David Askevold: The California Years

The conceptual artist David Askevold employed video, photography and performance in his allusive explorations of both the natural and the cultural landscape. He used fragmented images and texts, collaborative performance, and chance to create implied narratives of suggestive power. He began teaching at the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design in 1968 where he helped shape that school’s conceptually oriented studio program. For his Projects Class he asked a group of New York based artists, including Lawrence Weiner, Robert Smithson, and Joseph Kosuth, to submit projects for his students to carry out.

He travelled to Los Angeles in 1976 to teach at UC Irvine, and while there he developed the piece he showed at LAICA the following year. By that time he was also teaching at CalArts, where he met and befriended a younger group of artists like Mike Kelley and Tony Oursler. Askevold and Kelley collaborated on The Poltergeist that was presented by Foundation Art Resources (FAR) in 1979.