Johanna Gosse: Wednesday, March 4th, 11:30-1:00 pm in Lecture Hall 1

Bruce Conner, BOMBHEAD, 1989, Courtesy The Conner Family Trust, San Francisco

Bruce Conner, BOMBHEAD, 1989, Courtesy of The Conner Family Trust, San Francisco

“Bruce Conner’s Atomic Sublime Cinema”

San Francisco-based artist Bruce Conner made his first experimental film, A MOVIE, in 1958, at the height of national anxiety about the atomic threat. Over the following decades, his films continued to address the cultural and political fallout of the Cold War. This talk examines Conner’s filmic output over two and a half decades, from his pioneering works of “found footage” montage, to his participation in psychedelic expanded cinema performance, to his more intimate portraits of female friends and later interest in music video. It argues that these works are expressions of the “atomic sublime,” an aesthetic that captures the paradoxical experience of “terrible beauty” that is generated by witnessing an atomic explosion. By attending closely to the historical and cultural context of Conner’s apocalyptic cinema, this talk proposes a reconsideration of postwar American art’s engagement with the aesthetics of “the sublime.”

Johanna Gosse is an art historian specializing in the postwar American avant-garde, with an emphasis on experimental film and media practices. She earned her PhD in the History of Art from Bryn Mawr College in 2014 with a dissertation on the experimental films of San Francisco-based artist Bruce Conner. Her writing has appeared in journals such as Camera Obscura, MIRAJ: Moving Image Review & Art JournalRadical History ReviewThe Journal of Black Mountain College Studies, various exhibition catalogues, and Abstract Video: The Moving Image in Contemporary Art, an edited collection forthcoming from the University of California Press in 2015. You can read more about past work and current projects at:

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MK Guth: Wednesday, February 18th, 11:30-1:00 pm in Lecture Hall 1

BedSmall shifts in what is familiar amplify human presence and speak to the intricacies of social relations in MK Guth’s work. Her videos depart from everyday scenarios into the site of fiction as an entry point to more complicated issues of identity and self and her sculptural installations often act as visual containers for audience interaction.

M.K. Guth is a visual artist working in video, photography, sculpture, performance, and interactive based exchange projects. In 2012, Marylhurst University released the first Monograph on Guth’s work. The NY Times, Flash Art, ArtForum on line 500 words, Art News, Art in America, and Sculpture magazine are just a few of the periodicals where Guth’s work has been discussed. She is a recipient of a Bonnie Bronson Award, a Betty Bowen Special Recognition Award through the Seattle Art Museum and an Award of Merit from the Bellevue Art Museum.

She has exhibited with numerous galleries and institutions including, The Whitney Museum of American Art, NYC, Boise Art Museum, The Melbourne International Arts Festival, Australia, Nottdance Festival, Nottingham, England, Swiss Institute, NYC, Gallery-Pfeister, Copenhagen, Franklin Parrasch Gallery NYC, Betty Moody Houston TX, White Columns, NYC, The Art Production Fund (NYC / Las Vegas), Yerba Buena, in San Francisco and the Henry Art Museum.  Guth is a member and the originator of RED SHOE DELIVERY SERVICE, a collaborative interactive video/performance project.  (with Molly Dilworth and Cris Moss)  MK Guth is represented by the Elizabeth Leach Gallery in Portland Oregon and is an Associate Professor at the Pacific Northwest College of Art.


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Allison Cobb: Wednesday, February 11th, 11:30-1:00 pm in Lecture Hall 1

Allison CobbAllison Cobb is the author of Born2 (Chax Press) about her hometown of Los Alamos, New Mexico, and Green-Wood (Factory School) about a nineteenth-century cemetery in Brooklyn, New York. The New York Times called Green-Wood “a gorgeous, subtle, idiosyncratic gem.”

Cobb’s work combines history, nonfiction narrative and poetry to address issues of landscape, politics, and ecology. She is a 2015 Djerassi Resident Artist; a 2014 Playa Resident Artist; she received a 2011 Individual Artist Fellowship award from the Oregon Arts Commission; and she was a 2009 New York Foundation for the Arts Fellow. She works for the Environmental Defense Fund. She lives in Portland, Oregon.

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Thierry du Duve: Wednesday, February 4th , 11:30-1:00 pm in Lecture Hall 1

Thierry de DuveHistorian and philosopher of art,Thierry de Duve, is Professor emeritus from the University of Lille 3, and was Kirk Varnedoe Visiting Professor at the Institute of Fine Arts, New York University, for the fall semester of 2013. His English publications include Pictorial Nominalism (1991), Kant after Duchamp (1996), Clement Greenberg Between the Lines (1996, 2010), Look—100 Years of Contemporary Art (2001), and Sewn In the Sweatshops of Marx: Beuys, Warhol, Klein, Duchamp (2012). He is presently finishing a book of essays on aesthetics, forthcoming from the University of Chicago Press.

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Amaranth Borsuk and Andy Fitch: Wednesday, January 21st, 11:30-1:00 pm in Lecture Hall 1

Amaranth & AndyAmaranth Borsuk is the author of Handiwork (Slope Editions, 2012), and, with Brad Bouse, Between Page and Screen (Siglio Press, 2012). Abra, a collaboration with Kate Durbin forthcoming from 1913 Press, recently received an NEA-sponsored Expanded Artists’ Books grant from the Center for Book and Paper Arts at Columbia College Chicago and will be issued in 2014 as an artist’s book and iPad app created by Ian Hatcher. Her collaborative digital projects include an erasure bookmarklet, The Deletionist, with Nick Montfort and Jesper Juul, and Whispering Galleries, a site-specific LeapMotion erasure work for the city of New Haven. Another collection of poems is forthcoming from Kore Press. Amaranth is an Assistant Professor of Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences at the University of Washington, Bothell, where she also teaches in the MFA in Creative Writing and Poetics.

Andy Fitch’s most recent books are Sixty Morning Talks and (with Amaranth Borsuk) As We Know. Ugly Duckling soon will release his Sixty Morning Walks and Sixty Morning Wlaks. He recently published a critical book, Pop Poetics: Reframing Joe Brainard, with Dalkey Archive Press. With Cristiana Baik, he is currently assembling the Letter Machine Book of Interviews. He has a collaborative book forthcoming from 1913 Press. He is a founder of The Conversant and currently edits Essay Press. He teaches in the University of Wyoming’s MFA program.

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Alex Swiftwater McCarty: Wednesday, January 14th, 11:30-1:00 pm in Lecture Hall 1

Alex McCarty working

Makah artist, Alex McCarty, is the great-grandson of Hishka, who was chief of the Waatch village, one of the five villages in Neah Bay, Washington.  Alex is a carver, painter, printmaker and teacher.   Alex earned his Bachelor in Visual Arts and Social Studies from The Evergreen State College in 2000.  In 2002, he obtained his Master in Teaching degree from The Evergreen State College.  Following his Masters, he was the Art/Carving Teacher at Chief Leschi Schools in Puyallup, Washington for several years.

Alex is currently teaching woodcarving in a full year program at Evergreen titled “Studio Projects: Tradition and Innovation.”  His work is being showcased in the library; his carvings and prints, and other traditional style art pieces can be found in display cases within the library.  Photographs of McCarty and his students by Briana Martini can be found on the staircase leading up to the 3rd floor of the library.
Alex is a young carver with great respect for older carving traditions.  His interest in Makah carving traditions and culture was triggered in high school, when he was asked to work on a diorama of the Ozette Village for the Makah Museum.  Working on the project over a nine-month period, Alex had a chance to look deeply into the past.  Part of his preparation for making the miniature model was to visit the landforms at the site, and to become familiar with the collection of artifacts housed at the museum.  It was Alex’s job to understand everything he could about everyday life at the village, and this helped to create his passion for history.
Through carving, Alex seeks to preserve cultural traditions that he can trace back through time. By observing the pieces from Ozette, as well as other classic West Coast carvings, he discerns “prevalent form-lines,” which characterize the Makah tradition.  He works hard at understanding the essence of his heritage, and sees his own work as a preservation and interpretation of this older style.  Alex is driven to understand the past in his quest to develop his carving.  He observes that “you need to ‘get’ something before you can preserve it.”
Throughout his work, Alex strives to incorporate flowing, bold-line designs that he feels are so characteristic of classic West Coast artwork. It is important to him that his work is done well, and that his designs work from different perspectives. As a teacher, he makes the analogy that we need “to see things through multiple perspectives-the way that other people see things” in order to gain a deeper understanding of the world.
While Alex’s work is in demand, often commissioned by galleries or individual collectors, he sees his work as providing more in his life than just income.  He values teaching and learning from other artists, and advises people to seek out learning opportunities such as the one he had at Ozette, which he sees as an under-utilized resource.  Perhaps his approach to his carving tradition can be summarized in this way: “learn it with care, preserve it with beauty, and pass it on.”


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Welcome to the The Evergreen State College Art Lecture Series, winter quarter 2015

The series takes place in Lecture Hall 1 at the Evergreen State College in Olympia, WA, on 4-6 Wednesdays per quarter, from 11:30-1:00 pm. Free to the public, Evergreen’s visual and literary arts programs offer an opportunity to hear local, national and international interdisciplinary artists, writers and art workers speak about their work.

Week 2, Janurary 14 Alexander McCarty, visual art

Week 3, January 21  Amaranth Borsuk and Andy Fitch, writing

Week 5, February 4  Thierry de Duve, Evans Scholar, art historian and theorist

Week 6, February 11 Allison Cobb, writing

Week 7, February 18 MK Guth, visual art

Week 9,  March 4 Johanna Gosse, art history, media studies

The Art Lecture Series is facilitated by Shaw Osha,
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Petition  to place The Evergreen Gallery back onto The Evergreen State College’s state operating budget. Please let the college know how important the gallery is to our curriculum and what it can offer to the intellectual and cultural life on campus and to the rest of Olympia.

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Ben Russell: Wednesday, November 19th, 11:30-1:00pm in Lecture Hall 1

Ben Russell pic

 Ben Russell is a media artist and curator whose films, installations, and performances foster a deep engagement with the history and semiotics of the moving image. Formal investigations of the historical and conceptual relationships between early cinema, documentary practices, and structuralist filmmaking result in immersive experiences concerned at once with ritual, communal spectatorship and the pursuit of a “psychedelic ethnography.”


A 2008 Guggenheim Fellowship and 2010 FIPRESCI award recipient, Ben has had solo screenings and exhibitions at the Centre Georges Pompidou, the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, the Rotterdam Film Festival, the Wexner Center for the Arts, the Viennale, and the Museum of Modern Art.  He began the Magic Lantern screening series in Providence, Rhode Island, was co-director of the artist-run space BEN RUSSELL in Chicago, IL, has toured worldwide with film/ video/ performance programs and was named by Cinemascope in 2012 as one of the “50 Best Filmmakers Under 50.”  Ben lives between Los Angeles and Paris, France.

Ben’s most recent, co-directed feature – A SPELL TO WARD OFF THE DARKNESS - is screening on Friday, November 14th at the Olympia Film Festival in downtown Olympia, at 4:45 pm.

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imagesGretchen Bennett: Wednesday, November 5th, 11:30-1:00 pm in Lecture Hall 1

Gretchen Frances Bennett was selected to receive a Special Recognition Award for Betty Bowen. 2014. Also in 2014, she completed postgraduate studies with the Vermont College of Fine Arts, Montpelier, Vermont. In 2012, her work was included in exhibitions at Ditch Projects, Springfield, Oregon and The Hedreen Gallery, Seattle University. In 2011, she developed a temporary work for the Seattle Art Museum Olympic Sculpture Park, presented a solo show at Vignettes, Seattle, and her work was featured in the exhibition Heel Gezellig, Grimm Gallery, Amsterdam. She was awarded a residency with The Corporation of Yaddo in 2011. In 2010, she won a Lower Manhattan Cultural Council residency on Governors Island, New York, and a studio residency with The Association of Icelandic Visual Artists, Reykjavik, Iceland. Her work was included in the 2010 Seattle Art Museum exhibition, Kurt. She helped found the arts collective, Seattle Catalog LLC (Sea-Cat). She teaches at Seattle University.

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