press release

Refiguring the Future
Artists of Marginalized Communities Envision an Inclusive Tomorrow in Citywide Conference & Exhibition
08.02.2019 - 31.03.2019
Opening Reception: February 8, 6-8PM
205 Hudson Gallery, Hunter College Art Galleries
Entrance on south side of Canal St.
205 Hudson Street
New York, NY 10013

REFRESH—a politically engaged collective that pursues sustainable practices across the fields of art, science, and technology—is pleased to announce their inaugural exhibition and conference, Refiguring the Future Refiguring the Future. The exhibition and conference are presented in partnership with Eyebeam, a non-profit dedicated to spurring creative and critical conversations about technology’s effects on society, and in collaboration with Hunter College Art Galleries. The exhibition will be on view from February 8–March 31, 2019 at 205 Hudson Gallery, Hunter College Art Galleries, accompanied by a two day conference held from February 9–10 at Kaye Playhouse at Hunter College, and the Knockdown Center in Queens. The exhibition will feature 18 artists and 11 newly commissioned works, with a conference that comprises 34 artists, curators, educators, and research fellows dedicated finding new ways of living with technology, and developing new, critical perspectives about our future.

“In this exhibition, we seek to ‘refigure the future’: to push, probe, tear apart, and re-envision what the future can be,” says exhibition co-curator and artist Heather Dewey-Hagborg. “Looking beyond the status quo, we sought out feminist, queer, decolonial, anti-racist, and anti-ableist artists concerned with our technological and political moment.”

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, the exhibition’s title is inspired by artist Morehshin Allahyari’s use of ‘refiguring’ as a feminist, decolonial, and activist practice. 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—these artists address and examine a tumultuous present in order to produce a more inclusive future.

Refiguring the Future’s namesake exhibition is curated by REFRESH collective members Heather Dewey-Hagborg and Dorothy R. Santos, and will be accompanied by a two-day conference curated by Eyebeam/REFRESH Curatorial and Engagement Fellow Lola Martinez and REFRESH member Maandeeq Mohamed.

REFRESH—a collective of female artists, curators, and research fellows—is a collaborative and politically engaged platform at the intersection of art, science, and technology. REFRESH founders include Salome Asega (Technology Fellow, Ford Foundation; Director, PWRLNT), Heather Dewey-Hagborg (artist), Kathy High (artist), Lynn Hershman Leeson (artist / filmmaker), Maandeeq Mohamed (curator), Tiare Ribeaux (artist / Founder and Artistic Director of B4BEL4B gallery), Dr. Camilla Mørk Rostvik (Research Fellow at the University of St Andrews), Dorothy R. Santos (writer / curator / artist), and Addie Wagenknecht (artist). The collective established themselves after writing an op-ed in The Guardian, addressing the gender bias of the internationally renowned Ars Electronica festival, which celebrates art, technology and society, but consistently awards its top prizes to men. Taking to social media with their #KissMyArs campaign, the artists—many of them pioneers in their field—formed a collective thereafter, seeking to establish a platform female-identifying, gendering non-conforming, queer, and POC artists working in new media, technology, and science.

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: 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*.
Names with asterisk denotes participation in the conference.

Day 1: February 9, 10am–6pm
Kaye Playhouse at Hunter College
695 Park Ave, New York, NY 10065
Day 2: February 10, 12–6pm
Knockdown Center
52-19 Flushing Ave, Queens, NY 11378