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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!



Endings and Beginnings

Tuesday, November 6th, 2012

Google Map of Los Angeles Libraries

For the past few weeks I have been working on the finishing touches of the redesign of the library. I’ve been working hard to place all the stamps and labels, and then placing the pockets within their respective books. This week I have finished. It is always such a nice feeling upon completion of a project. But with the end of one project, there is also a beginning to a new one.

My next endeavor at the ICI will be the Good Neighbor Project. This project aims to take donated books that our library already has copies of and resell them in the gift shop.  This project is really great! The name is based on the theory by Warburg that if one is looking for a book on the shelf, the neighboring book may be the better choice for the person. I love that! And I completely agree. I will be looking for a book, but its the books that I see along the way that really perk my interest.

My part in the project is to design a book cover that will go on the books to sell. I think my work is coming together well. I’m working with the image of a map of the Los Angeles area and abstracting it. I painted a watercolor of the map, uploaded it to my computer, overlayed roads and marks of all the libraries in the Los Angeles area, printed it, crumpled it, and reuploaded into my computer. It has come out beautifully. Now I’m in the trial phase, so I am experimenting with how it will fit on books and the layout of the book information. I am very excited for the final product!

Good Neighbor In Process



A New Way of Thinking

Thursday, August 2nd, 2012


My name is Elizabeth Sanders. I am the new Graphic Design intern here at the Institute of Cultural Inquiry. I am originally from Atlanta, Georgia, but came to Los Angeles to study at the University of Southern California. At USC, I attend the Roski School of Fine Arts. I am a junior seeking a Bachelor’s of Fine Art, in which I am emphasizing in Design, Drawing, Painting, and Printmaking. I’m also working on a minor in Cinematic Arts. I secretly wish to get a minor in Psychology (so interesting!), but then I definitely won’t be able to finish college in four years!

I am really loving my studies and even more, putting my skills into action through internships. This summer I have two internships. In addition to the ICI, I am working for an editorial beauty website, Beauty Bender. Beauty Bender is a lot of fun. I’m creating graphics for them  as well as learning all sorts of beauty tips. I’m fortunate to have found two great internships! And I really love that each internship is so different in projects and aesthetics. Beauty Bender is simple, chic and modern whereas the ICI adheres to a more vintage look.

At the ICI I will be working on various projects involving the library and the gift shop. In the library I am creating a card catalog system as well as a check out system. I am very excited about the library project. I have forever been in love with reading, books, and libraries– its the nerd within me. In my first few days, I have acquainted myself with the library and many of the books. The selection at the ICI is an eclectic one, but all of the books look intriguing. If only I had the time to sit and read them! The gift shop project is focused on recreating the signage, but also on some great projects like First and Last Line, Thomas Browne Project, and the Good Neighbor Project.

I am very excited to begin my time here. The ICI is a wonderful organization that promotes many ideas, such as synchronicity, Sebaldian theory, and the art of the process, that I am interested in exploring and practicing. The ICI promotes a different way of thinking and I’m so glad to be a part of it.


-Elizabeth, intern

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,



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.