Upcoming Event: Thinking Through the Arts and Design at Berkeley: California Countercultures

Wednesday, January 25 at noon
Beat Notes: From the Rat Bastards to the Mission School with Natasha Boas
BAMPFA Theatre, 2155 Center Street, Berkeley

This opening lecture offers background to this year’s Big Ideas lectures by exploring the modernist avant-gardes that influenced the artistic and political language of California countercultures in the “long 1960s.” Looking closely at earlier twentieth-century movements such as Dada, Surrealism, Lettrism, and Situationism, Boas will discuss how artistic manifestos and practices such as collage, assemblage, détournement, and bricolage cast art and aesthetics as the primary discourse for radical social change and political engagement. We will consider how these older artistic “isms” directly influenced the Beats, hippies, Yippies, punks, and Machine artists, leaving their mark on the art, language, spaces, environments, and ecologies of the Bay Area.

To learn more, please see here.

Upcoming Event: Arts + Design Mondays @ BAMFPA

Monday, January 30 at 6:30pm
Gender, Identity, Memoir | Judith Butler and Maggie Nelson in Conversation
BAMPFA Theatre, 2155 Center Street, Berkeley

This event is part of The Future of Cultural Criticism, a series featuring some of the most innovative and incisive commentators on culture, with a focus on the expansion of cultural criticism into new media, genres, and approaches.

To learn more, please see here.


Now Online: In Terms of Performance, a keywords anthology for contemporary cultural practice


In Terms of Performance is a keywords anthology designed to provoke discovery and generate shared literacies across disciplines. It features essays and interviews from more than 50 prominent artists, curators, presenters, and scholars who reflect on common yet contested terms in contemporary cultural practice. The publication is produced by The Pew Center for Arts & Heritage, Philadelphia and the Arts Research Center and is co-edited by Shannon Jackson, director of the Arts Research Center, and Paula Marincola, executive director of the Pew Center. To read the free publication online, please see here.


Spring 2017: Arts + Design Mondays @ BAMPFA



Join us every Monday evening during the Spring semester to explore cutting-edge thinking and making on topics of current interest to UC Berkeley’s creative faculty. Whether we are exploring new immersive art technologies, the future of cultural criticism, or the role of the arts in social justice, expect an exciting array of ideas and people. All lectures will commence at 6:30pm in the Osher Theater of BAMPFA. Co-curated by the Arts, Technology and Culture Colloquium; The Black Room; the Arts Research Center; Berkeley Center for New Media; the Townsend Center for Humanities; Art Practice Department; Digital Humanities; English; and Art of Writing.  To see the complete series, please see here.


Spring 2017: Thinking Through the Arts + Design at Berkeley



In Spring 2017 we are reprising last year’s Big Ideas course, “Thinking Through the Arts and Design at Berkeley,” and once again, this course will open its doors to the public each Wednesday at noon.  This year’s theme — “California Countercultures” — is co-taught and co-organized by Natasha Boas, independent curator, and critic of contemporary art and theory, and Michael Cohen, Associate Teaching Professor in the African American Studies Department. We will use the “Hippie Modernism: The Struggle for Utopia” exhibition at BAMPFA as springboard to ask: What is a counterculture? What kind of culture does a counterculture counter? Can culture be a space of political opposition? Can culture be revolutionary?  To see the complete series, please see here.