Cristóbal Martínez, Chair of Art and Technology Program at San Francisco Art Institute in conversation with Mitra Abbaspour, Haskell Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art at the Princeton University Art Museum with an introduction by Martha Friedman, Director of the Program in Visual Arts in the Lewis Center for the Arts.

Multimedia artist Cristóbal Martínez returns to campus (virtually) for a conversation about his practice as a member of the indigenous artist collectives Postcommodity, Radio Healer, and Red Culebra, and the lessons interdisciplinary, collaborative, and socially engaged art can offer in the context of the present moment.

The conversation is free and open to the public; registration encouraged.

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Presented in partnership by the Princeton University Art Museum and the Lewis Center for the Arts



cristobal wearing glasses long dark hair seated in shadow

Photo courtesy Cristóbal Martinez

Cristóbal Martínez is an artist, publishing scholar, and Chair of the Art and Technology Program at the San Francisco Art Institute. In 2003 he founded the artist-hacker performance ensemble Radio Healer, and in 2009 he began working in the interdisciplinary and internationally acclaimed artist collective Postcommodity. In 2018 he co-founded, with post-Mexican composer Guillermo Galindo, the experimental electronic music duet Red Culebra. Martínez has dedicated his life and career to interdisciplinary collaboration in contemporary art, and continues his work as an artist within the aforementioned groups. In collaboration, he positions generative metaphors to aestheticize and mediate complexity within sites of dromological, spatial, social, cultural, political, ecological, and economic anxiety. Martínez aspires to make poetic and idea driven art that re-imagines sites of contest, controversy, conflict, and consequence into places of (joint) curiosity. His aim in collaboration is to catalyze public generative inquiry and deliberations for building, recovering, circulating, and connecting knowledge, meaning, and memories. By creating work that renders legible our human dilemmas, social amnesia, taboos, fears, desires, and hungers, he challenges societies to overcome the instinct to oversimplify reality. Martínez describes his work as providing the grounds for transformative experiences that reveal the incongruences embedded within our places, memories, amnesias, behaviors, knowledge, beliefs, ideologies, assumptions, choices, philosophies, relationships, and worldviews.

Cristóbal has exhibited work in prominent national and international museums, exhibitions, and festivals including the 18th Biennale of Sydney, Sundance Film Festival, Adelaide International, Contour the 5th Biennale of the Moving Image, Nuit Blanche, Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art, Museum of Modern Art, 2017 Whitney Biennial, Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, Art in General, documenta14, the 57th Carnegie International, Art Institute of Chicago, San Francisco Art Institute, LAXArt, Minneapolis Art Institute, and the historic land art installation Repellent Fence at the U.S./Mexico border Near Douglas, AZ and Agua Prieta, SON. In 2015 Martinez completed his PhD in Rhetoric, Composition, and Linguistics at Arizona State University.


mitra in pink top short brown hair

Photo courtesy Princeton University Art Museum

Mitra Abbaspour joined the Princeton University Art Museum in 2016. She previously served as an Associate Curator in the Department of Photography at The Museum of Modern Art and an Assistant Curator at the California Museum of Photography, in addition to having served as a guest curator for a number of exhibitions at various institutions. Exhibitions she has curated or co-curated at the Museum include Helen Frankenthaler Prints: Seven Types of Ambiguity (2019), Frank Stella Unbound: Literature and Printmaking (2018), Making History Visible: Of American Myths and National Heroes (2017) and, selections of previous work includes, Re-Orientations: Islamic Art and the West in the 18th and 19th Centuries (2008), Lori Nix: Some Other Place (2003-04) One Ground: 4 Palestinian & 4 Israeli Filmmakers (2003), and Common Borders: Casa Blanca, Riverside and La Frontera (2002).

At MoMA, she led the curatorial branch of an interdisciplinary research initiative that resulted in the print and digital publications Object : Photo: Modern Photographs 1909-1945She has authored numerous essays on contemporary artists in this field, most recently contributing to monographs of Reza ArameshLalla EssaydiDor GuezHassan Hajjaj, and Shirin Neshat and has also taught courses both in her specialization, the modern and contemporary Middle East and, general area specializations—Islamic art, modern art, and the history of photography—at The Cooper Union, Hunter College, and Brooklyn College.


martha friedman

Photo by Paola Ferrario/Art in America

Martha Friedman is a New York-based sculptor who works with solid and plastic materials to form, deform and test the boundaries of the physical world. Often building towering sculptures out of unstable materials, interjected with malleable elements, the works are infused with a sense of subverted ambition, precariousness, irony, and humor. Friedman’s recent works have included collaborations with choreographers and dancers Susan Marshall and Silas Riener, extending her work into a visceral and flexible dimension, exploring material sculpture, the human body, and the relationships that can exist between the two.

Friedman began teaching at Princeton in 2009, and was appointed full time Lecturer in 2011. Friedman served as Acting Director of the Visual Arts Program 2013-14, and was appointed Director of the Program in July 2017.  She teaches introductory and advanced sculpture courses, and the program seminars for majors, providing foundation for their thesis projects. With Susan Marshall, Friedman has twice co-taught “Body as Object”, an innovative course on the intersection of sculpture and dance. Friedman has previously taught at institutions including Cooper Union, Mason Gross School of the Arts at Rutgers University, Wesleyan University, and Yale University.

Friedman’s work has been reviewed in publications including Art in America, Artforum, The New York Times, The New Yorker, Modern Painters, Hyperallergic and others. Solo exhibitions of her work have been held at The Henry Museum, Seattle, WA (2018-2019), The Andrea Rosen Gallery, New York (2017); Institute of Fine Arts New York University, New York (2016-17); Locust Projects, Miami (2015-16); Wallspace, New York (2012, 2009, 2007); the Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit, MI (2010); DeCordova Museum and Sculpture Park, Lincoln, MA (2010); and Shane Campbell Gallery, Chicago, IL (2010). Her work has been included in numerous group exhibitions, nationally and internationally. Select examples include Frieze New York Sculpture Park, curated by Tom Eccles, New York; Museum on the Seam, Jerusalem, Israel Museo D’Arte Contemporanea Roma, Rome; and The Garage Museum of Contemporary Art, Moscow. A solo exhibition of Friedman’s work is forthcoming at Jessica Silverman Gallery in San Francisco.

Born in Detroit, Friedman earned her BFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 1998 and her MFA from Yale University School of Art in 2003. Friedman lives and works in Greenpoint, Brooklyn.

Presented By

  • Lewis Center for the Arts
  • Program in Visual Arts
  • Princeton University Art Museum