[-empyre-] Final Week of May? What is Dystopia, Really?

alejandro t. acierto aacierto at gmail.com
Thu May 28 09:56:52 AEST 2020

Hey hey y'all,

Thanks for including me in these conversations Byron and for the lovely
introduction. I'm excited to take part in these discussions and will also
share a little bit more about some work that I've been engaged in that seem
relevant to this thread.

In addition to collaborating with KT on *CQDE: a feminist manifestx of
code-ing*, I've been making work that considers how we make space for
others made vulnerable while highlighting the structures of power that
shape corporeal and spatial restrictions. While recent projects have been
focused on how these structures exist online, past projects have been
invested in the construction of archives at large and had not yet
considered the internet as archive or even as material. That aside, my most
recent installation *How to take up space when you’ve only been given the
a work that questions the viability of hashtag activism in an era of
networked culture that centers trans Latinx activist and icon Sylvia Rivera
in her 1973 speech "Y'all better quiet down now!". Consisting of a software
work displaying a video fragment on a small 3.5in monitor in close
proximity to a neon sculpture, it's a project that relies on the Twitter to
advance frames within the video.

In another project I completed last year*, *I sourced YouTube videos made
by cigar aficionados, hobbyists, and amateur experts that offered their
viewership tutorials on how to compare real and "fake" Cuban cigars in
preparation for a work as part of Maria Magdalena Campos-Pons's curatorial
project *Ríos intermitentes. *In an attempt to foreground the conditions
and prevalence of counterfeit and grey economies, I shared the work* Puro
<https://vimeo.com/331812470> *that begins with an explanation of
identifying the ultimate, most authentic Cuban cigar.

As a curator, I worked on a project with my students called *Unsettling
Time <http://alejandroacierto.com/unsettling-time> *which looked at ideas
outlined in Mark Rifkin's book Beyond Settler Time: Temporal Sovereignty
and Indigenous Self-Determination
<https://www.dukeupress.edu/beyond-settler-time>to consider queer and
Indigenous perspectives given the Internet's destabilization of time
altogether. With work drawn on various archives made possible by image
networks, the projects shown provided new theoretical formations,
assemblages, and conceptualizations of time and temporality and thus
*made* *space
for* bodies, perspectives, and ideas historically made vulnerable.

In any event, I look forward to how these discussions unfold and am excited
about having the space and time to do so.

more soon!

in peace, alejandro

alejandro t. acierto
Mellon Assistant Professor of Digital Art and New Media
Vanderbilt University


On Wed, May 27, 2020 at 7:48 AM Ali Seradge <aseradge at gmail.com> wrote:

> ----------empyre- soft-skinned space----------------------
> thank you for the intro Byron and having us join the thread!
> As KT mentioned, they and I run Langer Over Dickie
> <http://langeroverdickie.com>.  We started this artist run space in our
> home about a year ago. We made the choice to keep all the original trim and
> domestic finishes to remind visitors that they are in a home. Our thoughts
> were that we could present something other than a constructed white space,
> literally and figuratively. We also strived to have demographic parity
> between our yearly roster of artists and the population of Chicago.
> We are in the process of switching our scheduled shows into a digital
> format while maintaining our course to present challenging work in an
> accessible way.
> All these choices were made with the intent of making the gallery, the
> art, artists, and community more accessible to a population that often
> feels intimated and excluded by the “Art” world.
> As for my personal work, I am a painter. <http://aliseradge.com>  About
> 85% of the time, my activity involves colorful mud and fuzzy sticks. The
> other 15% involves digital making. Two conundrums that occupy my mind in
> regards to digital making are “How is context created when viewing art
> digitally?” and “Does that same context change if the art is originally
> made for a digital space or not?”
> To sponsor such questions, I recently curated a show titled “Handmade by
> Robots” <https://www.thevisualist.org/2019/11/handmade-by-robots/> at
> Northeastern Illinois University. The call was for artists who used digital
> technology in their art making process. The result was a show of compelling
> work made with a wide variety of processes from sowing machine punch cards
> to VR user based performances.
> I look forward to upcoming discussions :-)
> cheers,
> Ali
> _______________________________________________
> empyre forum
> empyre at lists.artdesign.unsw.edu.au
> http://empyre.library.cornell.edu
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