Transhistorical Feminist Agency: A Matter of Gender, Race, Time, and Place
Virtual talk, keynote speaker
110th College Art Association (CAA) Annual Conference
Women’s Caucus for Art
February 17th, 2022
The year 2021 has marked a period of discovery at CAA. We have used this time to assess members’ needs and wants and then to create a sustainable model for the future of our organization. The Annual Conference is a major part of our transformation, a program that strengthens and engages our overall membership. Members have expressed the value of a smaller, more digestible conference and in-person convening and the flexibility and accessibility that a virtual format provides. We have worked diligently to provide an experience that meets your expectations.
Based on the information and the recent feedback we’ve received from members with concerns about convening in person, the recent rapid development of the Omicron COVID variant, and the uncertainty of the weeks and months ahead, we have decided to make the CAA 2022 Annual Conference entirely virtual while also maintaining the scheduled dates.
All in-person sessions and activities scheduled for February 16-19 in Chicago will now be virtual sessions on the same dates. Virtual sessions and activities scheduled for March 3-5 will remain the same. Most sessions will be recorded and all recordings will remain available through April 14.
This updated format will provide increased access to virtual content, allowing conference attendance to expand beyond boundaries and embrace a global audience. Individuals can hear session content on their own schedule between teaching, family care, and other obligations.
The 2022 Annual Conference program offers content critical to our time on climate change, pandemic responses and pedagogy, and social justice issues. CAA will celebrate and promote the 50th anniversary of the feminist art movement, offering a selection of sessions and programs on women in the arts. As an organization, we emphasize diversity, inclusion, and accessibility. Highlighting these sessions and incorporating this work is of paramount importance to our mission.
“The Brown Dot Project” keynote
presented for the panel Transhistorical Feminist Agency: A Matter of Gender, Race, Time, and Place as a part of the College Art Association (CAA) Annual Conference 2021
Data pictographs that illustrate the advancement of BIPOC and women artists from 1970 and 2020 Since 2010, I have produced hundreds of sculptures, paintings, and works on paper for a series entitled Make !Em All Mexican. I purchase pricey antiques depicting historical and pop characters (plaster and porcelain figures, magazines, and postcards) and paint their skin brown. I’ve made”#brown” versions of Elvis Presley, Fred Flintstone & Barney Rubble, Marie Antoinette & Louis Auguste, the Queen of the Rose Parade, Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother, and the Greek and Roman gods.
In an effort to keep the work #brown,” I began a series called The Brown Dot Project in 2015. The Brown Dot Project is a series of #data pictographs”—images on gridded architectural vellum consisting of brown dots that represent actual data. These works portray various data sets about U.S. Latino populations; professional numbers in health, education, and business sectors; and Latino contribution to the U.S. Gross National Product. Some of the brown dots resemble designs seen in ancient weaving and architecture; others mirror computer-generated images or are reminiscent of grid-oriented works by Piet Mondrian, Chuck Close, Agnes Martin, and Charles Gaines.
The process is time consuming, beginning with studying and gathering relevant data, creating a formula to present data in 2-D works, counting the boxes in an area of gridded vellum, and dotting the percentage of squares to represent a data set. Some data pictographs contain over 30,000 hand-placed dots.
I describe The Brown Dot Project as “an elegant solution to a series of complex questions about simple facts”—data about Latino life in the United States. I find myself studying a variety of data sets about topics such as the number of Latinos in any given city or state, the national number of Latino executives, and the number of Latinos involved in the American Civil War. The amounts and categories of data are inexhaustible! The works have gone from seven square inches, to 24 square inches, to 40 square inches. The 24 square inch images titled Los Angeles (48.3% Latino population) entail 48,400 total squares (100% of the field), with 23,377 dots (48.3%). Counting squares and dots, completing the corresponding mathematics, and dotting the page