In addition to my studio and writing practice, I participate in the arts as an organizer, facilitator, curator, and archivist. Below are some of the things I've been involved in.
From 2014 - 2018 I held the position of Manager of Library Special Collections at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, where I directed a public exhibition and lecture program, offered weekly project advising for students and faculty, and served on graduate critique panels while managing an internationally renowned collection of artists’ publications and several archives focused on the history of artist-run spaces in Chicago.
In addition to developing a diverse, relevant, and inspiring collection, my focus was on creating opportunities for students to share their curatorial vision and research across campus and with the broader Chicago community. To get a sense of the exhibitions and events I facilitated in this vein, visit the online exhibitions archive.
Media Grrrl is an open network of female identifying media artists in Chicago. Through monthly studio critiques and other programming, Media Grrrl offers a safe space for artists to share their work outside of Chicago's mostly male-dominated new media scene. The group brings together artists from different circles and disciplines within the media arts in order to foster community and collaboration.
Gender non-conforming artists are also welcome - if you feel unserviced by the patriarchy, feel free to join us. Though the main core of our activity happens in Chicago, telecommuting members are welcome. We currently operate through a secret Facebook page. To join, message me, or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Artists who have participated in our critiques, programming, and online resource sharing include:
Snow Yunxue Fu, Selden Paterson, Lindsey French, Stephanie Graham, Nhung Walsh, Gabriella Hileman (Cybertwee), Amanda VanValkenburg, Ali Aschman, Jenyu Wang, Carolina Fernandez Del Dago, Daviel Shy, Sanglim Han, Pinky Fingër (Allie Shyer), Paula Pinho Martins Nacif, Hiba Ali, Violet Forest (Cybertwee), Emily Eddy, Yaloo, Jenny Kljucaric, Stephanie Acosta, Slaveya Minkova, Zsofi Valyi-Nagy, Alexandria Vasquez, Danielle Campbell, Anna Russett, Christy Harrison Frei, Amina Ross, Sanaz Sohrabi, Laura Ann Harrison, Chelsea Welch, Sadie Woods, Lori Felker, Eve Kalugin, Jesse Seay &&& more.
Deep Time Chicago
Deep Time Chicago is an art/research/activism initiative formed in the wake of the Anthropocene Curriculum program at HKW in Berlin, Germany. The initiative’s goal is to explore one core idea: humanity as a geological agency, capable of disrupting the earth system and inscribing present modes of existence into deep time.
By knitting together group readings, guided walks, lectures, panels, screenings, performances, publications and exhibitions, we hope to develop a public research trajectory, offering a variety of formats where Chicago area inhabitants can grapple with the crucial questions of global ecological change. Learn more and subscribe to updates at deeptimechicago.org.
Anthropocene Library for ACRE
As part of Deep Time Chicago’s visiting artist program with ACRE, I assembled an Anthropocene Library for the residents. The library consisted of book collection alongside a series of readers assembled around different Anthropocene topics such as environmental apocalypse, art and ecology, environmental racism and justice, toxicity and queerness, multi-species assemblages, re-wilding, and more. Material for the readers came from scholarly articles as well as from fiction and art + design practices. After the residency session, the readers are accessible at ACRE’s gallery space in Chicago. To browse the reader and library contents, click here. To see the full schedule of activities Deep Time led at ACRE, click here.
Post/Natural: Artists’ Publishing and the Anthropocene
Through an exhibition, satellite library, and series of events, Post/Natural explores how artists are approaching the Anthropocene, post-natural landscapes, ecology, environmental activism, and disruptions of the binary between ”nature" and "culture." Because the Anthropocene is a topic that traverses the sciences, humanities, and most recently visual arts, Post/Natural takes artists’ publications as a focus point to ask what kinds of dialogue might develop from bridging scholarly and aesthetic modes of production. Like Laboria Cubonix in their Xenofeminist Manifesto, Post/Natural seeks to chip away at the concept of “Nature as an un-remarkable given,” investigating different Nature-Cultures, how they are constructed and what happens when they collide. For a list of artists and documentation click here.
98% Air: Symbolic Limits of the Natural and Artificial
A screening of video and 3D animation works in conjunction with the exhibition Post/Natural in Flaxman Library Special Collections. 98% Air (taken from the material composition of Styrofoam) prods at the symbolic limits of the natural and artificial, utopian and dystopian. A common thread throughout the works screened is a sense of buoyancy: what might we see (by) floating on the horizon?
Works by Jooyoung Lee (MFA 2018), Lindsey French (Faculy, Art & Tech), localStyle (Jay Alan Yim + Marlena Novak (Faculty, FVNMA)), Meg Erwin (BFA 2017), Nick Flaherty (BFA 2017), Selden Paterson (BFA 2013), Snow Yunxue Fu (Faculty FVNMA), Ricardo Cobian (BFA 2019), and a site specific installation by Tiana Birrell (MFA 2017). Part of Post/Natural. Read the program here.
Exercises in Receptivity: Solar Works
How do we perceive and receive the sun? Join us as we absorb and amplify through time-based works by Kamau Patton (Faculty, Visual and Critical Studies) and Lindsey French (Faculty, Art & Technology). To do this, we’ll be journeying closer to the sun (weather permitting) where the Social Solar class has been charging a solar-powered battery throughout the semester. View documentation here. Part of Post/Natural.
Unsettling the Canon: Decentering Dominant Paradigms in Art Education w/ Lisa Vinebaum
Unsettling the Canon comprises a participatory bibliography and collection of texts on themes of indigeneity, colonization, and racism: resources for understanding and combating systemic oppression and white supremacy; decolonial and inclusive methodologies for education/arts education; and alternatives to the dominant (Eurocentric, white supremacists, cis-gender, patriarchal, heterosexual, colorist, ableist) art canon. The bibliography will be available to the SAIC community online, with a selection of key texts to be produced, assembled, and distributed in print form during the Bibliodérive. See the bibliography in progress & suggest a text.
Bibliodérive is the application of the Situationist International practice of the dérive or “drift” reapplied to the realm of research, libraries and archives.
The Flaxman Library bibliodérive is a collection of generative, open-ended actions, or situations, taken to destabilize research practices geared towards an expected product or outcome, the gathering of information to merely support extant ideas and thought structures. It is a disruption in the traditional use value assigned to the library, the archive, to information storage and even to the very concept of research itself.
An impromtu reader assembled and distributed throughout campus at The School of the Art Institute of Chicago.
Amidst a cyberworld of constantly shifting information, fake news sources, and deceptive headlines, we thought it would be helpful to make a physical record of some of the documents and details that have emerged since the election. These documents range from self-health guides to calls to political action, and speak to the wildly unsettled moment that we’re all existing in. We hope this reader gives you the chance to power down, sit still with uncertainty, and look to the future. To view a PDF of the reader, click here.
Contributors and gatherers included: Kamau Patton, Sherae Rimpsey, Kera Ling, Rosie Accola, Beatriz Guzman Velasquez, Cheryl Acuña, Anna Foran, and others.
In linguistics, code-switching occurs when a speaker alternates between two or more languages, or language varieties, in the context of a single conversation. But beyond this connotation, code-switching is a phenomenon that references any way in which we subtly, reflexively change how we present ourselves. It becomes a means of expressing different parts of our individual identities, in different cultural and linguistic spaces.
Highlighting this spectrum of code-based art, the work in code/switch will explore technology as subject as well as medium, and will offer a survey of art that critically reflects on the creative use of tech, through a socio-cultural lens. This immersive and interactive exhibition brings together a range of artists, filmmakers, architects, designers, musicians and game developers, all pushing the boundaries of their fields using digital media. For a list of artists and documentation click here.
Interstice - what experiences are afforded at the borders and boundaries of dispersed and granular community? What is defined and redefined at the dynamic edges of identity, body, form?
The show will include selected work by Carolina Fernandez Del Dago, Emily Eddy, Lindsey French, Stephanie Graham, Snow Yunxue Fu, Stephanie Graham, Sanglim Han, Selden Paterson, Slaveya Minkova, Nhung Walsh, and Jenyu Wang.
Freeze Frame: Artists' Books and the Moving Image
Freeze-Frame is a showcase of works from the Joan Flasch Artists’ Book Collection that relate to film, video, and other moving-image based practices. These works, many of which are authored by artists working primarily in film and video, explore the book as a time based medium in itself. By halting the moving image, these artists are able to expand the space between finite moments and to let the viewer take control page-by-page, frame-by-frame. For a list of artists and documentation click here.
[History] Under Construction
Slaveya Minkova and Emma Robbins investigate the construction of history through artifacts and respond by creating their own hybrid cultures. Using photography, video, and installation, each artist operates as a guide, leading viewers through a contested terrain of images. Like a History Channel documentary filled with dramatized reenactments, work occupies a space between historical reference and invented persona, resulting in a series of imagined realms that parallel the present.
Emma Robbins translates her own intimate familial and cultural history using fabricated objects and garments, installation, photography, and performance. Her current series Reservation Royalty investigates pop culture images of First Peoples through costumes and installations that force viewers to question the authenticity of what they witness.
Archollapse by Slaveya Minkova derives from cultural and architectural transformations in Bulgaria following the end of communist rule in the late 20th century. Through archival photographs, video, and installation, Minkova performs an “archeological dig” into her own history, creating a space where fiction and fact collide.