Dissident Futures Art and Ideas Festival at Yerba Buena Center for the Arts

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I am THRILLED to co-present along with An Xiao Mina and Ben Valentine at the Dissident Futures Art and Ideas Festival. Please RSVP through YBCA’s site here. It will be good times and lots of great conversation. It’s been a great year thus far. Although it’s been extremely challenging to balance work, school, and freelance work, I’ve been handling it without my head completely rolling off and away from my body! Please consider checking out the festival and paying our panel a visit and talking to us. 🙂

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Dissident Futures Art and Ideas Festival
Sat, Nov 23, Noon–9 PM
Grand Lobby, Screening Room, Third Street Courtyard, Youth Arts Lounge
FREE w/ RSVP

YBCA invites you to participate in a one-day interactive festival in conjunction with the Dissident Futures visual arts exhibit in our Downstairs Gallery. The festival will bring our communities together to explore and investigate possible futures envisioned by artists, urban planners, environmentalists, scientists, robotic experts, designers, programmers, and food activists through dynamic workshops, lectures, performances, interactive media, music, and more.

In the Bay Area, there are a wealth of future-facing projects, involving practical innovations in technology and science. Some of these creative yet pragmatic endeavors are informed by utopian dreams and fueled by a local culture that looks to the future with hope and a predominant strain of optimism at what may come. The worldwide effort to consider and shape the future is being conducted by diverse actors including artists, scientists, teachers, and activists. The breadth of ideas and emergent forms ranges vastly, and given the scope and rising pace of these activities, ideas, and aspirations around the future, it is an exciting time for us to look critically at the participants and the outsiders in this conversation.

We want to bring people together in dialogue with members of our Bay Area community who have the tools to envision a future that expands on the best of our aspirations and builds on our technological advances, but keeps in check negative vectors such as climate change, rising income inequalities, and gaps that exist for power distribution and influence. We want to look at the entire ecology and foster discussions that move us forward.

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Noon: Opening Remarks by YBCA Executive Director Deborah M. Cullinan and Talks by Ray Gilstrap and Architects/Designers/Planners for Social Responsibility (ADPSR), Grand Lobby

Noon–8 PM: Artist booths by Fantastic Futures, Takehito Etani, Peter Foucault, Young Gifted and Black, GAFFTA, and Institute for the Future, Grand Lobby

Throughout the Day: Food, Music, Performances, and Mini Maker Faire, Third Street Courtyard

1–8 PM: Artist Presentations

1–2:30 PM: Future Cities Lab: Work of Future Cities Lab, Screening Room; Walidah Imarisha: Workshop on Sci-Fi and Social Movements, Youth Arts Lounge

2:30–4 PM: Code for America: Discussion on Open Government, Screening Room; Long Now Foundation: Manual for Civilization and GAFFTA: Creative Technology for Social Good and Urban Prototyping, Youth Arts Lounge

4–5:30 PM: Institute for the Future Fellows: Creating a Future for Good, Screening Room; Green House Project: Urban Agriculture—Rethinking Urban Density, Youth Arts Lounge

5:30–7 PM: InsTED Talks with Jaime Cortez, L. M. Bogad, Bill Hsu, and Jenifer Wofford, Screening Room; Kal Spelletich: Research and Survival in the Arts, Youth Arts Lounge

8–9:15 PM: Video Game Monologues, Screening Room; Dorothy Santos, An Xiao Mina, Ben Valentine: The Honeymoon’s Over—Arts and Culture Criticism in the Age of Networked Power, Youth Arts Lounge

2–4 PM: Performance by Michael Zheng, Grand Lobby; Performances and music by Brontez Purnell, Majo, Pangea F.C., Third Street Courtyard

7–8 PM: Performance by Jenifer Wofford and Kyle Herbert, Grand Lobby; Music performances, Third Street Courtyard

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Dorothy Santos is a freelance art writer, blogger, curator, and visual and critical studies geek. Born and raised in San Francisco, she holds bachelor’s degrees in philosophy and psychology from the University of San Francisco. As arts editor and curator of Asterisk San Francisco Magazine + Gallery, and blogger for ZERO1 and Gray Area Foundation for the Arts (GAFFTA), she enjoys writing about artists and engaging with the community. Her work appears in ArtPractical,StretcherCreative Applications NetworkDaily ServingHyperallergicArt21, and Planting Rice. She serves as a board member for the SOMArts Cultural Center and is currently pursuing her master’s degree in visual and critical studies from the California College of the Arts. Her research emphasis is on computational aesthetics, programming, coding, and open source culture and their effects on contemporary art.

An Xiao Mina is an artist, designer, writer, and a technologist. In her research and practice, she explores the intersection of networked, creative communities and civic life. Calling memes the “street art of the internet,” she looks at the growing role of internet culture and humor in addressing social and political issues in countries like China, Uganda, and the United States. Her writing and commentary have appeared in publications such as The AtlanticFast Company,Wired and others, and she has lectured at conferences such as the Personal Democracy Forum, the Microsoft Social Computing Symposium, and Creative Mornings. She is a 2013 USC Annenberg / Getty Arts Journalism Fellow and is co-founding The Civic Beat, a global research group and publishing platform focused on internet culture and civic life around the world.

Ben Valentine is a strategist and contributing author for the Civic Beat as well as a freelance cultural critic, curator, and creator based in Oakland. He recently organized Global Space, a groundbreaking exhibition for the Indianapolis Museum of Contemporary Art on the changing face of the individual in a neoliberal and networked world. Valentine also co-curated the world’s first Tumblr Art Symposium, which included commissioned essays, panelists, and an exhibition on the visual networked culture emerging all over the world, especially on Tumblr. His writing has appeared on publications like HyperallergicSalon, and Medium. He is currently preparing for a residency at the Internet Archive in San Francisco and working on building a Spanish and English Twitter translation platform for citizen journalism across linguistic and geographic borders.

Artist Profie: Sita Bhaumik ~ Asterisk SF Magazine Food Issue

Artist Profile: Sita Bhaumik

Technology allows us to exchange pictures of our caloric intake with the rest of the world with a few clicks, swipes, and use of a snazzy filter. Specifically, in San Francisco, a cosmopolitan place brimming with an incredibly diverse population, it’s relatively easy to experience food from a seemingly vast array of cultures. Whatever you want, San Francisco probably has a place or a person that could lead your nose and taste buds to something that will satiate you. Art offers a very similar experience. With our collective compulsive nature to share photos of things we can’t even taste or smell speaks to our collective desire to be connected. While food nourishes us, it also activates our creativity. Cooking and eating is a way to let others into the particulars of what we allow into our bodies. What happens when food is used to describe the relationships we have with ourselves, our history, culture, or our ethnicity? What happens when food becomes the medium of an artwork? Or when it goes beyond the sense of sight and envelopes you in a completely multi-sensory experience? Food provides us with a lot of information about who and what we are. Think about an ornately covered wall dusted in nothing but curry. Imagine a room filled with the aromatic smell of cinnamon. Contemplate the use of ice cream and edible inkjet prints. This makes up only a fraction of the artwork created by Bay Area installation artist, Sita Bhaumik.

As an artist, writer, and educator, Bhaumik does an extraordinary job at explaining the intricacies and constructs around weighty topics such as identity, culture, gender, and ethnicity, yet in such a whimsical, dynamic, and sometimes comical way. She manages to showcase her extreme wit and intelligence and makes history, cultural observations, and art digestible (pun intended). As a writer and scholar, Bhaumik re-invents the way in which we react to and contemplate food. She mentions in her writing, “Whether we’re in front of the television or at a museum, we arrive with tummies rumbling, ready to consume. On the one hand, food is a necessity. On the other, food is a luxury, trend, marketing opportunity, movement, and social-justice issue”. As much as food is a necessity, there are varying levels of accessibility and openness to scents and tastes that appear unfamiliar. Cumin, coriander, turmeric, garam masala, and chili powder on paper are only some of the ingredients Bhaumik uses to communicate something deeper about thought processes and perceptions of ourselves and others. Her work investigates and serves as a brilliant metaphor for the way in which we encounter someone outside of ourselves. Not only is her work elegant and meticulously done, it is an ingenious way to have people foster a different relationship with food as well.

With the wide array of fusion foods and cuisines that make up the Bay Area, it certainly is a place for the creative intellectuals to whet the community’s appetite with innovative ways of seeing and experiencing art. Bhaumik’s workis certainly a testament to the creativity and the diverse art practices found in San Francisco. As we enter into the Fall months, Bhaumik already has her schedule filled with events and a residency! She will be participating on a Scholar’s panel entitled, Food in Focus: Asian and Latin American Cross-Cultural Cooking, for the Asian Culinary Forum. As the upcoming Bathroom Resident at 18 Reasons, Bhaumik’s inaugural show for the residency will open in October. Her work is certainly an experience. So, the next time you consider playing with your food, you want to think what Bhaumik may do given those same ingredients.

To learn more about artist Sita Bhaumik, visit her website here

Originally posted to Asterisk SF Magazine + Gallery site, please view here 

At The Ramp

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It’s been a few weeks since grad school started and I must say…I love it. The people, the discussions, the seminars, the reading (yes, even the ‘dry’ and ‘dense’ stuff) has been great. As challenging as it is to balance work with school and freelance obligations, I feel like I’ve had no other choice but to become extremely organized. Although there will be tough times ahead (I’ve already experienced a couple of late night study/writing sessions!), I have already grown significantly. My writing practice is shifting and taking such a different course. It’s all new territory for me but my brain is enjoying the cerebral nourishment. For anyone remotely interested in learning a bit more about the classes I’m taking, you can click here, here, and here. If you have any questions or want to share your thoughts, please feel free to leave a comment.

I took a few pictures from our department dinner this past Friday. I had the opportunity to meet second and third year grads and spend some time with a few of my classmates. The Ramp was a great choice and drinks at dusk was such a great way to end the week. 🙂

Photos of my Studio Visit with Allison Holt

There is SO much going on BUT I had to take the time to share a few photos I took during my studio visit with new media artist, Allison Holt. I’m looking forward to settling down and writing a piece about my conversation and visit with Holt. Her re-telling and artworks of the different energies and hybrid realities through her Fulbright research of Javanese culture is not only fascinating but yet another example of how artists can impact a community and engage in dialogue and discourse across cultures. Again, looking forward to posting parts of my interview with Holt as well as some reflection on her work.

I previously posted videos of the Hypercubes here. They’re extremely meditative, which I will get into during my write-up. For now, enjoy the studio visit photos and videos! If you have any burning questions and/or comments, please feel free to share and comment below. 🙂