This course offers an historically rooted examination of artistic practice in California from the Second World War through the end of the Cold War—addressing the intertwined nature of art and politics, the influence of the film industry and the poets and musicians of the West Coast, the potentials and the pitfalls of art and technology, experiments in clay and plastics, issues of hybridity and identity in immigrant communities, and the polemics of conceptual, performance, feminist, and socially-critical artistic practice. We will look at the aftereffects of superficial geographic divides, and the real and artificial disciplinary canyons between New York and California. How does erasure and masquerade function in a locale defined as “free from history”? What might be achieved and destroyed when artistic practices make indistinguishable the divisions between fact, half-truth, and fiction? And how is art making in California inextricably linked (whether through use, abuse, or denial) to the filmic imaginary of Hollywood, to the urban and natural environment, and to the politics and polemics of diaspora?