The Art & Law Program (“The Program”) is a semester-long 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 aims to attract qualified individuals in the areas of visual art, architecture, writing, curating, and law. This list is non-exclusive. Artists with new genre and post-studio practices are especially encouraged to apply, as are lawyers and legal scholars interested in the cultural effects of law. The Art & Law Program takes place in New York City from mid-January to early May and is held in collaboration with Fordham Law School.
Participants of The Program will meet once a week at Fordham Law School to discuss readings and visual materials with artist/lawyer Sergio Muñoz Sarmiento, and/or with a guest seminar leader. Seminar leaders assign required readings and present ideas and materials relevant to their areas of practice.
Current topics and areas of study include property law, obscenity, child pornography, technology, religion, constitutional law, intellectual property, criminal law, philosophy and law, international law, and other critical issues surrounding culture and jurisprudence. There is a particular emphasis on the critique of current artistic, curatorial, and art historical practices and methodologies, particularly vis-a-vis legal frameworks and structures. Conversely, the use of law and jurisprudence as theory, practice and medium is explored.
As an added and unique component of The Program, participants will have the opportunity to meet individually with the program director and the opportunity to work one-on-one with Fordham Law School students on research topics relevant to the Participants’ respective projects. The Art & Law Program will conclude with an end-of-program retreat. The weekend-long retreat will take place at Denniston Hill artist residency, and will offer the 2014 participants the opportunity to share ideas and thoughts gained through The Art & Law Program with the other participants.
The Program seeks qualified and self-motivated individuals with a genuine and rigorous attraction to critical thought and debate, and who seek to challenge their respective practices. With this in mind, there is no pre-established exhibition which concludes 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.
In 2010, I founded the VLA Art & Law Residency, the first residency of its kind. Why did I start it? 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 an artist-in-residence at the Whitney Museum’s Independent Study Program. The Art & Law Program, in collaboration with Fordham Law School, brings this reflection into existence. I now look forward to welcoming the fifth class to The Program in 2014.