Alison O’Daniel, Still from The Tuba Thieves (Scenes 5, 6, 60: Hearing 4’33”), 2015.

Alison O’Daniel, Still from The Tuba Thieves (Scenes 5, 6, 60: Hearing 4’33”), 2015. Written, directed, edited by Alison O’Daniel. Cinematography by Meena Singh. Courtesy of the artist.

Talks & Panels

Artist Talk: Alison O’Daniel in Conversation with Tanya Zimbardo

Visual artist Alison O’Daniel and guest curator Tanya Zimbardo discuss her ongoing series The Tuba Thieves and its exploration of living with missing sounds and words.

The Tuba Thieves is both a feature-length film in progress that Alison O’Daniel has been shooting and an expanding project of mixed-media installations, sculptures, and performances through which O’Daniel invites audiences and collaborators “to navigate, de-construct and re-imagine sound.” The Los Angeles-based artist, who is hard of hearing, collaborates with hearing, Deaf and Hard of Hearing composers, musicians, performers, and athletes in her work across mediums. Curator Tanya Zimbardo joins O’Daniel to discuss her unfolding project The Tuba Thieves (2013–ongoing), including the process of reimagining through film the punk show for the closing party of the Deaf Club in San Francisco in 1979.

Alison O’Daniel: The Tuba Thieves is on view daily in McEvoy Arts’ Screening Room in conjunction with the exhibition What is an edition, anyway? which explores the traditions, conditions, and inventive expressions of the contemporary artist’s multiple. The program repeats approximately every half hour.

This Artist Talk is offered with sign language interpretation.


Alison O’Daniel is a visual artist and filmmaker working across sound, narrative, sculpture, installation and performance. Her work has screened and exhibited in galleries and museums internationally, including the Hammer Museum, Los Angeles; Garage Museum of Contemporary Art, Moscow; Centre Pompidou, Paris, FR; Centro Centro, Madrid, Spain; Renaissance Society, Chicago; and Centre d’art Contemporain Passerelle, Brest, France. Her film, The Tuba Thieves, has received support from Ford Foundation JustFilms; Creative Capital; Sundance; IFP; Points North; Field of Vision; and Chicken and Egg. She is a recipient of the SFFILM Rainin Grant for Filmmakers with Disabilities, a 2019 Louis Comfort Tiffany award and has received grants from Art Matters; the Rema Hort Mann Foundation; Center for Cultural Innovation; the California Community Foundation; and Franklin Furnace Fund. She was included in Filmmaker Magazine’s 25 New Faces of Independent Film and writing on O’Daniel’s work has appeared in The New York Times Magazine; Artforum; The Los Angeles Times; BOMB; and ArtReview. She is represented by Commonwealth and Council in Los Angeles and is an Assistant Professor of Film at California College of the Arts in San Francisco, CA. She lives and works in Los Angeles, CA.


Tanya Zimbardo is a San Francisco-based curator. As the assistant curator of media arts at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, she has curated solo exhibitions of work by Pat O’Neill, Jim Campbell, Kerry Tribe, Runa Islam, and co-curated Nothing Stable under Heaven and Soundtracks, among others. Zimbardo has guest curated projects at Bay Area nonprofit arts organizations including the 500 Capp Street Foundation, di Rosa Center for Contemporary Art, Mills College Art Museum, and San Francisco Cinematheque. Zimbardo has contributed to publications such as Voices in Contemporary Art (VoCA) Journal and INCITE: Journal of Experimental Media.