Curatorial Research Bureau
Curatorial Research Bureau

Issue 6, Feb 2019

A monthly communiqué featuring news on programs, publications, exhibitions, students, and faculty with content and activities threaded together by a guiding theme.


In this issue

“Distribution as Practice”→ Stories of Almost EveryoneNext Spring→ L.A. Tenants Union HandbookSorry We Missed YouProphecy Hut: Before You Dig24.212820, -116.556410The ProofreaderThe Serving Library Annual 2017/18Limits to GrowthForeign ExchangeThe Downward SpiralFemisphere→ Julia Born→ Giorgio Angelini→  Constance Lewallen and Dore Bowen→ Josiah McElheny→ Case Studies: Laurel Doody Library Supply→ Kimberly David→ Maria Lind→ Walter Hood→ Weng Xiaoyu


A bookshop, a learning site, an exhibition and public program, Curatorial Research Bureau unites education and consumerism inside a contemporary arts institution, prioritizing context—of art, ideas, people, places, and things—as an active ingredient in the practice of curatorial research.

Curatorial Research Bureau at Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in San Francisco is the hub of learning for the California College of the Arts Graduate Program in Curatorial Practice.


Made possible with funding and support from California College of the Arts and Yerba Buena Center for the Arts. Produced by Bureau for Open Culture, in collaboration with Motto Books.

This Month

Spring term begins: We welcome graduate students and faculty to the space, inventory new books, prepare social media posts, communicate with guests about upcoming programs, organize travel, coordinate student workshops, build additional bookshelves, work on grant applications, and host unexpected visitors for late-afternoon coffees. The mix of people working, shopping, conversing, reading, writing—coming and going—casts the scene with a welcoming feeling. There is a hum. The CRB, illuminated by the raking sunlight of late winter, is now packed with more than 1000 titles from across the world. The books and range of activities combined with our programs and our graduate seminars account for different modes of knowledge production, different ways that learning happens at CRB.

“Distribution as Practice” is our theme this month. We view the CRB as a testing ground for thinking broadly about distribution, a platform for choreographing and connecting people, spaces, ideas and printed matter. Distribution as practice identifies, selects and organizes information—makes it legible, thus transforming it into knowledge. This is pertinent considering the deluge of images, words, data and sounds published each day. The practice of distribution can forge what one might call a distribution network, a committed audience that engages repeatedly because they find value in what is distributed. One can publish anything, today the question is how best to strategically disseminate ideas across platforms, getting them into the minds of consumers. Distribution as practice is a political position influencing what is organized and made available about a particular discipline, place, culture or field of study.  

With all this in mind, our Case Studies exhibition this month spotlights Laurel Doody Library Supply, a distribution project that strives to help artists and curators place their publications in long-term safekeeping and in the hands of more readers.

James Voorhies, Chair, CCA Graduate Program in Curatorial Practice

In the Bookshop


Selected CRB Programs

on View

Case Studies: Laurel Doody Library Supply

Our sixth Case Studies exhibition uses Laurel Doody Library Supply as a starting point to consider distribution as a form of critical practice.

California College of the Arts Seminar Highlight


Exhibition Design

This class positions exhibition-making as an interdisciplinary practice that lies at the heart of institutional design and programming. In addition to surveying the contemporary landscape of institutional structures, students will engage in the discourse around exhibition design and undertake collaborative, project-based opportunities to develop installation strategies, as well as consider techniques of visual and spatial design across all aspects of an exhibition’s manifestation, from display furniture and materials to the catalogue and publication.

From California College of the Arts Curatorial Practice

CCA Student

Kimberly David

CCA Faculty

Maria Lind


Walter Hood

CCA Alum

Weng Xiaoyu

On View at Institutions Nearby


California College of the Arts

K.r.m. Mooney


Yerba Buena Center for the Arts

Jessica Lang Dance


City Arts & Lectures

Rebecca Solnit


SomArts Cultural Center

Forever…Is Now: Experiments in Ritual Placemaking

CRB Dispatch Archive

Issue 1, Sep 2018: “Institution”
Issue 2, Oct 2018: “Audience”
Issue 3, Nov 2018: “Place”
Issue 4, Dec 2018: “Corporate Mentality”
Issue 5, Jan 2019: “Counter Education”
Issue 6, Feb 2019: “Distribution as Practice”