PSSST CRIT CLUB

Crit Club is a bi-weekly gathering of Los Angeles-area artists from all disciplines dedicated to developing projects that defy easy categorization. It provides a rare opportunity for artists across disciplines to create community and to find common language for discussing their work. At each peer-facilitated meeting, two artists share work-in-progress. Artist-centered feedback follows along the lines of Liz Lerman's Critical Response Process. Crit Club reflect PSSST’s mission of creating a space for experimentation and exchange while supporting underrepresented artists -- women, people of color, and LGBTQ-identified.

Crit Club is designed for artists whose current or upcoming work crosses the boundaries of established forms. For example, a sculptor who seeks to add a performative element to their practice or a writer making an installation. Crit Club seeks participants able to commit to attending the first and all subsequent meetings in order to create a communal space with a consistent dialogue. No prior formal training is required

FACILITATOR

Sylvan Oswald is a trans interdisciplinary artist who creates plays, texts, publications and video and assistant professor in the UCLA School of Theater, Film and Television. Currently, he is working on Season Two of Outtakes, a lo-fi mock doc semi-improvised web series. Culturebot’s Andy Horwitz says of the series, “This is the kind of vital, vibrant, important work that mainstream media never makes...but pushes the whole thing forward.” The Dallas Morning News called Oswald’s world premiere of Profanity, at Dallas’ Undermain Theatre, “brilliantly good.” Other plays include Sex Play (Playwrights Horizons/Clubbed Thumb Superlab), Sun Ra (Joe’s Pub), Nightlands (New Georges), Pony (About Face Theater, Chicago) and Vendetta Chrome (Clubbed Thumb Summerworks).

Collaborations include text for Dan Hurlin’s Disfarmer, which premiered at St. Ann’s Warehouse and Zoetrope, a music-theater work created with composer/director Alec Duffy designer Mimi Lien and developed through the Princeton Atelier. Awards include a Jerome Fellowship, a Six Points Fellowship, and the Dorothy B. Strelsin Playwriting Fellowship at Soho Rep.

Prior to teaching at the UCLA School of Theater, Film and Television, Oswald helmed the Playwriting/Screenwriting program at Purchase College/ SUNY and taught playwriting at Barnard, Mt. Holyoke, Princeton, and Eugene Lang College.

With Jordan Harrison he published four issues of Play A Journal of Plays. His micro-play, Little Thing, is in The Best American Non-Required Reading 2014 and his writings about new plays have appeared in PAJ and The Brooklyn Rail.

Oswald is an affiliated artist at Clubbed Thumb and a resident playwright at New Dramatists. sylvanoswald.com.

PARTICIPANTS

Mira Alibek was born in Russia in 1977. Her family fled the country in 1992 to the United States and settled in Northern Virginia. In 2002, after attending Columbia University, she entered the Interactive Telecommunication graduate program at NYU Tisch, studying interactive video and non-linear storytelling. She has resided in New York City and Bogotá, Colombia, and has recently moved to Los Angeles. Mira works in sculpture and digital media as she investigates concepts of belief and socio-cultural narratives that it engenders. In interactive video, sculpture or installation, her techniques are derivatives of collage, making use of existing images and objects. In recent work, Mira has been exploring the notion of hysteria as a culture-bound syndrome. This evolving body of work includes sculpture, interactive video and mixed media.

Molly Allis is a multi-media artist and musician based in Los Angeles. She designs and constructs interactive environments with sculpture, illustration and sound design, encouraging audience participation and improvisation. Her work raises questions around the boundaries of material reality through activating a world of make believe. Her award-winning animations have screened in festivals internationally, including the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, the Brooklyn Academy of Music, the Madrid Experimental Film Festival, and the Linoleum Festival in Moscow. Molly received her BFA from New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts in Theater Directing/Design, and her MFA from California Institute of the Arts in Integrated Media and Experimental Sound Practices.

Carmen Argote is a Los Angeles based artist whose work focuses on the exploration of personal history through architecture and the spaces that she inhabits. Argote works in installation, photography, sculpture and video. Argote received her MFA from UCLA in 2007 and attended the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture in 2009. Argote exhibited at the Vincent Price Museum 2013, and was commissioned for the Metro Expo Line station at 17th/SMC station in Santa Monica. Argote will be featured in Mi Tierra: Contemporary Artists Explore Place at the Denver Art Museum opening 2017. Argote's work will also be included in The Getty Foundation's Pacific Standard Time: LA/LA Home-So Different, So Appealing exhibition, which will be held at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art in 2017.

Joey Cannizzaro is an undisciplinary artist, curator, and critic. Cannizzaro, along with Dan Bustillo, started The Best Friends Learning Gang, an experiment in disorderly, amateur education, as well as Los Angeles College, an imaginary college populated by real people that grants unrealistic and official honorary doctorate degrees. He is also a member of neverhitsend, a collective that performatively researches communications ideology, surveillance, and privacy. Cannizzaro’s work has been seen at The Hammer Museum, 356 Mission, Machine Project, PS1, Centre Pompidou, Flux Factory, Lancaster Museum of Art, 221a, ForYourArt, some times, and a lot of other places; you can read some of his words online at Temporary Art Review, OnCurating, Radical Actions, Black Clock Blog, or in paper books. He holds an MFA from California Institute of the Arts, a BA from The New School University, and teaches at Los Angeles City College.

Franco Castilla is a Nicaraguan born artist who creates videos, sounds, paintings, and photographs that explore the visual culture and landscape of Los Angeles.

Sophia Cleary is an interdisciplinary artist based in Los Angeles. She has worked with the Kate Bush Dance Troupe, Ann Liv Young, Dynasty Handbag (Jibz Cameron), Neal Medlyn, Alexandra Bachzetsis, and Vanessa Anspaugh & Amber Bemak. She has presented her performance work in NYC at the Center for Performance Research, Danspace Project, Dixon Place, and e-flux in LA at the Hammer Museum and Human Resources Gallery. She is the founder and coordinator of the works-in-progress series REHEARSAL and is co-editor for Ugly Duckling Presse's performance annual Emergency INDEX. She is also a part of the programming committee at Human Resources Gallery in LA's Chinatown. Currently, she plays drums in the feminist punk band Penis, a collaboration with Samara Davis.

Amanda Horowitz is an interdisciplinary artist, often working with video, text, performance, and sculpture. She is also part of a theater collaborative with Bryan Collins, the two are working on a full-length play about a plumbing disaster. She holds a BFA from the Maryland Institute College of Art (2013) and has recently completed a fellowship at the Skowhegan School of Sculpture and Painting (2016).  

Rui Hu (b. 1990, China) is a Los Angeles based artist working primarily with digitally-mediated images and objects. His process often starts with a conceptual proposition and moves into a playful mode of formal experimentation. His work has been seen at venues including the International Film Festival Rotterdam, Netherlands; the Images Festival at the Art Gallery of Ontario, Canada; Skulpturenmuseum Glaskasten Marl, Germany; ISEA, Hong Kong; Cairo Video Festival, Egypt; and the Australian Centre for the Moving Image, Australia. He holds a BFA from New York University and is currently a MFA candidate at the University of California, Los Angeles.

Jody Joyner

Monaí de Paula Antunes, artistic researcher developing performative environments, proposes to bring out transversal communication models by being involved with projects that emphasize an interdisciplinary approach to science, art and the humanities. Monai explores through spatial design the entanglement between embodiment and information.

Yoshie Sakai is a multidisciplinary artist (video, sculpture, and installation) whose work creates an uneasy environment that embodies her love-hate relationship with pop culture, as she uses humor to tackle anxiety about defining herself positively within the idealistic world created by the mass media. More recently, her work challenges the myth of the "model minority" to reveal the complexities that lie underneath the guise of superficial "perfection" of being both Asian-American and a woman in society. Yoshie Sakai is a multidisciplinary artist (video, sculpture, and installation) based in Los Angeles. She attended the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture in 2014 and was the recipient of the 2012 California Community Foundation for Visual Artists Emerging Artist Fellowship. Her work has been shown throughout the United States in film festivals and art exhibitions from Los Angeles to Miami, as well as internationally in Phnom Penh, Cambodia and Victoria, BC, Canada. She received her BFA from California State University Long Beach and her MFA from Claremont Graduate University. 

Marike Splint, currently Assistant Professor at the UCLA School of Theater, Film and Television, is a Dutch director specializing in site-responsive and immersive theater. She mainly creates work outside regular theater venues and in the public space. Fascinated by the theme of belonging, Splint explores the relationship between people, places and identity in her work. She has created shows in sites ranging from a bus driving through a transitional neighborhood to wide open meadows, taxicabs, train stations and hotel rooms. Her work has been presented by festivals and theaters all around the world. A few past presenters include The Ruhrtriennial (Germany), Oerol Festival (The Netherlands), GeoAIR (Tbilisi, Georgia), Anciens Abattoirs de Casablanca (Morocco) and the Live Arts Exchange Festival (USA). She was also the curator of the 2014 edition of the Winters Binnen Festival in Amsterdam. Recent collaborations include an audio play for Trucks Track Ruhr with Rimini Protokoll, and research and text for the smartphone app Remember the Good Times with TG Space. Splint received her bachelor of arts degree in philosophy from the University of Amsterdam and her master of fine arts degree in directing from Columbia University. Among other awards, she is the recipient of a Fulbright Scholarship and a Columbia University Merit Fellowship.

Julia Tcharfas