Sara Kurpiers Blaylock

Sara Kurpiers Blaylock

Ph.D. Student
Art and culture of East Germany in the 1980s (performance, installation, video, and film); East German film (DEFA); Alternative modernisms; 20th century theories of aesthetics and politics; Modernity and Post-Modernity
Research Interests: 

My research investigates the emergence of unofficial art practices in the final years of East Germany, and the ways in which these practices were conditioned by and/or responded to official cultural policy. Broader theoretical interests include aesthetic theory, the historicization and canonization of Cold War East and West German life and culture, and new materialist art practices and discourse.


Office Hours: 
Off campus 2014-15 academic year. Available by email.
Mailing Address: 

University of California at Santa Cruz

Porter Faculty Services

1156 High Street

Santa Cruz, CA 95064

Selected Publications: 

"Whiter Alltag? How the Wende Museum revises East German history and why it matters," Verges: Germanic and Slavic Studies in Review 2.2 (2013).

Review of Nicholas Mirzoeff's The Right to Look (Durham: Duke University Press, 2011), Invisible Culture (January 2013).

Non-Academic Art Writing:

White Hot Magazine


Barcelona Metropolitan

Selected Presentations: 

“The body as machine: System contact in the art of the
Auto-Perforation Artists, Dresden 1985-1991”, “Dropping Out of Socialism”: Alternative Cultures in the Soviet Bloc,
. University of Bristol. (June 5 - 6, 2014).

“The body under duress will be moved: American Pilots and East German Spectators in Pilots in Pyjamas (East Germany, 1968, Walter Heynowski &
Gerhard Scheumann)”, Society for Cinema and Media Studies, Seattle, WA (March
19 - 23, 2014).

October 2012 "Archiving the Public Sphere: Artist Responses to the Hot Autumn" German Studies Association Conference - Milwaukee

June 2012 "Culver City's Wende Museum: East Germany on the Pacific" Berlin Program for Advanced German & European Studies, Berlin Program Summer Workshop "German Studies Between the Global and the Local," Freie Universität - Berlin

April 2012 Art and Politics, Art History Graduate Symposium, University of Oregon - Eugene

Teaching Interests: 

Cold War art and culture (East and West Germany and East Bloc, in general)

Aesthetics and Politics

East German film (DEFA)

Theories and Art of Modernism (especially European art)

Theories and Art of Post-Modernism (especially from US, Europe, and East Bloc)

Honors and Awards: 

German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD), Research Grant for Doctoral Candidates, 2014-15 academic year in Berlin

Coalition of Women in German, Zantop Travel Award, 2014

Arts Dean Fund for Excellence, University of California - Santa Cruz, 2013 & 2014

East German Summer Film Institute, University of Massachusetts - Amherst DEFA film library, Invited to participate in one week institute on East German film, with this year's topical focus: "DEFA & AMERIKA: Culture Wars, Culture Contact".

Summer Institute on Conducting Archival Research, Invited to participate in one week workshop held at George Washington University, May 2013

German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD), German Studies Research Grant, 2012

Porter College Travel/Research Grant, University of California - Santa Cruz, 2012, 2013, 2014

University of California Santa Cruz, Regents' Fellowship, 2011-12

Pépinières Européennes pour Jeunes Artistes, Map Program Residency Fellowship, 2011

Vermont Studio Center, Clowes Fellowship, 2009

Education and Training: 
B.F.A. California College of the Arts, San Francisco, Media Arts
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