Speaking on a panel at Open City Art City at YBCA! #opencities2025

opencities-ybca

 

FREE with RSVP: http://opencityartcity.tumblr.com/

Open City/Art City Festival
October 4, 2014
YBCA, 701 Mission St, San Francisco, CA 94113
11am – 8pm

For those who want the specific details of the panel I will be participating on, here you go!

Artful Models: Creative Solutions to Our Changing Industry (YAAW Lounge at 7:00 PM)
Moderated by Rhiannon MacFayden, Founder, A Simple Collective

Artists are tinkerers, rebuilders, inverters, and the do-it-yourselfers. Historically, artists have also been socioeconomic “canaries”—the first (vocal) casualties of financial and political wind-shifts. As our economies and communities change, and we continue to hemorrhage local artists, beloved nonprofits, and established galleries, creative “artrepreneurs” are finding new models to keep the industry, and their vision, thriving. We’ll ask some of these nimble innovators about their view of the current climate and what they’re doing to create solutions to our art-world problems.

Panelists:

  • Danielle Siembieda-Gribben, The Art Inspector: from performance to business
  • Dorothy Santos, Grey Area Foundation: Discussing their big changes and why
  • Noah Weinstein, Autodesk Artist Residency: A symbiotic model for supporting artists while building technology
  • Rhiannon Evans MacFadyen, A Simple Collective + ASC Projects: An experiment in hybrid gallery models
  • Tim Roseborough, Artist “Meta-Practice”, art through marketing/marketing through art

Craving more information about #opencities2015? Check out the details of the event and learn more about the partnering organizations below! 

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Yerba Buena Center for the Arts (YBCA) and The Institute for the Future (IFTF) are teaming up to engage the public through a creative and generative weekend that looks at how we transform a city. The weekend consists of IFTF’s Maker Cities’ Conference (Oct. 3) and the Open City/Art City Festival (Oct. 4). Through a vibrant mix of art installations, speakers, participatory activities, performances, music, food, and play, IFTF and YBCA invite the Bay Area community to imagine how we can build a city that is more open, creative and inclusive.

The Open City/Art City Festival seeks to leverage the essential role we all play in civic life and the future of our city. We want to explore the infrastructures, assets, and places needed within cities locally and globally to enable access to artistic exploration, inspiration, participation, collaboration, and opportunity.

The Festival provides a unique occasion to connect with some of the most progressive leaders in the Bay Area who are on the forefront of socially engaged enterprises in the arts, the public sector, urban design, and technology. Join us in uniting our diverse communities together to help frame generative dialogue, identify opportunities for collaboration, community engagement, collaborative design of our public spaces, and inclusive, citizen-centered city models.

As dialogue, connectivity, advocacy, storytelling, and cross-disciplinary innovation are increasingly woven into projects produced by artists and civic technologists, the boundaries between passive and active participant are diminished in lieu of a civic-minded and interdependent community. We hope that by providing a venue for stakeholders and community members to facilitate discussion, we can amplify the broad range of perspectives that comprise our city, and inspire new ways to shape the future. We are truly excited to help foster new, resilient connections in the community and facilitate mutually beneficial relationships across disciplines and industries in the Bay Area. And more to come!

ABOUT THE ORGANIZERS

Institute for the Future (IFTF) is an independent, nonprofit strategic research group with over 46 years of forecasting experience. Our mission is to help organizations, communities, and individuals think systematically about the future. We pioneer tools and methods for building foresight and insight to drive more informed and thoughtful action today. IFTF is based in Palo Alto, California.

Yerba Buena Center for the Arts (YBCA) was founded in 1993 out of an expressed need for an accessible, high-profile San Francisco venue devoted to contemporary visual art, performance, and film/video representing diverse cultural and artistic perspectives. Distinguished by its support for contemporary artists from around the world, YBCA is also recognized for the important role the organization plays in the San Francisco Bay Area arts ecology and in the community at large. From its award-winning youth arts and activism job training program, Young Artists at Work, to the acclaimed triennial Bay Area Now multidisciplinary arts festival, YBCA has established its leadership role as a champion of living artists working in the Bay Area.

TOPICS INCLUDE

• Systems of Support and Strengthened Infrastructures for Vibrant Arts and Culture
• Uniting Civic Technology with Arts Civic Practice
• Digital Divide, Inclusive Technology Movement
• “Re-engineering” the Relationship between Art and Technology in the Bay Area
• Maker Cities – The “Maker Mindset” to the Complex urban challenges of health, education, food, and citizenship
• Economic Shifts and Gaps – Addressing Equity – Changes in Neighborhoods and its Impacts
• Public and Private Partnerships – Leveraging New Resources and Capital

The Honeymoon’s Over: Reflecting on the Internet Utopianism and the Arts Published to The Civic Beat

A couple of weeks ago, I had the privilege of co-presenting on a panel with An Xiao Mina and Ben Valentine. Below is my excerpt of the full write up by all three of us published to The Civic Beat! Exciting!! Please feel free to share thoughts and comments. Or feel free to connect with me via Twitter @deedottiedot

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After the wonderful opportunity of co-presenting with Ben Valentine and An Xiao Mina of The Civic Beat, I have to admit, I actually looked up the term “honeymoon period.” The good ole internet actually provided two distinct definitions. Apparently the honeymoon phase for diabetics signals the start of insulin treatment while the Urban Dictionary states, “The three-month maximum period between a person’s entry into a new situation and a person’s complete screwing up of said situation or essential elements of it. This phenomenon is backed by massive amounts of studies in social psychology and even more massive amounts of personal testimony from bitter, angry people.”

The second definition sounds about right. But this reliance on the internet for research needs, a good laugh, and engaging in human rights activism has some disadvantages to it as well. Taking into account the very name of our panel, we tasked ourselves the tough question of whether the internet utopian vision and ideologies of the earlier internet still rang true today. We had three different ways to discuss the question. Not so surprisingly, I answered with a desire to not forget the body and our sensations. From social networking to internet bots to memes, my plea to the audience for the evening was to not forget our sense of self and body in this highly mobile age.

While technology moves at a feverishly rapid pace, we may find ourselves lost even before we figure out the best way to look, research, and obtain exactly what we need. I decided to focus on how new media artists use the internet and mobile technologies that incorporate the body somehow. Whether through augmented reality or applications to actually embodiment of a fictitious or mythical character or creature online, I found myself interested in how new media artists are dismantling such ideologies.

During the presentation, one of the individuals I focused on was new media artist John Craig Freeman. He uses augmented reality in his artistic practice, which is heavily used by advertisers to overlay landscapes and buildings with branding for marketing purposes. But Freeman uses this technology to interrogate the politics of space. Essentially, anyone with a smart phone and the internet can find out about the objective and purpose of each of his interventionist projects.

For the past year, I have examined his piece, Border Memorial: Fronteras de Los Muertos, which enables a viewer to download augmented reality application Layar. Once downloaded, the user has the option of travelling to specific locations, in this case, the US Mexican border, and holding their phone to the landscape. Calacas or skeletons appear on the screen. These serve as markers to specific spots within the landscape where the remains of migrants attempting to cross the border have been found and identified.

Now, I don’t want to end on such a sad note but you’re probably asking yourself why I’m so interested in addressing the original question or problem statement with emphasis on such a tricky concept of embodiment. Quite frankly, the word alone makes me feel like I’m falling into an abyss. But it also reminds me that the internet has a way of making us forget about our bodies and our senses. Rather, it amplifies this need for us to only focus on vision.

Perhaps, my academic research and investment in in real life (IRL), physical activism prompts me to try and strike this unending balancing act. While I straddle the lines of loving and hating the internet, I’m forced to have a relationship with it. So I wonder if there was ever a honeymoon period to begin with? Am I not in the dating phase of still getting to know this rhizomatic entity that continues to excite yet infuriate me? Ha! Sure sounds like one a rewarding relationship and like any relationshipone that takes A LOT of work to understand.

Full write up can be read here.

Photos from The Matter Within: New Contemporary Art of India @ Yerba Buena Center for the Arts

Untitled (2008), Rotating matka (earthen pot), motorized rotational mechanism | Artist: Sudarshan Shetty

Over the weekend, I visited the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts and saw The Matter Within: New Contemporary Art of India exhibition. I found myself making my way back to Sudarshan Shetty’s installation work. Both Untitled pieces (the above from his ‘Saving Skin’ series and the one below from his ‘Stab’ series) intrigued me. Although the mechanism tipped the pot back and forth with a constant, even rhythm that mimicked human movement, the piece presented tension and discomfort. The overall work presents the duality of new and old technologies

As noted on the exhibition placard for his work, the pot is a part of a series that ,

…recalls the loss of connection with earth and body, represented by the traditional earthen pot, in an increasingly mechanized universe.

~Source: YBCA exhibition placard

Untitled (2010), Wooden Chair, paint on fiberglass, neon | Artist: Sudarshan Shetty

Similarly, the intricately wooden chair coupled with something modern and contrasts with tradition. The relationship of the old and modern world presents the strain between tradition in a rapidly evolving world.

Artificial Strawberry Flavor-1 (2008), Corian cabinet, fiberglass bottles, oil, acrylic | Artists: Thukral & Tagra

I’m not sure if it’s the abundance of red coupled with the quantity of highly rendered oil and acrylic paintings on each bottle (some easily identified as Hershey’s Cocoa Powder and syrup containers) but this piece worked extremely well. It provided commentary on the nature of consumerism and vibrancy of pop culture imagery in Punjabi society.

On [B]ay [A]rea [N]ow 6 @ the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts

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At dusk, a radiating neon green herbal leaf welcomes visitors to the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts. It serves as one of the first installations a visitor sees when entering the Bay Area Now 6 (aka BAN6) visual arts exhibition. The signage was created by, Bay Area artist and San Francisco Art Institute faculty member, Tony Labat. As a play on the words Yerba Buena and the rich history San Francisco brings to the ongoing political and social debate of medicinal marijuana. Historically, Labat’s work examines social and cultural issues within such a milieu of diverging and opposing opinions.

Dualing Pianos: Agape Agape in D Minor by Mauricio Ancalmo was one of the noteworthy pieces in BAN6. Ancalmo fastidiously creates the perfect amount of tension, both figuratively and literally. Various technologies coalesce to re-contextualize and re-imagine concepts such as time, placement, and discord. The large kinetic sculpture pushes the viewer’s understanding of new media and technology based work. In many ways, Ancalmo calls upon his viewer to actually listen as well as experience the cyclical nature of synthesis and antithesis.

Chris Fraser’s light installation, Developing a mutable horizon, plays with the viewer’s sense of space and perception through light refraction and offers an provocative participatory aspect to the spectator. Fraser’s experience as a photographer lends itself well in that the body dictates the light versus the light dictating placement of the body. Another photographer, Sean McFarland, explores the unorthodox nature of darkness within landscape photography and calls into question how the senses grow accustomed to what is not the commonplace. Light plays an incredibly and necessary role in capturing the perfect image. Yet, what happens when that paradigm of photography shifts to capturing that which is shrouded in darkness. How do the eyes see? Do the eyes and the sense of sight truly discern lines and shapes? McFarland challenges our retinal sense by having darkness within the photograph to be what guides the eye and our cognition to comprehending the forms as if there is something more revealing captured in the dark versus in the light.

Another standout piece was Suzanne Husky’s, Sleeper Cell Hotel. The oval pods constructed from raw lumber accompanied by quilted comforters adorning the interior is a trenchant approach at creating the antithesis of what is commonly known as a sleeper cell – clandestine and secret. Husky’s combination of performance art, functionality, and sculptural fabrications take what is private into the public sphere.

The show incorporated artists using traditional methods of art making such as Robert Minervini paintings of cityscapes under construction as well as Ben Venom’s quilts but based within a more conceptual framework. Both artists provide anomalous ways in which old technologies are being used to create advancements in the way art is created and experienced. Yet, even with all of the optimism one can muster about the Bay Area art community, the disappointing aspect of the show was the lack of artists working with newer and cutting edge technologies. Granted, there are many organizations showcasing the new wave of technologically based artists and makers but it’s a bit surprising to not see them as well represented in the BAN6 show. The diversity and range ought to make visible and obvious the ways in which the Bay Area differs from other regions versus exhibiting how we are alike. There is a specific voice here that wasn’t particularly shown. Although the selected BAN6 artists embody the broad range of art within the Bay Area, the diversity in technique and method was a bit lacking.

For more information about BAN6 click here

Originally posted to zer01 blog, please click here to view.