Dec 2nd: USCO Gallery Talk

Join ATNE for an artist talk with USCO members Michael Callahan and Gerd Stern. This salon will be a rare opportunity to discuss these artists’ pioneering work in multi-media performance, forays into the emerging new media field and their technological innovations that helped inspire a new generation of artists. The USCO individual and collective histories trace a fascinating path from 50s Bay area and Beat culture through 60s New York downtown media experiments and into the genesis of the computer and information era art.

When: Saturday, Dec. 2nd, 4pm
Where: Boston Cyberarts Gallery, 141 Green St., Jamaica Plain, MA (next to the Green Street Station)
Presenters: Michael Callahan & Gerd Stern
Free event
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About the Presenters

Michael Callahan

Michael Callahan was born in San Francisco’s Haight-Ashbury neighborhood in 1944. While still a student at Lowell High School, he became the first Technical Director of the San Francisco Tape Music Center, joining Ramon Sender, Morton Subotnik and Pauline Oliveros. During this period Callahan worked with Terry Riley, Steve Reich, Harry Partch, John Cage and David Tudor among others. In 1963 he began a collaboration with the poet Gerd Stern, initially on Stern’s Who R U and What’s Happening mixed media performance at the San Francisco Museum of Art. Shortly thereafter a joint presentation with Marshall McCluhan was held at the University of British Columbia.

In 1964 Callahan joined Stern and the painter Stephen Durkee in New York to start what became known as the USCO Group (Company of Us). The church building that served as their studio was recently placed on the National Register of Historic Places due to their work there. USCO’s first activity was again with Marshall McCluhan, this time at the University of Rochester.

In addition to gallery and museum exhibitions, USCO toured the United States with a mixed-media performance incorporating multiple slide and film projections, multi-channel sound mixes, and on occasion was joined by Carolee Schneemann.

USCO’s kinetic sculptures, paintings and immersive environments has been shown at museums around the world, including Centre Pompidou, Tate Liverpool, Whitney, Kunsthalle Wein, and most recently in the Walker Art Center’s Hippie Modernism show that traveled to the Cranbrook Art Museum and the Berkeley Art Museum.

From 1977 to 1994 Callahan held an appointment at Harvard’s Carpenter Center for the Visual Arts. Since then he has served as president of Museum Technology Source Inc., concentrating on the electronic and media aspects of museum exhibits.

Callahan resides in North Reading, Massachusetts with Adrienne, his wife of forty five years.

Gerd Stern

Gerd Stern is a poet and multimedia artist with experience in both film and video. He has published several books of poetry including First Poems and Others (1952), Afterimage (1965), a serigraphed selection with drawings by David Weinrib Conch Tales in 1984, and a chap book Fragmeants in 2002. His oral history was published by the University of California (ROHO) Berkeley in 2002 and is available on line and in hard cover.

A founder of the nineteen-sixties media arts collaborative USCO, Stern’s first show of electronic sculptures and collages was at Alllen Stone Gallery in 1962. In 1963 his one person exhibit at San Francisco Museum of Art featured a first multi-media performance Who R U & What’s Happening which was also performed at the University of British Columbia with a lecture by Canadian media philosopher Marshall McLuhan — with whom Stern was associated for a number of years.

During the past few years Stern was artist in residence for DAAD in Berlin, Germany and at Bemis Center for Contemporary Art in Omaha Nebraska and at the Emily Harvey Foundation in Venice. He read poems and exhibited collages both at the DAAD Gallery in Berlin, and at the Thiess gallery in Munich. USCO work was part of Summer of Love at Liverpool’s Tate, in Vienna, Frankfurt and at the Whiney Museum of Art, NYC and in Traces du Sacre at Centre Pompidou, Paris.

The recent issue of CAA’s Art Journal has a twenty page, illustrated article, on USCO and Stern, by Michel Orin titled, Getting Out of Your Mind to Use Your Head. This summer New Yorker Kunst Geschichten by Kat Schuetz published by Verlag Moderne Kunst, Nuernberg includes a twenty five page chapter about Gerd Stern and his work. He now is in his eighties and lives in northern New Jersey

This post was written by and was published on November 14th, 2017 under the categories Events , Past Events.