For two plus years, I led a group called The Morro Bay Metaphysicians at the Coalesce Garden Chapel on Main St in Morro Bay. We covered well over 100 topics during this period, and I wrote up notes some of which you can access below.
The term "metaphysics" is a reference to Aristotle, whose canon of great works was traditionally organized into two parts: those books that were included in his section on natural history and physics, and those that came after that section - meta is Greek for after, thus metaphysics literally means those books that came after the section on physics in Aristotle's oeuvre. Mediaeval scholars misinterpreted this word to mean that which is "beyond physics"... which leads us to today's usage, indicating those topics that fall outside the normative box, and usually referring to material of a spiritual or philosophical nature.
I have studied several of the world's great spiritual systems, with intensive work in Tibetan Buddhism, Qi Gong & Tai Chi, sacred clowning, Native American shamanism, and most recently, Reiki and energetic healing.
I am very interested in robot and avatar rights and what I call the 'camera' as camera: where every part of digital space is an active agent and author, which requires new theorization of the subjects that are native to cyberspace. I still lecture on this topic and have been a guest teacher a number of times at the School of Visual Arts in New York and at Art Center in Pasadena. Here is a short documentary about my own virtual world, TCWF, for which I received a prestigious New York Foundation for the Arts grant.
How did I get here from art history? I knew early on that I wanted to develop critical theory for digital media, and understand what makes digital media distinct from all the other media that have preceded it. In 1999, I was fortunate to receive some private grant money to attend the new Critical Theory program at the Art Center College of Design, and happily met my mentor Dr. Michael Heim, who was working on a similar project in 3D virtual worlds.
After completing my masters degree at Art Center, I continued my research briefly at Cal Arts and then was awarded a diversity fellowship for the Doctoral Program in Visual Studies at UC Irvine. Using 3D virtual worlds in special effects as case studies, I completed my dissertation in 2006.
For over a twenty-five-year period I lectured, moderated panels and was invited as a guest speaker at museums and galleries in the US and internationally, including such venues as the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, the Armand Hammer Museum of Art, the Orange County Museum of Art, the USC Public Art Forum, the California Institute for the Arts, the Southern California Institute of Architecture, the University of Rhode Island, the Bremen Kunstakademie, the Wittgenstein Haus in Vienna, the Villach Kulturamt, in Villach, Austria, and the Arbois Municipal Museum in France.
I have addressed numerous conferences and coordinated the 2003 Digital Cultures Project conference held at UC Irvine, the Life By Design: Everyday Digital Culture symposium and an exhibition at the Beall Center for Technology. I also organized UC Irvine's 2003 round table on the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, and organized and chaired the 1992 panel at the Los Angeles Art Fair “Quality and the Marketplace: What Role for the Art Critic Today?”
The button below will take you to another page which includes a few links to videos of lectures and talks.
I wrote art criticism from 1988 - 2017, with most of my work occurring the in the 90's in Los Angeles and Europe primarily. I started with interviews that I did for Splash Magazine where I ultimately became the managing editor. Interview subjects from Splash and elsewhere include Christo, Komar & Melamid, William Wegman, Dennis Oppenheim, Vito Acconci, David Byrne, Laurie Anderson, Tim Rollins, Tamiko Thiel and Michael Heim, among others.
I have published over 100 chapters, essays and reviews in the US, Austria, France, Germany, Switzerland and Czechoslovakia, in such journals as ArtForum, Art in America, Artcritical.com, Artweek, Artspace, L.A. Reader, L.A. Village View, High Performance, New Observations, Sculpture and, in Germany, Rogue and Juni, among others. You will find some excerpts from this part of my career linked below.
I write some very occasional essays and monographs, such as for the artists Lucas Reiner, Michael Dressel, Jean Wells and Andrew Krasnow most of whom live in the L.A. area.
"Hard Candy and Good Humor - the Art of Jean Wells". Essay included in the catalog for shows at Yarger Strauss and various international venues. 2010
“We Are All Made of Stars” in Of the Flesh: The Art of Andrew Krasnow. Ed. Jonathan Hutt. London: GV Art. October 2008 [PDF to come]
My Bachelor's Degree is in Art History from Barnard College, where I passed with distinction in 1988. I received my Master's Degree in Critical Theory from the Art Center College of Design in 2000, where I worked closely with Dr. Michael Heim. In 2006, I received my doctorate in Visual Studies from the University of California at Irvine, working closely with Akira Lippit and Anne Friedberg among others.
I love teaching, and was a part time Art History lecturer at the California State University at Northridge (CSUN) from 1995-1998, and was a teaching assistant in Asian Art History at UC Irvine in 2002-2003. Besides my more academic offerings, I continue to teach at such local venues as the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute and the Joslyn Center in San Luis Obispo County, and the Institute for Philosophy and the Arts in Pasadena. I have juried some art shows in Cambria and still enjoy assisting artists with their careers.
You can download my CV below.