy Rail As A Social Sculpture Environment“
Phong Bui

In this lecture, the artist/curator/publisher/editor/writer Phong Bui will offer an overview of the history of the Brooklyn Rail—a monthly journal for which he is the co-founder and publisher—and describe the arc of his own work as an artist and initiator of ongoing activities such as Rail Curatorial Projects and Rail Editions, which are part of Occupy Rail, an endeavor to encourage and support motivated individuals in local cities to create their own Rail publication.

Sponsored by the Painting Department
March 12, 2015 6:00 pm
The J. Robert F. Swanson Lecture at Cranbrook Academy of Art:
“A Genealogy of Modern Architecture“
Kenneth Frampton

Kenneth Frampton trained as an architect at the Architectural Association School of Architecture, London. After practicing for a number of years in the United Kingdom and in Israel, he served as the editor of the British magazine Architectural Design. He is currently the Ware Professor of Architecture at the GSAPP, Columbia University, New York. He is the author of Modern Architecture and the Critical Present (1980), Studies in Tectonic Culture (1995), American Masterworks (1995), Le Corbusier (2001), Labour, Work & Architecture (2005), and an updated fourth edition of Modern Architecture: A Critical History (2007). His lecture will discuss a new book that looks at a series of buildings analyzed in pairs for the differentiated values which are incorporated in their forms.

Sponsored by the J. Robert F. Swanson Lecture Fund
March 24, 2015 6:00 pm
“Looking for Leviathans“
Jaimey Hamilton Faris

Hamilton Faris will focus on a number of art projects in the last two decades that invoke a poetic and beautiful futility in our search for leviathans, phantom continents, and impassible Northwest Passages. What can Aeolian winds and Sargasso seas tell us about the nature of conquest, exploration, or simply, the journey itself? Tracing a general dialectics between the “pacific waters” that lubricate trade and proffer treasures, and the aquatic’s foreboding vastness in such works as Allan Sekula’s Fish Story (1989-1995), Ellen Gallahger’s Watery Ecstatic series, and Harvard’s Sensory Ethnography Lab’s Leviathan (2014), this lecture explores the potential of art to navigate the many still unknown forces of our watery planet.

Hamilton Faris is Associate Professor of Critical Theory and Contemporary Art History at the University of Hawai’i Mānoa, and she is the 2015 Spring Critical Studies Fellow at Cranbrook Academy of Art.

Sponsored by the Critical Studies and Humanities Program
March 28, 2015 2:00 pm
“The First Five : An Alumni Panel On Building A Practice Post-Cranbrook“
Chitra Gopalakrishnan (2D ’09); Haynes Riley (2D ’11), Mike Andrews (Sculpture ’04) and Corrie Baldauf (Fiber ’09)

Leaving Cranbrook can be as intense and transformative as arriving – and most students start thinking about “what’s next” even as they begin their studies at the Academy. It’s a common understanding that the first five years after graduation set the foundation for a lifetime of creative practice. There is no single path for what comes after Cranbrook, and the proof is in the many courses charted by Academy alumni. For this panel, we’ll welcome alumni back to the Academy to talk about their first five years after Cranbrook and how they are building a creative professional life in individual ways. They’ll share what they’re doing now, what steps they took, what they recommend and what mistakes they’ve made.

Sponsored by the Professional Practices Program with support from Cranbrook Academy of Art’s National Advisory Council
March 29, 2015 4:00 pm
“Emily Nachison: Materiality and the Metaphysical“
Emily Nachison

The act of measuring and observing creates meaning: assigning values to specific units and magnitudes enables us to quantify vast distances, establish time, and compare scale. Emily Nachison’s artwork explores measurement as the link between the metaphysical pseudo-sciences of the 17th century, historic mythmaking, and contemporary spirituality. In her talk Nachison will discuss her use of story, symbols, and materiality to mythologize natural phenomena. Within her work, mythology, scientific history, and New-Age idealism become starting points for an investigation into the creation of meaning and the formation of knowledge. Nachison graduated from Cranbrook Academy of Art in 2010. She is currently the Fiber Department Chair and a visiting faculty member at the Oregon College of Art and Craft in Portland, Oregon.

Sponsored by the Fiber Department
April 21, 2015 6:00 pm
“Elliott Earls’ Sabbatical Research: A Practical Handbook for Deeducation in Art and Design“
Elliott Earls

In this presentation, Artist-in-Residence Elliott Earls will discuss the current state of his sabbatical research. Earls’ will discuss what he believes to be the essential components necessary to unlearn those things which make one bad at Art and Design.

April 27, 2015 6:00 pm
“Stacks And Stacks: Pleasure, Embodiment, And ‘The Fan’ In Art Scholarship“
Maria Elena Buszek

In this presentation, Maria Elena Buszek will speak about her current research on the work of contemporary artists whose work exists at the intersection of art and music. Guided in this project by the precedent of music writers such as Lester Bangs, Ellen Willis, and Greil Marcus, Buszek will address their deeply personal, often embodied approach to criticism that claims a kind of kinship with the artists they write about—an approach that art historians disdain. Buszek will analyze and critique this tendency as reflective of the persistent problems with class and pleasure from which the field of art history suffers, and propose the need for a scholarly voice in the field that admits (and risks) collusion with the artists we study.

Sponsored by the Fiber Department and the Warner Lecture Fund
April 28, 2015 6:00 pm
“An Evening with Cindi Strauss“
Cindi Strauss

Cindi Strauss is Assistant Director, Programming, and Curator for Modern and Contemporary Decorative Arts and Design at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston.

Sponsored by the Metals Department