David Schafer began at Fine Art at Art Center College of Design in 1998 as a visiting artist in Fine Art. From 2000 to 2006, he developed a sculpture program that bridged classes with Fine Arts, Digital Media, and Environmental Design. In addition to teaching sculpture, Schafer developed classes on the subject of sound including a TDS (Trans-disciplinary Studio) sound class. Returning to Los Angeles in 2012 from New York, he began teaching in Fine Art and Humanities and Sciences at Art Center in 2013 with a Sound class in Fine Art. In 2015, Schafer founded and developed the Sound Lab in Fine Art and related classes, workshops, and events. Schafer has previously taught at Otis College of Design, CalArts, USC, Rutgers, Parsons, School of Visual Arts, Cooper Union, and Cornell University.
David Schafer is an artist working in sculpture, sound, digital media, and works on paper. His work asks questions about the structures comprising the built environment that we live in. Working with industrial materials such as aluminum and steel, sound systems, signage, and color, his sculptures are staged like an absurd play that emit and deliver reworked historical material. Schafer is interested in the idea of collective amnesia and the failure of certain belief structures and hierarchies including patriarchy, capitalism, and commodity consumption. Inspired by many of the intellectual concepts found in philosophy, urbanism, theater, and critical theory, his recent work is comprised of sculpture and installations. Historical figures and cultural memory are generally represented through image, spoken word, and sometimes with music or sound effects.
Schafer has shown nationally and internationally, and has executed temporary and permanent public works including a One Percent for the Arts commission for the Huntington Hospital in Pasadena, CA. Schafer has received an NEA Award in Sculpture and a Pollock-Krasner Foundation Award. His work has been written about in ArtForum, Art in America, Arts, Cabinet Journal, NY Times, LA Times, Baltimore Sun, Chicago Tribune, The New Yorker, and Metropolis, among others. Schafer has performed using both analogue and digital source material at; Human Resources, David Kordansky, Samuel Freeman, Control Room, L.A.C.E., Printed Matter, Silent Barn, Roulette, Invisible Dog, and Studio10. Schafer’s sound work has been included in curated radio programs in Lisbon, Paris, and Berlin.