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In this engaging episode, Claire Farago speaks with urgency about the Climate Crisis advocating that we think of ourselves relationally, to the world and people around us, and not individually. She provokes, "how do we build support for planetary citizenship?" Nudging further that art and science collaborations are critical for building this future, Claire and Victoria take a deep look through art history, discussing works and examples of how throughout time collaborations and interdisciplinary thinking has produced novel and thoughtful advances. This is a wonderful conversation that is packed full with stories, information, and lessons. It is surely not to be missed! 

Claire Farago trained as a Renaissance art historian (PhD, University of Virginia) and has published widely on art theory and the critical history of art history, cultural exchange, the materiality of the sacred, museums and collecting practices. Her current work focuses on the interrelationship between culture and climate, developing a model of global citizenship that fundamentally reconceptualizes the way we think about identity and our relationships with others who share our planet.

Since retiring from the University of Colorado Boulder in 2017 and moving to Los Angeles, Farago has lectured and published widely on ways to reimagine art history in a dynamic planetary framework. She also completed a decade-long collaboration sponsored by the Getty Research Institute, the Fulbright Foundation, the Samuel H. Kress Foundation, and others (The Fabrication of Leonardo Vinci’s Treatise on Painting, co-authored with Janis Bell and Carlo Vecce, 
with additional contributors 2018).

Learn More About Claire Farago Here >>

Claire's current projects tend towards issues relating to climate crisis, global citizenship and planetary culture. 

Claire actively works collaboratively around the world, engaging with these topics more deeply. Her collaborative works focus on trans-cultural studies and amplifying global issues. Along with Flavia Galli Tatsch, Claire co-edits papers with the topic: Global Turn in Art History for Modos Art Journal (Revista Modos;, Universidde Federal de São Paulo, Brazil. Claire is a Member of the Editorial and Scientific Council of the Arte & Circulação/ Art & Circulation Collection. E-book series, open source at the Repository of the Federal University of São Paulo / UNIFESP to facilitate access to the interested public.

Farago collaborates on Transatlantic Plattorm in the Heidelburg Academy Project for the Heidelburg Center for Transcultural Studies at the University of Heidelburg, which will lead to a residency at the Center at the University of Heidelburg in 2021-2022. She is a member of the Research Network for Transcultural Practices in the Arts and Humanities in Berlin, funded by the
 DFG Research Unit 1703 “Transcultural Negotiations in the Ambits of Art” Freie Universität Berlin. She is also collaborating on a book chapter for the Art and Science Meeting Project at the Center for Contemporary Art in Gdansk, Poland, curated by Ryszard Kluszczynski in connection with the upcoming exhibition of Victoria Vesna's Noise Aquarium
Early evidence of a long distance trading networkEgyptian glass bead with amber embedding found in 3400 year old Danish grave. Photo: Robert Fortuna and Kira Ursem. 
Writing Borderless Histories of Art:
The Future of Cultural Memory in the Era of Climate Disruption

forthcoming from Routledge Press
This book argues that the time has come to think very differently about collective identity. What might planetary consciousness of who we are, where we came from, and where we are going look like in the era of climate emergency and impending ecosystem collapse? We need a model of global citizenship to act collectively on the existential threat facing all life on earth. The scientific understanding of identity has changed markedly since art history, along with many other fields of the humanities and social sciences, was established as a university subject in the nineteenth century. The Aristotelian language of innate universals and acquired traits adopted by nineteenth-century science is obsolete. Ancient DNA evidence demonstrates that all modern humans are mixtures extending well into the archaic human record. Distinctions between humans and animals based on their cognitive differences (a view originating with Aristotle) are not upheld by contemporary science either.
The relationship of animals to their environment can be studied through their social behavior. The history of cultural production can be told without falling back on untenable assumptions about racial and ethnic identity. This book presents a dynamic model for organizing the study of planetary culture in its broadest possible sense based on networks of contacts that wax and wane through time. Scale, porosity, and family resemblance replace race/ethnicity, the modern nation-state, style, and periods of time defined with reference to European events. This is an urgent call to think ecologically about people, animals, and the environment. What might cultural memory look and sound like in the future if we agree to support and sustain life as we know it on this planet?
Leonardo da Vinci, Inventing the Future: Flight, Automata, Art, Anatomy, Bimorphism (Conference, October 18-19, 2019):
Jointly presented by the UCLA Center for Medieval & Renaissance Studies,  UCLA Cardiac Arrhythmia Center – David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, UCLA Art|Sci Center Center, and Caltech. This conference was proposed and brought to fruition through the inspiration and efforts of Francis Wells. Rather than simply celebrating Leonardo’s life, works, and scholarship, this conference looked at Leonardo’s influence in novel ways, particularly musing on how Leonardo might have reflected on our current moment in 2019, 500 years after his death. Claire Farago presented: What Would Leonardo’s Strategies Be for Compelling Action on the Climate Crisis? in dialogue with Victoria Vesna. 


The Fabrication of Leonardo da Vinci’s Trattato della pittura
With a Scholarly Edition of the Italian editio princeps (1651)
and an Annotated English Translation, Claire Farago, Janis Bell, and Carlo Vecce, with additional contributors, (Brill, 2018)

The basis for our understanding of Leonardo’s theory of art was, for over three centuries, his Treatise on Painting, which was issued in 1651 in Italian and French. This two-volume study offers both the first scholarly edition of the Italian editio princeps as well as the first complete English translation of this seminal work. In addition, it provides a comprehensive study of the Italian first edition, documenting how each editorial campaign that lead to it produced a different understanding of the artist’s theory. What emerges is a rich cultural and textual history that foregrounds the transmission of artisanal knowledge from Leonardo’s workshop in the Duchy of Milan to Carlo Borromeo’s Milan, Cosimo I de’ Medici’s Florence, Urban VIII’s
Rome, and Louis XIV’s Paris.
Art Is Not What You Think It Is
Co-authored with Donald Preziosi (Wiley-Blackwell, 2012)

Offers a series of critical essays on the current state of art in society, calling for a radical rethinking of the subject and its relationship to religion, philosophy, culture, and politics at the intersection of the local and the global. It examines the hidden Christian theological legacy of western beliefs about “Art” by exposing the premodern “logic of the index” that underpins the very idea of modern, secular art.
Transforming Images: New Mexican Santos in-between Worlds
Co-authored with Donna Pierce with additional contributions (Penn State, 2006)

This collaborative study began as a research program for understanding cultural exchange in the material record. It describes the cultural complexity of New Mexico without resorting to oppositional frameworks or relying on reductive categories like “Spanish” or “Pueblo.”Catholic instruments of religious devotion produced in the region from around 1760 until the radical transformation of the tradition in the twentieth century provide the basis for an in-depth case study to rethink the most fundamental questions in art historical and anthropological study. How do we account for the appearance of works of art? The authors develop research strategies that foreground the contribution of Native American artistic traditions to a colonial society.
Grasping the World: The Idea of the Museum
Co-edited with Donald Preziosi (Ashgate, 2004)

We live in a world in which virtually anything can be made to function as a museum. This reader investigates the modern European idea of the museum to foster a critical, historical, and ethical understanding of its practices. 42 essays by leading scholars and seven introductions to the thematic subsections by the volume editors are centered on what we consciously understand today about museums as a key force in the fabrication and maintenance of modern identity.
Reframing the Renaissance:
Visual Culture in Europe and Latin America 1450 – 1650

Edited by Claire Farago (Yale, 1995)

How did extensive global commerce affect artistic practice and discussions of art in sixteenth-century Europe? What did awareness of other cultures contribute to European conceptions of the arts during and after this initial period of global contact? How did the exportation of Renaissance ideals and material culture from Italy to other parts of Europe and worldwide fare in an environment of intensified cultural interaction? And why did accounts of the history of western aesthetic theory not consider contact with non-European societies before the nineteenth century? This volume examines the conceptual frameworks in which visual representation has historically functioned. It includes a series of strategic case studies by leading scholars who look at pre-modern collecting practices, cultural exchange within Europe, and culturally hybrid images produced in Latin America during the early contact period.

Identity Binge: How Lex Brown Makes Television by Kerry Doran

Kerry Doran completed her BA at The University of Colorado, her MA at Courtauld Institute, and is starting a PhD program at CUNY Grad Center this fall. 

"Identity Binge: How Lex Brown Makes Television" discusses the work of Lex Brown. During a residency at Recess Art in Brooklyn, Lex Brown built a participatory production studio—equipped with a sound booth, editing dock, and a floor-to- ceiling green screen––called “The Inside Room.” Brown acted more like a producer/director than an artist-in-residence. She spent much of her time arranging shoots with friends, family, members of the public, and participants in Recess’s Assembly initiative, an artist-led program for youth convicted of misdemeanors in Brooklyn that offers work experience as an alternative to incarceration and may end in a clean record.

The League of Beastly Dreadfuls: The Witch's Glass by Holly Grant 

Holly developed her youth book series as a student in Grant's MA program at The University of Colorado Boulder. Objects and themes from her research in art history shaped the stories written. The magical cabinet of curiosities featured in books two and three, for example, germinated in her studies with Dr. Farago on cabinets of curiosity and Early Modern collecting practices; similarly, discussions and readings with Dr. Farago regarding studioli and representations thereof inspired the witch's secret study in The Witch's Glass.
Tactics of Interfacing by Ksenia Fedorova (MIT Press, 2020)

Ksenia Fedorova is a media and media art researcher and curator. Ksenia’s research interests encompass media art theory and history, aesthetics, philosophy, techno-cultural studies, science and technology studies, visual culture and curatorial studies, with a specific focus on the effects of new technologies on human perception and interaction. Ksenia received a PhD in Cultural Studies from UC Davis, an MA in Art History from University of Colorado Boulder, and just accepted a faculty position in the Art and Science Interaction Program at the University of Leiden.

In Tactics of Interfacing, Ksenia Fedorova explores how digital technologies affect the way we conceive of the self and its relation to the world. With the advent of ubiquitous computing, the self becomes an object of technological application, increasingly defined by data received from tracking technologies. Subtly, these technologies encourage versions of ourselves that are easier to interpret computationally. Fedorova views these shifts in self-perception through the lens of contemporary media art practices, examining a range of artistic tactics that enable embodied and intimate experiences of machinic operations on our lives.
Giovanni Morelli: Comparative Anatomy, The "Science" of Attribution, and Racialism by Sara Sisun

This MA thesis explores the connections between the practice of comparative anatomy as developed by George Cuvier in the decades before the professionalization of art history and the attribution method of Giovanni Morelli.

She holds a BA in Art Practice from Stanford University, an MFA in Painting from the San Francisco Art Institute, and an MA in Art History and Critical Theory from the
University of Colorado Boulder. She is currently pursuing a Ph.D. in Visual Studies at the University of California, Irvine.


We are not subscribing to the industrial, linear model based on the past -- we assume that Engineering and Math are part of Science and Technology, that Ecology is at the heart of what we need to think and learn about and believe that Mindfulness should be part of every class. 

Science, Technology, Ecology, Arts and Mindfulness

 -- non linear quantum STEAM for the future leaders and teachers who will inherit the Earth. Our lessons are BOTTOM UP -- just like nature works and we move back and forth between analogue and digital. We start with nano and end up in space -- having fun all along the way -- as we believe PLAY and collaboration are the key.

"Artist and researcher Victoria Vesna talks about her latest work in conversation with Dobrila Denegri. In an interview published on Arhsake in 2014 in four parts, Vesna has crossed her research, from database aesthetics to molecular biology, exploring the relationship between man and the universe at any scale (Arshake, April the 3d, 2014April the 10h 2014April 24, 2014). Today, artist and critic continue their conversation to discuss her latest work: [Alien] Stardust, a research project on star dust that, invisible, falls on Earth from the sky." 
The UCLA ArtSci Collective comes together as a hybrid organism consisting of artists, scientists, humanitarians, ecologists, creative technologists and generally inquisitive humans all around the world. If you would like to be involved, please reach out to

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