Events | Nägel (Nails) - Artist Talk with Sonya Schönberger & Michelle Caswell

ESMoA | June 15, 2022 | 3:00 PM (PDT)

Now online on our YouTube channel!

Join ESMoA and Villa Aurora for an artist talk with visual artist Sonya Schönberger and archivist Michelle Caswell about the role and responsibility archives have for the artistic practice, the audience, and public dialogue.

How has the meaning of archives changed? Who decides which material finds its way into a collection? Which concepts are worth challenging to create new perspectives on historic topics?

The short film “Nägel”(nails) by Sonya Schönberger will be shown, followed by a discussion and a Q&A session.

About the Speakers

Sonya Schönberger is a visual artist based in Berlin and currently visiting fellow at the Villa Aurora in Los Angeles. Her artistic practice is strongly influenced by historical themes in connection with biographical memories marked by breaks. Many of her works have developed out of different archives that she has created or found over the last years. Alongside these, she also works with public space in Berlin that are in a process of constant change due to political or social developments.

Michelle Caswell is an Associate Professor of Archival Studies in the Department of Information Studies at the University of California, Los Angeles, where she is also an affiliated faculty member with the Department of Asian American Studies. Her research on archives, memory, public history, and social justice has been widely cited in a range of fields. Her work helps to build a critical feminist approach to archival studies. She is the Director of UCLA’s Community Archives Lab and the co-founder of the South Asian American Digital Archive. In 2017, she co-edited a special issue of The Journal of Critical Library and Information Studies on Critical Archival Studies. She is also the lead organizer of the Archivists Against Collective. Her most recent book, Urgent Archives: Enacting Liberatory Memory Work, was published by Routledge in 2021. Urgent Archives argues that archivists can and should do more to disrupt white supremacy and hetero-patriarchy beyond the standard liberal archival solutions of more diverse collecting and more inclusive description.

About ESMoA

ESMoA is an art laboratory located in El Segundo, California and is run by artlab21 Foundation, a non-profit 501(c)(3). Founded in 2013, its mission is to spread the spark of creativity through the display and education of visual arts. ESMoA functions as a catalyst for creative thinking offering unique “Experiences.” The “Experiences”—a.k.a. exhibitions—present a variety of media, including sculpture, painting, works on paper, performances, and photography. ESMoA's activity is based on three fundamental pillars: experiences, arts education programs, and artist residencies. ESMoA provides an array of programs and events, including school programs, artist-led workshops, talks, and family days.

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