[-empyre-] Welcome to March with moderators Sarah Watson and Lola Martinez

Sarah Watson sarahawatson at gmail.com
Tue Mar 5 11:47:06 AEDT 2019

Welcome to March 2019  on –empyre– soft-skinned space:

Refiguring the Future

Moderated by Lola Martinez (US) and Sarah Watson (US)

March 1st to 7th:            Week 1:  Heather Dewey Hagborg (US) and
Dorothy R. Santos (US)

March 8th to 14th           Week 2: Details Forthcoming

March 15th to 21st         Week 3: Details Forthcoming

March 22nd to 31st         Week 4: Details Forthcoming

Welcome to the March discussion on –empyre–. Renate, thank you so much
for the lovely introduction. As Renate mentioned, I co-curated the
exhibition "The Experimental Television Center: A History" at the
Hunter College Art Galleries with Tim Murray in 2015. It was through
our collaboration that I came to know –empyre–, having the opportunity
to participate as a weekly guest during that fall. I've since then
been a silent reader of –empyre–. However, a current collaborative
project "Refiguring the Future" has brought me out of the listserv
shadows this month. I am so looking forward to engaging the –empyre–
community along with my co-moderator Lola Martinez, as we delve into
and expand out from "Refiguring the Future."

"As discourses of science fiction, technology, and speculation have
historically offered visions of the future that recapitulate dominant
culture, projecting images of tomorrow through the existing
capitalist, racist, and patriarchal structures of today," what might
it look like to re-envision the future? The multi-platform project
"Refiguring the Future," (exhibition, conference, and workshops) takes
up this question.This show currently on view at the Hunter College Art
Galleries’ 205 Hudson Gallery in New York is curated by REFRESH
members Heather Dewey-Hagborg and Dorothy R. Santos and is organized
by Eyebeam, REFRESH, and the Hunter College Art Galleries.


"Refiguring the Future" includes the work of 18 artists: Barak adé
Soleil, Morehshin Allahyari, Lee Blalock, Zach Blas, micha cárdenas
and Abraham Avnisan, In Her Interior (Virginia Barratt and Francesca
da Rimini), Mary Maggic, Lauren McCarthy, shawné michaelain holloway,
Claire and Martha Pentecost, Sonya Rapoport, Sputniko! and Tomomi
Nishizawa, Stephanie Syjuco, and Pinar Yoldas. Informed by the punk
ethos of DIY, these artists deeply mine the historical and cultural
roots of our current moment, pulling apart the edifice of contemporary
technology and sifting through the pieces to forge new visions of what
is possible. They explore data and algorithmic structures from the
inside out, drawing attention to their impact on our social,
political, and personal experiences. They engage the messiness and
hackability of the body as essential elements of resistance. Leaping
through several registers of time, they look back in order to push
forward and imagine strategies for collective future-making. Here,
possible futures are neither utopic nor dystopic, but inclusive,
liberatory, and unexpected.

"Refiguring the Future" is the result of co-creation and the belief
that we can do more together than alone, bringing together a
collective, a non-profit art/tech organization, and a public college
is no small feat on its own! Using "Refiguring the Future" as an entry
point for this month’s –empyre– discussion, offers yet another
platform for the project. In this speculative space and in the spirit
of doing with others, we invite the subscribers of –empyre– to join us
as we build on the dialogues generated by the exhibition and
conference, diving into conversations around access and invisibility,
hackability of the body, and collective world-building.

As technological infrastructures––from discriminatory networks to
agents of surveillance––have perpetuated systemic cultural and
economic oppression, our social imaginary is now, more than ever
limiting and even inaccessible. In opposition to these forces, what
possibilities arise when accelerating technologies are paused and
world-building is privileged anew?


empyre at lists.artdesign.unsw.edu.au





On Mon, Mar 4, 2019 at 3:18 PM Renate Ferro <rferro at cornell.edu> wrote:
> ----------empyre- soft-skinned space----------------------
> Hello –empyre- subscribers,
> I am thrilled to introduce the guest moderators for our March discussion on –empyre-soft-skinned space, Sarah Watson and Lola Martinez.
> Tim Murray and I met Sarah several years ago during the early preparation and planning for the curatorial project that Sarah and Tim jointly curated of several artists who had been affiliated with the Experimental Television Center called, “The Experimental Television Center: A History, Etc...” in the autumn of 2015.  During those early preparations, I came to know Sarah as an insightful curator who managed several projects at one time.  Perhaps that is what all curators do successfully, but Sarah is an extraordinary thinker from my point of view who is always playing her hunches about future shows but at the same time seeing to the minute and thankless details of launching and maintaining both galleries at Hunter, uptown and downtown.
> Needless to say, I was thrilled when she contacted me just a few weeks ago with an idea to co-moderate a topic for March inspired by a multi-platform project called “Refiguring the Future.”  Taking the form of a conference, workshops, and an exhibition all curated by REFRESH members Heather Dewey-Hagborg and Dorothy R. Santos and organized by Eyebeam and REFRESH in collaboration with Sarah at Hunter.
> Tim Murray and I were able to visit Sarah and her co-moderator this month, Lola Martinez at the downtown Hunter College Art Galleries 205 Hudson Gallery in New York two weeks ago.  Lola and Sarah showed us around the expansive exhibit which I I know they and their guests will talk about.  We were also able to chat extensively with both of them about this deep project and how it has emerged over the last several months.
> Welcome Lola and Sarah.  I am looking so forward to this month’s discussion and I invite all of our subscribers to join in this first discussion of 2019.  Below are both Lola and Sarah’s biographies and a heartfelt thanks to both of you.
> Best.  Renate
> Lola Martinez is a Cuban-American curator and researcher working at the intersection of art and technology. Recent curatorial projects include the Refiguring the Future Conference, Kaye Playhouse and Knockdown Center, NY (2019), los contenedores (no) son mejores vacíos, WXBC and The Hessel Museum of Art, NY (2017), aCCeSsions, Knockdown Center (2017), We are the Margins, P! and Beverly’s, NY (2017), amongst others. Their current research project, Tropical Hardware focuses on the geopolitics of sub-tropical and tropical zones to trace how perceptions of tropicality are reconfigured by the development and implementation of digital media and technology. Martinez is the inaugural Eyebeam/REFRESH Curatorial and Engagement Fellow and holds a M.A. from the Center for Curatorial Studies, Bard College.
> Sarah Watson is Director of Exhibitions & Chief Curator of the Hunter College Art Galleries. Focusing primarily on time-based work including sound, video, performance, and poetry,  Watson’s curatorial projects center on creating experimental sites for education, collaboration, and action. Recent exhibitions include Acts of Art and Rebuttal in 1971 and The School of Survival: Learning with Juan Downey. In addition to overseeing the exhibitions and programming of the Hunter College Art Galleries, Watson runs the gallery component of the Advanced Certificate in Curatorial Studies at Hunter College. Watson holds an M.A. in Art History from Hunter College.
> Renate Ferro
> Visiting Associate Professor, art and technology
> Director of Undergraduate Studies
> Department of Art
> Tjaden Hall 306
> rferro at cornell.edu
> _______________________________________________
> empyre forum
> empyre at lists.artdesign.unsw.edu.au
> http://empyre.library.cornell.edu

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