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Tang Teaching Museum Announces Fall 2017 Accelerator Series

October 6: Elizabeth Hinton, Duron Jackson, Johnny Perez on Mass Incarceration and the Prison Industrial Complex

November 10: Farai Chideya, Michael Joo, Amir Baradaran on Technology, Visual Culture, and the Politics of Representation

Moderated by Tang Curator-at-Large Isolde Brielmaier

SARATOGA SPRINGS, NY (September 27, 2017) — The Frances Young Tang Teaching Museum and Art Gallery at Skidmore College continues the Accelerator Series this fall with public dialogues on today’s most urgent issues. Organized and moderated by Tang Teaching Museum Curator-at-Large Isolde Brielmaier, the talks will be Friday, October 6, and Friday, November 10, starting at 6:30 pm on both days.

On October 6, Harvard historian Elizabeth Hinton, artist Duron Jackson, and activist Johnny Perez will take part in a discussion with Brielmaier about mass incarceration, ideas of mobility and immobility (social, economic, political), and the prison industrial complex. This event is being held in conjunction with the exhibition States of Incarceration, a national traveling exhibition organized by the Humanities Action Lab at The New School and a coalition of 500 university students and formerly incarcerated individuals from twenty cities. Skidmore College’s contribution to the show, which launched in New York City in April 2016, includes research on the nearby Mount McGregor Correctional Facility, which closed 2014.

On November 10, journalist and educator Farai Chideya, artist Michael Joo, and new media artist Amir Baradaran will join Brielmaier to explore technology, virtual realities, and media as they relate to art, visual culture, and the politics of representation. This event is being held in conjunction with Other Side: Art, Object, Self, an exhibition of work from the Tang collection, including art by Joo, that offers many “other sides” between concepts like life and death, seen and unseen, loss and hope, artifice and truth.

Accelerator Series events are free and open to the public. For more information, call the Tang’s Visitors Services Desk at 518-580-8080 or visit http://tang.skidmore.edu.

About the October 6 Participants

Elizabeth Hinton: Assistant Professor of History and of African and African American Studies at Harvard University. Her research focuses on the persistence of poverty and racial inequality in the twentieth-century United States. Her new book, From the War on Poverty to the War on Crime: The Making of Mass Incarceration in America, was published in 2016.

Duron Jackson: Multidisciplinary artist who explores the social inter-relationships of “blackness” within the broader context of contemporary culture. Duron’s works focus on social and political histories in relation to mass incarceration, constructions of criminality, and state surveillance in the United States.

Johnny Perez: Safe Reentry advocate at the Urban Justice Center Mental Health Project (MHP), a nonprofit law firm providing pro bono legal services to under-served population in New York City. Specifically, he works directly with people with mental illness and histories of incarceration. Perez is a member of the 2017 Just Leadership USA Leading with Conviction Program and is now in the process completing his first nonfiction book, Uncuffed: Reflections on Criminal Justice After 13 Years of Incarceration.

About the November 10 Participants

Farai Chideya: Multimedia journalist, radio host, political and cultural analyst, and novelist. Now the journalism program officer at the Ford Foundation, she covered the past six presidential elections for outlets including FiveThirtyEight, NPR, and CNN, and is a fellow at the MIT Media Lab. 
Michael Joo: Multimedia artist with a Bachelor of Fine Arts from Washington University in St. Louis and a Master of Fine Arts from Yale University. He has had numerous solo and group exhibitions in the United States and abroad. Joo represented South Korea at the 49th Venice Biennale in 2001 and was awarded the grand prize at the sixth Gwangju Biennale in 2006. In 2012, Joo was a Smithsonian Artist Research Fellow, studying 3-D scanning and the relationship between art and technology.
Amir Baradaran: Creative Research Associate, Columbia University Computer Science Department (CG and User Interfaces Lab) and a New York–based Iranian-Canadian performance and new media artist. His pioneering Augmented Reality {AR}t works question the role of machines and the promise of Artificial Intelligence in our everyday life.

About the Accelerator Series

The Accelerator Series is the Tang Teaching Museum’s dynamic conversation series on big ideas and urgent issues that seeks to find new entry points into discussions that veer from traditional paths. As an open and inclusive public forum for dialogue, exchange, and questioning, the Accelerator Series ignites a collective sense of intellectual curiosity and fosters thoughtful engagement with a deeper understanding of compelling issues that have the potential to spark radical transformations.

The series features key cultural influencers from the arts and culture sector as well as academia, entertainment, government, journalism, media, politics, and beyond, who present new perspectives and disrupt the status quo by encouraging a “getting comfortable with discomfort” attitude to think and work through big ideas to drive change.

The Accelerator Series is supported by Accelerate: Access and Inclusion at the Tang Teaching Museum, a project of The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

About the Tang Teaching Museum

The Tang Teaching Museum at Skidmore College is a pioneer of interdisciplinary exploration and learning. A cultural anchor of New York's Capital Region, the institution's approach has become a model for university art museums across the country—with exhibition programs and series that bring together the visual and performing arts with fields of study as disparate as history, astronomy, and physics. The Tang has one of the most rigorous faculty-engagement initiatives in the nation, the Mellon Seminar, and robust publication and touring exhibition initiatives that extend the institution's reach far beyond its walls. The Tang Teaching Museum's building, designed by architect Antoine Predock, serves as a visual metaphor for the convergence of ideas and exchange the institution catalyzes. More information at http://tang.skidmore.edu.

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