[-empyre-] Refiguring the Future, Week 4: Collectivity and World-building

Sarah Watson sarahawatson at gmail.com
Tue Mar 26 07:07:52 AEDT 2019

Guests: Emmy Catedral (US); Sofía Córdova (US); Shirin Fahimi (CA); In
Her Interior (Virginia Barratt (AUS) and Francesca da Rimini (AUS));
PJ GUBATINA POLICARPIO (US); and Addie Wagenknecht (US, AT).

I want to thank everyone who has participated so far this month and
invite you all to continue these conversations over the next week as
we wrap up this month’s topic on “Refiguring the Future.” The work you
all do is important and I am sure your posts have stimulated questions
and thoughts from other guests as well as –empyre– readers.

The exhibition “Refiguring the Future” closes this Sunday, March 31 and
this is also my and Lola's last week hosting –empyre–. As both of
these things move towards a conclusion, I have been thinking a lot
about collectivity and world-building. Collaborative practice and
doing with others plays a central role in “Refiguring the Future” both
in the work of several artists in the exhibition, but also as part of
the larger ethos of what it might mean to “refigure” or “reimagine”
our future. As we proposed in the introduction to this month’s topic,
“what possibilities arise when accelerating technologies are paused
and world-building is privileged anew?” Adding to that, what lessons can
we learn from previous collective and community building models? And what
frameworks are needed to support and sustain equitable and inclusive
communal platforms today?

Our guests this week engage in collaborative practices and in a
liberatory, world-building politic. I am looking forward to learning
more about their work and approaches to collectivity. I welcome
Virginia Barratt (AUS) and Francesca da Rimini (AUS), who form the
artist collective In Her Interior; Emmy Catedral (US) and PJ GUBATINA
POLICARPIO (US), co-founders of P A L / Pilipinx American Library;
Sofía Córdova (US), half of the music duo, XUXA SANTAMARIA; Shirin
Fahimi (CA), founder of Taklif: تکلیف; and Addie Wagenknecht (US, AT),
co-founder of REFRESH and Deep Lab.


Sarah Watson
Chief Curator, Hunter College Art Galleries, NY, NY
Formed in 2015, IHI co-creates and performs live works of spoken,
sung, and recorded text and video within site-specific installation
environments. As two of the four co-founders of cyber-feminist group
VNS Matrix (est. 1991), da Rimini and Barratt have contributed to
critiques of gender and technology for over three decades. In 2016, on
the occasion of the 25th anniversary of VNS Matrix’s A Cyberfeminist
Manifesto for the 21st Century, the group wrote and performed a new
text, titled “A Tender Hex for the Anthropocene,” and curated a
special section on affective labor for Runway magazine. Virginia
Barratt is a writer and performer based in the Northern Rivers region
of NSW, Australia. She is writing a PhD at Western Sydney University
in the Writing and Society Research Centre. Francesca da Rimini is an
artist, researcher and makes work using various media including text,
video, and computers.

EMMY CATEDRAL (US) was born in Butuan and raised in Butuan and Iloilo
City, Philippines before immigrating to New York City at the age of
ten. She is an artist and writer working in performance and
installation with things made with paper, including books. Catedral
presents collaborative projects as The Explorers Club of Enrique de
Malacca, and The Amateur Astronomers Society of Voorhees and she also
presents work as Y2K (with Carlos Rigau and Jocelyn Spaar).She is
co-founder, with PJ Gubatina Policarpio, of the Pilipinx American
Library, which recently completed summer residencies at Wendy's
Subway, Brooklyn, and the Asian Art Museum, SF.

Born in 1985 in Carolina, Puerto Rico and currently based in Oakland,
California, SOFIA CORDOVA's (US) work considers sci-fi and futurity,
dance and music culture(s), the internet, mystical things, extinction
and mutation, migration, and climate change under the conditions of
late capitalism and its technologies. She first moved to the US to
attend the early college program at Simon's Rock College of Bard in
Great Barrington, Massachusetts. She completed her BFA at St. John’s
University in conjunction with the International Center for
Photography in New York City in 2006. In 2010 She received her MFA
from the California College of the Arts in San Francisco. She has
exhibited and performed at SFMOMA, Yerba Buena Center for the Arts,
the Berkeley Art Museum, the Arizona State University Museum, the
Vincent Price Museum, and other venues internationally such as Art Hub
in Shanghai and the MEWO Kunsthalle in Germany. She is one half of the
music duo, XUXA SANTAMARIA. In addition to discrete projects,
performances, and albums the duo collectively scores all of her video
and performance work.

SHIRIN FAHIMI (CA) is a Toronto based visual artist, born and raised
in Iran, working across the mediums of video, installation and
performance. She is also a co-founder of Taklif: تکلیف ,  an imaginary
space and a traveling library for radical imaginations. She received
her BA from Slade School of Fine Art (University College London) and
her MFA from Concordia University. Practicing with diagrams and
archival materials, Shirin’s current research is concerned with the
performative aspect of Sihr (magic) and divination in Islamic culture
as a source of politico-aesthetic transformation, empowerment, and

PJ GUBATINA POLICARPIO (US) is an educator, curator, and community
organizer. He designs spaces for critical and thoughtful interactions
between communities, artists, and art. Born in the Philippines, PJ
works between New York and San Francisco; the Lenape and Ohlone
homelands. You can learn more about his work at pjpolicarpio.net. He
is co-founder, with Emmy Catedral, of the Pilipinx American Library.

ADDIE WAGENKNECHT (US, AT) is a co-founder of both REFRESH and Deep
Lab. Her work explores the tension between expression and technology.
She seeks to blend conceptual work with forms of hacking and
sculpture. Previous exhibitions include MuseumsQuartier Wien, Vienna,
Austria; La Gaîté Lyrique, Paris, France; The Istanbul Modern;
Whitechapel Gallery, London and MU, Eindhoven, Netherlands. In 2016
she collaborated with Chanel and I-D magazine as part of their Sixth
Sense series and in 2017 her work was acquired by the Whitney Museum
for American Art.
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