November 06, 2020

Recent Pasts, an exhibition in two parts

A project that examines access, collaboration and pedagogy within arts institutions, and embraces the pivot to present exhibitions during the pandemic.

Part 1: Recent Pasts, Tomorrow’s Archives
Online Exhibition: Nov. 6, 2020 – Jan. 16, 2021

Part 2: Recent Pasts, Revisited
On-Site Exhibition: Sept. 20 – Oct. 23, 2021

ArtCenter Exhibitions announces the launch of Recent Pasts, a two-part project to be presented online and at ArtCenter DTLA. Part 1, titled Recent Pasts, Tomorrow’s Archives, is a series of online workshops that take place November 2020 through January 2021. Part 2, titled Recent Pasts, Revisited, is an on-site exhibition to be held in Fall 2021.

Recent Pasts considers the changes and perpetual re-calibration in arts education and institutions in the 21st century; and in the social, political, economic, and cultural contexts they are situated within. Looking to the recent past, the project reflects on where we have come, while questioning and offering possibilities of moving forward. Moreover it reconsiders how we produce and present exhibitions—a process rooted in planning—in a future that is increasingly difficult to predict.

Part 1: Recent Pasts, Tomorrow’s Archives
Nov. 6, 2020 – Jan. 16, 2021

Recent Pasts, Tomorrow’s Archives comprises a series of online programs from November 2020 through January 2021, accompanied by an online platform through which workshop leaders, participants, and others may contribute to an ongoing conversation. Focusing on issues of access in institutions today, the program series poses the question: How can attention to accessibility take on a central role in the production and presentation of cultural programming and display?

Works produced through the online programs will contribute to an online archive via a digital “flat file” that provides access to project materials, references, and working documents to be added throughout the Recent Pasts project. The public is welcome to access and contribute to the flat file materials building onto the digital archive of the project.

Online programs include:

Nov. 13, Alt-Text as Poetry with artist Shannon Finnegan
An essential part of web accessibility for people who are blind, low vision, or have certain cognitive disabilities, alt-text is often overlooked altogether, or understood solely through the lens of compliance. This workshop centers alt-text as a writing practice to be approached and embraced with creativity and care.

Dec. 4, A Book is a Flat File is a Butterfly, a lecture-workshop with artist Chang Yuchen
Combining conversation and hands-on exercises, this lecture-workshop will address the heavy aspects of artist books: the archive, the administration, the inventory, as well as the light aspects such as dream, memory and imagination.

Dec. 6, Collage Thinking, Collage Doing with Maternal Fantasies
Based on creative methods used by the art collective Maternal Fantasies, the workshop proposes a broader sense of translation between thinking/discourse and practice/performative visibility, looking at ways collage can be performed collectively.

Jan. 9, Faded but Not Forgotten: A workshop with artist Hagar Cygler
An extension of Cygler’s project Faded but Not Forgotten, this workshop in collaboration with Christina Niazian is an invitation to engage book making as a life practice with an emphasis on the process of exploring the common variables one faces when assembling a book: instinct, archives, decisions, sequence, and binding.

Jan. 16, Distributed Web of Care with artist, writer, and organizer Taeyoon Choi
Choi is a co-founder of the School for Poetic Computation whose initiative, Distributed Web of Care presents a critical perspective on technology, ethics and justice through lecture and interactive performances. In this workshop participants will learn about alternative social networks that are open source, free, and non-oppressive. For beginners without prior experience of coding.

Organized by the Southland Institute, with support from ArtCenter DTLA and the College’s Center for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI), these free public workshops aim to provide tools and structure to an ever-shifting response to a tenuous present, an uncertain future, and a rapid sequence of recent pasts in which the fragility of our present moment feels especially pronounced.

Online program information and reservations are available at and

Part 2: Recent Pasts, Revisited
Sept. 20 – Oct. 23, 2021

Recent Pasts, Revisited is part 2 of the project and will be presented at ArtCenter DTLA in Fall 2021. Recent Pasts, Revisited will feature a group exhibition of works by artists with a connection to Los Angeles and an interest in making invisible institutional structures viscerally visible with care and criticality.


Nick Angelo

Neha Choksi 

Dorit Cypis 

Katie Herzog

Janna Ireland

Ruben Ochoa

noé olivas

Recent Pasts is organized by Aurora Tang, independent curator in collaboration with Love’s Remedies (ArtCenter DTLA Residency Project 2020), the Southland Institute, and ArtCenter DTLA. Recent Pasts is supported in part by ArtCenter’s Exhibitions and the Center for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion.


ArtCenter DTLA
114 W. 4th Street
Los Angeles, Calif. 90013

Exhibition hours:

Please note: Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, exhibitions in ArtCenter's galleries may not be available for visits by the public. Please check with the gallery before visiting. Email

About ArtCenter DTLA
As a satellite of the College, ArtCenter DTLA provides a platform for dialogue and engagement, intersecting the campus with the Los Angeles community. As an extension of the Exhibition department’s mission, ArtCenter DTLA’s programming will focus on events and exhibitions that are critically engaging from a transdisciplinary perspective. Drawing on the resources of the College and the Los Angeles art community to collaboratively build and contribute to a culture that is diverse, innovative and relevant.

About ArtCenter Exhibitions
ArtCenter Exhibitions includes the Alyce de Roulet Williamson Gallery at its north campus in Pasadena, the Peter and Merle Mullin Gallery, the Hoffmitz Milken Center for Typography Gallery and the Hutto-Patterson Exhibition Hall at its south campus in Pasadena, and ArtCenter DTLA Gallery in downtown Los Angeles. These curated spaces embody ArtCenter's institutional will to understand artistic thinking and design strategies as levers in promoting social advancement, the pursuit of humanitarian innovation and use of critical inquiry to clarify objectives and truths. Using the lens of contemporary art and design, the mission of ArtCenter Exhibitions is to ignite emotional resonance, provoke intellectual dissonance and conjure unexpected pathways of thinking.

About ArtCenter
Founded in 1930 and located in Pasadena, California, ArtCenter College of Design is a global leader in art and design education. ArtCenter offers 11 undergraduate and seven graduate degrees in a wide variety of industrial design disciplines as well as visual and applied arts. In addition to its top-ranked academic programs, the College also serves members of the Greater Los Angeles region through a highly regarded series of year-round educational programs for all ages and levels of experience. Renowned for both its ties to industry and its social impact initiatives, ArtCenter is the first design school to receive the United Nations’ Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) status. Throughout the College’s long and storied history, ArtCenter alumni have had a profound impact on popular culture, the way we live and important issues in our society.

About Love’s Remedies
Founded by Los Angeles artists Brd (Bridget Rosalia Driessen) and Hannah Kim Varamini, Love’s Remedies focuses on building community through attention as material and supporting non-hierarchical interactions based on the premise of “nesting” into an institution.

About Southland Institute
The Southland Institute (for critical, durational, and typographic post-studio practices) is dedicated to exploring, identifying, and implementing meaningful, affordable, sustainable alternatives in design and art education in the United States.

About the Center for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion
The Diversity, Equity & Inclusion [DEI] department at ArtCenter College of Design involves students, alumni, faculty and staff, as well as external communities, in robust research, exhibitions, symposia, lectures and curricular expansion on issues of diversity, equity and inclusion in art and design. We create and support collaborative and transformative activities in the service of the College’s values of DEI that are designed to break new ground through practice, scholarship and pedagogy.

Teri Bond
ArtCenter College of Design
626 396-2385

Alt-Text as Poetry with artist Shannon Finnegan
Recent Pasts online program Nov. 13 is Alt-Text as Poetry with artist Shannon Finnegan.
Distributed Web of Care with artist, writer, and organizer Taeyoon Choi
Recent Pasts online program Jan. 16 is Distributed Web of Care with artist, writer, and organizer Taeyoon Choi.
Recent Pasts, an exhibition in two parts, examines access, collaboration and pedagogy within arts institutions, and embraces the pivot to present exhibitions during the pandemic.
Recent Pasts, an exhibition in two parts, examines access, collaboration and pedagogy within arts institutions, and embraces the pivot to present exhibitions during the pandemic.