Works In Progress

Works In Progress

When times are challenging, how can the arts help us find our way forward? Works In Progress is a podcast from the UCLA School of the Arts and Architecture, a forward-looking interdisciplinary center for creativity and scholarship. The show's host, Avishay Artsy, looks at current topics and trends through the lens of art, architecture and design, and explores the ideas and practices of UCLA’s faculty, staff, students and alumni. Learn more at https://podcast.arts.ucla.edu.

Episodes

November 24, 2021 37 min

As we approach the end of 2021 and the second holiday season of the Covid-19 pandemic, many of us are tired, frustrated, and impatient to see transmission rates drop and restrictions further loosened.

Meanwhile, our front-line medical workers are bracing themselves for a repeat of last winter’s surge in hospitalizations, driven this year by the non-vaccinated.

Dr. Thanh Neville is an ICU physician, researcher, and the current medical...

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The composer, bandleader, and pianist Arturo O'Farrill has his hands full. The seven-time GRAMMY Award-winning jazz musician is a professor of global jazz studies at the UCLA Herb Alpert School of Music, where he is also the associate dean of equity, diversity, and inclusion.

O’Farrill, the director of the renowned Afro Latin Jazz Orchestra, has just released the album "...dreaming in lions...", his debut on the legendar...

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Rap and hip-hop are the most popular musical genres in the United States. At the end of 2017, Nielsen Music, which tracks music listenership, noted that the combined genre of R&B and hip-hop had surpassed rock to become the most-consumed style of music in the country. 

Hip-hop continues to grow and evolve, and Adam Bradley has been tracking its changes. He teaches English at UCLA and founded the Laboratory for Race and Popular C...

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In July of 2020, soon after the murder of George Floyd at the hands of Minneapolis police along with the murder of many other Black men and women, the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors established an anti-racist County policy agenda. They also created an executive director of racial equity position for Los Angeles County with a charge of creating a strategic plan to eliminate structural racism and bias in the county, and appo...

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The search engines that we use throughout the day, like Google and Yahoo, aren’t just useful digital tools. They’re also multi-billion dollar companies that track our browsing habits and sell that data to advertisers and marketers. They also invest heavily in developing artificial intelligence – highly complex algorithms meant to predict and manipulate our behavior. But just as humans have biases, so do the algorithms. And that has...

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Diane White-Clayton found her voice in the church. As a little girl in Washington DC, the church was central to her community. The classically trained singer and pianist studied music at Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri, and at UC-Santa Barbara, where she received her masters and PhD.

Music has brought her around the country and around the world, where she performs, conducts choral groups, composes original music, and le...

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Leroy Moore is a writer, poet, community activist, and a hip-hop and music lover. He was born with cerebral palsy, and has dedicated much of his writing and activism to disability rights. He co-founded Krip-Hop Nation, a movement that uses hip-hop as a means of expression for people with disabilities.

Moore is currently a doctoral student in linguistic anthropology at UCLA. He writes and delivers lectures and performances that refle...

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Luis Alfaro is a celebrated and award-winning artist and writer. His plays, short stories, poems, and performances are often set in barrios like the Pico-Union district of downtown Los Angeles where he grew up, and tell stories about working class people and the systems that trap them – systems of poverty, incarceration, racism and homophobia. Alfaro is a MacArthur "genius" fellow, teaches theater at the University of South...

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The arts can heal and transform us. This is something that Ping Ho has been advocating since she founded the group UCLArts & Healing in 2004. It trains artists, educators, therapists, health care professionals, and community members to use visual art, movement, music and writing, in concert with mental health practices, to build social and emotional skills and foster self-discovery. 

These alternative health practices have gradu...

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California Assemblymember Isaac Bryan ran in a special election earlier this year and won the California State Assembly seat representing the 54th District. The district includes a wide swath of West LA and South LA, including Westwood, Mar Vista, Culver City, Ladera Heights, View Park and Leimert Park.

Prior to holding elected office, Bryan was a longtime organizer and educator, and the director of public policy at the UCLA Ralph J...

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May 26, 2021 46 min

The Fowler Museum at UCLA has brought together approximately 200 objects from collections across campus for an exhibition called "The Map and the Territory: 100 Years of Collecting at UCLA." The show was set to open last spring to coincide with UCLA’s Centennial, and will now open in July.

Thematically linked and geographically diverse, the objects – such as a guitar made from an armadillo, a meteorite, a Star Trek manuscrip...

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Ellen Reid SOUNDWALK is a GPS-enabled work of public sound art that gives users a customized soundtrack for their walk. Subtly shifting compositions change along with users’ paths to reflect their environment.  

SOUNDWALK's creator is the Pulitzer Prize-winning composer and sound artist Ellen Reid. UCLA’s Center for the Art of Performance presented the Griffith Park version of the app.  

In an interview with the UCLA Arts podcast...

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In the late ‘90s, Fulton Leroy Washington, also known as Mr. Wash, was convicted of a nonviolent drug offense and sentenced to life in prison. He has always maintained his innocence. He served 21 years, until President Obama granted him clemency and commuted his sentence in 2016. 

Washington learned how to paint in prison. Several of his teardrop paintings – which show photorealistic portraits of people with big tears rolling down ...

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The vast majority of UCLA's research budget, which topped $1.4 billion last year, is spent in the fields of science, technology, engineering and math to develop vaccines and robots as well as break new ground in agriculture, chemistry, nanoscience, and other fields.

Although the arts and humanities historically receive considerably less research funding than the STEM fields, they are just as vital to UCLA’s research environment...

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These are polarized times. Fights over masks and vaccines, the debate over policing, immigration reform and the border situation – even in this new political era, partisan divides feel as wide as ever.

For Janet O’Shea, fighting may be the solution. She’s a professor in the UCLA Department of World Arts and Cultures/Dance, and focuses on critical dance studies, performance, and the social and political contexts of martial arts.

In th...

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The rise of blockchain-enabled NFTs, or non-fungible tokens, to buy and sell artwork has created a boon for digital artists, who have long struggled with selling works that can be infinitely reproducible. 

In this episode of Works In Progress, faculty and alumni of the UCLA Department of Design Media Arts weigh in on the potential for NFTs to empower artists, connect them directly with fans and collectors, and build demand and appre...

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Three alumni of the UCLA Department of Architecture and Urban Design have teamed up to design an art gallery housed in an industrial stretch of Historic South-Central Los Angeles.

Kevin Sherrod gave Works In Progress a tour of Gallery 90220, which he – along with fellow UCLA architecture alums Chris Doerr and Wayne Thomas – hopes will become a hub of community and inspiration, to be led by and primarily serve an audience of color. 

...

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When Susan Leigh Foster gets in front of an audience, she doesn’t spend much time standing behind a podium or pointing at slides. The choreographer and scholar dances freely around the stage, her movements underlining and sometimes building on her words.

"I needed to provide the audience with an example of what I was talking about, and also an example of why it's so difficult to talk about," she said. “I also wanted to o...

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The Hammer Museum at UCLA plans to reopen April 17, allowing the public to finally see Made in L.A. 2020: a version, the acclaimed biennial that spotlights emerging Los Angeles artists and, for the first time, extends to galleries at the Huntington Library, Art Museum and Botanical Gardens in San Marino.

“We’re not allowed to have big gatherings or big crowds,” said Connie Butler, the Hammer’s chief curator. “It will be quiet and a ...

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Before the pandemic, downtown L.A. was in the midst of a renaissance, with the steady opening of new bars, restaurants, hotels and apartment buildings.

Architect and UCLA alumna Karin Liljegren has been a leader in that effort. Over the past 20 years, she has overseen or consulted on more than 400 adaptive reuse projects, mostly in downtown’s historic core. Last year, the American Institute of Architects named Liljegren to the Colle...

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