Category Archives: Lise Patt

Lise Patt is a visual researcher, educator, and founder of the Institute of Cultural Inquiry. For over 25 years, she has treated collaboration as her primary ‘art medium,’ utilizing its principles and practices in the development of two non-profits and in ongoing projects such as Traumbagger, The Manual of Lost Ideas and the AIDS Chronicles, all of which explore entrenched technologies that operate in the gaps between visual and written sign systems. She has written and lectured on museum projects that push at the edges of traditional display paradigms including the Museum of Jurassic Technology in Los Angeles and Guillermo Gomez-Peña’s multi-sited ‘museum interventions. With collaborators, through travels and without photographs, she is currently building a post-Barthesian and post-Peircian theory of photography that begins with dust and includes (but does not end with) film.


Forget Foucault
AIDS Chronicles
AIDS Bottle Project

ICI Publications:

2007 Searching for Sebald
2001 Benjamin’s Blind Spot & The Manual of Lost Ideas
1997 Bataille’s Eye & ICI Field Notes 4

Field Projects:

1993 Wunderkammern: Salzburg, Wien, Guggingen, Praha, Dresden, Berlin, Bochum, Köln
1999 Museums of Remembering: Berlin, Krakow, Ausschwitz, Praha, Venezia
2004 Searching for Sebald: London, Oxford, Lowestoft, Southwold, Dunwich
2012 Barthesisan Musings: London, Gränna, Sweden

A Forger’s Life at the ICI

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Adolfo Kaminsky, A Forger’s Life (DoppelHouse Press) is the gripping true story of the author’s father deemed “worthy of the best spy novels” ( and featured in the short documentary The Forger produced by The New York Times. The book … Continue reading

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AIDS Chronicles 1995


Status: COMPLETED Cover artist and binder: Esteban Chavez S. This edition comprises four portfolios each of which holds Chronicle pages that have been hand-sewn together in an accordion fashion. New York-based Chavez S. used a photogravure process to create the … Continue reading

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ICI Director in Conference


 ICI Director, Lise Patt, will be participating in a career roundtable discussion as part of an upcoming one-day conference that “will explore how the human body and its experiences of illness are imagined and made visible in medical research, practice, … Continue reading

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Craig Owens by John Galt


For most artists of a certain age they can remember the first time the public discourse on HIV suddenly became personal through the death of a loved one, a diagnosis of a friend or a long afternoon as an HIV … Continue reading

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ICI at San Francisco Art Institute


Lise Patt, Founder and Director of the ICI, & Deborah Cullen, our Board President, traveled north to lecture at the San Francisco Art Institute on March 25, 2011 as part of the school’s Graduate Lecture Series. The pair presented “Collective … Continue reading

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We have just added Urÿonstelaii by Pablo Helguera to the ICI Library. Helguera contributed to our Searching for Sebald publication and the limited artist project associated with that book. His latest book recounts a tale about a mysterious sect of … Continue reading

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Searching for Sebald: Photography After W. G. Sebald (2007)


Searching for Sebald: Photography After W. G. Sebald is a collection of original essays and visual projects inspired by the work of W. G. Sebald. The interest in Sebald has crossed disciplines, igniting passionate dialogue among and between scholars and … Continue reading

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