We experience the world through continual acts of translation. To be sure, we often carry meaning between languages, but that process isn’t limited to the spoken dialects of different cultures. We turn thoughts into actions, and experiences into conversation. Translation is difference made visible. Translation is experimental. Translation is generous.

Artistic practice is a necessary process of translation, from intangible ideas to concrete forms and decisive gestures, but also between disciplines and bodies, between the artists and their audiences. What possibilities exist in the spaces between kinesthetic and verbal language, visual art and dance, traditional and contemporary expression, local and global styles?

The PICA Symposium is an interdisciplinary weekend of art, performance, and conversations, investigating the complexity of constructing and communicating culture in contemporary art. It’s an update of a classical model for our hyphenated culture, weighing experience and activity equally with lectures and panels. It is driven by your involvement, it’s propelled by your movement.

Featured Events

Performance by Emily Johnson/Catalyst of Niicugni (listen)
A layered performance of dance, live music, and stories, housed within an installation of fish-skin lanterns and original instruments. In the Yup’ik language, niicugni is a directive to pay attention, to listen. Can we listen to our bodies and environments for the histories they contain?

Launch of Anna Craycroft’s C’mon Language project
Craycroft’s residency project poses the open-ended question: “How do we make ourselves understood?” C’mon Language is an exhibition as classroom, a summer-long series of workshops and lectures by artists and scholars from fields as varied as linguistics, basket weaving, physics, and music, all focused on the development of a common language.

Special thanks to The Autzen Foundation