Panelist Bios

Amy Adler is The Emily Kempin Professor of Law at NYU School of Law. She is a leading expert in the legal regulation of pornography, art, and speech. Adler’s recent publications include: "Girls! Girls! Girls!: The Supreme Court Confronts the G-String," "Performance Anxiety: Medusa, Sex and the First Amendment," "Against Moral Rights," "All Porn All the Time," and "To Catch A Predator." Professor Adler has lectured to a wide variety of audiences, ranging from Attorneys General, to philosophers, to artists, to psychoanalysts, to the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

Tony Comstock is a documentary film director. Subjects of his films have included love, sex, 9/11, indigenous fisheries, hurricanes, refugees, HIV/AIDS orphans, and visualization of God. He is best known for the Real People, Real Life, Real Sex series of erotic documentaries that simultaneously explore the vital role of sexual pleasure in committed relationships and the problematic place of explicit sexuality in cinema. Reaction to these films has ranged from critical and popular praise, to being banned from film festivals and police raids on DVD retailers.

Wafaa Bilal is an Iraqi-born multidisciplinary artist. He has traveled and lectured extensively to inform audiences of the situation of the Iraqi people and the importance of peaceful conflict resolution. Bilal’s 2007 dynamic installation Domestic Tension placed him on the receiving end of a paintball gun that was accessible online to a worldwide audience, 24 hours a day. Bilal has exhibited worldwide including in Baghdad, the Netherlands, Thailand and Croatia, as well as at the Museum of Contemporary Photography in Chicago, the Milwaukee Art Museum and various other US galleries.

Beka Economopoulos is a grassroots field and online organizer, as well as the co-founder and director of Not An Alternative, a volunteer-run, non-profit organization, based in Brooklyn, NY, which curates and produces work that leverages the tools of advertising, architecture, exhibit design, branding, and public relations so as to affect popular understanding of events, symbols, and history.

Laura Flanders (Moderator For Both Panels) is the host of GRITtv the daily news-discussion and take action program seen on Free Speech TV. She also serves as the host of RadioNation, the nationally-syndicated weekly radio program of the Nation Magazine. Her writing appears in The Nation, Alternet, Ms. Magazine, and elsewhere. Her op-ed pieces have appeared in papers including The San Francisco Chronicle.

Andrew Hale A founder member of and songwriter in internationally acclaimed band Sade, Hale is based in London at a recording studio/art project space from which he is involved in a variety of music driven projects including the provision of music for fashion companies including Versace, Fendi and Paul Smith. The space also provides a home for a rapidly expanding collection of contemporary art including works by Richard Prince, Sarah Lucas, Thomas Ruff and John Currin.

Holly Hughes is a writer and performer. She is a 2010 Guggenheim Fellow and the recipient of funding from NYSCA, NEA, the Map Fund and Ford Foundation. Her solo “Preaching to the Perverted,” describes her experience as one of the “NEA 4.” Current projects include “Let Them Eat Cake,” a performance which probes the debate over gay marriage, and “The Dog and Pony Show,” a solo about her midlife crisis in the key of canine. Hughes is an Associate Professor at the University of Michigan.

Bill Ivey who will also deliver an introductory speech before the panel, is the Director of the Curb Center for Art, Enterprise, and Public Policy at Vanderbilt University, an arts policy research center. He also directs the Center’s Washington-based program for senior government career staff, the Arts Industries Policy Forum. From May 1998 through September 2001, Ivey served as the seventh Chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts, a federal cultural agency. Following years of controversy and significant reductions in NEA funding, Ivey’s leadership is credited with restoring Congressional confidence in the work of the NEA.

Marilyn Minter Photographer, painter and filmmaker, Marilyn Minter continues to play with the convention and perspective in her film "Green Pink Caviar", shooting entirely in close-up to reveal a colorful action painting made with a girl’s lips and tongue.

Trevor Paglen is an artist, writer, and experimental geographer whose work deliberately blurs lines between social science, contemporary art, journalism, and other disciplines to construct unfamiliar, yet meticulously researched ways to see and interpret the world around us. Paglen’s visual work has been exhibited at the Tate Modern, London; San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA); Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art, North Adams; the 2009 Istanbul Biennial.

Magdalena Sawon is a co-owner and co-director of Postmasters Gallery in New York City, where she has organized close to 200 exhibitions. For over 26 years, Postmasters has shown young and established artists of all media, actively seeking new forms of creative expression and showing them in a context of painting, sculpture, and photography.

Carolee Schneemann is a multidisciplinary artist. Her video, film, painting, photography, performance art and installation works have been shown at the Los Angeles Museum of Contemporary Art, in NYC at the New Museum of Contemporary Art, the Museum of Modern Art, the Whitney Museum, as well as the Reina Sofia in Madrid, Moderna Museet Stockholm, the Pompidou Paris. The recent multi-channel video installation “Precarious” was presented at the Tate Liverpool “Abandon Normal Devices” Festival in September 2009.

Nato Thompson is a curator at the New York–based public arts institution Creative Time, which commissions, produces, and presents ground-breaking art with the belief that artists’s temporary interventions into public life can promote the democratic use of public space as a place for free and creative expression. Prior to Creative Time, Thompson worked as a curator at MASS MoCA, where he completed numerous large-scale exhibitions such as The Interventionists: Art in the Social Sphere (2004), a survey of political art of the 1990s.

Neville Wakefield is an acclaimed art critic, curator and cultural commentator published by the New York Times Magazine, Frieze, Art Forum, ID and Interview. Founder of a successful creative talent management company and the author of several books his reputation has been built on an ability to successfully parlay art across cultural boundaries and bring popular commercial success to high easthetic ambition.

Martha Wilson is Founding Director of Franklin Furnace Archive, Inc., a museum in lower Manhattan which since its inception in 1976 has presented and preserved temporal art, artists’ books and other multiples produced internationally after 1960, temporary installations and performance art. As an artist, she has performed in the guises of Alexander Haig, Nancy Reagan and Barbara Bush; presently, she is impersonating Tipper Gore.