ART/LIFE INSTITUTE, KINGSTON NY
Art + Life
Multispecies Salon: Adam Zaretsky, Boryana Rossa, Eben Kirksey, Matthew Gioia, Alison Beth Levy
Boryana Rossa is an interdisciplinary artist and curator who works in the fields of electronic arts, film, video, performance and photography. Most of Rossa’s performances and other works have been shown internationally at venues such as steirischer herbst, Graz; National Gallery of Fine Arts, Sofia; 1st Balkan Biennale, Thesaloniki; Kunstwerke and Akademie der Kunste, Berlin; The 1st and 2nd Moscow Biennial For Contemporary Art; Elizabeth A. Sackler Center for Feminist Art at the Brooklyn Museum, NY; Museum of Contemporary Art (MUMOK) Vienna; Zacheta Gallery, Warsaw; Sofia City Art Gallery; Institute of Contemporary Art, Sofia; Exit Art, NY, Sofia Arsenal – Museum of Contemporary Art (SAMCA), Sofia. In 2004 together with the Russian artist and film maker Oleg Mavromatti, Rossa establishes UTRAFUTURO–an international group of artists engaged with issues of technology, science and their social implications. Works by ULTRAFUTURO have been included in the Biennial for Electronic Art, Perth (BEAP) and shown at Foundation for Art and Creative Technologies (FACT), Liverpool; Society for Art and Technology (SAT), Montreal. Rossa and Mavromatti performed also as ULTRAFUTURO in Trickster Theatre, Exit Art, NY between 2006-09. In 2012 Rossa has finished her PhD on Post Cold -War Gender Performances. Cross-cultural examination of gender representations viewed through Soviet, Russian and Bulgarian film re-enactments, in the Department of Arts, at Rensselaer, Troy, NY. She is also a director of Sofia Queer Forum, together with philosopher and activist Stanimir Panayotov. Recently she completed a residency for the research and development of the bio-art project “The Mirror or Faith” related to genetic predisposition of spirituality. This project is a collaboration with the biologysts Dr. Michael Edel, University of Barcelona as part of the Grid Spinoza program, funded by the European Commission. Her works are in numerous public and private collections among which as Kontakt. The Art Collection of Erste Bank-Group, Sofia City Art Gallery, SAMCA and others. Her performances and videos have been included in international art archives such as the performing art archive re.act.feminism and Transitland Video Art from Central and Eastern Europe 1989-2009 and in private and public collections such as Kontakt. Art Collection Erste Group/ERSTE Foundation, Brooklyn Museum, Elizabeth A. Sackler Center for Feminist Art, Sofia City Art Gallery and SAMCA, Sofia . She also holds the prestigious award Essential Reading for Art Writers of the Institute of Contemporary Art (ICA, Sofia) for 2008. Her dissertation was supported by the research grant by the School of Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences at Rensselaer (HASS). In 2014 she has been awarded Ruf Award for contemporary art, and the 2014 NYFA Fellowship Award for Digital/Electronic Arts together with Oleg Mavromatti. She publishes in newspapers like Kultura Weekly, 39 Grama, n.paradoxa and others. Download CV Email: firstname.lastname@example.orgBoryana Rossa:
Since completing his Ph.D. at UC Santa Cruz in 2008, Eben Kirksey has published two books and one edited collection with Duke University Press: Freedom in Entangled Worlds: West Papua and the Global Architecture of Power (2012), The Multispecies Salon (2014), and Emergent Ecologies (2015). In 2010, he co-edited a special issue of Cultural Anthropology with Stefan Helmreich where they coined the phrase “multispecies ethnography” to characterize novel approaches for studying contact zones where lines separating nature from culture have broken down. His work is highly interdisciplinary and also firmly grounded in the traditions of anthropology.
Eben is Princeton University's 2015-2016 Currie C. and Thomas A. Barron Visiting Professor in the Environment and Humanities and is a permanent faculty member in the Environmental Humanities program at UNSW Australia.
2010-2012, Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow, CUNY Graduate Center
2008-2010, NSF Postdoctoral Fellow, Science and Society Program.
Ph.D. 2008 UC Santa Cruz
M.Phil. 2003 University of Oxford
B.A. 2000 New College of Florida
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Responding to a call for “wild artists” by the curators of the Multispecies Salon, Adam Zaretsky gave the questions orbiting around the exhibit a whimsical and provocative twist. Zartesky who describes himself as a “demented naturalist”, was already widely renowned for framing microbes, insects and plants as creative agents.
Years before the Salon, at the Salina Art Center in Kansas, he installed The Workhorse Zoo – juxtaposing “great hopes invested in the products of genetic engineering” with “biophobic visions of environmental apocalypse.” Zarestky lived inside a biosecure container for a week – putting himself on display as a representative of Homo Sapiens, a creature that he regards as a “spectacular life form”.
He lived cheek to jowl with mutant fruit flies inside a biosecure tank and documented interactions among multiple species – fruit flies, yeast, Escherichia coli bacteria, Xenopus frogs, mustard plants, zebra fish and mice. As church groups, lawyer’s luncheons, art appreciation groups, goth-punk contingents and local farmers filtered through the Salina Art Center, he offered these spectators fresh beer and tastes of fried albino frogs (pictured below), zebra fish, mustard greens, and mice – all organisms “whose genomes have been sequenced, partially annotated and altered”. By displaying and eating this motley array of critters, Zaretsky hoped to provoke a rethinking of fixed moral positions about biotech research and catalyze open-ended discussions.
Zaretsky was also celebrating aspects of wild nature – potentially dangerous, risky and out of control life – blurring the distinction between the “new wild”, a realm populated by creatures that have emerged amidst regimes of biological control, and the “old wild” where feral animals like wild geese and wild boars have long roamed free. Bringing attention to where new wild things are, or where they might come to be, Zaretsky staged another spectacle at the Multispecies Salon in New Orleans. Alongside a tank of GloFish® (pictured below left), purchased from a local PetCo Superstore, Zaretsky posted a critique of laissez faire approaches to biocapitalism and a libertarian manifesto for modified organisms which highlighted tensions between environmental risks and “mutant animal rights”.
In the nearby brackish waters of the Gulf Coast, Adam Zaretsky released a group of reproductively viable GloFish. In tandem he crafted an “International Release Document” that he displayed at the Multispecies Salon, which said, “Speed mixing of traits does breed inherently irresponsible, interspecies hazards… [But,] transgenic life should have a chance to run wild for its own sake, not just for the sake of profit”. Perhaps deflecting the alarm of some environmental purists, Zaretsky framed pictures of him “liberating” these workhorses of biotechnology with a big banner alleging: “BP killed my GloFish®!” Thanking corporate deregulation for the oil spill, Zaretsky suggested that wild agents of capitalism have generated anarchistic destruction and “a prodigious flight of forms”.
By celebrating forms of deviance, and the uncalculated promises contained in wild products of biocapitalism, Zaretsky pointed to the potential of wayward life to blossom in wild profusion. Rejoicing in the liberation of critters from the cages of biotech laboratories, Zaretsky disrupted multispecies relations that were producing spectacular forms of life.
Kirksey, Eben et al. (2014) “Life In The Age Of Biotechnology” in The Multispecies Salon, Durham: Duke University Press, pp. 196-201
A true scion of privilege, Matthew Gioia was born to an upper-middle class upbringing in bourgeois Brookline, Massachusetts. He grew up tall, handsome, blue-eyed and blonde. Though his hair has darkened somewhat over the last 30 years, he retains most of the characteristics of a rich liberal jerk-off. Wracked by guilt after a leisurely jaunt through a meaningless graduate program, Matthew traveled to Mississippi to teach middle school. It didn’t take him too long to realize he wasn’t doing anyone any good, though, and he certainly wasn’t paying off any of his existential debt. After each long day of yelling at black boys in his classroom, he would trudge home and stare at himself in the bathroom mirror. Of course what he saw was a slavedriver, though he still took expansive pleasure in his own good looks and lean, muscular body. Throughout this time, and for some time before, Matthew was also a pathetically ardent practitioner of Zen Buddhism, which acted like a salve on his festering conscience and allowed him to focus on the myriad pleasurable physical sensations of his indulgent lifestyle. While living thusly in Mississippi, Matthew impregnated a beautiful woman, whom he subsequently married. They left the south, unwilling to attempt to actually live there.
Recently they have settled in Kingston, New York, and Matthew has turned to other, more abstract ways to soothe himself and atone for his complicity in the mass rape, murder, and plundering of the planet and all her good creatures. He sincerely hopes you enjoy his performances, and asks that you not forget to heap attention and (affection on him afterwards, whether you actually do enjoy them or not
ALISON BETH LEVY
Starry Blessings Astrology is my platform for Astrological counseling and teaching, plus my creation AstroArcana (combining Astrology and Tarot). Through an Astrological lens I assist people to integrate their whole selves through being uplifting, compassionate, and connecting how we co-create our life with the divine. I discovered a joy of Astrology as a preteen and it has been my main passion for over eight years, along with spirituality and a healthy lifestyle. I'm a graduate of the first year of Nightlight Astrology. My previous career was as a public art curator and I aim to connect creativity with the Cosmos.
GRACE EXHIBITION SPACE: THE LINDA MARY MONTANO ART/LIFE INSTITUTE, KINGSTON NY
Performance Artist Residency
Starting November 1st 2015
We plan a focus on diverse community-building through our unique residency in Kingston for Performance Artists.
Residency: to live in the building that was Linda Mary Montano's performance space and archive, for one month on the Rondout Harbor in Kingston, NY (2 hours north of Brooklyn) to walk around the wonderful waterfront, meet the people in the neighborhood and host the people you meet met for a dinner party at the end of the month.