October 7, 202310:00am - 4:00pm

Canal to Cuyahoga: Everlasting Plastics in Context

Appropriate for ages All Ages

Canal to Cuyahoga: Everlasting Plastics in Context
Canal to Cuyahoga: Everlasting Plastics in Context

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Case Western Reserve University’s Department of Art History and Art, in collaboration with SPACES and the Cleveland Museum of Art, is proud to host a two-day public symposium in celebration of the internationally recognized exhibition Everlasting Plastics. Cocurated by Tizziana Baldenebro, curator of special projects at SPACES, and Lauren Leving, curator at the Museum of Contemporary Art Cleveland, Everlasting Plastics is currently on view at the US Pavilion of the 2023 Venice Architecture Biennale (May 20–November 26, 2023). The symposium serves as a forum to consider our cultural relationship to the ubiquity of plastic, its impact on material cultures, and the consequences and possibilities it entangles for our collective futures. The second day of the symposium is being held at the Cleveland Museum of Art.

The day begins with a panel discussion featuring the five contributing artists to Everlasting Plastics: Xavi Laida Aguirre, assistant professor of architecture at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology; Detroit-based designer Simon Anton, cofounder of the design collective Thing Thing; Ang Li, assistant professor in the School of Architecture at Northeastern University; Norman Teague, assistant professor of industrial design in the School of Design at the University of Illinois Chicago ; and Cleveland-based sculptor and conceptual artist Lauren Yeager. The panel is moderated by Magdalena Moskalewicz, chief curator of FRONT International: Cleveland Triennial for Contemporary Art. In the afternoon, attendees have the opportunity to participate in small group breakout sessions. The symposium concludes with a keynote presentation co-sponsored by the Department of English at CWRU featuring interdisciplinary writer, artist, and theorist Dr. Katie Schaag, assistant professor of theater and performance at Spelman College. Forging a space for connection and dialogue among artists, architects, curators, scholars, students, and members of the Cleveland community, the symposium traces the complex networks of plastic production, consumption, and waste from the Venetian Lagoon to the Lake Erie watershed, opening new possibilities for innovation, collaboration, and revitalization.

10:00 a.m. Welcome and Opening Remarks

10:30 a.m.–12:30 p.m. Artist Panel: Xavi Laida Aguirre, Simon Anton, Ang Li, Norman Teague, Lauren Yeager; Moderated by Magdalena Moskalewicz

1:30–2:30 p.m. Breakout Sessions

3:00–4:00 p.m. Keynote Lecture: Dr. Katie Schaag

This event is sponsored by the Department of Art History and Art at Case Western Reserve University, the Department of English at Case Western Reserve University, SPACES, and the Cleveland Museum of Art, with support from the Baker-Nord Center for the Humanities at Case Western Reserve University and FRONT International: Cleveland Triennial for Contemporary Art.

About the Artists

Xavi L. Aguirre

Xavi Laida Aguirre (b. 1984; based in Cambridge, MA; they/them) is an architectural designer, founder, and director of the architectural design practice stock-a-studio and Assistant Professor of Architecture at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. They develop material tactics and assemble architectures that reconsider our relationship to material circulation and aesthetics... Go to Artist Page

Simon Anton

Simon Anton (b. 1988, based Detroit, MI; he/him) is a multi-disciplinary artist, designer, and educator that collaborates across the fields of architecture, interior design, furniture, art, and jewelry. He is the co-founder of Thing Thing, a design collective that experiments in the transformation of post-consumer, hand-recycled polyethylene plastic sourced from... Go to Artist Page

Ang Li

Ang Li (b. 1986, based in Boston, MA; she/her) is an architect and Assistant Professor at Northeastern University. She is the founder of Ang Li Projects, an interdisciplinary design practice that works at the intersection of architecture, experimental preservation, and circular design practices to examine the maintenance rituals and material... Go to Artist Page

Norman Teague

Norman Teague (b. 1968, based in Chicago, IL; he/him) is a designer and Assistant Professor of Industrial Design at the University of Illinois Chicago. His work focuses on the systematic complexity of urbanism and the culture of communities. Teague works with common, locally sourced building materials and collaborates with local... Go to Artist Page

Lauren Yeager

Lauren Yeager (b. 1987, based in Cleveland, OH; she/her) is a conceptual artist and sculptor. Yaeger re-imagines commonplace objects as sculptural components. Using salvaged consumer materials, she references modern and classical forms through sculptures that recover and elevate the value of these reclaimed objects. Largely unaltered, their domestic origins remain... Go to Artist Page

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