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Rattlesnake Bells in the Desert: Amongst & Between

October 21, 2018 @ 4:00 pm - 6:00 pm

CalArts Art MFA 2018 Catalogue Release Party

Sunday, October 21st from 4-6pm
LACE and the California Institute of the Arts 2018 MFA Graduates launch catalogue Rattlesnake Bells in the Desert: Amongst & Between with readings by Elizabeth Preger, Clara Lopez Menendez, Babsi Loisch, brd, Alexandre Saden, Jessie Closson, Luna Galassini, Tom Leeser, Eli Smith, and Hannah Kim Varamini.

The catalogue, extending from their post-graduate group exhibition at The Box (1 June-13th June, 2018), features interviews and work from contributing graduates.

Rattlesnake Bells In The Desert: Amongst & Between features work by Alan S. Tofighi, Alexandre Saden, Alexandra de Leon, Annie Render, Aydinaneth Ortiz, Babsi Loisch, Beth Fiedorek, brd, Carolina Fandino, Carolina Hicks, Coffee Kang, Denae Howard, Don Tinling, Ekta Aggarwal, Elizabeth Preger, Eli Smith, Gabby Rosenberg, Gwenmarie White, Hande Sever, Hannah Varamini, Jessie Closson, Jinal Sangoi, Jinseok Choi, Luka Fisher, Luna Galassini, Max Syron, Roy Martinez, Sarah Naim, Shelby Poor, Sydney Mills, Vickie Aravindhan and Wesley Hicks. (California Institute of the Arts 2018 MFA Graduates)


Luna Galassini

Luna Galassini is an artist and performer currently based in New Mexico. She identifies with tumbleweeds but aspires to one day join a mycorrhizal network.


Jessie Closson

Jessie Closson is a movement/performance artist, filmmaker, and writer whose practice is comprised of curiosities into the science fictive, unknowns, blurs of human and object, vital materialisms, spatial and sensory simultaneity, overlapping realities, self records, cyborgs, ghostliness (or absence/presence), micro-fictions, and in-betweens. In extension, her practice dissects ‘how a body’s materiality takes form in a set of conditions that allow for its articulation’. The work is particularly concerned with this articulation in the context of technology and morphing space(s).

Closson is a MFA Photo and Media, Film and Video candidate at California Institute of the Arts (2019) with a previous BA English, Fiction writing and BFA Visual Arts from Boise State University.



brd is a visual and textual artist interested in understanding rhetorics and logics of form, and how perceived collective understandings of various forms determine their value. In particular she considers possibilities (fictive and propositional properties) and pressures of painting, language, and image-encounters – instances where text and image combine, depart or fail one another – and how visual objects tend to be mediated and superseded by language and discourse. Slippages, conflations, and circular reasoning commingle with persistent preoccupations around the burdens and desires threaded between care and love. She holds a dual BA and BS from DePaul University and MFA from CalArts.

Babsi Loisch

Babsi Loisch is a real estate artist with a background in Social- and Cultural Anthropology; long-term meditation practitioner trying to make peace with the short-term world; conversationalist, dreamer, mover; sound, video, ceramics and text-maker interested in intersubjectivity or interdependence. Inspired by personal events, topics explored concern the body as a multifaceted vehicle, labor relations, time precarity and gender roles within creative fields.


Elizabeth Preger

Elizabeth Preger creates environments that are visually and physically lush, to create spaces for stories of resiliency: stories that come from her family, community, and prior historical moments. The viewer’s body is implicated and involved in the installations as a means of activating and embracing them in an environment of luxurious visuals, scents and sounds. Elizabeth earned a B.A. in Art from the UCLA in 2010, and earned an M.F.A. in Photography & Media from CalArts in 2018. She has had solo shows at Kathmandu Photo Gallery and Artery Post-Modern Gallery. Her work has also been included in exhibitions curated by Mark Allen and Anne Ellegood, and her photographs have been published in the LA Times, LA Weekly, and featured in Photo L.A.


Alexandre Saden

Alexandre Saden (b. 1993) is an artist and writer whose work interrogates histories of beliefs, ideas and images. Taking the form of video, textual and sculptural installations, the work consistently involves a tension between discourses and their results, between sublime experiences and the structures that underpins them. His work is rooted in exploring the structures of visual language, and what they betray about the ideologies that underpins them. He received his BFA from Central Saint Martins in London, UK, and his MFA from California Institute of the Arts in Los Angeles, CA.


Hannah Kim Varamini

Hannah Kim Varamini is an interdisciplinary artist based in Los Angeles. She was born in Washington, D.C. to first-generation Korean immigrants. She received her BFA from Cornell University and MFA from the art program at CalArts. Her work employs language and symbology to examine ideologies of nationalism, and personal histories of diaspora and cultural hybridity. She spent time in Namibia on a Fulbright fellowship in 2008, which propelled an ongoing interest in postcolonial discourse. She has presented work in various contexts including the Santa Cruz Museum of Art, the Phillips Collection, and the National Art Gallery of Namibia.


Eli Smith

Eli Smith is an activist, visual artist and performance designer. She received her bachelor’s degree in Physics from the State University of New York at SUNY Geneseo and her MFA from CalArts in both Collaborative Performance and Art & Technology. Eli’s work expresses the psychology of precarity through transformative landscapes of potential violence. Her mythology is comprised of feminist fairy tales, domestic crime scenes and horror-movie lullabies. Eli’s interest in precarity is autobiographical: her personal history can be described as a series of transformative states. Topics of interest include mental illness, poverty, child abuse, femme identity and trans-generational trauma.


Tom Leeser

Tom Leeser is a media artist, educator, curator, and writer. He is Program Director of the Art and Technology Program and Director of the Center for Integrated Media at the California Institute of the Arts (CalArts).


Tom received his BFA and MFA from the San Francisco Art Institute (SFAI). His film, video, online work, interactive installations, and public performances have been exhibited at Eyebeam, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, Machine Project, the Mount Wilson Observatory, itMassMoca, The Santa Monica Museum of Art, The Fowler Museum, Redcat Theater, The Kitchen, The Millennium, Siggraph, and film and video festivals worldwide, with support from Art Matters, Creative Time, and the Daniel Langlois Foundation.


Recent and past projects include: Imagining Tellus # 28: Heard in LA at the Electronic Arts Festival- Harvestworks, NY, DryRun, a public art and sound/poetry project for the City of Santa Clarita, History Refused to Die and The Futures Project at the Alabama Contemporary Center for the Arts and the Los Angeles Filmforum, Artist Resident for a Day at Machine Project, Radical Cosmologies at ISEA2012, Indirect Intention—A Home and Garden Intervention at the Museum of Jurassic Technology and the Center for Land Use Interpretation, Future Imaginary at the Ben Maltz Gallery of the Otis College of Art and Design, The Lament Project—An Evening at the Manual Archives, Underground Cinemamachine at Machine Project and Object Lessons for Gigantic Artspace in New York City.
He is an editor and producer for the web-based archive and curatorial project,  viralnet-v4.net.


Clara Lopez-Menendez

Clara López Menéndez is an art worker practicing in the fields of curating, pedagogy, art criticism and performance. Among her recent projects are AK Burns’s solo exhibition A Smeary Spot at Human Resources LA and A New Job to Unwork At, to be presented at Participant Inc. in NYC in August/September 2018 in collaboration with Andrew Kachel. Her writing has appeared in Mousse, Art News, Bomb, Little Joe, and she has worked with Redcat, Participant Inc., Los Angeles Contemporary Exhibitions and die neue Gesellschaft für bildende Kunst among others. She is program director of the Art School at the California Institute of the Arts/Calarts.


Michael Ned Holte

Michael Ned Holte is a writer, independent curator, and educator based in Los Angeles.

His texts on art and culture have appeared in print and online periodicals such as Afterall, Artforum International, East of Borneo, Pin-Up, and X-Tra. He is the recipient of a 2016 Creative Capital Warhol Foundation Arts Writers Grant for a forthcoming book on art and microinstitutions in Los Angeles.

Holte has organized numerous exhibitions including “Routine Pleasures” at the MAK Center for Art and Architecture at the Schindler House, Los Angeles; “TL;DR” at Artspace in Auckland, New Zealand; and “Support Group” at Cottage Home, Los Angeles. With Connie Butler, he organized the 2014 edition of the “Made in L.A.” biennial at the Hammer Museum.

He came to CalArts as visiting faculty in 2009 and has been a member of the Program in Art faculty since 2011.


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