09/28 : Labor, Care, Rest and the Maternal Roots of the Gift Economy | Jessica Caldas
10/05 : Ecologies of Impairment: Farm labor and Disability | Cielo Saucedo
10/12 : Urban Palimpsest, Collaged Spatiality: Mapping the Mecca | Roland Knowlden
10/19 : Monastic Making: Public Grieving and Vernacular Art Environments | Gabriel Chalfin-Piney
10/26 : Cumbia/Truth Teller and Backbone | Esperanza Cortés
11/09 : Video Game Non-Architecture: Digital Spaces and Their Impact | Jalyn Haynes
No session on 11/02. Sessions are virtual, free and open to the public. Closed captioning available. Recordings of Tandas are not posted online.
09/28 – Labor, Care, Rest and the Maternal Roots of the Gift Economy | Jessica Caldas
I am interested in the ways Motherhood reflects the toxic relationship our culture has with labor and rest and the way motherhood challenges this culture through its inherent reliance on community and gift economies to function. Motherhood (or parenthood for birthing persons who do not identify as women) is a kind of ultimate relationship of reciprocity and one that our society relies on without fail and without recognition. This subject is a specific investigation into a foundation of ideas for new work titled Nesting, within a series I have been creating for some years now called tired bodies.
How does the commodification of motherhood play into other consumer cultural notions of rest and labor, further complicated by gender, identity, and other social forces? What role can motherhood (as both a community building and gift economy) combat toxic relationships to rest and labor in our culture?
10/05 – Ecologies of Impairment: Farm labor and Disability | Cielo Saucedo
I’m interested in the epigenetics of the field- one where dirt becomes breath and toxicity seeps into orange trees. Industrial farming and exploitative labor policies are implicit in cycles of impairment. By manufacturing generations of harmed people, farm labor reveals the connective tissues of ecological violence, immigration and disability. Together let’s wonder about the intimacy of pesticides.
Who gets to identify as disabled? Is the category of disabled really useful for racialized and othered folks? How can intergenerational relationships help ensure safety for workers and those who benefit from their labor?
10/12 – Urban Palimpsest, Collaged Spatiality: Mapping the Mecca | Roland Knowlden
The day the foundations of the Mecca were unearthed, I was there with the archeology team in the ground pulling out artifacts from the building. It was also my first time hearing that underneath my architecture school building, S.R. Crown Hall by famous architect Mies Van Der Rohe, was a building that held so much of Bronzeville’s vibrant 20th century culture. Underneath the IIT Campus is a black Bronzeville that gave life to jazz and writing like Gwendolyn Brooks’ “In the Mecca.” How do we summon the spirit of erased, displaced, buried and forgotten spaces like the Mecca now?
I am interested in evoking spaces that are unseen, no longer present. How can abstraction begin to capture notions of the past within the palimpsest of this particular site and its future? I am interested in the use of collage in both art and architectural histories as a tool to render the urban environment. What formal language can be deployed to articulate the overlapping layers of time, material, and spirit?
10/19 – Monastic Making: Public Grieving and Vernacular Art Environments | Gabriel Chalfin-Piney
Vernacular and artist built environments are often constructed by hermetic makers or within isolated religious communities as acts of devotion. Monastic Making explores the ways in which these sites outlive their original constructors, embodying the myth of the monastic artist, while serving as sites of mourning and spiritual communing for individuals and groups alike.
Monastic Making mines the following questions: How do vernacular and artist built environments operate as public sites of religious and spiritual practices? What roles can these environments serve in understanding craft, labor, and hermetic histories? How have spiritual pilgrimages and graveyard social gatherings shifted as the role of religion and mourning shifts?
10/26 – Cumbia/Truth Teller and Backbone | Esperanza Cortés
Cumbia is an amalgam of Colombia that was heavily influenced by the instruments of native tribes, such as the gaita flutes and the guacharacas, African drums and the European Accordion. The cumbia dance originated because when the music itself was born, enslaved Africans and Indigenous people had their legs shackled and very minimal movement was possible. Cumbia has been a unifying and truth telling instrument throughout Latin America. I am interested in unraveling the political and social power it has had in the making of the contemporary societies of Latin America, and exploring the impact it has had on each country and community. I am interested in unraveling the political and social power it has had in the making of the contemporary societies of Latin America, and exploring the impact it has had on each country and community.
11/09 –Video Game Non-Architecture: Digital Spaces and Their Impact | Jalyn Haynes
Oxford Dictionary describes architecture as “the art or practice of designing and constructing buildings”. Its counterpart, “nonarchitecture” is a world of unexplored designs with countless possibilities. This digital space, known as the Metaverse, encompasses augmented reality, virtual reality and any realm in between that satisfies both our connection to the real world and whatever draws us to what isn’t discovered yet. Architecture firms like You+Pea and S&M Architect, Catrina Stewart, are already paving the way for architects that look beyond the buildings and practice harnessing the relationships between space and video games.
That being said, video games and architecture go hand-in-hand. Since gaming is the birthplace of the Metaverse, gaming has driven a revolution in digital experiences by shaping a new relationship between how we respond to space, buildings, neighborhoods, cities, and so on. If the Metaverse is rooted in reality, what does this mean for those who chose to stay offline? Or people of color? Or those with disabilities?
Jessica Caldas is a Puerto Rican American, Florida and Georgia based, artist, advocate, and activist. Caldas has participated in numerous artist residencies, including the Vermont Studio Center in 2020, and the Art on the Atlanta Beltline Artist Residency in 2020-2021. She is currently a 2022-2023 MOCA GA Working Artist Prize Recipient.
Cielo Saucedo is a Los Angeles based disabled artist from a family of migrant farm workers. They argue a radical acceptance of our current climate crisis through disabled perspectives. They received their BFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and are an MFA candidate at UCLA. They have shown work in Chicago, Quito, New York, London and Los Angeles.
Roland Knowlden is a Liberian American interdisciplinary artist and architectural designer from New Jersey, currently based in Chicago, IL. Knowlden’s architectural background has cultivated his ongoing interest in constructed landscapes, city planning, and the cultural and social implications of racialized spatial mapping. Working across painting and drawing, Knowlden’s approach to abstract and experimental mapping articulates a visual language which makes visible the tensions wrought by erasure, displacement, and palimpsest.
Gabriel Chalfin-Piney Gabriel Chalfin-Piney is a performance artist and organizer, with a background in cohort creation and public programming. They are interested in making by way of olfactory, gustatory, and tactile experiments, prompting audience members to participate as co-creators. Co-creation, co-learning, co-authorship, and failure are central to the projects that they participate in. Gabriel holds an MA in Arts Administration and Policy from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. They are the founder of Care-Full Histories, an Oral History Archiving, Food + Performance Residency.
I am a Colombian born multidisciplinary artist based in NYC. My passion for the mosaic of the Americas, its folk art traditions, rituals, music, and dance, are at the core of my practice. My work is poetically and intricately crafted to encourage the viewer to reconsider social and historical narratives, and raises critical questions about the politics of erasure and exclusion.
Cortés, a recipient of the Guggenheim Fellowship and Joan Mitchell Foundation Sculptors & Painters Grant, has exhibited in the United States, Latin America, Europe and Asia. Residencies at McColl Center, MAD Museum, Joan Mitchell Center and Fountainhead have ignited her practice.
Jalyn Haynes is a rising senior at Clemson University where they major in architecture and minor in global black studies. She focuses on the relationship between individuals and how they can manipulate architecture; particularly when it comes to movable or manipulated facades. They became interested in architecture and video game technology due to a competition I participated in during the summer. Jalyn is also the host of a student podcast that supports black women in architecture called “Black Girls and a Scale ” and an independent podcast, called “Social Studio Club”, that celebrates studio culture for art and architecture students. She is also the co-creator and co-illustrator of a web-comic, Devil-May-Cry. In her free time, Jalyn likes to read, write poetry and listen to music.
Eva Mayhabal Davis, curator and cultural advocate, will co-facilitate the Fall ’22 season. Eva participated in the Fall ’20 season with the topic: Collaboration and Cooperative Protocols.
Eva Mayhabal Davis (b. Toluca, Mexico) is a curator and cultural advocate, working directly with artists and creatives in the production of exhibitions, texts, and events. Recently the co-curator of ‘Bronx Calling: The Bronx 5th Biennial’ at The Bronx Museum of Arts and a co-director at Transmitter, a collaborative curatorial initiative in Brooklyn, NY. She has curated exhibitions at BronxArtSpace, the Queens Museum, Smack Mellon, NARS Foundation, MECA Puerto Rico, and TSA New York/Chicago. Her writing has been featured in exhibition catalogs and publications such as the NYU Hemispheric Institute’s Cuadernos, Nueva Luz: Photographic Journal, and recently, Swap Meet with Temblores Publications.
In 2018, she participated in the Art & Law Program Fellowship, and in 2019 she was a Leadership Advocacy Fellow for the National Association for Latinos in Art and Culture. She is a founding member of El Salón, a meetup for cultural producers based in NYC. Her personal narrative drives her advocacy for equity and social justice values through the arts and culture.