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  TAAC // Open Dialogue 13


Registration Now Open for Open Dialogue 13
People, Places, and Policy // August 2-4 in Providence, RI!

The Association of American Cultures (TAAC) invites leaders both established and emerging to Open Dialogue 13 to formulate action-agendas promoting equity in cultural policy, funding and leadership in the 21st Century.  At Open Dialogue 13 participants will discuss policies and programs which individuals, organizations, foundations, and policy makers are encouraged to strategize and organize around in order to further advance cultural democracy and cultural equity platforms AND programs in today's new era of change. Recognizing some quantitative progress in equity and diversity issues over the last three to four decades, it is most urgent at this historic time of change to evaluate and set forth action-agendas around TAAC's foundational pillars for real, substantive, long-term change.

Save with our Early Registration through June 21 - register today


Keynote Speaker Announced
TAAC is pleased to announce Rinku Sen as the Open Dialogue 13 keynote speaker!

Rinku Sen is the President and Executive Director of the Applied Research Center (ARC) and the publisher of Colorlines.com. A leading figure in the racial justice movement, Rinku has positioned ARC as a national home for media, research and activism on these issues.  She started her organizing career as a student activist at Brown University, fighting race, gender and class discrimination on campuses. A native of India, Rinku grew up in the northeastern factory towns, and learned to speak English in a two-room schoolhouse.  Over the course of her career, she has combined journalism and activism to make social change. Rinku is the author of Stir It Up, a primer on best practices in community organizing, and The Accidental American,Immigration and Citizenship in the Age of Globalization, a book about Moroccan immigrant Fekkak Mamdouh, who co-founded the Restaurant Opportunities Center of New York in the aftermath of September 11.  Previously, Rinku served as the Communications Director and the Director of the Transnational Racial Justice Initiative at ARC. Prior to that, Rinku held various leadership roles at the Center for Third World Organizing (CTWO), a national network of organizations of color, where she trained new organizers and crafted public policy campaigns from 1988-2000. Rinku is the Vice Chair of the Schott Foundation for Public Education and a Boardmember of the Philanthropic Initiative for Racial Equity.


Rinku Sen - www.rinkusen.com

About Open Dialogue 13
Open Dialogue 13 is presented by The Association of American Cultures and is hosted and sponsored-in-part by the Rhode Island State Council on the Arts.

Breakout sessions, activities, and speakers are subject to change and additions and corrections will be added as information is confirmed.  If you have any questions, please contact the TAAC Conference Coordinator.


There's much more!
Visit the Open Dialogue 13 website for additional details.
Register by June 21 to save with Early Registration!
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Monday, May 20, 2013
Spring 2013 Panel Talk Photographs

 Snapshot of the audience at The African Spring: Frantz Fanon Today and the Legacy of Revolutionary Humanism at the CUNY Graduate Center April 23. 
 Prof. Cornell (3rd from left) teaches Political Science, Women's Studies and Comparative Literature at Rutgers University. 
Visual artist Heng-Gil Han (standing),  the Visual Arts Director and Curator for the Jamaica Center for Arts & Learning leading a panel talk at NYU. 
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Monday, May 13, 2013
Saturday, April 27, 2013
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On April 24th, Robert Lee attended the Rubin Museum of Art: Brainwave Panel talk where author Lee Smolin and neuro-scientist Warren Meck discussed the elusive understanding of time in regards to the long and diverse history of Asian art.

Here is a glimpse of what Robert had to comment about. The following conversation took place between Robert Lee and D.K Matai over FB.

DK Matai:  "Quantum physics brought us the cell phone, computers and the Internet and is one of the most successful scientific theories put into practice by humankind. It also presents opportunities for a new evolution in our scientific, social and spiritual understanding."

A new worldview begins to emerge via this quantum-centric understanding, embracing the interconnectedness between Humanity and Nature, Earth and Cosmos, Photons and Entanglement. Quantum entanglement occurs when particles such as photons, electrons, molecules as large as bucky-balls, and even small diamonds interact physically and then become separated. There is a correlation between the results of measurements performed on entangled pairs, and this correlation is observed even though the entangled pair may have been separated by large distances. In quantum entanglement, part of the information transfer happens instantaneously. Repeated experiments have verified that this works even when the measurements are performed more quickly than light could travel between the sites of measurement. Recent experiments have shown that this transfer can occur at least 10,000 times faster than the speed of light, which is not to imply that this phenomenon is not instantaneous but it nevertheless sets a lower limit.
Quantum entanglement demonstrates the interconnectedness of the universe; all that is within and without; and it is becoming the centre-piece of advanced research and development in computing, cryptography, telecommunications, healthcare and energy. Its implications are not to be underestimated across all scientific and subjective disciplines.
Quantum phenomena based understanding may finally herald the merger of science and spirituality and take humanity on a new path of consensus rather than confrontation. Do you agree? What are your thoughts, observations and views?


Robert Lee: "Thats a lot to say in so few words. Where can this be read to understand it? Its like the first phrase in a four character childrens Chinese ancient text - "Man is good". A touchstone that needs only consensus. However consensus or conflict is a cultural stance more than a scientific principle and to shift ones values from what one is familiar to values that in technical terms appear to have practical application but in ones bones are as obscure as blindness on the edge of fear. So many walls have been built, Science might pose but it is cultural workers who will make manifest and convince the hesitant and entrenched to take a new path. Ahead the road is still long.
Support arts role in transmitting to our bones a new way of feeling."
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Thursday, April 18, 2013
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Here are stains of substances carefully modulated on pure white surfaces for their revelatory indications, washes by recipe allowing a latitude of variation along one axis while retaining numerical limits and control of the other elements. A graph-like evidence emerges, layers of a wordless sign, measurements of specific reactions, or are they calculations of specified emotions. Fragments of a landscape or a specimen each embedded into the surface, each panel a recent fossil of a Now moment, perhaps yours…Now.

Nothing hysterical, no explosions, quite the contrary, targeting perceptions, situations normally overlooked, a laser distillation of small perhaps insignificant occurrences, each panel gathered together one by one, with pauses - breathing spaces, to graph the gentle accumulation of our collective days.

Her own collection of days, 280 days to be exact, in one of Mikyung Kim’s calendar works, is the time it takes to gestate a baby. In another work the span of one lifetime – 80 years. Process has become key – the resin dries fast, its mixture with water based inks changes with humidity, the needs of the palette to be regularly refreshed, the size of tools - straight edged palette knife are circumscribed. The time to think is brief. The process becomes ceremony for the surprises and accidents to be harvested, and later, chose which will be re-possessed to start again anew.

Mikyung landscapes of the mind reinvent a way to see, a path to avoid what has become stale, and what is merely a technological innovation, to bring us closer to what is vital. Aesthetic leadership.

Recognize art -- its central role. Pushing beyond secular notions of art as secondary in a system that monetizes everything under the sun. A new notion of what is nearly – but never acquires the color - ‘sacred’. To perceive what is truly of value – a basis for changing our ways. The current system is not sacrosanct. It can be changed, just as Mikyung Kim has changed.

As a sculptor of installations she explored metaphysical games in public space as they passed imperceptibly into private if not cosmic space. Now the grit and urgency of time creates an elegant validity for perceiving and recognizing what is real, what is remarkable, the pulse of our days as we chose to live them. A language of orderly patience, gentle joys, and engaged surprises.

Support ethical leadership. Power is not the way. Another form of leadership is necessary to move us out of the power arrangements of the post WWII era. If Mikyung Kim’s art can give us a measure of being human, and if man is not the measure of all things, and never was, then all this, has it just been an excuse to continue in disguise the bellicose traditions of nomadic Europe? Infecting all forms of civil life while sanctioning seductions to power?

In the space between cultures, Mikyung Kim, an Asian American artist, see the changes we feel, the miniscule increments that tic by obscurely, see the rippling fusing conjoining before us, this moment, our moment.

Midst the monumental architecture of our ambition, in the interstices of capital, attention for detritus thrives. Content with seeming insignificance, small rituals, unknown observations hum, the oil of our time.

Robert Lee
April 26, 2012
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Thursday, April 11, 2013
March 2013

One Thousand Pictures' flag.

David Hammond's wife exhibited at 128 Rivington Street gallery early March.  She is an asian, and her nickname is One Thousand Pictures.

One Thousand Pictures' gauze with lentil seeds.

David Hammond's flag.


One Thousand Pictures' chair tangles with cob webs.


Robert Morgan interviewed three artists, who he wrote in his book.  Here, they are taking questions from the audiences.

The event took place at Stuyvesant street in one of the NYU's buildings on March 14.  In the picture, the audience asks questions.

Robert Morgan is answering one of the audience's questions.  

Robert Morgan has written a book about contemporary Chinese arts and has chosen to publish it in Chinese in China.  He is the first to do this.

Wei Dong is speaking and replying to questions about his art.

Lin Yan also replies to Robert Morgan's questions
Art critic, Robert Morgan was featured at an event by Untitled Dialogue.  Untitled Dialogue is the name of a new organization focus largely on contemporary art particularly from China.

Robert Morgan is answering one of the audience's questions.

Shen Chen is answering questions from Robert Morgan.

In this picture, another question is posed from the audience.

The audience.



This is one of Cristii Speakman's works.  The picture was taken with a large camera of  an oil stain on the street pavement, and it shows the comparison between that and a moon with the shadow behind it vividly.

Cristii Speakman and her work, which is shown behind her.  One of them is on a video screen, where the planet moves slowly.  The exhibition took place at Cuchifritos in the Essex Street Market on March 17.

Jessie Henson and Cristii Speakman are presenting their works.



The photo above shows a Hibaku tree, a tree that survived under the radiation of the atomic bomb from the U.S during World War II.

Growing under the radiation from the atomic bomb explosion in Hiroshima, this plant from a Hibaku tree shows clearly how well it has survived.  An artist work that reflects the horror of the atomic bombs in Japan is the art work of Yoshiki Araki. 


The atomic bomb explosion in Hiroshima and Nagasaki killed most things.  Some 20 different kinds of tree survived.  These trees had been given the name Hibaku.  The growth of Hibaku trees changed, their tree rings were thicker than they used to be before the explosion,so that indicated how the trees fought to survive.  After three years of struggling, the Hibaku tress finally grew in their normal ways again.

Terrance Chen is a Chinese American author who writes novels related to Asian Americans.  For example, on Tiananmen square, 1989, students massacred.


In one of Terrance Cheng's book, he writes about how Deng Xiao Ping sat in an unmarked car  circling the Tiananmen Square protest and decided to crush it.  This decision in the car is, of course, a fiction.

Terrence Cheng presented his workshops in Lehman College.

Terrence Cheng's talk is about how to write historical fiction.  He uses his own writing about Asian American as an example.

The audience in the workshop includes students and faculty. 

Everyone listening was taken by his insight.


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