Refiguring the Future opened in February 2019 as a response to ongoing inequity in the fields of art, science, and technology. Featuring over 35 artists from around the world, the multifaceted project included an expansive exhibition, two-day conference, and a series of programs that engaged close to 5,000 participants across NYC and beyond.
Adopting artist Morehshin Allahyari’s use of “refiguring”, as a feminst, decolonial, and activist practice, Refiguring the Future sought to deeply mine the historical and cultural roots of our contemporary moment, pull apart the artifice of contemporary technology and sift through the pieces to forge new visions of what is possible. The project brought together feminist, queer, decolonial, anti-racist, and anti-ableist artists to look beyond the status quo of technological and political moment.
Refiguring the Future was presented at 205 Hudson Gallery of Hunter College Art Galleries between February 8-March 31, 2019.
The exhibition presented the work of 18 artists from around the world working at the intersection of art, science, and technology. Eleven newly commissioned works were presented alongside re-presented immersive works. Participating artists included: 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.
In addition to presenting this diverse roster of international artists, the exhibition welcomed close to 5,000 visitors over the course of seven weeks, and was 205 Hudson Gallery’s most well-attended show to date.
Throughout the course of the exhibition 205 Hudson Gallery hosted additional programming, including a verbal description and touch tour, and performances by artists In Her Interior (Virginia Barratt and Francesca da Rimini) and shawné michaelain holloway.
The two-day Refiguring the Future conference convened an array of artists, educators, writers, and cultural strategists to unpack the key themes explored in the exhibition through a series of keynotes lectures, panel discussions, and community-engaged programs.
The first day of the conference engaged an audience of over 2,000 in person and online, and featured 20 speakers at Hunter College’s historic Kaye Playhouse. Keynote speakers included: Keeanga Yamahtta-Taylor, author of “From #BlackLivesMatter to Black Liberation,” queer artist and filmmaker Zach Blas, and Dalit rights activist Thenmozhi Soundararajan. The second day was held at the Knockdown Center and featured programming ranging from a screening of Martin Sym’s “Incense, Sweaters, and Ice”, “Distributed Web of Care” a workshop re-imagining equitable internets led by Taeyoon Choi with Cori Kresge and Stud1nt, and “Alt-Text as Poetry,” led by Shannon Finnegan and Bojana Coklyat.
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Refiguring the Future is supported by grants from the Open Society Foundations and John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation as part of the NetGain Partnership. This partnership is a philanthropic collaboration seeking to advance the public interest in the digital age.