Jessica Santone Faculty Profile

Photo of Jessica Santone

Jessica  Santone

Associate Professor

Department of Art

Jessica Santone teaches courses on contemporary art and visual studies, primarily from North America. She often approaches art with particular attention to the socio-cultural circumstances of the work's making and its reception. As a result, she's interested in a number of important interpretive lenses in relation to recent art practice, including: environmental humanities, feminist theory, critical race art history, phenomenology, and new materialism. While her courses survey a broad range of art and design practices, Santone favors performance art, social practice, installation, public art, media art, and forms of visual activism. Her teaching emphasizes active and embodied learning; critical reading and writing; and skill development over content-based learning. Recent course topics have included: Climate Emergency & Environmental JusticeMedia Art & MediationArt & Publics, and Pedagogical Art & Social Practice; she regularly teaches Race and Representation in American Art as well.

Recent research has focused on pedagogical art (when teaching and learning become the forms and/or topics of performance and social practice), and follows from many years of studying performance art and its documentation and audiences. Building on new work developed during a 2022-23 sabbatical research fellowship in "Art, Data, and Environment/s," funded by the National Science Foundation, and based at University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Jessica is currently developing a book that examines and pedagogical art related to science and climate. By tackling science and climate topics through their social projects, performances, and networks, artists aim to challenge dominant ways of knowing; they invite participating publics to consider feminist, queer, or anti-colonial approaches to science and environment; they blur disciplinary boundaries of knowledge; and they question how people come to know about the world around them, ultimately expanding publics of both art engagement and environmental studies.

  • PhD Art History, McGill University
  • MA Humanities, University of Chicago
  • BA History, University of Maryland College Park
Spring Semester 2024
Course #SecCourse TitleDaysFromToLocationCampus
ART 32601Contemporary IARRWEB-ASYNCHHayward Campus
ART 42601Contemporary IITTH11:00AM12:15PMAE-0160Hayward Campus
ART 42602Contemporary IITU9:30AM10:45AMAE-0160Hayward Campus
ART 493G01Art History Senior ProjectARRWEB-ASYNCHHayward Campus

2021. “The Feminist Consciousness Raising Circle as Pedagogical Form in Suzanne Lacy and Julia London’s Freeze Frame (1982).” RACAR: Revue d'art canadienne / Canadian Art Review 46, no. 1 (Spring): 44-58; Refereed

2019. “Walking in 2018.” Burlington Contemporary. January 31.

2017. Review of Radical women: Latin American Art 1960-1985. Burlington Magazine 159, no. 1377 (December): 1026-27.

2017. Review of E. Carpenter, ed., On Performativity (2014). Art Bulletin 99, no. 2 (June 2017): 381-84.

2017. “Mapping the Viewer’s Perception.” In Nayda Collazo-Llorens: Comfortably Numb, edited by Nayda Collazo-Llorens, 5-18. exhibition catalogue. Allendale, MI: Grand Valley State University Art Gallery. Available at:

2016. with Christian Berger. Special Issue: “Documentation as Art Practice in the 1960s.” Visual Resources: an International Journal of Documentation 32, no. 3-4 (December): 201-09; doi: 10.1080/01973762.2016.1241030.

2016. “Documentation as Group Activity: Performing the Fluxus Network.” Visual Resources: an International Journal of Documentation 32, no. 3-4 (December): 263-81; doi: 10.1080/01973762.2016.1239040Refereed

2016. “Fidelity to the Earth-Body: Violeta Luna’s 35th Floor.” CSPA Quarterly 15 (December): 20-27. Available at:

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

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

'Plants as Teachers: Pedagogical Gardens as Socially Engaged Art Practices,' Center for Great Plains Studies Interdisciplinary Conference: Plant to Table: Food Production, Culture, and Consequences on the Great Plains, Lincoln, NE, April 2023.

'Urban Dirt and Environmental Justice,' Midwest Art History Society, Milwaukee, WI, March 2023.

Session: 'Storytelling for Stoichiometry Research and Data,' Participatory workshop co-developed with Vaughn Bell, Conference on Biological Stoichiometry, Lincoln, Nebraska, March 2023.

'Centering Indigenous Knowledges and Fostering Intimate Learning as Strategies for Climate Justice Art,' CAA Annual Conference, New York, February 2023.

'Gardening as Education and Healing in San Francisco.' University Art Association of Canada, Toronto, October 2022.

'Becoming Art History & Visual Studies: A Curricular Strategy of Emergence at a State University,' CAA Annual Conference, February 2021.

'Choreographing the Pedagogical Situation: Suzanne Lacy’s Performances of the 1980s,' University Art Association of Canada, Québec, October 2019.

‘On a Beneficial (Útil) Art History to Come: Art History As the Future Not the Past.’ College Art Association, Los Angeles, February 2018.

‘The Impromptu Classroom as Refuge and Space of Emergence in Time of Crisis.’ University Art Association of Canada, Banff, October 2017.

‘Cycles of Teaching Collaborative Creativity.’ Society for Literature, Science, and the Arts, Atlanta, November 2016.

‘Learner-Participants in Pedagogical Socially Engaged Art.’ University Art Association of Canada, Montreal, October 2016.

‘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. 

 ‘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.

Art, Data, and Environment/s Postdoctoral Research Fellowship, funded by National Science Foundation, 2022-23, University of Nebraska-Lincoln

Gaining Ground Summer Research Grant, 2016, Cal State East Bay

Department Service

Lecturer Support Committee, 2023-24

Faculty Advising Fellow, January 2021-22

Outreach Committee, 2016-22 (chair, 2018-22)

Curriculum Committee, 2018-22

Graduate Committee, 2020-21

Gallery Advisory Committee, 2016-21 (chair, 2016-17; helped to organize the Spring 2020 and Spring 2021 virtual Awards and Graduates Recognition Celebrations)

Assessment Committee, 2017-19, 2021-22 (chair, 2017-18)

Summer Chair, May-August 2019

Tenure Track Search Committee, 2018-19

ASC Search Committee, Summer 2018


College Service

Committee on Sustainability, CLASS Representative, 2023-25

Committee on Instruction and Curriculum, CLASS Representative, 2020-22

Writing Skills Subcommittee for Curriculum and Instruction Committee, CLASS Representative, 2016-22 (co-chair, 2018-19; secretary, 2019-21)


University Service

GE Assessment Project to Develop Second Composition, 2018



Service to the Profession

External Reviewer for granting agencies  

Peer Reviewer for four journals


Other Service

CSUEB Chapter of CFA Council on Racial and Social Justice, 2019-21

Alameda Recreation and Parks Commission Ad-hoc Park Naming Committee (to rename Jackson Park to Chochenyo Park), 2020-21

Guest Lecture Series for Museum Education, Docent Training: 19th Century Art of California; Turn of the Century Art in California; Bay Area Figurative Art; Beats and Funk Art; Performance Art; Outsider and Self-Taught Art, Oakland Museum of California, January-March 2017; December 2017

Curatorial Activities:

2023. Co-curated with Katie Anania, Dorota Biczel, and Karen Kunc (thematic development, artist selection, installation, and events). Approaching Water: an exhibition of artists who engage with water as substance or social condition. Constellation Studios, March 8-April 29, Lincoln, Nebraska. Exhibition statement: Promotional interview for Nebraska Public Media (starting at 06:45):

2020. Curated (virtual install and organized series of artist talks). Fall 2020 Faculty & Staff Exhibition: Making & Seeing during Covid-19. CSUEB University Art Gallery, hosted virtually at the At a Distance Gallery, September 10-October 16. Available online: Related artist talk moderated, with Trinie Dalton & Sian Geraghty, October 8, 2020, available here:

2019. Contributed curatorial statement and study guide. Picturing Identity, curated by Nicole White. Diablo Valley College Art Gallery, March 6-27.

2018. Co-curated with students in Fall 2018 Contemporary Visual Studies I: Art and Publics. Board in Class. CSUEB University Art Gallery, November 27-December 6.

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