Jessica Santone

Assistant Professor

Department of Art

(510) 885-3325
AE 1215A
Office Hours:
Mon/Wed 12-1:30 pm
No photo is available for the faculty member.

Jessica Santone teaches courses on Modern and Contemporary Art. She specializes in the history and theory of contemporary performance art, with secondary interests in media and cultural studies, critical theory, visual studies, and gender studies. Her courses have addressed a range of topics, including: twentieth century art, performance audiences, gender and sexuality, postwar archival and information systems, the impact of globalization on contemporary art, and theories of community and participation. Her teaching emphasizing active and embodied learning in project-based study. Before coming to Cal State East Bay in fall 2015, Jessica taught at University of Kentucky, University of Houston, School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Columbia College Chicago, and Kalamazoo College.

Professional Focus

Jessica Santone's research focuses on histories of contemporary performance art since 1960. She is developing her first book manuscript, "Archiving Participation: Documenting Performance Variations in the Fluxus Movement, 1962-78," on the archival strategies of Fluxus artists who were eager to show in their projects the diversity of the Fluxus group and the significance of their communal ties across global distances. 

Research interests: contemporary art history; audience and reception studies; postcolonial, feminist, and queer theories; performance art, conceptual art, Fluxus, participatory art, and social practice; history of science; documentation; fandom; networks; cybernetics


  • PhD Art History, McGill University
  • MA Humanities, University of Chicago
  • BA History, University of Maryland College Park


Fall Quarter 2016
Course #SecCourse TitleDaysFromToLocationCampusTextbook Info
ART 303501Modern ArtTTH10:00AM11:50AMAE-1203Hayward Campus View Books
ART 322701Women in ArtTTH4:00PM5:50PMAE-0160Hayward Campus View Books


2015. “Excavating Performance Contexts.” [Review of M. Widrich, Performative Monuments (2014)] Performance Research 20, no. 3 (June): 179-80; doi: 10.1080/13528165.2015.1049061.

2015. “Le spectateur illuminé – La documentation de la performance comme boucle de rétroaction.” [The Audience is Illuminated: Performance Documentation as Feedback Loop.] Trans. Aude Tincelin. In Recréer/scripter: Mémoires et transmissions des œuvres performatives et chorégraphiques contemporaines, edited by Anne Bénichou, 131-49. Dijon: Les Presses du Réel.

2015. “Otherness and Empathy: Performing Affective Pedagogy,” Gulf Coast: A Journal of Literature and Fine Arts 27, no. 1 (Winter/Spring): 211-19.

2014. “Archiving Fluxus Performances in Mieko Shiomi’s Spatial Poem.” In Across the Great Divide: Modernism’s Intermedialities: From Futurism to Fluxus, edited by Christopher Townsend, Alexandra Trott, and Rhys Davies, 120-36. Newcastle upon Tyne: Cambridge Scholars Publishing.

2014. “The Economics of the Performative Audience.” Performance Research 19, no. 6 (December): 30-36; doi: 10.1080/13528165.2014.985089. Refereed

2014. “Teaching Intermedia: Body, Community, and Site.” In Anti-Academy, edited by Joan Giroux, 59-69. Southampton: University of Southampton; John Hansard Gallery.

2013. “Audiences and Publics of Performance.” [Review of F. Ward, No Innocent Bystanders (2012)] Art Journal 72, no. 4: 88-90.

2013. with Francis Summers. “Abramović, Marina.” Grove Art Online. Oxford Art Online. Oxford University Press.

2013. “Witnessing as Critical Response: LaToya Ruby Frazier.” Glasstire: Texas Visual Art. 14 September.

2012. “Shifting Cognitive Tasks: Reading/Viewing Complexity.” 2 November.

2012. “The Circulation of the Event: Performance During and After Documentation.” In Revisiting Ephemera, edited by Ahlia Moussa and Simon Bentley, 15-26. London, Ontario: McIntosh Gallery Curatorial Study Centre and Blue Medium Press.

2012. “AIDS, Cultural Memory, and Performing with Archives: An Interview with Dan Fishback.” In Circulation: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Media, Arts, Politics 2: 7-18;

2009. with Will Straw. “Editorial: Cultural Memory and Digital Preservation.” Special Issue, Convergence: The International Journal of Research into New Media Technologies 15, no. 3: 259-62.

2008. “Learning to Document More.” DPI: Studio XX Electronic Review 13. October.

2008. “Marina Abramović’s Seven Easy Pieces: Critical Documentation Strategies for Preserving Art’s History.” Leonardo 41, no. 2: 147-52. Refereed

2003. “cyborg.” Theories of Media Glossary. edited by W.J.T. Mitchell. Last modified 2004.


‘Art History as Practice, Not Data Set.’ College Art Association Annual Conference, Washington, DC, February 2016.

Moderator: ‘Interrogations: Gender and Performativity.’ Rapid Pulse International Performance Art Festival, Chicago, June 2015.

Co-organized with Rae Goodwin: Audience Appeals and Performing Assistance Conference. One-day symposium. University of Kentucky, 17 April 2015. Available online:            

Co-chair with Gyewon Kim: ‘Documenting in the Sixties: Politics, Techniques and Archives.’ Panellists: Matthias Pfaller, Christian Berger, Samantha Epps, Marco Pasqualini de Andrade. Presented paper: ‘Documentation as Group Activity: Networking Fluxus Performances.’ Association of Art Historians Annual Conference, Norwich, April 2015.

Chair: ‘The Performative Audience of Contemporary Art.’ Panellists: Joanna Matuszak, Giovanna Bassi Cendra, Kanitra Fletcher, Indra Lacis. College Art Association Annual Conference, New York, February 2015.

‘Transmissions Between Audiences and Artists in Contemporary Performance.’ Society for Literature, Science, and the Arts, Dallas, October 2014.

‘Fans of Fluxus: Producers and Consumers of Performance.’ College Art Association Annual Conference, Chicago, February 2014.

‘The Economics of the Performative Audience.’ Southeastern College Art Conference, University of North Carolina, Greensboro, November 2013.

Co-chair with Milena Tomić: ‘Becoming-Image: Contemporary Performance and Its Formalization.’ Panellists: Barbara Clausen, Maud Jacquin, Anthea Black, Nicole Burisch. University Art Association of Canada, Banff Centre, October 2013.

‘Alain Badiou’s Theory of Events and the Problem of Performance Documentation.’ Performance Studies International 19, Stanford University, June 2013.

‘Performance Documentation as Feedback Loop and Adrian Piper’s Yogic Diet.’ Documenter Recréer/Between Documenting, Re-creating: Memories and Transmissions of Performance and Contemporary Dance Works, Université de Québec à Montréal, May 2013.

‘Whose Bodies Perform?’ Traversing the New: Climates and contours in 21st century Performance Practices, IN>TIME 13 Performance Symposium, Chicago, February 2013.

‘Acting out: Reenactment in the Art History Classroom.’ College Art Association Annual Conference, New York, February 2013.

‘Mapping Neural Connections: the ‘Mindscapes’ of Nayda Collazo-Llorens.’ University Art Association of Canada Annual Conference, Concordia University, Montreal, November 2012.

‘Translation as Interrupted Collaboration in Fluxus Performance.’ Association of Art Historians Annual Conference, The Open University, Milton Keynes (UK), March 2012.

‘Anonymity and Invisibility in 1960s Performance Documentation.’ Archive and Everyday Life Conference, McMaster University, Hamilton (Canada), May 2010. Available online:

 ‘A Recipe for Action: Continuous Re-interpretation in the Documentation of Alison Knowles’s Identical Lunch (1968-73).’ University Art Association of Canada Annual Conference, Nova Scotia College of Art and Design, Halifax, November 2006.

(with Tania Perlini) ‘L’esthétique de l’ambiguïté entre le dynamisme et l’immutabilité.’ ACFAS (Association francophone pour le savoir), McGill University, May 2006.

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