ReVIEWING Black Mountain College

International Conference

Co-hosted by BMCM+AC and UNC Asheville

at UNC Asheville’s Reuter Center

ReVIEWING 14 Abstracts + Presenter Bios

Friday, October 13

Friday, 1:30 – 3:00pm - Sessions No. 1 - 4

SESSION NO. 1 – Room 205
Moderator: Michael Beggs

Victoria Bradbury: Digital Weaving, Textile Design, and Production Exhibition

This presentation will discuss a concurrent exhibition held at the New Media Gallery in Owen Hall at UNC Asheville that showcases artists who work with weaving and digital techniques, in process, concept or both. Two professional artists, Qualeesha Wood (NY) and Phillip David Stearns (NY) are included in the exhibition alongside work created by UNC Asheville students in the May 2023 Digital Weaving, Textile Design and Production course. The work from the course includes blanket weavings, hand weavings from laser cut looms, draft patterns, augmented reality compositions and digital print paper weavings. Students were experimental in their approaches, drawing upon existing digital and traditional making skills while gaining a new understanding of craft and design. The artists in the exhibition create weavings through Fiber Art, a tapestry company which manufactures their textiles in mills near Tryon, NC. The students in the Digital Weaving course discussed the work of Anni Albers and have studied Josef Albers’ Interaction of Color. They are amalgamating ideas of design and applied art, thinking critically about notions of craft and the ubiquity of the digital. Working in Asheville North Carolina today, near the site of Black Mountain College, the students in the Digital Weaving course are using experimental processes to discover forms and patterns that emerge when they combine weaving, a new art form for them, and the digital media to which they are accustomed. The invited professional artists who work with digital weaving extend Anni Albers’ legacy of a meeting of art and craft, design and functionality.

Deborah Randolph: Exhibition Influence: Exhibited Weavings of Anni Albers and Alice Kagawa Parrott

This paper will discuss how exhibitions influence and create opportunities for learning about fiber arts, their materials and structures beyond the classroom by examining four early craft exhibitions, which included weavings created by Anni Albers and Alice Kagawa Parrott. Although Alice Kagawa Parrott was a generation after Anni Albers, both artists were academically trained, developed higher education programs in weaving, and were industry and studio production weavers. They continued to exhibit their works throughout their lifetimes, indirectly teaching and influencing thousands of visitors. For example, fiber artist Mary Walker Phillips saw the exhibition Fabrics International in 1962 and used the fabric examples in the exhibition as sources of inspiration. The exhibitions Visual Communication in the Crafts (1960), Fabrics International (1961), Objects: USA (1969), and Legends in Fiber (1986) will be discussed in terms of curatorial philosophy, exhibited weavings of Anni Albers and Alice Kagawa Parrott and their materials and structures, and the exhibitions’ influence on individuals and the larger field of fiber arts. Lee Nordness (1970) wrote in the Objects: USA exhibition catalogue, “The people searching for a way of life found a suitable solution through a chance article in a magazine, through conversation, through wandering down a hallway in an art department and stumbling into a ceramics class, through seeing a pot or a silver chalice at an exhibition…”. The presentation of this paper strives to enrich the conversation about the influence of weavers through exhibition.

Janie Woodbridge: Integrating Handweaving into Digital Design Education

The creation of woven fabrics is a tactile experience, yarn materials are handled and shaped to build a fabric construction. Most students in textile design programs begin their learning experience with woven fabrics on a tactile level at the loom. As students progress through their textile education, their experience with woven fabrics becomes further removed from the tactile experience at the loom and becomes more digitally focused through Computer Aided Design. The digital experience is beneficial in that it allows students an interface in which to create complex woven structures, however, in removing students from the tactile experience a deep haptic understanding of woven structure is lost. Could integrating a tactile handweaving tool into an advanced Jacquard woven design classroom aid in the tactile comprehension of digital woven structures? We aimed to observe this over the past three years in a Senior level weaving class by integrating a tactile learning tool to work on while simultaneously learning Computer Aided Design. In this presentation we will discuss our findings in the context of Woven Textile Design education and Computer Aided Design.

SESSION NO. 2 – Room 206
Moderator: Carissa Pfeiffer

Paul Bright: Kurt Schwitters at Black Mountain College

What if the German artist Kurt Schwitters had accepted Josef Albers’ offer to find him a visiting professorship in 1936? The two were acquainted when Albers was at the the Bauhaus, before its dissolution and Albers’ emigration in 1933. Schwitters’ work was later noted by Robert Rauschenberg as that of a kindred spirit. What if the fraught but ultimately productive relationship between Rauschenberg and Albers had been further complicated but enlivened, and perhaps in some way, moderated by the idiosyncratic presence of Schwitters? Albers, who brought his experience and rigor from the Bauhaus to its particularly American variant, Black Mountain College; Schwitters, the multidisciplinary founder of his own collage-driven approach called Merz; and Rauschenberg, who famously said he wanted to work in the gap between art and life. Would Rauschenberg, with the presence of Kurt Schwitters, have been given another pole or compass heading, one to navigate the space between Schwitters and Albers? This presentation will look at the work of these three artists, especially where they overlap, in light of this hypothetical possibility.

Thomas E. Frank: The Landlord: W. D. Weatherford and the Early Years of Black Mountain College

In the Summer of 1933, a group of professors recently resigned from Rollins College in Winter Park, Florida, were beginning to put their ambition to start a new college into action. Alerted to the possible availability of the Blue Ridge Conference Center in Black Mountain, North Carolina, they began under the guidance of Ted Dreier, their designated Treasurer, to negotiate a lease. This brought them into contact with the remarkable founder and president of the Center, Willis Duke Weatherford. Oddly, little in the College archival material would indicate that the faculty had much interest in this man or his considerable accomplishments, other than agreeing on reasonable terms for a lease. By 1933 Weatherford was a public figure well established across the U.S. South, age 57, President (General Secretary) both of the Conference Center (later known as Blue Ridge Assembly) and a Graduate School adjacent to the Vanderbilt University campus in Nashville that served the Young Men’s Christian Association across the region. Author of numerous books and articles, his publications included matters that might have been of great interest to the new faculty: research on college students and the effectiveness of liberal arts education, economic and social conditions of inhabitants of the Southern Appalachians, and a particular focus on the culture and economic plight of “Negroes” throughout the region – their religion, educational and job opportunities, and capacity for rising above poverty. This presentation will explore what BMC might have gained from deeper engagement with W. D. Weatherford, and possible reasons why their relationship seldom if ever ranged beyond lease negotiations and the tensions that often persist between landlords and tenants.

Charlotte Healy: Tracing the Legacy of “Paul Klee’s Hand” at Black Mountain College

An essential yet largely unacknowledged component of the aesthetic of Bauhaus master Paul Klee is an awareness of the human hand’s capacity to create and to touch. The rich and diverse textural effects visible on the surfaces of many of his pictures appeal to the haptic sense; this tactile quality is the result of his investigation and exploitation of the inherent physical properties of his materials, most notably textile substrates, malleable grounds, and pastose paints. He employed several strategies to emphasize the handmade and one-of-a-kind nature of his artworks, such as leaving the edges of his painting supports fraying and uneven, suggesting that he saw fine art as more connected to manual craft than to technology or industry. At the Bauhaus, Klee was Anni and Josef Albers’s teacher, colleague, and friend. The couple’s mutual admiration for his artworks and familiarity with his pedagogical and philosophical ideas infused their subsequent teaching at Black Mountain College. Anni expressed her veneration for Klee on numerous occasions. Having witnessed his production of artworks that revel in, rather than shy away from, their own materiality, tactility, and connection to craft when she was at the Bauhaus undoubtedly emboldened her to push the boundaries of fine art even further in that direction with her subsequent pictorial weavings and to encourage her students and followers to do the same. This paper positions Anni Albers as a crucial artistic descendent of Klee’s due to her contribution to the development of an alternative current in American postwar art that built on his embrace of the haptic, materiality, and craft. It identifies some of the lessons of “Klee’s hand”—filtered and amplified through Anni’s art and teaching—in the work of artists who studied with her and Josef at Black Mountain, including Ruth Asawa, Robert Rauschenberg, and Claire Zeisler.

SESSION NO. 3 – Room 207
“No Ideas but in Things”: Influences on Black Mountain Poetry I
Moderator: Joshua Hoeynck

Elin Käck: William Carlos Williams at Black Mountain: Pedagogy, Poetics, and Beyond

In 1954, William Carlos Williams accepted a request by Charles Olson, then rector at Black Mountain College, to lend his name to the school as an affiliated poet: “[W]ould you let us have your name to identify us to the world at large as a group of men who, at least in the writing biz, would seem to you competent to give the young an education in how to begin?”. Williams was clearly an important figure for not only Olson and other Black Mountain poets, but also to the Black Mountain project at large. When it comes to Black Mountain College, however, Williams’s influence appears both in the more expected terms of poetry and poetics, but also in the overall pedagogical approach. While Williams did not end up teaching there, his firm commitment to interdisciplinarity and continuous advocacy for art and the imagination as absolutely central to all learning, including science, were core values also at Black Mountain. This paper explores Williams’s understanding of poetry and the imagination as powerful, agentic forces and its resonance with the poetics and pedagogies fostered by Black Mountain College and its associated poets.

Seth Forrest: “dif-fi / culty // speak-ing”: Paul Blackburn’s Tape Recorder and the Poetics of Aurality

This paper focuses on the poet who is perhaps the least studied of the Black Mountain group, Paul Blackburn. It explores the implications of Blackburn’s extensive and pervasive use of the tape recorder, both as an archival tool and as an aid to composition, and gives a sense for the ways in which Blackburn developed a poetic style marked by listening and hearing by drawing on recently digitized tape recordings from the Archive for New Poetry at the University of California, San Diego. The Paul Blackburn archive contains hundreds of tape recordings made by Blackburn of other poets, of himself, of his private conversations, of interesting radio broadcasts, and of ambient sound like street noise or thunderstorms. A centerpiece of the paper will be an opportunity to read carefully and listen closely to Blackburn’s “Phone Call to Rutherford,” his homage and memorial to William Carlos Williams. The poem shows the crucial influence of Williams’s own complicated play among words spoken, heard, and written, all within the oral/aural cybernetics of the telephone, tape recorder, and typewriter.

Daniel Dominguez: The Difficulty of Disentanglement” Mackey, Duncan, and the Legacy of Gassire’s Lute

In addition to his own creative accomplishments as a poet, novelist, and editor, Nathaniel Mackey is also one of the most important scholars of the legacy and impact of the Black Mountain poets, a role which he solidified with his lengthy essay “Gassire’s Lute: Robert Duncan’s Vietnam War Poems.” Serialized in four installments of Talisman between 1990 and 1992, the essay traces the development of Duncan’s thinking from Bending the Bow and The H.D. Book to his landmark collection Ground Work. Mackey’s entry point into these complicated poems is appropriately the myth of Gassire’s Lute, a story taken from the longer epic known as the Dausi. Mackey’s essay traces the genealogy of this reference, which comes to Duncan via Pound’s inclusion of it in The Cantos who in turn took it from Leo Frobenius’s ethnographic work with the Soninke people of Mali. Analyzing poetry and essays by H.D., Williams, and Olson in addition to Pound and Duncan, Mackey highlights how war, suffering, and strife are inherent to the long or epic poem tradition, and how these themes are crucial to understanding the Black Mountain poets’ intervention in that tradition. As a practitioner of the long poem tradition himself, Mackey’s essay is an indispensable piece of criticism for understanding Black Mountain’s legacy and lineage.

SESSION NO. 4 – Room 120
Moderator: Maru McCoy

Catherine Cross Tsintzos: PAPER: Art and Agriculture

Our lives are intertwined with paper, from our forests to our trash cans. How can we connect and build relationships with paper that create community, scaffold fellowship, reduce waste and create sustainability with nature and agriculture? How can paper make us better stewards of the land, and not the landfills? This presentation explores the relationships between people, paper, and the environment.

Monique Lanoix: Does the materiality of touch matter?

This paper compares and contrasts touch as it takes place in caregiving work and in a dance performance. It examines the immediacy of touch and the ways it can be constrained or supported by institutional structures. First, by explaining how touch is structured in institutional care. For example, in nursing homes, personal support workers are on a schedule and they must attend to the needs to residents. When a worker is helping a resident move from their bed to a wheelchair, the touching that takes place is an instrumental touch. It is primarily performed by the worker with the aim of moving the resident from one place to another. Second, it looks at the ways dancers interact. In dance, touch is also structured. Dancers reach and touch each other as dictated by the choreography. Touch can also be instrumental in dance, as the dancers must follow the directives of the choreographer. However, it is also expressive. This is the added element, which is artistic expression. A short excerpt from Frame of Mind by Propeller Dance from Ottawa, an integrated dance troupe is shown, that depicts two dancers reaching and touching each other while manipulating a wheelchair. The interactions of the dancers with each other and the wheelchair is used to examine how touch can transcend the limitations of imposed structures. This can take place because the dancers embrace the ways in which they affect each other. The central notion at work here is that of affectivity introduced by Boris Cyrulnik. He explains that it is how the other affects us and how we respond. Finally, it discusses the role of affectivity in the interactions of the dancers and how affectivity can play a role through touch to enhance care work.

Jess Peri: To Know, and Then to Know Again

‘To Know, and Then to Know Again’ traces the authors lineage as an artist and educator back to the Black Mountain College. The number of educators that still carry the torch of the teaching philosophies that were used by many who taught at that college can still be found throughout many art schools still today. Jess Peri’s connection to this history starts when Harry Callahan and Aaron Siskin were brought in to teach at BMC in the summer of 1951. These two artists would both end up also teaching at the Rhode Island School of Design where the authors professor, Jim Stone, would have them as mentors. The authors discovery of their connection to BMC has given them an outlet to share a regional history of the area in their own classroom today while also continuing to carry on some of the traditions and teaching philosophies that were being used there decades ago.

Friday, 3:15 – 4:15pm - Performances + Workshops

PERFORMANCE – Manheimer Room
Matt Wellins and Max Hamel
Prepared Zither and electromagnetic transducers (30 minutes)

This performance involves small transducers (coils of wire and magnets, primarily) in concert with prepared zither. The zither is rapidly built up and torn down with handcrafted wooden flats, hanks of wet, rosin-crusted horsehair, and twisted bolts – sentimental collections borrowed from luthiery work. The transducers are similarly salvaged, derived from consumer-grade electronics and used to oscillate particular sets of tweezers, saw blades, and piano wire. The material details are the focus – whether or not objects have any say in the matter is borne out through performance.

Mark Hursty
Explore many of the hot fused glass techniques used by Albers in his early Bauhaus era glass panel artworks (60 minutes)

“Ten of my thirty-two Glass Pictures were broken or cracked…. They had been ruthlessly and carelessly stacked against each other without the least consideration of their fragility, size, or weight.” – Josef Albers to Director of Customs US Dept. of Treasury, February 12, 1934. Before emigrating from Germany to the US to teach at Black Mountain College, Josef Albers was a practicing glass artist. In 1922 he was put in charge of the glass workshop at the Bauhaus. Upon emigrating, US customs damaged some of Albers’ glass panels, as mentioned in the quote above. This loss was followed a decade later by the destruction of his major glass commissions in private residences and cathedrals in Germany during WWII. Only black and white photographs remain of those works. This 90 Minute workshop that will give participants a glimpse into the techniques and geometrical compositions that Joseph Albers used to create his early glass panels. The workshop will consist of pre-prepared glass elements that participants will be able to assemble and fuse into their own glass artworks. No glass-working experience is necessary. Techniques will include stacked glass lamination, decal application and hot fusing.

Anne Dickens
Wire and fabric sculpture-making (60 minutes)

Using Anni Albers’ string and Josef Albers’ geometric drawings as inspiration, attendees will be given colored or fabric wrapped wires to create their own structured piece related to the source material or they may choose to do an independent piece. Investigation of structure through wire jigs, hand building, weaving and other methods will be available. Some may choose to use the structure that wire provides to create a small sculpture, jewelry object, weaving or 2d piece. 

William Graham
Committing Art: Motivations, Materials, and Conditions of Prison Art (60 minutes)

This hybrid presentation and workshop focuses on aspects of prison art. The presentation examines some of the reasons why prisoners “commit art.” In Anni Albers’ On Designing, she points out that in creating art “We learn to dare to make a choice, to be independent.” The truth of this agency flies in the face of the very nature and purpose of prison. Indeed, if many prison authorities realized how subversive it is, they would probably ban it. Yet at the same time others, those who seek to break the cycle of despair, recognize the healing power of art and encourage the endeavor. Some of what Albers wrote about materials can also be applied to a significant aspect of prison art. Of how “… we are forced to into flexibility… we have to use imagination and be inventive.” The restrictions on space and available materials forces the prison artist to improvise and repurpose. We will explore these techniques and tools as well as a look at the dimensions of the spaces involved. The workshop will include a primer on “cardboard engineering,” specifically where it intersects with the production of art. Raw materials and supplies will be provided.

CLAY WORKSHOP – Outside Patio
Makayla Beam
Clay workshop using a natural clay body from North Carolina soil (60 minutes)

This workshop will focus on the making of a natural clay body from North Carolina soil and the techniques of Mocha Diffusion on ceramic bisque ware. Mark Shapiro shares in his book ‘The Ceramic Art of Karen Karnes: “In those days financial survival was precarious and free materials a welcome bonus…” Forming clay from readily available resources is essential for sustainable pottery. Using water, buckets, freshly dug soil and pillow cases to sift added grog and silica components, this workshop will create fresh clay bodies with participants in personal ownership off their pottery. Later the authors quote Slavoj Zizek in “The genuinely utopian moments are not when you are okay, but when you are in a deadlock. Then, in order even to survive normally, you are forced to invent something.” After the Covid-19 Pandemic, we as a society have witnessed a shift in focus to crafts. Mocha Diffusion processes experiment with different acids found in every household, such as Listerine Mouthwash, Soysauce, and Tobacco Tea as glaze options. Both processes focus on renewable options of creating ceramic wares.

Friday, 4:30pm and after – Keynote Conversation + Opening

4:30 – 5:45pm – Manheimer Room
WELCOME – Jeff Arnal (Executive Director, BMCM+AC) and Kim Van Noort, Interim Chancellor, UNC Asheville
KEYNOTE CONVERSATION – Brenda Danilowitz and Erica Warren in conversation

Brenda Danilowitz is an art historian and chief curator at the Josef and Anni Albers Foundation. She is the author and editor of numerous books and essays on the work of Josef and Anni Albers and has organized exhibitions of their work in the US, Europe, Mexico, Peru, and Brazil.

Erica Warren is a decorative arts and design curator and scholar, and is currently the editor of Craft Quarterly the James Renwick Alliance for Craft’s magazine and Assistant Instructional Professor, Master of Arts Program in the Humanities at the University of Chicago. From 2016-2022, Dr. Warren was a curator of textiles at the Art Institute of Chicago.

6:30 – 9:00pm – OPENING for Weaving at Black Mountain College featuring a performance by Jen Bervin
Black Mountain College Museum + Arts Center
120 College St., downtown Asheville

Saturday, October 14

Saturday, 9:00 – 10:30am - Sessions No. 1 - 5

SESSION NO. 1 – Manheimer Room
Moderator: Paul Bright
Marcia R. Cohen: Josef and Anni Albers: Color, Space and Material. Collaboration and After-effects in the Classroom

This presentation reviews several thought-provoking color theory and design projects from students in the freshman program at SCAD Atlanta. Using a variety of materials and methods, students analyzed physical spaces transforming and codifying this information into color and abstraction. Principles and elements of design are deconstructed while emphasizing color and materiality that is then translated into complex spatial constructions. In addition, a campus wide collaborative event recreated the found-object, hardware store jewelry of Anni Albers. This event used ready-made materials that were transformed into playful, ornamental wearables. Seen with fresh eyes, these time-honored exercises of the Alberses have a new life. As recent monographs and exhibitions on both Josef and Anni Albers flourish worldwide, so does their continued impact in the classroom and the art world. There is still much to discover, question and appreciate with “open eyes”.

Olivia Comstock: Weaving Anni Albers through Édouard Glissant: The Opacity of Embodied and Material Knowledge

The weaving program at Black Mountain College, informed by Albers’ experience with Bauhaus pedagogy, and Albers’ writing on weaving, are often understood as advocating for a kind of transparent design that makes the hand, materials, and techniques visible on the surface for the viewer. However, this perspective overlooks how these attempts at transparency are at odds with the inherent opacity of the embodied and materials-based knowledge of the weaving process. This paper addresses the tension between this modernist desire for transparency, visually and in education, with special attention to the material knowledge inherent in weaving. Albers’ “On Weaving” is used as a starting point to explore the differences between her approach to writing about weaving with Édouard Glissant’s use of weaving as a metaphor for his concept of Opacity in his essay “For Opacity.” Weaving is an opaque form of embodied and material knowledge that is only accessed through, and produces, a network of human and nonhuman relations. This project expands on Albers’ writing to create a more nuanced theory of the skill of weaving, and by extension, a more nuanced understanding of what was happening in the skill transfer between Albers and BMC weaving students.

Elliot Inman: Anni Albers, Color Theorist

In “Anni and Josef Albers: Equal and Unequal” (2020), Nicholas Fox Weber demonstrates the parallel progress of artistic experimentation the couple shared by positioning contemporary works by Anni and Josef on opposing pages. This paper takes that process one step further, re-imaging the colors of Anni’s weavings into the shape of Josef’s squares using digital technologies. In 1950, Josef began work on a set of square-within-a-square paintings called “Homage to the Square.” Those experiments informed his book, “The Interaction of Color” (1963), which described his theories about the subjectivity of color perception and, in particular, how the juxtaposition of colors affects perception. But by 1950, Anni had already spent more than two decades experimenting with weave-and-color effects. Like Josef’s squares, each of Anni’s abstract tapestries was based on a small set of colors, but was designed to create exceptionally complex dynamic restatements of those colors. The interaction of the warp (vertical or lengthwise) and weft (horizontal) threads of her weavings created interdependent patterns of color whereby one block of a particular color appeared in multiple color contexts across the fabric. Her use of multi-weave constructions with interspersed layers were advanced experiments in light values, intensity, and hues. We can demonstrate the degree to which Anni’s experiments were an artistic interrogation of color theory effects by using modern digital technologies to sample the colors from Anni’s weavings and re-present those colors in the shape of Josef’s squares. Based on the measurements documented by Gomringer (1968) for the 3 and 4-color squares and a bit of computer code, the color palette from various works of Anni’s can be rendered in the pattern of Josef’s squares. The results raise questions about the degree to which Josef’s theories of color were influenced by Anni’s application of those theories – before he, himself, had documented them.

SESSION NO. 2 – Room 205
Moderator: Michael Beggs
Frédérique Davreux-Hébert: The Jalowetz House: Leaning Towards an Ideal Architectural Design and Democratic Environment at Black Mountain College

This talk focuses on the Lake Eden Campus from an architectural standpoint, specifically examining the Jalowetz House as a case study encompassing its design and community utilization. It delves into the material uses and structural aspects of the building. Existing literature on the Jalowetz House is incomplete and sometimes inconsistent: primary sources offer limited photographic perspectives, contradictory plans, scarce material contracts, and infrequent interview mentions. To bridge this gap, a study of the Jalowetz House based on historical precedents and its connection to A. L. Kocher’s architecture courses at Black Mountain College is proposed. Regarding design and construction, the Jalowetz House embodies an ideal representation of both domestic architecture and community building. It follows Kocher’s 1930s houses designed in response to the housing crisis of the Great Depression. These houses integrated novel materials that were previously unused in architectural practice, along with prefabricated and reproductible systems. Moreover, the Jalowetz House aligns with a collection of models envisioned by BMC architecture students for low-cost housing solutions. The tectonic aspects of the building reveal the architect’s construction approach, with materials selected to facilitate a practical education experience, encompassing the concept of “design-built” as coined by Kocher and Dewey’s notion of “learning by doing,” wherein students actively participate in the construction process. The usage of the Jalowetz House situates it at the junction of private and communal spheres. Its location and internal configuration reflect its private character, while its integration into student life and the incorporation of materials like vermiculite transform it into an educational space. The speakers research examines how the private and public aspects of architecture intertwine within the BMC environment, elucidating how the fostering of individuality intersects with collective function. This interconnectedness showcases an education in democracy, manifested through the conception, construction, and utilization of both private and communal spaces at the Lake Eden Campus.

Charlott Greub: Formless –The concept of structure and material in John Cage’s 4’33” and the Resor House by Mies van der Rohe.

This presentation will discuss one key exemplary piece of modernism in music (John Cage’s 4’33”) and another in architecture (Mies van der Rohe’s Farnsworth House) to show how the concept of silence could be integrated not just in music but also in architecture through the deployment of its structural equivalent. There is a similarity between the structural nexus between music and sound as a compositional material on the one hand and between architecture and glass as a building material. This presentation comparatively explores the spatial interaction that could be experienced through sound material in 4’33’ on the one hand and the mutual spatial penetration that occurs between the Farnsworth House and its enveloping riverbank environment. This presentation also suggests that the relationship between architectural design work or experimental music and its compositional material or environment could be construed as an interconnected spatial relationship or interpenetration. In this case, the compositional material or environment, whether the silence and sound surroundings or glass material or landscape, comes to be seen and experienced as integral parts of the building design or the musical composition.

Karen Koehler: Site and Shelter: Gropius and Black Mountain in the 1940s

Walter Gropius’s affiliation with Black Mountain College both strengthened and complicated his dual identity as a German and an American during and immediately after World War II. Throughout his career—from his years as director of the incessantly threatened Bauhaus, to his final decades as an internationally recognized architect, Gropius experienced a geographic consciousness that was multi-centered and often exilic. His architecture and his writing were continuously based on modes of translation and mobility. When Gropius emigrated to the U.S. in 1937, he was a professor at Harvard—a time of security compared to his family and colleagues left in Europe. Yet he was also labeled an enemy alien, with personal and professional consequences. By 1944 he was an American citizen and created propaganda for the U.S. Office of War Information. In 1947, he was asked by General Lucius Clay to join the U.S. delegation touring war torn Berlin. During this period of liminality, Gropius was also deeply involved with Black Mountain College—as a guest teacher, designer, and advisor. How did the location, philosophies and ethos of Black Mountain effect his sense of “nation-space”? Parallel challenges between American and European identities, including concerns over the backgrounds of the faculty, were operative at BMC during the war and postwar years (e.g., “The American Seminar,” for the European refugees in 1943). In the context of a selection of designs, photographs, and lectures, this presentation concentrates on his unrealized project for Black Mountain and his 1944 talks in the summer art program on “Site and Shelter.” An exploration of the role of BMC in Gropius’s developing, yet conditional, Amerikanismus, will demonstrate that during the 1940s Gropius embraced the concepts of contingency and integrated abstraction, promoted by the Black Mountain Weltanschauung.

SESSION NO. 3 – Room 206
The Poetry and Poetics of M.C. Richards
Moderator: Alessandro Porco
Charmaine Cadeau: Bodycraft

Across her writing, art, and pedagogical practices, MC Richards creates a slippage between physical interior space and humanistic interiority. Richards’ interest in the interiority of objects is perhaps most pronounced in her discussion of poetry, which she argues is as tangible an art form as any other. For her, poetic understanding in particular is “knowledge that derives from the innerness of things”. She calls poems “bodycraft,” a kind of plastic art that arises from a poet’s bodily use of touch, sight, and sound. Like poets, poems have both exterior, sensual bodies and carry a “sense of inner volume and spaces”. Beyond offering a conceptual framework for form and design, Richards’ “bodycraft” also speaks to how objects might reciprocally shape us when we make or use them. Richards argues “the word gives our interiority, our inner forming”. In essence, bodycraft privileges a relationship to materials that enables transformation. Her skepticism of machine-made objects and mechanization arises from the way that these processes alienate us from our awareness of and engagement with interiorities.

Maggie Warren: Synesthesia as “Centering” in M.C. Richards’ Poetry

Building on existing scholarship, the craft paradigms set forth by Richards herself, and on intersections between psychology and literature, this paper explores how the multiplicity of sensory details in Richards’ poems correlates with their “centered” quality. Best known as a potter, Richards exerts her experience with three-dimensional art forms in her poetry, exploring how a text might evoke multiple sensations, from visual to tactile to auditory. She imbues her writing with multisensory language as a form literary synesthesia, and as means of expressing her interdisciplinary ethos and personal philosophy of centering at the level of the poem.

Alessandro Porco: M.C. Richards and the New American Poetry

This talk will provide a survey of M. C. Richards’s participation in the print and social networks of the New American Poetry from 1951 to 1963—at which point, her focus shifts to completing Centering (1964). As part of the print network of the NAP, Richards circulates her writing in three formats: letter, magazine, and anthology. She shares poems via correspondence in the 1950s with Olson, Creeley, Levertov, and Duncan; she appears in magazines such as Origin, Locus Solus, and Floating Bear; and, finally, in 1959, she is included in Daisy Aldan’s A New Folder, an anthology that, as Michael Hennessey explains, “sketches out a blueprint for [Donald] Allen’s [New American Poetry].” At the same time, Richards is not tied exclusively to the NAP—that is, she lived and collaborated with members of the Cage circle, exploring the affordances of performance art, and she also participated in reading groups and classes devoted to the work of Rudolph Steiner, his esoteric philosophy informing Richards’s sense of a cosmic vernacular. This presentation explores Richards’s ambivalent position during this transformative period in the history of American poetry and poetics.

SESSION NO. 4 – Room 207
Moderator: Julie J. Thomson
Marina Budhos: “It Was Art That Saved Me”— How Trude Guermonprez’s Wartime Experiences Shaped Her as an Artist

This paper offers a fresh look at the story of Trude Guermonprez’s European and war-time experiences, when she survived under a false identity as a woman born in Indonesia, while her husband, Bauhaus trained photographer-entrepreneur, Paul Guermonprez, served as a key resistance leader in occupied Holland. This paper describes Trude’s journey from muse and model of Bauhaus founder Gerhard Marcks, to a young weaver in Holland’s design community, and to her role as a crucial figure in the American arts and crafts movement. The presentation will also shed light on the network of avant-garde artists who played important roles in the Dutch Resistance and influenced Trude. Growing up the avant-garde was the very air Trude breathed—her father Heinrich Jalowetz was a conductor in the Schoenberg circle who came to lead Black Mountain College’s Music Department. Yet Trude struggled to find her place as a woman and an artist. Trude’s time of open hiding during World War II marked a spiritual and artistic awakening as she learned to find her own inner strength and carry this drive forward after the war. Years later, when Trude was interviewed about how she survived her ordeal, she answered, “It was my background and commitment to art that saved me.” The very quality of introspection and resistance would infuse her approach as an artist, as she pushed the boundaries of the weaving form. Calling upon letters, diaries, writings and family recollections, Trude’s growth as a woman artist, a mentor and innovator in her weaving and teaching is illuminated. This presentation is an outgrowth of a longer book project on Trude’s war time experiences, inspired by the authors close relationship with Lisa Jalowetz Aronson, her sister and the authors mother-in-law, and the authors role in overseeing family archives.

Danielle Burke: The Hand Arts: Black Mountain College in the Extension Service’s ‘A Partial List of Craftsmen and Handicraft Groups in the United States,’ 1947

Assembled by Mary LaFollete using crowd- and periodical-sourced material ‘A Partial List of Craftsmen and Handicraft Groups in the United States’ was published by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Cooperative Extension Service in June 1947. The directory includes individuals, groups, museums, shops, and educational spaces who specialized in basketry, pottery, weaving, furniture, rug hooking, lace making, and more. Also included are occupational therapists, and home demonstration agents from the field of Home Economics, many of whom are supported by federal and state level Extension Services. Notably, Black Mountain College’s sole entry is not for the school as a whole but singularly for Anni Albers, as a “WEAVER, DESIGNER, TEACHER.” Using ‘A Partial List of Craftsmen’ to map a particular network of United States craft in 1947, this paper suggests that weaving at Black Mountain College uniquely intersects with Home Economics and the History of Craft, demonstrating a distinct component of the weaving studio’s interdisciplinarity. Furthermore, by recording the source for each entry, A Partial List of Craftsmen is a unique material document articulating the transmission of craft knowledge throughout the country, making tangible the structures of connection between individuals, communities, and, as LaFollete put it, their shared interest in “the hand arts as a means of self-expression and livelihood.”

Naomi Lindenfeld: Lore Kadden Lindenfeld: A Life in Textiles: with origins as a student of Anni Albers and Trude Guermonprez

During Lore Kadden Lindenfeld’s time as a student at Black Mountain College (1945-48) she took textile and design courses with Anni and Josef Albers and Trude Guermonprez. From those studies she developed a life-long passion for textile arts. Greatly inspired by their teachings, she went on to design fabrics for the fashion industry in New York for ten years followed by a career as an exhibiting weaver, then fiber collage artist and established the weaving program at Middlesex County Community College in New Jersey. Her work is in the collections of Museum of Art & Design (NY), Smithsonian’s Renwick Gallery (DC), Newark Museum (NJ), Josef & Anni Albers Foundation (CT) among other institutions and private collections. Lore’s earlier woven wall hangings very much demonstrate the Bauhaus/Albers influence as well as the aesthetic and approach of Guermonprez, along with expressing her own voice and sensibilities. With her later fiber collage pieces, she was intrigued with the potential of transforming and reinventing visual images of natural forms through the merging of graphic elements with fiber techniques. Rhythmic patterns result from the addition of drawing, stitching and layering of materials, combining the real with the imagined. This talk will be given by Lore’s daughter Naomi Lindenfeld, who has an established career as a clay artisan and ceramics teacher. The aesthetic similarities between the mother’s fiber work and daughter’s innovative colored clay work are evident. Naomi had the chance to carefully examine her mother’s fiber work during the process of creating clay pieces for an exhibit that are directly inspired by pieces made by her mother. Naomi will touch on that experience during this talk. The “dialog” between the two artists occurred post Lore Kadden Lindenfeld’s death in 2010. Naomi hopes to keep her mother’s work and legacy alive through sharing these stories and images.

SESSION NO. 5 – Room 230
Moderator: Curt Cloninger
Astrid Bridgwood: Synthesizing Art and Science: Living in the Tradition of R. Buckminster Fuller

This project investigates inventor Buckminster Fuller’s studies of art and science, applying them to a modern-day student’s experience of the liberal arts. Noted as one of the most influential and inspiring figures of the twentieth century, Fuller had extensive teaching experience, notably at experimental liberal arts institution Black Mountain College. This paper explores his personal and pedagogical philosophies, seeking to explore how synthesizing arts and sciences (in the manner pioneered by Black Mountain College) could lead to a more effective approach to education. The resulting paper is split into chapters, with the first being an exploration of Fuller’s pedagogy and philosophy, using his writings as a primary source; exploring the practice of sciences at Black Mountain College. The second chapter uses the authors Art Historical education to analyze Fuller’s Geodesic Dome with a focus on its sculptural elements, evaluating the geometric structure in the context of art movements of the period. The third chapter seeks to investigate contemporary liberal arts education, interviewing students about the division between disciplines. Breaking down silos of education creates a more interdisciplinary experiences for students, making fields more accessible to students, thus fostering innovation. Holistically exploring Fuller’s lasting impact on science, sustainability, and environmentalism through his work as it is influenced by his artistic experience underscores the importance of interdisciplinary earning. As an arts student, the author uses Buckminster Fuller as an example of the benefits of interdisciplinary education in the higher education to broaden their horizons through an exploration of the sciences.

Mark Diamond: Bucky’s Hologram

Mark Diamond was an early pioneer of laser holography. He met Bucky Fuller in Miami in the mid-1970s, and they became friends. Mark and Bucky collaborated in an event at the Harvard Science Center at which Mark made a hologram portrait of Bucky. The presentation centers on that event, of which Mark will present never-before-seen images. Mark will then discuss Bucky’s “Vector Equilibrium System” or “jitterbug.” Mark will demonstrate a jitterbug and discuss its theoretical applications.

John Henson: Finding Black Mountain: The Spirit of Progressive Education in the 21st Century

In this presentation, John Henson shares voices from his research investigating the spirit of progressive education in the 21st Century through the phenomena of the Black Mountain College Semester held at Appalachian State University in the spring semester of 2018. Through interviews with the Black Mountain Faculty Fellows and close readings of select historical BMC texts, he gleaned insight into the inherent tensions between structure and freedom in higher education, as well as strategies for cultivating creativity, community, and innovative thinking in the classrooms of today and tomorrow. The speaker’s research highlights the tensions that existed historically at BMC that are still present today (like an educator’s desire to cultivate optimal learning experiences while contending with the restrictive structures that govern institutions of higher education) and those tensions that are unique to the 21st Century (such as the commercialized, polarized, fast-paced, and hyper-connected nature of digital culture). Participants will be inspired to find new ways to celebrate the spirit and legacy of Black Mountain College and to harness the potential of creativity-infused teaching and learning.

Saturday, 10:45am – 12:15pm - Sessions No. 1 - 4 + Workshop

SESSION NO. 1 – Room 120
Moderator: Maya Rosenbaum

Sarah Ehlers: Materials of Poetic Experiment: Early Black Mountain College Writing Communities

This paper uses the conference theme of “Material and Structure” to understand the complex dynamics of the early writing communities at Black Mountain College. While visual and textile arts, music, and theater dominated the BMC curriculum during its first years of operation, faculty such as John Andrew Rice, Robert Wunsch, and Fred Mangold regularly taught creative writing. At the same time, visiting faculty such as Alfred Kazin and visiting writers such as Aldous Huxley, Charles Norman, and May Sarton gave readings, facilitated classroom discussions, and provided critiques of student work. This paper examines how these early creative writing communities, structured by traditional liberal educational models, were in tension with and, at times, transformed by students that used the material realities of their Black Mountain experience as the grounds for literary experiment. Reflecting on the composition of her poem, “A Letter to the Students of Black Mountain College, Written in Homage and in Faith,” visiting poet May Sarton wrote that she “was so interested to see how much of what I felt … about freedom and discipline” remained in her mind after leaving BMC. “I became convinced at Black Mountain that without the physical work of building together the place would fall apart.” Taking Sarton’s reflections as a jumping off point, poems by BMC students such as Jane Mayhall and Martha Davis King are analyzed in relation to the college’s early writing communities. In so doing, it is shown how the play between structure and material, discipline and freedom was central to Black Mountain poetics. Through such work, an alternative to predominant accounts of Black Mountain poetry that focalize the experimental aesthetics of Charles Olson and projective verse is provided.

Kyle Schlesinger: Creeley’s Typography

It seems as if Creeley was always working on a book – either through his various roles as an editor and publisher, writing blurbs for others, or checking proofs of his own poetry, essays, prose, and interviews. He worked with various commercial publishing houses, hundreds of small presses and magazines, and late in his life, was a strong proponent of electronic and multimedia publications. It wasn’t unusual for a poem to appear in multiple publications. For example, “I Know A Man” appears in: For Love, a conceptual letterpress pamphlet produced by Alex Finlay, several compact disks (including the Rockdrill anthology), a broadside published by C. Hartman of Providence, R.I., hundreds of websites (in both visual and audio formats), essays by Charles Altieri, Cid Corman, Michael Davidson (and others), The Collected Poems 1945-1975, and dozens of anthologies. Although the text remains relatively stable in each permutation of the poem’s reproduction, the visual elements crucial to this poem in particular, undergo a great deal of variation. The typographic dimension of his work is crucial to figuring the poem as a visual and spatial “occasion” in time – one that brings biography and bibliography into dialogue with one another.

SESSION NO. 2 – Room 205
“No Ideas but in Things”: Influences on Black Mountain Poetry II
Moderator: Joshua Hoeynck

Jeffrey Gardiner: Pottery, Weaving, Poetry: Material Influences on Olson’s Poetics

In addition to the influence of poets on Olson’s developing poetics, he was also influenced by non-verbal forms of expression: dance, weaving, and pottery. This talk will focus on the latter two forms of expression at Black Mountain College, and their influence on Olson’s poetics. When Olson, as rector, organized the pottery workshop for the summer session of 1952, he recruited Marguerite Wildenhain, a renowned Bauhaus potter who left Germany and worked at the Pond Farm Pottery site in Guerneville, California, to lead the workshop and hoped she would join the faculty at Black Mountain College. In his recruiting letter to Wildenhain, Olson tells her that he has taken on the “potter post as a sort of personal gauge…[because]…it damn well interests me as an act.” In addition to Wildenhain’s influence, this talk will also address the influence of M.C. Richards pottery and poetics and Anni Albers weaving on Olson’s sense of the physicality of verse.

Eireene Nealand: “The New Rites Are My Bones”: How Merce Cunningham pushes Charles Olson to explore shape through multidimensional juxtaposition

In this talk looks at Olson’s engagement with Merce Cunningham, starting in the summer of 1951. I show how the dissociated movements of Cunningham’s dancers, along with disjunctions in music and visuals, push Charles Olson to develop his understanding of the spatiality of the open field. Whereas he initially focused on tensions between juxtaposed parts, his engagement with Cunningham allows him to explore multidimensional shapes. It is in part because of Cunningham that Olson turns to Jung to explore volume and depth.

Onur Ayaz: Reading Olson Writing Place

In 1951 Cid Corman begins Origin, a new poetry magazine that then goes on to publish poets who would later become some of the most important and recognized in contemporary American poetry, including Charles Olson who was at Black Mountain College. Origin’s eighth issue was dedicated to just publishing a series of Olson’s poems. This paper brings further attention to one of the poems, “An Ode on Nativity”, which negotiates the relationship between cities, land, and people. Olson explores the geological and human changes wrought in the world around us through his writing about the Blackstone river. To what extent does Olson’s time in Black Mountain influence, shape, and transform his interest in what we would now call environmental and human geographical processes? As Jeff Gardiner points out in “Olson’s Poetics and Pedagogy”, Olson, in his 1953 lectures The Chiasma, attempts a “concrete understanding… of the geography one inhabits”. This paper explores these various connections and threads, seeking to build and develop what it means to negotiate various places central to one’s world.

SESSION NO. 3 – Room 206
Moderator: Maru McCoy

Marius Hofbauer: The Prepared Piano as Sonic-Material Loom: Experiments in Analysis of John Cage’s Sonatas and Interludes (Black Mountain College, 1948)

This paper expands on the rich musical-analytical history surrounding John Cage’s Sonatas and Interludes, which premiered at Black Mountain College in 1948, to propose an experimental form of musical analysis. While previous analyses focused primarily on the composition’s structure as a text, this paper conducts an experimental praxis for the musical analysis of Sonatas and Interludes. Hofbauer follows a “Cagean” experimental mode that conceptualizes the prepared piano as a sonic-material loom, wherein the piano strings are interwoven with everyday objects. This visual metaphor of a loom affords an analytical lens through which to expose material configurations within Sonatas. Taking the piece’s score and recordings as objects for close reading and close listening reveals various manifestations of warps and wefts throughout Sonatas and Interludes, and so recontextualizes previous analytical findings, enabling further exploration into the analytical potentials of a conceptual framework for analysis via metaphor. Preliminary findings outline how, much like other pedagogical trends at Black Mountain College, the materiality of the prepared piano serves to diminish disciplinary boundaries between temporal and plastic arts, and how the interwoven instrument functions as a cultural technology. Furthermore, analysis via metaphor suggests how Sonatas aestheticizes the commonplace by weaving everyday objects between the strings of the piano, as well as how European and American sonicities, in the guise of piano strings and inserted objects, respectively, function as sonic-material warp and weft. In doing so, this analysis explores meaningful epistemic gaps in the existing analytical discourse around Sonatas. This project therefore contributes to the growing body of scholarship foregrounding the significance of diverse materialities in the artistic developments at Black Mountain College while also providing a new, practical methodology for musical analysis.

Kate Nartker: The Integration of Textiles and Cinema at the Bauhaus, BMC, and Beyond

This lecture discusses how experimental filmmaking in the Bauhaus and BMC integrated textiles as material content and as a structural framework, as well as additional ways that textiles and cinema inform one another through process, form, and narrative. Focus is placed on historical and contemporary artists working within these points of connection. The speaker shows that the value found in integrating these disparate fields is how it has been a generative source in expanding creative practices, with roots stemming from the Bauhaus. The speaker also demonstrates the contributions that a craft-based material and framework have brought to the field of film, and in giving us new ways to approach moving images.

Heather South and Amanda Hartman: The Black Mountain College Yearbook Project

This presentation is the debut of “Black Mountain College Yearbook”, a collaborative digital project between Visual Archives Co. and the Western Regional Archives. This session showcases the new digital program and database that is being designed and created by the Visual Archives Co. team. “Black Mountain College Yearbook” takes the collections from Western Regional Archives to a whole new level and audience. In conjunction with this conference, focus is placed on the weaving program at Black Mountain College, and it is demonstrated how this new program helps give greater and more in-depth access to the archival information. While the project is still in its early stages, the presenters show their working methodology, process, and how it translates into a searchable digital asset for everyone. The presenters goal is to showcase ALL the names and faces of Black Mountain College to diversify and expand our understanding, and increase the scholarship.

SESSION NO. 4 – Room 207
Moderator: Julie J. Thomson

Kira Houston: HOLES: Ray Johnson’s Silhouettes as Nothing and Anything

This presentation is excerpted from a chapter of Houston’s undergraduate thesis, “Queer Relationality: Ray Johnson’s Silhouettes as Glyphs, Dumps, Letters and Holes.” In this chapter, Houston constructs an idea of Ray Johnson’s silhouettes as “holes,” both devoid of meaning and bursting with potentiality. Throughout his life and work, Johnson’s frequent use of silhouettes points back to his philosophy of “nothingness.” For an artist who wrote and distributed “A Book About Death” and performed “Nothings,” it is easy to read Johnson’s oeuvre as overwhelmingly cynical, complete with a tragic ending. Yet Johnson has proved an important figure for such theoretical projects as Muñoz’s “Cruising Utopia,” which puts forth an idea of optimistic futurity. This presentation posits that Johnson’s work can teach us about the ways that futurity can coexist with nothingness—in other words, the ways that life can coexist with death. Silhouettes provide a unique window into this philosophy. In a world where nothing means anything, anything can suddenly mean anything else. When signifiers become detached from signifieds, they do not become static, but transform into holes which our minds constantly seek to fill with new meaning. “Nothingness” suggests a parallel radical “anythingness.” To flesh out the concept of “nothingness” as “anythingness,” this presentation showcases two works from Johnson’s large body of color photography produced in the 1990s. These photographs include profile silhouettes, reused from Johnson’s earlier Silhouette University series. Comparing iterations of silhouettes across time,  this research ties up queer relationality with “anythingness” to provide a picture of Johnson’s paradoxical philosophy.

Alex Landry: Seeing, Relatedness, Matière: Ray Johnson’s Queer Formalism and BMC

Artist Ray Johnson, best known as one of the founding figures of Mail Art, was also a Black Mountain College alum and a key progenitor for queer art. Although Johnson’s work in Mail Art and his NYC artistic networks have received much recent attention in terms of exhibitions and scholarly interest, less attention has been paid to the crucial impact of his time at BMC on the latter half of his career. This paper argues that his work at BMC was central to the development of his queer practice. Looking across Johnson’s practice from the 1940s to 1990s, this presentation reviews a series of formal practices that Johnson honed at BMC and that remained integral to his later work in collage and mail art. Through this analysis, Landry hopes to begin to resolve a perceived gap in queer formulations on Johnson’s work by aligning more consciously subversive and content-based readings of Johnson’s queerness with his formal interests in material relationships and visual perception. This presentation builds upon writings by a selection of contemporary scholars based in the US, namely Lex Morgan Lancaster, David Getsy, and William J. Simmons, whose works above all aim at correcting a re-marginalizing view of queer art as art that only denotes a homosexual/queer body or experience. Using the frameworks they have provided (such as “queer formalism” and “queer abstraction”) will deepen our understanding of the intersections of Johnson’s queerness and his formal and material innovations. This paper will also expand definitions of queer artistic practice and query our criteria for determining who constitutes a queer artist.

Catherine Cross Tsintzos
Paper and Place (90 minutes)

Paper: where would we be without this tool to record our ideas, write, sketch, bind books and transform our thoughts when reading text. Our lives are intertwined with paper from our forests to our trash cans. How can we connect and build relationships with paper that create community, scaffold fellowship, reduce waste and create sustainability with nature and agriculture. How can paper make us better stewards of the land not the landfills?

Saturday, 2:30 – 4:00pm - Performances + Workshops

Chris Morita Clancy and Bruna Petito
Physically interact with tensegrities to understand the front edge of a Revolution in materials science and structural biology that started at BMCs summer program with artist Kenneth Snelson and design scientist Buckminster Fuller (90 minutes)

Currently, the world of structural biology is experiencing a revolution whose roots can be traced to the Black Mountain College summer programs of 1948 and 1949 with the meeting of  Buckminster Fuller and Kenneth Snelson and the development of tensegrity. Tensegrity is a novel structural configuration of cables and struts that exhibits  highly unusual and unexpected behaviors, and that are unlike structures previously known in human history. Tensegrity is still not fully understood even by today’s engineers and mathematicians, and is an area of increasing interest in biology, materials science, and robotics. Researchers at Harvard, Stanford, McGill, and other institutions now regard organisms as living tensegrity structures, explaining phenomena such as mechanotransduction and mechanosensitivity, and leading to medical innovations. Remarkably, this revolution in structural biology was born out of art, inspired by the sculptures of  Kenneth Snelson. Fortunately, we don’t need to be engaged in high-level scientific research to explain  the uniqueness of tensegrities. Because tensegrity structures behave as holistic systems exhibiting oscillating, helical, nonlinear behaviors, they are much like what we experience in our own bodies. This workshop gives participants a chance to explore the difference between models of the body based on tensegrity, and those based on machines and the carpentered environment, which have dominated science for hundreds of years.

Participants will discover, through hands-on experience of tensegrity and other structures, how different structural principles can influence the way we think about our bodies and all living organisms. Activities include:
– Guided, playful interaction with models provided and built in this workshop
– Developing a mandala mindmap that documents their experience as they compare and contrast the properties and behaviors of the different models and structures, and learn how different structural principles can influence the way we think about our bodies and all of biology.
– Embodied explorations to feel the impact that this shift in understanding can have on their own living structure and how they feel in their body.

PERFORMANCES – Manheimer Room
Ann Dunn
Woven (30 minutes)

“Woven” is a three movement choreographic work by Ann Dunn made in collaboration with Washington, D.C. composer, Erin Murphy Snedecor, and Celo fabric artist, Kristin Alexandra Tidwell, based on Anni Albers 1947 piece, “Knot”. Three dancers represent the three colored threads in the work, a slide of which will be projected onto the space.

Maria Molteni
Yarn Over Double Dribble (15 minutes)

“Yarn Over Double Dribble: Ball Handling Score” is a performance within a body of work called BMC x NCAA created collaboratively with members of the New Craft Artists in Action Collective, which I founded in 2010. For this work of performance, a basketball net knitting pattern by Andrea Evans, (Featured in our NCAA Net Works publication, 2014), is translated by myself, Maria Molteni into a color-coded basketball handling score. Reading from a larger drawing of the original knitting pattern, as a musician reads from sheet music, the full pattern is performed live, using basketball handling choreographic movements in place of knitting stitches. The piece is inspired by John Cage as well as fiber and textile artists from BMC as part of a body of work that we created called BMC Allstars, creating objects and performances about basketball based on the work of Black Mountain College affiliated artists.

Caitlyn Schrader + Tara Webb
Woven Playground (10 minutes)

Woven Playground is a performative experimentation around the interrelationships between movement, textile, structure, and design as a source for imagistic inspiration and physical realities. It is a semantic dance. Weaving is a verb, but it is also a noun. It surveys the idea of creating visual images from embodied objects as a springboard. A tapestry of experiences unfolds in the curiosity of looking/seeing for both the audience and performers. There is a living possibility in the stories of these marginal processes and the horizontal integration of disciplines. Woven Playground, therefore, explores the idea of the in between spaces, the liminal spaces that artists navigate as they shape materials, convention, and structure into new and/or different perspectives. Often what remains of an artistic encounter is a product, but what interests us about Black Mountain College (BMC) is the experience of art and making. Artists such as Trude Guermonprez, Elizabeth Jennerjahn, Lore Kadden Lindenfeld, along with Anni Albers, make up a unique group of BMC women interested in craft and the simultaneous shaping and consuming of seemingly divergent ideas. Like these artists, part of our creative research practice is to ask questions through the work. How do material relationships occur in the unspoken moments between process and object? When artists switch materials, what new pathways form? What are the connections that go unseen? And what is the structure by which artists traverse these borders between work and product? We are intrigued by these artists that transform mediums to tell a story – whether it’s a story of memory, of landscape, or of relationships. They craft visual movement through the interplay of design and function throughout their undertakings, which leads to new activations. As Anni Albers suggests, working this way allows one to become absorbed in the convergence and witness something new happening.

Caprice HamlinKrout
Creating A Collaborative Collage, a Woven Conversation (90 minutes)

A 45 minute workshop, followed by a 45 minute conversation salon. The workshop will begin with a visual experience influenced by teaching methods used at Black Mountain College to create a group collage, this will be followed by a short written word poetic experience using chance with participants drawing written words from a bowl to form a poetic dialog. The written poetic dialog will then be woven back into the visual collage. The conversation salon will follow with the group conversation beginning with the idea of existing archetypal patterns and their cultural influence compared to possibilities for creating new archetypal patterns emerging in our post-covid culture. A brief introduction to various collage techniques will be given in the beginning. Written words will be provided in handmade paper mache bowls for the written word portion of the workshop and a long strip of paper for the words to be attached, which will then be woven back into the visual collage. A Tibetan bowl will be gently chimed for the transition from group work to salon conversation. Limited to 8-10 participants.

Fritz Horstman
A hands-on exploration of the material studies at the heart of Anni and Josef Albers’s design teaching (90 minutes)

The Bauhaus studies of structural and textural studies of mundane materials that arrived at Black Mountain College with Josef and Anni Albers went by many names. The most enduring was The Matière. This workshop will begin with a brief history of the assignment that captured the imagination of the College, and will then lead directly into hands-on experiments with materials. In the most basic terms, The Matière is about the visual presentation of texture. How does a material’s texture feel on the eye? Can that be altered? Juxtaposing different textures can lead to possibilities of deception – a rough material can be made to appear soft. Unexpected resonances between disparate materials can emerge. Because how those materials are arranged is important, design and composition is incorporated. A portion of the workshop will be devoted to thinking about linguistic aspects of The Matière in an exercise focused on the textures of words and phrases. Participants will have access to a range of materials, such as: wire, paper, foil, marbles, straws, leaves, and sand. No previous experience nor skill is required. We will conclude with a discussion of the studies made during the workshop.

PERFORMANCE – Outdoor Patio
Ted Pope
Weaving Longing. Blue, Gray, and Black. (60 minutes)

Pope will work in the Portuguese tradition of Saudade, creating a tapestry of sadness and longing for what no longer is, with a feeling of joy and comfort from what once was. Audiovisual incorporation of music and the sounds of hand weaving from a loom. Words, music, and art will be woven into the tapestry representing the mill villages of western North Carolina and the spirit of Black Mountain College in my performance; the culmination of a day spent weaving the tapestry itself. In this performance the two feelings, yearning for that which did not come to pass, or else, passed us by, will themselves entwine with pleasant reminiscence. The joy of remembrance juxtaposed with the bitterness of that which is now only a memory, perhaps even a memory one may rather forget. The tapestry will be composed of refuse (forgotten and discarded items) recycled into a form where they have a new purpose, a new life, and inspire an audience anew, perhaps in ways such things never could before they were dispossessed. Disgust, indifference, and apathy are ubiquitous responses to the disposable nature of consumption and waste in modern history, imposing a contradiction between the genesis of a piece of artwork and the scrap and decay that are its parts. This process with the hand of an artist at work with what has been mass produced is unlike the cycle of the natural decay and growth of living things, but may find a kinship with it by confronting such themes as finality and fatalism and itself present the selfsame affirmation of life through rejuvenation that compost lends to fertility of soil.

Saturday, 4:15 – 5:45pm - Sessions No. 1 - 4

Moderator: Elliot Inman

Sam O’Hana: “50/50 Hitler”: Findings From the Olson Collection on his Work at the OWI

In the early 1940’s, Charles Olson worked as assistant chief of the foreign language section in the Office of War Information. Apart from his well-known resignation over a censorship controversy and Catherine Seelye’s introductory account from 1975, little appears to have been published about the nature of his work in that department beyond single sentence overviews in both in the established scholarship such as Maud’s 1996 biography and in more recent work such as Gilbert (2017) and Hickman (2015). As part of a visit to the Charles Olson Research Collection at the University of Connecticut funded by Lost & Found Archival Research Grants, I was able to attain copies of several documents outlining some of the investigations overseen by Olson in which he appears to have examined the political alignment of foreign language newspapers in the US to ascertain their sympathy with fascism or other political ideologies. This paper reports the findings and adds as much contextual commentary as possible, with remarks on the influence of such work on the subsequent popularity of the “little magazine” in postwar US literary culture.

Alex Mouw: John Berryman’s Homage to Mistress Bradstreet, Black Mountain College, and the Postwar Poem Including History

This paper explores intersections between John Berryman’s book-length poem Homage to Mistress Bradstreet (1956) and the aesthetic and political legacy of Black Mountain College, revealing new entanglements between poets usually split into lyric and avant-garde camps. First I document Berryman’s encounters with Charles Olson in the late 1940s, during which time Ezra Pound tried to recruit both poets to carry a renewed modernist poetic banner in postwar America. Pound’s scheme never caught on, yet his influence on both poets merits comparison: Olson drew on Pound’s Cantos for his Maximus Poems, while Berryman turned to Pound’s Homage to Sextus Propertius as he began drafting Homage to Mistress Bradstreet. While Berryman is often slotted into a confessional corner of American poetry, in contrast to the New American Olson, these intertextual connections show that they both sought to reinvent the Poundian “poem including history.” I then turn to the context and significance of Ben Shahn’s drawings included in Homage to Mistress Bradstreet. As a leftist artist and visiting lecturer at Black Mountain College, Shahn’s participation is often used to read Berryman’s poetic history of Puritan New England as politically subversive. At the same time, though, Berryman’s poem mythologizes Puritanism as representative of American identity, participating in a cultural front of the Cold War as Berryman traveled abroad with State department funding. Rather than moving Berryman to an avant-garde or New American canon, this paper suggests that the radicalism of Black Mountain could coexist, however uneasily, with the New Critical lyricism more familiar to readers of Berryman. In this way, we should see contested features of modernism—its relationship to lyric and epic, its relationship to the nation and cosmopolitanism, its politics—as continuing sites of mutation and innovation, not straightforward splits.

Rishi Singh: Vulturine World-Making

Vultures are paragons for ethical comportment in our socio-historical moment. Although they have traditionally symbolized death and disease, they are in fact extraordinarily gentle and thoughtful beings. Their ability to subsist by feeding off of carrion is of utmost importance to insuring ecological balance in a variety of biospheres, and vast ecological catastrophe will eventuate from their potential extinction. It is our responsibility not only to protect them ( we have done much to extinguish them), but to learn from them how to mesh tactfully with our natural world. As Chief Seattle wrote, in an 1885 letter to President Pierce; “Man did not weave the web of life: he is merely a strand in it. Whatever he does to the web, he does to himself.” Both indigenous people, like the Suquamish, and artists, like Robert Rauschenberg, have fashioned much of their means of subsistence after the vultures, utilizing the discarded material of others in creative production. Keeping with the theme (material and structure), I will suggest a way of following “Vulturine” modes of subsistence all the way out to a view of ethical life generally, inspired by Aristotle’s conception of ethical formation, whereby intellectual, practical, and productive virtues are thought of as “forms” (structure) imposed on human character (material). In his words; “Neither by nature, then, nor contrary to nature do the virtues arise in us; rather we are adapted by nature to receive them, and are made perfect by habit.” It is my contention that such an adaptation, or bildung as it is sometimes called in German philosophy, must enter a “vulturine” phase. As political and artistic beings, we must understand how the industrialization of our natural world requires us to learn from vultures how to take what no being wants and turn it into what all beings need.

SESSION NO. 2 – Room 206
Moderator: Sarah Ehlers

Kyle Canter: Felix Krowinski’s Photo Album: Photographic Materiality and the Black Mountain Archive

The experience of looking at photographs from the Black Mountain College collections at the Western Regional Archives is haptic as well as visual. Holding photographs of the college in the form of publicity materials, vintage prints, or reproductions from the BMC Research Project provides physical details that go unnoticed in the digital sphere. Many of the photographers conceived their projects with tactility in mind, as prints to be distributed among close friends, pinned up in the studio, or tucked away for memory’s sake. This is the case with the work of Felix Krowinski, a registered nurse and veteran who studied at BMC from the fall of 1947 through the summer of 1948. Krowinski left behind a large body of photographs, most of which were kept in an album that stayed in his attic for decades, until it was retrieved by Mary Emma Harris. She retained the layout by scanning each page before disassembling the disintegrating album for preservation. Krowinski’s photographs not only contribute to the history of the college as visual documents, but they also speak to the material significance of photographs in the construction of a personal narrative. This presentation attempts to reassemble Krowinski’s pictorial story within the context of photographic pedagogy at Black Mountain, the biography of his college circle, and the history embodied on the prints themselves.

Katie Horak: Jane Slater Marquis: Everything is Lovely, But Never Quite Like Black Mountain

Jane Slater Marquis was a student at Black Mountain College in the early 1940s, ultimately graduating in April of 1945. Though in her college application she stated an interest in studying poetry and creative writing, she excelled in art and took every course offered by Josef and Anni Albers in the four years they overlapped there. Jane’s student work is in the permanent collections of the Harvard Art Museums and Asheville Art Museum, among others, and has been published in books about Black Mountain College and the teaching pedagogy of Josef Albers. However, her work as an artist remains widely unknown. After BMC, Jane worked as a graphic designer until a 1960 commission for a stained-glass window in a synagogue designed by Claude Stoller, a fellow Black Mountain alumnus, launched a career in glass that would last more than 50 years. Her work included freestanding panels and glass sculptures as well as large commissions for buildings designed by Charles Moore and others. She spoke and wrote extensively about her time at Black Mountain and the influence of her training there on her work, saying in an interview with Fred Horowitz in 1996: “there isn’t a day in my life, when I’m working in my own studio, 50 years later, that I don’t think of [Albers]. In one way or another. That’s saying a lot!” Jane died in 2021 at 98 years old, leaving behind an incredible archive of photographs, correspondence, and other ephemera from her time at Black Mountain College, as well as an impressive body of work spanning six decades. In my presentation, I will share biographical information about Jane, unpublished primary source material, and images of her work – all through the lens of my own personal experience as her studio assistant and friend for over 20 years.

David Silver: The Last Thanksgiving at Black Mountain College

By late 1954, Black Mountain College was a precarious place. The Work Program had all but crumbled; the kitchen and dining room had been closed; the last cooks, Malrey Few and Cornelia Williams, had left or been laid off; and the last farmer, Doyle Jones, and his family had left with no notice. The college was so broke that the Board of Faculty had decided to close the college during winter term to save on coal and utilities. In spite of all of this, in late November, 1954, students Michael Rumaker, Tom Field, and Terry Burns planned and pulled off a Thanksgiving party, a real party, the college’s last great party in fact. With help from Rumaker’s Black Mountain Days and extensive archival research at the Western Regional Archives, my talk re-enacts this Thanksgiving dinner. Highlights include: the culinary ingenuity of Tom Field; the collaboratively created, multi-coursed dinner; the evening’s top-notch entertainment; and a clear and pervasive vibe that marked the beginning of the end of Black Mountain College.

SESSION NO. 3 – Room 207
“No Ideas but in Things”: Influences on Black Mountain Poetry III
Moderator: Joshua Hoeynck

Eric Keenaghan: War Is the Field of Action: Rethinking the “Socialism” of Black Mountain Poetics through the Legacy of William Carlos Williams’s Influence on the Anarcho-pacificism of Robert Duncan

William Carlos Williams’s idea of the field is as important to Black Mountain writers’ open form poetics as Alfred North Whitehead’s process philosophy. Perhaps it is more important, with his explicit formulations of the field predating, by over a decade, both Charles Olson’s and Robert Duncan’s strong engagements with Whitehead. Williams’s statements emerge in direct response to the rise of fascism and the Second World War. In this presentation, I will explore how in the decade preceding Robert Duncan’s brief tenure at Black Mountain College his own anarcho-pacifism and developing field poetics were informed, in part, by Williams’s idiosyncratic socialist materialism. Williams’s legacy for both Duncan and a rethinking of Black Mountain poetics as a new socialism, I argue, can be parsed from Duncan’s Caesar’s Gate: Poems 1949-1950 (1955) and A Book of Resemblances: Poems 1950-1953 (published 1966), two queer anarcho-pacifist collections which, in the shadow of the Korean War, explicitly engage questions of war and peace, love and sexuality. The latter collection, as Duncan explicitly notes in his introduction, was indebted to Paterson.

Jeffrey Hamilton: Robert Duncan’s “My Golden Book”: Charles Scott Sherrington, Computational Life Metaphors, and Their Period’s Compulsive Poem (and Ours)

This presentation will discuss the moment, at the 47:15 mark of Robert Duncan’s “Physics & Literature” lecture, when, acknowledging the requirement that “[speed . . . on] a computer has to be thought out,” Duncan asks, in an aside, “Did you read Man on His Nature? My Golden Book is still Sherrington’s Man on His Nature” (1940), these being the poet-physiologist’s 1937 Gifford Lectures to Edinburg undergraduates explaining Sherrington’s Nobel laureate work characterizing biological physiology and physico-chemical evolution at their probabilistic convergence: “The definition of life is that the possible took place,” as Sherrington thus evades an organic metaphor. Duncan took note of his “Golden Book”’s discretion. “The compulsive poem of our time,” Duncan liked to say (he says it in more than a single lecture, though I quote from “Warp & Woof” – the Naropa lecture), inhabits great things we don’t want to have happen.” Art is always speaking with this futurity it gathers, again, a view Duncan shares with Sherrington, is probabilistic.

Joseph Pizza: H.D. and Black Mountain Poetics

The correspondence between Robert Duncan and Denise Levertov witnesses, among other things, a wide-ranging discussion of the poetics associated with Black Mountain College. A major recurrent interest is the work of their friend, Hilda Dolittle. The subject of several pieces by both poets, not to mention Duncan’s ongoing H.D. Book, Doolittle’s writing played an important part in the two poets’ developing friendship. As such, this paper proposes to explore H.D.’s influence on two key figures in Black Mountain poetics in two ways: first, as an invitation to embrace an alternative form of modernism, to engage, in other words, with a strand of the same modernist poetry that was essential to forging the projectivist or open field poetics developed at Black Mountain, while also swerving away from the bigotry and pettiness that Olson and others abhorred in the writings of high modernists like T.S. Eliot and Ezra Pound. Second, however, as a trailblazing modernist whose personal life resonated with Duncan and Levertov in somewhat opposing ways, H.D. also presented them with a particularly challenging and problematic example.

SESSION NO. 4 – Room 230
Moderator: Victoria Bradbury

Justin Childress: Beyond Two Cultures: Exploring the Legacy of Experiments in Art and Technology (E.A.T.) and its Influence on Cross-Disciplinary Learning

Educational programs that blend engineering, art, and the humanities are a rarity within traditional academia. However, the concept of merging technology with artistic practice is not a novel one. In 1966, artist Robert Rauschenberg, engineer Billy Klüver, and other collaborators formed Experiments in Art and Technology (E.A.T.), initiating a series of events known as “9 Evenings: Theatre and Engineering.” These immersive performances brought together artists and engineers, defying the perceived divide between science and the creative humanities identified as the “Two Cultures” by C.P. Snow in 1959. E.A.T.’s innovative approach and emphasis on collaboration laid the groundwork for the development of new media art and interactive installations. By 1969, the organization boasted over 2000 artist members and 2000 engineer members, united in their quest for willing collaborators. However, E.A.T. did not envision itself as a long-term collective, expressing in its inaugural newsletter a desire to transfer its functions to industry, engineering societies, and universities as it gained success. This paper reflects on the current state of interdisciplinary art and engineering education, drawing inspiration from E.A.T.’s origins and goals, as well as its expectation of eventual obsolescence at the hands of industry and academia. The study seeks to identify parallels between Rauschenberg and Klüver’s ideals, non-traditional institutions like Black Mountain College, and contemporary perspectives on the pedagogical intersection of art, technology, and science within both academic settings and organic contexts like DIY hacker culture and organizations such as “The Critical Engineering Working Group.” In conclusion, the paper highlights E.A.T.’s subtle yet profound influence on modern design education, advocating for a reevaluation of its principles. By revisiting E.A.T.’s innovative spirit, collaborative ethos, and foresight regarding the transfer of its functions, educational programs today can better navigate the integration of art, technology, and engineering, ultimately fostering interdisciplinary learning that transcends traditional academic boundaries.

Crystal Irene Gregory: The Shapes of Movement, Collaboration, and Experiments in Pedagogy

The weaver’s discipline employs a cyclical advancement, a practice of repetition and return. For Anni Albers, “…the textile could be better understood as a multi-linear complex, an event of threads that has no beginning or end but is always ‘something going on’ in practice” (Smith 2015). This eternal thread is always in action, always moving in many directions and on many levels, folding in on itself and expanding out again, in repetition. Through a technical study of the interlacement of thread we uncover the intricate and expansive metaphors for community and collaboration. This presentation looks at structure and release in teaching, in weaving and in collaboration. This presentation uses textile as a catalyst to think through the collaborative project The Shapes of Movement and how this project influenced an experimental pedagogy in the University of Kentucky’s fiber studio utilizing the space in-between the disciplines of dance, sculpture, weaving, and architecture. These collaborative projects expand outward in response to place-based knowledge gained through artists and student-led research. Linear structures begin to break down, opening up to movement encounters that are cumulative, with more and stronger relationships being built over time with a diversity of voices and stories being heard. The Shapes of Movement is a collaborative project between sculptor Crystal Gregory, the dance company The Moving Architects led by Artistic Director Erin Carlisle Norton, multimedia performance artist gwen charles, and curator and producer Kathy Imlay. Experimental class at the University of Kentucky, Materialized, was co-taught by Crystal Gregory, Hannah Dewhirst, Susie Theil and Laura Neese.

Simon Packard: Structures to teach and learn in: Bespoke spaces for drawing and performance

This paper looks at bespoke spaces Packard has designed and taught in, where before there were classrooms. The effect on learning, drawn outcomes and performance was magnified by such architectural and structural devices. Student testimonies speak of one such space The Drawing Room at SGS College, Stroud: “ …allows for experiences to happen that otherwise are never given the particular space or time that the canvas of The Drawing Room allows. A room of possibilities.…” Packard looks at structures designed for specific drawing practices such as life-sized life. 20 students stood around a centrally placed model. All students had a view of the model as in the spokes of a wheel. How did this structure benefit learning and making? How did being inside The Drawing Room witnessing at such an intimate proximity dance and ballet offer an enriching arena for learning. Future building of such, where and for who will be discussed and the suitability for learning across the educational landscape. Black Mountain College was a structure of sorts, one with both an organic pasture and a fertile and organic and accepting way of allowing teaching and learning to be at both times meaningful and without structured marking. Structure can be both a way, scaffolding and methodology of place and a new structure to be lived in and with, having those keen to play off it and in it helps.

Saturday, 6:00pm and after - Digital Weaving, Textile Design and Production Closing Reception

Digital Weaving, Textile Design and Production
UNC Asheville, Owen Hall 328, The New Media Gallery

Gallery hours during the conference: 
Fri, Oct 13, 11am-5pm
Sat, Oct 14, 6-8pm (closing reception)

This exhibition showcases artists who combine weaving and digital techniques. Qualeasha Wood (Philadelphia, PA) and Phillip David Stearns (Denver, CO) are included in the exhibition alongside work created by UNC Asheville New Media students in a May 2023 Digital Weaving course taught by Dr. Victoria Bradbury. Working in Asheville, NC today, near the site of Black Mountain College, the students in the Digital Weaving course used experimental processes to discover forms and patterns that emerge when combining weaving, a new art form for them, and the digital media to which they are accustomed. The invited professional artists who work with digital weaving extend Anni Albers’ legacy of a meeting of art and craft, design and functionality. Each tapestry included in the exhibition was woven by Pure Country Weavers, a mill based in Lynn, North Carolina. This connection to a working mill in the Western North Carolina region, which has a rich and complex history of textile production, creates an important link between art, education, and industrial process.

ReVIEWING 14 Presenters


Onur Ayaz is an educator and doctoral candidate. He oversees his classroom with a view towards cultivating an environment that promotes both teaching and learning in a friendly, safe, and inviting manner. Though he teaches English, he sees it as a responsibility to continue to learn and to continue to teach others so that we might, together, bring about meaningful, long-term change. In another frame, Onur Ayaz studies the history of 20th century American poetics, with a focus on marginalized, unknown, and understudied writers and thinkers like Charles Olson and Paul Metcalf.

Makayla Beam graduated from Shepherd University with her Bachelors in Art Education and is currently finishing a Masters of Art Education from Converse University. She has taught public school in four separate states. In recent years, she has completed murals in Rutherfordton, NC and her hometown of Jane Lew, WV. In 2023, Makayla was granted the opportunity with Learn From Travel to work in pottery and textile studios in the Lake Panajachel area of Guatemala. Makayla Beam’s personal artwork favors woodworking, ceramics, and stained glass.

Michael Beggs is a designer and independent scholar who has been studying Black Mountain College since 2010. He previously worked at the Josef and Anni Albers Foundation and has written about the Alberses and Black Mountain College in Leap Before You Look: Black Mountain College, 1933–57 (Yale University Press, 2015), Josef Albers: Interaction (Yale University Press, 2018), and The Quiet House: Stillness in Lake Eden (Atelier Editions and Black Mountain College Museum + Arts Center, 2022).

Victoria Bradbury is an artist and researcher working with virtual reality, code, fiber art, and physical computing. She is featured on the Radiance VR Blog, co-editor of Art Hack Practice: Critical Intersections of Art, Innovation and the Maker Movement (Routledge 2020), and an Epic MegaGrant recipient. Her work has been shown at IEEE-GEM, xCoAx, the {Re}Happening, Harvestworks, Future Bodies Symposium, The Albright Knox and The New Britain Museum of American Art. Victoria holds a PhD with CRUMB at the University of Sunderland and an MFA from Alfred University. She is Associate Professor and Chair of New Media at UNC Asheville.

Astrid Bridgwood is a senior undergraduate student at Queens University of Charlotte, majoring in Art History with minors in Philosophy and Arts Leadership & Administration. Her studies center Black Mountain College, the Bauhaus school, and Vkhutemas, among other experimental liberal arts institutions as she explores the importance of interdisciplinary learning to movements in art history throughout the 20th century. In her free time, Astrid writes poetry, with work published in the North Carolina Literary Review, among others. Following graduation in 2024, she hopes to pursue a career in academia.

Paul Bright studied printmaking, and was employed as an art museum preparator and installer prior to his graduation from the University of South Carolina. He became the director of Hanes Art Gallery in 2012. Exhibitions under his curatorial direction include SoundSeen: Cage/Braxton/Marclay, Kate Shepherd: Lineaments, and Teju Cole: Blind Spot, as well as the collaborative projects  Cuban Artists’ Books and Prints, John Cage Rocks, Vesna Pavlovic: Lost Art, and Peter Campus Video Ergo Sum. Bright also maintains an active parallel life as an artist. Matter of Style, a survey of the past decade of his work, was shown at SECCA in 2022.

Marina Budhos is an author of award-winning fiction and nonfiction for adults and young adults. Her newest novel is We Are All We Have, about a Pakistani girl on the run after an ICE raid takes her mother. Budhos has also co-authored two nonfiction books with her husband Marc Aronson. Marina Budhos has been a Fulbright Scholar to India, received an NEA Literature Fellowship, a Rona Jaffe Award for Women Writers, and three Fellowships from the New Jersey Council on the Arts. She and her husband Marc Aronson oversee the Boris Aronson-Jalowetz archives and legacy.

Danielle Burke is an artist and folklorist. She studies textiles, craft pedagogy, and artist communities; her studio practice focuses primarily on the process and storytelling potential of woven cloth. She is currently a PhD student in Design Studies with a focus in History at the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s School of Human Ecology.

Charmaine Cadeau is an Associate Professor of English at High Point University. Her research focuses on contemporary American poetry and Black Mountain College.

Kyle Canter is a master’s student in art history at Hunter College, where he is finishing his thesis on photography at Black Mountain College. In his thesis, he examines photographic publicity, the photography program, and student projects and argues that the medium played an essential role in the conception of arts pedagogy at Black Mountain. His article “Jonathan Williams: Photography and the Queer Self at Black Mountain College” will be published in the upcoming edition of the Journal of Black Mountain College Studies.

Justin Childress is a Clinical Assistant Professor for the MA in Design and Innovation graduate program at Southern Methodist University. He received his MFA from Texas A&M University-Commerce, where his thesis work explored how interactive tools can influence hazard projection and route planning by cyclists who depend on bicycle-specific roadways. He teaches classes on digital UX design, critical approaches to the visual environment, design and innovation studio methodologies, the professional practice of design, and the context and impact of design. He has received fellowships, residencies, and grants from SMU, The National Endowment for the Arts, and The Dallas Cultural Plan.

Chris Morita Clancy is a board member of the Stephen M. Levin Biotensegrity Archive, and director of Embodied Biotensegrity, the premier online education platform for people interested in learning about biotensegrity. She is a founding member of the Pacific Northwest Biotensegrity Interest Group (PNWBIG) and co-host and co-executive producer of the BiotensegriTea Party which can be seen on the Biotensegrity Archive YouTube Channel. A retired yoga teacher and lead trainer Chris has contributed to Susan Lowel de Solòzano’s book “Everything Moves: How biotensegrity informs human movement” and to Karen Kirkness’ book “Spiral Bound: Integrated Anatomy for Yoga”.

Marcia R. Cohen received a BFA from Wayne State University and an MA from the University of New Mexico. Her artwork and scholarship examine the intersection between color, nature, culture, and Jewish history. Cohen maintains an active exhibition record and has lectured at conferences dedicated to the interdisciplinary dimension of color in art, science, and industry. Awarded a 2019-2020 Research Fellowship from Duke University Department of Jewish Studies and a 2019 artist residency at the Josef & Anni Albers Foundation, she has traveled to residencies in Iceland, the Azores Archipelago, and Santa Fe. She is a Professor Emerita from SCAD Atlanta and the Atlanta College of Art.

Olivia Comstock (she/her) is a current PhD student in art history at the University of Minnesota specializing in American craft art. Her work explores relationality and investigates the permeable boundaries and shared agency between human and nonhuman matter. She served as co-curator for ¡PRESENTE! at CLUES, and she is an emerging curator for an upcoming 2024 exhibition at the Northern Clay Center. She was also the recipient of a Fulbright Research Award in Berlin, Germany where she staged participatory workshops at the Museum FLUXUS+.

Brenda Danilowitz is an art historian and chief curator at the Josef and Anni Albers Foundation. She is the author and editor of numerous books and essays on the work of Josef and Anni Albers and has organized exhibitions of their work in the US, Europe, Mexico, Peru, and Brazil. Her publications include: Anni Albers: Selected Writings on Design, ed. and introduction (Wesleyan University Press, 2001), Josef Albers: To Open Eyes (with Frederick A. Horowitz) (Phaidon, 2006), Anni and Josef Albers: Latin American Journeys (Hatje-Cantz, 2007), The Prints of Anni Albers: A Catalogue Raisonné, 1963-1984 (Editorial RM, 2009), The Prints of Josef Albers: A Catalogue Raisonné (Hudson Hills, 2001) and contributions to Black Mountain: An Interdisciplinary Experiment 1933–1957 (Spector Books, 2015), Anni Albers: Camino Real (David Zwirner Books, 2020), Anni and Josef Albers, L’art et la vie, (Paris-Musees, 2021), and Josef Albers: Discovery and Invention, the Early Graphic Work, (Art/Books London, 2022)

Frédérique Davreux-Hébert is a graduate student in Architectural History and Philosophical Education at the University of Quebec in Montreal. Her thesis focuses on the educational philosophy of Black Mountain College and its embodiment in the built environment at Lake Eden. Her primary research interests include philosophy of education and art, phenomenology, architecture, and the history of Black Mountain College. In the fall of 2022, she conducted a research residency at the Western Regional Archives, and during 2022-2023 she presented at multiple conferences about Black Mountain College in Montreal.

Mark Diamond was an early pioneer of laser holography. He met Bucky Fuller in Miami in the mid-1970s, and they became friends. Mark and Bucky collaborated in an event at the Harvard Science Center at which Mark made a hologram portrait of Bucky. His presentation centers on that event, from which Mark will present never-before-seen images. Mark will then discuss Bucky’s “Vector Equilibrium System” or “jitterbug.” Mark will demonstrate a jitterbug and discuss its theoretical applications.

Anne Dickens is a writer and artist living in the Asheville area. She has a keen interest in the history and creative influence of Black Mountain College.

Ann Dunn is Artistic and Executive Director of The Asheville Ballet. She is the owner/CEO of Asheville Academy of Ballet and Contemporary Dance, full-time faculty in Humanities at UNCA, and has presented and published widely at academic conferences and in journals on Literature and Dance Theory. Dunn trained with the New York City Ballet, Martha Graham, and Merce Cunningham. Her choreography credits include: “Turandot” for New York City Opera at Lincoln Center, “Amahl and the Night Visitors” for Menotti’s official US tour, and “Macbeth” witches for American University, Rome, Italy. She has published three volumes and two chapbooks of poetry. 

Sarah Ehlers is Associate Professor of English and Director of Graduate Studies at the University of Houston, where she teaches courses in American literature, poetry and poetics, and working-class literature. Her first book, Left of Poetry: Depression America and the Formation of Modern Poetics, was published by the University of North Carolina Press in 2019 and shortlisted for the Modernist Studies Association First Book Award. She is currently at work on a book-length study of Black Mountain College. 

Seth Forrest wrote his dissertation on the Black Mountain poets en route to his PhD at the University of California, Davis. He has published several articles on Charles Olson and Larry Eigner in addition to work on modernist poetry from Stein to Williams. He is currently working on a book project that explores the aesthetics and forms of noise across modern and contemporary poetry, music, and art. Seth teaches writing and literature as assistant professor of Humanities at Coppin State University, an HBCU in Baltimore.

Thomas Frank taught in the field of American religious history at both Emory and Wake Forest Universities, with special interests in liberal arts colleges, utopian communities, and historic preservation. He currently co-edits the Journal of Black Mountain College Studies and continues volunteer activities in preservation and the arts. 

Jeff Gardiner is an independent scholar whose essays on Olson’s poetry and poetics have appeared in a number of journals and collections of essays, including Staying Open: Charles Olson’s Sources and Influences, Olson’s Prose, and Journal of Black Mountain College Studies.

William Graham is a self taught, formerly incarcerated artist, and art teacher. He was raised on the campus of a seminary, and is a would-be revolutionary and long term fugitive. His formal education came from Ohio University and University of Havana. He is currently a member of the working class.

Sam O’Hana Grainger is a PhD candidate in English, researching creative lifespans at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York.

Crystal Gregory is a sculptor whose work investigates the intersections between textile and architecture. Gregory received her BFA from the University of Oregon and her MFA from SAIC from the Fiber and Material Studies Department. In 2013 she was awarded The Leonore Annenberg Fellowship for the Performing and Visual Arts. With this grant she moved to Amsterdam, where she took a role as Guest Artist at The Gerrit Rietveld Academie of Art. Gregory has recently been awarded the Arturo Alonzo Sandoval Endowed Professorship in Fiber at the University of Kentucky. She currently shows with Tappan Collective in Los Angeles, CA; Imlay Gallery; and Momentum Gallery, NC.

Charlott Greub is an artist, architect, urban designer, and Associate Professor of Architecture at North Dakota State University in Fargo. Her work has been exhibited in many fine art museums across Germany. She holds an MFA in Sculpture and an MA in Architecture from the Kunstakademie Düsseldorf, Germany.

Max Hamel is a musician, artist, and craftsperson who has worked in musical instrument making and repair for a decade. After starting off building experimental synthesizers and apprenticing for a luthier, they currently specialize in violin and cello repair. Max performs and records solo and in a number of bands using homemade and modified equipment ranging from solar powered circuits and hacked CD players to prepared acoustic instruments and found materials.

Jeff Hamilton teaches writing in the WU McKelvey School of Engineering’s Communications Center. His scholarship on Robert Duncan has been frequently published.

Caprice HamlinKrout (she/her) lives and works in Asheville, North Carolina. The primary mediums for her newer works are collage, sound, and visual/written language. The influences in defining the process for her work come from artists and teachers who studied/taught at Black Mountain College. She received a BA in Art History from UNC Chapel Hill.

Amanda Hartman is the Founder and Executive Director of Visual Archives, leading digital archiving and preservation initiatives for museums and archives. She is also a PhD student in Digital History at Clemson University, where she specializes in digital methodologies for exploring Southern US material culture, specifically focusing on death and funerary objects and mourning practices from the late 1800s to the early 1900s.

Charlotte Healy is a Senior Research Associate in Prints and Drawings at the Art Institute of Chicago, where she is on the curatorial team for a major retrospective of Willem de Kooning’s drawings. She received her PhD from the Institute of Fine Arts of New York University and wrote her dissertation on the role of the hand in the work of Paul Klee. Previously, she was a Morgan-Menil Pre-Doctoral Fellow at the Morgan Library & Museum in New York and the Menil Collection in Houston and a Museum Research Consortium Fellow and Research Assistant at the Museum of Modern Art in New York. 

John Henson is a Senior Lecturer and Digital Media Specialist in the Department of Media, Career Studies, and Leadership Development in the Reich College of Education at Appalachian State University. In his work as an educator, he enjoys guiding students as they explore ways to share their voice and cultivate digital storytelling skill sets and abilities across a range of communication forms. He recently completed his doctoral dissertation research investigating the spirit of Black Mountain College in the Digital Age. 

Joshua Hoeynck’s research focuses primarily on the confluences between process philosophy, Black Mountain poetry, and environmental criticism. His work has appeared in The New American Poetry: Fifty Years Later, Contemporary Literature, and is forthcoming in The Blackwell Companion to American Poetry. In conjunction with the Charles Olson Society, he edited Staying Open: Charles Olson’s Sources and Influences (Vernon Press). As director of the Charles Olson Society, he organizes annual panels at the ReVIEWING Black Mountain College Conference, The Louisville Conference on Literature and Culture, and the American Literature Association Conference. He teaches writing and literature in the SAGES program at Case Western Reserve University.

Marius Hofbauer born in Berlin, Germany, studied to become a high school teacher for Music and English at the University of Potsdam. He finished his Bachelor’s degree in 2017 with a thesis on strategies for dealing with indeterminate notation, and his Master’s in 2021 with a thesis on the listening practices afforded by Cage’s indeterminate music. He returned to the musicology department at the University of Potsdam in 2023 to begin a dissertation project on a Cagean mode of music listening and its parallels to mindfulness meditation practices as afforded by the indeterminate music of John Cage.

Katie Horak is a Principal at Architectural Resources Group, an architecture and planning firm that focuses on the historic built environment. Katie manages the firm’s Los Angeles office. Her work at ARG ranges from rehabilitation projects on some of Los Angeles’s most recognizable landmarks to large-scale planning projects that foster strategic historic resource management. In addition, Katie is an Adjunct Assistant Professor at the University of Southern California, where she teaches graduate-level courses in historic resource documentation methods in the School of Architecture. Katie’s current research projects include the use of color in post-WWII architecture, and the life and work of artist Jane Slater Marquis.

Fritz Horstman is an educator, curator, and artist based in Bethany, Connecticut where he is Education Director at the Josef and Anni Albers Foundation. He has curated exhibitions in Italy, Ireland, Croatia, Norway, and the United States, including “Anni Albers: Work with Materials” at the Syracuse University Art Museum in 2022, which will travel to the Blanton Museum of Art in Austin, TX in 2024. He has lectured and given workshops at Yale University, Harvard University, Black Mountain College Museum + Arts Center, l’École des Arts Décoratifs in Paris, and many other institutions. He received his BA from Kenyon College and his MFA from Maryland Institute College of Art.

Kira Houston is an artist, writer, and LGBTQ+ advocate based in Asheville, NC. He graduated from Clark University with a BA in Art History and Spanish, and now works as Outreach Coordinator at Black Mountain College Museum + Arts Center. In addition to art history and BMC scholarship, his research interests include queer theory, science fiction, and new media.

Mark Hursty is a glass and new media artist, teacher, and researcher. He received his BFA from Rhode Island School of Design, his MFA from Alfred University, and his PhD from the National Glass Centre (NGC), University of Sunderland, UK. He was a 2011-12 Fulbright Fellow at Tsinghua University in Beijing where he researched and taught glass studio practice at universities in China. His work has been exhibited at the Shanghai Museum of Glass, Ken Saunders Gallery (Chicago), Lattitude Gallery (Boston), S.O.F.A. (Chicago), and the Museum of Contemporary Craft (Portland, OR). Mark teaches at UNC Asheville.

Elliot Inman has degrees in English, Experimental Psychology, and Electronics and has always lived in an interdisciplinary world. He works at a software development company implementing machine learning and data visualization models. Outside of work, he has led workshops in electronics, musical experimentation, and creative coding at many universities, most recently at the New York City Electroacoustic Music Conference (Summer 2022). 

Elin Käck is Associate Professor of Language and Culture at Linköping University, Sweden, where she teaches English and Comparative Literature and serves as Director of Doctoral Studies. Her research interests include poetry and poetics, modernism and postwar poetry, ecocriticism, and literary geography. She has published essays on William Carlos Williams, Jack Kerouac, Marianne Moore, H.D., and Ernest Hemingway. Her work has appeared in journals such as ISLE: Interdisciplinary Studies in Literature and Environment, Journal of Modern Literature, and William Carlos Williams Review. She is completing a book called The Europe Trope: Constructions of Europe in Modern American Poetry and is Vice President of the William Carlos Williams Society.

Eric Keenaghan is Associate Professor and Chair at The University at Albany, SUNY. He is the author of Queering Cold War Poetry (Ohio State UP) and coeditor of The Muriel Rukeyser Era: Selected Prose (Cornell UP, forthcoming November 2023). His writings on Robert Duncan and other Black Mountain poetry figures (including John Wieners, Denise Levertov, and Charles Olson) have appeared in Sillages critiques, Contemporary Literature, Journal of Modern Literature, and elsewhere, including several edited volumes. Currently, he is developing book projects about antifascism, anarchist pacifism, and queer liberation in which Duncan, his students, and his poetic circles figure prominently.

Karen Koehler is Chair of the Dept. of Art and the History of Art at Amherst College. Koehler has published widely on dialogues between architecture and pictures, including a special edition of Art in Translation which she co-edited with Jeffrey Saletnik and the edited volume The Built Surface: Architecture and the Pictorial Arts. Koehler was guest curator for the exhibition at the Mead Art Museum on Architectural Ghosts (2023) and was curator and sole author of Bauhaus Modern, an exhibition and catalogue at the Smith College Museum of Art (2008). Koehler is currently completing an intellectual history of the architect Walter Gropius for Reaktion Books. 

Alex Landry is a graduate student in art history in the Newcomb Art Department of Tulane University, where she is completing her thesis on Ray Johnson and the impact of his time at BMC on his work. She has held curatorial positions at the Newcomb Art Museum and the Asheville Art Museum, where she curated a digital exhibition titled “Dear Lorna, Love Ray” on the letters that Johnson wrote to Lorna Blaine Halper while he was a student at BMC. Alex is currently a gallery assistant at The Parlour Gallery in New Orleans. In her writing and sculptural work, she studies how queerness relates to art-making and reception.

Monique Lanoix is associate professor of philosophy at St. Paul University where she teaches courses in feminist ethics, bioethics, and disability studies. Her research examines caregiving and the manner in which it is structured and funded. One aspect of her study focuses on care as a right of social citizenship; the other is on paid caregiving labor. Implicit within this research is a concern for our embodied reality and the manner in which it has been made invisible, leading to her interest in dance as both an activity and a subject of study.

Naomi Lindenfeld is the daughter of Lore Kadden Lindenfeld (1921-2010), former weaving student at Black Mountain College, graduating in 1948. Naomi’s career as a clay artisan has been greatly influenced by her mother’s time as a student, fiber artist, and teacher, and she created an exhibition of clay pieces inspired by her mother’s fiber work. Naomi has a Bachelor of Applied Arts in ceramics from Boston University’s Program in Artisanry. Since 1998 Naomi has been the ceramics teacher at The Putney School, teaching a variety of hand-building and wheel-throwing methods and has also taught a number of colored clay workshops at craft centers around the northeast. 

Maria Molteni is a queer transdisciplinary artist, designer, educator, and mystic. They are the grandchild of Tennessee square dancers, stunt motorcyclists, quilters, beekeepers, and opera singers of various European backgrounds. Their practice has grown from formal studies in painting, printmaking, and dance at Boston University and Scuola Internazionale di Grafica (Venice, IT), to incorporate research, ritual, play-based collaboration, and experimental education. Their intuitive practice spans movement-based alchemy, tarot, dreamwork, and color magic. Molteni enjoys tactile and tactical problem solving, giving shape to the unseen. They playfully position their practice as Phys Ed experiments for visionary communities like the Shakers, Bauhaus, and Black Mountain College.

Alex Mouw is a doctoral candidate in English and American literature at Washington University in St. Louis. His scholarship appears in Twentieth-Century Literature, Literature and Theology, and elsewhere, and his poetry has recently appeared in The Southern Review, The Minnesota Review, and the Massachusetts Review.

Kate Nartker works between animation and weaving to dismantle images, narratives, and material structures. She received an MFA from the California College of the Arts and is an Assistant Professor of Textile Design at North Carolina State University. Her work has been exhibited at The Museum of Craft and Design in San Francisco, The Contemporary Austin, and the Hordaland Art Center in Bergen, Norway. She was named a 2023 Fulbright U.S. Scholar, and her writing has been published in the Journal of Textile Design Research and Practice, Research Journal of Textile and Apparel, and the Surface Design Journal.

Eireene Nealand is a two-time Fulbright fellow with degrees from UC Berkeley and UC Santa Cruz. Her stories, poems, and translations from Russian, French, and Bulgarian have appeared in ZYZZYVA, Drunken Boat, Chicago Quarterly Review, Poetry International, and The St. Petersburg Review, among other places. Her books include The Darkroom, a translation with Alta Ifland (Contra Mundum 2021) of Marguerite Duras’ experimental film Le Camion, The Nest, a collaboration with architect Megan Luneburg (Nova Kultura 2017), and Shadows and Doubts (eohippus 2014). She is currently working with Kinetech Arts to find new ways of visualizing algorithms through dance.

Simon Packard is a Senior Lecturer at University of Gloucestershire (UOG) and Drawing Coordinator at SGS College. As an artist he works in printed textiles, drawing, and printmaking. Packard is presently undertaking a PhD at UOG.

Jess Peri received a BFA from the University of North Texas and a MFA from the University of New Mexico. Currently, Peri lives and works in Columbia, SC where he is an instructor of art at the University of South Carolina. Peri’s work has been included in exhibitions at the Harwood Museum of Art (Taos, NM), Albuquerque Museum (Albuquerque, NM), University of New Mexico Museum of Art (Albuquerque, NM), SRO Photo Gallery (Lubbock, TX), Lionel Rombach Gallery (Tempe, AZ), Yuma Center for the Arts (Yuma, AZ), Salina Art Center (Salina, KS), and Millepiani Exhibition Space (Rome, Italy) among others.

Bruna Petito is a physiotherapist, Osteopath, doctoral candidate, researcher and a former professional in Ballet and Contemporary dance. As creator and teacher of the Inner Balance Method, she has trained hundreds of physiotherapists and movement teachers in Brazil, France, USA, Germany, Portugal, Spain, Italy, and Argentina. As co-founder and teacher of Applied Biotensegrity in Physiotherapy, she develops curriculum for the first-ever online course in biotensegrity designed exclusively for physiotherapists, which is developing an active learning community spanning three continents.

Joseph Pizza is Associate Professor of English at Belmont Abbey College, where he has taught courses in Modern and Contemporary Poetry, African American Studies, and Writing and Rhetoric since 2012. He is the author of the forthcoming monograph Dissonant Voices: Race, Jazz, and Innovative Poetics in Midcentury America and has published recently on the work of Jayne Cortez, T.S. Eliot, Nathaniel Mackey, and Diane di Prima.

Ted Pope is an artist and author based in Morganton, North Carolina. He has cultivated a lifetime of experience in spontaneity and innovation with recurring styles, media, and processes combined with emergent ones as fast as he can find a surface and a means to mark it. He is an autodidact of artwork, literature, history, and popular culture who strives to see all that is great that preceded him and will always endeavor not to emulate, imitate, borrow, or derive but merely to grow in tandem unto perpetuity with the knowledge of the immensity of life.

Alessandro Porco is an Associate Professor of English at UNC Wilmington. His research and teaching focus on twentieth century poetry and poetics.

Deborah Randolph  is an independent researcher and museum educator. She is the Principal Researcher for the International Scholars Group. She served as Curator of Education at the Southeastern Center for Contemporary Art (SECCA) and Assistant Curator of Education at the Ogden Museum of Southern Art. She is co-authoring the book An Introductory Guide to Qualitative Research in Art Museums for Routledge and has published chapters in five edited volumes. Research interests include exhibition history, US weaving history, artistic practice, arts integration, qualitative research, museum environmental resilience, and arts and social justice.  

Kyle Schlesinger is a poet, printer, and professor. He is the author of A New Kind of Country, Parts of Speech, and Vast Acid West. Scholarly works include A Poetics of the Press: Interviews with Poets, Printers, & Publishers, Threads Talks (with Steve Clay) and Charles Olson at Goddard College. He is the proprietor of Cuneiform Press and Director of the Graduate Publishing Program at UHV.

Caitlin Schrader is a dance artist attracted to experiential engagement and challenging modes of traditional classifications, whether it is through the learning environments she facilitates, the events she curates, or the performative spaces she designs. Her works have taken the hybrid forms of installations, dance works, and events or happenings. Caitlyn holds an MFA in Choreography (UNCG), an MS in Education (Univ. of Rochester), and a BA in Communications and French/Francophone Studies (William Smith College). She is the Director of Greensboro Project Space and serves on the  faculty in the Interdisciplinary Art & Social Practice program, at UNC Greensboro.

David Silver is an associate professor and chair of environmental studies and affiliate faculty of urban agriculture at the University of San Francisco. David’s forthcoming book, The Farm at Black Mountain College, will be co-published by Atelier Éditions and Black Mountain College Museum + Arts Center in fall 2024.

Rishi Singh is a graduate student in photography and philosophy at ENSAV La Cambre and Université LIbre de Bruxelles in Brussels, Belgium

Heather South obtained her MA in History from Winthrop University, and her role as lead archivist at the Western Regional Archives has put her at the center of Black Mountain College scholarship for the last 12 years. The mission of the archives is to preserve and make information accessible, and Heather strives to do that every day, collaborating with museums, galleries, students, writers, and artists with their BMC projects.

Julie J. Thomson is an educator, independent scholar, and curator who has been researching and writing about artists at Black Mountain College since 2006 and served as co-editor of the Journal of Black Mountain College Studies from 2018–20. She is the author of Begin to See: The Photographers of Black Mountain College (Black Mountain College Museum + Arts Center, 2017) and the editor of  That Was the Answer: Interviews with Ray Johnson (Soberscove Press, 2018).

Catherine Cross Tsintzos is an artist who creates within interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary realms, focusing on environmental and social issues, traditional fine craft, and sustainability. She has a clear purpose in building and crossing bridges among the arts with a deep focus and balance between artistic practice, teaching, activism, and invitation for participation. Catherine has spent her life’s work developing arts curriculum and arts education opportunities for all ages, abilities, and socio-economic backgrounds in all mediums of the visual arts in the Southeast United States.

Erica Warren is a decorative arts and design curator and scholar, and is currently the editor of Craft Quarterly the James Renwick Alliance for Craft’s magazine and Assistant Instructional Professor, Master of Arts Program in the Humanities at the University of Chicago. From 2016-2022, Dr. Warren was a curator of textiles at the Art Institute of Chicago, where she organized numerous installations, including the critically acclaimed exhibitions Bisa Butler: Portraits and Weaving beyond the Bauhaus. Her recent publications include the essay “Fission: Design and Mentorship in the Dorothy Liebes Studio” for the catalog accompanying the Cooper-Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum’s exhibition A Dark, A Light, A Bright: The Designs of Dorothy Liebes (2023). In 2021, her essay “Beyond Weaving: Transdisciplinarity and the Bauhaus Weaving Workshop,” was published in Textile: The Journal of Cloth and Culture. 

Maggie Warren (she/her) is a PhD candidate at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. Her areas of interest include 20th and 21st century female poets, feminism, and queer studies. She is also a published poet whose work can be found in several journals including Rattle, Bayou Review, Connecticut River Review, and Minnesota Review. Her debut chapbook, The Bones That Map Us, is forthcoming from Belle Point Press in early 2024.

Tara Webb is a costume designer, educator, and artist who enjoys playing with all things textile related. She has over 30 years’ experience designing wearable art, costumes, and/or video for performing arts companies from New York to California. Her current praxis includes sustainable art-making, learning about natural dyes and exploring surface design, inclusive education, and trauma-informed teaching. Tara holds an MA in Visual Culture: Costume Studies from NYU and a BA in Theatre Studies from Swarthmore College. She is a Lecturer in Costume Technology at UNC Greensboro and the Co-Director of Undergraduate Studies for the School of Theatre. 

Matt Wellins can be found most frequently at transfer stations, dollar stores, and internet forums for bootlegged films. His work is broadly occupied with the way objects resist control, the snafus of live performance, and how difficult it is to do very simple things. He generally works with analog circuitry, field recording, notated music, and computer programming. This work has been fueled by long-term research into the private loft theater of 1970s New York, artificial life, and cybernetic systems, as in the work of Gordon Mumma and Roland Kayn, and most recently, the ZBS Artist-in-Residency program. 

Jeffrey Westover is Professor of English at Boise State University and was Assistant Professor of English at Howard University. He is the author of The Colonial Moment: Discoveries and Settlements in Modern American Poetry (Northern Illinois University Press, 2004), identified as an outstanding academic title by Choice magazine. The book addresses the poetry of Hart Crane, William Carlos Williams, Marianne Moore, Robert Frost, and Langston Hughes. He is co-editor of Marianne Moore and the Archive (Clemson University Press), a forthcoming collection of essays. Recent essays address W.S. Merwin (Genre) and Mary Oliver (in a volume about Emerson and his legacy).

Janie Woodbridge is an Assistant Professor of Textile Design at the College of Textiles at North Carolina State University. She earned her BFA in Fiber Art from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago and her MFA in Textile Design from The Rhode Island School of Design. After years of working as a woven designer in the textile industry, she decided to focus her energy on textile education, studio practice and research. In addition to teaching at the College of Textiles she has taught at the College of Design and Penland School of Crafts.