Critical Art Ensemble founder Steve Kurtz to visit Behrend

Artist Steve Kurtz will discuss his career in activist art as well as the Critical Art Ensemble (CAE) during his visit to Penn State Erie, The Behrend College, on Monday, March 31.

Kurtz is a professor of visual studies at SUNY Buffalo and a founding member of CAE, an artist collective that explores the intersections between art, critical theory, technology and political activism. His discussion begins at 5 p.m. in the second-floor auditorium of the Reed Union Building and is free and open to the public.

CAE’s demonstrations and exhibits have ranged from a mobile lab for testing genetically-modified foods, a historical reenactment of a biological weapons test and a fictional fertility clinic. The group aims to demystify the specialized language of biotechnology and simplify its role in peoples’ lives.

CAE has exhibited in major museums, including the Whitney Museum and New Museum in New York City, the Corcoran Museum in Washington, D.C., the Institute of Contemporary Art in London and the Documenta in Kassel, Germany. The group also has written seven books, including “Disturbances,” which was released in 2012.

Kurtz’s presentation is sponsored by the Mary Behrend Cultural Fund, the Office of Student Activities, the Department of Arts Administration and the Schreyer Honors College.

For more information, contact Matt Levy, assistant professor of art history, at 814-898- 6078 or email

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Last Updated March 26, 2014