Eyebeam announces Refiguring the Future, a new exhibition and conference offering a politically engaged and inclusive vision of the intersection of art, science, and technology. Curated by REFRESH collective members Heather Dewey-Hagborg and Dorothy R. Santos, the exhibition title is inspired by artist Morehshin Allahyari’s work defining a concept of “refiguring” as a feminist, de-colonial, and activist practice.
Informed by the punk ethos of do-it-yourself (DIY), the 18 artists featured in Refiguring the Future deeply mine the historical and cultural roots of our time, pull apart the artifice of contemporary technology, and sift through the pieces to forge new visions of what could become.
The exhibition will present 11 new works alongside re-presented immersive works by feminist, queer, decolonial, anti-racist, and anti-ableist artists concerned with our technological and political moment including: 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, Barak adé Soleil, Sputniko! and Tomomi Nishizawa, Stephanie Syjuco, and Pinar Yoldas.
Following a public reception on February 8, Refiguring the Future will open with a two-day conference highlighting over 20 speakers and workshop leaders, including special keynotes by Simone Browne, Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor, and Paul B. Preciadoin conversation with Zach Blas. Providing space to unpack the key themes in the exhibition through keynotes, panel discussions, and community engaged programs, the conference will grapple with marginalizing states of technology by propelling us to a future in becoming.
With conditions of ecologies, humanities, and sciences being implicated by technological biases, what possibilities arise when this accelerated force is paused and worldbuilding is privileged anew? As technical powers have perpetuated systemic cultural and economic oppression, the ways in which we exist, navigate, and project are seemingly dictated and undermined.
The Refiguring the Future conference is curated by Eyebeam/REFRESH Curatorial and Engagement Fellow, Lola Martinez, and REFRESH member Maandeeq Mohamed. It 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.
Additional participants include: Taeyoon Choi, Sofía Córdova, Kadija Ferryman, Shannon Finnegan, Anneli Goeller, Kathy High, Yo-Yo Lin, Maandeeq Mohamed, Rasheedah Phillips, Sofía Unanue, and Alexander Weheliye (list in formation).
REFRESH is a collaborative and politically engaged platform established in 2016. As a collective, they begin with inclusion as a starting point for pursuing sustainable artistic and curatorial practices across the fields of art, science, and technology. Eyebeam is a platform for artists to engage society’s relationship with technology while Hunter College Art Galleries provide a space for critical engagement with art and pedagogy, bringing together historical scholarship, contemporary artistic practice, and experimental methodology.