How can the arts help bring about social and political change?
That's the central question for artists and activists who will convene at CalArts later this week for the Arts in the One World Conference (AOW) (Jan. 27-29)—an annual interdisciplinary gathering hosted by CalArts' School of Theater, in collaboration with the entire Institute.
Now in its sixth edition, AOW invites students, educators, change-makers and creative practitioners to "discuss and present on the ways artistic, political and social purposes intersect" through performances, lectures, conversations, workshops and installations.
This year's guest speakers include: performance artist and cultural theorist Guillermo Gómez-Peña, art-activists the Beehive Collective, Robby Herbst of Llano del Rio Collective, Hirokazu Kosaka, Casa del Tunel (from Tijuana, Mexico), Cornerstone Theater Company and Los Angeles Poverty Department.
The conference also serves as the local anchor of an ongoing artistic exchange CalArts conducts with the Interdisciplinary Genocide Studies Center (IGSC) in Rwanda, where each summer a group of students, faculty and professionals travel to Rwanda and Uganda, to study genocide and acts of mass violence, exploring the ways in which art participates in processes of renewal.
Here is a sampling of presentations on the conference program:
Approach and Observation: Hirokazu Kosaka
- Artist, Buddhist priest, "Zen Archer" and artistic director of the Japanese American Cultural & Community Center, Hirokazu Kosaka shares strategies of creative observation that defy disciplinary definition and extend across generations of practice.
Multiple Journeys: the life and work of Gómez-Peña: Guillermo Gómez-Peña
- The presentation invokes text and historical photographs to chronicle the performance art practice of post-Mexican writer, artist and activist Guillermo Gómez-Peña. By tracing his family life as well as his past 30 years in performance, visual and literary forms, the artist discusses his work in context of the larger evolution of the field, as well as of the main political and social events of the times.
Graphics for the Commons: Collaborative Image Making with the Beehive Design Collective (Zeph Fishlyn – Beehive Collective)
- Join the Beehive Collective for a hands-on, collaborative image-making workshop. Attendees will learn how to create giant graphics that weave personal stories into global contexts through first-hand story gathering, systems analysis, visual mapping, ecological metaphors that tell human stories, collaborative design and illustration, editing and synthesis.
Performances during the week include the Chung-Ang University-CalArts theatrical experiment Lear/Layer on Jan. 28 and the Los Angeles Poverty Department's State of Incarceration at Highways Performance Space in Santa Monica on Jan. 29.
Arts in the One World Conference
California Institute of the Arts
Registration for the conference is free and open to the public.
- View the entire conference schedule.
- Register for Thursday, Jan. 27
- Register for Friday, Jan. 28
- Register for Saturday, Jan. 29
- First convened at CalArts in January 2006 by former School of Theater Dean Erik Ehn, AOW at CalArts is linked to its sister Arts in the One World conference at Brown University.