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International artists to visit CSU-Pueblo gallery and classrooms

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Nastja Säde Rönkkö tattoos the words “You. Now. Wow.” onto Shia LaBeouf’s arm as part of a collaboration with the actor. | Photo courtesy of FACT Liverpool

Two artists known for working with actor Shia LaBeouf will be at Colorado State University-Pueblo Jan. 18-29 to exhibit their collaborative projects and visit with classes. The events are free and open to the public.

Nastja Säde Rönkkö and Luke Turner, who have collaborated with LaBeouf on numerous multi-disciplinary art projects, will display their artwork in the CSU-Pueblo Fine Art Gallery Jan. 18-29, Monday through Friday, from 10:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.

The exhibit will, in large part, display the artists’ collaboration, which “explores the nature of empathy, identity and vulnerability, amplified by the particulars of an individual under constant public gaze,” according to a CSU-Pueblo news release.

LaBeouf has starred in movies such as “Fury,” “Disturbia” and three of the “Transformers” movies, and has more recently worked with Rönkkö and Turner on numerous art projects.

The artists are set to give a presentation on Jan. 22 from 5 to 6:30 p.m. in the Library and Academic Resources Center, Room 109, and will be present at a public reception Jan. 28 in the Fine Art Gallery from 5 to 7 p.m.

Assistant philosophy professor Andrew Corsa, who helped organize the event along with associate art professor Caroline Peters, will give a presentation on Jan. 26 from 6 to 7:30 p.m. in LARC 109 about “the artists’ work in relation to philosophical problems concerning authorship and group cognition,” the news release said.

Over the course of two weeks, the artists will also visit a handful of classes at CSU-Pueblo. Art students, for example, will produce artwork based on the discussion with the artists, and English students will write about the students’ artwork.

Philosophy classes will also interact with the artists and discuss “the philosophy of art and how it is relevant to contemporary art,” the release said.

The events were organized with the help of the art, philosophy, political science and history departments, along with the honors program. Corsa and Peters were also able to secure a grant from Maestro Program at CSU-Pueblo, which focuses on hands-on teaching and learning.

The artists’ website, thecampaignbook.com, displays several of the group’s recent projects. The most recent project, called “#TOUCHMYSOUL,” took place in December.

During the project, the artists posted a phone number online and greeted whoever called with saying, “You have reached LaBeouf, Rönkkö and Turner. Can you touch me soul?” The goal of the project was to seek “human connection through art and technology,” the release said.

At the end of the project, Rönkkö tattooed the words “You. Now. Wow.” onto LaBeouf’s arm as a reflection of words taken from a conversation.

A culmination of the conversation was recorded on a Google Document and is available at touchmysoul.net.