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

Byron Rich brich at allegheny.edu
Fri May 29 01:36:27 AEST 2020

Thanks for the thoughtful responses, everyone. I’m really interested in some of these curatorial projects. Can we dig into Handmade by Robots and Unsettling Time a bit more?

In the statement for Unsettling Time, you state that the exhibition“…foregrounds Indigenous, queer, and postcolonial ideas around time. With work that draws on the archives of networked society, these pieces offer new theoretical formations, assemblages, and conceptualizations of time and temporality. In an effort to decolonize time, this project sets out to destabilize the chrononormative straightness of time, to allow it to exist outside of the singular constructs of linearity and progress. As such, these works revise how we might think of other times, of the durations and extensions that push time into space, and of the multiple compressions of accumulated times that enable us the capacity to offer singular objects and memories.”

I literally CTRL+V that, so please forgive the highlighting. Anyway, I’m really hoping you can help unpack some of this and dive into the "chrononormative”. I’ve never heard this term, and am really interested in the ways in which western concepts of time are and can be marginalizing. Can you elaborate on the marginalizing effects more specifically? I guess I have not given nearly enough thought beyond Bergsonian concepts of simultaneity to time, and time as a scientific instrument. I think it would be fantastic to have some insights into chrononormativity.

Regarding Handmade by Robots, I’d really appreciate some thoughts on the use of curation as a pedagogical tool. I’ve struggled to meaningfully integrate any kind of cohesive curatorial practice into my teaching, and am finding that it is only going to be more necessary given the effects of COVID on higher-ed. It seems as though we will be required as art educators, to work with non-traditional technologies of display more meaningfully as we mediate both the classroom and the gallery via the screen. 
Byron Rich 
Assistant Professor of Art
Director of Art, Science & Innovation
Global Citizen Scholar Faculty Director
Affiliated Faculty - Integrative Informatics 

Allegheny College
Doane Hall of Art, A204
Meadville, PA
(o) 814.332.3381

Allegheny Lab for Innovation & Creativity

Co-chair of Exhibitions & Events - New Media Caucus

Reference letters require three weeks of lead time. 

From: alejandro t. acierto
Sent: Wednesday, May 27, 2020 7:57 PM
To: Ali Seradge
Cc: Byron Rich; empyre at lists.artdesign.unsw.edu.au <empyre at lists.artdesign.unsw.edu.au>
Subject: Re: [-empyre-] Final Week of May? What is Dystopia, Really?

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 margin is 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 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 which looked at ideas outlined in Mark Rifkin's book Beyond Settler Time: Temporal Sovereignty and Indigenous Self-Determination 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.  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.  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” 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 :-)

empyre forum
empyre at lists.artdesign.unsw.edu.au

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