Detroit Research is a new journal of practice and artist research for Detroit exploring social practice, ceramics, choreography, music, performance, and critical theory. Detroit Research seeks to be a forum for presenting and reflecting upon some of the most challenging post-studio and studio practices emerging in Detroit and to cultivate a critical language for talking about such practices within a national and international framework. Each issue of the journal will have a guest editor and a featured artist as well as work devoted to artist research, and each issue will contain a reflection upon a historically important Detroit journal. Detroit Research will appear in Spring and Fall of each year.
©Detroit Research the present collection. All rights revert to authors upon publication.
firstname.lastname@example.org and detroitresearch.org
Editor: Michael Stone-Richards
Editorial Board: Biba Bell, Kevin Beasley, Ben Hall, Addie Langford
Editorial Assistants: Marissa Jezak, Jessica Newberry
Marketing: Kristin Wellmer
Web Design: Curtis McGuire
Biba Bell (b. 1976, Sebastopol) lives and works in Detroit and NYC. Bell’s performance work has been shown at Time Square Arts, Visual Arts Center UT Austin, Insel Hombroich Germany, NADA Fair NYC, Detroit Institute of Art, The Garage for Contemporary Culture Moscow, Centre Pompidou Paris, The Kitchen NYC, Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit, PaceWildenstein Gallery, Jack Hanley Gallery, Callicoon Fine Arts amongst others. She spent years dancing all over the place in galleries, theaters, libraries, spas, gardens, garages, and homes as a founding member of MGM Grand (Modern Garage Movement) and currently performs internationally with choreographer Maria Hassabi. The New York Times noted her “thrilling dancing” as one of the highlights of 2011, writing “it’s invigorating to watch someone who borders on wild.” Bell writes about para-studio practice and dance’s domestic labor, is achingly close to defending her dissertation in the department of performance studies at New York University, and teaches in the Maggie Allesee Department of Theater and Dance at Wayne State University.
Samantha Bez studied English Literature at the University of Michigan before attending the College for Creative Studies (CCS), Detroit to study Animation and Critical Theory. Her essay on Paul Chan was the recipient of the 2014 Brewster-Smallenberg Prize at CCS.
Ellen Blumenstein is Head Curator of the KW Institute of Contemporary Art in Berlin.
Elysia Borowy is Executive Director of the Museum of Contemporary Art, Detroit (MOCAD).
Chris Braz is a Detroit transplant living in Brooklyn, NY. He received his Bachelor of Fine Arts in Dance Performance from Wayne State University. Originally a child actor, Chris trained with artists in-residence at the Tony Award-winning Alliance Theatre in Atlanta, Georgia and performed with the renowned Youth Ensemble of Atlanta Theatre Company. He has had the opportunity to work with several dance artists, including: Dwight Rhoden, Jillian Peña, Vanessa Tamburi, Biba Bell, Nathan Trice, and others at the Joyce Theatre, St. Marks Danspace Project inc., Alwan Center for Arts, Dixon Place, and The Current Sessions Series. Currently Chris is dancing with Katy Pyle’s Ballez for a month long residency at Governor’s Island, NYC and for MoveWorks Dance Company. Chris believes in the fusion of dance and theatre to create powerful art. His recent work uses technology as a basis for exploring new methods of movement research. www.chrisbraz.com
Vince Carducci is Dean of Undergraduate Studies at College for Creative Studies in Detroit and publisher of the blog Motown Review of Art. His research combines aesthetics and social science to examine ways in which aesthetic communities construct what Eric Olin Wright terms “real utopias.” He has written for many publications, including Artforum, Art in America, the Brooklyn Rail, Huffington Post, Journal of Consumer Culture, Logos, PopMatters, Radical Society, and Sculpture. In 2010, he received a Kresge Arts in Detroit fellowship for art criticism.
Michelle Cowin-Mensah is a doctoral candidate in Theatre at Bowling Green State University. Her research interests include performance studies: identity, representation, and visibility in 20th and 21th century American history. Her dissertation research examines how performances of blackness constitute various Black identities in Post-Recession Detroit. Michelle holds an M.F.A. in Acting from University of California, Irvine and B.A. in Theatre Performance from Western Michigan University.
Lynn Crawford is the author of six books: Solow, Blow, Fortification Resort, Simply Separate People, Simply Separate People Two, and Shankus & Kitto: A Saga. Lynn’s work has appeared in various publications including Fence, Infinite Mile, McSweeney’s and Oulipo Compendium. Her articles on art and literature have appeared in Art in America, Hyperallergic, Brooklyn Rail, Bookforum and Tema Celeste. She is a 2010 Kresge Literary Arts Fellow and a 2016 Rauschenberg Writing Fellow.
Brad Duncan is a writer and political activist. He is a regular contributor to KBOO in Portland, Oregon where he discusses the intersection of music and social change movements. A native of Detroit, Duncan now lives in Philadelphia.
Amelia “Emi” Fontana is a cultural producer, art curator and writer based in Los Angeles. Fontana studied art history at the University La Sapienza in Rome, with a focus on the Venetian Renaissance.
Mary Fortuna has been active in the Detroit art community for twenty-plus years. She graduated from Wayne State University with a BFA in 1992. She has exhibited her work extensively all over Michigan; in Berlin, Germany; Bregenze, Austria; Beijing, China; Prague, Czech Republic; Mirabor, Slovenia; and elsewhere in the United States. Over a period of many years, she has served on the Forum for Contemporary Art at the Detroit Institute of Arts, and on the exhibition committees for the Detroit Artist Market, Detroit Focus and Paint Creek Center for the Arts. She is a member of artist collectives The Slippery Weasel Society and Changing Cities. She has worked as a gallery director; picture framer; group home program coordinator; cook on a dive boat and on the midnight shift at a long series of greasy spoons; and as a part-time reindeer. She is currently employed as the Exhibition Director at Paint Creek Center for the Arts in Rochester, Michigan. When she’s not at work she draws and sews and knits and plays with dolls.
Petrova Giberson was born in New Hampshire 1977. She received her BFA from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 2006 and her MFA in sculpture from Yale University School of Art in 2008. Recently her work has been included in exhibitions at the Night Gallery in L.A. and the 2013 deCordova Biennial. Giberson lives and works in New Hampshire with her husband and two children.
Allen Gillers designs playfully transgressive, accessible civic engagements, with an eye towards the fluorescent and absurd. Gillers received a B.A. in architecture from Columbia University and M.Arch. from the University of Michigan’s Taubman College of Architecture. He is the 2014-2015 Michigan-Mellon Design Fellow at the University of Michigan, and is working at a variety of scales to recalibrate the architect’s role in Detroit’s urban revitalization as an agent of equitable and mischievous design for change.
Tyree Guyton, creator of the Heidelberg Project in Detroit, is primarily a painter and sculptor, but has also been described as an urban environ- mental artist. He has waged a personal war on urban blight on Detroit’s East Side, transforming his neighborhood into a living indoor/outdoor art gallery. Through his art, Guyton has drawn attention to the plight of Detroit’s forgotten neighborhoods and spurred discussion and action. Guyton’s vision for Heidelberg is to transform the two block area into a state-of-the-art Cultural Village. Guyton also exhibits his work extensively throughout the United States and the world. Guyton studied at the College for Creative Studies in Detroit and in 2009 was awarded an honorary Doctorate of Fine Art. His work is featured in the Detroit Institute of Arts, the University of Michigan Museum of Art, the Studio Museum of Harlem, and many others. His work as an artist has earned him over 15 awards, locally and nationally. Guyton has been featured in major publications, books, and television (including the Oprah Winfrey Show) and was the subject of the Emmy Award Winning Documentary, Come Unto M: Tthe Faces of Tyree Guyton; and more recently the subject of a book published in 2007 by WSU Press, Connecting the Dots: Tyree Guyton’s Heidelberg Project—a 2008 Michigan Notable Book. In 20011-2012 Guyton held a residency at the Laurenz House in Basel, Switzerland. Guyton is married and continues to live and work in the city of Detroit.
Hamtramck Ceramck is a ceramic production studio that makes quality utilitarian objects as well as unique collectible art works and pottery. Founded in 2014 by Amber Locke, Ben Saginaw and Patrick Quinn, HC believes in creating a new context in which ceramics are to be understood with in the world of contemporary art. HC operates with in the historic Portage Garage in Hamtramck, MI, a small city inside Detroit. We believe in experimentation, exploration, and the enjoyment of our product for a new audience.
Rebecca R. Hart was named the Polly and Mark Addison Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art at the Denver Art Museum in 2015. She was the associate curator of contemporary art for the Detroit Institute of Arts (DIA, 2005-2015), where she organized exhibitions about Shirin Neshat, Julie Mehretu, and facilitated Matthew Barney’s KHU.
Ryan Harte is a Detroit native. He obtained his B.A. in Economics-Philosophy from Columbia University in New York and the Diplôme du Programme International at Institut d’Etudes Politiques (Sciences Po) in Paris. He is associate editor of Infinite Mile a journal of art and culture in Detroit. Areas of interest include what makes the art and the story of Detroit unique; the roles of cities in new idea generation and the creative exchange; and the interplay of art and fashion.
Kim Harty is an artist, writer, and educator. Her work investigates the connection between craft and performance through sculpture, installation, and video. She is heavily informed by her training as a glassblower, and draws on her personal history as a craftsperson to explore how kinetic knowledge can be tracked, embodied, and performed. Harty is an assistant professor and the section head of Glass at the College for Creative Studies.
Jane Ursula Harris is a Brooklyn writer who contributes to Art in America, The Paris Review, The Believer, and Huffington Post, among other publications. She teaches art history at School of Visual Arts, and is currently at work on the book, After: The Role of the Copy in Modern Art.
Scott Hocking was born in Redford Township, Michigan in 1975. He has lived and worked in Detroit City proper since 1996. He creates site-specific sculptural installations and photography projects, often using found materials and abandoned locations. Inspired by anything from ancient mythologies to current events, his installations focus on transformation, ephemerality, chance, and discovering beauty through the cycles of nature. He is left-handed and wears contact lenses. He has a speech impediment and was once hypnotized in an effort to correct this. He is a Pisces, born on the day of creative isolation, in the week of the loner, and the year of the cat. A psychic once told him he would have an “average life” and die at 88. He does not know how to roller-skate, ice skate, ski, or drive a stick shift. He is a talented percussionist and can play the glockenspiel part in Jupiter from Holst’s Planets suite. He can read palms. He grew up on a dirt road, near a railroad track, with a dog named Bubba, who sometimes slept on the kitchen table. In elementary school, a visiting barnyard turkey took a shit on his head. At 19, he lived in a Toyota Corolla for 4 months. At 27, he lived in a French chateau for 2 months. He has 3 tattoos. He is a 6 of spades. He is the number 11. He has been to 42 of the 50 states. He once hiked the Death Valley dunes on a 117°F day, which led to a lesson from the sheriff, who said: “Son, people die in the desert.” He’s been stalked by a New Mexican mountain lion. He once slept on a Toronto billboard. He has eaten reindeer in Akureyri, deep-fried honeybees in Shanghai, kangaroo in Cambewarra, and drank eggnog in Ciudad Juarez. His spirit animals are the dog, which walks on his left, and the crow, which flies on his right. His childhood nickname was Scooter. He is Cornish, Flemish, Polish, and may have the blood of Spanish soldiers. Two dogs have bitten him in his life: Once on the right calf, and once above the right eye. His favorite films are Le Samourai and The Road Warrior. He has been arrested 6 times, and accumulated more traffic tickets than anyone you know. His artwork has been exhibited internationally, including the Detroit Institute of Arts, Cranbrook Art Museum, the Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit, the University of Michigan, the Smart Museum of Art, the School of the Art Institute Chicago, Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis, the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts Museum, the Mattress Factory Art Museum, the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, the Kunst-Werke Institute, the Van Abbemuseum, and Kunsthalle Wien. He was recently awarded a Kresge Artist Fellowship, and he is represented by Susanne Hilberry Gallery.
Dan Hoffman, formerly Head of the Department of Architecture, Cranbrook Academy of Art, 1971-1986, is currently Clinical Professor, School of Architecture, University of Utah. Hoffman is also a co-founder of Studio Ma, a collaborative design practice located in Downtown Phoenix, Arizona.
Marissa Jezak graduated in 2014 with a BFA from the College for Creative Studies, Detroit. Recent exhibitions include Pearlite at WAKE in New Haven, CT (2015), Midnight Papers at Et al. in San Francisco, CA (2016), and Gest’s Candle at Kimberly-Klark in New York, New York (2016). She currently lives and works in Hamtramck, Michigan.
Jennifer Junkermeier is a curator, writer and art administrator based in the Detroit Metro since 2012. She is the co-founding editor of ∞ mile (Infinite Mile), a journal of art + culture(s) in Detroit, an online monthly journal that released its first issue in December 2013. ∞ mile (Infinite Mile) has received grants from the Awesome Foundation, Knight Foundation and the MCACA. Junkermeier was born in Minneapolis, MN and moved to New York, NY in 1999 where she lived and worked until 2011. She has worked in commercial and non-profit art spaces producing exhibitions of contemporary art both independently and collaboratively.
Jaamil Olawale Kosoko – Originally from Detroit, Jaamil Olawale Kosoko is a Nigerian American curator, poet, and performance artist currently based in Brooklyn, NY. His newest performance #negrophobia, premiering in the Agnes Varis Performance Lab, examines the erotic fear associated with black male body. Kosoko juxtaposes interior and exterior landscapes to expose a confessional identity-mashup where visual and performance aesthetics collide in a face-off of self revelation, ecstatic theatricality, and discomfort. Part social commentary and part self-critique, #negrophobia references issues related to grief, misogyny and Black patriarchal constructs of masculinity housed within the chaotic frame of a body and mind on the verge of psychosomatic collapse.
Paul Kotula is an artist, curator and gallerist living and working in metro-Detroit. He is also an associate professor at Michigan State University.
Addie Langford is a painter and ceramic artist in Detroit. Her solo show A Time Elsewhere: New Works by Addie Langford will be held at the Simone DeSousa Gallery, Detroit in September. A graduate of RISD and Cranbrook she was a Fulbright Fellow in Madrid where she studied Baroque art, tapestry and collage sensibility. She has also been Head of the Art School at the Flint Institute of Arts and an Adjunct at the Penny Stamps School of Art + Design.
Tom Lauerman is Assistant Professor and current Area Head of Sculpture Studio at Penn State University School of Visual Arts. He received his MFA from Cranbrook Academy of Art and his BFA from SMU Meadows School of Art. His work has been exhibited in Berlin, Detroit, Philadelphia, and Chicago. He has been an Artist in Residence at the ClayArch Gimhae Museum in South Korea, the Kohler Arts/Industry residency, and Pilchuck Glass School. He is also a recipient of the Horizon Award from the American Craft Museum (now Museum of Arts and Design) in New York.
Ralph Lemon is a choreographer, writer and visual artist. He currently serves as the Artistic Director of Cross Performance, a company dedicated to the creation of cross-cultural and cross-disciplinary performance and presentation.
Glen Mannisto is a poet and a Detroit based art journalist. He writes regularly about both Detroit gallery exhibitions and for nationally published art journals. He teaches the History of Modern Design at the College for Creative Studies and has edited two art journals– Straits and Trait. He is currently working on a monograph about Michigan WPA Post Office murals commissioned in Michigan.
Anthony Marcellini is an artist, writer and curator currently based in Detroit. His practice is centered on investigating moments when an object’s relationship with humans begins to fluctuate. He has exhibited internationally in museums, galleries, and biennials and his writing has been published in noted art journals and online publications.
Sarah Margolis-Piñeo, formerly Ralph and Jeanne Graham Collections Fellow at Cranbrook Art Museum between 2010-2012, is currently Associate Curator at the Museum of Contemporary Craft, Portland, Oregon.
Thollem McDonas is a pianist, composer, improviser and teacher. He travels perpetually internationally performing as a soloist as well as in collaboration with a wide array of artists in wildly divergent directions. In the past 7 years, he has added 35 albums to his discography on 15 different vanguard labels. He was born and raised in the San Francisco Bay Area of Irish and Cherokee descent. At the age of five, he began studying the keyboard repertoire from the medieval to the 20th century and studied with many notable teachers including Aiko Onishi and Lou Harrison. After graduating with degrees in both piano performance and composition, he stepped from the concert pianist trajectory to dedicate his time to grassroots political movements and ecological restoration projects. In 2005, he returned to his music as his full focus, incorporating his myriad experiences into his compositions, improvisations and teaching.
Curtis McGuire is a legal worker, photographer, graphic designer and community organizer. Living in Detroit since 2004, Curtis received his BFA from the College for Creative Studies (CCS) in 2008. He is presently employed by the Detroit & Michigan Chapter of the National Lawyers Guild, the Constitutional Litigation Associates, and he teaches at the CCS. He is on the Editorial Collective of Critical Moment Newspaper and serves as an Executive Board Member of the National Lawyers Guild (NYC) as the Legal Workers Vice President.
Andrew Mehall graduated with a BFA in Fine Arts and a Minor in Critical Theory from the College for Creative Studies, Detroit.
Marsha Miro was the art critic at the Detroit Free Press from 1974-1995 during the dissolution of Detroit. She left for Cranbrook where she was architectural historian from 1995-2005. During that time she worked with others to establish the Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit which opened in 2006. She is the Founding Director of MOCAD.
Dominic Molon, formerly Chief Curator of the Contemporary Art Museum, St Louis, is currently Richard Brown Baker Curator of Contemporary Art, RISD Museum, Providence, Rhode Island.
Jessica Newberry received her training as an artist focusing on Critical Theory at the College for Creative Studies in Detroit. She went on to complete an MA with a concentration in Critical Theory in the Aesthetics and Politics program at the California Institute of the Arts, graduating in 2015. She currently teaches art history at Lawrence Technological University.
Shelley Selim is the Associate Curator of Design and Decorative Arts at the Indianapolis Museum of Art. Before joining the IMA, she was the Jeanne and Ralph Graham Assistant Curator at Cranbrook Art Museum in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan. Selim has curated numerous exhibitions and written extensively on modern and contemporary design and craft.
Ezra Shales, Ph.D, is Professor in the Massachusetts College of Art and Design. BA Wesleyan University; MFA Hunter College; PhD Bard Graduate Center for Studies in the Decorative Arts, Design and Culture
Mårten Spångberg is a performance-related artist living and working in Stockholm. His interests concern choreography in an expanded field . He has been active on stage as performer and creator since 1994, and since 1999 he has created his own choreographies, from solos to larger scale works, which have toured internationally. He has collaborated with Xavier Le Roy, Christine De Smed t /Les Ballets C. de la B., Jan Ritsema, and Krõõt Juurak a.o.
With the architect Tod Lindstrand Mårten Spångberg initiated the International Festival, an interdisciplinary practice merging architecture and choreography / performance. From 1996 – 2005 Spångberg organized and curated festivals in Sweden and internationally and initiated the network organization INPEX in 2006. His experience in teaching both theory and practice is thorough. Mårten Spångberg was director of the MA programe in choreography at the University of Dance in Stockholm.
Michael Stone-Richards, founding editor of Detroit Research, is Professor in the College for Creative and recently appointed Chair of the Committee on Critical Studies. He is completing a book on Care of the City: Ruination, Abandonment, and Hospitality in Contemporary Practice.
Maya Stovall is a fourth generation Detroiter, dance artist, and Ph.D. candidate with a focus on dance & performance, space & place, and cities at Wayne State University. Maya’s work explores performance on the street and stage, blackness, gentrification, dance in public spaces; and is based in the east side neighborhood, McDougall-Hunt, where she lives and works in an old Comerica bank with her husband Todd “Quaint” Stovall, who is a designer and electronic music composer. Maya’s dance ethnography project, Liquor Store Theatre, is a series of dance performances and conversations at party stores across Detroit, winding through the city with whimsy, curiosity, fantasy, and on most days, an open heart.
www.mayastovall.com & www.finitestudios.tumblr.com
Leyya Mona Tawil is a conceptual artist working with dance and music practices. She is a Syrian-Palestinian-American engaged in the world as such. Tawil is the director of DANCE ELIXIR and TAC: Temescal Art Center. Her work has been presented in Russia, Canada and 13 countries throughout Europe and the Arab world. Her approach to experimental performance is based on conceptual scoring and location-based variables. She has discussed this process with author Linda Weintraub for Movement Research’s Critical Correspondence; as well as interviews with NEA Art Talks, Art21 (NYC) and Art Territories (Ramallah). She holds a BDA from the University of Michigan and an MFA from Mills College. Tawil has served as dance faculty at Middlebury College (VT), UM-Ann Arbor and the University of San Francisco. www.danceElixirLIVE.org
Benjamin Teague is an artist, musician and educator. As an artist, Benjamin’s work in ceramics, painting and sculpture is shown nationally and internationally. As a musician, he is a solo musician and member of Detroit band, Behind the Times. He is currently adjunct professor in ceramics at University of Michigan and the Associate Curator for Maxine and Stuart Frankel Foundation for Art.
Terry2day is a project initiated by people living in Detroit’s Cass Corridor with the intent of documenting the quotidian post-studio practice of artist/dancer Terrance Williams as he performs on the corner of Selden Street and Second Avenue. The corner in which Terry dances plays a pivotal role in the development of the neighborhood, recently rebranded as “Midtown.” The corner has seen its parks fenced off, streets changed, and boutique stores pop up all around. In the midst of this change Terry continues to dance, subtly perfecting his art form by making public space his studio. With ritual as practice, his methodical consistency becomes art in the face of change. Crowdsourced images serve to document both the neighborhood and his meticulous art form as they occur everyday before our eyes. Terry2Day is documented through Instagram under the moniker “Terry2day.” Feel free to submit your documentation.
George Tysh from 1980 to 1991 directed LINES: New Writing at the Detroit Institute of Arts, and (with Chris Tysh) edited In Camera, a project devoted to works of the sexual imaginary. In 2010, United Artists Books published his tenth collection of poetry, The Imperfect. He currently teaches film studies, visual culture, and poetry at the College for Creative Studies. His latest book is a poetry sequence, The Slip, from BlazeVOX of Buffalo, NY.
Barret Watten is a “language-centered” poet and critic of modern cultures. His collected earlier poems, Frame: 1971–1990, appeared from Sun & Moon in 1997; Bad History, a non-narrative prose poem, from Atelos in 1998; and Progress/Under Erasure, a combined edition of two long poems, from Green Integer in 2004. He has collaborated on two multi¬-authored experimental works: Leningrad: American Writers in the Soviet Union (Mercury House, 1992) and The Grand Piano: An Experiment in Collective Autobiography, San Francisco, 1975–80, which began its ten-volume serial publication in 2006 and was completed in 2010. His critical study, The Constructivist Moment: From Material Text to Cultural Poetics (Wes¬leyan University Press, 2003), received the René Wellek Prize in 2004; Total Syntax came out from Southern Illinois University Press in 1985. He edited the language-centered magazine This in the 1970s and co-edited Poetics Journal with Lyn Hejinian in the 1980s. He was a Fulbright Scholar at Univer- sität Tübingen, Germany, in 2005, and is a Professor of English at Wayne State University. His latest book, edited with Lyn Hejinian, is A Guide to Poetics Journal: Writing in the Expanded Field, 1982-1998 (Wesleyan University Press, 2013).