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Headshots (clockwise) of John Malpede, Umi Hsu, Ami Motevalli, Carol A. Wells, and Hailey Loman.

Archives and Relating Today Talk

Saturday, October 24, 2020 at 1 PM

The ongoing quarantine prompted reconsiderations of the archive, of its relation to online media, and the way in which histories are told. In this conversation, program attendees learned more about how some Los Angeles-based institutions have been solving practical concerns relating to physical and digital spaces while continuing to serve their communities.


Featured speakers included: Hailey Loman, Co-Founder and Director of Los Angeles Contemporary Archive (LACA); John Malpede, Founding Artistic Director of Los Angeles Poverty Department; Ami Motevalli, Director of William Grant Still Arts Center; and Carol A. Wells, Founder/Executive Director of the Center for the Study of Political Graphics.


Moderated by Umi Hsu, Director of Content Strategy at ONE Archives Foundation.


This program was organized by Jamie Costa.

About Umi Hsu

Umi Hsu is a public humanist and strategic designer with research and organizing agendas for equity in arts, technology, and civic life. They are currently the Director of Content Strategy at ONE Archives Foundation. Previously, Hsu led digital and data initiatives at the City of Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs. They teach as adjunct faculty at ArtCenter College of Design and USC Marshall School of Business and have published extensively on digital media, data, and Internet culture. As a sound ethnographer and artist, Hsu has received fellowships and awards from the National Endowment for the Arts, American Council for Learned Society, Shuttleworth Foundation, and LA Metro and has works presented by the Rubin Museum, Japanese American National Museum, and CTM Festival in Berlin.


About Hailey Loman

Hailey Loman is a multi-disciplinary artist working in sculpture, installation and performance. She is the Co-Founder and Director of Los Angeles Contemporary Archive (LACA), an artist-run archive and non-circulating library in which contemporary creative processes are recorded and preserved. She founded Autonomous Oral History Group (AOHG) a cooperative that examines the ethics that operate in leadership roles. Interviews, recordings, transcriptions and ephemera are collected during the process, assembled and made accessible as an oral history collection.


About John Malpede

John Malpede is a director, performer, writer and the founder of the theater ensemble Los Angeles Poverty Department. The company’s mission is to create performances that connect lived experience to social forces that shape the lives of poor people. Malpede has produced community-engaged projects throughout the U.S. and in the U.K., The Netherlands, France and Belgium. He has received a New York Dance and Performance ”Bessie” Award, San Francisco Art Institute’s Kent Award, the LA Stage Alliance Ovation Award and individual artist fellowships from NYSCA, the NEA and the California Arts Council. He is a 2008 fellow at MIT’s Center for Advanced Visual Studies and a recipient of the 2013 Doris Duke Performing Artist Award.


About Ami Motevalli

Amitis Motevalli is an artist born in Iran. She explores the culture and survival of people living in poverty, conflict, and/or war. Her experience as a trans-national migrant, is foundational in her work. Through many mediums, including sculpture, video, performance, collaboration and public art, her work juxtaposes iconography and iconoclasm. Amitis is also the director of William Grant Still Arts Center, a multi-arts exhibition and educational space focusing on community histories and broadening canons through the arts. Motevalli is invested in research, collaboration, and the potential of art to expand thought. In the fall of 2014, she was the visionary and oversaw a city wide initiative called LA/Islam Arts Initiative, which brought together multiple institutions, with local organizations as well as artists, curators and thinkers to question Art Historical definitions of Islamic Art and regions. She currently lives and works in Los Angeles, exhibiting art internationally as well as organizing to create an active and critical discourse through information exchange, either in art, pedagogy or organizing artists and educators.


About Carol A. Wells

Carol Wells earned her B.A. in History and M.A. in Art History at UCLA. She taught the history of art and architecture for thirteen years at California State University, Fullerton. Wells has published numerous articles and catalogue essays on political poster art and has produced over 100 political poster exhibitions since 1981.

As a covered entity under Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act, the City of Los Angeles does not discriminate on the basis of disability and, upon request, will provide reasonable accommodation to ensure equal access to its programs, services and activities.


Reasonable accommodation or other auxiliary aids and/or services may be provided upon request. To ensure availability, you are advised to make your request at least 72 hours prior to the meeting you wish you attend. Due to the difficulties in securing Sign Language Interpreters, five (5) or more business days notice is strongly recommended. For additional information, please contact the Gallery at lamag@lacity.org.