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10 Questions: What is Knowledge?

A detail of Roberto Chavez's "The Path to Knowledge and the False University," 1974. This features a figure Chavez called "Our Mother."| UCLA Chicano Studies Research Center Murales Rebeldes
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"10 Questions" is a collaboration with UCLA and is an interdisciplinary course/public event series featuring conversations with leading scholars that provides both students and the public a special opportunity to experience the conversations that drive innovation at the university. 

Every Tuesday for ten weeks UCLA faculty members from disciplines as diverse as dance, medicine, photography, astrophysics, athletics, Chicana and Chicano studies, law, philosophy and religious studies will join UCLA Arts Dean Brett Steele to explore a fundamental question such as: What is space? What is failure? and What is freedom? The goal is to stimulate dialogue and exchange, and to seed a greater understanding of the profoundly interdisciplinary nature of knowledge production in the 21st century. We present a discussion primer for each week's session to get the conversation started.

Art&Arc100: 10 Questions sessions will be held on Tuesdays through December 4 from 6:30-8:30 p.m. in the Glorya Kaufman Hall theater (room 200). Free and open to the public (RSVP required). Pay by space parking available on campus adjacent to Kaufman Hall (Structure 4).

This week, Kristy EdmundsVictoria MarksTodd Presner and Marcelo Suárez-Orozco will join Brett Steele, dean of the UCLA School of the Arts & Architecture to explore the question, "What is Knowledge?"

Courtesy of DanceMapLA

Kristy Edmunds, artist, curator, and executive and artistic director of CAP UCLA

Executive and Artistic Director of the Center for the Art of Performance at UCLA

Kristy Edmunds is regarded internationally for her innovation and depth in the presentation of contemporary performing arts. She has also served as the Founding Executive and Artistic Director of the Portland Institute for Contemporary Art in Portland, Oregon (1995–2005); Artistic Director for the Melbourne International Arts Festival (2005–2008); Deputy Dean for the College the School of Performing Arts at the University of Melbourne; and Consulting Artistic Director for the Park Avenue Armory in New York (2009–2012).

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Recommended Reading: Brain Pickings website

Kristy asks that you peruse this site and make it your friend. She has subscribed to this news letter for years. Visit the website.

Recommended Viewing: In Terms of Performance website

In Terms of Performance is a keywords anthology designed to provoke discovery across artistic disciplines. Get introduced, read a conversation between the editors, then jump in: browse by keyword or contributor, or read a feature interview. Visit the website.

Cultural Cartography: Connecting Kinetic Communities with Dance Map LA

The L.A. dance scene of late has felt a fresh momentum. The decade-long accumulation — of new companies, new venues, new academies and institutions, prestige teachers and choreographers — has taken a leap in cumulative power, thanks to the debut of an elegant digital source called Dance Map LA. Read more.

Sandra Mae Frank (on floor), Amelia Hensley, Joseph Haro, Treshelle Edmond. | Photo: Tate Tullier.

Victoria Marks, choreographer

Associate Dean of Academic Affairs and Professor in the Department of World Arts & Cultures/Dance

Victoria Marks, an Alpert Award winner, Guggenheim and Rauschenberg Fellow, and Fulbright Distinguished Scholar, has been practicing knowing and unknowing, making dances for stage and film, for the past 37 years. Her work continues to consider citizenship, as well as the representation of disability. Marks’ creative work migrates between choreo-portraits and action conversations for individuals who don’t identify as dancers, and dances for dancers that fuel her inquiries into movement. Upcoming, Marks and Dan Hurlin re-envision Appalachian Spring.  A recipient of numerous grants, fellowships and awards for her work, Marks has also received the Grand Prix in the Video Danse Festival, the Golden Antenae Award from Bulgaria, the IMZ Award for best screen choreography and the Best of Show in the Dance Film Association’s Dance and the Camera Festival along with director Margaret Williams. In addition to teaching in WACD, Victoria serves as Associate Dean in UCLA’s School of Arts and Architecture, and as the Chair of UCLA’s Disability Studies minor.

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From Time to Time: Heidi Duckler Dance Theatre Engages Audiences Across California

The trailer, initially purchased for the performance of "At the Oasis," paired with Heidi Duckler's near 30-year commitment to the creation and education of site-specific work provided a vast foundation for the Duck Truck Residency Program. A curriculum-based initiative for schools, after school programs, and community centers built for the company's 1961 Oasis Duck Truck, the program focuses on the generation of original choreography — rather than acquiring the codified movement of a specific genre of dance. Read more.

Singing in Sign Language: Deaf West Theatre's 'Spring Awakening'

Featuring a cast of 25 deaf, hard of hearing, and hearing-actors and musicians, the work was performed simultaneously in American Sign Language and spoken English. The L.A. Times' F. Kathleen Foley wrote: "It's hard to enumerate all the ways in which Deaf West's 'Awakening' is so very, very good. The signing in this production does more than simply translate; it ennobles." Read more.

Trisha Brown: Dance in the Museum

In 1970, choreographer Trisha Brown sent a man down the side of a building. Suspended from a single cable, he descended, not sprawled like Spiderman, but straight and fully perpendicular to the building's façade. The piece challenged our assumptions about the body's relationship to the city (and for that matter, gravity), but it was also a dance.​ Read more.


Todd Presner, digital humanist and cultural critic

Associate Dean of Digital Innovation; Adviser to the Vice Chancellor of Research for Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences; Chair of the UCLA Digital Humanities Program; Ross Professor in the Department of Germanic Languages; and Professor of Comparative Literature

Todd Presner's research focuses on European intellectual history, the history of media, visual culture, digital humanities, and cultural geography. He is the author or co-author of five books on the topics of urban and digital humanities and Jewish and European history. From 2005-2015, Presner was director of HyperCities, a collaborative, digital mapping platform that explores the layered histories of city spaces. Presner is the project director for “Mapping Jewish Los Angeles,” a digital anthology of 12 interactive exhibitions focused on the history of Jewish L.A., told through archival collections, mapping and data visualizations.

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Why Designers Practice Social Innovation

When we attempt to answer any why? question, we embark on an effort to explain emergent phenomena that we may not yet be able to confidently name. That process of elucidation — one that is often iterative and generative — is important because it represents an opportunity of approximation to new knowledge: the ability to grasp patterns with new clarity, find causal relationships of substance, and discover underlying dynamics that may account for practical and consequential problems we had been previously confronted with. In other words, these are the beginnings of good theory generation: one that starts with inquiry in the real world and seeks to explain something meaningful about it. Read more.

Jewish Life in Los Angeles as Told through Delis

Delis are an indelible part of Jewish life and culture. On plate after plate and celebration after celebration, the story of the Jewish community and its impact on the greater population of Los Angeles unfolds. “Deli is fascinating, so are kebabs and hummus today,” says David Myers, professor and Sady and Ludwig Kahn Chair in Jewish history at UCLA’s Luskin Center, “The way in which this tradition of culinary innovation reflects the arrival of different immigrant groups over the years, over the generations.” Read more.

The Mojave Project: Rockhounding 101

David Eyre prides himself as an agate licker — a.k.a. rockhound. A 40-something looking dude with a serious rockabilly pompadour, Eyre is a gem and mineral collector/distributor, third generation Boronite, community good deed doer, and hot-rod enthusiast who drives a different classic car or bike every day of the week. Read more.

Marcelo Suárez-Orozco, psychological anthropologist 

Dean and Professor of Education at the UCLA Graduate School of Education and Information Studies

Marcelo M. Suárez-Orozco previously taught globalization and Education at New York University and human development and psychology at Harvard University. As a fellow at Princeton University, Suárez-Orozco worked on issues of education, globalization, and immigration. He is currently co-director of the Harvard Immigration Projects and Immigration Studies at NYU. He blogs for The Huffington Post and has written several books, including Transformations: Immigration, Family Life, and Achievement Motivation Among Latino Adolescents and Writing Immigration: Scholars and Journalists in Dialogue. Arts at the University of Melbourne;and Consulting Artistic Director for the Park Avenue Armory in New York (2009–2012). His areas of expertise include immigration, immigration reform, education, culture, psychology, anthropology, migration, globalization and Latinos in the United States.

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Recommended Reading: Like it or not, immigrant children are our future (The Washington Post)

If the 20th century was the century of mass migrations, the 21st century will be the century of the children of immigrants. The reality is that the children of immigrants are the only sector of the population in nearly all high-income countries that is growing, and we must seek to integrate them. After all, when these children successfully integrate in the United States, they gravitate toward American cultural norms, fully embrace the English language, and improve the education levels, occupational distribution and incomes of their immigrant communities. Read more.

Recommended Viewing: Re-imagining Migration

We live in an era of mass migration. Young people — whether they are part of an arriving or receiving culture — strive to form their identities as learners, community members and change-makers in the context of this global phenomenon. We are catalyzing a community of educational leaders and social organizations around making migration a part of their curriculum and culture so that all students can feel supported in their social, emotional, academic, and civic growth. Read more.

Donald Trump's Latino Problem: Oranges, Immigration, and Labor in Southern California

When Donald Trump bellowed his now famous screed against Mexican immigration, accusing migrants of crime, disease, and more or less undermining America, howls could be heard across the nation in response to what many saw as racist, cynical, demagoguery. For California and Los Angeles, his comments hit home particularly hard. Read more.

Top Image: A detail of "The Path to Knowledge and the False University" by Roberto Chavez, 1974 | UCLA Chicano Studies Research Center Murales Rebeldes

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