For the past two years, Art + Practice has collaborated with the California African American Museum (CAAM) on a program series called Points of Access. The series was developed as an outlet for artists of all stages to receive practical information on creating a sustainable career and practice for themselves. This year, Points of Access is focusing on a central theme: Documentation.
In partnership with CAAM, the second installment of a four-part series exploring documentation as an intentional and value-driven process looks at the importance of audio for artists. The evening will feature a moderated panel of speakers from various audio backgrounds such as podcasting, radio, field recording, sound artistry, and sonic archiving who all use sound as a means for documenting processes, ideas, people, or events.
Alan Nakagawa is an interdisciplinary artist primarily working with sound, occasionally incorporating video, sculpture, drawing, painting, performance, food and most recently perfumes. He has combined his passion for sound and color; research; as well as memory and listening into a robust and eclectic art career. Nakagawa is currently the Artist in Resident for the Pasadena Buddhist Temple through Side Street Projects.
Nakagawa is currently working on a book about his unique experience of being the artist-in-residence at nine institutions (2016-2019). The book will be an anatomy of experiences that collectively trained him to become an artist drawn to and capable of working in private and public institutions.
He is the host of VISITINGS Radio Show, a podcast about artists who practice public engagement; co-founder of the now defunct non-profit arts collective Collage Ensemble Inc. (1984-2011) and curated Ear Meal Webcast (2010-2016), a webcast documenting the Los Angeles experimental music and sound arts community.
Nakagawa was the first Creative Catalyst Artist in Resident for the Los Angeles Department of Transportation. He has presented his work at the Hirshhorn Museum in Washington DC, the Orange County Museum of Art and the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. He is a recipient of two Art Matters grants, City of Los Angeles Artist Fellowship, California Community Foundation Mid-Career Artist Fellowship and a Monbusho Scholarship. He received a Masters of Fine Arts from University of California Irvine and a Bachelors of Fine Arts from Otis/ Parsons School of Art and Design.
Alejandro Cohen is a musician and composer from Los Angeles, California, and the director of non-profit radio station DUBLAB. Over the last two decades Cohen has released music under numerous projects and groups including Languis and Pharaohs. He’s composed music for TV shows, documentaries and educational materials, and recorded more than two hundred solo artists and bands as a sound engineer and consultant for dublab.com, KPFK 90.7 FM, Sony/Columbia and the Society for the Activation of Social Space Through Art and Sound (SASSAS). As Executive Director of internet radio station and creative collective DUBLAB, Cohen curates the station’s programming and podcast offerings, fundraises for the organization and curates the annual ambient music event Tonalism.
Justen LeRoy is an artist and community organizer working to make art more accessible to underserved communities. After three years as Community Outreach Coordinator at The Underground Museum and launching SON. in 2017, he is now working to bring events and conversation to his father’s barbershop, Touched By An Angel.
Rebecca Lehrer is the co-founder and CEO of The Mash-Up Americans. She has spent 16+ years doing strategy, marketing, and audience development in media, arts, and culture (Director of BD at New York Public Radio, The Flea Theater, Headlands Center for the Arts, Righteous Persons Foundation) and has over 10 years experience in audio and podcasting. She earned an MBA at the Yale School of Management and a BA in English at Columbia University. Her work focuses on the shared cultural experiences that bring people together and re-centering stories on voices you don’t usually hear. Through her work with The Mash-Up Americans Creative Studio, she works with companies like Hello Sunshine, SoulPancake, National Domestic Workers Alliance, Google, and Automattic using audio to elevate and center Mash-Up stories. She has lectured at Yale University and Loyola Marymount University and her work with The Mash-Up Americans has been lauded in The New York Times, Forbes, Los Angeles Magazine, The Guardian and more.
Sayre Quevedo is an artist and journalist. He works across mediums to tell stories about intimacy, identity, and human relationships. In 2018 his documentary ‘Espera’ received the Third Coast/RHDF Directors’ Choice Award and his other story ‘The Quevedos’ was nominated for a Best Audio Documentary award by the International Documentary Association (IDA). The latter was also named one of the best podcast episodes of the year by Vulture and Indiewire. Then, in 2019 he won the Third Coast/RHDF Gold Award for Best Documentary for ‘The Return’ and was again nominated for a Best Audio Documentary award by the IDA for that same story. Quevedo was the Fall 2019 Podcaster-in-Residence for the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA) and works for The Daily at The New York Times.
W. F. Umi Hsu (pronouns they/them) was born in Taipei and moved to Virginia at age 12. Hsu is a sound ethnographer and artist whose practice is driven by inquiries about sound and migratory communities. Their long term project explores Taiwan’s street sound cultures in relation to the urban underclass experience of city development, mobility, and technology. Working to create social change through sound, Hsu leads two projects: LA Listens, a sound-based community project that reflects on LA’s changing sensory and social ecology; and mobile placemaking collective Movable Parts. Hsu also writes songs about the melancholic postcolony in ghost pop band Bitter Party.
With a PhD in Critical and Comparative Studies in Music from the University of Virginia, Hsu has received fellowships and awards from National Endowment for the Arts, American Council for Learned Society, Shuttleworth Foundation, and LA Metro and has works presented by the Rubin Museum, Japanese American National Museum, CTM Festival in Berlin, Tuesday Night Cafe, and MIT Community Innovators Lab. Hsu teaches as an adjunct professor at USC and ArtCenter College of Design and currently works as the Director of Content Strategy at the ONE Archives Foundation.
POINTS OF ACCESS: VISUAL AND GRAPHIC DESIGN