2016 2017 2018 2019 2020



The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens named Los Angeles arts organization Clockshop as its partner for the fourth year of The Huntington's /five initiative. Artists invited to participate in this year's project are Nina Katchadourian, Beatriz Santiago Muñoz, and Rosten Woo, along with writer Dana Johnson and Poet Laureate for the City of Los Angeles Robin Coste Lewis. Each participant will create new work based on research in The Huntington's collections that will be presented in public programs and an exhibition scheduled to be on view Nov. 10, 2019–Feb. 25, 2020.


A part of The Huntington’s Centennial Celebration, which runs from September 2019 to September 2020, the 2019 /five project uses Thomas More’s satirical work Utopia (1516) as a thematic point of departure, focusing on perfection, utopia, and the utopian ambitions of railroad and real estate visionary Henry E. Huntington, the institution’s founder.


Dana Johnson

Writer and associate professor of English, University of Southern California, Johnson’s The Story of Biddy Mason (2016) retraces the parallel but contrasting Los Angeles of Henry Huntington and African-American entrepreneur Biddy Mason. Her work demonstrates a long-standing interest in how class, good fortune, and race influence ideas about, and proximity to, utopia.


During her research at The Huntington, Johnson has been exploring the work of Delilah Beasley, a historian and news columnist who wrote about black pioneers in her book "Negro Trail-Blazers of California." She is also interested in the historic black community of Allensworth, a California town founded in 1908.

Caption: Dana Johnson at The Huntington. Photo by Kate Lain.

Nina Katchadourian

 Katchadourian’s work, which includes video, performance, sound, sculpture, photography, and public projects, often explores the re-framing or reorganizing of collections. She intends to focus on the theme of monsters in maps and rare books within The Huntington’s archive. Here’s her take on the subject: "Monsters quite readily make people think, fearfully and somewhat negatively, of unknowns, or of the unknowable—things that, in the way they seem different from what we think we are and what we think we know, are ultimately threatening. However, I am more interested in monsters as a catalyst for the imagination, as a kind of prompt that may help us to think—hopefully—about what we still don’t know and what may not be as fixed as we think it is."


Caption: Nina Katchadourian at The Huntington. Photo by Kate Lain.

Robin Coste Lewis

Poet Laureate for the City of Los Angeles and National Book Award winner, Coste Lewis created new work for Clockshop’s “Radio Imagination project” (2016), which drew upon the papers of Octavia E. Butler at The Huntington. For the 2019 iteration of the /five initiative, she is interested in investigating the writings and prints of American naturalist John James Audubon (1785-1851), a fabled perfectionist.


Caption: Robin Coste Lewis at The Huntington. Photo courtesy of Amanda Schwengel and Hampshire College.

Beatriz Santiago Muñoz

An interdisciplinary artist, Muñoz’s work in film, video, and performance focuses on ideas of speculative futures and utopias and is often produced in her homeland of Puerto Rico. Muñoz will work with the botanical collections, specifically looking at the process of cryopreservation of plants within the collections. Working with botanical curators, her focus has been on the preservation of Magnolia splendens and portoricensus, two tree species that are endangered. Both trees are native to Puerto Rico, where Muñoz is from. Muñoz has also spent time filming in the themed, manicured gardens of The Huntington, a contrast to the native habitats of her homeland.


Caption: Beatriz Santiago Muñoz at The Huntington. Photo by Kate Lain.

Rosten Woo

Artist, designer, writer, and educator, Rosten Woo specializes in interpretive work that helps people reorient themselves to place. 


Woo has been researching the papers of Robert V. Hine (1921-2015), a scholar of the American West whose research focused on early utopian settlements in California. He has also been studying landscapes produced during an expedition led by John Russell Bartlett. Bartlett was hired to draw the border between Mexico and the U.S. after the Mexican American War in 1846. Woo is interested in how these communities were formed and funded, and in exploring the relationships between "utopias" and the outside world.


Caption: Rosten Woo at The Huntington. Photo by Kate Lain.


Events generated through The Huntington's year-long collaboration with Clockshop in 2019 will be listed here as they are announced.



/five is a contemporary art initiative centered on five year-long collaborations between The Huntington and a variety of arts and cultural organizations. The aim is to engage The Huntington’s rich library, garden, and art collections in new and thought-provoking ways. Possible outcomes include site-specific installations, educational programming, performance pieces, sound work, film, or myriad other art forms.


Each year’s collaboration will be announced toward the start of the calendar year. Information, photos, and stories about each collaboration and the associated artworks and events will be added to this site as they become available.