Past Events: 2018

2018 | 2017 | 2016 | 2015 | 2014 | 2013


ARCH 209/ART 209 Final Review 5/8
2:30pm-6:00pm Wurster Courtyard
Graduates students will be displaying and presenting their studio projects from the Borderwall Urbanism studio





CY PLAN 291/TDPS 266 Final Presentations 5/8
12:00pm-1:30pm Wurster 106
Short presentations by graduate students on their thesis and dissertation research




Final Peformance 4/18
Albany Bulb, Albany, CA
Undergraduate students will be performing a site-specific choreography at the Albany Bulb as their final project in Sitework (Undergraduate Interdisciplinary Research Studio)





Border Projects 4/17
1:30pm-3:00pm Wurster 178
Short talks by graduate students on their recent research+artmaking trips to San Diego/Tijuana and El Paso/Juarez.

Other Borders Roundtable 4/17
3:00pm-5:00pm Wurster 170
Invited guests speak on borders between Ecuador/Peru, Hong Kong/Shenzhen, and refugee camps and host countries.



Film Screening: La Mar El Mar 4/17 
5:30pm-7:30pm Wurster Auditorium

El Mar La Mar (2017, 94 min.) weaves together harrowing oral histories of the Sonoran Desert border region with hand-processed, 16mm images of the flora, fauna, and items left behind by those who’ve made the hazardous trek. Sniadecki and Bonnetta create a mystical, folktale-like atmosphere dense with memories, ghosts and the remains of desire.




Attention students in all departments interested in cities and urban life: the Certificate in Urban Humanities is a way to structure your study of the urban through a 3- course path of study. We offer both Graduate and Undergraduate Certificates. Join the community and gain access to unique travel and fellowship opportunities. Come to an info session to learn more.
Tuesday, April 10 - Undergraduate at 10am and Graduate at 11am
Wednesday, April 11 - Undergraduate and Graduate at 6pm 





The Global Urban Humanities Initiative is pleased to co-sponsor these talks organized by the Urban Design students to encourage dialogues on contemporary topics of social and political relevance in the College of Environmental Design at UC Berkeley. This platform will provide a space for conversations about inequity, violence, alternative methods of design and organization, and the future of our cities by directly engaging with local and global practitioners, advocates, contexts and projects.  The themes for each of the days are - Hostile Urbanism, Community Urbanism, Informal Urbanism, Edible Urbanism and Next Urbanism. All events took place between - 

April 9th to 13th
6:00pm to 8:00pm
4th Floor Studio



MONDAY, 04/09/18 4:00PM – 6:00PM 

Martin Zebracki is a Lecturer/Assistant Professor at the School of Geography, University Leeds, United Kingdom. He has published widely about the intersecting geographies of public art practice, social engagement, (sexual) citizenship, and digital culture. His recent volumes include The Everyday Practice of Public Art: Art, Space, and Social Inclusion (with Cameron Cartiere; Routledge, 2016) and Public Art Encounters: Art, Space and Identity (with Joni M. Palmer; Routledge, 2017).

This invited address will critically attend to some high-profile, contentious cases to tackle the intricate relationships between the digital human, public art, and the city. He will ask the following central, inter-related questions: 

How do people engage with real-life public artworks and what are their re-uses and misuses on the Internet? How do everyday people, media agents and arts professionals co-create public artworks through digital technologies and online spaces and how are conventional producer-user roles reconfigured in so doing? How does user-created content by ‘produsers’ renegotiate the uses and meanings of public artwork beyond the original intents of the artist? What kind of new digital places, urbanities and conditions of ‘objecthood’ and involvement are created for public art beyond traditional urban public spaces, hegemonic historical contexts, and established policy agendas and blueprints? What are the impacts of the digital tweaking of public art for intended publics but also for audiences that are often unintended?

Martin will discuss these questions to advance both theoretical and empirical understandings of the digital politics and geographies of public-art practice along with intersectional identity concerns with class, gender, sexuality, ethnicity, race, age, religion, (dis)ability, and citizenship status. Accordingly, he will revisit cultural place-makings and social claim-makings within the informal peer-to-peer spaces of digital society today. He will close the talk with an ethical note on the real-world consequences of actions and reactions that are indicative of what Olga Goriunova has termed a ‘new media idiocy’. He will thereby ask how the digital mediation and the geometry of digitally networked space can be the giver, or taker, of the social and spatial meaningfulness and inclusiveness of public art practices: Are we facing a new world of (false) digital connectedness and immediacies? More


Monday, March 19 at 2:00 PM - 5:00 PM
Hearst d23

This workshop is presented as part of the Global Urban Humanities course Populism, Art and the City.
No prior Theater experience necessary.
Please dress to move.

Theater of the Oppressed (TO)  is a form of popular education that uses theater as a vehicle for fundamental social transformation. Forged in the crucible of Latin American revolutionary movements, it uses the dynamized human body and the charged theatrical space as laboratories for exploring power, transforming oppression, and finding collective solutions to the fundamental problems of conflict, exploitation, violence, and human suffering. Harnessing the reflexivity of theatrical performance as generative critical methodology, TO charges there are no neutral observers, ideologies, or systems of practice: every spectator is a potential actor, every system potentially oppressive or liberatory; and that collective artistic liberation of our human capacity, dignity, creativity is an imperative for transformation and survival. Presented as part of the GUH course Populism, Art and the City, this course will introduce the techniques of Theatre of the Oppressed, exploring TO-specific approaches to performance and performative ethnography in the contestation of social space and power. These techniques will be shared as practical and essential tools for artistic development, creative expression, and in their application to collective problem-solving, community-building, resistance, resilience, and transformation of structural and systemic violence at this historic moment of backlash and racism.  

Jiwon Chung began social justice work doing popular education with workers under the military dictatorship in South Korea in the 1980's.   Since then, he has worked as a professional performer & director, and is one of the key theorists of Theatre of the Oppressed in North America, Europe, and Asia, integrating somatics, performance, and social action. He is currently the Artistic Director of Kairos Theater Ensemble, Visiting Professor of Art, Media, and Social Justice at Starr King School at the Graduate Theological Union, and past President of the national organization for Theatre of the Oppressed. The focus of his work is in the application of theatre as a tool for social and political change, using Theatre of the Oppressed to challenge, resist, and transform systemic oppression and structural violence and to redress large-scale historical atrocity and injustice. His approach to performance and social change is informed by his background as veteran, martial artist, and four decades of vipassana meditation. Most recently, he has worked with North American health care unions in resisting an assembly-line driven approach to health care delivery; with slum, caste, and indigenous rights activists in India; and with Bay Area organizations on immigrant rights.  More


Saturday , March 17 2:00PM – 4:00PM

Albany Bulb. Free. Register on Eventbrite so we can send you an email about the exact location at the Bulb, which is still being chosen.

Inhibited Bites is an improvisatory, revelatory, darkly-comedic performance work by Goldberg built from a collection of more than a thousand index cards containing notes he has jotted down over many years. Topics range from language idiosyncrasies to social dynamics to cultural conventions. Inhibited Bites is daringly improvisational, as Goldberg draws different cards every time and crafts a narrative linking the notes. Putting his private observations on display, Goldberg invites those who attend the performance to consider their own thoughts in relation to those under discussion. The effect is a work that turns introspection and interiority into tools of connection and communication. The piece is modular and adaptable in its form, context, and duration; at the Albany Bulb the artist will take a two hour excursion through the cards in which visitors invited to drop in and participate in the conversation if they like. More about Inhibited Bites. More

About the Artist - Neil Goldberg makes video, photo, mixed media, and performance work about embodiment, sensing, mortality, and the everyday. His work has been exhibited at venues including The Museum of Modern Art (permanent collection), The New Museum of Contemporary Art, The Museum of the City of New York, The Kitchen, The Hammer Museum, The Pacific Film Archive, NGBK Kunsthalle Berlin, and El Centro de Cultura Contemporània de Barcelona, among others. His work has been produced with fellowships from the John Simon Guggenheim Foundation, the New York State Council on the Arts, the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council, the Experimental Television Center, Harpo Foundation, CEC ArtsLink, Stillpoint Fund, Yaddo, and the MacDowell Colony. In Summer 2018 I will be in residency at the Siena Art Institute in Siena, Italy. He teaches at the Yale School of Art and Parsons, and I am currently a mentor with Queer  | Art  | Mentorship. Previously he has served as resident faculty at the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture and as a visiting artist at Cooper Union, The School of Visual Arts, New York University, the Rhode Island School of Design, the MIT Media Lab, and the UCLA Urban Humanities Institute, among others. 


Friday, March 16, 1:00pm -5:00pm
Wurster 172 

Free.  Eventbrite registration required.  Seats are limited and the workshop is expected to fill up quickly. Signup deadline March 13.
Open to UC Berkeley students and faculty from all departments.

Video technology has become ubiquitous, but it can seem as if the more time we spend looking through the lens of the camera the less, in a certain way, we actually see. This workshop draws on artistic traditions of street photography and walking the city and seeks to unleash video's potential to heighten our experience of our immediate surroundings. Through a series of writing, photographic, and video exercises, participants learn to identify and engage with aspects of everyday experience that might otherwise go overlooked or unnoticed.The class also will also focus attention on the formal properties of video; composition, framing, camera movement; so that participants might harness these more thoughtfully and effectively in their video work. Participants will use their own camera phones, though the principles learned will apply just as well to high-end professional equipment. This workshop is designed for anyone who wants to improve their ability to perceive the everyday life of cities, including artists, performers, architects, city planners, anthropologists, geographers, and others. More

ABOUT THE INSTRUCTOR: Neil Goldberg makes visual art and performance work that focuses on embodiment, sensing, mortality and the everyday. He has shown this work at MoMA (where it's part of the permanent collection), The New Museum, The Museum of the City of New York, The Kitchen, and elsewhere. He is a Guggenheim Fellow and teaches at the Yale School of Art. The NY Times described his work as “tender, moving and sad but also deeply funny," and Time Out New York wrote “Goldberg has produced some of the most quietly intense and affecting art of his generation.”


Tuesday, MARCH 13 5:00pM-7:00pM

Audio recording of Prof. Sassen's talk is available here.

Among the strong patterns of the post-1980s period in “Western” societies is a mix of economic and political vectors marked by extractive logics. We can find such extractive logics in entities as diverse as mining and Facebook. The rise of such extractive logics is partial, but sufficiently powerful to have altered key features of our economies and societies. For instance, when mass consumption is the shaping sector of our economies (until about the 1980s) even the nastiest corporation wanted the sons and daughters to do better than their parents so they would consume more – and supported government initiatives that transferred money to households directly and indirectly. This began to change with the privatizations, deregulations, and the rise of finance/financialization in the 1980s. One way of putting it is to emphasize the extractive character of leading economic sectors. How did Google make its first billion so fast and so unencumbered by all kinds of traditional constraints? It got information about all of us for free and then sold it to businesses.

I want to argue that these are all instances of the rise of extractive logic. I will focus especially on finance and its sharp differences from traditional banking (which was/is basically commerce: it sells something (money) for a price. A second aspect I want to emphasize is the extent to which our major categories of analysis do not help us track the trajectories of that which is expelled. To a large extent these categories were developed at a time when mass consumption was dominant and more and more people and households became part of that mass consumption logic. But since the 1980s this dominance of mass consumption has been weakening and other logics have become dominant. One instance of the latter is the financializing of a rapidly growing range of material and immaterial elements in our political economies. Elsewhere I have developed the notion of expulsions into a category for analysis (Expulsions, Harvard University Press/Belknap).

Saskia Sassen is Robert S. Lynd Professor of Sociology at Columbia University, where she is also a Member of the Committee on Global Thought. Her new book is Expulsions: Brutality and Complexity in the Global Economy (Harvard University Press 2014). Recent books are Territory, Authority, Rights: From Medieval to Global Assemblages ( Princeton University Press 2008), A Sociology of Globalization (W.W.Norton 2007), and the 4th fully updated edition of Cities in a World Economy (Sage 2012). Among older books are The Global City (Princeton University Press 1991/2001), and Guests and Aliens (New Press 1999). Her books are translated into over 20 languages. She is the recipient of diverse awards and mentions, including multiple doctor honoris causa, named lectures, and being selected as one of the top global thinkers on diverse lists. Most recently she was awarded the Principe de Asturias 2013 Prize in the Social Sciences and made a member of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences.

Organized by the Program in Critical Theory and co-sponsored by the UC Berkeley Global Urban Humanities Initiative and the International Consortium of Critical Theory Programs. More



Participants in the Amateurism Across the Arts conference are warmly invited to a 2-mile walking tour of the Albany Bulb, a San Francisco Bay former landfill known as a hotbed of amateur art. The tour will run from 9:30 to 11:30. Separate registration is required on Eventbrite. Attendance is limited to 25 people. 

The walk/hike will cover about 2 miles. The Bulb proper is 31 acres, about the size of Alcatraz Island, and the route includes some short, steep slopes and uneven footing over dirt and gravel paths.
Meet at the bulletin board at the parking lot for the Albany Waterfront Trail, near the large bird sculpture at the parking lot turnaround. Use the address of 1 Buchanan Street, Albany, CA for navigation.
We have timed the tour to allow people who want to attend the Kenneth Rainin Foundation Public Art Practices symposium at 1 pm the same day to have time to get lunch and attend that event.

By Car: The site is a 15-20-minute drive from downtown Berkeley. Take the Buchanan Street exit from I-80/580 or turn west on Buchanan Street from San Pablo Ave. Continue west on Buchanan Street under the freeway to the terminus of Buchanan Street. Allow time to park--if the parking lot is full you can parallel park on Buchanan Street, but only on the north side of the street at spots that are a 7-minute walk from the bulletin board meeting point.

By Bicycle: There are bicycle racks available just west of the parking lot, along the paved path near the beach. The Bulb is accessible by the Bay Trail but north of Gilman Street there is no formal Bay Trail connection to the Bulb. However, you can ride up over Fleming Point through the parking lot for Golden Gate Fields to the Bulb. To avoid sand, you may veer east through the bollards north of Fleming Point and then make a left turn onto Buchanan Street. Alternatively, you can take the Ohlone Greenway to Marin Ave., which turns into Buchanan Street. Along Buchanan Street there is an off-street bike path that continues under the freeway to the Bulb.

Public transit: The site is not readily accessible by public transit. More 

amateurism across the arts conference

Friday March 9, 9:30am-6:15 pm

Saturday March 10, 9:30am-11:00am - Optional tour of informal art at the Albany Bulb landfill 
Note: Separate registration on Eventbrite was required for the tour. Attendance was limited to 25 people

This was an exploration of vernacular, popular, fannish, kitsch, informal, self-taught, user-generated, and DIY productionin music, architecture, literature, the visual arts, dance,  and new media– especially in relation to raced, classed, and gendered notions of value.  How do the implicitly skilled “arts” rupture and reorganize themselves around hierarchies of taste?  And how can critical race and feminist/queer scholarship account for “hobbyist” — that is, extra-institutional, self-organized, or improvised — modes of cultural production and circulation?  If amateurism has been traditionally disavowed in modernist and avant-garde historiographies, it is at the same time persistently—even obsessively—invoked, and is hence inextricably woven into those discourses.

The symposium asks how the “high” and the “low” are porous constructions by looking at the ways that these charged terms have been deployed and dismantled across several artistic disciplines, particularly as we examine the alternative economies and systems of distribution that attend such forms of making. While it has become commonplace for “fine” artists to recruit untrained participants into their practices, it is vital to acknowledge that many non-professional forms of making grow out of necessity and survival. In addition, though “amateur” is frequently used as a shorthand for the unpracticed and/or uninteresting, this conference seeks to understand its connections to its root word amare: a complex outgrowth of critical investment, pleasure, and love.

Amateurism Across the Arts was an event hosted by the Arts Research Center at UC Berkeley, and co-sponsored in part by UC Berkeley’s Division of Arts & Humanities, the Townsend Center for the Humanities, University of California’s Humanities Research Institute, Judith Butler’s Maxine Elliot Endowed Chair Funds, the Global Urban Humanities Initiative, and the Berkeley Center for New Media. Additional support is provided by Departments of History of Art, Spanish and Portuguese, Theater, Dance, and Performance Studies, Critical Theory, and the Center for Race & Gender. More 

Borderwall Urbanism Graduate Research Studio talk by artist Guillermo Galindo

Tuesday, February 27 2:00pm-3:30pm
Kroeber 235

Experimental composer, sonic architect, performance artist and visual media artist Guillermo Galindo redefines the conventional limits between music, the art of music composition and the intersections between all art disciplines, politics, humanitarian issues, spirituality and social awareness. Galindo’s artistic practice emerges from the crossroads between sound, sight and performance and includes everything from orchestral compositions, instrumental works and opera, to sculpture, visual arts, computer interaction, electro-acoustic music, film making, instrument building, three dimensional installation and live improvisation. Galindo’s graphic scores and three dimensional sculptural cybertotemic sonic objects have been shown at major museums and art biennials in America, Europe, Asia and around the world including documenta14 (2017), Pacific Standard Time (2017) and CTM Festival (2017). HIs work has been featured on: BBC Outlook (London), Vice Magazine, (London), RTS Switzerland, National Public Radio (U.S.), CBC (Canada), California Sunday Magazine (U.S), Reforma Newspaper (Mexico) , CNN and the New York Times.

Open to the public. Presented as part of the Global Urban Humanities graduate research studio, Borderwall Urbanism, taught by Assistant Professor Stephanie Syjuco (Art Practice) and Associate Professor Ronald Rael (Architecture). The Global Urban Humanities Initiative studies global cities through the lenses of the arts and humanities and the environmental design disciplines and offers graduate and undergraduate certificates.


Borderwall Urbanism Graduate Research Studio talk by artist Ana Teresa Fernandez

tueSDAY, february 6: 2:00pm-3:30PM
Kroeber Hall, Room 235

For Mexican-born, Bay-area based artist Ana Teresa Fernández, performance is a primary research tool in her complex multimedia practice. Her work often begins as a time-based action or social gesture that explores the politics of intersectionality. Her oeuvre includes community-based projects, public art, sculpture, performance, video, and larger-than-lifeoil paintings that critique cultural assumptions and stereotypes about Latina women and illuminate the psychological and physical barriers that define gender, race, and class in Western society and the global south. Fernández has exhibited at the Denver Art Museum; the Nevada Museum of Art; Humboldt State University, Eureka, California; theTijuana Biennial in Mexico; Snite Museum at Notre Dame University, Indiana; Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, San Francisco, and The Oakland Museum of California
Open to the public. Presented as part of the Global Urban Humanities graduate research studio, Borderwall Urbanism, taught by Assistant Professor Stephanie Syjuco (Art Practice) and Associate Professor Ronald Rael (Architecture). The Global Urban Humanities Initiative studies global cities through the lenses of the arts and humanities and the environmental design disciplines and offers graduate and undergraduate certificates.


Wednesday, January 31: 12-1pm
Geballe Room, 220 Stephens Hall

Light refreshments provided. Feel free to bring your own lunch.
Professor Emeritus of History Richard Cándida Smith illuminates the story of how cultural exchange programs brought many of the 20th century's most important Latin American artists and writers to the US to live and work. The list includes such figures as painter Diego Rivera, filmmaker Alejandro G. Iñárritu, poet Gabriela Mistral, photographer Genevieve Naylor, and novelist Carlos Fuentes. More