Commonwealth and Council

Commonwealth and Council Summer School


We are excited to announce the pilot edition of Commonwealth and Council Summer School. Please join us for free courses led by gallery artists exploring various subjects and pedagogical methods. All courses will take place via Zoom and are free and open to the public.  

If you are interested in registering for course(s), please sign up via Google Form

Institutions in the Art World: Critique and Imagination 

Led by Alison O'Daniel and Kibum Kim


The discussion group will examine the various institutions that make up the art world (schools, galleries, museums) and explore how these systems inform art-making, exhibition-making, marketization of art, and institutional validation. Some issues that will be discussed include: systems of exchange in the art world, pedagogical ethos in/neoliberalization of art education, legibility of artworks in the market, the artist as “brand,” globalization and its manifestations in homogenization and colonialism, issues of the archive, and the notion of the "canon.”

Duration: Three 2 hr-long sessions; August 5th, 12th, and 19th at 4pm PT

The Revolution: Operation Scrooge and League of Superheroes 

Facilitated by Jennifer Moon, custodian of The Revolution

Following the lead of Black liberation revolutions, and amidst Covid, both of which urge us to take down failed systems and start building radically different ones, this group will meet to form two action teams:

  1. League of Superheroes: This is a militant (including militant with abundance and love) vigilante team that will train and propose alternatives to policing. Calling ex-military, chemists, engineers, game strategists, healers, psychokinetics, etc., and people who get a high from choreographed group dancing (we are not necessarily going to dance but it’s a similar precision of choreography and collective merging towards a death of the individual).

  2. Operation Scrooge: This is also a militant vigilante team but in a more covert, sneaky way (and also infused with abundance and love). Operation Scrooge is a conning and hacking mission to redistribute wealth and is in need of hackers, actors, thieves, magicians, empaths, etc., and people who have befriended their traumas so they can lovingly coax it out of other people.

At this initial first meeting, as a group, we will decide on a regular meeting day and time through August and beyond ☄️🌈

First meeting date: Tuesday, August 4, 2020, 6–8 PT

Principles of The Revolution:

  1. Always* operate from a place of abundance**
  2. Always choose the most expansive*** route

*Always means pertaining to any manner of actions that can be deemed revolutionary.

** Abundance is knowing you are enough for the mere fact that you exist.
*** Expansive is reaching beyond binaries, hierarchies, and capital.

 Madeline Gins Reading Group 


A reading group on Madeline Gins: The Saddest Thing Is That I Have Had To Use Words: A Madeline Gins Reader, ed. Lucy Ives, led by Alice Könitz

Madeline Gins and Shusaku Arakawa collaborated on art, architecture and writing for forty years. Their experiential architecture promotes longevity, their stated goal was not to die. Gins published three books: the experimental novel Word Rain (or a Discursive Introduction of G,R,E,T,A, G,A,R,B,O, It Says) (New York: Grossman Publishers 1969); What The President Will Say And Do!! (New York: Station Hill 1984), an excursion into identity, language and free speech using the devices of political rhetoric; and Helen Keller or Arakawa (Santa Fe: Burning Books with East/West Cultural Studies, 1994), an art historical novel that took on the form of speculative fiction. With Arakawa, Gins developed the philosophy of ‘procedural architecture’ to further its impact on human lives. These ideas were explored through three books that they coauthored: Pour ne Pas Mourir/To not Die (Éditions de la Différance, Paris 1987);  Architectural Body (University of Alabama Press, 2002); and Making Dying Illegal - Architecture Against Death: Original to the 21st Century (Roof Books, New York, 2006). 

A new Madeline Gins reader, edited by Lucy Ives, came out this April. I just started exploring their work and I’m blown away. If you would like, please join me for the reading group. We’ll read from THE_SADDEST_THING_IS_THAT_I_HAVE_HAD_TO_USE_WORDS: A Madeline Gins Reader, published by Siglio Press. You can find a lot of information about their work on 

Duration: Three sessions; August 10, 17th, and 24th, 2020, 7 PM PT

Course capacity: 15 people*

 *Please note that as this course is limited to fifteen participants, we will be following a first-come first-serve registration. 

Link to purchase from publisher: 

 Mutant Salon: Objecthood and the Performance of Race, Gender, & Sexuality 


Led by Young Joon Kwak

The course is a space for POC/Womxn/queer artists to share tactics for performing objecthood as a way toward agency rather than seeing objecthood as merely the primal site of injury of our bodies. We will theorize, perform, and discuss processes of self/collective/mutual objectification that may act as a means of countering/repairing the harmful effects of the systemic objectification, surveillance, and policing of marginalized bodies in the present. During each session we will be joined by different members of Mutant Salon and other artists TBA.

Duration: Three 1.5 hr-long sessions; August 15th, 16th, and 22nd at 3PM PT

A Billion Black Anthropocenes or None 


Led by Danielle Dean and Nikita Gale

Danielle Dean and Nikita Gale will facilitate an informal discussion that takes Kathryn Yusoff's A Billion Black Anthropocenes or None as a point of departure. Participants will be invited to explore ideas presented in Yusoff's text, some of which include antiblackness and the legacy of colonialism; western understandings of environment, land and property; extraction, and the production of value. 

Date: Wednesday, August 19th, 11 AM PT

Link to read online:

Civic Art Discussion


An open conversation led by Olga Koumoundouros and Sandra de la Loza.

Join us in a group conversation about what artists embedded in civic institutions can do to enact socio-political change. This discussion will focus explicitly on the ways that civic involvement and activism are particularly conducive to art collaboration. 

Some questions we will explore are:

  • How can change be enacted?
  • What are strategies for intervening, interrupting, navigating rigid, hierarchical structures?
  • What are the possibilities for systemic change through work inside vs outside institutional structures?
  • How can we enact change on an institutional level, and what are some of the pitfalls and landmines encountered in such work?
  • How do non-linear and non-binary beliefs produce methodologies that, when applied to groups, can shift calcified or hierarchical situations and institutions?
  • Are there ways to not cause harm while allowing space for change and non-linear outcomes to happen?
  • How does risk-averse ideology have the right intention but struggle with practices that lead to deep pluralistic inclusion?
  • How are artists able to hold space for places where conflict occurs and then can be generative?


Sandra de la Loza was an artist in residence with the Los Angeles County Department of Parks and Recreation (2019-2020) in which she developed an arts and cultural framework, implementation plan and toolkit. She is a third generation Angeleno, whose work investigates the underlayers of our present landscape as a means to decolonize, heal ancestral trauma and create circles that enable other social and environmental relations to happen. 

Olga Koumoundouros is the artist in residence with LA County Office of Violence Prevention as part of the Los Angeles County’s Department of Public Health. She is soon launching the Solutions to Violence Community Storytelling Project where protocols will be generated that will inform positive systemic change based on the narratives and input shared by an outreach structure with community members.   

Date: Wednesday, August 26, 5:30 PM PT 

The Sky is a Genius

An evening of poetry readings with Bhanu Kapil, Precious Okoyomon, Nisha Ramayya and Patrick Staff.  

THE SKY IS A GENIUS  took place in the gallery space of Patrick Staff's exhibition On Venus at the Serpentine Galleries, London. On Staff’s Venus, ‘life is chemically modified and sensorially charged in an alternate state of non-life or near-death.’ The poets explored themes of structural violence, registers of harm and the exchange between fluids, bodies and chemicals examined throughout the show. 

In Plain Sight

In Plain Sight is a multimedia collaboration with 80 phenomenal artists from around the country and migrant justice organizations. The powerful roster of artists come to In Plain Sight with their respective practices intersecting this issue with their experience of migration, mass incarceration, history of concentration camps, xenophobia, displacement through colonization, borders, and the cyclical violence of internment camps. Together we'll be working to amplify the work of our partners leading up to a day of action addressing migrant detention centers across the country. Follow us and participate in this journey of liberation through action. 

Website link for daily updates: 

Jade Windscreen recipe

Jade Windscreen recipe

From Julie Tolentino:

JADE WINDSCREEN INGREDIENTS: Jade Windscreen includes just three herbs atractylodes rhizome (Bai zhu, 白朮), and siler root (Fang feng, 防風). Ancient Chinese physicians designed these formulas like families, with individual plants within the formula supporting each other, creating a harmonious whole. 

Here’s more information about these three plants, including other herbal considerations.

Astragalus root (Astragalus membranaceus, Apiaceae. Huang qi, 黃芪): Astragalus supports immunity when one experiences qi deficiency, which may manifest as tiredness, weakness, or poor appetite. Its gentle flavor lends a subtle sweetness to decocted formulas and soups, while strengthening the digestive system, to support immunity. It is traditionally used in its sliced and dried form, though it can also be used as a powder or tincture. Note that astragalus can support health when one is weak, but it may “trap the thief in the house” if one is already sick, or it can tonify too much if one is already experiencing an “excess” condition. So, please use appropriately. Other immuno-modulating herbs according to Chinese medicine include reishi, codonopsis, and cordyceps.
Atractylodes rhizome (Atractylodes macrocephala, Asteraceae. Bai zhu, 白朮): Atractylodes’ bittersweet nature augments astragalus’ functions of tonifying the digestive system to support immunity. It further helps “dry dampness,” or move stagnant digestion. The Earth element governs digestion. Earth gives rise to Metal, which reinforces the “protective qi” (wei qi, 衛氣), which most closely correlates with the immune system. Likewise, the “three candies” of fresh ginger (sheng jiang, 生薑), Chinese date (da zao, 大棗), and licorice root (gan cao, 甘草) are often utilized together to harmonize a formula and promote digestive Earth-oriented stability.
Siler root (Saposhnikovia divaricata, Apioceae. Fang feng, 防風): Fang feng translates as “guard against wind.” In this formula, acrid- sweet siler root supports the “protective qi,” or immune system. By expelling wind, it is said to help address headaches, body aches, and spasms in other formulas. Other considerations for “expelling wind” include mint family plants such as catnip leaf (Nepeta), or perilla leaf (zi su ye).

HOW TO TAKE JADE WINDSCREEN: Jade Windscreen is traditionally prepared as a powder blend and taken dissolved in warm water. It can also be taken as a decoction with the raw dried herb, or in granule or capsule form. Astragalus is the “King herb” of the formula, thus the high dose. If the other herbs are not available, then consider simply making an astragalus decoction, or adding it to your broth or healing stews.

Jade Windscreen Powder Blend Recipe Ingredients
  • 360 g organic astragalus root powder
  • 60 g atractylodes powder
  • 30 g siler root powder
Directions: I commonly advise my clients to take 9 grams of Jade Windscreen powder blend dissolved in warm water 3 times per day. For the best guidance to support your specific needs, consult a qualified TCM practitioner. KAMWO in New York is a recommended source for herbs.


Carolina Caycedo and David de Rozas


Video, color, silent, 2 min

For Caycedo and de Rozas' first collaboration, they compiled scenes of loved ones and exchanging greetings and farewells at a transit center. At the time, the two were in a long-distance, international relationship. Human emotional manifestations are present in any transportation station. The before and the after, the departure and the arrival, the greeting and the farewell, sorrow and happiness, the private in public. As everyday actors, we are the generators of all these situations. 

Suki Seokyeong Kang: face—Activation

On February 14, we hosted a gathering at the gallery. There was a planned activation for Suki Seokyeong Kang's show face, to be carried out by the artist Yong Soon Min. That morning, Suki had the idea of opening up the activation to more people and asked Young to participate. As the activation was about to start, Young called on all the gallery artists present to join in. Hence, you see in the video all the awkwardness of that moment, and the spontaneous magic of it too.

We did not know then that this would be the last time we would all be together for a while. As we take care of ourselves and our loved ones in isolation, we are reminded all the more that we are more powerful as a community, connecting with, supporting, and caring for one another, practicing generosity.

We are starting this page as a space in which we can share our thoughts, resources, things that help us cope with stress. We intend to allow it to take shape organically, not tied to any schedule or format. We believe this moment affords us an opportunity to disengage from the ceaseless churn of contemporary life as well.

We hope to be able to see you soon. In the meantime, please take care and stay safe.

Exercises for Queerantine Resilience

Carolina Caycedo

(Previously "Exercises for female emancipation")

Supporting Each Other

Mutual Aid Action: Los Angeles

Carmen Argote Medical Emergency

Artist Relief