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System Errors: Abolitionist Technologies and Aesthetics

Sondra Perry, American Artist, Danielle Brathwaite-Shirley & Legacy Russell
19:00–20:30 Mon 17 Aug

£5 - Book Here

Live Captioning

19:00 BST, 14:00 EDT, 11:00 PDT

A panel discussion with American Artist, Danielle Brathwaite-Shirley and Sondra Perry, chaired by Legacy Russell

The radical potential of technologies lies in fugitivity and opacity: their ability to obscure, to make it impossible for us to be known, to render us untraceable by every arm of the state even under the all-consuming spectre of surveillance capital. Within the current matrix of violent governance, the abolitionist project is about gaming the algorithm: rewriting its rules and scrambling the encoded binary. Glitch feminism is one such method. It recognises the glitch as a necessary erratum, a site of positive departure that enables the creation of new worlds. 

With curator and writer Legacy Russell in the chair, artists American Artist, Danielle Brathwaite-Shirley and Sondra Perry, discuss their artistic practices through an abolitionist lens, considering questions around policing, the body and the digital image. How does art engaging with queerness, digital media and performance intersect with an abolitionist aesthetics of liberated blackness? Can networked virtual life, video games and radical image-making be tools for agency and resistance against the techno-industrial complex?

American Artist's work considers black labour and visibility within networked life. Their practice makes use of video, installation, new media, and writing. Artist is a resident of Red Bull Arts Detroit and a 2018-2019 recipient of the Queens Museum Jerome Foundation Fellowship. They are a former resident of EYEBEAM and completed the Whitney Independent Study program as an artist in 2017. They have exhibited at the Museum of African Diaspora, San Francisco; the Studio Museum in Harlem; Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, and Koenig & Clinton, New York. Their work has been featured in the New York Times, Artforum, and Huffington Post. They have published writing in The New Inquiry and Art21. Artist is a part-time faculty at The New School, New York.

Danielle Brathwaite-Shirley is an artist working predominantly in digital media (animation, sound and video games) to communicate the experiences of being a Black Trans person. Their practice focuses on recording the lives of Black Trans people, intertwining lived experience with fiction to imaginatively retell Trans stories. Spurred on by a desire to record the "History of Trans people both living and past" their work can often be seen as an archive where Black Trans people are stored for the future. Throughout history, Black queer and Trans people have been erased from the archives. Because of this it is necessary not only to archive our existence, but also the many creative narratives we have used and continue to use to share our experiences. An online component of their work can often be found at daniellebrathwaiteshirley.com.

Sondra Perry makes videos, performances, and installations that foreground digital tools as a way to critically reflect on new technologies of representation and remobilise their potential. Her works examine how images are produced in order to reveal the way photographic representations are captured and re-circulated. Sondra Perry was born in Perth Amboy, New Jersey, raised in New Jersey and North Texas, and has lived and worked in Newark, New Jersey since 2019. She received her MFA from Columbia University, New York, and her BFA from Alfred University, Alfred, New York, in 2015 and 2012, respectively.

Legacy Russell is a writer and curator. She is the Associate Curator of Exhibitions at The Studio Museum in Harlem. Russell’s ongoing academic work and research focuses on gender, performance, digital selfdom, internet idolatry, and new media ritual. She is the recipient of the Thoma Foundation 2019 Arts Writing Award in Digital Art and a 2020 Rauschenberg Residency Fellow. Her first book, Glitch Feminism, is forthcoming from Verso Books in Fall 2020. For more, check out her Instagram @ellerustle and visit: www.legacyrussell.com.

Please be aware that this event will be recorded.