- Manal Abu-Shaheen
- Vahap Avşar
- Jesus Benavente and Felipe Castelblanco
- Brian Caverly
- Kerry Downey
- Magali Duzant
- Golnaz Esmaili
- Mohammed Fayaz
- Kate Gilmore
- Jonah Groeneboer
- Bang Geul Han and Minna Pöllänen
- Dave Hardy
- Sylvia Hardy
- Shadi Harouni
- Janks Archive
- Robin Kang
- Kristin Lucas
- Carl Marin
- Eileen Maxson
- Melanie McLain
- Shane Mecklenburger
- Lawrence Mesich
- Freya Powell
- Xiaoshi Vivian Vivian Qin
- Alan Ruiz
- Samita Sinha and Brian Chase
- Barb Smith
- Monika Sziladi
- Alina Tenser
- Trans-Pecos with 8 Ball Community, E.S.P. TV, and Chillin Island
- Mark Tribe
- Sam Vernon
- Max Warsh
- Jennifer Williams
- An Itinerary with Notes
- Exhibition Views
- A Distant Memory Being Recalled (Queens Teens Respond)
- Overhead: A Response to Kerry Downey’s Fishing with Angela
- Sweat, Leaks, Holes: Crossing the Threshold
- PULSE: On Jonah Groeneboer’s The Potential in Waves Colliding
- Interview: Melanie McLain and Alina Tenser
- Personal Space
- Data, the Social Being, and the Social Network
- Responses from Mechanical Turk
- MAPS, DNA, AND SPAM
- Queens Internacional 2016
- Uneven Development: On Beirut and Plein Air
- A Crisis of Context
- Return to Sender
- Interview: Vahap Avşar and Shadi Harouni
- Mining Through History: The Contemporary Practices of Vahap Avşar and Shadi Harouni
- A Conversation with Shadi Harouni's The Lightest of Stones
- Directions to a Gravel Quarry
- Walk This Way
- Interview: Brian Caverly and Barb Smith
- "I drew the one that has the teeth marks..."
- BEAT IT! (Queens Teens respond)
- Lawn Furniture
- In Between Difference, Repetition, and Original Use
- Interview: Dave Hardy and Max Warsh
- Again—and again: on the recent work of Alan Ruiz
- City of Tomorrow
- Noticing This Space
- NO PLACE FOR A MAP
- The History of the World Was with Me That Night
- What You Don't See (Queens Teens Respond)
- Interview: Allison Davis and Sam Vernon
- When You’re Smiling…The Many Faces Behind the Mask
- Interview: Jesus Benavente and Carl Marin
- The Eternal Insult
- Janking Off
- Queens Theatricality
There are, to hear some describe it, dozens of ways to exist and thrive outside of systems, outside of ruthless economic valuations and standards. There are spaces in which we can insist on the us that flourishes apart from our public selves, in spite of facts of material circumstance.
These spaces remain hidden out of necessity. Protecting the private acts that take place within them can feel like an act of defiance. Memorializing experiences that are difficult to render and by extension, to consume, can feel like an ethic of resistance.
Gestures are frozen so we can investigate their affect. We stop at Bang Geul Han and Minna Pöllänen’s Signs of Flood, to gaze at a hand-stitched black outline of a body in the act of express: no mouth, mouth closed, mouth contorted, a mouth open in an O. On Janks Archive’s placards, planted in the Finland woods, janks—ephemeral jokes between intimates—shimmer, resonant with a memory of play, of a good-humored father, of youth. A Monika Sziladi photograph reveals one suited man touching the arm of another, an intimacy that might suggest dominance, compassion, or obsequiousness.
People choose to express anonymously, or to themselves. In A Third Space (2014–16), Kerry Downey delivers a monologue that traces the topography of their childhood, bounded by the Exxon Valdez oil spill, the fame of photographer Robert Mapplethorpe, the birth of the Pentium computer chip. In Freya Powell’s Omniscience and Oblivion, we sit in a private room, between four mounted black speakers, listening to a haunted young woman describe her father in hospice, fading over a week, eventually unable to speak. Her voice is thick with discomfort.
A slight shift in perspective allows us glimpses of hidden work. In Brian Caverly’s Studio Abandon, a tiny white utility sink is flecked with paints accumulated over years. Groups of South Asian men and women smirk in the photos in Eileen Maxson’s evian is naive spelled backwards. They seem amused by the project, a Mechanical Turk work order that reveals their intellectual labor that runs digital economies.
A group of garrulous men watch Shadi Harouni pull down stones in a pumice quarry in Kurdistan by hand. They discuss past and future quarry work. “This is labor, too,” one says, pointing at Harouni’s intensive undertaking.
What comes after such reveals? Downey searches for a new “production of relating,” a sense of existence in the world “beyond parents and dogs and doorknobs.” In their animation, daubs of paint sweep, diverge, coalesce on the screen, enacting this meditation on new forms. We might learn “how to dissolve a pattern,” waste it, construct a new one.
Every turn suggests new modes of imagining. Bang Geul Han, in a black cloak before a flashing, apocalypse-red sky, recites according to algorithmic rules. Robin Kang reworks computer hardware into dizzying, deep neon jacquard fabrics that could be draped around the shoulders of a technologic priest. And Mark Tribe constructs fantasy utopian landscapes in cartography software, revealing the contours of an Earth where these priests might walk, where we might start over again.
Nora Khan is a writer and a contributing editor at Rhizome. She’s a 2016 Thoma Foundation Arts Writing Fellow in Digital Art, and an artist-in-residence at Industry Lab in Cambridge. She writes fiction and criticism about digital art, artificial intelligence, literature, games, and electronic music. She has published in Rhizome, Kill Screen, Conjunctions, After Us, Ran Dian, AVANT, DIS, and many other places. In 2015 she was a contributing critic for Åzone Futures Market, the Guggenheim’s first digital exhibition.