4/16 | Social Engineer: The Artist as Bridge Builder


Social Engineer: The Artist as Bridge Builder
With Cannupa Hanska Luger

Thursday, April 16, 2020 | 12:00-2:00pm PDT

Online, please go to the YouTube live stream link here.

Co-sponsored by the Arts Research Center, the Ethnic Studies Department, the Native American Studies Program, and Berkeley Arts + Design

This event is part of the Arts + Design Thursdays series. See the full Spring 2020 line-up here.


In a world polarized politically, economically, racially, and sexually we are forced to question our trust. However our trust is the mortar that binds our intelligence. We need one another now more than ever. But, how do we see eye to eye with human groups we don’t trust. Enter the artist. If we can subvert the idea art is an object, a noun, then we can reinstate the truth that art is a verb, an action. In developing processes that include society as a medium the act of making builds communities that are embedded in the object of these processes. It connects people that may not engage with one another to create work together. Thus the role of artist is bridge builder.


Cannupa Hanska Luger is a multi-disciplinary artist of Mandan, Hidatsa, Arikara, Lakota, Austrian, and Norwegian descent. Through monumental installations that incorporate ceramics, video, sound, fiber, steel and repurposed materials, Luger interweaves performance and political action to communicate stories about 21st century Indigeneity. Using social collaboration and in response to timely and site-specific issues, Luger produces multi-pronged projects which often times presents a call to action, provoking diverse publics to engage with Indigenous peoples and values apart from the lens of colonial social structuring. Luger lectures and participates in residencies and projects around the globe and his work is collected internationally.  He is a 2019 Joan Mitchell Foundation Painters & Sculptors Grant recipient, a 2019 Yerba Buena Center for the Arts Honoree and the recipient of the 2018 Museum of Arts and Design’s inaugural Burke Prize. Luger holds a BFA in studio arts from the Institute of American Indian Arts. www.cannupahanska.com @cannupahanska