Updated November 2015

The Art & Law Program (“The Program”) is a seminar series with a theoretical and philosophical focus on the effects of law and jurisprudence on cultural production and reception. An examination of how artistic practices challenge, rupture, and change the apparatus of law completes The Program. The Program consists of a nonpartisan community that aims to attract qualified individuals in the areas of visual art, architecture, writing, curating, and film. This list is non-exclusive. Artists with non-traditional practices are especially encouraged to apply, as are cultural producers interested in the cultural effects of law. The Art & Law Program takes place in New York City from mid-January to early May. In 2016 the Program will hold its seminars at the Triple Canopy space in Brooklyn.

Fellows of The Program will meet once a week to discuss readings and visual materials with the Director of the Program, Sergio Muñoz Sarmiento, curator/art historian and Associate Director of the Program, Lauren van Haaften-Schick; and/or with a guest seminar leader. Seminar leaders assign required readings and present ideas and materials relevant to their areas of practice. There is a particular emphasis on the understanding of legal cases and texts through a close analysis of reading and writing.

Intellectual property and moral rights seminar, 2014.

Intellectual property and moral rights seminar, 2014.

Through an analysis of legal structures and modes of thought, the Program aims to critique current artistic, curatorial, theoretical and art historical practices and methodologies. Conversely, the use of law and jurisprudence as theory, practice and medium is explored.

Please note that The Program does not focus on traditional and conventional critical theories (e.g.- Marxism, post-structuralism, post-colonialism, feminism, globalization, etc.), but rather investigates how the philosophy and practice of law disturbs the critical theory establishment and creates a new space and discourse for aesthetic, cultural and intellectual practices.

The Art & Law Program will conclude with an end-of-program retreat at Denniston Hill artist residency.

Who Should Apply? 

The Program seeks qualified, open-minded and self-motivated individuals with a genuine and rigorous attraction to critical thought and debate. In particular, The Program welcomes candidates who are open to controversial dialogue and who seek to challenge their respective practices.

With this in mind, there is no exhibition or paper presentations which conclude the program. Rather, participants are highly encouraged to produce – on their own – a static or non-static material with what is learned, or unlearned, during and after The Program. Please note that the Program is not for everyone. Applicants are encouraged to study and fully understand the mission of the Program and speak with alumni regarding the Program’s structure and expectations of its participants.

2013 Art & Law Program residents at Denniston Hill, NY.

2013 Art & Law Program residents at Denniston Hill, NY.


The Art & Law Residency, the first residency of its kind, was founded in 2010. During my studies at Cornell Law School, I often wondered what it would have been like to have been exposed to legal texts and legal scholars while I was a graduate art student at CalArts and a fellow at the Whitney Museum’s Independent Study Program. The Art & Law Program brings this reflection into existence. I now look forward to welcoming the seventh class to The Program in 2016.


The Art & Law Program is fiscally sponsored by Fractured Atlas, a 501(c)(3) public charity. Contributions for the purposes of Art & Law Program are tax-deductible to the extent permitted by law. If you would like to donate to the Art & Law Program, you may do so online here.

Art & Law Program winter party at Duff's Bar, Brooklyn, NY (2013).

Art & Law Program winter party at Duff’s Bar, Brooklyn, NY (2013).