Special Events


Special Events
28 Sep, 2021


The New Media Working Group presents Refamiliarization, a week-long show of artworks at Platform Artspace and the Worth Ryder Gallery that speculate on practices and technologies that interrupt the habituation compelled by COVID-era domestic data extraction and quotidian mediations.

About Refamiliarization

A century ago, Viktor Shklovsky introduced the concept of “defamiliarization” to describe art’s revolutionary potential. Facing a world beset by habituation, automatism, and alienation, he proclaims that art “exists so that one may recover the sensation of life.”

The COVID-19 pandemic has effected a thoroughgoing sense of defamiliarization — even the most quotidian habits have become strange. It has awakened a reflexivity in our relations to the objects of everyday life, making us more aware of the clothes we wear when leaving the house. Simultaneously, though, the domestic sphere has become the site for further habituation to technologies that imperceptibly extract value from our every utterance and gesture. While some seemingly intractable institutional norms may have been temporarily interrupted, others have been fortified. A sustained moment of emergency, the pandemic obliges us to assess what must be recast and resisted and what, if anything, may be recovered with care.

Refamiliarization brings together works of art — from performances and installations, to videos and sculptures — that speculate on and give form to new versions of what could be “familiar.” Read more at the Refamiliarization website here.

Participating Artists

Alex Saum
Anxious to Make (Liat Berdugo + Emily Martinez)
Diego Orihuela
Dulphe Pinheiro-Machado
Edgar Fabián Frías
Hyunmin Ryu
Jennifer Jane Cannon
Katya Rozanova, Max Horwich, Ashley Lewis, Emliy Saltz
Robert Rapoport
Roopa Vasudevan
Rosalie Yu
Rudolf Lingens
Tega Brain, Benedetta Piantella, Alex Nathanson
Tim Feeney
Ziv Schneider

Event schedule

Wednesday, September 29

12–1pm: Curator tour for BCNM community, led by Justin Berner and Julia Irwin

430pm: Official exhibition opening with light refreshments

530–7pm: Performance: The Estate of Our Friend Sylvia by Ziv Schneider and Bethany Tabor

7–8pm: Screening: Composite Tests: Retrieval by Robert Rapoport, MILK by Hyun-min Ryu, and Corporate Personhood Symposium by Rudolf Lingens

Thursday, September 30

530–7pm: Processional Event: Embodying Our Collective Change with Edgar Fabián Frías

7–8pm: Screening: Brazil: Verse and Reverse by Dulphe Pinheiro-Machado, O, LUNA! by VLM, and Caroline by Tim Feeney

Friday, October 1

4–530pm: Workshop: Bread Symphony with Katya Rozanova, Emily Saltz, Ashley Lewis, and Max Horwich

Event descriptions

Wednesday, September 29, 2021, 530-8 PM

The Estate of Our Friend Sylvia, Ziv Schneider and Bethany Tabor
Schneider and Tabor will preside over an NFT estate sale auction for the recently-deceased virtual Instagram influencer, known mononymously as Sylvia. Please do join us as we celebrate the very full, yet brief life of this virtual personage and bid on the rights to her delightful, digital belongings.


Three short films that deal with questions of automation and digital personhood: Robert Rapoport’s Composite Tests: Retrieval meditates on machine learning and digital surveillance; MILK by Hyun-min Ryu offers a playful exercise in human endurance against everyday forms of nonhuman sensing; Rudolf Lingens’s Corporate Personhood Symposium presents a dark, farcical take on constructing identity in digital, late-capitalist society.

Thursday, September 30, 2021, 530-8 PM

Embodying Our Collective Change, Edgar Fabián Frías
In this processional event, Fabián Frías will guide a group of participants through a collective ritual of self-transformation that reflects on how we perform ourselves in the institutional environment of the campus.


The exhibition’s second screening of short films presents the conflict between material infrastructures and the surreal, imagined worlds they enable: Dulphe Pinheiro-Machado’s Brazil: Verse and Reverse offers a poetic view into the intersection of politics and the domestic sphere; O, LUNA! by VLM follows a Luna Moth through a homemade, miniature film studio in a surreal investigation into materiality and metamorphosis; Tim Feeney’s Caroline is an ambient meditation on the limits of visual and sonic recording technologies in capturing natural phenomena.

Friday, October 1, 2021

Bread Symphony Workshop, Katya Rozanova, Ashley Lewis, Emily Saltz, and Max Horwich

The artists behind Bread Symphony, an installation work that reflects on the sonic aesthetics of the bread fermentation process, will lead participants in a collective aural performance in which we knead dough, break bread, and generate sounds that will contribute to the project’s future formations.


Curated by Justin Berner and Julia Irwin

Made possible with support from:

The Berkeley Center for New Media

The Department of Art Practice

The Department of Film & Media

The Berkeley D-Lab

Townsend Center for the Humanities

Special thanks to Jill Miller

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