AC Intern Update

Written by Intern on August 14th, 2015



This Summer I’ve been working on the AIDS Chronicles at the ICI; reading New York Times pages, scanning for articles and then obscuring them with layers of paint. This process has become less and less a mechanical action for me as I gain familiarity with the contents and form of the pages. The process begins by cutting a stack of plastic sheets to paint on throughout three painting stages. I comb through a month’s worth of the cover pages for articles on AIDS, HIV and Ebola, marking datelines and obituaries. Then I paint the backs and fronts of the pages with a protective gel coat, followed by black gesso (at first just outlining the key pieces of information on the front of the page), and finally cover the pages in red paint. These layers result in a skin-like texture and dark, blood-red coloring. I have never felt very politically conscious or invested in the news. Yet, while looking for articles on HIV and AIDS, a scrutiny of the other articles on each cover page has brought me closer to the current events of those times in a broader context.




Written by Intern on June 22nd, 2015


   My name is Alfredo Aguayo; I am the new intern here at ICI, and today is my first day. I am excited to be working with many of the different objectives within the facility.

A little about me: I graduated from CSULA with a BA in anthropology. I love studying cultures, languages and archaeology. My main focus at the moment, however, is art. I am drawn to abstract art and automatism. I usually create paintings and sculptures using many different materials such as acrylic paint, oil paint, photography, cardboard, wood, plants, cement, metal, glass and so on (there is no limit).

Currently I am working on incorporating anthropology into my own artwork.  Which, is why I am excited to be working here this summer. I hope to learn a lot and to contribute even more! Stay tuned for further post.



Hello from a New ICI Intern!

Written by Intern on June 22nd, 2015




My name is Lizzy, I will be a junior at Bard College in Annandale-On-Hudson, New York, this Fall. I am a Studio Art Major and am making pieces using the laser cutter at school in combination with the printing press and more traditional printmaking processes. This Summer I will be working here at the Institute of Cultural Inquiry as an AIDS Chronicles Intern! This will be my first time working closely on a project of such depth; the AIDS Chronicles have been in the making for over twenty years.

In addition to working at the ICI I have an internship with Libertine, a fashion label and clothing line by Johnson Hartig. I will mainly be helping with preparations for New York Fashion Week.

In the spare time I’m hoping to catch up on some fiction reading this Summer. I’m making my way through Everyday is for the Thief by Teju Cole, Invisible Cities by Italo Calvino and Dave Eggar’s You Shall Know Our Velocity! so far.

More to follow on my work at ICI!




Welcome to VIR – Jamie Knight

Written by institute on November 4th, 2014

PATT-AIDS Reading List

A very special welcome to VIR Jamie Knight who will be digging into the ICI’s extensive ‘AIDS archive’ of documents and ephemera created during our 20+ years of AIDS activism. I will be very curious to see how he uses this material to unpack, as he terms it, our… cultural amnesia created by decades of “wounded attachments.”

It’s been over 2 decades since I was invited to give my ‘response’ to the AIDS pandemic and its impact on the field of art history. The black hole at the center of my ‘assessment’ (pictured above) represents a deep and painful feeling of loss that has not abated over the years. In fact, the feelings it elicits seem even more stinging today. When I look at this image-text, after many years of deep storage, the large and imposing ‘black sun’ in its center is unable to hold any weight against the small dedication in the lower right corner. Those two words were added, no doubt, as a personal postscript; their small size reminds us of the etiquette surrounding public displays of private grief. Today, we know that with AIDS, all grief is public and political. By 1995, that visual whisper would become the opening salvo to the clarion call of all our AIDS activism.

for Rory … we’ll keep repeating your name

Our AIDS activism was born out of a raw, numbing grief, was weaned on disillusionment, and eventually became codified into a few long-term projects that were, and are still, fueled by a kind of melancholic compulsion-to-repeat.

Wounded attachments?

I look forward to finding out.

for Rory


Earth Cabinet Final Update

Written by Intern on October 14th, 2014

This is my final blog post as an Earth Cabinet Intern at the Institute.

Most of the known samples of earth that exist here have been put into our database. We have also started a collection of earth sample slabs. It is nice to see the earth organized.
















I will never look at earth the same way again. Even on my recent trips around the country, I began to pay attention to the earth and how it is different from the earth I am used to in Los Angeles.

I hope that the database and the left-over raw material will be helpful for research or art in the future. It will be interesting to see what becomes of the Earth Cabinet, and how large it will grow to be.

I feel very lucky to have been able to be a part of such a unique collection and space. If you have the chance, do visit! It’s unlike any other place I’ve been to.

Goodbye for now!