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When is a Podcast, Art? Installation-Broadcast Series Aspires to Artful Communication With Inaugural Performance

Pulitzer Prize-winning Biographer Jeffrey Stewart and Copenhagen Art Group The Winter Office present exhibit-podcast at Pasadena’s Armory Center this Saturday

Published on Friday, July 19, 2019 | 4:45 am
Pulitzer Prize winning biographer and professor Jeffrey Stewart will conduct the Keynote Conversation at the Armory Center

[Updated] Podcasts have found their place in society but will be regarded as works of art when a special installation and podcast series comes to The Armory Center for the Arts in Pasadena, starting Saturday.

Created by The Winter Office, a Copenhagen-based artist group, the installation-broadcast work, Social Territories of a Warming World, is designed to bring out dialogue on societal and environmental issues.

The public is invited to all of the conversations which will then be recorded and turned into a podcast series and one of the aspects of the exhibit is a beautifully designed functioning podcast studio.

Scholar and Pulitzer Prize-winning biographer Jeffrey Stewart will deliver The Keynote Conversation. The Armory’s Director of Exhibition Programs and Chief Curator, Irene Tsatsos, and Jan Williamson of the 18th Street Arts Center will lead a discussion on the method of co-exhibitions between art galleries, called Collaborate this Place.  The 18th Street Arts Center will exhibit a second version of the podcast series.

“I have been drawn to The Winter Office’s interest in spatial justice and models of cohabitation, along with the applied work of its members in the areas of urban design and planning, graphic communications, and visual art,” Tsatsos said. “The vast range of historical, scientific, and theoretical references that inform their practice — along with the origins of its members in Northern and Southern Europe and the Pacific Rim, including Los Angeles — contribute to a unique, cohesive yet diverse voice that speaks to challenges ranging from micro-local to intergalactic.”

This inaugural conversation will be moderated by Hugo Hopping, artist and Director of The Winter Office. He used to live in the Los Angeles area and taught a community arts program.

“It’s an essay exhibition,” Hopping said.  “This is the first solo exhibition of The Winter’s Office. “Our exhibit brings together various participatory artistic interventions which have been designed or organized by the group.”

The exhibition is layered and inclusive of different works and engages the public to react.

“The exhibition proposes new ways to foster planning and action and it does it in simple ways of creating artworks that allow you to enter into our practice and see how we are trying to understand relationships between artworks proposed and models to carry the goals and the work towards action,” Hopping said.

“The dialogue around issues dealing with art and climate change are those that we want to call attention to, like urgent spatial or climate or environmental justice issues. These are important to understanding how we’re going to work towards mitigating the impending climate collapse.

“The idea is ‘What do we need to do to work, how do we collaborate as communities?” he said.

The exhibit is not designed to drum up political ideologies.

“It could be political for those who wish it to be, but we’re not there yet, we’re just starting the conversation,” he said. “The political is part is up to whoever the viewer is. The exhibition is not there to school you, but it puts you in direct relationship with the material and you have to have your own response.

“We’re looking as artists and designers how to best use our practice to basically help make new transitions from practice into what challenges lie ahead,” he said. “Consistently the issue of climate change is an issue that confronts us on a regular basis. What we’re trying to do here is find a compelling new approach on how to mitigate this issue and what’s the role of art and design in that. I’m trying to understand what the future of artistic and design intervention can do to create more conscientious use of and understanding the systems we use every day. Maybe there’s a better design to create systems that are more restorative and regenerative toward mitigating climate change.”

University of California Santa Barbara professor and Pulitzer Prize-winning biographer Stewart will deliver the Keynote Conversation: The New Negro Encounters Environmental Racism. Stewart embraces the arts and environmental justice. In addition to his highly awarded biography and curatorial work, Stewart promotes young jazz musicians through his platform, Jeffrey’s Coffeehouse in Isla Vista, California.

The event is the first of a series of public discussions and part of a new exhibition by The Winters Office is a collective of artists, designers, curators, and thinkers and it is the Copenhagen group’s first solo exhibition in the United States.

“The upcoming event is important because it brings together Pasadena Armory and 18th Street Artists Center, two organizations that haven’t collaborated before,” Hopping said. “It’s a model of two institutions that wanted to bring my group and put it into the context of the exhibition. It’s teamwork.”

The Social Territories of a Warming World Exhibition and Podcast event will start at 2 p.m. on Saturday, July 20 at the Armory Center for the Arts, 145 N. Raymond Ave., Old Pasadena. For more, visit

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