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Hello from a New ICI Intern!

Monday, 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!



A New Chapter

Friday, December 16th, 2011

‘All the world’s a stage,

And all the men and women merely players.

They have their exits and their entrances,

And one man in his time plays many parts’ -William Shakespeare, As You Like It.


As the weeks have passed here at the ICI I have never known this to be truer.  While I have only had the opportunity to skim the top of what the ICI has to offer, I believe the most important thing I have learned  is that just because a question cannot be easily answered does not mean it is not a question worth asking. It is a point that returns me to my first post as an intern here.  While I may not be any closer to discovering what my truth may be, I am honored to have gotten the opportunity to have shared this experience with JoJo, Kaylie, and Sue-Na.

With sincerest wishes for a bright future for the ICI,



The unexpected road…

Thursday, November 17th, 2011

As I began writing this post I was reminded of a quote I happened to come across nearly a year ago entitled “Gestalt Prayer” it read, “I do my thing and you do your thing. I am not in this world to live up to your expectations, And you are not in this world to live up to mine. You are you, and I am I, and if by chance we find each other, it’s beautiful” (Fritz Perls, 1969).

This initial reading, in so many respects, seems to me to be a wonderful embodiment of the work being done here at the ICI.  More specifically it speaks to the way the ICI values the seemingly chance encounters and connections that more often than not have led them to pursue projects they could not otherwise have imagined.

What I had not noticed until now is that this quote while impactful is incomplete. The final six-word line is missing, “If not, it can’t be helped” (Fritz Perls, 1969). While a seemingly inconsequential omission its exclusion creates a significant shift in the way a reader may interpret the earlier statement. This discovery is a very timely one considering I have recently had the opportunity to play a small part in contributing to the ICI’s ongoing First Line/Last Line project. In this project either the last or first line is chosen from a book in the ICI library to post on both their Twitter and blog.

As many of those close to me know the very first thing I do before starting a new book is I read the last line. For me these are lines that even out of context can be beautiful, funny, and provocative even out of context. This is particularly true for the sentences chosen to be included in the First Line/Last Line project.  Almost more importantly they are never quite what you might expect. This idea of expecting the unexpected flourishes here at the ICI making me excited to see what the next stop in this road will be.



A New Start

Wednesday, November 2nd, 2011


Hello everyone, I just wanted to take a moment to introduce myself. My name is Eliana Ruiz and I am the new Archivist Intern here at the Institute of Cultural Inquiry. I am a native to Southern California although I recently received my Master’s degree in Library Science, with an emphasis in archives, from the University of Pittsburgh. For me it was a natural road to follow after earning my Bachelors’ degrees in History and Spanish Literature from the University of California Riverside.  For as long as I can remember I have been passionate about books. From an early age they were my introduction to places, times, and ideas that I could only begin to imagine. While my travels may have begun in books they have since extended to traveling to places as diverse as Italy, Spain, and South Korea.

Since that time my travels may have brought me home again but it is my great pleasure to begin this next journey working with the unique library and archive housed here at the Institute of Cultural Inquiry.  It is a collection that more often than not provokes as many questions as it provides answers. It contains a logic that while not immediately obvious is all its own, one that challenges users to expect the unexpected.  It is a thought that is echoed on a billboard I saw outside the ICI after my first visit. In its conversation between two people it reads, “What are you looking for?” “The truth, darling, the truth”.

In a world that pushes us ever forward I believe that this pursuit of truth is something we all carry within us. While what is true will invariably mean different things to different people I look forward to discovering what it will mean for me in the weeks to come.



Fall Internship Applications

Tuesday, October 25th, 2011



It’s that time of year again, when days at the swimming pool turn into days in the cold (unless you live in LA), when leaves change color (again, except here), when sweaters are reintroduced into our regular wardrobe and pumpkin lattes make their return to cafes.  Some call it autumn, others Fall, but here at ICI, we know it as the beginning of a new internship cycle.

This time around, we are seeking three potential interns – an Archivist/Librarian intern, a Curatorial intern, and a Social Media intern.  These three positions will be working in the coming months on some of ICI’s most pressing priorities: digitizing the library, organizing events around World Aids Day on December 1st, and maintaining and developing ICI’s dynamic website.  With so much to do, we are looking for interns who are not only self-starters, detail-oriented, and enthusiastic, but also for those who seem to “get” what ICI is all about, as elusive as it may be.

I am especially excited about this round of interns because, for the first time since me working here, I will be overseeing the Archivist intern’s digitization of the library.  I remember it was not too long ago when I first walked into ICI for my own internship interview.  I clearly remember arriving a half-hour early and walking through the neighborhood, exploring the streets that would later be so familiar to me.  Then, moments after arriving at ICI’s front gate, I was greeted by a smiling Lise Patt.   Little did I realize how significant this day would actually be in my career path; I met who would become two significant mentors to me (Lise and longtime ICI Associate Antoinette LeFarge) and started down a new path, hand in hand with ICI, which would lead me to realize my future goals of being more involved in culture production and preservation.

With interviews for this round of interns winding down, I am grateful to have met so many interesting applicants, all of who seem to share in ICI’s mission of examining “the terrain and limits of visuality in forming, perpetrating and imagining the intangible and ever-changing phenomenon known as ‘culture’.”

“…There will be time, there will be time
To prepare a face to meet the faces that you meet;
There will be time to murder and create,
And time for all the works and days of hands
That lift and drop a question on your plate;
Time for you and time for me,
And time yet for a hundred indecisions
And for a hundred visions and revisions,
Before the taking of a toast and tea…”

– T.S. Eliot, The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock