Elective Studies Supper Club

A monthly lecture and dinner series in which artists gather to hear from and meet exciting thinkers from outside of the arts. Together they share beautifully crafted meals, courtesy of Land & Sea Dept.

Past Speakers:

Hilary Strang (March 1, 2017)

The thirteenth volume of Elective Studies Supper Club for Illinois artists, featuring a lecture by alternate reality media expert Dr. Hilary Strang (U of Chicago), who gave a talk entitled “Why 1984 Might Not Be A Must-Read, or Some Reflections on Science Fiction, Estrangement and the Possibilities of Possible Worlds.”

John Novembre (February 1, 2017)

The twelfth volume of Elective Studies Supper Club for Illinois artists, featuring a lecture by alternate reality media expert Dr. John Novembre (U of Chicago), who gave a talk entitled “Visualizing Human Genetic Diversity.”

Patrick Jagoda (December 7, 2017)

The eleventh volume of Elective Studies Supper Club for Illinois artists, featuring a lecture by alternate reality media expert Dr. Patrick Jagoda (U of Chicago), who gave a talk entitled “Alternate Reality Games: Experiments in Serious Play.”

Eugenia Cheng (November 2, 2016)

Eugenia Chenge ESSC Vol 10The tenth installment of Elective Studies Supper Club for Illinois artists featured Dr. Eugenia Cheng from the School of the Art Institute, who gave a talk entitled “How to Bake Pi.”

Shane Larson (October 5, 2016)

Shane Larson ESSC vol 9The ninth installment of Elective Studies Supper Club for Illinois artists re-welcomed Dr. Shane Larson from Northwestern University and the Adler Planetarium, who gave a talk entitled “Solitude in the Cosmos: Looking for Friends in the Great Cosmic Dark.”

Beryl Satter (May 4, 2016)

Beryl Satter Elective Studies screenshotThe eighth installment of Elective Studies Supper Club for Illinois artists featured Dr. Beryl Satter of Rutgers University-Newark, who gave a talk entitled “Cons and Contracts: What the History of Real Estate Speculation in Chicago can Teach America.”

Corrie Moreau (April 6, 2016)

Corrie Moreau speaking at Elective StudiesIn the seventh volume of Elective Studies Supper Club for Illinois artists, Dr. Corrie Moreau of the Field Museum talked about “The Evolution of Symbiosis in Ants and How I Became a Cartoon Character.”

Sabina Shaikh (March 2, 2016)

Sabina Shaikh speaking at the Supper ClubThis sixth installment of Elective Studies Supper Club welcomed Sabina Shaikh, of The University of Chicago. She discussed the relationship between economics and environmentalism in a talk entitled “How Humans Value the Environment.”

Prexy Nesbitt (January 6, 2016)

Prexy Nesbitt at the fifth Elective Studies Supper ClubThe fifth volume of Elective Studies Supper Club featured a lecture by activist and educator Prexy Nesbitt about the effects of race, class, and gender on policing. See Prexy’s talk, entitled “Race, Class & Gender: The Boiling Cauldron of ‘Policing’ in Chicago,” here.

Allison McCracken (November 4th, 2015)

Allison McCracken video
The fourth volume of Elective Studies Supper Club featured a lecture by Dr. Allison McCracken of DePaul University about the gender politics of crooning. See Allison’s talk, entitled “Real Men Don’t Sing,” here.

Rachel Havrelock (October 7th, 2015)

Rachel Havrelock videoThe third volume of Elective Studies Supper Club for Illinois artists, featuring a lecture by Dr. Rachel Havrelock of the University of Illinois at Chicago, talking about the political importance of access to clean water. See the video of her talk, “The Politics of Fresh Water.”

Sean Gibbons (August 5th, 2015)

Sean Gibbons videoMicrobiologist Sean Gibbons (The University of Chicago; Argonne National Laboratory) treated a room full of Chicago-based artists to a talk about the microbes that live in and around us.  Check out the video of his talk, “We Contain Multitudes.”

Shane Larson (July 1st, 2015)

Shane Larson videoAstrophysicist Shane Larson (Adler Planetarium; Northwestern) kicked off this series on July 1st, talking to an intimate group of Chicago-based artists about the difficulty and importance of thinking about ourselves as part of a bigger universe. Check out the video of his talk, “Always Looking Home: Finding Ourselves in a Big Universe.”

Art School Master Classes

A quarterly workshop led by artists whose practice is innovative and unique. Attending artists gain fresh perspective and new tools for their own practices by learning from unique and exceptional people within their field.

Past Artist Workshops:

Young Jean Lee (January 9th, 2017)

Writer, director, and filmmaker Young Jean Lee spoke about how to collaborate with people outside of your race, gender, sexual orientation, or ethnicity when the artistic subject matter is a culture other than your own, about the benefits and limitations of producing your own work, and about how to speak and write compellingly about yourself and your artistic work. See the photos from the class here.

Todd Shalom (Sept 12th – Sept 15th and Sept 17th, 2016)

Artist Todd Shalom taught a master class on the participatory walk form in Chicago’s Pilsen neighborhood. The walks use sensory-based techniques, reinvented folk rituals and other exercises to investigate and intervene in the daily life of the city, its variously defined communities and the politics of individual and group identity. Over the course of a week, Todd lead class attendees through various ways to read and respond to their surroundings in a co-investigation of the everyday.

Manual Cinema Master ClassManual Cinema (May 15th, 2016)

Internationally- acclaimed performance collective Manual Cinema led a course about the group’s work and gave people hands-on training in the elements of cinematic puppetry and visual storytelling. During the final hour of the class, participants had the opportunity to devise their own short, narrative pieces to share with the group. See photos from the class here.

Dana Michel Master ClassDana Michel (February 28th, 2016)

Choreographers, dancers, and performance artists had an opportunity to learn from innovative solo performer Dana Michel in this dynamic, on-your-feet workshop. Check out the photos from the class here.

Christine Sun Kim and Danielle Linzer (September 26th, 2015)Christine Sun Kim and Danielle Linzer

Renowned artist and educator Christine Sun Kim and Director of Access and Community Programs for the Whitney Museum of American Art Danielle Linzer taught a workshop in ASL Vlogs. The duo shared their process — lessons learned, best practices, and opportunities for the future. Check out photos from their shoot at MCA here.

Ike Holter (June 19th, 2015)Ike Holter Master Class

Playwright Ike Holter taught a workshop that examined what it means to incorporate historical and political research into a play through the lens of a particular style, as well as how to find action in a script and put a myriad of voices in conversation with one another. See photos of the class here.