The Pickpocket Almanack is an experimental school-without-walls. Each season, a temporary faculty of artists, curators, writers and filmmakers create courses by selecting from public events already scheduled to take place at venues around the Bay Area. Each course takes these pre-existing events (lectures, screenings, workshops, panels) out of context and gives them a new thematic frame. The result is a set of journeys around Bay Area cultural life, some unexpected connections, new discoveries, and a different angle on the Bay Area led by some of its most distinctive cultural figures. Faculty for the fall season includes Dominic Angerame, Anthony Discenza, Derek Fagerstrom and Lauren Smith, Josh On, and Elizabeth Thomas.
Discussion will be conducted online between participants during the course, and participants and faculty will meet in person at the beginning of each season. There are no age or experience requirements, and all courses are free and not for credit (tickets may be required for some programs and events). Participants may enroll in a maximum of two courses per season; space may be limited for some courses.
View courses and sign up at www.pickpocketalmanack.org.
Joseph del Pesco is an independent curator, art journalist, regular collaborator, and web-media producer. He has organized curatorial projects at Artists Space in New York; Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in San Francisco; Galerie Analix in Geneva; the Rooseum in Malmö, Sweden; Articule in Montrea; the Banff Centre in Alberta, Canada; and the Nelson Gallery at the University of California, Davis. He has contributed interviews, reviews, and other texts to Flash Art, X-Tra, Proximity, Fillip, and NUKE magazines and Art in America's website.
Dominic Angerame has, since 1969, made more than 35 films that have been shown and have won awards in film festivals around the world. He was honored by two Cine Probe series at The Museum of Modern Art in New York City in 1993 and 1998. His film Anaconda Targets (2004) was exhibited at the 2006 Whitney Biennial. In 2006 Angerame also presented his City Symphony Series along with Pixiescope, Waifen Maiden, Consume, and Anaconda Targets at the Havana Film Festival (Festival International del Nuevo Cine Latinamericano). This was the first time experimental cinema had been presented at this festival in 28 years. His most recent film, The Soul of Things (2010), was shown at the San Francisco International Film Festival, Onion City Film Festival, Toronto International Film Festival, New York Film Festival, and the Viennale Film Festival. Angerame has been the executive director of Canyon Cinema for the past thirty years. Under his leadership, Canyon Cinema has become one of the world's most renowned distributors of avant-garde and experimental films.
Derek Fagerstrom and Lauren Smith are writers, curators, and owners of the Curiosity Shoppe and Gallery. They are the creative directors of Pop-Up Magazine, an event featuring nonfiction writers, documentary filmmakers, photographers, artists, and radio producers presenting their work live onstage in magazine format.
Josh On is a web artist, designer, and activist living and working in San Francisco. In 2001 he made www.theyrule.net, an interactive representation of the interlocking directories of the most powerful companies in the United States. The project received the Golden Nica award for Net Excellence at Prix Ars Electronica and was included in the 2002 Whitney Biennial. In 2008 he and artist Shaun O'Dell organized a series of talks about art and politics at the San Francisco Art Institute called "The New New Masses."
Anthony Discenza is an artist working primarily with video, but also and more recently with text and street signage. His projects have focused on the ubiquitous presence of mainstream media in contemporary life. By extracting and reprocessing material taken from sources such as commercial film, television, and the Internet, he has produced works that seek to amplify both the assaultive and anaesthetizing effects of our information-saturated culture. Discenza's solo and collaborative work has been shown at numerous national and international venues, including the Getty Center, SFMOMA, the New York Video Festival, the Pacific Film Archive, the Whitney Museum of American Art, the European Media Arts Festival, and the Australian Center for the Moving Image. Currently, Discenza works as a senior lecturer at California College of the Arts. He is represented by Catharine Clark Gallery in San Francisco and the Video Databank of Chicago.
Elizabeth Thomas is a curator and writer. She is currently the Phyllis Wattis MATRIX Curator at the UC Berkeley Art Museum, where she produces contemporary projects by local, national, and international artists, often commissioning new work that uses the university as a site and a context for research-based practices. Recent and upcoming artists in the series include Martha Colburn, Patricia Esquivias, Omer Fast, Futurefarmers, Mario Garcia Torres, Brent Green, Jill Magid, Ahmet Ogut, Trevor Paglen, Olivia Plender, Emily Roysdon, Tomas Saraceno, Allison Smith, Tris Vonna-Michell, and David Wilson. Before moving to California she was the associate curator of contemporary art at Carnegie Museum of Art, working on the 2004–05 Carnegie International, a major international survey exhibition, as well as overseeing a series of project exhibitions with artists such as Cory Arcangel and Paper Rad, Edgar Arceneaux, and Christian Jankowski. As an independent curator and writer, she coorganized The Believers with Nato Thompson at Mass MoCA and The 'F' Word at The Andy Warhol Museum, and was also a founding editor of the Chicago arts and culture magazine Ten by Ten.