Category Archives: Uncategorized

No New Jails! A Teach-in for the YBCA’s Young Artists At Work

tumblr_inline_mv8lw4hil61rt6174This month I was back at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts’ Young Artist At Work (YAAW) program to lead a teach-in about the fight against the replacement county jail in San Francisco. The city’s sherriff, Ross Mirkarimi is proposing to replace the current seismically unfit county jails 3 and 4 with a brand new $465 million dollar new jail. He argues that the new jail design allows for more space for rehabilitative programs and will be safer.

However, San Francisco doesn’t need a new jail! The current facilities are only at 65% capacity and through bail reform up to 500 people can be released, therefore making the need for another facility obsolete. And besides, we know there is no such thing as a safe jail. I spoke with the YAAW’s about what ways for them to join our fight against the new jail and what are alternatives to jails; how would they spend $465 million dollars in their own communities?

Later, the YAAW participants wrote letters to their board of supervisors demanding that they vote against the upcoming jail proposal. I hope these letters reach those in power and that the supervisor’s pay attention to the youth of San Francisco and these young leaders! Below are some highlights:

“By supporting the construction of the new jail you are teaching us that building walls is better than breaking them, that segregation is justice. You are teaching me that fear trumps empathy.”

“Shutting down the jail can save us more money to spend on other social welfare programs that can support underserved and at-risk families especially in neighborhoods such as Hunter’s Point-Bayview, and other at-risk communities.”

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It Is Our Duty to Fight: A Curator’s Interview with Adrienne Skye Roberts

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I was asked to participate in Strange Bedfellows, a group exhibition about collaborative practice in queer art. For the show, I decided to collaborate with four prison survivors and members of the California Coalition for Women Prisoners. I asked each person three questions: How did you survive prison? What do you need to survive now that you are out? And what does a world without mass incarceration look like?

Based on the wise words of my interviewees, I created hand-painted protest signs that will be displayed in the gallery along with the edited audio of the interviews. The piece is titled, “It is our duty to fight / It is our duty to win / We must love each other and protect each other / We have nothing to loose but our chains” (based on the Assata Shakur chant).

I was interviewed by Amy Cancelmo, the show’s curator, about my art practice and organizing with CCWP, about queer activism and it’s relationship to prison abolition. Before the show opens Saturday, June 8th, you can read the interview here:

It Is Our Duty to Fight: A Curator’s Interview with Adrienne Skye Roberts

Strange Bedfellows: Collaborative Practice in Queer Art at Root Divison

strangebedfellowsSTRANGE BEDFELLOWS: COLLABORATIVE PRACTICE IN QUEER ART
Presented as part of National Queer Arts Festival 2013
Curated by: Amy Cancelmo

Second Saturday Reception: Saturday, June 8, 7-10 pm
Exhibition Dates: June 5-29, 2013
Gallery Hours: Wednesdays-Saturdays, 2-6 pm

PANEL DISCUSSION & CATALOGUE RELEASE
Wednesday, June 19, 7-9 pm
Featuring: EG Crichton & Barbara McBane, Annie Sprinkle & Beth Stephens, Tina Takemoto, Chris Vargas & Greg Youmans
Moderated by: Amy Cancelmo

Strange Bedfellows is a visual art exhibition exploring collaborative practice in queer art. Featuring the work of over twenty contemporary queer artists alongside ephemera loaned from the San Francisco GLBT Historical Society Archive, the show presents diverse strategies for collaboration and considers multiple authorship as a radical concept.

Strange Bedfellows is a nationally traveling exhibition with accompanying catalogue, and is a fiscally sponsored project of the Queer Cultural Center. The exhibition will debut in San Francisco at Root Division in June 2013 as part of the National Queer Arts Festival, and then travel to the Samek Art Gallery at Bucknell University in Lewisburg Pennsylvania in Fall of 2013. It will next be presented in Chicago for the College Art Association Conference in February of 2014 as the sponsored exhibition of the Queer Caucus for the Arts. Additional funders for the project include Endeavor Foundation for the Arts & Rainbow Grocery.

Participating Artists:

Bren Ahearn, Greg Der Ananian & Jesse M. Kahn, Jordan Arsenault & POSTER VIRUS, E.G. Crichton, Barbara McBane & Susan Working, Sean Fader, Alex Hernandez* with Rude House, Sarah Hirneisen, Amos Mac & Julianna Huxtable LaDosha, Tara Mateik, billy ocallaghan, Adrienne Skye Roberts, Annie Sprinkle & Beth Stephens with Luke Wilson, Julie Sutherland, Tina Takemoto & Angela Ellsworth, Chris Vargas & Greg Youmans, Angie Wilson & Amber Straus

*Root Division Studio Artist

FAX (FACTS) BOMB, a participatory lecture at San Francisco Arts Commission Gallery on June 30th

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On June 30th I will be presenting “Fax (Facts) Bomb” in conjunction with the San Francisco Art Commission Gallery’s current exhibition, FAX. Through a participatory slideshow I will trace the evolution of technology and its effects on protest tactics and surveillance focusing on topics such as the invention of the camcorder, facebook black-outs, twitter’s new home in San Francisco, online petitions, Zapatista’s cyber sit-ins and BART police’s infringement on freedom of speech. This event will also feature Diana Block and other longtime activists as they talk about their experience with technology, protest and policing. Come join the conversation!

San Francisco Arts Commission Gallery
401 Van Ness Avenue, San Francisco
Saturday, June 30th at 5PM

Reports From the Field: Works In Progress in Visual and Critical Studies, March 30th

I will be presenting my work as a featured alumni speaker at the event, “Reports From the Field: Works in Progress in Visual and Critical Studies” at California College of Arts. I am presenting alongside my former classmate and friend, Duane Deterville and VCS faculty, Tina Takemoto and Jeanette Roan. Come check us out and learn more about the VCS program!

Friday, March 30th from 7 – 9PM

CCA, Boardroom

1111 Eighth Street

San Francisco

Interview with Jeff Chang and Favianna Rodriguez on SFMOMA Open Space

Sometimes you get to interview your artists whose work you’ve admired for a long, long time. Before the event, “Strategies for Artists in Social Justice Movements” I sat down and talked to Jeff Chang and Favianna Rodriguez, who later presented on a panel about their project Culture Strike. In addition to this collaboration, Jeff and Favianna have powerful practices of their own. Jeff is the author of “Can’t Stop, Won’t Stop: A History of the Hip-Hop Generation” and a founding editor of the journal, Colorlines. Favianna is a prolific print-maker and new media artist. Interviewing them felt like I finally found people who speak my language! Check out the interview here.

Strategies for Artists in Social Justice Movements, a Panel and Workshop on January 14th

Join Artists of the 99% for a panel & workshop: STRATEGIES FOR ARTISTS IN SOCIAL JUSTICE MOVEMENTS

Saturday, January 14 @ 6 – 9PM
Southern Exposure
3030 20th Street San Francisco

Join Artists of the 99% for a conversation and workshop about strategies for artists participating in social justice movements, including the international Occupy movement at Southern Exposure gallery. We will kick-start the discussion with a panel featuring: David Solnit (artist and activist, formerly of Art and Revolution), Jeff Chang (author of Can’t Stop, Won’t Stop: A History of the Hip-Hop Generation), Favianna Rodriguez (artist who, along with Jeff Chang, organized Culture Strike against Arizona’s SB1070 Immigration Law) and Zeph Fishlyn (of the Beehive Design Collective, making giant collaborative graphics for education and organizing).

After the panel, we will hold small-group discussions to workshop our own ideas and experiences with the goal of connecting artists to each other and strengthening our movements for social and economic justice. Please bring your own ideas and experiences. Let’s compare notes and share resources!

For more information or questions contact: artistsofthe99percent@gmail.com

This venue is wheelchair accessible.

I’ve begun a series of interviews with artists and cultural workers whose practices are engaged with movements for social justice, including the recent Occupy Wall Street movement. These articles will be published every 2 weeks or so on SFMOMA’s Open Space blog.

Many of the artists I will interview are people whose practices I deeply admire. They  challenge the false divisions between art and resistance and use their practice to address oppression with the potential to initiate dialogue around issues of race, class, sexism, feminist and queer issues, and more. The first interview is with Sara Powell of Kaleidoscope Free Speech Zone and was written in effort to make visible her current struggle against eviction in the Mission District. You can read it here.

KNIT-IN to Support Kaleidoscope Free Speech Zone, December 18th 2 – 5PM

Join Artists of the 99% for a KNIT-IN on December 18th from 2 – 5PM
at Kaleidoscope Art and Free Speech Zone at 3109 24th Street (@ Folsom, right next to Philz Coffee)

WHY?

Kaleidoscope Art and Free Speech Zone
was started in 2009 by Sara Powell, an artist and activist. It is a community space that opens its doors to all artists and art forms – from poetry readings to punk shows to visual art exhibitions. For the past 6 months, Sara has been facing illegal eviction of Kaleidoscope (which is also her living space) by an awful landlord who refuses to make basic repairs on the building and is trying to force her out through the Ellis Act.

This is an awesome opportunity for us to show our support of Sara and Kaleidoscope Arts and speak out against unjust housing policies and a climate in San Francisco that makes it nearly impossible to survive as a low-income person and community-based artist.

We will be “occupying” Kaleidoscope and the sidewalk in front, complete with signs and banners, teaching folks how to crochet and knit and passing out our zine, raising awareness and visibility about Sara’s impending eviction and these issues. Feel free to bring other mobile art projects, food, free give aways and whatever else feels fitting. And tell your friends!

Join Artists of the 99% at Artist Television Access

Artists of the 99% were invited to give a brief presentation at Occupy!, an event at Artist Television Access this Friday, December 9th at 6:30PM. The evening will feature the work of artists involved in the Occupy Wall Street movement, film screenings and visual art. We will be passing out our zine, arm-bands and rallying artists to join the movement!

Join us!