Rutgers–Camden Presents “SkypeOnArt” this Fall

Rutgers–Camden will become the central hub for interactive, online conversations with nationally and internationally renowned artists as it presents the SkypeOnArt lecture series this fall.  These lectures are free, and open to the general public.

Demaray, ElizabethLed by Elizabeth Demaray, an associate professor of fine arts at Rutgers–Camden, this year’s lineup includes discussions on music composition for non-instruments, political painting and “The Victimless Leather Project,” featuring living tissue engineered as an art medium.

“The SkypeOnArt talks give Rutgers–Camden students and the South Jersey community an unparalleled opportunity to speak intimately with some of the world’s most innovative art makers,” says Demaray. “It is yet another instance when Rutgers–Camden is connecting the world to our region.”

According to Demaray, during these interactive sessions, artists who are luminaries in their fields Skype in from other parts of the country and around the globe, share their images or video shorts with the participants, and answer questions. “The great thing about Skype as a medium of communication is that the audience really gets an opportunity to direct the discussion,” she says.

Demaray explains that the idea for SkypeOnArt came to her in the middle of a conceptual art class lecture in 2009. As she recalls, a student had posed a really difficult question about a piece of art by Kenneth Tin Kin Hung. “I thought to myself, ‘Why don’t we just ask him?’” she recalls.

skype3Oron Catts (Australia) will be the first artist to Skype in on Monday, Sept. 30, from 12:15 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. in room 100 in the Fine Arts Building. Catts will discuss his work as part of the Tissue Culture and Art Project. Initiated in 1996, this is an ongoing artistic research and development project utilizing tissue technologies as a medium for artistic expression. According to Catts, tissue engineering holds much promise for improving the quality of human life. However, he notes, tissue engineering for artistic purposes has largely been overlooked. In the last four years, the group has been applying tissue-engineering principles for the purpose of artistic expression. The group has grown tissue sculptures, “semi-living” objects, by culturing cells on artificial scaffolds in bioreactors. Ultimately, the goal of this work is to culture and sustain, for long periods, tissue constructs of varying geometrical complexity and size, and, as a result, creating a new artistic palette. Catts’ work can be seen at tca.uwa.edu.au.

skype2Participants will next chat with Rajkamal Kahlon (Germany) on Monday, Oct. 7, from 12:15 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. in room 109 in the Fine Arts Building. An American of East Asian descent, Kahlon lives in Berlin and is the recipient of the 20013 German National Endowment for the Arts Individual Artist Award. Kahlon makes painful, poignant paintings that trace the history of post-colonial immigration and genocide.

Regarding her own work, Kaholon states, “my interdisciplinary practice centers on the social history of painting and drawing. While maintaining a commitment to the disciplines of painting and drawing, my work enacts a careful interrogation of the boundaries and the assumptions which form them. This interrogation is made along the fault lines of colonial histories, pre- and post-independence, and the globalized present. My work, approaching the mediums of painting and drawing from a conceptual and material standpoint, often confronts the viewer with the implication of their own body in the production of meaning.” Kahlon’s work can be viewed at rajkamalkahlon.com.

Iskype1n the third and final Skype session, participants will interact with Milos Tomic (Serbia) on Monday, Nov. 4, from 12:15 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. in room 110 in the Fine Arts Building. Tomic was the Serbian representative at the 2013 Venice Biennial, where he received rave reviews for his work in new media and his unique take on creating musical compositions.

In his statement, “If I Practiced Saxophone More I’d Play Better,” Tomic writes, “the more some idea seems impossible and requires more insane patient-touchy-filigreelike manual work to complete, the more I get excited about it. That can’t be good for me. And photography is easy, it is easier after all. I borrowed a digital camera two or three times and took pictures casually – I longed for nice pictures.” Tomic’s work can been seen at milostomic.com.

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