Coming up in Spring 2018

BAM Speaker Series: Future Past is a new initiative by Blaffer Art Museum to organize a series of exhibit related, interdisciplinary public programs. The lecture series bring speakers from a wide range of disciplines together to investigate, share, and explore art and contemporary culture relating to the exhibitions on view at the museum galleries. The speaker series will connect an international group of artists, curators and scholars with the community at the University of Houston in order to foster discussion on ideas and discourses related to the exhibitions.

This year, under the rubric Futures Past, the speaker series looks at topics around the imagination of the future emerging from two exhibitions on view at Blaffer Art Museum through Fall and Spring, Sergio Prego: Rose-colored Drift/To the Students (October 28, 2017-January 27), curated by Javier Sánchez Martínez, and The Future is Certain; It’s the Past Which is Unpredictable (February 9-April 1, 2018) curated by Lithuanian independent curator Monika Lipšic with Toby Kamps.

Guest speakers include: Stephen Barber (Kingston University, London), Felicity Scott (Columbia University, New York), Anton Vidokle, Goda Palekaitė (Rather Than Happiness), and Felix Kalmenson.

Stephen Barber is a Professor at Kingston University and a writer on urban culture, experiment in film, and Japanese culture. Barber has been a Professor at Kingston University since 2002, and is currently a Research Professor in the Visual and Material Culture Research Centre, Faculty of Art, Design & Architecture. He has previously worked at such institutions as the California Institute of the Arts, University of Tokyo, Berlin University of the Arts, and Sussex University. He has a PhD from the University of London, and has lived in Tokyo, Paris, Berlin, Los Angeles, Vienna, and London. He has also collaborated with prominent digital artists, photographers and poets, such as Xavier Ribas and Jeremy Reed. Barber has been writing since 1990 and has published twenty books (sixteen nonfiction books and four novels), many of them translated into other languages. He has published a number of books with defunct Creation Books. He is also a frequent contributor to journals, especially 3:AM Magazine, VERTIGO, and Mute. He has received many awards and prizes for his books, from bodies such as the Rockefeller Foundation (Bellagio Program), Ford Foundation, DAAD, Japan Foundation, and Henkel Foundation, He is currently engaged in a research project on the scrapbooks of the moving-image pioneer Eadweard Muybridge, funded by a Leverhulme Trust Fellowship.

Felix Kalmenson is a Russian-born artist, with a practice in installation and video. His work is concerned with the mediation of histories and contemporary narratives by political, institutional and corporate bodies examining how innovations in the field of communication and technology serve to redefine publicness, sovereignty, and power. Kalmenson has exhibited internationally including ACAC (Aomori, Japan), Success (Perth), Museum Abteiberg (Germany), Minsheng Art Museum (Shanghai), AGO (Toronto), and more. Recent residencies include Rupert (Vilnius), National Center for Contemporary Art (St. Petersburg), and SPACES (Cleveland). He is also a part of the collective ADL whose solo show Land Also Moves opens at the Si Shang Art Museum, Beijing in March 2017.

Goda Palekaitė is a visual and theatre artist working across the fields of scenography, costume design, drawing, writing, and directing. She is also an anthropologist conducting fieldworks on theatre, perception of space, and contemporary art. Palekaitė is currently based in her hometown Vilnius, Lithuania. She is a founding member with Aaron Kahn of Rather Than Happiness, an artistic collaboration at the intersection of theatre, space, and
politics. Palekaitė is an accomplished polymath with achievements in visual art, scenography, anthropology, writing, and research while Kahn brings decades of experience from his pursuit of experimental, physical, and political theatre.

Felicity D. Scott is Associate Professor of Architecture, Director of the Ph.D. program in Architecture (History and Theory), and Co-director of the Critical, Curatorial and Conceptual Practices in Architecture (CCCP) program at Columbia GSAPP. Her work as an architectural historian and theorist focuses on articulating genealogies of political and theoretical engagement with questions of technological and geopolitical transformation within modern and contemporary architecture, as well as within the discourses and institutions that have shaped and defined the discipline, sometimes evidently, sometimes less so. In addition to publishing numerous articles in journals, magazines, and edited anthologies, she has published Architecture or Techno-Utopia: Politics After Modernism (MIT Press, 2007) and Living Archive 7: Ant Farm (ACTAR, 2008). She received her Ph.D. from Princeton University in 2001, and an M.AUD from Harvard University in 1994. Scott is the recipient of many awards, including the German Transatlantic Berlin Prize from the American Academy in Berlin (2013), a Graham Foundation for Advanced Studies in the Fine Arts Grant (2011), a New York State Council on the Arts Independent Project Award (2010), a Clark Fellowship (2008), an Arts Writers Grant from Creative Capital/Warhol Foundation (2007), a J. Paul Getty Postdoctoral Fellowship (2002-2003), and a Henry Luce/ACLS Doctoral Dissertation Fellowship in American Art (1998-1999).

Anton Vidokle is an artist who was born in Moscow and raised in the Lower East Side, New York City. With Julieta Aranda, he organized e-flux video rental, which traveled to numerous institutions across Europe and the United States. As Founding Director of e-flux, he has produced projects such as Next Documenta Should Be Curated By An Artist, Do it, Utopia Station poster project, and organized An Image Bank for Everyday Revolutionary Life, and Martha Rosler Library. Vidokle initiated research into education as site for artistic practice as co-curator for Manifesta 6, which was canceled. In response to the cancellation, Vidokle set up an independent project in Berlin called Unitednationsplaza, a twelve-month project involving more than a hundred artists, writers, philosophers, and diverse audiences. From 2008-09, the New Museum in New York commissioned Vidokle to organize Night School, a critically acclaimed year-long program of monthly seminars and workshops that used the museum as a site to shape a critically engaged public through art discourse.