ReVIEWING Black Mountain College 11

International Conference 

September 20 – 22, 2019, in Asheville, North Carolina

at UNC Asheville’s Reuter Center

Thematic Focus: Interdisciplinary Education / Information Networks / New Media

Image composite, right to left: Sara VanDerBeek, Women and Museums IV, Stan VanDerBeek, What Who How, film still (1957), Sara VanDerBeek, Women and Museums III.

The 11th Annual ReVIEWING Black Mountain College conference will have a thematic focus on ideas and practices connected to interdisciplinary education, information networks, and new media; however, proposals on any topic related to Black Mountain College and its legacy are encouraged and will be considered. Furthermore, in the spirit of BMC, the conference challenges disciplinary boundaries, and therefore performances, multi-media panel proposals, and workshops are welcome.

Keynote speakers Sara VanDerBeek + Chelsea Spengemann: Translating the archive and transposing the studio. Collaboration as a practice and as theme in the work of Stan and Sara VanDerBeek

Keynote Speaker Sara VanDerBeek, photo credit to Christian Hansen for The New York Times

Sara VanDerBeek earned her BFA from the Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art in 1998. Sara is a contemporary artist working primarily in photography. Her photographs utilize a variety of formal strategies and references yet remain consistently engaged with issues of memory and the experience of time and space. Her work has been the subject of solo exhibitions at the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York (2010); Hammer Museum, University of California Los Angeles (2011); Museum of Contemporary Art, Cleveland (2014); Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen, Rotterdam (2015); and the Baltimore Museum of Art (2015). She lives and works in New York. Chelsea Spengemann is Director of the Stan VanDerBeek Archive. She has worked alongside Sara in the curation of VanDerBeek + VanDerBeek, a new exhibition which explores Stan’s experimental films and includes new works by Sara.

Sara’s father, Stan VanDerBeek, was a pioneer in the world of digital media and experimental film. He began his career as a visual artist at Black Mountain College where he took photography and film classes from Hazel Larsen Archer. Stan began his film career in the 1950s, while working on animation for a CBS children’s show, using the editing equipment after hours to complete his own films. VanDerBeek’s collaborative multimedia projects of the 1960s and 1970s (sometimes characterized as “Expanded Cinema”), with their emphases on transparency of process and audience engagement, anticipated contemporary art’s new media, installation, and participatory practices. These projects include the Movie-Drome of the mid-’60s, in which VanDerBeek used a grain-silo top to build an immersive domed theater. VanDerBeek envisioned Movie-Drome as the prototype for a communications system—a global network of Movie-Dromes linked to orbiting satellites that would store and transmit images.

On Friday, September 20th, following the day’s conference events, we will celebrate the exhibition VanDerBeek & VanDerBeek, curated by Sara VanDerBeek and Chelsea Spengemann, including work by Sara and Stan VanDerBeek, with a reception at the Black Mountain College Museum + Arts Center in downtown Asheville, NC. Max VanDerBeek, percussion artist and son of Stan VanDerBeek, will perform a live percussion response to the recently digitized footage Stan VanDerBeek created with Merce Cunningham as part of their larger collaborative work entitled Variations V


The Black Mountain College Museum + Arts Center preserves and continues the legacy of educational and artistic innovation of Black Mountain College. We achieve our mission through collection, conservation, and educational activities including exhibitions, publications, and public programs. For more information, visit or call 828-350-8484.

UNC Asheville Reuter Center is located at 1 Campus View Rd, Asheville, NC 28804 

In order to continue offering our annual Black Mountain College Lake Eden Campus Tour, we have instated mandatory carpooling. Please arrive at BMCM+AC at 120 College Street for Coffee + Conversation between 10am – 11am to pick up your parking pass and follow us to designated tour parking. 

Early Registration

Now Open


Subject to Change

Participant Bios + Abstracts

Subject to Change


Thanks to the National Endowment for the Arts, North Carolina Arts Council, UNC Asheville Howerton Distinguished Professor in the Humanities, UNC Asheville Office of the Provost, Osher Center for Lifelong Learning