Vito Acconci, Artist, Designer

Best known for his controversial Body Art of the 1960s and ’70s, Vito Acconci has led a diverse career, one that has taken him from poetry through performance, video work to architecture. In Acconci’s subversive and highly physical performances, the artist was known to bite himself, burn off his body hair, and masturbate under a wooden ramp in a gallery while fantasizing through a loudspeaker about the people walking above him. For Broad Jump ’71, the artist organized a jumping competition for men, in which women were the prizes, offering commentary on male ownership of women. For Tonight We Escape from New York (1977), he installed a rope ladder in the Whitney Museum, alongside of which four loudspeakers played fragments of a racist dialogue that seemed to rise and fall along the ladder. Acconci’s interest in the human body and its relationship to public space later evolved into architectural, landscape, and furniture design. http://acconci.com/


Iva Babaja, Designer, President ICOGRADA

Born in Zagreb, Croatia, Iva studied at the Hochschule für Angewandte Kunst in Vienna. She has worked extensively as a photographer, art director and freelance designer for major advertising agencies, publishers and cultural institutions. She is currently Creative director at Euro RSCG agency in Zagreb, working for many local and international clients. Her work has been included in many exhibitions and publications both in Croatia and abroad.

She is also committed to doing pro bono work for worthy projects and is an active member of the international design community. Within Icograda, she is working on several membership projects, while also dealing with the recognition and respect of the design profession in her native Croatia. She is founder and president of the Association for Promotion of Visual Culture and Communications (VIZUM) and has worked extensively on the organisation and execution of ZGRAF and many other international exhibitions and projects. Iva is also a member of Croatian Designers Society (HDD), Association of Artists of Applied Arts (ULUPUH) and Art Directors Club New York.


Paolo Cirio, Artist, Activist

Paolo Cirio is a contemporary artist known for his controversial and innovative artworks. He has won several international awards, and has exhibited in major museums and art institutions worldwide.  Cirio works with the idea of shaping flows of social, political, and economic global structures, and in doing so explores systems of control, knowledge, and information. His work deals with various contemporary issues in fields such as copyright, privacy, transparency, finance, democracy, environmentalism, geopolitics, militarism, cyber-security, and experimental fiction. http://www.paolocirio.net

Mary Jeys, Artist, Activist

Mary Jeys is a multi-media artist and activist. She has worked to promote social change in non-fiction media settings including a non-profit documentary production company, Aubin Pictures, Inc.; Hunter College’s Integrated Media Arts MFA program; and the School of Visual Arts with CUNY Graduate Center that respectively sponsored and hosted Where the Truth Lies, a conference on propaganda. She has participated in creative research opportunities including The Laundromat Project’s Create Change Professional Development Fellowship and LMCC’s Swing Space in New York. She has received grants from FEAST in Brooklyn and Macktez. As a guest speaker, she has been invited to talk at Parsons The New School for Design’s MFA program in Transdisciplinary Design and The Whitney Museum of American Art Independent Study Program’s Fix It Yourself Lectures. She received her Bachelor’s Degree in Fine Arts from the University of Texas at Austin. She is spearheading the development of a local currency for north Brooklyn called The Brooklyn Torch.

Gaella Gottwald, Director, HDLU

Gottwald has lived in 13 cities in more than 7 different countries. She has a degree in History of Art and Architecture from Brown University, and received her design degree from the European Institute of Design in Milan, Italy having also studied at the Applied Arts Academy of Prague, illustration and painting, film at the FAMU and print making in Venice, Italy. She has worked in a variety of institutions from the Museum of Modern Art in New York to the Cinecitta Studios in Rome, Italy. She has been freelancing the past 5 years and works as a set designer, muralist, illustrator and graphic novelist. Gottwald has opened a gallery (laborARTorio) on the island of Korcula where she produces site-specific work about the island (paintings, prints, collages, books, postcards, jewelry and one of a kind t shirts). The laborARTorio is her space for experimentation and workshop where she teaches her various techniques. Currently she has become the director of the Croatian Association of Artists and is working with 1500 artist members within a magnificent round historical building in Zagreb. Another aspect of her work is tied to travel. Every year she spends a period of time in a different country and creates collaborations with local people and work based on the experience. She is a firm believer that art should promote social and ecological awareness as well as cultural heritage.

Dejan Kršić, Artist

Dejan Kršić is a graphic designer, writer and translator based in Zagreb, Croatia. He has worked for various magazines and newspapers as a journalist, editor and graphic designer (Polet, Studentski list, Quorum, Svijet, Start, Mladina, Moment, Danas . . . , Frakcija, Zarez . . .). In the 90s he was one of the founders and later editor-in-chief of the Arkzin biweekly newspaper/magazine and Arkzin’s book publishing project.  Since 2000 he was a member of NGO for visual culture What, How and for Whom/WHW collaborating on contemporary art exhibitions/media projects “What, how and for Whom – on the occasion of the 152nd Anniversary of the Communist Manifesto” (Zagreb 2000, Vienna 2001), Broadcasting Project, dedicated to Nikola Tesla (Zagreb 2001/2002), Collective Creativity (Kunsthalle Fridericianum, Kassel 2005) and works of the city-owned Gallery Nova, Zagreb.  Kršić teaches graphic design at Department of visual communications at UMAS, Split, Croatia.  http://www.protopage.com/dejankrsicpage

Brett Scott, Writer Activist

Brett Scott explores economic systems, experiments with new forms of financial activism, and am involved in the social and environmental finance community in London. Scott’s The Heretic’s Guide to Global Finance: Hacking the Future of Money, is published with Pluto Press. He has written for numerous publications like the Guardian, The Ecologist, The New Internationalist, Naked Capitalism & openDemocracy and appeared on shows such as BBC World Update, the Keiser Report, and Arte TV. He is a Fellow at the WWF/ICAEW Finance Innovation Labhttp://suitpossum.blogspot.com/

Peter Macapia, Artist, Architect

Peter Macapia is an artist, architectural designer, and theorist.  His art and architecture focuses on the geopolitics of public space, structural engineering, algorithmic computation, and the geometry and topology of matter/energy relations. Macapia studied at the Rhode Island School of Design, Harvard University, and Columbia University, where he received his PhD with Presidential Fellowships.  In addition to Columbia, Pratt, and Sciarc, Macapia has lectured and taught internationally at Princeton, RMIT, the Academy of Architecture in Athens, Tokyo University of Science, École Spécial d’Architecture Paris, and other schools.  Macapia has exhibited internationally in the Beijing International Biennial and exhibited in Art/Design Basel and Miami, Museum of Art and Design, Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago,with solo shows and performances in London, New York, Los Angeles, Hong Kong, and Paris.  Macapia’s Dirty Geometry is currently on exhibition at the FRAC Orleans as part of their permanent collection, and recently published in Architectures experimentales, 1950-2010.  His essay, un detail de ce qui change, will appear in AD this spring  and he is currently finishing a book on Foucault and force. http://www.petermacapia.com


Srdjan Jovanovic Weiss, Architect, Theorist

Srdjan Jovanovic Weiss is Visiting Assistant Professor at Cornell University AAP, Department of Architecture in New York City. He was educated at Harvard University studying with Rem Koolhaas, Jacques Herzog and Richard Gluckman with design experiences from Herzog & de Meuron Architects in Basel, Gluckman Mayner Architects in New York and from collaborations with artists Jenny Holzer, Robert Wilson and Marjetica Potrc. Previously he taught at Harvard GSD, University of Pennsylvania, Columbia University, Parsons School of Design and Pratt Institute and Tyler School of Art, Temple University. http://www.thenao.net/index.htm