Seeing America

1980 – present

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videos + essays

Over the next two years, Seeing America will grow to include 100 videos, 18 essays, quizzes, discussion questions and lesson plans.

Light, time, and transcendence in James Turrell’s <em>Skyscape</em>
Light, time, and transcendence in James Turrell’s Skyscape

A viewing station for sunrise and sunset, Turrell’s work manipulates light, time, and perception.

The Culture Wars and Richard Serra’s <em>Tilted Arc</em>
The Culture Wars and Richard Serra’s Tilted Arc

Who should be the arbiter of taste—the person on the street, the artist, the courts?

“That’s the deal you gave us,” trade myths and native land
“That’s the deal you gave us,” trade myths and native land

Smith created this in 1992, responding to the 500th anniversary of Christopher Columbus’s arrival in North America.

Television nation—Nam June Paik’s <em>Electronic Superhighway</em>
Television nation—Nam June Paik’s Electronic Superhighway

The “father of video art” argued that electronic communication, not transportation, unites the modern world.

Carrie Mae Weems, <em>Untitled (Woman Feeding Bird)</em>, from <em>The Kitchen Table Series</em>
Carrie Mae Weems, Untitled (Woman Feeding Bird), from The Kitchen Table Series

Weems confronts identity, family, and the myth of home in this iconic series of photographs.

The Trail of Tears, Titus Kaphar’s <em>The Cost of Removal</em>
The Trail of Tears, Titus Kaphar’s The Cost of Removal

Kaphar takes a violent history and renders it visible in this modified portrait of Andrew Jackson.

Nari Ward, <em>We the People</em> (black version)
Nari Ward, We the People (black version)

Hundreds of shoelaces form just three words. Here, the artist takes an abstract idea and makes it immediate.

Speaking to past and present, Clarissa Rizal’s Resilience Robe
Speaking to past and present, Clarissa Rizal’s Resilience Robe

This prestigious garment follows a traditional design passed down through generations of indigenous Alaskans.

Wendy Red Star, 1880 Crow Peace Delegation
Wendy Red Star, 1880 Crow Peace Delegation

Red Star annotated photographs to restore dignity and context to government-issue photographs of Crow chiefs.