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

KT Duffy ktduffyinc at gmail.com
Sun May 31 14:14:59 AEST 2020

In terms of curatorial practice as pedagogy, this has become a large part
of my teaching practice. I have realized the importance of exposing both my
Studio Art and Graphic Design students to the various roles creatives play
in the broad field where technology meets art and design, both respectively
and collectively. This realization stems from my foremost goal as an
educator, which is to work towards the elimination of the marginalizing
factors and gatekeeping many of our students experience during their
studies, as they enter into a profession, and as they continue on into
careers. By flushing out different roles and giving students opportunities
to be involved in large scale projects from their ideation to execution, we
can allow students of all abilities and interests to find a niche where
they can see themselves reflected.

In every class I teach, I try to facilitate at least one large scale
project that often involves several collaborators. Last semester my
students and I worked towards a Trans Day of Resilience
Working with the Angelina Pedroso Center and the Queer Student Leadership
Institute at NEIU, we compiled an intentional, international, and
multigenerational list of Trans and GNC individuals whose contributions
continue to impact the LGBTQIA+ community. Along with my colleague Lauren
Meranda <http://laurenmeranda.com/wordpress/> (an amazing designer and
queer icon herself), we brought this list to a workshop with Lauren's Type
I course and my Art + Technology I course. This workshop launched with a
discussion of Forward Together's Trans Day of Resilience project
<https://tdor.co/>. Lauren then did an in-depth Risograph workshop, which
involved how to operate the machine and prepare files. Students then worked
as a class to select individuals they wanted to highlight as 11x17 Riso
posters. Students worked collaboratively to curate a set of visuals
(colors, textures, patterns, fonts), which Lauren and I quickly turned into
a design kit students could download. Using this kit, students then went
into production mode and then worked together to fabricate their posters on
the RISO. We then did a site visit as a class to the exhibition space, and
collectively designed and installed the exhibition.

In this broader project students made curatorial decisions such as "what
can queer design look like." They gained proficiency with a new technical
process and worked as a cohesive team along side of many stake-holding
entities to articulate visualizations of queer, trans, and nonbinary
individuals as significant cultural contributors.

I'm interested in how a project like this could be scaled to fit a distance
model. A lot of the interactions and archival activities can be facilitated
with any number of Google tools. However, I am still working through how
one might replicate the fluid exchanges and learning experiences
that happen in an IRL MakerSpace environment. I am curious as to what
alternative opportunities for dialogue and knowledge transfer might emerge
in place, or in opposition to those of the IRL MakerSpace.

On Fri, May 29, 2020 at 7:43 PM Ali Seradge <aseradge at gmail.com> wrote:

> 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.
> I feel curatorial practice is an essential part of teaching art,
> especially towards the end of high school and beyond. Simply because it
> illuminates how such spaces come to be and how they are managed. I think
> the current pandemic will highlight the internet’s broken promise of a more
> democratic medium and global market of culture.
> Secondly, but definitely more novel and perhaps just as dangerous is the
> conservative mapping an actual space virtually. I think that trope is going
> to get supercharged. It would seem that a more forward looking and
> definitely more creative outlook would be to create a space that cannot
> easily be created in real space. For this, I think of KT Duffy’s Jurassic
> Warp <http://jurassicwarp.com> or the ship of the imagination from Cosmos.
> If creating new pedagogical methods involving curation, mocking up actual
> spaces may be a good starting point, but I would have the students begin to
> think how movement and context affect the work and the space à la Jurassic
> Warp. This absolute control over the viewer can affect how they move
> through the space and thus introduce a method of disrupting a sense of time
> as well.
> On May 28, 2020, at 10:36 AM, Byron Rich <brich at allegheny.edu> wrote:
> 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
> www.byronrich.com
> Allegheny Lab for Innovation & Creativity
> www.sites.allegheny.edu/alic/
> Co-chair of Exhibitions & Events - New Media Caucus
> www.newmediacaucus.org
> 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
> he/him/his
> Mellon Assistant Professor of Digital Art and New Media
> Vanderbilt University
> www.alejandroacierto.com
> 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 :-)
> cheers,
> Ali
> _______________________________________________
> empyre forum
> empyre at lists.artdesign.unsw.edu.au
> http://empyre.library.cornell.edu

KT Duffy
Assistant Professor of Art & Technology
Northeastern Illinois University
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