Squeaky Wheel announces Spring 2022 Artists in Residence

Carlos Castellanos and Zain Alam will receive support for media arts projects and lead public events and workshops.

February 25, 2022
Contact: ekrem@squeaky.org

BUFFALO, NY — Squeaky Wheel is pleased to announce two awardees of the spring 2022 Workspace Residency. Beginning March 4, the residency will provide artists Carlos Castellanos (Rochester, NY) and Zain Alam (Brooklyn, NY) with a stipend, artist fees, along with tailored access to equipment, technical and curatorial consultations towards their work on new and ongoing projects.

Carlos Castellanos will be utilizing the facilities of Squeaky Wheel and our Workspace partner The Foundry to work on Beauty, a machine-microbial system featuring a bio-driven artificial intelligence system. The project remediates contaminated soil ecology while generating audio and visuals of the process in real-time. Zain Alam will be utilizing the space and resonance of Silo City to work on I Am Sitting in a Room, an audio-visual exercise in layering recitations of the azaan (the Islamic call to prayer) to distill them into tonal content. This session of the Workspace Residency was paneled by Dana McKnight, Jenson Leonard, and Nyles Moore.

The public will have the opportunity to engage with the residents on two occasions. On Tuesday, March 15, 6 pm, in-person at Squeaky Wheel, Carlos Castellanos will teach Introduction to Machine Learning, regarding the basics of machine learning and how it can be applied in arts, design and other creative contexts for participants of all experience levels. On Thursday, March 17, 7 pm, both Castellanos and Zain will be present at the virtual event Meet the Residents to talk about their work and practice.

Squeaky Wheel’s Workspace Residency is a bi-yearly residency open to artists and researchers working in art and technology, and provides support for new or ongoing projects in collaboration with our partners at Buffalo Game Space, The Foundry, and Silo City. Applications for the Summer 2022 session are open through March 8. For more information about the program, including how to apply, click here.

The Workspace Residency is supported by the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, 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 the office of governor and the New York State Legislature, and individual members, businesses, and supporters. Thank you to Hostel-Buffalo Niagara for sponsoring this session of the program.

Biographies of the residents

Carlos Castellanos is an interdisciplinary artist and researcher with a wide array of interests such as cybernetics, ecology, embodiment, phenomenology, artificial intelligence and transdisciplinary collaboration. His work bridges science, technology, education and the arts, developing a network of creative interaction with living systems, the natural environment and emerging technologies. His artworks have been exhibited at local, national and international events such as the International Symposium of Electronic Art (ISEA), SIGGRAPH & ZERO1 San Jose. Castellanos is Assistant Professor at the School of Interactive Games & Media (IGM), Rochester Institute of Technology. He holds a Ph.D. from the School of Interactive Arts and Technology (SIAT), Simon Fraser University and an MFA from the CADRE Laboratory for New Media, San Jose State University.

Zain Alam is an artist and musician of Indian-Pakistani origin based in Brooklyn, NY. Described as “a unique intersection, merging the cinematic formality of Bollywood and geometric repetition of Islamic art,” his recording project Humeysha began during his year working as an oral historian for the 1947 Partition Archive. His work is a project of translation using contemporary pop forms, found sound, and oral history as means of investigating one’s position in an outside tradition or community.
Alam’s practice extends his sonic vision into video, performance, and writing. His works are braided together by a passion for the borrowed voice, re/de-contextualization, and bricolage — for how a personal mosaic of sound can empower minority and marginalized to engage in self-creation on their own terms. His essays have been published in Miami Rail, Buzzfeed, and The New Yorker, and Humeysha has been covered by the New York Times, Vice, and Village Voice. His performances have been staged at venues including Public Arts, Webster Hall, and the Historical Society of Pennsylvania. Alam has most recently completed fellowships with Bruce High Quality Foundation, Marble House, and South Asian American Digital Archive.

Biographies of the panelists

Dana T McKnight is a black, queer, multimedia artist and curator currently residing in Austin, TX.  Blending formal studies in Cultural Anthropology (Long Island University 2005) and Sculpture (Minerva Kunst Akademie, Groningen NL.), their work lies in a plethora of mediums: illustration, speculative fiction, sculpture, installation, experimental sound, performance art, poetry and painting. All of which they readily utilize interchangeably for projects. At the core of Dana McKnight’s work, lies a surreality— the real world slowly picked apart through a lens tinted by magical realism and lived experience. Dana McKnight is the creater of the Tiny Minotaur in Austin TX, co-founder of Dreamland Art Gallery, an alternative art and performance space in Buffalo, NY and a co-Creator for RIQSE (Radical Inclusive Queer Sex Education). 

Jenson Leonard, b. Detroit, Michigan, and raised in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, United States of America. Lives and works in New York, United States of America. Initially a poet, Jenson Leonard became interested in memes during his six-year tenure as a cook at a Belgian waffle kiosk. He found himself drawn to the immediacy and reach of instant publication on social media, the confluence of which exacerbate the arguably inherent power of the image for those who see. His early work used the canonical Twitter meme format, but developed into the more ornately parodic style that predominates in the left-leaning corners of Facebook. He holds an MFA in Creative Writing from Pratt Institute. He has completed residencies at Obracadobra (Oaxaca, Mexico), Squeaky Wheel (Buffalo, NY) and Pioneer Works (Brooklyn, NYC). His work has been featured in VICE Motherboard, Juxtapoz, AQNB, and Rhizome.

Nyles Moore is a young Buffalo-based teaching artist/digital media artist that focuses on animation. Nyles is a recent graduate of Villa Maria College with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Animation. He has a strong affinity for art education. With him being one of Albright-Knox  Gallery Teaching Assistants and Squeaky Wheels Lead Teaching artists. In 2019 Nyles was a video production intern for Squeaky Wheel; since then, he has taught animation and digital media arts to adults in their Media Art Workshops and youth in Tech Arts for Youth and youth with autism in Digital Arts & Technology Access.