“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.
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 have been invited to be a panelist for a discussion titled, “Making Art in the Age of #45” as a part of public programming at Kala Institute. Bay Area-based artist Christy Chan invited me and I am constantly humbled and honored for these opportunities. In 2015, I wrote a review of Christy Chan’s performance for online art publication Art Practical. She will re-enact The Long Distance Call at New Normal / Old Normal – a performance and panel discussion. Tickets can be purchased for the event here.
Information for the performance and panel discussion appear below:
Performance starts at 7pm, Doors open at 6:30pm
Panel Discussions at 7:45pm or 10 min after the performance ends.
Admission 10 – $25 sliding scale
(Recommended Member $15, Students $10)
NOTAFLOF (no one turned away for lack of funds)
Kala Art Institute is excited to present New Normal / Old Normal,a performance and panel discussion on Thursday, September 6 at 7pm. Artist Christy Chan will present a re-staging of her performance The Long Distance Call followed by the panel discussion Making Art in the Age of #45.
Expanding on her own personal experiences and interactions with KKK members during her childhood growing up in rural Virginia, Chan presents The Long Distance Call, a re-enactment of phone calls between Chan and Miss. Anne, a KKK seamstress in Alabama. During the phone calls Chan convinced Miss. Anne to provide her with a custom-made Klan robe for her video work. Their unsettling yet banal phone calls tell the story of an unexpected interaction between two women, from trust gained to the eventual abrupt end of their communications. The Long Distance Call is performed by Catherine Lerza and Christy Chan.
The original phone calls took place in 2013 and the re-enactment was first performed in San Francisco at Southern Exposure in 2015, two years before the Trump administration took office and the KKK and extreme right became politically emboldened for the first time since the 1970’s.
Following The Long Distance Call, Kala will present Making art in the age of #45, a panel discussion with Ryanaustin Dennis (founder, co-director of The Black Aesthetic), Guillermo Galindo (composer, sonic architect, performance and visual artist), Christy Chan (artist), Favianna Rodriguez (artist) and Dorothy Santos (writer, editor, and curator). Panelists will explore how the role of the arts and artists working in race, class and political issues has evolved since Trump’s inauguration. The panel moderator is Bay Area comedian Dhaya Lakshminarayanan, winner of the Liz Carpenter award for political humor (previously awarded to Samantha Bee) and hosts The Moth in San Francisco.
“Liberator by Cody Wilson, printed by James Morgan.” medium: 3d print ABS, 2013
(Photo courtesy of the artist.)
Cherri Lakey for KQED writes, “Curators James Morgan and Dorothy Santos have put together an impressive exhibition of 22 artists from the U.S. and abroad to visually weigh in on the hot button topic of guns and all the territory that comes with it.” Please read the rest here.
Few technologies have had the impact on civilization that the gun has had. With a storied history of a millennium and having been woven into American culture, it is not surprising that it is as contentious as it is empowering.
Dorothy Santos and James Morgan are bringing together a series of works across media that consider all sides of this technology. From the historic use in war to the representations in photography, painting and film, we are also interested in the object as it represents an intersection of functional design and technology. We want to look backwards and forwards and seek works that express a viewpoint related to guns and/or the second amendment.
We are particularly interested in the reflections of underrepresented and underserved communities regarding the place of the gun in the United States. Our expectation is that these views are not often reflected in the public and mainstream media.
Our intuition tells us that there are more than two sides of this story, that there is a relationship between queer, trans* and other communities to guns.
We want to tell that story.
The show will take place from October to November of 2015 in San José, California. We are particularly interested in media based projects and visual responses to the topic.
The gun is a thousand year old technology changed by contemporary prototyping and communication processes. The American Gun Show looks at cultural responses in the context of personal liberty at the intersection of our identity, as Americans, and relationship to the network and print-on-demand technologies. Cody Wilson designed a 3D printable single shot pistol in 2013 which he posted as a computer file online for the public. Within days the U.S. State Department demanded that the files be taken down. This dispute marks a significant event in both legal and technological history – the collision of the first and second amendments of the US Constitution. Free speech and personal liberty become central themes to The American Gun Show.
This exhibition is about the artists’ response to guns and, to a lesser extent, the design and aesthetics of the machine itself. The art and technology of guns as an objective focus for this exhibition has been a challenging one to meet, but the much needed dialogue around an object rife with cultural, social, and political meaning warrants examination through a multi-faceted lens. This show is an exploration of the American psyche and history steeped by gun violence. What is the political will of the American public to address the issues related this advanced form of weaponry? As curators, we explored artists, artistic practices, and expressions that can offer a form of neutrality or balanced perspectives on the issue of gun creation and control.
We understand and expect a wide array of reactions to the content and nature of the exhibition. To that end, people will find some of the work offensive or antagonist to either side of the debate. But we ask visitors to consider the work that resonates with them may have the same or different effect on another viewer. The American Gun Show is not anti-gun or pro-gun. Rather, the show seeks to drive more of a census on what can bring opposing viewpoints stemming from the existence of this object as a point of departure for effective legislation while respecting the rights of American citizens.