Please note: this program, originally scheduled for Wednesday, October 3, will now occur on Tuesday, November 6.

Images and media profoundly shape how we interpret and navigate the landscape of electoral politics. From campaign posters and graphic identities, like artist Shepard Fairey’s unforgettable design for Barack Obama, to politicians’ self-styled photographs and social media presences—think President Trump trending on both Twitter and Instagram—the visual culture of politics is increasingly complex, and it’s more important than ever to deconstruct it. Join us on election night for an evening that will include a special performance by Amy Khoshbin and a conversation led by Optics host Jillian Steinhauer.

Optics: A New Way of Seeing Contemporary Culture is an ongoing series hosted by writer/editor Jillian Steinhauer that invites critics, artists, and imagemakers to analyze the pictures that shape contemporary culture and current events.

This is a free event, but please register in advance. ICP Members have access to preferred seating in our reserved members’ section.

Our ICP Museum–public program combination ticket grants $10 entry to the galleries starting at 4:30 PM to those attending the program. Tickets are only available online when you register for the program.


Jillian Steinhauer is a journalist living in Brooklyn. She won the 2014 Best Art Reporting Award from the US chapter of the International Association of Art Critics for her work at Hyperallergic, where she was formerly a senior editor. Her writing appears in the New York Times, the New Republic, and The Nation, among other publications. She writes mainly about art and politics, but has also been known to go on at length about cats.

Amy Khoshbin is an Iranian-American, New York-based, artist, rapper, and politician. Her practice advocates for changing commercial culture through co-opting and using popular media genres to create connections and catharsis. She has shown at venues such as the Whitney Museum of American Art, the Guggenheim Museum, Times Square Arts, the High Line, Socrates Sculpture Park, VOLTA Art Fair, PULSE Art Fair, Leila Heller Gallery, Mana Contemporary, National Sawdust, and festivals such as River to River and South by Southwest. She has received residencies at spaces such as the Watermill Center, Lower Manhattan Cultural Council, Anderson Ranch, and Banff Centre for the Arts. She is a 2017 Franklin Furnace recipient and has received a Rema Hort Mann Artist Community Engagement Grant. Khoshbin has bachelor's degrees in film and media studies from the University of Texas at Austin and a master's degree from the Interactive Telecommunications Program (ITP) at New York University. She has collaborated with Laurie Anderson, Karen Finley, Tina Barney, and poets Anne Carson and Bob Currie, among others.

TOP IMAGE: Cornell Capa, [John F. Kennedy giving a campaign speech], 1960. © International Center of Photography