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Talking to Action Panel: Part of the Hammer Museum's ENGAGE MORE NOW! Symposium

Press Contact for Talking to Action: Kathy Macpherson,, 310.665.6909

Press Contact for Otis College of Art and Design: John Axtell,, 310.665.6857

Frente 3 de Fevereiro

Frente 3 de Fevereiro, Arquitetura da Exclusao, 2010. Digital Photograph.

The Ben Maltz Gallery at Otis College of Art and Design, in conjunction with the Otis Graduate Public Practice Program, have organized “Talking to Action: Researching Community-Based Art Practices in Latin America and Los Angeles,” as part of the Hammer Museum’s ENGAGE MORE NOW! Symposium at the Billy Wilder Theater on Saturday, November 7, 2015 from 2-3:30 p.m.

This panel culminates the first phase of Talking to Action, a two-year collaborative research project (2014-2015) part of the Getty led Pacific Standard Time: LA/LA initiative that investigates contemporary community-based art practices in various sites in Latin America and Los Angeles. Lead researcher and curator Bill Kelley, Jr. will moderate the panel with the project’s researchers - María Fernanda Cartagena, David Gutiérrez Castañeda, André Mesquita, Jennifer S. Ponce de León (née Flores Sternad), Lucía Sanromán, and Paulina Varas.

The panel will address the inherent aesthetic, theoretical, and practical challenges of the project, including issues of memory, migration and social justice. The discussion will frame local community-based practices within a larger conversation around theoretical work and research in the Americas.

ENGAGE MORE NOW! presents a unique opportunity to connect the research interests of Talking to Action with the broader conversation of public engagement within and outside of museums and institutions. Hosted by the Hammer, this international conference will examine the methodological and theoretical frameworks of discursive projects (such as social practice, performance, political action, institutional critique, and artistic intervention) and consider the multiple contexts for its display and reception.

Talking to Action will culminate in a large-scale, multi-platform exhibition at Otis’ Ben Maltz Gallery from September - December 2017 that will be accompanied by a range of public programs and a comprehensive bilingual publication. The curators for the project are Bill Kelley, Jr. (Lead Researcher and Curator) and Karen Moss (Co-curator), who are both faculty members in the Otis Graduate Public Practice MFA Program. The collaborative research model of Talking to Action not only positions Los Angeles as one among many sites of investigation within Pacific Standard Time: LA/LA, but also explores the distinct forms, pedagogies, and theoretical legacies that are found in these same contexts.

More about Talking to Action: The collaborative and dialogically-based form of art making in Talking to Action, referred to as “Social Practice” in the U.S., has a deep history both here and abroad. Rather than consider the LA/LA relationship from one side only – the perspective from Los Angeles towards Latin America – Talking to Action attempts to build a direct dialogue with artists and researchers across the hemisphere to discuss issues and art practices in common, as well as investigate artists who freely blur the lines between object making, political and environmental activism, community organizing, and performance. Some of the issues addressed in both existing work and new collaborations include: migration and memory; critical mapping and cartographic practices; environmental issues and policies; gender rights and legislation; indigenous culture and language; and violence and policing tactics.

Pacific Standard Time: LA/LA

Led by the Getty, Pacific Standard Time: LA/LA is a far-reaching and ambitious exploration of Latin American and Latino art in dialogue with Los Angeles taking place across Southern California from September 2017 through January 2018.

Getty PST LA/LA logos


Established in 1918, Otis College of Art and Design offers undergraduate and graduate degrees in a wide variety of visual and applied arts, media, and design. Core programs in liberal arts, business practices, and community-driven projects support the College’s mission to prepare diverse students to enrich our world through their creativity, skill, and vision. As Los Angeles’ first professional art school, visionary alumni and faculty include MacArthur and Guggenheim grant recipients, Oscar awardees, and design stars at Apple, Anthropologie, Pixar, Mattel, and more. The renowned Creative Action program has been recognized by the Carnegie Foundation for Community Engagement, and the Otis Report on the Creative Economy is a powerful advocacy tool for creative industries. The College serves the Greater Los Angeles Area through compelling public programming, as well as year-round Continuing Education courses for all ages. More information is available at