Welcome to Christian Smith

Written by institute on April 27th, 2016


Christian Smith in the ICI garden where he begins to build a portable darkroom that he’ll use for his contribution to the ICI’s current long-term project – With Everything But the Monkey Head: theorizing art’s untheorizable processes. Christian will be working behind the scenes for most of May, eventually cobbling together, in addition to the outdoor darkroom,  a large format camera which he’ll use to create wet plate photographic images from century-old techniques. Watch for his ‘formal’  Monkey Head residency (as we affectionately call the project) where he’ll share his unique research with the public—this event to occur sometime in June of this year.


Greetings from a New ICI Fellow!

Written by Intern on March 8th, 2016


My name is Jeremy Klemin, today is my first in-office day as an Editorial Fellow at the ICI. I did my undergraduate degree in Sociology and Comparative World Literature, and just recently finished my Master’s degree in Comparative World Literature during the summer. In the Fall, I was an Editorial intern at PEN America in New York.

I’ll be working primarily on the ongoing project entitled Barthes’ Myopia, which will focus primarily on French semiotician, theorist, and philosopher Roland Barthes and his famous work Camera Lucida (La Chambre claire in the original French). I’ll be doing a myriad of both conventional and unconventional research, from photo-hunting to why Barthes’ strange and at times very personal essay has endured for so long. I have both a personal and academic interest in photography (my undergraduate thesis was on photography), so I’m really excited to devote some time and brainpower solely to Barthes.




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!