Metabolic Studio Public Salon
Public Practice, Otis College of Art and Design
Friday, September 18, 2009 @ Noon
Free Admission

“Laton, CA: Public Practice in the San Joaquin Valley”

About The Salon

A cohort of nine first year MFA students designed a collaborative project, building on their observations, their skills and community needs as observed over several months. Their final project took place on Saturday, March 21st, in a public video installation highlighting the unique identity of Laton through multiple outdoor projections onto freshly painted buildings.

People of the community and visitors processed along the two block long main street of the small town of 1200 where they encountered music, video projections of life in the community, and opportunities to talk about the future of the region. Inside the local merchants stores, short video documentaries revealed the role of small businesses in the identity of this community. The once-abandoned Methodist Church was recreated as a community space and art studio. During the evening installation it featured a free store to nurture a temporary barter and exchange system, created by Suzanne Lacy and Otis students, and a video installation by Andrea Bowers. Photographer Raul Vega and Videographer Dana Duff also produced work on Laton suitable for this presentation.

The salon will present questions about how art can influence and change a community. After a presentation on their collaborative “Reunion / Reunion” project, students will open the floor to engage a critical dialogue about the work, and its artistic and political pursuits.

About The Salon Presenters

Public Practice is a new MFA program at Otis College of Art and Design. Its focus is on developing projects that ask the question “who and what is art created for?” With community building, and political action in mind, what can art accomplish? Graduate students explore new artistic strategies and practices based on observation, research, social commentary and activism, and visual and performance arts productions in the public realm.

Above: Event postcard
Image courtesy: Public Practice Otis College of Art and Design

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