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VASD Program Releases 2016 Humor Series Lineup

The Visiting Artist, Scholar, and Designer Program is excited to announce its spring 2016 speakers for its humor lecture series. The Program’s yearlong lecture series focuses on the application of comedy, parody, irony, play, and wit as instruments of communication and experimentation in art, design, and culture. Humor exists in a boundary-blurring space where joy and anguish meet, allowing creators to reveal the severity and ridiculousness of contemporary life.

All lectures take place in the Mary Harris Auditorium on the RMCAD campus and begin at 7:00 p.m. (doors open beforehand). Events are free and open to the public, but seating is limited. RSVP information for each event can be found approximately one month prior to the event (exact dates below) on the VASD Program website:

Wednesday, February 10, 2016
More info and RSVP here.

The first presentation of 2016 features JK Keller and Keetra Dean Dixon, both multidisciplinary artists/designers working collaboratively and independently in Homer, AK. For Keller and Dixon, humor is a common coping mechanism and offers occasion for merriment in failings and futility in their creative work. Their lecture will discuss the importance of intentional and accidental misinterpretation as a means of understanding the contemporary human condition.

With a foothold in graphic design and creative direction, Dixon’s work expands to involve objects, installation, and product design. Her projects are spurred by the fallibility of communication, attempts at connection, and unintended output. Dixon received the honorable ranking of Art Director’s Club (ADC) Young Gun and her clients include New York Times, among others. She acted as Design Director for installations at the Venice Architecture Biennale, and has shown at the Walker Art Center and the Smithsonian Design Museum.

Keller is attracted to the uneasy tension generated by our ubiquitous use of technology. His work utilizes entertaining misuses of technology and failures of communication that result from brute-force manipulations of appropriated material and rules-based systems. Keller received acclaimed attention for his ongoing series consisting of a self-portrait taken every day for the past 17 years called The Adaptation to My Generation and digital manipulation via an algorithm of The Simpsons, among other projects. Keller’s work has been exhibited at the Walker Art Center and the 2012 transmediale in Berlin among other locations.

Wednesday, March 23, 2016
Registration opens Monday, February 15, 2016

Cartoonist, writer, and illustrator Jim Woodring will present his lecture as the second guest of 2016. Woodring is based in Vashon Island just outside of Seattle, WA. His comics, drawings, and paintings depict worlds from his unique vision fueled by hallucinations and surrealistic absurdity. These strange and immersive images have been published in multiple books, mounted in exhibitions, and made into animations and vinyl toys. Woodring was awarded the Artist Trust GAP (Grants for Artists Projects) Award, a United States Artist Fellowship (with Bill Frisell), an Inkpot Award at the 2008 San Diego Comic-Con, and the 2010 Literature Genius award from Seattle’s The Stranger.

Thursday, April 14, 2016
Registration opens Monday, March 28, 2016

RMCAD is honored to close out the year’s Humor series by hosting acclaimed artist, writer, and filmmaker Miranda July in an on-stage conversation with local artist and art writer Lanny DeVuono. The discussion will focus on July’s use of humor, which employs a complexity of emotion that does more than elicit a chuckle—it simultaneously exposes something deep and raw about our humanity by balancing in a liminal space between fragility and the elation granted by laughing at the absolute ridiculousness of our vulnerability.

July’s work has exhibited widely, including at the Museum of Modern Art, the Venice Biennale, and in two Whitney Biennials. July wrote, directed, and starred in two feature-length, award winning films: The Future, and Me and You and Everyone We Know. Her fiction has been published in The Paris Review, The New Yorker, and many other publications, and collected in the book No One Belongs Here More Than You. Her New York Times Bestselling novel The First Bad Man was published last year. July has created a number of interactive works including web and email-based projects as well as a geosocial-networking app.

Lanny DeVuono is a Denver based artist, art writer, and Associate Professor of Painting and Drawing at the University of Colorado Denver. DeVuono received numerous awards for her work, including a Fulbright Fellowship and a GAP (Grants for Artist Projects) Grant. She writes on contemporary art with past publications including Art News and New Art Examiner, among others.


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