Bureau for Open Culture, founded by James Voorhies in 2007, is a curatorial practice, philosophy and strategy that inhabits and connects with institutions, designers and publishers to realize projects with artists and writers. The projects are realized in collaboration with Nate Padavick, forging intersections among art, design, education, and consumer culture while rethinking and pushing against the way institutions address and engage spectators.
James Voorhies is a curator and art historian of modern and contemporary art. He is Dean of Fine Arts, Acting Chair of the Graduate Program in Curatorial Practice, and Associate Professor of Contemporary Art at California College of the Arts in San Francisco. Prior to CCA, he was the John R. and Barbara Robinson Family Director of the Carpenter Center for the Visual Arts at Harvard University where he conceived and directed a contemporary arts program dedicated to the synthesis of art, design, and education through exhibition of existing works and production of new commissions. His writing has appeared in publications by Texte zur Kunst, Frieze, Harvard Design Magazine, Sternberg Press, and Printed Matter, plus many artist monographs and exhibition catalogues. Voorhies has taught contemporary art and curatorial practice in the Department of Visual and Environmental Studies at Harvard, art and public space at the Graduate School of Design, Harvard University, and art history and critical theory at Bennington College in Vermont. He holds a Ph.D. in modern and contemporary art history from The Ohio State University and is the founder of Bureau for Open Culture. His book Beyond Objecthood: The Exhibition as a Critical Form since 1968 was published by MIT Press in 2017. Research for his new book Binding Agents: Toward an Aesthetic of the Postcolonial in Contemporary Exhibition has received support from the Graham Foundation and Etant donnés Contemporary Art.
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