ReVIEWING Black Mountain College 11

International Conference

September 20-21, 2019

Thematic Focus: Interdisciplinary Education / Information Networks / New Media

The 11th Annual ReVIEWING Black Mountain College conference will have a thematic focus on ideas and practices connected to interdisciplinary education, information networks, and new media; however, topics are varied and inform a wide range of new research surrounding Black Mountain College and its legacy. Furthermore, in the spirit of BMC, the conference challenges disciplinary boundaries, and therefore performances, multi-media panels, and workshops are abundant.

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

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

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

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

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

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