Frameworks and Futures
Panel discussion with Tega Brain, Jason Edward Lewis, and Paul Soulellis (moderator)
Thursday, December 10, 2020 @ 6pm EST
The artists in this conversation share a criticality of the structures and systems that underpin the internet and the way our data is collected and used. Their work exposes the issues in these larger apparatuses while also proposing alternate frameworks.
Please note: Due to unexpected circumstances, Tabita Rezaire was unable to join us for our live event this evening, but a recording of a conversation between Clara Halpern and her is available here.
Tega Brain is an Australian-born artist and environmental engineer whose work examines issues of ecology, data systems and infrastructure. She has created wireless networks that respond to natural phenomena, systems for obfuscating fitness data, and an online smell-based dating service. In her recent project Get well soon!, 2020, Brain and her collaborator Sam Lavigne created an endless online e-card drawn from an archive of over 400,000 messages of well wishes scraped from the crowd funding site gofundme, a “leader in online medical fundraising.” The project speaks at once to the current crisis of affordable healthcare in the US amid the global pandemic as well as genuine moments of care and connection. She has recently exhibited at the Guangzhou Triennial, the Haus der Kulturen der Welt in Berlin, the New Museum, and the Science Gallery in Dublin. Her work has been widely discussed in the press including in the New York Times, Art in America, The Atlantic, NPR, Al Jazeera and The Guardian and in art and technology blogs like the Creators Project and Creative Applications. She has given talks and workshops at museums and festivals like EYEO, TedxSydney and the Sonar Festival. Tega is an Assistant Professor of Integrated Digital Media, New York University. She works with the Processing Foundation on the Learning to Teach conference series and p5js project. She has been awarded residencies and fellowships at Data & Society, Eyebeam, GASP Public Art Park, the Environmental Health Clinic, and the Australia Council for the Arts.
Jason Edward Lewis is a co-founder (with artist Skawennati) of AbTeC, Aboriginal Territories in Cyberspace, an Aboriginally determined research-creation network whose goal is to ensure Indigenous presence in the web pages, online environments, video games, and virtual worlds that comprise cyberspace. Alongside Lewis’s work on AbTeC, his research includes emergent media theory and history, and methodologies for conducting art-led technology research and he has written extensively on mobile media, video game design, machinima, and experimental pedagogy with Indigenous communities. He founded Obx Laboratory for Experimental Media, directs the Initiative for Indigenous Futures and co-directs the Indigenous Futures Research Centre, the Indigenous Protocol and AI Workshops, the Aboriginal Territories in Cyberspace research network, and the Skins Workshops on Aboriginal Storytelling and Video Game Design. He is the University Research Chair in Computational Media and the Indigenous Future Imaginary as well as Professor of Computation Arts at Concordia University, Montreal. Born and raised in northern California, Lewis is Hawaiian and Samoan. He was the lead author on the award-winning “Making Kin with the Machines” essay and editor of the groundbreaking Indigenous Protocol and Artificial Intelligence Position Paper. Lewis is a current ISO-MIT Co-Creation Lab Fellow, a former Trudeau Fellow, and a former Carnegie Fellow. He received a BSc in Symbolic Systems (Cognitive Science), a BA in German Studies (Philosophy) from Stanford University, and an MPhil in Design from the Royal College of Art.
Paul Soulellis is an artist and educator based in Providence, RI, with a focus on queer methodologies and network culture. His practice includes teaching, writing, and experimental publishing, with a focus on queer methodologies and network culture. He is founder/director of Queer.Archive.Work, a non-profit community reading room, publishing studio, and project space, and Associate Professor of Graphic Design at the Rhode Island School of Design. Paul writes and speaks about art, design, and experimental publishing internationally, was a Design Insights speaker at the Walker Art Center in 2018, and was a featured speaker at the Eyeo Festival in 2019. In his recent writing, he’s explored coming together in urgent times, emphasizing working from shared, common positions, in common, and on common ground. Paul is also the founder of Library of the Printed Web, a physical archive devoted to web-to-print artists’ books, zines, and printout matter, now housed at MoMA Library in NYC.
…this is not made of language but energy is a speculative exploration of our present and future through topics including toolmaking, modes of circulation, frameworks, and more broadly, our digital lives. The series is curated by Clara Halpern, AGYU Assistant Curator, in collaboration with Jenifer Papararo, AGYU Director/Curator, and Orit Gat. The series title, “this is not made of language but energy,” is a quote from “Dream 2,” a poem by Eileen Myles. We would like to offer thanks to the artists, writers, and curators who contribute to this program, which is deeply informed by their work. We would also like to thank our partners InterAccess, Toronto, and Rhizome, New York City, for supporting the presentation of sessions in this program. Graphic design by Marta Ryczko.