BCNM Around the Web August 2021

21 Aug, 2021

BCNM Around the Web August 2021

Check out the amazing work of our faculty and alumni around the web this August!

Ra Malika Imhotep

Ra Malika joined Tina Campt on Charis Books' A Black Gaze: Artists Changing How We See in examining Black contemporary artists who are shifting the very nature of our interactions with the visual through their creation and curation of a distinctively Black gaze.

From the event description:

From Deana Lawson's disarmingly intimate portraits to Arthur Jafa's videos of the everyday beauty and grit of the Black experience, from Khalil Joseph's films and Dawoud Bey's photographs to the embodied and multimedia artistic practice by Okwui Okpakwasili, Simone Leigh, and Luke Willis Thompson--their work requires viewers to do more than simply look; it solicits visceral responses to the visualization of Black precarity.

Campt shows that this new way of seeing shifts viewers from the passive optics of looking at to the active struggle of looking with, through, and alongside the suffering--and joy--of Black life in the present. The artists whose work Campt explores challenge the fundamental disparity that defines the dominant viewing practice: the notion that Blackness is the elsewhere (or nowhere) of whiteness. These artists create images that flow, that resuscitate and revalue the historical and contemporary archive of Black life in radical ways. Writing with rigor and passion, Campt describes the creativity, ingenuity, cunning, and courage that is the modus operandi of a Black gaze.

Learn more about the event here!

Ken Goldberg

Ken was a panelist at the Robotics x Arts Exhibition: Opportunities and Issues in Robotics Applied in the Arts. The workshop discussed authorship in robotic art, the shifting roles between human and technology, the ethics and opportunities of robotic art, and more!

From the workshop description:

This workshop draws from the idea that art plays a critical role in establishing culture and understanding of how technology impacts broader society. Robotics and machine learning particularly can bring a radical transformation to the act of creative expression, by computationally replacing, enhancing or complementing artistic creativity and skills⁠—that we have traditionally believed as exclusive to humans. This workshop aims at bringing researchers and artists who bridge the worlds of engineering and arts from different perspectives, and discussing critical opportunities and challenges in robotic art. These include: How can we effectively evaluate the artistry and creativity of an automation? When and whether do we call an algorithmic creation an art? Where is the threshold between randomness and creativity? Who has creative authorship, when art is created by technology? Would technology eventually render human artistry and creativity irrelevant? This workshop will showcase the contemporary artistic and research works in robotics x arts through a virtual exhibition, and extend onto a deep discussion on how robotics x arts could provide frameworks of theory and practice as a scientific discipline.

Learn more about the workshop here!

Ken also participated in the ICCC '21 Art Exhibition as one of fourteen artists. The online exhibition invited artists who have employed artificial intelligence as a tool in their art practice.

From the exhibition description:

We’ve chosen 14 artists whose individual approaches vary widely but who all produce work we find both visually stunning and excitingly profound. The pieces these artists present should raise questions about the very nature of art, its relationship to technology and the role this type of creativity will have in future societies. Their work employs science in the service of art, visually and intellectually manifesting both the mysterious and the beautiful.

Learn more about the exhibition here!

Ken spoke on the relationship between human work and smart machines in Lumina Foundation's No Need to Fear the Robots if You're Primed for 'Human Work'. In the article, he argues how many mistakenly interpret advanced technologies as threats to human jobs.

From the article:

Goldberg suggests, we should focus on how “what humans are good at is complementary to what machines can do, and vice versa.” He offers what he calls a “radically hopeful” vision in which society takes advantage of the capabilities of machines, understands our human limitations, and focuses on the development of knowledge and skills that will define the emerging terrain of human work.

Read the entire article here!

Camille Crittenden

Camille recently featured as a speaker for AGA's 2021 Professional Development Training. In the session, Government Adoption of Distributed Ledger Technology, Camille joins two others to discuss the use of distributed ledger technology in the government at federal, state, local and municipial levels.

Learn more about the event here!

Beth Piatote

Beth participated in a faculty reading for the 34th Summer Fishtrap Week at Wallowa Lake Lodge. Since 1988, the Summer Fishtrap Gathering of Writers has brought together authors and instructors from around the country to provide intensive instruction and inspiration to a small group of writers.

Learn more about the gathering here!

Beth also featured in a small celebration of Nez Perce Indian artists at the Josephy Center for Art and Culture. In the celebration, artists, writers, and other Nex Perce speakers read and reflected on their own work as it relates to the current exhibit, "Nez Perce Treaties and Reservations, 1855-Present".

Learn more about the celebration here!

Hannah Zeavin

Hannah joined Adam Savage on KQED to discuss here book, The Distance Cure: A History of Teletherapy.

From the broadcast description:

Therapy has long understood itself as taking place in a room, with two (or more) people engaged in person-to-person conversation. And yet, starting with Freud’s treatments by mail, psychotherapy has operated through multiple communication technologies and media, including advice columns, radio broadcasts, crisis hotlines, video, personal computers, and mobile phones. In The Distance Cure, Hannah Zeavin tracks the history of teletherapy (understood as a therapeutic interaction over distance) and its metamorphosis from a model of cure to one of contingent help. From its initial use in ongoing care, its role in crisis intervention and symptom management, to our pandemic-mandated reliance on regular Zoom sessions.

Listen to the entire broadcast here!

Hannah also launched her book in a virtual event with fellow professor Grace Lavery sponsered by The Strand Book Store.

From the event description:

Zeavin tracks the history of teletherapy (understood as a therapeutic interaction over distance) and its metamorphosis from a model of cure to one of contingent help. She describes its initial use in ongoing care, its role in crisis intervention and symptom management, and our pandemic-mandated reliance on regular Zoom sessions. Her account of the "distanced intimacy" of the therapeutic relationship offers a powerful rejoinder to the notion that contact across distance (or screens) is always less useful , or useless, to the person seeking therapeutic treatment or connection. At the same time, these modes of care can quickly become a backdoor for surveillance and disrupt ethical standards important to the therapeutic relationship. The history of the conventional therapeutic scenario cannot be told in isolation from its shadow form, teletherapy. Therapy, Zeavin tells us, was never just a "talking cure"; it has always been a communication cure.

Learn more about the event here!

Alenda Chang

Alenda spoke on wordbuilding within the context of her expertise on digital games and ecology at the first online event of FIBER Festival's new Reassemble Lab. During this first evening, guests conversed on the potential of virtual worlds, playing, storytelling and critical future thinking in relation to ecology and cultural change.

Learn more about the event here!

Alenda also hosted Future+ Summit of the Future's Gaming Climate Change. The talk explores the role of games and XR experiences in the face of climate change.

Watch the event replay here!

Jane McGonigal

Jane led a live online training sponsored by the Institute for the Future called IFTF Fast Futures: Foresight for Beginners in 90 minutes. In the online learning experience, Jane taught participants how to get started with their own creative foresight to prepare for anything and start making changes in their onw lives and in society for the better.

Learn more about the event here!

Trevor Paglen

Trevor featured in the National News' article,'The Extreme Self': new book explores how the internet is changing who we are. The book, which has also been turned into a Dubai exhibition, discusses the effects of web and social media on our identities and societies and includes highlights such as Trevor's Behold These Glorius Times! (2017).

Read the entire article here!

Trevor also participated in a conversation with Hito Steyerl on Hito's Factory of the Sun (2015). Hosted by the San Jose Museum of Art, the piece tells a surreal story of workers whose forced dance moves in a motion-capture studio are turned into artifical sunshine.

Learn more about the event here!