By Julia Bradshaw, September 2007

Enjoy listening to artists talk about their motivations? Want to meet our cultural producers face-to-face? There are four forums in San Jose to hear artists, writers, theorists and critics talk about the arts.


Sam Gould of Red76 speaks in San Jose City Council Chambers, and appears in Second Life as part of FUSE

New to the crop of lecture series is the FUSE: Conversation series hosted by the Montalvo Art Center and San Jose State University’s CADRE Laboratory for New Media. People attending these lectures are interested in the intersection of the arts and technology and also in the concept of artistic collaboration. For this lecture series the organizers have invited artists to talk about their approach to collaborative art-making involving artist groups and the community as a whole. The focus is on unorthodox cross-disciplinary projects involving the fine arts, technology and contemporary issues such as globalization censorship and sustainability. At the end of this series of lectures two of the artist-groups will then take part in a cross-disciplinary residency model involving Silicon Valley companies, students from CADRE and the Montalvo Art Center in a program titled FUSE: Collaboration. The talks are free and are also simulcast by Ars Virtua a Second Life Arts and Media Center. Location and details of upcoming lectures can be found by following this link.

The long running San Jose State University’s Tuesday night lecture program hosts artists, designers and theorists talking about their work from 5pm – 6pm in lecture room #133 of the Art Building during the academic semester. Coming up are discussions by ceramic sculptor Beth Cavener Stichter and in conjunction with an exhibition in the university’s Thompson gallery a lecture by German artist Gabriel Wiese who makes furniture and objects out of cork. Of interest to theorists and art historians is a lecture on October 16th by the art historian Whitney Chadwick. She will discuss the artist practices of Tracy Emin, Krzysztof Wodiczko and Mike Kelly among others as she addresses issues of identity and subjectivity in post-colonial art practices. Admission is free – at the time of writing the schedule was not available online.

The Institute of Contemporary Art continues its Talking Art series by inviting panels of artists and theorists to discuss a theme around making, appreciating and collecting art. This monthly series continues in October with a discussion on the topic of artists’ ideas and inspirations. The ICA has invited a critic, an artist, a writer and an art theorist to discuss this subject in a salon-type setting. On a more topical note, on Veterans Day in November the writer Rebecca Solnit will lead a panel discussion which includes Salam Hassan, former Pacifica radio correspondent in Baghdad, Kenneth Helphand, Professor of Landscape Architecture at the University of Oregon and exhibiting artists on the subject of the Landscape of War. Admission is free for members or $5 for non-members. Information on the program can be found by following this link:

Finally, the San Jose Museum of Art has just announced its Creative Minds Speaker series. Over a period of a year, the series will bring in five well-regarded writers from around the country. The series begins in October with a talk by Alice Sebold whose book “the Lovely Bones” was a nationwide hit. In November, Michael Kimmelman the chief art critic of The New York Times will visit for one of his last appearances in this country before he moves to take up an appointment in Berlin, Germany. And in November, humorist and writer David Rakoff will visit. Rakoff has worked on This American Life and appeared on stage with David and Amy Sedaris. Tickets cost $14 for members and $18 for non-members. Information about the program can be found here:

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