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UCR Hosts State of the Arts Conference


State of the Arts 2008 Conference Set for Nov. 6-8

UC Riverside will host the annual event of the UC Institute for Research in the Arts.

(October 17, 2008)

RIVERSIDE, Calif. – UC Riverside will host State of the Arts 2008, the annual conference of the University of California Institute for Research in the Arts (UCIRA), Nov. 6-8 at venues on campus and in downtown Riverside.

The event brings together artists, scholars and arts administrators from across the UC system and beyond. Located at a different UC campus each year, this year’s program will be held at UCR and in the historic downtown arts district in the Life Arts building, a working artists’ studio space and event center located at 3485 University Ave.

Registration is required by Oct. 31 and costs $40, which includes the cost of meals.

This year’s program engages the theme of “demonstration” and will include performances, installations, presentations, workshops and nightly events by UC and Southern California artists. The conference will demonstrate new models for university/community partnership in artistic research, with participation and performances from a broad spectrum of non-UC affiliated artists.

“We are pleased to co-sponsor this conference” said Stephen Cullenberg, dean of the UCR College of Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences. “This conference brings together some of the most talented and thoughtful artists from across the UC system to discuss, debate, perform and intervene with many new artistic genres and conversations. The fact that this year’s conference is in downtown Riverside is recognition of the importance UCR places on community involvement in the arts. Together with the city of Riverside, UCR’s ARTSblock is helping to create a vibrant artistic community, a vital part of the arts corridor of southern California.”

UCIRA has long focused on the arts across California, creating new partnerships between the University and local communities, said Renee Coulombe, UCR assistant professor of music. This year, State of the Arts is itself a demonstration of a new kind of arts conference, she said.

“Situated in a working arts studio in downtown Riverside, it will blur the edges between artistic research on and off campus,” Coulombe said. “Many artists in the Life Arts building will open their studios all weekend and welcome our presence, and we have invited them, in turn, to participate fully in the performances, panels and workshops. State of the Arts will demonstrate the vibrancy and vitality of the arts and artistic life in Riverside, from downtown to UCR campus and beyond.”

The event will begin Thursday, Nov. 6, during Riverside’s Artswalk with a 6 p.m. performance on the downtown pedestrian mall of Buckworld One, a hip-hop theater production created by Rickerby Hinds, a UCR assistant professor of theater, and the Free Improvisation Ensemble, a group of musicians, dancers, visual, media and theater artists working in both traditional and experimental performance genres.

Friday and Saturday will include panels, speakers and roundtables. All panels feature a mix of approaches and disciplines, with performances, lecture/demonstrations, and scholarly discussions side by side. Local artists from across Southern California will be featured in discussion and performance events alongside those from UC campuses to capture the broad vibrancy of arts in the region.

Among the scheduled panels are “Actors, Avatars, Cyberselves,” which will feature both a short theatrical performance and several papers on avatars in gaming; “Acting, Ghosting, Gaming,” which will include intermedia performances and a scholarly perspective from UCR graduate student Paul Cheng; and a discussion by UCR sound installation artist and composer Tim Labor and Martha Demson, the artistic director of the Open Fist Theatre in Hollywood , about new artistic alliances between the university and venues in Los Angeles.

Friday’s program concludes with a media performance event in UC Riverside’s Arts Building Performance Lab with music by the Kaiburg Duo, Gamelan Plesetan and composer Pablo Ortiz, as well as an original work by choreographer/dancer Chia-Yi Seetoo.

Saturday evening will conclude with “Peripheral Visions,” an intermedia performance that includes a video installation by Marsia Alexander-Clarke, film screenings, fashion, and a dance and music installation.

The event also includes presentations by featured speakers Toby Miller, chair of UCR’s Department of Media and Cultural Studies, Bruce Ferguson of Future Arts Research at Arizona State University, and Clementine Deliss, Future Academy, Edinburgh College of Art.

The full schedule and registration information are available at www.ucira.ucsb.edu.

The University of California, Riverside (www.ucr.edu) is a doctoral research university, a living laboratory for groundbreaking exploration of issues critical to Inland Southern California, the state and communities around the world. Reflecting California's diverse culture, UCR's enrollment has exceeded 21,000 students. The campus opened a medical school in 2013 and has reached the heart of the Coachella Valley by way of the UCR Palm Desert Center. The campus has an annual statewide economic impact of more than $1 billion.

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