STYLE WARS: Three conversations on the power of style

“California Cool”

June 2, 2015
Doors + Music: 6 pm
Talk: 7–8 pm


Claire Daigle, Sampada Aranke, Ella Diaz, Genine Lentin, Nick Mitchell, Asuka Ohsawa, with moderator Nicole Archer.

“California Cool”: Why is it that certain forms of composure, and lifestyle seem eminently more possible in the California sun, outside the shadows of a place like New York? This conversation asks how space and style inform each other, and how ‘California’ has come earn the love of so many artists and musicians. From lowrider culture to Ed Ruscha, beatnik HOWLs to hip hop freestyles, participants will work to tell the Golden State’s story through a diverse set of cultural practices and imaginaries.


Musical performance at 6pm by artist Heng Wang.


Style Wars:

Yves Saint-Laurent once famously quipped that “fashion fades, style is eternal.” This enigmatic statement does much to elucidate the powerful place style holds in many contemporary cultures. In particular, it alerts us to the relationship that exists between notions of style and notions of history. Or, to the idea that “to have style” is to have the means of inserting oneself into history, while “to lack style” is to risk oblivion. Bearing Saint-Laurent’s words in mind, this series of critical conversations suggests that tracing style’s fluctuating features and movements across varied social, political, aesthetic, and philosophical terrains is serious work — and that this is particularly true within the realms of fine art, design, art history, and visual studies, as many important figures within these fields have come to both claim and contest the ownership of this term in dynamic ways.

A host of local writers, performers, theorists, and historians will come together on these three nights at the SFAQ Project space to present their thoughts on three very different styles, before entering into a critical, roundtable conversation amongst themselves and the audience.



449 O’Farrell St.
San Francisco, CA 94102
Friday–Saturday, 11–5:30pm