About Gateway

Gateway was the community newsletter of Pratt Institute published monthly by the Office of Communications, in the Division of Institutional Advancement through spring 2014. For current Pratt-related news, visit the News page on Pratt’s website.


Faculty Focus

Gregg Horowitz

Chair, Department of Social Science and Cultural Studies


What drew you to Pratt after 17 years teaching philosophy at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee?

I was a filmmaker before I came to academia and, while I can’t deny that I am now a critical philosopher to the bone, I have never lost the conviction that philosophy and many other humanistic and social scientific disciplines can thrive when undertaken adjacent to the arts. At Vanderbilt, in addition to training PhDs in philosophy, aesthetics, and German intellectual history, I was an affiliated faculty member in the Department of Art.  The social sciences and humanities play a central role in Pratt’s mission to educate artists broadly, but what made Pratt especially appealing to me was the independent status of the School of Liberal Arts and Sciences.

How do you like living in New York City after so many years in the South?

I’m thrilled to be here, but I must say that Nashville is a complex and urbane city that defies the common perception of many New Yorkers of a single, homogeneous place down there called ‘the South.’ The differences between the major cities of the South and New York have diminished significantly over the last 25 years. I wrote my PhD at Rutgers, my family is from Brooklyn and the Catskills, and I spent three-plus months each year in New York while living in Nashville. The move to New York is therefore something of a homecoming for me.

Your background in philosophy provides a more academic perspective on aesthetics and the idea of the critique. How do you feel that will impact teaching and learning at Pratt, which tend to be very hands-on?

This is such a complicated question! My most honest answer is: I need to wait and see. I’ve had what I think of as a fairly broad range of experiences — for an academic — of art teaching. I’ve participated in crits, helped develop syllabi and curricula for art programs, worked with academic artists on how to introduce critical themes into their classrooms, and so on. There is a wide range of points of view on the value of the academic perspective in teaching art and design. My teaching experience has taught me that the borders between teaching art and teaching aesthetics, while by no means inconsequential, are nonetheless porous. Among the students I’ve taught over the past 25 years, artists, writers, composers, and musicians have, in their own ways, profited from studying philosophy as much as anyone.

What is the focus of your current research?

I’m working on two concurrent book projects. The one nearest completion is called Old Media, which examines the post-history – the ‘afterlife’, so to speak – of media such as ventriloquism, cut silhouette, and other media that died off when superseded by other media and have receded from official histories of the visual arts. The other project is on Freud and political authority. I am fascinated by the ways in which political authority reappears, in distorted but inescapable form, in the analytic consulting room. In this sense, my Freud book is, in its own way, also about the afterlife. But as Freud once said, solving problems is a lot like cracking walnuts: It’s easier if you do it two at a time!

What do you do for fun?

I love to cook. I also have a slightly crazy and obsessive interest in wine, although my friends don’t complain about it too much. These pastimes, I confess, are also touched by my intellectual concerns, since food and wine, too, are afterlives of products of the earth. Catching up on old movies on big screens, instead of on television, is one of my major pleasures; you’ll find me at Film Forum or Anthology Film Archives probably three nights a week. I also spend some time every year at the seashore, which is the one place I am able to drift and dream unimpeded, and in Berlin, which is my second favorite city on the planet.          

Photo by Diana Pau


Faculty News and Notes

Jeff Bellantoni, chair, Graduate Communications/Package Design, and Visiting Assistant Professors of Graduate Communications Design Sandi Maxa and Mark Sanders spoke at the 4th International Conference on Typography and Visual Communication at the University of Nicosia in Cyprus this June. 

Theoharis David, professor, Undergraduate Architecture, will be featured in “Encounters: A Walking Movie” as part of Cyprus’ participation in the Venice Architectural Biennale through November 21.

Tom Dolle, adjunct professor, Graduate Communications/Package Design, will jury this year’s University & College Designers Association (UCDA) annual competition; winners will be announced at the UCDA Design Conference from October 2 – 5 in Minneapolis. 

Mary D. Edwards
, adjunct professor, History of Art and Design, was the plenary speaker at the Ninth Annual Georgia Undergraduate Art History Forum at Wesleyan College on March 19; her talk was titled “Straight and Without Deviation: The Mission of Saint Lucy as Told in Fresco by Altichiero, 1379-84.”

Marianna Ellenberg, visiting instructor, Digital Arts, performed “Just Now, Right Now” at Momenta Art gallery in Brooklyn on June 6.

Dr. Frima Fox Hofrichter
, professor, History of Art and Designt, was recently named to the College Art Association’s Distinguished Feminist Awards Committee until 2013. She currently serves on CAA’s Committee for Women in the Arts. Hofrichter also spoke about Dutch artist Jan Miense Molenaer’s Artist’s Studio at the Historians of Netherlandish Art (HNA) Conference in Amsterdam this summer. 

Deb Johnson, academic director, Sustainability, and visiting associate professor, Graduate Center for Planning, recently juried UncommonGoods’ YouGoods open design Eco-Invention contest. For more information on this year’s contest, visit uncommongoods.com/yougoods.

Hoon Kim, visiting assistant professor, Graduate Communications Design, participated in the 24th International Biennial of Graphic Design Brno, 2010 and was also awarded the National Endowment for the Arts New “Art Works” Logo contest and $25,000. Works by Kim were recently featured in Data Flow 2 (Gestalten, 2010).

Joshua Longo, visiting instructor, Industrial Design, designed monsters for German advertising agency VCCP, which will appear in commercials, online advertisements, and in-store displays. Longo will also be exhibiting a solo show at RA space in Antwerp this November. 

Screen shot of a cell phone commercial on German TV, featuring one of Joshua Longo's monsters, Courtesy of the artist
Scott Menchin
, adjunct associate professor, Graduate Communications Design, illustrated Rescue Bunnies by Doreen Cronin, which was published on August 31, 2010 by HarperCollins.

Illustration from Rescue Bunnies, Courtesy of Scott Menchin

Adele Rossetti Morosini, adjunct assistant professor, Math and Science, created works for the Brooklyn Botanic Garden Florilegium Society’s “Portraits of a Garden” which will be on display at the Shirley Sherwood Gallery in the Royal Botanic Garden, London through January 3, 2011.

Adele Rossetti Morosini, Helleborus Niger, 2010, watercolor and mixed media, 12 x 16 inches
Mendi Obadike
, assistant professor, Humanities and Media Studies, completed a residency with the Center for Integrated Media at CalArts and Deep End Ranch and also installed a site-specific sound installation “Sonic Mbari” with her collaborator Keith Obadike at Project Row Houses in Houston, Texas.

Mary Buckley Parriott
 was honored in a Memorial Service in June at St. John the Divine. The former Pratt professor and painter passed away in March. Parriott taught at Pratt for more than 30 years, helping develop the Foundation Arts curriculum, including the course “Light, Color, and Design.” When she retired in 1992, she was named professor emerita and Pratt Institute distinguished professor. Parriott and her husband, Joseph Marshall Parriott, who taught in Pratt’s Department of Industrial Design, endowed a scholarship for the School of Art and Design. 

Dr. Joyce C. Polistena, associate professor, History of Art and Design, presented a paper titled “The Romantic Impulse for Scenes of The Passion and the Collective Ambition of the Bourgeoisie,” at the Association of Scholars of Christianity in the History of Art (ASCHA) Symposium “History, Continuity, and Rupture” in Paris from May 25 – 31.

Concetta M. Stewart, dean, School of Art and Design, edited Teaching and Learning with Technology: Beyond Constructivism with Catherine Schifter and Melissa Markaridian Selverian (Routledge, 2010).

Debbie Rabina, assistant professor, School of Information and Library Science, has been appointed as a new member of the Depository Library Council, which advises the Public Printer on policy matters relating to the Federal Depository Library Program.  

Jack Toolin, visiting assistant professor, History of Art and Design, exhibited “Perfect View” at Chelsea Art Museum from August 5 – September 2.

Anne Turyn, adjunct professor, Film/Video & Photography, is exhibiting works at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, as part of “Between Here and There” through February 13, 2011. Her work is also on display at The Museum of Modern Art, New York, as part of “Pictures by Women: A History of Modern Photography” through March 21, 2011.