The Art & Law Program is a seminar-colloquium with a theoretical and philosophical focus on the effects of law and jurisprudence on cultural production and reception. An examination of how artistic practices challenge, rupture, and change the apparatus of law completes The Program. The Program consists of a nonpartisan community that aims to attract qualified individuals in the areas of visual art, architecture, criticism, art history, curating, and film. This list is non-exclusive. Artists with non-traditional practices are especially encouraged to apply, as are cultural producers interested in the cultural effects of law. The seminars are held at the Cornell Art Architecture Planning headquarters at 26 Broadway in New York City.

The spring 2017 term will run from February 4th to late-May and will take place in NYC. The fall 2017 term dates will be announced soon. The terms are separate and thus accepted fellows will attend only the term to which they applied (fall or spring).

Fellows of The Program meet once a week for a 3-hour seminar to discuss readings and visual materials with the Director of the Program, Sergio Muñoz Sarmiento, and/or with a guest seminar leader. Seminar leaders assign required readings and present ideas and materials relevant to their areas of practice. There is a particular emphasis on the understanding of legal cases, texts and materials through a close analysis of reading and writing. Through this analysis of legal structures and modes of thought, the Program aims to critique current artistic, curatorial, theoretical and art historical practices and methodologies. Conversely, the use of law and jurisprudence as theory, practice and medium is explored.

The Program does not focus on traditional and conventional critical theories (e.g., Marxism, post-structuralism, post-colonialism, psychoanalysis, etc.), but rather investigates how the philosophy and practice of law disturbs the critical theory establishment and creates a new space and discourse for aesthetic, cultural and intellectual practices. Topics covered include territoriality and space, legal structures and systems, law as medium, freedom of expression, tangible and intangible property, language and contracts, authority and authorship, markets and transactions, systems of value, morality and law, corporate entities, sovereignty and international law.

The terms conclude with an end-of-program retreat at Denniston Hill artist residency.

The Program is fully committed to freedom of expression.


The Art & Law Program, the first artist residency of its kind, was founded in 2010 by Sergio Muñoz Sarmiento.