Nonlinear Perspectives Exhibition at the 2017 Gray Area Festival

As part of the 2017 Gray Area Festival, we present an exhibition of works by international artists attempting to understand, illuminate, and refigure our world through superimposed inquiries into nature, power structures, representation, order, virtual art/architecture and world building.

The pieces in “Nonlinear Perspectives” use new lenses to map our world, through with 3D printing, virtual reality, projection mapping, computer gaming, and interactive installation.

In 1435 the technique of linear perspective was created, conceiving the canvas as a window onto a virtual plane, and enabling the dissection our world into a rational order. This exhibition rejects this traditional, disembodied, and serial view, and offers a collection of collateral works entangled in their efforts to reflect new ways of understanding through creative use of technology. Joanie Lemercier brings a group of works exploring projections of light in space and its influence on our perception; Angela Washko’s immersive installation The Game: The Game simulates the experience of being targeted by speed seduction techniques; Hyphen-Labs’ NeuroSpeculative AfroFuturism innovates on how we will engage with black women through content in their digital future; Nora al-Badri & Jan Nikolai Nelles’ The Other Nefertiti explores issues of cultural appropriation and digital neocolonialism; Can Buyukberber’s Metafold focuses on human perception, exploring new methods for non-linear narratives, geometrical order, synergetics and emergent forms; Memo Akten’s Equilibrium shows a snapshot of a moment of harmony, amidst chaos and disorder; and DiMoDa, the Digital Museum of Digital Art, is the preeminent institution showcasing virtual reality contemporary art from eight different artists.

The exhibition opening will also host a very special performance by Moor Mother, experimental musician and one-half of the Black Quantum Futurism collective.

Exhibit Hours
  • 5/4 7pm-11pm
  • Opening $5-$20 sliding-scale entry. Special performance by Moor Mother.
  • 5/5 12pm-6pm
  • Free and Open to Public (Quiet viewing during conference) (closed during night performances)
  • 5/6 12pm-6pm
  • Free and Open to Public (Quiet viewing during conference)
  • 5/6 9pm-1am
  • For ticket holders during night performances
  • 5/7 11am-6pm
  • Free and Open to Public (Quiet viewing during workshops)
  • 5/8 11am-6pm
  • Free and Open to Public
  • 5/9 11am-6pm
  • Free and Open to Public
  • 5/10 11am-6pm
  • Free and Open to Public
  • 5/11 11am-6pm
  • Free and Open to Public
Featured Works

Exhibition Opening Special Performance
by Moor Mother

On the opening night of our Exhibition, we are proud to present a special performance by Moor Mother. Moor Mother, or Moor Mother Goddess, is an experimental music project by Camae Defstar, a musician and poet from the United States.

Her work has been labeled “hardcore poetry,” “power electronics,” “slaveship punk,” and “protest music.” Ayewa herself resists categorization, preferring to self-identify through terms such as “time traveller” and “truth teller.” A self-described Afrofuturist, she uses spacetime-bending sound and lyricism to reformulate concepts of memory, history, and the future in an afrocentric or afrodiasporic tradition.

Ayewa is one half of the Black Quantum Futurism collective, along with Rasheedah Phillips of the Afrofuturist Affair. She has performed in the punk band The Mighty Paradocs, and is also the co-founder of Rockers! Philly, an “event series and festival focused on marginalized artists”. In June 2016, Ayewa and Phillips opened the Community Futures Lab, an “afrofuturist community center” in North Philadelphia where they lead workshops and teach-ins, provide space for artistic practice, and fight gentrification in the area.

Her debut album Fetish Bones was named one of the top experimental albums of the year by Rolling Stone, and Pitchfork as well as one of the best albums of the year by The Wire. The album is available on her Bandcamp page, along with several EPs, experiments, and collaborations from earlier in her career.

Montange, Cent Quatorze Mille Polygones
by Joanie Lemercier

This piece depicts a large valley surrounded by mountain peaks. In fact, what we see is just a grid mesh, distorted by an algorithm. The procedural landscape questions the connection between nature and code, what if our reality could be recreated, simulated with mathematical functions. A layer of projected light bring shadows, and bring the illusion of depth and blurs our sense of distance. Days, nights, seasons bring life to the wallpaper landscape, distorting our perception of time and space.

Plotter Drawings
by Joanie Lemercier

In his new plotter drawing series, Joanie explores the capacities of a drawing machine. Creating visuals with repetitive patterns, complex and detailed compositions, the use of a robot will reveal mechanical glitches coming from the machine, wear and ink glitches coming from the pen, crashes and unfinished lines coming from the custom software. The drawings are not perfect and so original shapes emerge from artifacts.

Wireframe Mountain
by Joanie Lemercier

A contemplative journey across the generative landscape depicted in “la montagne”. Motion and perspective bring a different sense of scale, details, and space. Despite the minimal monochrome wireframe aesthetics inherited from earliest videogames, the viewer might perceive details in rocks, erosion, sand valleys, all made from a single line of code.

LC4
by Joanie Lemercier

A tiny planet made of thousands of dots, this hand drawn piece is the first from the “stippling” series: black dots are layered on paper, with variation in size and density, to create gradients, and various levels of gray when seen from a distance. The polygonal planet is augmented with a layer of projected light: comets, stars, moons or suns, reveal the triangular structure of the minuscule world.



The Game: The Game
by Angela Washko

‘The Game: The Game’ is an immersive installation and platform to experience the first chapter of a video game presenting the practices of several prominent seduction coaches (aka pick-up artists) through the format of a dating simulator. In the game these pick-up gurus attempt to seduce the player using their signature techniques taken verbatim from their instructional books and video materials.

Players explore the complexity of the construction of social behaviors around dating as well as the experience of being a woman navigating this complicated terrain. The video game is presented alongside the video and print-based source materials from the seduction coaches themselves as well as handmade cyanotype prints, videos and books produced by the artist in response to her experience investigating this field and the ways in which women are literally presented as objects in physical and digital space.

‘The Game: The Game’ is a continuation of ‘BANGED’ a year-long project in which the artist interviewed ‘Bang’ series author/manosphere figurehead and tried to get in contact with his alleged sexual partners. After working on ‘BANGED’, the black and white ways in which this field has been portrayed seemed too simple and unfair to all parties who encounter it and provoked this question: Is practicing “game” inherently wrong and dishonest or can it be practiced in a way that simply levels the dating playing field in favor of those who are otherwise socially or physically disadvantaged?

By disguising the most notorious PUAs alongside game-less individuals and PUAs-in-training and placing the player into the perspective of a woman forced to distinguish between them all – Washko hopes to add levels of complexity to public conversations around both pick-up and feminism which have both found themselves most often presented in highly polarized, dichotomous positions in mainstream media.

The first chapter of the game was presented at TRANSFER Gallery in NYC along with a musical score composed by Xiu Xiu, whose perverse, challenging, personal and complex music complement the murky, frequently dark, isolating and complicated experiences and aesthetics presented in ‘The Game: The Game’.

Equilibrium by
Memo Akten

‘Equilibrium’ is an interactive abstraction, a data dramatization, of the delicate balance in which an ecosystem hangs – a fragile structure, a snapshot of a moment of harmony, amidst chaos and disorder.

The project was inspired during an expedition to Madagascar with the Unknown Fields Division following the trail of global resource extraction into the heart of one of the most unique ecosystems on the planet, exploring the endangered rainforests, mining landscapes and wild west sapphire towns. The country is a popular hotspot for tourists and wildlife lovers, rich in biodiversity with many endemic species and a unique ecology. It’s rich in resources desired by the affluent world such as rosewood, gold, sapphire, nickel and cobalt; and exploited by lawless industries. While the country’s residents live in extreme poverty – with a tradition of unsustainable slash-and-burn subsistence farming – corrupt battles ensue for political power. The land rich with these different types of resources – ecological, financial, social, political or simply subsistence – is pulled apart from all directions, based on the shifting balance of these values.

A system can be temporarily stable when the forces acting upon it and its components are balanced. At a macroscopic level its behavior may appear to be static or pulsate slowly, even though microscopic interactions might still be occurring and components fluctuating furiously. The system can retain this steady state until an external perturbation, upon which it falls into chaos, searching for a new equilibrium, which it may or may not find.

These behavioral concepts apply to many systems beyond Madagascar: populations and ecosystems on various scales, climate, politics, social and economic trends, and many other biological and physical systems.

Touch the screen, disturb the balance, and watch the system fall into chaos. Then wait for it to settle and reconfigure, self-organize to form a new arrangement, while it searches for a new balance, a new harmony, a new temporary equilibrium.

NSAF
by Hyphen Labs (Ashley Baccus-Clark & Carmen Aguilar y Wedge)

NSAF innovates on how we will engage with black women through content in their digital future. Exploring alternative content through tangible products, new worlds and 3D landscapes, and scientific research, in order to inform and change the way we depict black women in society, culture, and the future. Hyphen Labs' philosophy is to create an impactful narrative that inspires the next generation of developers and media consumers, to radically transform virtual reality into a world where people of color exist, and to prove that VR and human-centered design can be a tool for the betterment of society.

The Other Nefertiti
by Nora al-Badri & Jan Nikolai Nelles

Nefertiti is returning to the place where it was found. For the first time since the sculpture was excavated and stolen over 100 years ago, the iconic artefact will be shown in Cairo. “The Other Nefertiti” is an artistic intervention by the two German artists Nora Al-Badri and Jan Nikolai Nelles.

Al-Badri and Nelles scanned the head of Nefertiti clandestinely in the Neues Museum Berlin without permission of the Museum and they hereby announce the release of the 3D data of Nefertiti's head under a Creative Commons Licence. The artists 3D-Print exhibited in Cairo is the most precise scan ever made public of the original head of Nefertiti. With regard to the notion of belonging and possession of objects of other cultures, the artists’ intention is to make cultural objects publicly accessible. The Neues Museum in Berlin until today does not allow any access to the head of Nefertiti nor to the data from their scan.

“With the data leak as a part of this counter-narrative we want to activate the artefact, to inspire a critical re-assessment of today’s conditions and to overcome the colonial notion of possession in Germany” the two artists say.

Metafold
by Can Buyukberber

Multidisciplinary artist Can Buyukberber premieres a new 3d printed sculptural work from his current residency at the Autodesk Pier 9 AiR Program.

The Digital Museum of Digital Art


Including works:

Rosa Menkman - DCT Syphoning The 64th Interval
Miyö Van Stenis - War Room
Theo Triantafyllidis - Self Portrait (Interior)
Brenna Murphy - Vectoral~Sentience_Stack
Claudia Hart - After The Party
Jacolby Satterwhite - En plain air
Tim Berresheim - Untitled
AquaNet 2001 (Gibrann Morgado, Salvador Loza ) - Carson Trump-Palin

As the preeminent Virtual institution devoted to Digital/New Media Art, the Digital Museum of Digital Art presents the full range of contemporary Digital art, with a special focus on works by living New Media artists. DiMoDA is dedicated to collecting, preserving, interpreting and exhibiting Digital art and its collection while expanding the conscious experience of viewing Digital art in a Virtual space. DiMoDA is arguably the finest holding of twenty-first-century Digital art in the world.

The DiMoDA building is intended as a home for contemporary digital art and incubator for new ideas, as well as an architectural contribution to the Internet’s Virtual landscape.

Conceived in 2013 by Alfredo Salazar-Caro and William Robertson, DiMoDA launched in November of 2015 with its first exhibition as a pavilion in The Wrong Biennale and an IRL exhibition at Transfer Gallery in New York.

Artists

Moor Mother

Moor Mother or Moor Mother Goddess is an experimental music project by Camae Defstar, a musician and poet from the United States. Her work has been labelled “hardcore poetry,” “power electronics,” “slaveship punk,” and “protest music.” Ayewa herself resists categorization, preferring to self-identify through terms such as “time traveller” and “truth teller.” A self-described Afrofuturist, she uses spacetime-bending sound and lyricism to reformulate concepts of memory, history, and the future in an afrocentric or afrodiasporic tradition. Ayewa is one half of the Black Quantum Futurism collective, along with Rasheedah Phillips of the Afrofuturist Affair. She has performed in the punk band The Mighty Paradocs, and is also the co-founder of Rockers! Philly, an “event series and festival focused on marginalized artists”. In June 2016, Ayewa and Phillips opened the Community Futures Lab, an “afrofuturist community center” in North Philadelphia where they lead workshops and teach-ins, provide space for artistic practice, and fight gentrification in the area. Her debut album Fetish Bones was named one of the top experimental albums of the year by Rolling Stone, and Pitchfork as well as one of the best albums of the year by The Wire. The album is available on her Bandcamp page, along with several EPs, experiments, and collaborations from earlier in her career.

Joanie Lemercier

Joanie Lemercier is a French artist primarily focused on projections of light in space and its influence on our perception. Lemercier was introduced to creating art on a computer at age five by attending classes on pattern design for fabrics taught by his mother. The threads of his early education grounded his interest in physical structures: geometry, patterns, and minimalist forms. As Lemercier’s work evolved, he began to play with these concrete structures through the physics and philosophy of how light can be used to manipulate perceived reality. Since 2006 Lemercier has worked with projected light, and he co founded visual label AntiVJ in 2008, with artists Yannick Jacquet, Romain Tardy and Olivier Ratsi. He worked on stage design for festivals such as Mutek (Montreal, Mexico) and worked alongside artists such as Flying Lotus (special show at the Roundhouse London), and with Portishead’s Adrian Utley (as part of the cultural Olympiads, London 2012), and architectural projections all around the world. In 2010, Lemercier turned his focus on installations and gallery work, and exhibited at China Museum of Digital Art, (Beijing), Art Basel Miami and Sundance film festival 2013. In 2013, Lemercier founded a creative studio in NYC, focused on research and development of artworks and experiments that use projected light in space. He is represented by Muriel Guepin Gallery in New York City.

Angela Washko

Angela Washko is an artist, writer and facilitator devoted to creating new forums for discussions of feminism in spaces frequently hostile toward it. Since 2012, Washko has operated The Council on Gender Sensitivity and Behavioral Awareness in World of Warcraft, an ongoing intervention inside the most popular online role-playing game of all time. Her most recent project, The Game: The Game is a video game presenting the practices of several prominent seduction coaches (aka pick-up artists) through the format of a dating simulator. A recent recipient of a Franklin Furnace Performance Fund Grant, a Frank-Ratchye Fund for Art at the Frontier Grant from the STUDIO for Creative Inquiry, and a Rhizome Internet Art Microgrant, Washko’s practice has been highlighted in Art in America, Frieze Magazine, Time Magazine, The Guardian, ArtForum, ARTnews, The Hairpin, VICE, Hyperallergic, Rhizome, the New York Times, Cosmopolitan Magazine and more. Her projects have been presented nationally and internationally at venues including Kiasma Museum of Contemporary Art (Helsinki), Los Angeles Museum of Contemporary Art, the Milan Design Triennale, the Shenzhen Independent Animation Biennial and the Rotterdam International Film Festival. Her writing has been published in Creative Time Reports, FIELD Journal of Socially Engaged Art Criticism, Copenhagen University Peer Reviewed Journal (NTIK), Neural Magazine, VASA Journal of Images and Culture, .dpi Feminist Magazine of Art and Digital Culture, Hyperallergic, ANIMAL NY and more. She is currently an Assistant Professor of Art at Carnegie Mellon University and a fellow at the Frank-Ratchye STUDIO for Creative Inquiry.

Memo Akten

Memo Akten is an artist from Istanbul, based in London, UK. His work explores the harmonies and tensions between nature, science, technology, culture and tradition. Studying and working with complex systems, behaviour and algorithms, he creates data dramatizations of natural and anthropogenic processes, and combines conceptual work with investigations into form, movement and sound. Akten’s work spans many disciplines including video, sound, light, dance, software, online works, installations and performances. Alongside his practice, he is currently working towards a PhD at Goldsmiths University of London in artificial intelligence and artistic, expressive human-machine interaction. Fascinated by trying to understand the world and human nature, he investigates technology’s role in learning more about ourselves and how we connect with each other. He draws inspiration from fields such as quantum mechanics, astrophysics, molecular & evolutionary biology, abiogenesis, neuroscience, anthropology and philosophy.

Nora Al-Badri

Nora Al-Badri (b. 1984, Germany) is a multi-disciplinary artist with a German-Iraqi background. Her practice incorporates interventions and different mediums such as sculpture and installation, photography and film. She graduated in political sciences at Johann Wolfgang Goethe University in Frankfurt/Main and studied visual communications at Offenbach University of Art and Design. Since 2009 Nora Al-Badri and Jan Nikolai Nelles have been working together as a collective, based in Berlin. Their works interfere in social infrastructures through controversial performances and interventions as institutional critique. The collective pursues a critical re-evaluation of actual cultural commons, the power of representation through material objects of other cultures, their digital image as well as the concepts of heritage and identity politics in times of technoheritage. Nora Al-Badri and Jan Nikolai Nelles work have been on display in various exhibitions and institutions such as the 4th Thessaloniki Biennale of Contemporary Art, 2013; the Victoria & Albert Museum, Applied Arts Pavilion at La Biennale di Venezia, 2016; and the 3rd Design Biennial, curated by Anselm Franke, Istanbul, 2016. Their works got granted by several institutions like Haus der Kulturen der Welt (HKW), Goethe-Institut, Institut für Auslandsbeziehungen (IfA), the German Federal Foreign Office and the European Cultural Foundation (ECF).

Jan Nikolai Nelles

Jan Nikolai Nelles (b. 1980, Germany) is a multi-disciplinary artist. His artistic practice oscillates between different fields such as visual and media art, documentary film-making and cultural activism. He graduated from Offenbach University of Art and Design in 2011. In the past, he founded an independent project space in Frankfurt/Main, Germany, and co-founded a photography magazine.

Since 2009 Nora Al-Badri and Nikolai Nelles have been working together as a collective, based in Berlin. Their works interfere in social infrastructures through controversial performances and interventions as institutional critique. The collective pursues a critical re-evaluation of actual cultural commons, the power of representation through material objects of other cultures, their digital image as well as the concepts of heritage and identity politics in times of techno heritage. Nora Al-Badri and Nikolai Nelles work have been on display in various exhibitions and institutions such as the 4th Thessaloniki Biennale of Contemporary Art, 2013; the Victoria & Albert Museum, Applied Arts Pavilion at La Biennale di Venezia, 2016; and the 3rd Design Biennial, curated by Anselm Franke, Istanbul, 2016. Their works got granted by several institutions like Haus der Kulturen der Welt (HKW), Goethe-Institut, Institut für Auslandsbeziehungen (IfA), the German Federal Foreign Office and the European Cultural Foundation (ECF).

Carmen Aguilar y Wedge

Aguilar y Wedge is a Mexican-American engineer, artist and researcher. In 2014, she co-founded Hyphen-Labs, an international team of women with backgrounds in engineering, science, architecture turned designers & artists synthesizing art and technology to create meaningful experiences. Emphasizing experimentation and alternative education, the team finds creative solutions and applications to complex problems using new media, emerging technology, robotics, and computation.

Ashley Baccus-Clark

Ashley Baccus-Clark (b. Pasadena, CA) is a Molecular and Cellular Biologist and multidisciplinary artist who uses new media and storytelling to explore themes of deep learning, cognition, memory, trauma, and systems of belief. She is a member of the artists collective Hyphen-Labs, an international team of engineers, scientists, architects, and artists creating at the intersection of art and emerging technology.

Can Buyukberber

Can Buyukberber is a visual artist working on immersive audiovisual experiences that’s embodied both in physical and digital spaces. His practice consists of experiments with different mediums and display technologies, such as projection mapping, virtual reality, geodesic domes and digital fabrication methods. Driven by an interdisciplinary thinking which extends to art, design and science, Buyukberber’s work often focuses on human perception, exploring new methods for non-linear narratives, geometrical order, synergetics and emergent forms. He has exhibited in international media art festivals, conferences and galleries in Europe, Canada and United States, including collaborations with Grammy-Award winning rock band Tool and Czech Philharmonic Orchestra. He is currently studying at San Francisco Art Institute’s Art and Technology MFA program as a Fulbright Grantee and is a resident artist at Autodesk’s Pier 9 AiR Program.

The Digital Museum of Digital Art

As the preeminent Virtual institution devoted to Digital/New Media Art, the Digital Museum of Digital Art presents the full range of contemporary Digital art, with a special focus on works by living New Media artists. DiMoDA is dedicated to collecting, preserving, interpreting and exhibiting Digital art and its collection while expanding the conscious experience of viewing Digital art in a Virtual space. DiMoDA is arguably the finest holding of twenty first-century Digital art in the world.

The DiMoDA building is intended as a home for contemporary digital art and incubator for new ideas, as well as an architectural contribution to the Internet’s Virtual landscape. Conceived in 2013 by Alfredo Salazar-Caro and William Robertson, DiMoDA launched in November of 2015 with its first exhibition as a pavilion in The Wrong Biennale and a IRL exhibition at Transfer Gallery in New York. Artists: Rosa MenkmanMiyö Van Stenis, Theo Triantafyllidis, Brenna MurphyClaudia HartJacolby SatterwhiteTim Berresheim, and AquaNet 2001 (Gibrann MorgadoSalvador Loza).