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Aspen Art Museum


A Conversation with Cauleen Smith & Ryan C. Clarke

Dec 16, 2023
3:00 PM
Rooftop Café

Free & Open to the Public
Registration Required, Register Here

On the occasion of her exhibition Mines to Caves, please join us for a conversation between artist Cauleen Smith and geologist Ryan C. Clarke. Smith is a filmmaker and artist who produces evocative, powerful works about our place as humans on the planet. Recent research looks to climate change, land excavation, and the poetic import of the volcano as a site unclaimed by man. In this discussion, Smith sits down with Clarke for a conversation that reimagines the current geological epoch known as the Holocene. The pair will delve into Smith’s experimental 2022 book Volcano Manifesto, unpacking key reference points and research interests, in particular how Earth studies and Black studies can find kinship and mutuality. They will also put forth new cultural, relational methods for engaging with the Earth.

Following the talk, kick off the first Après party with a special DJ set by exhibition co-curator Anisa Jackson, aka DJ Cardamami.

Artist Bio

Cauleen Smith (b. Riverside, California, 1967) lives and works in Los Angeles, CA. She received her BFA from San Francisco State University, San Francisco, CA, and her MFA from University of California, Los Angeles, CA. Smith is the recipient of several grants and awards, including the 2022 Heinz Award; Guggenheim Fellowship; Joyce Alexander Wein Artist Prize; Ellsworth Kelly Award; The Herb Alpert Award in the Arts; and a Rauschenberg Residency. Smith’s works have been featured in solo exhibitions at institutions such as Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Los Angeles, CA; Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, NY; Institute of Contemporary Art, Philadelphia, PA; San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, San Francisco, CA; Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, Chicago, IL; Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago, IL; Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art, North Adams, MA; Contemporary Arts Museum Houston, Houston, TX; and Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburgh, PA, among others. Her work is included in numerous public collections, such as the Art Institute of Chicago; Los Angeles County Museum of Art; Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles; San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; Studio Museum Harlem; Smithsonian Museum of American Art; and the Whitney Museum of American Art.

Ryan Christopher Clarke is a tonal geologist from the Northern Gulf Coast. He is attuned to the passage of time as both a trained sedimentologist and artist-researcher as co-editor at dweller electronics, a group dedicated towards providing black counterpoint within an otherwise eurologically dominant music industry. His works have been included in Rhizome, Frieze Art Fair Los Angeles, Arena Annual, Terraforma Journal, Louisiana State University Digital Commons, Boiler Room Festival New York, and YesWeCannibal. He is a member of the American Geosciences Union, a co-recipient of the Allied Media Critical Minded Grant, and is currently studying Ethnomusicology at Tulane University in New Orleans, LA investigating local cultural objects and their metaphysical communications.