Art Department : University of Wisconsin Madison
6241 Humanities Building
455 North Park Street
Madison, WI 53706
Laurie Beth Clark is a professor of Non-Static Forms in the Art Department of the University of Wisconsin where, since 1985, she has taught studio classes in Video, Performance, and Installations, as well as Special Topics like Collaboration and Relational Aesthetics and more than twenty different academic seminars in Visual Culture Studies.
Clark was raised in Brooklyn, New York. She earned degrees in Art from Hampshire College (BA 1976), University of New Mexico (MA 1981), and Rutgers University (MFA 1982). Her professional associations include American Society for Theatre Research, College Art Association, Association of Theatre in Higher Education, and Performance Studies international for which she served as a member of the board of directors from its inception until 2006.
From 2004 to 2008, Clark served as the University of Wisconsin Vice Provost for Faculty and Staff where her duties included oversight of the campus' landmark interdisciplinary cluster hiring program, as well as the campus' academic leadership programs, faculty grants programs, strategic hiring initiatives, new faculty orientations, and advocacy for domestic partner benefits. Prior administrative positions included Art Department Chair (1998 to 2001) and Interim Associate Dean for the School of Education (1998). In 2000, Clark spearheaded the University of Wisconsin's interdepartmental visual culture initiatives, resulting in three hires, an international conference, a transdisciplinary center, and a PhD minor.
Since the 1980s, Clark has made large-scale, site-specific installations and solo and collaborative performances, single-channel and multi-channel video works, and virtual environments. Early on, her work was featured as historically significant venues including Franklin Furnace, Randolph Street Gallery, WARM Gallery, and the 139 shows and performances in 35 countries on five continents. Her work has been recognized with funding from the Art Matters, Arts Midwest, Film in the Cities, Jerome Foundation, McKnight Foundation, National Endowment for the Arts, and the Wisconsin Arts Board and roughly one hundred reviews in newspapers and periodicals.
Over the years, recurring themes in Clark's work are gender and ethnicity, the nexus of employment and unemployment, and the persistence of material culture into the electronic era. Clark also collaborates with Michael Peterson under the group name Spatula&Barcode on creative projects that explore hospitality and discourse.
Parallel with her creative practice, Clark has published critical and scholarly essays in print journals including Theatre Topics (2003), TDF (2011), Performance Research (2008-2011), electronic journals including Flow TV (2009) and Performance Paradigm (2009), and anthologies including Performance and Place (Palgave 2006), Blaze (Cambridge 2007), The Object Reader (Routledge 2008) The Art of Truth Telling After Authoritarian Rule (Wisconsin 2005), The Memory Market in Latin America (Duke 2011). She has lectured all over the United States and in Argentina, Brasil, Croatia, Germany, Ghana, Englad, Indonesia, Korea, the Netherlands, Portugal, Singapore, and Wales.
Since 2001, Clark has been working on a global comparative study of trauma memorials. The monograph in progress Always Already Again: Trauma Tourism and the Politics of Memory Culture includes research on apartheid memories in South African, atomic bomb sites in Japan, clandestine torture centers in Argentina and Chile, commemoration of the American War in Vietnam, concentration camps in Germany and Poland, genocide memorials in Rwanda and Cambodia, and slave forts in Ghana.