Podcasting has expanded the way I research, write, and think about the world. I am super thrilled to share that I am taking over the month of June over at @stateoftheart podcast. I’m speaking with four incredible artists this month on meditations of queerness in anime, manga, film, digital media, comics, and creative coding. Super stoked to be in conversation with Anum Awan, Yasheng She, Breena Nunez, and Lark VCR 🥰🦄🙃🌈
The first season of PRNT SCRN has officially ended! It’s been such an incredible learning experience. For this episode, I speak with Bay Area-based artist Jenny Odell. Learn more below!
Lastly, and most important, I want to thank the brilliant team over at Art Practical! They’ve given me an awesome home to create the content for PRNT SCRN. Special thanks to Leila Weefur (EIC for Audio/Visual), Marissa Deitz (Editor), Vivian Sming (EIC for online publication), Michele Carlson (Executive Director), Fiona Ball (Managing Editor), and Mia Nakano (Communications Manager) for being such a wonderful team of people to work with.
In an age where we are inundated by a seemingly endless scroll of images and living within an economy that demands an inordinate amount of our attention, it feels necessary to ask what is the value of doing nothing? It is much more evident now than ever before that social media platforms are another tool for advertisers and corporations to learn our desires through likes and clicks encouraging us to stay glued to our screens and monitors. In 2017, Bay Area-based artist Jenny Odell gave a talk at the annual EYEO festival titled “How to do Nothing,” which resulted in a book of the same name. I have been following Odell’s artistic practice and writing since she was in graduate student pursuing her MFA at the San Francisco Art Institute. With a background in literature and having taught Internet Art at Stanford University for several years, her wealth of knowledge related to networked culture to free things advertised on Instagram that aren’t actually free, she has an uncanny ability to craft stories emblematic of our digital age. In this episode, The Value of Doing Nothing, I spoke with Odell about exercises in attention, space for refusal, bonding over our experience of an Ellsworth Kelly painting at the SFMOMA, and much more. The irony of Odell’s call to action, being that of doing nothing, leads us to the multitude of ways that stepping back from time to time enables and affords us the opportunity to learn how to observe the world around us, actively listen, and fastidiously mind the details we might normally overlook.
Hear Jenny Odell speak on her new book How to Do Nothing: Resisting the Attention Economy at East Bay Booksellers on Thursday, April 18, 2019, at 7 pm. Read more about the event by clicking here.
For more information on this week’s Screenshot, the app ULTIMEYES, click here.
You can also access all of this season’s episodes here!
Jenny Odell is a multi-disciplinary artist and writer based in Oakland, California. Her work generally involves acts of close observation, whether it’s birdwatching, collecting screen shots, or trying to parse bizarre forms of e-commerce. In one of her favorite projects, she created The Bureau of Suspended Objects, a searchable online archive of 200 objects salvaged from the San Francisco dump, each with photographs and painstaking research into its material, corporate, and manufacturing histories. She is compelled by the ways in which attention (or lack thereof) leads to consequential shifts in perception at the level of the everyday.
Her visual work has been exhibited at The Contemporary Jewish Museum, the New York Public Library, Ever Gold Projects, the Marjorie Barrick Museum (Las Vegas), Les Rencontres D’Arles, Fotomuseum Antwerpen, Fotomuseum Winterthur, La Gaîté Lyrique (Paris), the Lishui Photography Festival (China), the Pratt Manhattan Gallery, apexart (NY), East Wing (Dubai), and the Google headquarters. She’s been an artist in residence at Recology SF (the dump), the San Francisco Planning Department, the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, the Palo Alto Art Center, Facebook, and the Internet Archive. She teaches internet art and digital/physical design at Stanford since 2013.
Her writing has appeared in the New York Times, SFMOMA’s Open Space, McSweeney’s, The Creative Independent, Sierra Magazine, Topic, and Real Future. My book, How to Do Nothing: Resisting the Attention Economy, was recently published by Melville House. She is represented by Caroline Eisenmann at the Frances Goldin Literary Agency.
I will be in conversation with Bay Area-based artist and writer Helen Shewolfe Tseng at the Bay Area Book Festival in partnership with the San Francisco Chronicle. We will get witchy and hope you join us to deepen your creative practice with the holistic and customizable tools for astrological self-discovery inside “The Astrological Grimoire” by co-author, designer, and co-host of BFF.fm’s Astral Projection Radio Hour.
The book is divided into 12 chapters, one for each sign, the book offers horoscopes based on “mood phases”—emotions and life events—so you can always find a horoscope that speaks to your current moment! ⏰
Organized by Liat Berdugo, Living Room Light Exchange
What does it mean to be an arts organization that resists growth? Can artists, collectives, and small organizations protect their current ‘sizes’ and foci from the pressures of capitalism? Anyone who has written a grant for the arts has likely encountered the ‘growth’ question: it asks how organizations or individuals will grow and expand with money. In other words, funding opportunities often ask for change. This conversation, instead, looks at the radical act of resisting growth, and instead focusing on sustaining current endeavors. We ask what it looks like to be embedded and focused on communities; to need funding for ongoing initiatives; to need resources to better engage and support community; to grow from ground-up initiatives rather than top-down pressure. When does resisting growth become too much to handle? How does a group or collective know when it’s gotten too far and away from the original intention?
Hello there! I have been the worst at posting my work and projects. I am starting to come up with a schedule for myself to be a bit more consistent. Better late than never! I can’t believe I’m nearing the end of my first season as a podcast host. The brilliant team over at Art Practical have given me an awesome home to create PRNT SCRN and I’ve learned so much this past year. Special thanks to Leila Weefur (EIC for Audio/Visual), Marissa Deitz (Editor), Vivian Sming (EIC for online publication), Michele Carlson (Executive Director), Fiona Ball (Managing Editor), and Mia Nakano (Communications Manager) for being such a wonderful team of people to work with.
Virtual reality is not a new phenomenon. From dioramas to panoramas, the allure of being enveloped in a place or tableau outside of one’s reality has mass appeal considering the popularity of virtual reality technologies such as the Oculus Rift and the HTC Vive. Through 360 filmmaking and photography, the creation of space within the virtual realm has become commonplace. From journalism to entertainment purposes, while virtual worlds enable a new way of seeing fantastical worlds, artists and designers must consider format and aesthetics. In the second part of a two-part series, “Not Your Average Playtest,” I look at how artist Veronica Graham translates her drawings and paintings into digital architectures within the virtual world. She also touches upon how she must reconcile physical and digital perception to create immersive experiences.
You can also access all of this season’s episodes here!
Veronica Graham is an Oakland based visual artist primarily working in print and digital mediums. Inspired by today’s rapidly changing environment, she sees her art practice as a form of world building. Each work is the creation of place or artifact, calling attention to how fiction is weaved into our reality. In 2012 she founded Most Ancient, a design studio focused on small press and digital production. Her books have been collected by SFMoMA, MoMA, The New York Public Library, The Library of Congress, Stanford University, Yale University, and other public and private collections. Graham has received grants from Kala Art Institute and Women’s Studio Workshop. She is now designing virtual worlds and her first VR project called “The Muybridge Mausoleum” was completed in 2017 for the HTC Vive and Oculus Rift platforms. In addition to her own practice, Graham is an active member on SFMoMA’s Games Advisory Board and an arts educator who has taught at San Francisco Art Institute, Southern Exposure, and Creativity Explored.
PLACE TALKS is a series of visual lectures that occurs at the Prelinger Library in San Francisco. Bay Area artists, writers, designers, architects, archivists, librarians (and other curious people) share talks on location-related topics, illustrated by content from the library’s collection.
I am absolutely honored to be a part of this line-up of stellar artists and writers! You can find out more about the talks and information about the library here. See you on September 27th!