MFA in Visual Art

Dont Rhine / Faculty Co-Chair

Dont Rhine, Faculty Co-Chair, MFA in Visual Art

Dont Rhine co-founded the sound art collective Ultra-red in 1994. While the image determines much of our understanding of activist art, Ultra-red turns the focus to the ear.

Drawing on the traditions of popular education, conceptualism, and musique concrète, Ultra-red developed sound investigations with art audiences, community groups and political struggles. The collective currently has ten members based in Los Angeles, New York, Berlin, London and the rural Southwest of England. The collective works in a variety of medium including performance, sound composition, video, works on paper, poetry, and curriculum-development. They have been hosted by art institutions across North America and Europe, developing sound investigations alongside social movements for housing justice, anti-racism, the struggles of migration, gender and sexual rights, the dignity of the poor, and HIV/AIDS activism. In 2011, Ultra-red was selected to participate in the Creative Time, Living As Form exhibition and publication. The collective also took part in the performance program for the 2012 Whitney Biennial and are 2014 fellows with the Akademie der Kunste der Welt in Cologne, Germany. Dont has been a 2007 California Community Foundation fellow and a 2011 fellow with the City Of Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs. He is also a research fellow at the Social Practice Art Research Center at University of California, Santa Cruz.

Having taught at art schools around North America and Europe, Dont considers the MFA in Visual Art unique for the way it supports artists to develop place-based practices. Because of the "here and there" nature of the program, VCFA gives students the chance to insert their practices into conversations between local audiences and a global creative community. Dont's own art practice is very much informed by these sorts of conversations. For this reason, Dont has taught at VCFA since 2007 learning alongside its community of students, faculty and staff, investigating what it means to be an artist in today's world.