2017

Rebeca Méndez

Artist, Designer, Professor | UCLA, Design Media Arts

Design as a Social Force for Change

October 26 | 1:30 | Tower Theatre

Rebeca Méndez’s talk will focus on her research, practice and teaching which stem from the belief that art and design can serve as a force for social change. Méndez will present recent projects and introduce her new initiative— CounterForce Lab, a research and fieldwork studio based at Design Media Arts and the School of the Arts and Architecture at UCLA, dedicated to using art and design to develop creative collaborations, new fields of study, and methods to research, create, and execute projects around the social and ecological impacts of anthropocene climate change. The CounterForce Lab is committed to the practice of design and media art in public space, critical approaches to landscape, and artistic projects based on field investigation methods—artistic fieldwork practice.

CounterForce: Art, Design and Environment

October 27 | 3:30 | 90 Minutes | The Old Stone Performing Arts Center

Alma Ruiz, senior curator at the Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA) in Los Angeles, wrote on the project: “CircumSolar is a visual study of the understanding of human existence and its interconnection with the earth, as well as an attempt to come to terms with this relationship. Rebeca Méndez goes in depth by discussing projects created by the Counterforce Lab, a research and fieldwork studio based at Design Media Arts and the School of the Arts and Architecture at UCLA, dedicated to using art and design to develop creative collaborations, new fields of study, and methods to research, create, and execute projects around the social and ecological impacts of anthropocene climate change. CircumSolar is a visual study of the understanding of human existence and its interconnection with the earth, as well as an attempt to come to terms with this relationship. Drawing on her expertise as a visual artist and designer, Méndez tells the formidable story of the arctic tern in multiple media, including photographs, videos, art installations, books, maps, and texts. By taking the bird as the subject of an ongoing art and design project, she aims to draw parallels between its life and her own.

MASHUP : Giant Jenga Design Wisdom

October 26 | 5:00 | 120 minutes | Velvet

Add your design wisdom to shape our future while showing off your Jenga skills.

Méndez is an artist, designer, and professor at UCLA, Design Media Arts, where she is director of the CounterForce Lab, a research and fieldwork studio dedicated to using art and design to develop creative collaborations, research, and projects around the social and ecological impacts of anthropocene climate change. Her research and practice investigates design and media art in public space, critical approaches to public identities and landscape, and artistic projects based on field investigation methods. Méndez’s art is driven by her interest in perception and embodied experience. Her diverse works—photography, 16mm film, book arts, and architectural scale sound and video installations—have been exhibited widely at significant institutions and biennials worldwide. Méndez’s work is represented in numerous public and private collections, including at San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, Nevada Art Museum, Museum of Contemporary Art, Oaxaca, El Paso Museum of Art, and the National Design Museum. Permanent public art commissions include, two murals for Metro Art Crenshaw/LAX project, 2016; the January 8 Memorial design for the January 8 Memorial Foundation, Tucson, Arizona, 2015. Selected awards include, the AIGA Medal, 2017; the National Design Award in Communication Design, bestowed by the White House and the Smithsonian Institution, 2012; and the California Community Foundation Mid Career Fellowship for Visual Artist, 2010.