About: Ruth Cuadra and Suzanne Michels

About Ruth Cuadra I'm an application systems analyst in the Information Systems department at the Getty Research Institute (GRI). I provide systems support and development for the GRI’s Provenance Index and other databases of art historical information. I'm also part of a team developing a new search engine that will improve online access to the GRI's resources. In May 2010 I received my master’s degree in Museum Studies from John Hopkins University, and I recently completed strategic foresight training through the California Association of Museums (CAM). I'm now serving as co-chair of CAM's newly formed Foresight Committee, created to research current trends, provide findings, and generate and facilitate discussion in order to define strategies for assuring more sustainable futures for California museums. About Suzanne Michels I'm a software developer and have been consulting with GRI Information Systems department since January 2011. I created the text-processing algorithms used to parse data from electronic renditions of WWII-era German auction catalogs. Currently I’m developing methods for automating the handling of bibliographic data for entry in the Getty Research Portal—an interesting and challenging endeavor! My prior work includes development of defense-industry system simulations and commercial software.

Posts by Ruth Cuadra and Suzanne

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      William Pope.L

      Tell us a bit about how and why you became an artist.

      I used to blame my being an artist on my grandmother, but that was my younger self looking for a scapegoat. At one point in undergrad, I had a moment, a crisis where I thought it was my job to save my family and the best way to that was to be a commercial artist—but I had to let go of that. Truth be told, being an artist is something I choose every day. Of course, maybe I choose art because I’m afraid of theater—too much memorizing and being in the moment and shit.

      A lot of your work deals with racial issues—perceptions of “blackness,” “whiteness,” the absurdity of racial prejudices, the violence of it. Why do you address race in your work? Do you think art can be an agent of change?

      I address race in my work ‘cause day-to-day in our country it addresses me. Yes, art can change the world but so can Disney—so there is that. I think the real question is not can art change the world, but can art be changed by the world? Would we allow this?

      Humor, with a touch of the absurd, seems to be an important component in your artistic practice. What role does humor play in your work?

      I like to use humor in my work ‘cause it answers/deals with questions in ways that are very unique. Humor answers questions with an immediacy and creates a productive amnesia of the moment in the receiver—but then the wave recedes, the world floods back in with its pain, confusions, and crush but the humor remains like a perfume or an echo or a kiss inside beneath one’s skin.

      More: Artist William Pope.L on Humor, Race, and God

      From top: Obi Sunt (Production Image from the making of Obi Sunt), 2015, William Pope.L. Courtesy of the Artist © Pope.L; Gans-Nelson fight, from the album ‘Incident to the Gans-Nelson fight’ (Page 40-3), Goldfield, NV, September 3, 1906, William Pope.L. Courtesy of Steve Turner and the Artist; Tour People, 2005, William Pope.L. Courtesy of the Artist © Pope.L; Failure Drawing #301, NYU/Napkin, Rocket Crash, William Pope.L. Courtesy of the Artist © Pope.L.


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