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  • Otis Fine Arts hosts a Visiting Artist lecture series featuring John Houck, a Los Angeles-based artist. Read more about him here.
    Contact: Soo Kim, skim@otis.edu
  • Jesse Benson (b. 1978) is an artist based in Los Angeles. Benson's complex practice is driven by the perversion of roles and representation that characterize his generational moment. In obsessively "skillful" objects like the Bureau Paintings, Catalog Page Paintings, Future Sculptures, and Repaintings, Benson constantly questions the authenticity of the document, the function of style, and the value of both art and artist. Benson is equally committed to a curatorial/organizational practice that openly overlaps and inspires his object production.

  • The Architecture/Landscape/Interiors Department at OTIS College of Art and Design is pleased to announce a lecture by Nick SeierupPrincipal | Design Director of Perkins+Will, Los Angeles, on Thursday, December 3, 2015.


  • Marisa Silver is the author most recently of the New York Times bestselling novel Mary Coin. Her other books include the novels No Direction Home and The God of War (a finalist for a Los Angeles Times Book Prize), as well as two story collections, Babe in Paradise and Alone with You. Her work has appeared in The New Yorker and been included in many anthologies, including The Best American Short Stories and The O. Henry Prize Stories. Silver lives in Los Angeles.

  • Jesse Lerner is a filmmaker based in Los Angeles.  His short films Natives (1991, with Scott Sterling), T.S.H. (2004) and Magnavoz (2006) and the feature-length experimental documentaries Frontierland/Fronterilandia (1995, with Rubén Ortiz-Torres), Ruins (1999) The American Egypt (2001), Atomic Sublime (2010) and The Absent Stone (2013, with Sandra Rozental) have won numerous prizes at film festivals in the United States, Latin America and Japan.

  • Otis faculty member Dana Berman Duff will present a program of short 16mm and digital films in her "Catalogue" series.

  • Performing the Grid is an exhibition that brings together an intergenerational group of artists and cultural producers that utilize the grid as a performative strategy to examine, challenge and position philosophical, political, social, domestic, corporeal, and mythical perspectives. Rosalind Kraus famously wrote that the grid “functions to declare the modernity of modern art” in her 1979 essay, Grids.


Matt Warren '06 MFA

Dec 16, 2013
China trip
Spotlight Category: Alumni
In May 2011, I participated in BASEbeijing, a program es tablished by L.A.-based architects Robert Mangurian and Mary-Ann Ray, to document the changing face of rural China, and provide alternatives and possibilities for new and sustainable environments. The association with BASE provided an opportunity to become part of an authentic, little-seen part of China for eight weeks, where we could build on already-established foundations. A tourist who happened on these rural villages two hours north of the city would likely be met with an air of hostility and intrigue.
With two students from Tulane University, I examined the public spaces in the village in terms of their social routines and interactions. The village resembled a ghost town for much of the day, as it consisted of elderly residents whose children live and work in the city, and grandchildren who board at school during the week. Although this lack of energy added to the tranquil setting, it also reflected its social environment. Residents worked in the fields from dawn until dusk and, with no commu nal spaces in which to mingle after dark, returned to their respective homes. The prospect of entertaining friends and neighbors did not seem to be culturally significant. The idea of isolation was prominent, both in geographical location and social interaction.
During our visits, we observed a solitary pillow that followed the shade, traversing the alleyways and streets to accommodate the seldom-seen residents during intervals of relaxation. Public space grew out of simple necessity and comfort. This pillow, made out of a recycled pair of pants, became an icon and generator of place. Building on their traditions, we imagined that introducing more pillows could help to create a gathering and communal space. We produced 40 pillows from images we had taken, printed them on canvas, and stuffed them with peppercorn seeds and recycled plastic bags. We presented the pillows to the residents on our last trip, along with a slideshow of images and videos of the village, for them to gain insight of their home through our alien eyes. The pillows represented our collaborative time spent in the village as a souvenir, but not in the form of an intrusive construct that would ultimately become unwanted and unused. Some images were specific to particular locations, others were portraits of individuals or transcripts of a conversation. Ultimately, they were offerings of thanks for allowing us to share their village life.
The BASE experience also offered an insight into rapid urban development and an opportunity to be part of the Beijing art scene, through meetings with such well-known artists as Ai Weiwei, Wang Quingsong, and He Yungchang. Our studio was based in Caochangdi, a prominent arts district, and despite the demanding schedule there was time to explore Forbidden Cities and climb Great Walls. My favorite souvenir is my Chinese name that translates, depending on whom you ask, as ‘Space cowboy, riding on the open plain howling at moon.'