Subtle Technologies’ 2020 Curatorial Mentorship Program is a paid opportunity that prepares one award winner and one runner up award winner to apply to various council grants to cover the fees of new curatorial projects. The award winner receives $3000, while the runner up receives $2000 to participate in Phase 3, where they mentored by our Board of Directors in a rigorous and inclusive process of devising, writing, editing and submitting materials and support documents to various grants for a full-fledged curatorial project, which is then programmed for Subtle Technologies Programming for 2021.

Subtle Technologies is pleased to introduce this year’s Phase 3 winning participants and their projects. 

Award Winners:
Diasporic Futurisms,
Another World

Adrienne Matheuszik, Ambiguous Origins Thesis Exhibition, Ignite Gallery, installation view, digital augmented reality application, 2019

Both of Caribbean descent, Diasporic Futurisms (Adrienne Matheuszik and Vanessa Godden) build mythologies of distant homelands into their arts practices. Another World draws from these experiences, constructing a festival based around a three day event that centres IBPoC futurisms, seeking to destabilize Western hegemony in futurisms.

Another World is a three-day event, with three main occasions anchoring the project: the opening day of the festival is dedicated to a twenty-four-hour live stream of multi-media artworks; the second day is an hour-long screening of time-based media artworks at a pop up drive-in theatre; the third day will be another hour-long screening of another selection of media artworks in a public park. Another World provides equitable and inclusive possibilities for how to best utilize the internet and public space to exhibit artwork safely in physical-distancing culture.

Vanessa Godden, Embodying Entanglement, Gallery 2, installation view, video, 2019

Each of the artworks selected for the festival are created by racialized peoples. The specific artworks that will be included in ‘Another World’ will fall into the theme of diasporic futurisms. This includes artistic renderings of speculative fiction, horror, science
fiction, and fantasy. The tonal range amongst these categories will also be varied to include hopeful imaginings of the future as well as extensions of many in the IBPoC community’s dystopic realities.

Another World entangles art, science, and technology through both its theme (renderings of diasporic futurisms) and the platforms by which it is being presented to the public (a 24 hour live stream and public screenings). With the calls for racial justice, it is essential to show possibilities for the future through the perspectives of IBPoC identities. As we critique our current systems, ‘Another World’ offers possibilities for new structures
of care, respect and imagination to replace them.

Diasporic Futurisms is a collaborative curatorial team comprised of Adrienne Matheuszik and Vanessa Godden. They endeavour to create space for Indigenous, Black and racialized peoples working with alternative perspectives of the present, predictions of the future, and reimaginings of the past that are alternative to Western hegemony. Within the movement of diasporic futurisms, the destabilization of white-supremacy, colonisation, and capitalism in relation tothe lives of diasporic peoples are a primary concern. These concerns are materialized through the genres of Fantasy, Magical Realism, Science Fiction, Speculative Fiction, and related subgenres. Diasporic Futurisms is continually working to build immersive and inclusive arts experiences that radically resist patriarchal, heteronormative, ableist, and racist oppression.

Runner Up Winner:
Tameesha Holder,
Changing Directories

Tameesha Holder and Jody Anderson, Gold Lines My Pussy, Margin of Eras Gallery, installation view, card stock, photography, zine, 2019

Changing Directories challenges inherent biases with masculine and white models of how digital space is conceived and constructed. This project will explore the perspective of open source software, algorithms, and artificial intelligence as technological advancements and work to understand how these systems are implicitly biased. The project will foster an exploration of race, gender and technology, as well as how it reinforces oppressive social relationships and draws on the social and political dimensions of new technologies. A stepping stone to dive deeper into the field of curation, not only within tangible spaces but facilitating work in digital spaces given access to a larger community.

Changing Directories draws from the work of artists such as Arthur Jafa that critically analyzes the black human condition and the AI work and art of Kate Crawford and Trevor Paglen. The project is particularly inspired by artists who have critically discussed or presented an analysis of the racial and gender biases that exist within systems of technology and surveillance. Assessing the meaning of navigating through a world or a system that was never meant to be fair. These works speak to the social implications of AI, data systems and machine learning to the erasure, neglect and assumption of people who are seen as deviant for not being the dominant class that exists at the core of this technology.

The voices of Black peoples are more important now than ever in efforts to dismantle systems of oppression that exist to keep power in the hands of the few. Changing Directories will create a platform that dissects this experience at its core. Facilitating this space on and offline around these experiences directly works to build community and share knowledge aiding in the disruption of norms, shifting paradigms and producing change.

Changing Directories will incorporate several elements into one being able to create points of education, artistic experiences and online curation. The programming will include workshops, lectures, fireside chats, screenings and installations that will be conducted both online and in person. The physical event space will house some programming for the event. The technological development needed is a responsive and interactive online space to host screenings and some web installations for festival-goers, which will be developed through Phase 3.

Tameesha Holder is a community-engaged artist, producer and curator. Tameesha has collaborated with artists throughout her community to produce passion projects such as artists’ events and installations, panels and workshops. Her artistry focuses on the research, documentation and analysis of the black experience, through exploring their relationships with new media technologies. For her, storytelling is a collaborative process that takes a multitude of voices to help disrupt and shift understandings of the human condition.