Symposium Focuses on Social Action in Visual Culture

Posted: March 26, 2008 at 1:00 am, Last Updated: November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

symposium poster image

The Fifth Annual Visual Cultures Symposium, “Intended to Provoke: Social Action in Visual Culture[s],” will be held Thursday, March 27, in the Johnson Center Cinema on the Fairfax Campus. The symposium, which is free and open to the public, will be held from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

The symposium is an interdisciplinary, multimedia inquiry into the use of art as a form of social action and features speakers from Mason and across the country — artists as well as academics — and a dance performance.

A juried student show, “Provocations: The Art of Social Action,” will run in conjunction with the symposium through Friday, March 28, in the Johnson Center Gallery 123. Mason students as well as students from around the region are participating.

Symposium sponsors include University Life; the university’s programs in Women and Gender Studies and Cultural Studies; the Honors Program in General Education; New Century College of the College of Humanities and Social Sciences; and the Departments of Art and Visual Technology, History and Art History, and Sociology and Anthropology.

Symposium organizers are all doctoral students in Mason’s Cultural Studies Program: Lynne M. Constantine, associate chair of the Department of Art and Visual Technology; Ellen Gorman, an instructor at Mason, the Corcoran College of Art and Design and Georgetown University; and Tracy McLoone, an instructor in Women and Gender Studies and Honors Program in General Education, and New Century College.

Symposium Agenda

Morning Session

9 a.m., Welcome and Opening Remarks

Lynne Constantine, associate chair, Art and Visual Technology, George Mason University

9:30 a.m., Panel: “Dissemination”

Moderator: Karen Misencik, director, experiential learning, New Century College, George Mason University

Athena Robles and Anna Stein, artists, Double A Projects

“Counter Culture/Pro-Public: Artists on Art in the Community (New York and Washington, D.C.)”

Adam Wolpa, assistant professor, Art and Art History, Calvin College

“Saty agraha: Making Injustice Visible in Visual Culture”

Randall Kent Cohn, PhD student, Cultural Studies, George Mason University

“The Politics and Pedagogy of Design History”

F. Lennox Campello, artist and art critic, Mid Atlantic Daily Art Blog

“Visual Arts Blogs and the Impact on Subversive Art”

11:15 a.m., Panel: “Intervention”

Moderator: Katy Razzano, PhD candidate, Cultural Studies, George Mason University

Robert Ladislas Derr, assistant professor of photography/photography area coordinator, Ohio State University

“Chance: Psychogeographic Walk Performances”

Robert Namaste, visiting lecturer, Department of Art and Art History, University of New Mexico

“Creative Visual Practice in Third-Party Nonviolent Intervention”

Micki McCoy, master of arts student, Department of Art History, University of California, Davis

“Discord in the Image of the Artist: He Chengyao and the Performing Body”

Afternoon Session

12:30 p.m., Juror Talk: “Provocations: The Art of Social Action”

Mark Cooley, assistant professor, Art and Visual Technology, George Mason University

1 p.m., Panel: “Protest”

Moderator: Suzanne Scott, associate professor, New Century College, George Mason University

Andrew Johnson, associate professor of art, School of Art, Carnegie Mellon University

“On Representation: Recent Projects”

Michele Greet, assistant professor of art history, George Mason University

“Images of Anguish: Social Protest in Recent Ecuadorian Art”

Toby Campbell, rock star/graduate student, Department of Communications, University of Washington

“Culture Jamming as Media Literacy: Decoding Advertisements”

2:15 p.m., Panel: “Alteration”

Moderator: Susan Miller, program coordinator, Women and Gender Studies, George Mason University

Jessica Clements, MFA candidate, Art and Visual Technology, George Mason University

“Seeing Birth: What Happens When Visual Taboos Are Challenged?”

Susanne Slavick, Andrew W. Mellon Professor of Art, School of Art, Carnegie Mellon University

“R&R&R: Remorse, Reveal, Restore”

Ayodamola Okunseinde, creative director, Dissident Display Studios and Gallery

“Variance and Fugitive: Projects Exploring Ascription of False Identity via Electronic Systems”

3:30 p.m., Dance Performance

“Movement Poetry Project”

Choreographer: Adriane Fang, assistant professor, Dance, George Mason University

Dancers: Andrea Jones and Amber Hill

3:55 p.m., Thanks and Closing Remarks

Lynne Constantine

4 p.m., Reception immediately follows the symposium

Johnson Center Gallery 123

For more information, contact Constantine at 703-993-4554 or

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