Paul Vanouse and Skawennati
Difference Machines Closing Event

Join us for the closing night of Difference Machines with Exhibition Curator, Paul Vanouse and exhibiting artist, Skawennati.

Paul Vanouse and Skawennati
Artist talk // Tour // Screening
Difference Machines Closing Event

Friday, September 1, 2023
6:00PM - 9:00PM

View our FAQ page for more info, or contact us at [email protected] with any accommodation requests.

Seated program
All ages

Gray Area invites you to a special closing event, celebrating the end of the run of Difference Machines: Technology & Identity in Contemporary Art.

Exhibition curator Paul Vanouse, will give a guided tour and introduction to the show. Following the tour there will be a special screening of work by Difference Machines artist Skawennati.


7:00pm Barry Threw - Welcoming Remarks from Gray Area Executive & Artistic Director
7:05pm Paul Vanouse - Curator Tour
7:20pm Skawennati - Artist Talk
7:30pm She Falls For Ages - Film Screening
7:50pm Paul Vanouse & Skawennati - Panel Discussion

In her monumental machinima epic She Falls For Ages, Skawennati uses virtual film-making techniques to retell the Haudenosaunee (Iroquois) creation story as a short science fiction movie, in which Sky Woman is imagined as an astronaut who falls through space. this machinima (machine + cinema) by recording the avatars and environments she created in the virtual world Second Life. One of the first net artists, she founded CyberPowWow and co-founded Aboriginal Territories in Cyberspace (AbTeC), both online platforms that center Indigenous artists and cultures.

Following the screening, coordinating curator Wade Wallerstein will moderate a conversation between Vanouse and Skawennati. This insightful discussion will unpack the thematics of the show, and point towards lessons that can be learned from artists working with and speculating on technology. This event offers a unique opportunity to engage with the artists and curators of the exhibition directly, and delve deeper before Difference Machines closes. This event is FREE for Gray Area Members

Bring a Friend, and get 2 Free Drinks for Bar Laszlo

We’ve partnered with our Mission St neighbors at Bar Laszlo (Foreign Cinema) to offer free drinks to the first 10 people who invite a friend to the Closing night event! Here’s how to participate in the giveaway:

• Secure your spot at the closing event.
• Share the event details with your friend
• Send us an email with your friend’s email address or their ticket confirmation.
• Be there with your friend at the event on Friday to receive your two complimentary drink tickets to Bar Laszlo!

About the Artist


Skawennati makes art that addresses history, the future, and change from her perspective as an urban Kanien’kehá:ka (Mohawk) woman and as a cyberpunk avatar. Her early adoption of cyberspace as both a location and a medium for her practice has produced groundbreaking projects such as CyberPowWow and TimeTraveller™. She is best known for her machinimas—movies made in virtual environments—but also produces still images, textiles and sculpture. Her works have been presented in Europe, Oceania, China and across North America in exhibitions such as “Uchronia I What if?”, in the HyperPavilion at the 57th Venice Biennale; “Now? Now!” at the Biennale of the Americas; and “Looking Forward (L’Avenir)” at the Montreal Biennale. In 2019, she co-founded centre d’art daphne, Tiohtià:ke/Mooniyang/Montreal’s first Indigenous artist-run centre.

About the Curator

Paul Vanouse

Paul Vanouse is an artist working in Emerging Media forms. Radical interdisciplinarity and impassioned amateurism guide his practice. Since the early 1990s his artwork has addressed complex issues raised by varied new techno-sciences using these very techno-sciences as a medium. His artworks have included data collection devices that examine the ramifications of polling and categorization, genetic experiments that undermine scientific constructions of race and identity, and temporary organizations that playfully critique institutionalization and corporatization. These "Operational Fictions" are hybrid entities--simultaneously real things and fanciful representations--intended to resonate in the equally hyper-real context of the contemporary electronic landscape. Vanouse is a Professor of Art, Director of the Coalesce Center for Biological Art, and Co-Director of the Emerging Practices MFA at the University of Buffalo.

About Difference Machines

Difference Machines: Technology and Identity in Contemporary Art addresses the complex relationship between the technologies we use and the identities we inhabit. The exhibition presents the work of seventeen contemporary artists who ask some of the most urgent questions we face today: How is technology changing the way we see ourselves, and each other? In what ways does it contribute to—or allow us to resist—prejudice and systemic forms of oppression? What role should it have in our lives and in our communities?

Dynamic and interactive, these projects transform the space of the museum into a laboratory for experimenting with our increasingly powerful “difference machines,” as we strive to invent a more equitable future.

This exhibition was originated in 2021 by the Buffalo AKG Art Museum and co-curated by Tina Rivers Ryan, Curator at the Buffalo AKG Art Museum, with Paul Vanouse, Professor at the University at Buffalo. Its presentation at Gray Area is coordinated by Wade Wallerstein, Associate Curator & Community Manager at Gray Area

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