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  • Otis Fine Arts hosts a Visiting Artist lecture series featuring John Houck, a Los Angeles-based artist. Read more about him here.
    Contact: Soo Kim, skim@otis.edu
  • Jesse Benson (b. 1978) is an artist based in Los Angeles. Benson's complex practice is driven by the perversion of roles and representation that characterize his generational moment. In obsessively "skillful" objects like the Bureau Paintings, Catalog Page Paintings, Future Sculptures, and Repaintings, Benson constantly questions the authenticity of the document, the function of style, and the value of both art and artist. Benson is equally committed to a curatorial/organizational practice that openly overlaps and inspires his object production.

  • The Architecture/Landscape/Interiors Department at OTIS College of Art and Design is pleased to announce a lecture by Nick SeierupPrincipal | Design Director of Perkins+Will, Los Angeles, on Thursday, December 3, 2015.


  • Marisa Silver is the author most recently of the New York Times bestselling novel Mary Coin. Her other books include the novels No Direction Home and The God of War (a finalist for a Los Angeles Times Book Prize), as well as two story collections, Babe in Paradise and Alone with You. Her work has appeared in The New Yorker and been included in many anthologies, including The Best American Short Stories and The O. Henry Prize Stories. Silver lives in Los Angeles.

  • Jesse Lerner is a filmmaker based in Los Angeles.  His short films Natives (1991, with Scott Sterling), T.S.H. (2004) and Magnavoz (2006) and the feature-length experimental documentaries Frontierland/Fronterilandia (1995, with Rubén Ortiz-Torres), Ruins (1999) The American Egypt (2001), Atomic Sublime (2010) and The Absent Stone (2013, with Sandra Rozental) have won numerous prizes at film festivals in the United States, Latin America and Japan.

  • Otis faculty member Dana Berman Duff will present a program of short 16mm and digital films in her "Catalogue" series.

  • Performing the Grid is an exhibition that brings together an intergenerational group of artists and cultural producers that utilize the grid as a performative strategy to examine, challenge and position philosophical, political, social, domestic, corporeal, and mythical perspectives. Rosalind Kraus famously wrote that the grid “functions to declare the modernity of modern art” in her 1979 essay, Grids.


Facts about Mass Media

Don't Accept Media at Face Value; Think Critically, Ask Questions

Mass Media is directed towards large audiences.

  • It is public, the content is open to all audiences are made up of people living under different conditions in widely different cultures.
  • It establishes contact with people at a distance from the media source and from each other.
  • The audience for mass communications is unique to modern society.
  • The Web is just another form of mass media.



ASK: What?

What is the main idea? How was this constructed? What picture of the world is being presented? What people and what subjects are represented and how? Are the portrayals of people or other subjects accurate, exaggerated, biased? What argument is being made? However realistic, natural, or factual a media project may seem to be, it is always a construction. Instead of reflecting reality it represents a specific aspect of it from a specific perspective.

ASK: Who?

Whose point of view is it? What does the author want the viewer to think about the image? Each media product is intended for a particular audience and it is important to ask who the target audience is. Are there assumptions built in to the text or image that the media makes about its audience? How about the audience's assumptions? Each person will interpret the same text or image differently, bringing their own experience to it when critically analyzing its meaning.

ASK: What values/ideologies underlie this?

The media convey values through form and content. Sometimes the values are obvious, but more often they are hidden behind what may appear to be a neutral stance. The important thing to remember is that they are always there even if they are part of the shared assumptions of the mainstream culture in a way that makes them seem invisible.

ASK: About Evidence?

What facts or information are offered in support of the argument or idea being presented? How reliable is the information? What is the form of the presentation? How is the message conveyed via words, images, and sounds?

ASK: Who owns this? Who benefits from it?

Media products are made for profit. The creative and editorial decisions made by producers are based on what will sell. Consider who might be selling what to whom when evaluating a media text/image.

Most of the ideas came from the Center for Media Literacy web site and The New Media Literacy Handbook by Cornelia Brunner and William Tally.