Refiguring the Future

Refiguring the Future

Hunter College

In Her Interior, Her Eyes Were As Black As Coal… (still), 2019. Mixed media installation and video, 9 minutes. Courtesy of the artists.

January 24, 2019
Refiguring the Future
February 9–March 31, 2019
Opening: February 8, 6–8pm
Conference: February 9–10
Day 1: Kaye Playhouse at Hunter College / Day 2: Knockdown Center
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Gallery hours: Wednesday–Sunday 1–6pm

The Hunter College Art Galleries are pleased to announce Refiguring the Future, a new exhibition and conference offering a politically engaged and inclusive vision of the intersection of art, science, and technology. Organized by Eyebeam and REFRESH in collaboration with the Hunter College Art Galleries and curated by REFRESH collective members Heather Dewey-Hagborg and Dorothy R. Santos.

New visions for art, science, and technology
Discourses of science fiction, technology, and speculation have historically offered visions of the future that recapitulate dominant culture, projecting images of tomorrow through the existing capitalist, racist, and patriarchal structures of today. Interested in rupturing these systems, Refiguring the Future is inspired by artist Morehshin Allahyari’s use of “refiguring” as a feminist, decolonial, and activist practice. This exhibition seeks to “refigure the future”: to push, probe, tear apart, and re-envision what the future can be.

Informed by the punk ethos of DIY, the artists in Refiguring the Future mine the historical and cultural roots of our current moment, pull apart the artifice of contemporary technology, and sift through the pieces to forge new visions of what is possible. Working across an array of mediums and approaches—from analog books to augmented reality (AR)—these artists address and examine a tumultuous present in order to produce a more inclusive future. Centered on feminist, queer, decolonial, anti-racist, and anti-ableist artists the exhibition includes: 

Barak adé Soleil, Morehshin Allahyari, Lee Blalock, Zach Blas, micha cárdenas* and Abraham Avnisan, In Her Interior (Virginia Barratt and Francesca da Rimini)*, Mary Maggic, Lauren McCarthy, shawné michaelain holloway*, Claire and Martha Pentecost, Sonya Rapoport, Sputniko! and Tomomi Nishizawa, Stephanie Syjuco, and Pinar Yoldas*.

*Denotes participation in conference.

Conference: February 9–10, 2019
Day 1: Kaye Playhouse at Hunter College, 10am–6pm
695 Park Ave, New York, NY 10065
Entrance on the Northside of 68th Street between Lexington and Park
Day 2: Knockdown Center, 12–6pm
52-19 Flushing Ave, Maspeth, NY 11378

Following the public reception on February 8, Refiguring the Future will open with a two-day conference highlighting over 20 speakers and workshop leaders, including featured keynote presentation by Simone Browne (University of Texas at Austin), who traces Black women’s creative engagement with surveillance; Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor (Princeton University), who examines the politics of social liberation movements; and Zach Blas using queer and feminist methods to speculate on digital alternatives.

The Refiguring the Future conference convenes artists, educators, writers, and cultural strategists to envision a shared liberatory future by providing us with collective imaginings that move beyond and critique oppressive systems to offer alternative possibilities.

Participants: Keynotes are Simone Browne, Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor, and Zach Blas. Featured participants include Morehshin Allahyari and Shirin Fahimi, Ruha Benjamin, micha cárdenas, Taeyoon Choi, Sofía Córdova, Hayley Cranberry, Jaskiran Dhillon, Kadija Ferryman, Shannon Finnegan, Aljumaine Gayle and Ladan Siad, Anneli Goeller, Kathy High, shawné michaelain holloway, In Her Interior (Virginia Barratt and Francesca da Rimini), Yo-Yo Lin, Cynthia Malone, Maandeeq Mohamed, Rasheedah Phillips, Legacy Russell, Tiare Ribeaux, Sofía Unanue, Alexander Weheliye, and Pinar Yoldas.

Refiguring the Future is supported by grants from the Open Society Foundations and John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation as part of NetGain. This partnership is a philanthropic collaboration seeking to advance the public interest in the digital age.

Additional support for the presentation of Refiguring the Future at the Hunter College Art Galleries is made possible by the David Bershad Family Foundation, the Susan V. Bershad Charitable Fund, Inc., Carol and Arthur Goldberg, Agnes Gund, Joan Lazarus, and the Hunter College Foundation.

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Hunter College
January 24, 2019

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