Spotlight: Soooo…What Now?: How Surveillance Affects Our Futures

In the early stages of technological advancement, certain developments raised concerns about technology’s hindrance to human performance—the machine versus people. Much anxiety was directed toward the rise of surveillance. This Archive Spotlight by Chloë Catrow, Summer 2023 Curatorial and Development Intern, brings together three programs in The Kitchen’s archive: Steina Vasulka’s Allvision No. 2 (1977-78), The Future As Disruption (2008), and Sondra Perry's Resident Evil (2016) that explore the erratic changes of surveillance technology and how it has become associated with capitalism, political and environmental ruin, and policing. Vasulka’s Allvison No.2 presented a video-machine installation to suggest that humans' perception of reality might change as reality continues to be viewed through a screen. In the context proposed, social media also has a place here as it is a reality-altering space. Depending on the individual, large amounts of time are spent with technologies like cameras, computers, TVs, iPhones, tablets, VR—personal devices that have some quality of surveillance. Within the multidisciplinary group exhibition The Future As Disruption, artists such as Adam Pendleton, Simone Leigh, and Anna Lislegaard presented work to critique contemporary society. Drawing on tropes of science fiction to envision possible ramifications of technological conditions, the future becomes a direct result of consumerism, environmental crisis, and war: all consequences of capitalism. How does policing have a place here as well? In turn, Perry’s Resident Evil highlights how certain groups of people might be more visible than others under this unrelenting eye across themes of technology, identity, and power. The exhibition imagines the future of Black people as technological beings in a space of hypervisibility and proposes that Blackness becomes technology. Through various mediums, each artist negotiates the context of art to speculate or imagine how tomorrow is already affected by the present.

Nov 2 - Dec 10, 2016

Resident Evil :

Sondra Perry

Jun 18 - Aug 1, 2008

The Future As Disruption :

Julieta Aranda, Sean Dack, Joan Banach, Jonah Freeman, Olalekan B. Jeyifous, Simone Leigh, Ann Lislegaard, Adam Pendleton, Mungo Thomson, William Villalongo, and The Otolith Group

Dec 15 - Jan 4, 1978

Allvision No.2:

Steina Vasulka

Spotlight: Pluralized Precedent: Black Queer Culture in Art at The Kitchen

The programs highlighted in this Archive Spotlight by Mac Jackson, Summer 2023 Archive and Curatorial Research intern, reflect and celebrate work by Black queer artists within The Kitchen’s Archive. Together, they reconceptualize forms of revolutionary visibility, re-visiting and re-membering through processes of referential, liminal conversation. The three archival moments here include works of art by Essex Hemphill, Larry Duckette, Aaron Davis Hall, Greg Tate and Xaviera Simmons engaged with Black and queer identity via fluid and interdisciplinary temporalities. Spanning 1989 to 2016, this linkage of events shines light on the ways in which intersections of marginality are socio-political battlefields, and have been, as well, fruitful ground for the production of experimental cultural commentary and storytelling. These five artists situate identity making and community finding within disordered and inventive conditions of time and place. Notions of performance as actionable and embodied gathering—of words and of community members, and as a means of taking care—are at the core of these three programs. They center Black and queer archival practice by questioning where art and lived experience can be communicated, shared, and positioned in relation to, and at times in refusal of, institutional structures: through collaboration, publishing, poetry, photography, choreographic scores, music production, dance, and digital culture. Mediated through art, these artists’ ideas call out and into one another to formulate a pluralized Black, queer futurity.

Apr 6 - Apr 8, 1989

Brother to Brother: Words from the Heart:

Essex Hemphill, Larry Duckette

Jun 22 - Dec 16, 2016


Xaviera Simmons

May 24 - May 28, 1995

My Darling Gremlin:

Butch Morris, Greg Tate