The project began two years ago when the pair started a book called Anthology for Unseen, a response to spending the majority of their MFA program physically separated from their cohort and faculty due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“In an open social media solicitation, we proposed to collect creative works which might have been shared in the community, if not for the shelter-in-place orders,” shared Bauer. “This publication was made to concretize and document the experiences from people of all ages and creative abilities, from as many cities and countries as we could reach, to share unseen experiences, and rebuild our misplaced community.”
Participants were prompted to consider several COVID-era questions, including how they responded to isolation brought on by social distances, the challenges they faced, and the work they produced during that time. Bauer and Shi compiled responses from artists from more than 11 countries, and edited, designed, and published the book.
Of the book’s 62 collaborators, approximately half are CalArtians: Claire Richards (Art BFA 22), Jinseok Choi (Art MFA 18), Hannah Rubin (Art MFA 20), Weihan Yang (Art MFA 23), Weng San Sit (Art MFA 14), Joana P. Cardozo (Art MFA 22), Saliko Adams (Art BFA 21), Evelyn Hang Yin (Art MFA 20), Oscar Ochoa (Art BFA 2020), Woohee Cho (Art MFA 20), Jennie Park (Art, Critical Studies MFA 22), Dylan Jones (Art BFA 21), Chaska Jurado (Art MFA 2024), Jason Ward (Art MFA 2021), Jiayun Chen (Art BFA 20), Dane Nakama (Art BFA 21), Danielle Trent (Art MFA 21), Amanda Teixeira (Art MFA 23), Hyunju Lee (Art-IM MFA 23), Mona Leau (Art BFA 21), Heather M. O’Brien-Takahashi (Art MFA 13), Freddy Ruiz (Art MFA 20), Shan Wu Hsinchu (Art-IM MFA 19), Diego Barrientos (Art MFA 19), Dongpu Ling (Art MFA 21), Seokyoung Yang (Film/Video BFA 23), Shuwen Zhao (Music MFA 21), Christine Yerie Lee (Art MFA 22), Integrated Media faculty Brian Griffith (Music MFA 21), former CalArts Visiting Faculty Zoe Strauss, and School of Art Dean Emeritus Thomas Lawson.
Anthology for Unseen was realized with support from the 2021 REEF Residency and a 2022 CalArts Alumnx Council Seed Grant. The full-color, 212-page volume begins with an introduction by Rashmi Viswanathan, assistant professor of modern and contemporary art history at the University of Hartford in Connecticut.
The organizers anticipate a second launch party for the book in New York City in January.