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10 Questions: What is Work?

A portion of the "Detroit Industry" murals by Diego Rivera that adorn the walls of Rivera Court at the Detroit Institute of Arts | ashleystreet/Creative Commons
A portion of the "Detroit Industry" murals by Diego Rivera that adorn the walls of Rivera Court at the Detroit Institute of Arts | ashleystreet/Creative Commons | ashleystreet/Creative Commons
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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, Willem Henri Lucas, Catherine OpieAlfred Osborne, and Abel Valenzuela will join Brett Steele, dean of the UCLA School of the Arts & Architecture to explore the question, "What is Work?"

Willem Henri Lucas, designer

Professor in the Department of Design|Media Arts

Willem Henri Lucas studied at the Academy of Visual Arts in Arnhem in the Netherlands and did his post academic studies at the Sandberg institute (Rietveld Academy) in Amsterdam. From 1990 to 2002 he served as a professor and chair of the Utrecht School of the Arts' Graphic Design department. He works for clients mostly based in the field of Culture and Art. In 1998 he designed holiday postage stamps for the PTT (Dutch Post and telecom company). He won several book design awards in the Netherlands and the US. Primarily a book designer (exploring sensibility of printed matter; in material as well as content), Lucas is interested in addressing social issues and bringing design back ‘to the street,’ and ‘humanity’ back into design, encouraging future designers to be a valuable part of their communities. His body of work deals with issues of ‘war’ and ‘love’ and ‘the human condition.’

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Recommended Reading: Short Texts by Willem Henri Lucas

"In the last two book publications I recently worked on I am both the designer and editor. Ploeg + Work shows the body of work of a short-lived career of Dutch artist and musician Maarten Ploeg who rose to national fame in the late 80’s... The Frank Cermak Action Wheel - A New American Method I collaborated with actor and director Frank Cermak to develop a device and a textbook for a new method for voice-classes." (Note: This is a PDF document.) Read more.

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Catherine Opie, artist

Professor in the Department of Art

Catherine Opie’s work has been exhibited extensively throughout the United States, Europe, and Japan. Opie was a recipient of the Julius Shulman Excellence in Photography award in 2013 and a United States Artists Fellowship in 2006. She is recently worked on an installation for the new Los Angeles Federal Courthouse in 2016. In September of 2008, the Guggenheim Museum in New York opened a mid-career exhibition titled, Catherine Opie: American Photographer. In May 2015 The Wexner Center for the Arts in Ohio opened an exhibition titled, Catherine Opie: Portraits and Landscapes. Opie holds an MFA from the California Institute of the Arts and a BFA from the San Francisco Art Institute.

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Recommended Reading: Michelle Grabner from "Living and Sustaining a Creative Life," edited by Sharon Louden

"The question, "how do I do all those things?" always makes me uneasy. Yet it is a perennial and predictable inquiry, and one that I never can fully decipher. This is because at its core the question is both ideological and emotional." (Note: This is a PDF document.) Read more.

Recommended Reading: Richard Klein from "Living and Sustaining a Creative Life," edited by Sharon Louden

"I was raised in an art world where people believed that anything that distracted from a studio practice was somehow negative. Even teaching — as respected and stimulating as it can be — was looked at primarily as a way to pay the rent." (Note: This is a PDF document.) Read more.

Catherine Opie: From the Outside In

Catherine Opie's ability to merge references to photographic history with the stuff of contemporary life has distinguished Opie's work throughout her career. Her early portraits of gender-bending, pierced and tattooed friends have been compared to the spare compositions of early 20th century German photographer August Sander. Her landscapes, locating the sublime in freeways and mini-malls, recall the stately grandeur of 19th century California master Carleton Watkins' photographs of Yosemite.​ Read more.

Hacienda Heights' awe-inspiring Hsi Lai Temple is just one of many landmarks that speak to the impact of Chinese immigrants in the San Gabriel Valley |  Photo by Jinjian Liang

Alfred Osborne, global economy and entrepreneurship expert

Interim Dean of the UCLA Anderson School of Management, Professor in Global Economics and Faculty Director for the Price Center for Entrepreneurship & Innovation

Alfred E. Osborne, Jr., is interim dean of UCLA Anderson School of Management, overseeing the institution’s primary objectives to conduct essential research, educate students and serve the community. Osborne is Professor of Global Economics, Management and Entrepreneurship and is the founder and faculty director of the Harold and Pauline Price Center for Entrepreneurship & Innovation. The Price Center serves to organize faculty research, curricula and student activities related to the study of entrepreneurship and new business development at UCLA Anderson. Osborne’s areas of academic expertise include social entrepreneurship and the development of a leadership approach that applies business models and methodologies to the nonprofit world. Osborne’s research interests also include venture capital and private equity, family and closely-held business, and the role of boards of directors in private, public and not-for-profit organizations. Osbourne holds a Ph.D. in Business Economics, MBA in Finance, M.A. in Economics and a B.S. in Electrical Engineering, all from Stanford University.

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Philanthropist David Bohnett on the Creative Economy of Southern California

How can creativity help save Los Angeles? Activist, philanthropist, and entrepreneur David Bohnett identifies the connection between arts & culture in L.A.. Read more.

How Chinese Entrepreneurs Transformed the San Gabriel Valley

Korean and Chinese immigrant entrepreneurs, investors and political leaders emerged as “immigrant growth machines” in the 1970s and 80s when the traditional Los Angeles growth machine comprised of native-born entrepreneurs and leaders was confronting white flight, slow-growth movements and a declining regional political consensus for growth. Read more.

City Rising: Return to the Cities

Hallmarks of gentrification, like custom-built homes and luxury apartments, transform a neighborhood, but that’s not their major attraction for city officials. Cities have become more entrepreneurial in seeking private investment as federal funding has declined. Expensive housing and the retail amenities that follow pay the high taxes a city needs to serve all of its constituents. Watch the feature.

Photo: James Rojas
Artists contributing to city planning | James Rojas

Abel Valenzuela, labor and immigration expert

Professor in the Department of Chicana/o Studies, Professor in the Department of Urban Planning and Director of UCLA's Institute for Research on Labor and Employment

Abel Valenzuela has authored numerous research articles, books and reports on immigrant settlement, work, and urban poverty. His research on day labor and immigrant labor markets have helped frame national public and policy narratives on immigrant and low-wage workers. Los Angeles occupies a central focus of his research and teaching and guides the research institute’s direction. Valenzuela's areas of expertise include the economy, jobs low-wage workers, day labor, immigration, urban poverty, urban planning and inequality. Valenzuela was born and raised in Los Angeles, earned his bachelor’s degree from the University of California at Berkeley and his M.C.P. and Ph.D from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

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John Arroyo: Four Generations in East L.A., Plus Urban Planning and The Tomato King

"The other day I drove past my family's original house on First Street and Humphrey's. It looked just as it did, complete with the mosaic of the Virgin de Guadalupe on the façade. Just like our metallic blue legendary trunk, it's amazing to consider that my family's arrival story will soon celebrate nearly a century (since my Grandpa John's arrival in 1919) leading to four generations of life in East L.A. and across Southern California." Read more.

Why Urban Planners Should Work With Artists

Historically, L.A.'s Latino community has been left out of the planning dialogue on the Eastside. Without a voice, quality of life in the community was set back by the removal of the street cars in the late 1950's and the later construction of the numerous freeways causing displacement and air pollution. However, the Eastside Latino community has strong cultural resiliency that lives on despite all the social, economic, physical setbacks and lack of urban planning.  Read more.

City Rising: Legacy

From the displacement of Native peoples to the enforcement of Jim Crow, the history of U.S. land policy and practice is a history of inequi­ties. Gold rush-era Chinese workers and Blacks fleeing Southern racism were barred from California’s housing market and segregated to particular communities. After the Great Depression, the federal government backed mortgage lending as a route to homeownership and wealth accumulation, but redlined minority communities. Watch the feature.

Top Image: A photograph of a portion of the "Detroit Industry" murals by Diego Rivera that adorn the walls of Rivera Court at the Detroit Institute of Arts | ashleystreet/Creative Commons

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