Two photographs, side by side. On the left: A black and white photograph of Hanae Utamura, a woman with shoulder length black hair, who is looking directly into the camera lens. On the right, Jacob Nelsen-Epstein, who is wearing a red hat, and is looking downward, smiling.

Squeaky Wheel announces Spring 2021 Workspace Residents

February 28, 2021

Squeaky Wheel is pleased to announce its Workspace Residents for Spring 2021. Beginning March 5 and through March 19, 2021, we will support two residents for a two week period, during which the residents will develop works-in-progress and new projects. The residency will provide Hanae Utamura and Jacob Nelsen-Epstein with a stipend, artist fees, along with tailored access to equipment, technical and curatorial consultations, and if requested, additional financial assistance for childcare and/or disabilities. Due to the pandemic, this residency will take place virtually. This is the eleventh session of the Workspace Residency.

During their residency, Hanae Utamura will be working on the poetic short film The Nuclear / Niagara Falls, which focuses on the history of Niagara River and Niagara Falls as the site of toxic waste dumping ground, relating it to her research on Japan’s fraught relationship with nuclear power. Jacob Nelsen-Epstein will be working on Re-Virtualization, a book and hardware interface that utilizes a book as a storage medium in lieu of a harddrive to draw attention to the impermanence of digital storage methods.

The Spring 2021 residency was juried by Ekrem Serdar, Kyla Gordon, and Mark Longolucco. The Spring session of the Workspace Residency is dedicated in loving memory to former Squeaky Wheel board member Marguerite Doritty (1923-2020). Doritty was an important supporter of Buffalo’s media arts community, and she is greatly missed. Read about her legacy here. Biographies of the residents can be found below.

The public will have the opportunity to engage with the residents on three occasions for artist talks and skill-shares. On Friday, March 19, 7 pm ET both artists will be presenting their work as part of Meet the Residents; on Thursday, March 25 at 6 pm, Jacob Nelsen-Epstein will lead a workshop on machine coding, including a presentation on its history; and on Tuesday, March 30 at 6 pm ET, Hanae Utamura will lead a collaborative performance based workshop to mark the past year titled Pandemic, Care, and Healing.

Squeaky Wheel’s Workspace Residency is a bi-yearly residency open to artists and researchers working in art and technology. We are accepting applications for the Summer 2021 residency through March 26, 2021. For more information about the program, including past residents, visit

Bios of the residents

Hanae Utamura is a Japanese visual artist based in Buffalo, New York. Utamura’s media include video, performance, installation, and sculpture. Negotiations and conflicts between the human and earth, and how all the varieties of the wills of life manifest, have been the central focus of her practice. She has been awarded Shiseido Art Egg Award, Art Omi residency, the Pola Art Foundation, UNESCO-Aschberg Bursary Award, and Axis/Florence Trust Award. She was a visiting scholar at New York University in 2019-2020, supported by Japanese Ministry of Culture, Japanese government as a part of Japan – United States Exchange Friendship Program in the Art.

Jacob Nelsen-Epstein is a Buffalo based performer, software developer and multi-media artist specializing in works contemplating the intersections of technology, longevity, and consumer culture. He is attending SUNY Buffalo’s Library/Information Science graduate program, and has a background in media studies. Jacob has received awards working with the Institute for Aesthetic Modulation, for choreographed performances involving monster costumes made from reclaimed e-waste. Jacob has also won awards for musical submissions to Re/Mixed Media Festival, with media features in Do Androids Dance and Vice Magazine. Other previous works include attempts to physicalize software, by visualizing compiled code as printed images.

Workspace Residency is supported by generous support by the County of Erie and County Executive Mark Poloncarz, the National Endowment for the Arts, New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and the New York State Legislature, and individual members, businesses, and supporters.