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10 Questions: What is Time?

The geologic time spiral — A path to the past (ver. 1.1), 2008 | United States Geological Survey
The geologic time spiral — A path to the past (ver. 1.1), 2008 | United States Geological Survey | United States Geological Survey
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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, Rebeca MéndezJames NewtonAsma Sayeed, and Scott Waugh will join Brett Steele, dean of the UCLA School of the Arts & Architecture to explore the question, "What is Time?"

"Never Happened Again" | Rebeca Mendez
Still from "Never Happened Again" | Rebeca Mendez

Rebeca Méndez, designer and media artist

Professor, Department of Design|Media Arts

Rebeca Méndez is an artist and designer who uses a variety of media — photography, 16mm film, video, and installation — to explore the nature of perception and media representation, specifically how cultures express themselves through the style of nature that they produce at a given time and the medium through which they construct this nature. Méndez’s work has been exhibited extensively throughout the United States and Latin America. Her numerous awards and recognitions include the 2017 Medal of the AIGA (American Institute of Graphic Artists), the 2012 National Design Award bestowed by the Smithsonian Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum and the 2010 California Community Foundation Mid-Career Fellowship for Visual Artist.

 International Women's Day March | La Raza Photograph Collection
International Women's Day March | La Raza Photograph Collection | La Raza Photograph Collection

Narrated Photo Essay: Oscar Castillo on La Raza's Enduring Importance

In the 1960s and 70s, a group of young idealists-activists came together to work on a community newspaper called La Raza that became the voice for the Chicano Movement. With only the barest resources, but a generous amount of dedication, these young men and women changed their world and produced an archive of over 25,000 photographs. Read more.


"Permutation" | Ahree Lee
"Permutation" | Ahree Lee | Ahree Lee

We Are More Similar Than We Realize: Interconnecting Identities in the Work of Ahree Lee

Ahree Lee explores the paradox of similarity and difference, demonstrating that even in a world that seems increasingly fragmented culturally, racially and economically, we are more similar than we realize. Read more.


Maria, Mexican, "Pinto Bean Face" | Jaydee Dizon
Maria, Mexican, "Pinto Bean Face" | Jaydee Dizon | Jaydee Dizon

Portraits Document Women and the Grains Tied to Their Ancestral Homeland

Photographer Jaydee Dizon takes the portraits of women from different ethnic and cultural backgrounds, their faces sprinkled with a grain that is part of their cultural identity. Read more.


"Been There, Done That: Maroon" |  Rebeca Méndez
"Been There, Done That: Maroon" | Rebeca Méndez | Rebeca Méndez

Artworks by Rebeca Méndez

Professor Rebeca Méndez encourages you to visit her website to view a multi-media collection of her artworks. Visit website.

Children's Musical Instruments | Museum of Greek Folk Musical Instruments
Children's Musical Instruments | Museum of Greek Folk Musical Instruments

James Newton, composer, flutist and conductor

Distinguished Professor, Department of Ethnomusicology

James Newton (composer/flutist) is one of the world’s true flute virtuosos in numerous musical idioms. His work encompasses chamber, symphonic, and electronicmusic genres, compositions for ballet and modern dance, and numerous jazz and world music contexts. Mr. Newton has been the recipient of many awards, fellowships and grants, including the Ford Foundation, Guggenheim, National Endowment of the Arts and Rockefeller Fellowships, Montreux Grande Prix Du Disque and Downbeat International Critics Jazz Album of the Year, as well as being voted the top flutist for a record-breaking 23 consecutive years in Downbeat Magazine’s International Critics Poll. Described as a musician’s renaissance man, Newton has performed with and composed for many notable artists in the jazz and classical fields. His compositions have been performed on distinguished stages throughout the world.

John Ellis | Erma Islek
John Ellis | Erma Islek | Erma Islek

Jazzman John Ellis On Writing in L.A.

Saxophonist and composer John Ellis has spent his residency at 18th Street Arts Center by composing 30 new pieces of work. Read more.


Music Therapy to Repair Pathways to the Brain | Colburn School
Music Therapy to Repair Pathways to the Brain | Colburn School | Colburn School

Music is Medicine: Using Art Therapy to Repair Pathways in the Brain

After a car accident left clarinetist Christine Blue in a coma, her doctors weren’t even sure she’d wake up. Pioneering music therapists worked to painstakingly build up her memory and return her to the instrument. Read more.


Le Sacre du Printemps | Herbert Migdoll
Le Sacre du Printemps | Herbert Migdoll | Herbert Migdoll

Joffrey Ballet Reconstructs 'Le Sacre du Printemps'

The Joffrey Ballet returns to Los Angeles in February with performances of "The Rite of Spring," one of the most influential works of the 20th Century. Read more.


Doudou N'Diaye Rose "Rose Rhythm"
Doudou N'Diaye Rose "Rose Rhythm" | Doudou N'Diaya Rose

A listening sheet compiled by Professor James Newton

This sheet contains examples of how time is used in three different cultures. Learn more. (Note: This is a pdf document.)

Islamic Calendar | Courtesy LACMA
Islamic Calendar | Courtesy LACMA

Asma Sayeed, scholar of Islamic studies

Associate Professor, Department of Near Eastern Languages & Cultures
Program Director, Islamic Studies

Asma Sayeed’s primary research interests are in early and classical Muslim social history, the history of Muslim education, the intersections of law and social history, and women and gender studies. She teaches survey GE courses “Introduction to Islam” and “Islam in the West” as well as seminars on research methodologies in Islamic studies and Muslim social and intellectual history. She received her PhD from the Department of Near Eastern Studies at Princeton University. She has published on topics related to Muslim women and their religious participation in journals such as "Studia Islamica" and "Islamic Law and Society" and has contributed a number of encyclopedia articles on women’s history in early and classical Islam. Her current project relates to Muslim education and in particular to an examination of texts and textual practices in diverse regional and historical contexts.


Watch: Surf's Up for Muslim American Females

They are a small but dedicated group of Muslim women who love the waves, but also want to dress modestly on the beach. Reporter Dija Dowling finds out how these young women surfers and a Muslim swimwear designer make water sports easier for observant Muslim women. Watch the clip.


Hijabistas: Inside the World of Muslim-American Fashion

Hijabista. The word — which fuses "hijab" and "fashionista" — gained traction a few years ago when young Muslim women realized they could follow the Islamic rules for modest dressing without stifling creative expression. Now, in Irvine, Muslim-American women discover new ways to express themselves through fashion. Read more.


Thinking Outside the Mosque: On Learning to be Muslim in America

Religious study isn't enough at this college. Islam may be the world's second-largest religion, but in the United States, it is the subject of much misunderstanding and even hatred, and its adherents are often maligned. At Zaytuna, young Muslims are asked to figure out the future of their faith in America. Read more.


Islamic Calendar | Courtesy LACMA
Islamic Calendar | Courtesy LACMA | Courtesy LACMA

Time in Islamic Thought (Selected Readings)

A selection of Quranic verses referencing time in different contexts, a selection of sayings attributed to Prophet Muhammad and other revered early Muslims, plus authors on the topic. Read more. (Note: This is a pdf document.)

Watts Towers
Watts Towers

Scott Waugh, executive vice chancellor and provost

UCLA Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost Scott L. Waugh is the chief operating and academic officer for the campus. He works closely with the Chancellor and an extensive group of campus colleagues in guiding strategic planning, policy development, campus-wide academic initiatives and in defining budgetary and development priorities. He has previously served as the Dean of the Division of Social Sciences in the College of Letters and Science, where he holds a professorial appointment in the Department of History.

Watts Towers | Photo: Stephen Schafer, Schafphoto.com

HistoricPlacesLA Maps Los Angeles History

HistoricPlacesLA is an online public repository of cultural sites across L.A. It is the country's most sophisticated inventory management systems for cultural resources to date. Read more.


Red Car River Park

Hiking the Ghostly Tracks of Forgotten Trains

The phantom switches, markers, rails, and ties of old rail trails tell stories of travel and transport, history and happenings, and the growth of Southern California. Read more.


Gloria Swanson

How Women Built Early Hollywood — And Transformed Los Angeles

In early Hollywood, women outnumbered men as stars. They also wrote, publicized, directed, edited, and produced films in numbers unequaled until the 1980s — or beyond. Read more.


Time, Work Discipline and Industrial Capitalism
Time, Work Discipline and Industrial Capitalism cover | Edward Thompson

Selected Reading: Time, Work-Discipline, and Industrial Capitalism — The Past and Present Society

Please prepare for the discussion by reading these texts regarding history and time. Read more. (Note: This is a pdf document.)

Top Image: The geologic time spiral — A path to the past (ver. 1.1), 2008 | Joseph Graham, William Newman and John Stacy. United States Geological Survey

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A black, square-shaped piece of fabric with chain stitch embroidery reading the words, "BLACK LIVES MATTER" in white thread. The ends of the threads are long and loose. The patch sits on top of a multicolored, striped surface.

When Embroidery Stitches a Portrait of Our Times

These L.A. artists have been using the craft of embroidery to send messages of hope, renewal and justice. With designs inspired by the Black Lives Matter movement and the presidential inauguration, their pieces have become a way to protest and record history.
A man (left) and a woman (right) in masks work in a woodshop with coronavirus safety regulations in place such as clear plastic barriers between stations.

Report: Reducing Red Tape Key to Survival of L.A.’s Creative Economy

After record growth, L.A.'s creative economy has suffered much with the coronavirus crisis. Now, recovery is uneven, and experts say reducing red tape is a critical element of survival.
House No. 1, the R Cloud House is a crown-like house with decorative fencing

A New Case Study House Puts Black Architecture on Display in Watts

On a triangle-shaped lot near the historic Watts Towers and the beloved Watts Towers Arts Center, a new mixed-use project is underway to draw people from all over the city and beyond to experience the Black aesthetic through architecture.