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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.


Dana Duff: 2007 TLC Technology Grant Report


Fine Arts has offered a course in public presentation for several years entitled "Senior Review" that was organized for the seniors to practice and deliver visiting artist-style lectures on their own work. The course was designed as a compliment and companion for the senior thesis, which all students are required to write during senior year, as a way for the students to present publicly the ideas and insights contained in the document. The "visiting artist's lecture" is a professional practice that most successful artists will need to have some comfort or mastery of in mainstream art and academia. Fine Arts, just as most departments at Otis, has made a formal commitment to training our students in practical, professional skills, and this is certainly one of them.

However, the visiting artist's lecture using slides and projector seems by now teetering on the antique and is a rather limited idea of the public presentation of an artist. Our students will most likely have their first public presentation after their graduation show in the form of a website or web portfolio; they may possibly present a video on You Tube or present the contents of their thesis on Blogger or My Space long before they have a chance to either exhibit in a gallery or video screening, or to give a visiting artist lecture.

I spent the term and the summer researching the tools for the successful realization of online or mobile presentation to demonstrate and guide the students through creation of digital portfolios and websites, as well as began discussion of the styles and methods of public presentation. The main focus of the class was not actually be the how-to instruction these technologies but was more geared to mastering the ways artists can employ these technologies to support and reflect the different styles and structures of their own work in its presentation. I considered it immensely important for the class to consider that there are different “publics,” and to refine their presentations to that awareness.

I adjusted the curriculum of my section of the Senior Review class to address the creation of websites, Wikis, digital portfolios, and whatever were the best means for students to create a mobile carrier for visual and textual material from which they presented their artist’s lecture required for this course. We also a look at Podcasting as a possible artist's lecture format. After completion of all of the student lectures, I conducted the final session of the class in Second Life, where each of the members who hadn't entered before adopted avatars and we met for a virtual artist's presentation.

Heather Cleary gave us a presentation on how to use the digital portfolio space provided by Otis at the first session of the term, and most students chose to use this format. Two students worked with outside designers to develop their own websites, and one student conducted a very competent Power Point presentation of their work.

Each week I spent part of the session discussing my research and assisting students with the development of their own. We started a Wiki for the class to exchange news and information on their projects, and we also made extensive use of the O-Space website to communicate with the class.

I believe these skills will begin to be used in a variety of classes, but most certainly instruction in them fulfills our expectations for both the tech-savvy student and the professional practices component of many of our classes. The results of our class presentations this term are viewable online at the Otis e-portfolio site.

Finally, Felipe Gutierrez and his Academic Computing Department installed Second Life on ten of the computers in the Galef computer lab, and I was able to conduct the last class of the term "virtually," as each of the students adopted an "avatar" and interacted with each other in the virtual environment. In future I hope to be able to hold meetings of this class online and watch students make their presentations in Second Life, as well as in "real life".

During the term I became a member of the New Media Consortium in Second Life and attended the virtual Best Practices in Education Conference in May of 2007. In addition, for the sake of planning for future classes, I took the 33-hour course in Dreamweaver over the summer available through our library at Lynda.com, and developed my own website at www.danaduff.com.

I plan to present a report of my work for the Otis Technology grant specifically as it pertains to our Senior Review course to my colleagues in Fine Arts at the beginning of the Spring 2008 semester.

--Dana Duff
Fine Arts

Student links [some links may no longer work]:

Screenshot curry portfolio

Screenshot of Christine Curry's e-portfolio

Screenshot revell portfolio

Screenshot of Mika Revell's e-portfolio

Screenshot torres portfolio

Screenshot of Minerva Torres's e-portfolio