Past Workspace Residents
Spring 2018 Residents
Jury: Nitasha Dhillon, Bryan Lee, Mark Longolucco
SILO CITY RESIDENT
Avye Alexandres was born in Athens, Greece, and moved to the United States at the age of six. Her multidisciplinary art practice, which investigates the psychosocial ramifications of structures and space, stems from her background in photography and theatre. Evolving from site-based performances her work now encompasses immersive sculpture, locative media, experimental digital narratives, conceptual works, photography and video, as well as participatory experiences and installations. In 2015, she received her MFA in Art and Emerging Practices from the University at Buffalo, and has exhibited at venues such as the Burchfield Penney Art Center, The Soap Factory, IFP-MN Center for Media Arts, and the Weismann Art Museum.
This new project began as an inquiry into the commoditization and celebrification of housing market education. Introductory Real Estate Investing workshops advertised with figureheads from reality TV house flipping shows promise to let you “…see why people, just like you, are making money and having lots of success using our investing strategies, techniques, and systems.” I became interested expressly in the rhetoric and tactics used at these events to entice attendees into buying further ‘education’ packages. The events incite the audience in ways akin to how congregational theatre uses rhetorical motivational prompts to goad and engage. Presenters sympathize with common economic realities – student debt, credit card debt, pending retirement, etc, championing these as the best reasons to take the leap to learn their investing and/or house flipping system. Through dramatization and play, my project explores the marketing culture of this enterprise, its rhetoric around self-education and self-actualization, and its promise of economic relief through the erasure of interaction with actual housing stock. Using scripts recorded from these events as source material, I am developing a series currently titled “Flipping Me, Flipping You,” which will contain sets of videos, objects and documents. During the residency I will explore the interactive potential of the series for a future installation/game to be maneuvered through a series of chance operations sparked by religio-manipulative, absurdist, and reductive tactics. I have been interested in the dramatic potential of Silo City since moving to Buffalo, and until now, have not found an intersection with my projects. The conceptual challenge of my project is the “erasure of the house,” an aspect subtly championed in the realm of real estate investing. This performance is situated perfectly within the post-industrial reuse zone of the Silos and surrounding landscape, where there is no visual reference or cue to neighborhoods or houses. For the Silo City event on the 24th, in a structured improvisational performance, the character from my sparkling head video series will come to life and perform a dance to the tune of the source material recordings, layered and transmogrified into a soundscape.
Devin Hentz is a researcher and writer based in Dakar, Senegal. She recently participated in the second session of the RAW Academie, directed by Chimurenga, at RAW Material Company before working there as a librarian and researcher. She is the founder of the B/Look Club which meets once per month to activate the archive of RAW Base (RAW’s Library). Her writings have been published in LESS Magazine and the upcoming issue of Something We Africans Got. Her areas of interests include, Afro/African futures, development narratives in Africa, dress practices, and radical pedagogy.
During my three week residency, I would like to continue my research into the phenomenon of second hand clothing in African dress practices. Second hand clothing is charitably donated in the United States and Europe, and then sold wholesale to developing countries, especially in Africa. The usual discourse surrounding the items is on how they impact the economy and the production and use of ‘traditional’ African cloth. My particular focus in on how these clothing items embed themselves in African language consciousness and the space they are afforded in the African lexicon of fashion and dress. My research departs from an article written by anthropologist Karen Tranberg Hansen. In her study of salaula, the name given to second-hand clothing in Zambia, she also lists the name for second hand clothing in other local languages in countries around Africa. Once translated to English, these names reveal a lot about how these clothes and their original owners are viewed, as well how they are selected in their respective country. Hansen states: “It is known by local terms that mean “dead white men’s clothes” in Ghana, “died in Europe” in northwestern Tanzania (Weiss 1996:138), and “shake and sell” in Senegal (Heath 1992: 28). In East Africa it is called mitumba, which is Swahili for “bale.” In Malawi, it is kaunjika, which in Nyanja/Chewa means “to pick,” while in Zambia salaula means in Bemba “selecting from a pile in the manner of rummaging.”
During my residency, I would like to further collect and explore the implication of these terms, as well design and construct new textiles which play or refer to these local names and their literal meanings / translations. To do this in the allotted three week period, I will collect text on the subject, read and analyze them before arriving, and while in residence. I will also design (and hopefully construct) my textiles. I hope to use the textile lab at the foundry to create digital embroidery files, print on textiles, and use the pre-production stage of 3D modeling to construct textile and clothing using 3D modeling technology (a skill which will allow me to translate tactile textiles into the digital realm). This research will result in a new text, as well as new textiles that will play into the African use of cloth as communication, as well as become a starting point for conversations about the connection between clothing and language.
Emily Martinez is a new media artist, front-end developer, digital strategist, educator, and serial collaborator. She believes in the tactical misuse of technology, and makes artworks that take on the sharing economy, digital labor struggles, algorithmic bias, surveillance capitalism, crypto colonialism, tech bros, and tech culture at large. Emily’s art and research has been published in Leonardo Journal (MIT Press), Entreprecariat (Institute of Network Cultures), Temporary Art Review, and Filmmaker Magazine. She has exhibited at The Wrong Biennale, Transmediale, Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, MoMA PS1, V2_ Institute for the Unstable Media, WRO Media Art Biennale, and The Luminary.
Eternal Boy Playground¹ is an art installation and game about cryptocurrencies, crypto colonialism and crypto cultures by art collective Anxious to Make (Emily Martinez and Liat Berdugo). Our live-action, multimedia game will explore the cultural tropes and trends surrounding cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin, particularly as they relate to the utopian ideals of the new “crypto-paradise” in Puerto Rico, to which a growing group of self-proclaimed “Puertopians” are flocking in the wake of Hurricane Maria. The game will explore what it means to recolonize Puerto Rico in the image of this libertarian, tech bro fantasy. It will also look at Miami’s role as a transnational hub for underground economies, money laundering, and pyramid schemes involving cryptocurrencies.
Game play will take the form of a panic room or escape room, juxtaposing the doomsday anxiety of the present moment with the promise of a bright, tropical, crypto future. Inside the room, there will be videos projected on opposite walls depicting various scenes and stages of play. Participants will attempt to solve puzzles together to stay alive, e.g. building a giant pyramid together using inflatable, wobbly “blocks” in hurricane force winds. These winds will be powered by industrial fans that turn on whenever the price of Bitcoin fluctuates. Game aesthetics will be deeply influenced by colonial visions, dystopian vibes, tropical fruit, the occult, and our favorite game shows: Sabado Giganteand The Price is Right. The exhibition will also include a repurposed BTM (Bitcoin ATM) which will sit in the front window of the gallery, visible from the street. Our BTM will be outfitted with custom software programmed to function like a fortune telling device which predicts and prints your crypto prophecy. While in residence at Squeaky Wheel, my priority will be to work on producing and editing the video content for the “escape room” installation. If time and resources permit, I will also work on designing the housing (face plate) for the BTM machine.
¹Puertopia translates to “eternal boy playground” in Latin. When the Puertopians (embarrassingly) discovered this, they changed their project’s name to “Sol”.
Spring 2018 Residents
Jury: Kevin Kline, Laura Kraning, Tina Rivers Ryan
Elizabeth Tannie Lewin is a digital media artist interested in: technology, landscape, identity, disappearance, history, and utopia. Lewin uses various technologies to achieve special effects such as: 3D modeling landscapes, hacking a computer mouse to scan images, and webcameras programmed to initiate, or pause, video playback. Lewin received her BFA from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago (2009) and her MFA from Hunter College (2016).
My current work is focused on the Republic of the Marshall Islands (RMI), its nuclear history (the RMI, was once known as the Pacific Proving Grounds, and the location of 67 United States nuclear tests). The Castle Bravo nuclear test was conducted on Bikini, Atoll on March 1, 1954 and was the most powerful nuclear device ever detonated by the United States. To this day, Bikini remains uninhabitable due to radiation. Hundreds of Bikinians remain displaced. Additionally, the RMI is faces increasing fragility due to climate change (the RMI is on average, 2 meters above sea level, scientists predict that the sea levels will rise between 0.8-2 meters by the end of the century). My time at Workspace will be devoted to producing creating a 3D virtual “game” landscape of the RMI, recording video audio, and editing scanned military photos which that will be incorporated into a developing video (working title: Nuclear Set).
Dana Tyrrell is an artist, curator and writer living and working in Buffalo, New York. He holds an MFA in Visual Studies from the University at Buffalo (2015), a BA in Drawing & Painting and a BA in Art History, both from the State University of New York at Fredonia (2012). His work has been shown widely throughout Western New York, including solo exhibits with the Castellani Art Museum (2017) and Dreamland Art Gallery (2015). His curatorial practice includes exhibits at Anna Kaplan Contemporary (formerly BT&C Gallery), the Benjaman Gallery, Dreamland Art Gallery, and Sugar City Art Gallery. Photograph courtesy of Julian Montague.
My intent for this Workspace Residency would be to research, and eventually curate a show focused upon emergent technologies. My interest lies at the intersection of technology and performance art -vis-a-vis academics like José Esteban Muñoz and Kara Keeling, as well as performance artists such as Zach Blas, Micha Cárdenas and Hito Steyerl – wherein the point of the juncture between emergent technologies and performance art becomes the human body, in all of its mutability, foibles and inconsistencies. I am interested in the interplay between the technological self and the realized, physical self and how those two things, while not always mutually exclusive, bend and blur under the ever-present and growing weight of technology.
The understanding of these artists and their further articulation within the context of a yet-to be-realized exhibit would be thus predicated upon Keeling’s own description of what is known as a “Queer OS” (Cinema Journal, 2014); a speculative project which sees the formulation of queer function as an operating system, which straddles both technical and cultural understandings. At its core, a Queer OS offers up a space in which LGBTQ+, Women, Black and Latinx people can meet – both online and off – connect to one another, and reaffirm alternative modes of technological disbursement and exploration as we delve further into the twenty-first century.
Summer 2017 Residents
Jury: Leah Hamilton, Zainab Saleh, Maiko Tanaka
SILO CITY RESIDENT
Lea Bertucci is an American composer and performer whose work describes relationships between acoustic phenomena and biological resonance. In addition to her instrumental practice, (alto saxophone and bass clarinet), her work often incorporates multi-channel speaker arrays, electroacoustic feedback, extended instrumental technique and tape collage. Her discography includes a number of solo and collaborative releases on independent labels in the US and Europe, including I Dischi Del Barone, Obsolete Units, Telegraph Harp and Clandestine Compositions. In 2017, she will release All That is Solid Melts Into Air: Works for Strings, on NNA Tapes. She has performed extensively across the US and Europe at venues such as The Kitchen, PS1 MoMA, The Drawing Center, Anthology Film Archives, Abrons Arts, ISSUE Project Room, Pioneer Works, The Queens Museum, Artists’ Space,
Caramoor, The High Zero Festival, and Experimental
Intermedia, among many others. She is a 2016 MacDowell Fellow in composition and a 2015 ISSUE Project Room Artist-in- Residence.
The artist will create the first in a two-part suite of compositions for electroacoustic saxophone quartet. This new site-specific work would be developed, premiered and documented within the uniquely resonant space of Silo City’s grain elevators. Drawing from the Buffalo area’s community of creative musicians, the artist would collaborate with three other saxophonists to develop this work. Aural phenomena will play a pivotal role in the development of this composition – gesturally, structurally and timbrally. The process will begin by narrowing down a vocabulary of extended instrumental techniques for Saxophone, dictated by in-depth explorations of psychoacoustic phenomena in the space.
The second part of the project will use electronic processing techniques informed by explorations at Silo City. An essential component of the time the time the artist will spend on the site will be taking acoustic response tests of the interior of the grain elevators and creating customized reverberation modeling patches that are based on the characteristics of the Silos. This and other elements such as field recordings will inform the second part of the suite, and will be continued into 2018.
The culmination of this residency will be a public premiere of the composition at Silo City on August 26, 2017.
Rachael Rakes is a curator, critic, film programmer, and teacher. She was recently a Fellow at Art Center/South Florida, and a Curator-in-Residence in the CPR: Mexico program. Rakes is a Programmer at Large for the Film Society of Lincoln Center, Editor at Large for Verso Books, a and has recently organized exhibitions for Knockdown Center, ISCP, and Malmö Konsthall. Leo Goldsmith is a writer and curator based in New York. He co-edits the film section of The Brooklyn Rail with Rachael Rakes, with whom he is writing a book about the radical filmmaker Peter Watkins. His writing has appeared in Art-Agenda, artforum, Cinema Scope, INCITE, and The Village Voice.
“Distant Present” is a book that argues that Peter Watkins’s work is an essential precursor to the recent interest in moving-image documentary works in contemporary art. Since the late 1950s, Watkins has engineered a unique form of moving image practice: hybrid non fiction as interventionist art. His films, including The War Game, Edvard Munch, Punishment Park, and La Commune, are at once hyperpolitical, sophisticated, and reflexive works on social struggle and the mediation of history. This book will provide a critical analysis of Watkins’s filmmaking and writing, situating his unorthodox methodologies of collective filmmaking within a narrative of their often fraught production, distribution, and reception histories, and within their wider intellectual and political contexts.
Caroline Doherty is an artist and educator based in Buffalo, NY. She employs multiple mediums – including sculpture, performance, video, and public projects – to engage questions of language, communication, violence, and power. She has exhibited and been a resident artist internationally, most recently at Ontario Place in Toronto, the University of Toronto Missisauga, SOMA in Mexico City, ArtPark in Lewiston, NY, Tsinghua University in Beijing, the Chongjiang Contemporary Art Museum in Chongqing, and CEPA Gallery in Buffalo. Alongside her art practice, Caroline teaches people of many ages and backgrounds how to make and do new things.
The artist will work on production of a multi-channel video that is based on their recent major installation and performance project, Basic Furnishings for Unequal Spaces. Drawing from their experiences as a student, teacher, and worker, the work explores the effects – blatant and invisible- of systems of power, gender, labor, and competition in bureaucratic and institutional spaces by focusing on the archetypal objects found in those spaces. Referencing environments like offices, waiting rooms, and lecture halls, the sculptural furniture and related objects double as set and props, shifting meaning and utility based on the actions of five female performers. The actions were devised through improvisation exercises with the performers, and then complied into a mutable score for live public performances. This new iteration translates the actions into scenes staged for a new video. The props and furniture sculptures will be used again, with the addition of new objects. The resulting work will more deeply explore the strange, uncanny, surreal, or violent aspects of the performance.
Ja’Tovia Gary is a filmmaker and visual artist originally from Dallas, Texas currently living and working in Brooklyn, New York. Gary’s work is concerned with constructions of power and how raced and gendered beings navigate popular media. She earned her MFA in Social Documentary Filmmaking from the School of Visual Arts in New York. Her work has screened at festivals, cinemas, and institutions worldwide including Frameline LGBTQ Film Festival, Edinburg International Film Festival, The Whitney Museum, Anthology Film Archives, Atlanta Film Festival, the Schomburg Center, MoMa PS1, Museum of Contemporary Art Los Angeles, New Orleans Film Festival, Ann Arbor Film Festival and elsewhere. She is the recipient of the Sundance Documentary Fund Production Grant and the Jerome Foundation Film and Video Grant. Gary participated in the Terra Foundation of American Art 2016 summer artist fellowship and is the 2017 artist in residence at the Jacob Burns Film Center. (Photo credit: Alexander Bell)
The Giverny Diptych is comprised of two separate yet related experimental video pieces, each filmed in Giverny, France in and around Claude Monet’s famed gardens and residence. The work is concerned with ancestral memory, Black womanist philosophy, captivity and fugitivity, the history of western imperialism, and the presence of the Black feminine figure within the western fine art canon. During her time at the Workspace Residency the artist will complete the post production phase of Giverny I and Giverny II.
The artist will also experiment with the mounting of an installation titled On Attachment that features a short 16mm experimental animation as its centerpiece.
Deniz Tortum is an artist working in film, video, and new media. He is a graduate of MIT Comparative Media Studies and the Open Documentary Lab. His most recent film, If Only There Were Peace (co-directed with Carmine Grimaldi), premiered in 2017 at True/False Film Festival. Currently he is a fellow at Harvard Film Study Center, working on a film about a hospital in Istanbul.
An increasingly prominent, but insistently opaque technology, blockchain is a distributed database that maintains a continuously growing list of transactions. All transactions are confirmed by the thousands of users in the system. This results in both a highly detailed and transparent record of all actions, as well as a decentralized yet secure system. This is in contrast to existing organizations we use for similar tasks, like banks or server farms. Cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin and Ethereum are built using this blockchain technology. Blockchain-evangelists believe that this technology can lead to major changes in bureaucratic and economic structures, disrupting global power relations. Critics, like media theorist Ian Bogost and journalist Izabella Kaminska argue that these technologies will usher in an emergent form of techno-authoritarianism.
During the residency, the artist will develop a conceptual framework for blockchain-based artwork. The artist will research artworks that have conceptual ties with transience, autonomy, or governance, along with current efforts of using blockchain as an artistic medium. The residency would lead to a critical work on the future themes & possibilities for blockchain art.
This project is a collaboration between the artist, Ainsley Sutherland, a designer with particular interest in blockchain and Ulya Soley, assistant curator at Pera Museum in Istanbul.
Winter 2016 Residents
Jury: Almudena Escobar Lopez, Stephanie Rothenberg, Ekrem Serdar
Max Bernstein was born and raised in Buffalo, NY where he received his BA in Media Studies from UB. Bernstein also received an MFA from UC Boulder. In addition, he is an associate of the Wooster Group, media designer for Kaki King, media designer for Michelle Ellsworth, a member of The Flinching Eye Collective, a member of Friends Of The TANK, and drummer and video designer of the band Eupana, Bernstein’s personal works combine elements of cinema, theater, sculpture, performance, and new media, often exploring contemporary notions of representation and phenomenology through experimental narrative and technology. He currently lives and works in Brooklyn, NY.
Arisleyda Dilone makes film work about her life and her family. Born in Santiago de Los de Caballeros, Dominican Republic, she spent her formative years in a hillside village outside of the city of Santiago. At the age of seven she was brought to New York and raised in a suburb of Long Island. She is the first college graduate in her family. She was a 2012 Jerome Foundation-Travel and Study Grant Fellow, a 2014 UnionDocs Collaborative Fellow and a 2015 Queer Art/Mentorship Fellow, in which she completed this short film: Mami y Yo y Mi Gallito/Mom and Me and My Little Rooster. She was awarded a 2015 Astraea Intersex Fund grant to continue her ongoing documentary work around this topic. Arisleyda is a member of Diverse Filmmakers Alliance and Brooklyn Filmmakers Collective.
Summer 2016 Residents
Jury: Mark Longolucco, Ekrem Serdar
Mary Helena Clark is an artist working in film, video, and installation. Her work has been exhibited and screened widely, including presentations at the Swedish Film Institute (Stockholm), Gene Siskel Film Center (Chicago), Yerba Buena Center for the Arts (San Francisco), Anthology Film Archives (New York), Museum of Contemporary Photography (Chicago), National Gallery of Art (Washington), Wexner Center for the Arts (Columbus, OH), Document Space (Chicago), and at the New York, AFI, Ann Arbor, London and Toronto International Film Festivals. Clark lives and works in Hamilton, New York.
Carl Elsaesser is a film maker from Maine currently residing in Iowa. His short films have screened internationally at festivals such as Antimatter and Ann Arbor where he won the Barbara Aronofsky Latham Award for Emerging Experimental Video Artist. His work is concerned with how images are constructed, encountered and interpreted. While these questions of representation are steeped in that age-old, impossible “art question” of what is real and fantasy, his work is far more interested in what is allowed to be real, and who is allowed to speak for this real.
Stella Marrs is an interdisciplinary artist who creates alternative female narratives and images that circulate in the public sphere. Her work has taken the form of performance, community events, publications, printmaking and video. Her current projects, Big Lady and Disco Deployment Unit, combine large inflatable sculptural forms with multimedia elements and an accompanying social event. She has presented at venues including MIT, Lesley University, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, University of Texas, Austin, California College of the Arts and York University (UK) and her work has been written about in Bust, Venus, Time Out NY, Punk Planet, and L.A. Weekly. She attended The Evergreen State College in Olympia, Washington and received her MFA degree in Visual Studies (Emerging Practices) from University at Buffalo. She currently lives and works in Burlington, VT.
Eric Souther is a video and new media artist who creates explores the ritualistic spaces of media and develops interactive systems for real-time manipulation of time-based media. His work has been featured nationally and internationally at venues such as the Museum of Art and Design, NYC, Everson Museum of Art, Syracuse, NY and the ART DATA LAB, Beijing. His work has been screened in The Outcasting: Fourth Wall Festival, Grangetown, UK, Cronosfera Festival, Alessandria, Italy, and the Galerija 12 New Media Hub, Belgrade, Serbia. He received his M.F.A. in Electronic Integrated Arts from Alfred University. Currently he is an Assistant Professor of New Media at Indiana University South Bend.