Archive for the ‘Lectures’ Category

What’s What at NYCC?

Wednesday, October 7th, 2015

New York Comic Con is here! Attracting more than 150,000 fans, NYCC is the East Coast’s biggest pop culture convention – and the second largest event in NYC!

Not a bad place to be in line

Some lines are better than others

Four days long, NYCC comprises comics, video games, toys, movies, and TV. Panels and signings bring together fans and creators. Screenings tease viewers with previews of anticipated movie and TV premieres. And artists get to showcase original artwork and recent publications.  And then there are the costumes… (See the SVACE blog coverage from 2014!)

Faced with hundreds of events, how does an unguided visitor decide what to attend? We asked Ben Zackheim, faculty member of MFA Visual Narrative, to handpick the most promising NYCC offerings. Ben’s suggestions will appeal to fans with a keen interest in drawing or writing comics:


Show and Tell!

Hip-Hop & Comics: Cultures Combining (Thursday): How do Hip-hop and comics reflect each other?

Breaking into Comics the Marvel Way (Thursday): What kind of talent is Marvel seeking?

DC Comics – Master Class: Art History (Thursday): What’s it like to draw for DC?

Storytelling on the Page (Friday): How do writers structure a complete issue from beginning to end?

Comics 101: Where to Begin? (Friday): Need a comics sherpa?

ComiXology Submit: The Future of Self-Publishing (Saturday): What can ComiXology do for you?

Truthiness is Stranger than Fiction: New Reality-Based Graphic Novels (Saturday): Can comics handle “the truth?”

The Future of Comics for Children and Young Adults (Sunday): What does the future hold for #kidlit comics and graphic novels?

It's Raining Deadpools

It’s Raining Deadpools

And while you visit, be sure to visit Nathan Fox and MFA Visual Narrative at Artist Alley!

See you there!

See you there!

Chalkboard Insights

Tuesday, October 6th, 2015

We love this series of chalkboard reflections by Steve Brodner, who teaches “Boosted Visual Communication.”  If Steve’s inspiring insight doesn’t send you running to your studio, table, or laptop, then what will? Thanks to Steve Brodner for sharing.


Steve’s statement echoes a quote from Plato: “And how about our own art? Shall we not say that we make a house by the art of building, and by the art of painting make another house, a sort of man-made dream produced for those who are awake?”

Here’s another good one:

Insight from Steve Brodner

Insight from Steve Brodner

And the most recent:

Insight from Steve Brodner

Insight from Steve Brodner

Follow Steve on Instagram and Twitter for updates!

Friday Hot Links

Friday, September 18th, 2015

Happy Friday! We want to share some interesting articles and stories shared online by the SVACE faculty and community.PolaroidSnap_03-1024x768

Inkless and Instant (WIRED): Polaroid’s Snap camera heats dye crystals embedded in the photo paper to create images. (via Kevin Brainard)

Aping Apple (Print Magazine): “An iPhone case made into an hourglass in which the sand is actually crushed up iPhone e-waste.” (via Steven Heller)

Trees of Knowledge (Brain Pickings): Networks supercede trees as metaphors for knowledge, according to Manuel Lima. (via MFA Visual Narrative)

“Concerning Human Understanding” Panel Discussion

Monday, August 3rd, 2015

Today’s blog post was written by William Patterson, staff member at SVACE:

The SVA Summer Residency Program hosted a panel discussion on the Residency alumni exhibition, Concerning Human Understanding, recently on view at SVA’s Visual and Critical Studies Gallery.  All three exhibiting artists were in attendance to discuss their work, along with art writer Thyrza Nichols Goodeve, who posed a number of thoughtful questions on the themes of communication, madness and the strategies common to all of the artists’ work.

The panel was preceded by a brief introduction by the three artists.  Sandra Erbacher was first to present, and spoke about her evolving interest in Institutional Critique.  Erbacher felt that the practices of Institutional Critique from the 1970’s had become narrow and limited in the way they critiqued the structure of power.  She decided to rethink  “Institution,” exchanging the term for the more far reaching “bureaucracy,” and replacing “critique” with “humor.”  This change in terms allowed her to explore new ways of commenting on the context, history and effects of  “bureaucracy,” with strategies that could be more immediate or insightful than traditional commentary.


Sandra Erbacher, “Ctrl+Alt+Del,” 2015, archival inkjet print, 22×42″

Works from the show, such as Ctrl+Alt+Del, 2015, are evidence of her thinking.  The image de-familiarizes a computer keyboard by erasing off the letters, leaving only blank keys and the plastic frame. This act interrupts the purpose of the device as a means of communicating and forces the viewer to see it as a blank object, a product of plastics and modernist design, in all its genuine strangeness. It no longer seems like a means to communicating human thoughts, but a series of blank and impersonal cells through which nothing can pass.

Marianna Olinger discussed the documentary film she was working on, about a corrupt and abusive mental health institution in Rio de Janeiro. She interviewed and shadowed mental health workers who had been working to rehabilitate the institution’s patients.  Marianna spoke of how inadequate normal, verbal communication was when attempting to understand these victims, and how the mental health workers had to place a much greater emphasis on their body language and tone of voice than we usually do in order to communicate.  Marianna decided to reinterpret the idea of a documentary with this in mind.  In following the cues of these patients, she sought to tell their story with that same emphasis on nonverbal language, and to understand what is often dismissed as “madness” as a form of language. It was this attempt that resulted in Wearing the Inside Out, her contribution to the Concerning Human Understanding exhibition. The video piece acts as a study in the structure of madness as a language, and as a precursor to the film she will ultimately create.


Marianna Olinger, “Wearing the Inside Out,” 2015, video

Tim Roseborough focused on a unique visual font that he invented called Englyph.  Tim uses Englyph in a variety of ways to both conceal and redirect statements written in conventional language.  Applications range from building visual puzzles out of the names of Tim’s friends to organizing a list of racial slurs in an Englyph pyramid by their frequency of use online.  This form of data visualization is always in negotiation with its own immediate aesthetic value, as it conceals a message behind an almost impenetrable code.

Nevertheless, the Englyph system can be read, and that possibility, if not always acted on, remains an important aspect of the work as it is written.  For Tim’s piece in the exhibition, he used Englyph to pattern a wall of the gallery with the message “Everything but Art.”  At center he placed a blank canvas. Words are Stronger than Art was the name of the installation, which served a potent irony within the context of the show, as the work of all three artists, each in their own way, proved just how untrue that really is.


Tim Roseborough, “Words Are Stronger Than Art,” 2015, vinyl mural, 11 ft x 18 ft, and canvas

A video of the complete panel discussion is available below:

See Into You

Thursday, April 25th, 2013

Tonight! CCNY Conversation Series

Keren Moscovitch in a conversation with Allen Frame about Me Into You and book signing!

Keren Moscovitch, "Last Night," 2010

Thursday, April 25, 2013, 7–9pm
SVA Amphitheater
209 East 23rd Street, 3rd floor
Free admission, please bring photo ID for building entry!

Keren Moscovitch, "Sucking," 2009

SVACE faculty member, summer residency director, and photographer extraordinaire Keren Moscovitch presents Me Into You, a self-published limited edition monograph contextualized within her experiences in an open relationship. The body of work investigates both the limits and infinite possibility of intimacy, and what happens when one’s intimate life starts to lack boundaries. She will be joined in conversation by essayist and photographer Allen Frame in a discussion about photography, intimacy and the intersection between the two.

The event will be followed by a Q&A session and book signing.

Keren Moscovitch, "My First Time Watching," 2009