“What is at stake for the human animal in this critical moment in our evolution? Will we survive this “technological adolescence”? How can we reclaim optimism in the face of future technology? On August 17, 2019, a group of creative thinkers and makers will assemble to consider these questions in a radical new conversation format.
A Long Conversation is a relay of two-person dialogues for a set period of time, unified by a common prompt. Each speaker brings one idea to the stage about how to reclaim optimism in the face of future technology—a trend, an artwork, an innovation, a breakthrough, a movement.”
I’m excited to share that I’ll be showing my work Press 1 to be Connected. I’ve been working on this piece for the past year, but realized its physical form (and became obsessed with telephone technology, systems of care, and telecommunications) during my Stochastic Labs residency. I feel incredibly honored to be among extremely phenomenal artists, writers, scientists, and cultural producers at Reclaiming the Future.
And, suffice it to say, I’ve got a thing for the future as well 😉
Heather Dewey-Hagborg is a transdisciplinary artist and educator who is interested in art as research and critical practice. Her controversial biopolitical art practice includes the project Stranger Visions in which she created portrait sculptures from analyses of genetic material (hair, cigarette butts, chewed up gum) collected in public places. Heather has shown work internationally at events and venues including the World Economic Forum, the Daejeon Biennale, the Guangzhou Triennial, and the Shenzhen Urbanism and Architecture Biennale, the Van Abbemuseum, Transmediale and PS1 MOMA. Her work is held in public collections of the Centre Pompidou, the Victoria and Albert Museum, and the New York Historical Society, among others, and has been widely discussed in the media, from the New York Times and the BBC to Art Forum and Wired. Heather has a PhD in Electronic Arts from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. She is an artist fellow at AI Now, an Artist-in-Residence at the Exploratorium, as well as Science Center, and is an affiliate of Data & Society. She is also a co-founder and co-curator of REFRESH, an inclusive and politically engaged collaborative platform at the intersection of Art, Science, and Technology.
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?