Parsons Curatorial Design Research Lab Presents: The 4th Annual CURATORIAL SLAM!


Parsons Curatorial Design Research Lab Presents:
April 6, 2018, 4-7pm
Dorothy Hirshon Suite (room I-205)/ 55 W. 13th Street/ The New School/ NYC 


What Is Curatorial Work Today?

Parsons’ Curatorial Design Research Lab (CDRL) is a community of practice comprised of faculty, staff and students from across The New School whose research expands the field of contemporary curatorial practice to include activities that lie both within and beyond the white cube. CDRL is proud to host its 4th Annual CURATORIAL SLAM!, a lively array of fast paced ideas and images mixed with drinks and delectables. These 8 minute Pecha Kucha-style presentations will reveal how New School community members have crafted recent curatorial projects to explore how curatorial work can function in both local and global arenas.


Curatorial Slam Program:

Part 1: Curating Place

Simone Douglas (Faculty, Fine Arts School of Art, Media and Technology, Parsons)


Curating a variety of artists’ projects in concrete wheat silos for the Auckland Festival, Simone’s exhibition speculates on the timely question of What is home? If home is not understood as a fixed space, how might it be interpreted as a shape-shifter, revealed through time, culture, and politics?

Guillermo Leon Gomez (M.A. Candidate in Theories of Urban Practice, School of Design Strategies, Parsons)

“Port to Port”

Port to Port, a nomadic curatorial research program Guillermo co-founded in 2015, grounds theories of planetary urbanization and contemporary capitalism by focusing on maritime logistic cities and collaborating with local institutions to co-produce exhibitions and artist residencies.

Lydia Matthews (Faculty, Fine Arts, School of Art, Media and Technology, Parsons)


How does an independent, NY-based curator collaborate with the directors of a 19th Century Silk Museum in Tbilisi, Georgia, to call attention to and re-assert the multidisciplinary cultural value of an under-celebrated local “wunderkammer”?


Part 2: Curating as an Activist Practice

Mica Le John (B.S. Candidate in Liberal Arts, Bachelor’s Program for Adult and Transfer Students, Schools of Public Engagement)

“Young Exhibition Makers: The Curatorial Practices of Teenagers”

This presentation will explore the process of making site-specific (and responsive) education programs for youth in underserved communities, including an overview of a program Mica created as part of No Longer Empty’s new signature teen programs in East Flatbush, Brooklyn.

Nadia Williams (Diversity & Inclusion Faculty and Director of the Scholars Program, Parsons)


In an era which challenges our existing tools of resistance, the curators, all women of color Parsons alumni, felt an urgency to hold space to feature powerful examples of creative practices that explore the lived experience of race, and which work towards dismantling systems of racism. How can an exhibition continue to function both as an action and an invitation?

Jeanine Oleson (Faculty, Photography, School of Art, Media and Technology, Parsons)

“Photo Requests from Solitary”

Jeanine will discuss the collaborative project between incarcerated people held in solitary confinement, artists/photographers, and the organizers, who also use this work—as well as its current curatorial platforms–to support advocacy efforts to end the practice of solitary.


15 minute intermission


Part 3: Curating as Pedagogy

Adrian Madlener (M.A. Candidate in the History of the Design and Curatorial Studies, School of Art and Design History & Theory, Parsons/ the Cooper Hewitt Smithsonian Design Museum)

“Objects of Dispute”

Adrian’s presentation focuses on the role that material culture studies may be able to play in a socio-political environment of heated debate and misinformation. What are the challenges of translating a graduate seminar on this topic, offered by Dr. Glenn Adamson in Fall 2016, into an engaging and accessible exhibition that is aimed at a much broader public?

Otto von Busch (Faculty, Integrated Design, School of Design Strategies, Parsons)

“Vital Vogue – A Biosocial Perspective on Fashion”

Wilhelm Reich taught at The New School in 1940, theorizing how our psyches are caught between bio-electrical energies of the body and social currents, between freedom and fear, sexuality and fascism. Otto’s project transforms the gallery into a laboratory to explore how Reich’s ideas may used in designing fashion today.


Part 4: Curating to Expand Art History

Melissa Rachleff (Faculty, School of Art and Design Theory and History, Parsons)

“Inventing Downtown” 

What changes about our understanding of culture when artist perspectives are the starting point? Melissa discusses the value of primary sources and their impact on her exhibit/ book on artist-run galleries of the 1950s/ early 1960s, which resulted in a more inclusive portrayal of the era.

Christiane Paul (Director/Chief Curator of Sheila C. Johnson Design Center at Parsons, Media Studies Faculty at The New School, and Adjunct Curator of Digital Art at the Whitney Museum of American Art)


Opening at the Whitney Museum in Sept. 2018, “Programmed” features works from the museum’s collection created between 1957 – 2016, and weaves conceptual and computational projects, as well as video works into a matrix that illuminates how programs, from analog to digital, have informed and connected artistic practices over the decades.




For further information about the Curatorial Design Research Lab activities, please visit our website:

* Video documentation of the 2018 Curatorial Slam! event will be uploaded onto the CDRL website.



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