Posts filed under ‘Moving Targets video art initiative’


After 16+ years with the Arizona State University Art Museum I have announced my departure.  I have been fortunate to receive an offer to lead the vision of an institution in Southern California for which I cannot pass up.

(image: Grand Central Art Center)

My new role will be Director/Chief Curator of the California State University, Fullerton, Grand Central Art Center in Santa Ana, CA.  Located in the historic Grand Central Building (1924) of Downtown Santa Ana, the institution houses a large gallery space, a project gallery, retail space, an 85-seat theater and classrooms.  Another key attraction of the space is the second floor, which houses twenty-seven MFA student apartments with functioning artist studios for each resident on the main floor.  The institution also houses an artist-in-residence apartment and studio with an on-going international residency program.

(image: Grand Central Art Center, CSUF MFA Apartments, Santa Ana, CA)

If you are not yet familiar with the institution, here is a link with some details on the Grand Central Art Center:

The added bonus to this venue is its location, in the heart of a very active and involved community with great diversity of culture, vision and influence, just five minutes from where I grew up.  It will allow me to hit the ground running, knowing the lay of the land, as well as local peer institutions and colleagues with which I am excited to collaborate.

And if that isn’t enough reason to visit, here is another…

Grand Central Art Center with present a solo exhibition with artist George Herms during the Pacific Standard Time exhibitions throughout Southern California:

Chaos’ Job…Restrain Order
September 3 – October 16, 2011

I will begin my new role on September 6th, so if you find yourself in the Southern California area, please let me know so we can connect and I can provide you a tour of the Grand Central Art Center.

My new contact information will be:

John D. Spiak
Director/Chief Curator
Grand Central Art Center
125 N. Broadway
Santa Ana, CA 92701
t. 714.567.7233

Thank you to everyone who has made this journey so wonderful – the artists, students, collectors, community leaders, docents, funders, friends and colleagues. I need to especially give my full gratitude and thanks to Marilyn A. Zeitlin, Heather Sealy Lineberry and Gordon Knox, who provided me with support, guidance and trust, allowing me to curate projects through my vision.

My very best to you,

John D. Spiak
Appointed Director/Chief Curator, CSUF’s Grand Central Art Center, Santa Ana, CA

August 4, 2011 at 11:06 pm

Curator John D. Spiak Leaving ASU Art Museum for Position in Santa Ana, Calif.

Arizona State University Art Museum announces that John D. Spiak, Curator, will be leaving the Museum in August for the opportunity to lead an institution’s vision as Director/Chief Curator of California State University, Fullerton’s, Grand Central Art Center in Santa Ana, Calif.

Spiak joined the ASU Art Museum as Curatorial Assistant in 1994, and served as Curator from 1997 until August 2011. In his almost 17 years with the Museum, he has been responsible for leading such initiatives as Moving Targets (video), Social Studies (social practice) and Night Moves (dance). In 1997 he founded the annual ASU Art Museum Short Film and Video Festival, which he continued to direct, presenting the 15th annual festival  this past April. He’s been involved in strategic planning and fundraising efforts and has curated over 50 exhibitions, including solo projects with artists Pipilotti Rist, Josh Greene, Shirin Neshat, Jon Haddock, Angela Ellsworth, Nadia Hironaka and the recent project It’s not just black and white with artist Gregory Sale.

“It is bittersweet that I depart the ASU Art Museum and the Arizona arts community,” Spiak said. “This has been my home for 17 amazing years and the place where I was afforded the opportunity to develop my curatorial voice. This would not have been possible without the incredible support and guidance of Marilyn Zeitlin, Heather Lineberry and Gordon Knox. I have found inspiration throughout this community, from artists, gallerists, collectors, supporters and colleagues. I look forward to continuing these collaborations toward mutually beneficial projects, as well as retaining the many friendships that have developed for me and my family.”

 “John is as amazing a colleague as he is a curator,” said ASU Art Museum Director Gordon Knox. “From our internet presence to the Social Studies series to the video festival, John has pioneered the Museum’s current position. We will miss him among us on a daily basis. Although we are sad about his departure, this is a great move for him, and we are much better off for his contributions over the years. And to our continuing institutional collaborators at the Grand Central Art Center, I say, ‘Good on you! You have a wonderful and exciting ride ahead!’”

July 19, 2011 at 1:10 am

By myself and with my friends… July 2 – August 27 @ ASU Art Museum

By myself and with my friends…
July 2 – August  27, 2011

Krista Birnbaum (Houston)
Donna Conlon (Panama City)
Rivane Neuenschwander and Sergio Neuenschwander (Belo Horizonte / Frankfurt)
Connie Samaras (Los Angeles)
Corinna Schnitt (Hamburg)

We spend time by ourselves; we spend time with others. We are aware that these two circumstances differ greatly.

Time alone can be a period of comfort and reflection — or of nervousness and despair. It can be a time of rejuvenating our bodies, peaceful silences, an opportunity to become one with ourselves or perhaps engage in an act of individual creativity. But alone time can also be filled with boredom, fidgetiness and a restless mind that wanders in uncomfortable directions.

On the other hand, when we are with others, we can be influenced by peers to participate in activities we would never consider as individuals. Ordinary people can gain empowerment by acting collectively, with both positive and negative results. Looking no further than recent headlines, we can see examples of different kinds of group behavior – from post-sports-championship rioting to the anti-government protests occurring throughout the Middle East and Europe.

In By myself and with my friends . . . six artists explore the complexities of human nature by looking at some of the things we have in common with other living creatures, from our herd mentality to our moments of solace. The exhibition provides an opportunity for reflection, a time to examine and reconsider our own behaviors, to slow down and breathe. It is a chance to realize that even when we are alone, we are all in this together.

Featured videos include work by Krista Birnbaum, Donna Conlon, Rivane Neuenschwander and Sergio Neuenschwander, Corinna Schnitt and Connie Samaras.

Curated by John D. Spiak, ASU Art Museum, this project is generously made possible by the Everlyn Smith Family Exhibition Fund and Friends of the Arizona State University Art Museum.


Krista Birnbaum
Constance, 2006
running time: 3:00min
Courtesy of the artist.

Donna Conlon
Coexistence, 2003
running time: 5:26min
Courtesy of the artist.

Rivane Neuenschwander and Sergio Neuenschwander
Sunday, 2010
running time: 5:17min
Courtesy of the artists and Tanya Bonakdar Gallery, New York.

Connie Samaras
Untitled (Ross Ice Shelf, Antarctica), 2005
running time: 4:30min
Courtesy of the artist.

Corinna Schnitt
Once upon a time, 2005
running time: 25:07min
Courtesy of the artist.

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June 24, 2011 at 5:04 pm 1 comment


Mark your calendar…

APRIL 23, 2011 @ 8 p.m.
(Bring Your Own Seating)

Arizona State University Art Museum is proud to present a number of short films and videos by artists from around the world.

Thank you to all the outstanding artists who entered the 2011 Festival. The jury process included 482 entries from 43 states and 36 nations, with 20 works selected for screening.

Organized and juried for the Arizona State University Art Museum by:
Bob Pece, Southern California Filmmaker
John D. Spiak, Curator, Arizona State University Art Museum

*Juror Choice Awards and **AZ Award noted below.  LeBlanc Audience Choice Award will be announced online following the festival.


Werewolf Trouble (*Juror Choice Award)
Charlie Anderson
Boston, Massachusetts
Ryan is a werewolf. Horrified to wake up one morning only partially transformed, he enlists his friends’ aid to restore his full human form in time for an important event.

La Piñata
Manuel Arija
Madrid, Spain
Can a street mime cheer you up?

Cousins: a nature memoir
Stephen Ausherman
Albuquerque, New Mexico
A brief message on an answering machine hints at another death in the family.

Eco Ninja
Jonathan Browning
Los Angeles, California
An environmental short with a kick.

Jon Byron
Orange, California
Three men from three different backgrounds share their introspective view of the world, provoking the realization:  We’re not as different as we think we are.

Enrique Wrecks the World
David Chai
San Jose, California
Enrique learns the hard way that actions speak louder than birds!

Terry Chatkupt
Alhambra, California
Transferase portrays a protagonist overwhelmed with anxiety after receiving a disturbing phone call.  What proceeds is a sequence of small events that operate as a psychological excavation, unveiling the rapidly changing and unstable characteristics of both the protagonist and the LA landscape.

Steven Dorrington
Essex, England
A mockumentary following the Toothfairy’s transformation as she resorts to inventive but unethical methods of tooth collection in her heinous quest for a better life.

Jeremy Fain
New York, New York
A young artist begins mentally undressing a beautiful passerby, yet each layer of clothing he peels away is followed by another, and another, and another…

It’s Over!
Gita Farid
Mesa, Arizona
A ragtag and beaten French Resistance fighter and a courageous and pissed- off nun risk their lives to protect Jewish orphans hidden in a convent in France.

Whirling Dervish
William Fisher
Denver, Colorado
A thoughtful, enchanting reading of a letter from the past.

Ariel Gregory
Missoula, Montana
A typical swamp creature takes a long, hard look at itself.

News, Weather & Sports
Dan Hudson
Canmore, Canada
A beautiful and haunting video that reflects on the human condition.

Yuliya Lanina
Brooklyn, New York
Dodo-Valse depicts a vision of an idyllic past as seen through the eye of a forest deity.

Dan’s Big Find (**AZ Award)
Jane Lindsay
Tempe, Arizona
The story of a man who finds an arrowhead while shooting targets with his black powder pistol.

La Memoria Die Cani (*Juror Choice Award)
Simone Massi
Pergola, Italy
My cheeks brush against the stone, I look out from a break in the wall.

Pretty Kitty
Gregory McDonald
Burbank, California
A man gets revenge on his cat for taunting him with silence.

Ex-Sex (*Juror Choice Award)
Michael Mohan
Los Angeles, California
Two former lovers navigate their fizzled relationship by confusing their emotional needs with their physical desires. Ex-Sex makes it better. Ex-Sex makes it worse.

The Late Mr. Mokun Williams
Kenneth Price
Greensboro, North Carolina
This pre-technological fable mirrors a modern day spam email in a handwritten letter by a frantic African girl on the run.

La La Love You
Max Sokoloff
San Francisco, California
A teenager gets ready for her boyfriend to come over and gets herself into a difficult position.



Visit the ASU Art Museum Festival Page for guidelines regarding next year’s festival and a history of this annual event:

Please show your continued support of the ASU Art Museum by making a donation online through the link provided below. It is a very easy process, and donations of as little as $5 can help provide the foundation for future programs and exhibitions.

March 29, 2011 at 10:50 pm 3 comments

CALL FOR ENTRIES – 15th Annual Short Film and Video Festival

15th Annual
Arizona State University Art Museum
Short Film and Video Festival


Deadline for Entering Work

Brief history of the festival, guidelines for entry, a complete list of the works that have been screened at past festivals and a few success stories can be found online at the following address:

Festival is scheduled to take place

The festival is free for artists to enter their work and free to attend.

ASU Art Museum Short Film and Video Festival is an ASU Art Museum Moving Targets initiative.

January 5, 2011 at 10:52 pm

Events at ASU Art Museum, April 2010

Events at Arizona State University Art Museum for April 2010:

April 3: First Saturdays for Families, a free hands-on art project for kids 4-12 and their families. This month’s art project is watercolors! See our blog post for more information.

[EDIT: The list of films to be screened on April 17 is now available on our site!]

April 10: Street Party, at Hoskin Ryan Consultants property, Indian School Rd and 2nd Ave, Phoenix. From 4 – 10 p.m., $5 at the gate or online, and kids 12 and younger are free! Proceeds benefit ASU Art Museum exhibitions and programs.

April 17: ASU Art Museum 14th Annual Short Film & Video Festival, out on the plaza behind the museum. Bring your own chairs and blankets to be comfy for a gorgeous night under the stars watching short films submitted from all over the world. A totally free event!

April 20: Gallery talks by guest curator Bobby Silverman (at the Ceramics Research Center) and artist William Wylie (in the top gallery).

Arizona State University Art Museum is free and open to the public. The main museum is located at the southeast corner of Mill Avenue at 10th Street, in Tempe, Arizona. The ASU Art Museum Ceramics Research Center is just across the street at the northeast corner of Mill Avenue at 10th Street, and free parking for museum visitors is available directly outside in marked spaces. Please visit our web site for hours and current exhibitions and events.

See you in April!


March 29, 2010 at 5:06 pm 1 comment

Top 3 Things to Do at ASU Art Museum, March 2010

While it may seem that Dawn is taking over our blog, and we’re ok with that, she has some fun stuff to share with you from the museum for this month:

First Saturdays for Families, March 6, 11 a.m. – 3 p.m.
– kids ages 4-12 and their families can make free art projects based on an artist currently showing in the museum. All materials are supplied free at the museum, and kids get to keep their art. No registration is required – just show up any time during the posted hours.

make clay sculptures based on artist Wanxin Zhang's work, March 6

make clay sculptures based on artist Wanxin Zhang's work, March 6

(I just really like this little guy, made by Teresa in our education department.)

Forged Power: Ferran Mendoza, Alvaro Sau and William Wylie (through May 29)
– video art exhibition that focuses on people at work. *Note: there are a few scenes that may be inappropriate for younger kids.

Ceram-a-Rama: a *really progressive clay affair (March 4 – 7)
– There’s still time to get tickets to the weekend’s ceramic art events – just go to
If you can’t make the whole weekend, join us just Saturday night on the rooftop of the W Hotel in Scottsdale for our very swank after-party. Tickets for the party are only $25 at the door!

March 1, 2010 at 8:36 pm 1 comment

Sundance ♥s ASU Art Museum

Some exciting 2010 Sundance Film Festival connections for the Arizona State University Art Museum we knew you would enjoy…

Phoenix based artist/videomaker Matthew Moore’s work is selected as part of the Official 2010 Sundance New Frontiers program to take place during this year’s festival.

You will remember Moore’s farm installation and photo works from the 2006 exhibition New American City: Artists Look Forward.  He will be doing a major video art installation at a supermarket in Park City.  Here is a link:

Sundance Link

ASU Art Museum Project Link

Michael Mohan, a filmmaker from our 2008 ASU Art Museum Short Film and Video Festival and whose work The Interrogation appeared in the recent I’m Keeping an Eye on You group video exhibition at the Museum, has his newest film One Too Many Mornings as an Official Selection for the 2010 Sundance Film Festival.

Sundance Link

ASU Art Museum Project Link

ASU Art Museum 2008 Short Film and Video Festival

Shirin Neshat’s Women Without Men, which won her the Silver Lion for best director at the 66th Venice Film Festival in 2009 and was screened for the very first time publically as an early edit version in November of 2007 when the artist presented a lecture at ASU Art Museum, is an Official Sundance Selection this year.  The artist had a major solo exhibition at the ASU Art Museum in 2001:

Sundance Link

ASU Art Museum Project Link

Pipilotti Rist’s Lobe of Lung (The Saliva Ooze Away to the Underground) will be included in the Sundance New Frontiers program.  Her work was presented in a solo exhibition at the ASU Art Museum in 2002:

Sundance Link

ASU Art Museum Project Link

Congratulations to all of our ASU Art Museum friends!

Who’ll be next? Join us on the plaza for the 14th Annual Short Film & Video Festival on April 17!

– Curator John and diane

January 14, 2010 at 11:37 pm

ASU Art Museum ♥s Video Art

Annual Short Film & Video Festival on ASU Art Museum plaza!

Annual Short Film & Video Festival on ASU Art Museum plaza!

Ah, I love the museum in the spring. The students are coming back with new excitement after the holiday break, the weather outside is perfect, the exhibitions at the museum are world-class (as always) and we have great annual events coming up soon!

This season is especially great for us video fans (of which I am one!):

  • We have video art as part of the new exhibition Altered States: Paintings by Gordon Cheung, opening Jan. 9.  Four of his new pieces, to be exact.
  • We’ll be screening Mel Chin’s award-winning video work 9-11/9-11 on Feb. 2 – look for details shortly! (I was watching a bit of this earlier – it’s like an animated graphic novel and very cool.)
  • There’s a full-on video exhibition opening Feb. 20 called Forged Power: Ferran Mendoza, Alvaro Sau and William Wylie – this will be open through May 29.
  • And wrapping it up (at least for the spring season) on April 17, the 14th Annual Short Film and Video Festival! You don’t want to miss this great evening out on the plaza behind the museum – we screen the selected films out on the back wall of the museum. Bring a chair for a really fun night out under the stars. And IT’S FREE.

Speaking of the Film Festival, this is your reminder that your deadline for submissions is Feb. 5! Check out our web site for details on how and where to send your short film for consideration into our juried festival. There’s no cost to submit your film.

Of course, we have way more going on this season than just video art. First Saturdays for Families is in full swing starting Feb. 6; the Ceramics Research Center’s studio tour weekend is Feb. 27-28 and Ceram-A-Rama is March 4-7; back by popular demand, the 2nd annual Street Party is planned for April 10 (watch this blog for more details to come!) and of course, great exhibitions year-round. (I’m really looking forward to seeing Wanxin Zhang’s Ten Year Survey exhibition).

We have a very busy spring season planned and hope you’ll join us for the fun, and the art!


January 8, 2010 at 6:52 pm

Jillian Mcdonald – Vampire and Zombie Auditions #1

Click Here to WATCH VIDEO from Today’s Audition

More Auditions scheduled for tomorrow 2pm & 3:15pm! Make-up artists workshops today at 2pm and tomorrow at 11am.

Please sign up with Jillian directly if you are interested in participating in the project at 917.443.8107 or – she will also answer any questions or concerns. Interested parties who cannot make the scheduled dates, please inquire about alternative times.

– John

October 15, 2009 at 7:00 pm

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