Digital-Material: Aesthetics in the 21st Century, Forum

Saturday, September 29, 2018


4–5PM Think Olio Lecture

5–5:15PM Break

5:15–7:30PM Panel and Roundtable

5:15PM Opening Remarks and Panel Introduction

5:30–6:30PM Introductions and Panelist Presentations

6:30–6:45PM Break

6:45–7:30PM Roundtable

7:30–11PM BSMT Open Source featuring New Media Residents

7:30–8:15PM Community Meal

8:15–9PM Meet the New Media Residents: Show and Tell

9–11PM New Media Resident and BSMT Open Studios, DJ, Conversation

9:30–9:40PM Performance by Tiri Kananuruk

Mana Contemporary
888 Newark Avenue
Jersey City, NJ 07306

Digital-Material: Aesthetics
in the 21st Century, Forum


In partnership with Rutgers University-New Brunswick
Part one of an ongoing series

The digital has changed the way we think about art. The rise of new media and digital culture have compelled us to reimagine aesthetics and question how technology is altering our definition of art by changing the ways in which it is made, displayed, shared, and valued. How are emergent technologies affecting material culture? Should a pre-history of the digital encompass photography and film? Is the digital building new forms of community? With access broadening, what roles can art now play outside the professionalized art world? And in what ways might new technology also limit that access? Finally, what kinds of materials does digital technology make available for methodological, practical, and creative experimentation?

“Digital-Material: Aesthetics in the 21st Century” brings artists and theorists together to generate new approaches to these and related questions.



Think Olio Lecture: The Coded,
the Woven, and the Spoken

by Sofi Thanhauser
Location: 1st Floor Theatre

From medieval tapestry and Navajo weaving to the work of 20th-century artists like Louise Bourgeois and Keith Smith, textiles and language have an interwoven history. Since the birth of computing (from the technology of the Jacquard loom), the digital has come to mediate and complicate the relationship between fabric and writing. This talk will explore the relationship between text, textile, and language in the digital age.  

In antiquity, Philomel’s tongue is cut out by her rapist so that she cannot tell the story of her rape: she weaves it instead. In 1973, Beryl Korot’s multichannel installation Text and Commentary juxtaposes the recording of her weaving with the pattern for the cloth

and the cloth itself. In 2013, Nick Thurston and the UK-based conceptual press information as material publishes an entire book of poetry written by anonymous laborers via Amazon's Mechanical Turk service.

Thinking about the connections between each of these moments, and more, we will trace the way that the patterning of information, definitions of authorship, and evolving codes of transmission move across time in the coded, the woven, and the spoken.

Sofi Thanhauser is a writer and artist currently living in Brooklyn. She teaches at Pratt Institute and Baruch College.



Panel and Roundtable:
Digital-Material Aesthetics Today

Location: 1st Floor Theatre

Opening Remarks and Panel Introduction: Henry S. Turner, Associate Vice Chancellor for Research in the Humanities and the Arts, Rutgers-New Brunswick

Intros and Panelist Presentations

Panelists give short presentations about their work in relation to the theme of digital-material aesthetics in the 21st century

Jillian Mayer, artist and filmmaker; Atıf Akın, artist and designer; Ayodamola Okunseinde, artist and interactive designer; eteam (Franziska Lamprecht and Hajoe Moderegger), artists and researchers
*see below for panelist bios

Roundtable with Panelists



BSMT Open Source
featuring New Media Residents

Location: BSMT

Community Meal

Meet the New Media Residents:
Show and Tell
Location: BSMT Gallery and B3

Meet Mana Contemporary’s 2018–19 New Media Residents* and see their work in progress.

Mana’s New Media Program offers a space in which disciplinary boundaries are blurred and a group of residents spends a year together exploring new definitions of new media art.
*see below for resident bios

New Media Resident and BSMT Open Studios, DJ, Conversation

The residents’ finished work and/or work-in-progress will be exhibited in different locations in the BSMT, including their studios.

Performance by Tiri Kananuruk, TK1971


 Image courtesy of Ayadamola Okunseinde



Jillian Mayer
Jillian Mayer is an artist and filmmaker based in South Florida. Her work explores how technology affects our lives and identities. Through videos, photographs, performances, sculptures, paintings, installations, online experiences, and telephone numbers, she investigates the tension between physical and digital iterations of existence. She has exhibited at the Brooklyn Academy of Music and Museum of Modern Art, New York; Museum of Contemporary Art North Miami and Bass Museum, Miami; and Contemporary Museum of Montreal. Her work has been featured in film festivals including the New York Film Festival, Sundance, and SXSW. In 2010, her video Scenic Jogging was selected for YouTube Play at the Guggenheim’s international constellation of museums. She has also made projects for venues and events including the Institute of Contemporary Art, Miami, and Pérez Art Museum, Miami;  MoMA PS1, New York; Prospect New Orleans; and Utah Museum of Fine Arts, Salt Lake City.

Mayer is a recipient of the Cintas Foundation Fellowship, Creative Capital Fellowship, and South Florida Cultural Consortium Visual/Media Artists Fellowship, and participated in the Elsewhere Residency (as an NEA Southern Constellation Fellow), Sundance New Frontiers Lab program, and Zentrum Paul Klee Fellowship. She also co-runs the Borscht Corp., a non-profit film collaborative and film festival in Miami. Mayer has been featured in Art Papers, ARTNews, and Artforum, and was named one of the “25 New Faces of Independent Film” by Filmmaker.

Ayodamola Tanimowo Okunseinde
Ayodamola Tanimowo Okunseinde (ayo) is a Nigerian-American artist and interactive designer living and working in New York. He holds a BA in visual arts and philosophy from Rutgers University, New Jersey, and an MFA in design and technology from The New School, Parsons School of Design, New York, where he is currently an adjunct faculty member. His works range from paintings and speculative designs to interactive projects, wearable technology, and explorations of Afrofuturism. Okunseinde is co-founder and creative director of Dissident Display Studios in Washington, D.C. A collaborator with Maida Withers, Carmen Wong, and Yoko K., among others, Okunseinde has made interactive performances ifor venues in Croatia, Finland, Mexico, and elsewhere. He has participated in residencies including Eyebeam, IDEO Fortnight, Invitation to Helsinki, the Laundromat Project, and New Inc.

Atıf Akın
Atıf Akın is a New York-based artist and designer who has exhibited in Europe, the United States, and the Middle East, and teaches at Rutgers University. His work examines science, nature, mobility, and politics, considering transdisciplinary issues through a technological lens. In 2009, Akin was included in the New Museum’s Younger Than Jesus artists directory, co-curated Uncharted: User Frames in Media Arts at Santral in Instanbul, and edited an accompanying book. In 2016, he co-organized Apricots from Damascus, a zine project and exhibition, for apexart, New York, and SALT, İstanbul. Mutant Space, his 2016 project on nuclear mobility and archaeology, was included in the 3rd Istanbul Design Biennial. Tepoto Sud morph Moruroa, his project on nuclear war and oceanography, is on display at the Center for Contemporary Arts, Singapore, and Le Fresnoy Museum, Tourcoing, France. Akın’s recent work has been presented extensively by the Thyssen-Bornemisza Art Contemporary Foundation.


Operating at the intersection of relational aesthetics, the internet, and Land Art, eteam (Franziska Lamprecht and Hajoe Moderegger) have, since 2001, coordinated events and projects in fiction, puppet and radio theater, and video. Their projects have been shown at venues including Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris; MoMA PS1, New York; and Museum Moderner Kunst Stiftung Ludwig, Vienna, and at events including the Biennial of Moving Images, Geneva; International Film Festival, Rotterdam; New York Video Festival; Taiwan International Documentary Festival; and Transmediale, Berlin. They have received grants from Art in General, Creative Capital, the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation, NYSCA, NYFA, and Rhizome, and undertaken residencies at the Center for Land Use Reinterpretation, Eyebeam, MacDowell Colony, Smack Mellon, Taipei Artist Village, and Yaddo. In 2017 they received an Artport Commission from the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York. From September 2017 to June 2018, they were scholars-in-residence at the Hong Kong Baptist University. Their novel OS Grabeland will be published by Nightboat Books in 2018/19.


New Media Residents

CHiKA is a Japanese-born, New York-based artist. She works with various media including LED light and live video projection, and with interactive technologies, to create a symphony of light and geometric shapes.

Hayeon Hwang is a media artist and interactive designer based in New York and Seoul. Her work explores interactive and kinetic technologies, integrating elements of computer hardware.

Tiri Kananuruk is a Bangkok-born, New York-based performance artist. Her work explores the manipulation of sound in the context of technological consumerism, examining human relationships through the use of transmitted signals, machine learning, and bodily movement.

Sebastian Morales is an artist, engineer, and researcher based in New York City. He develops interactive works at the intersection of robotics, digital culture, and living systems.

Michael Simpson is an artist and researcher based in New York. Michael’s work uses code as a platform for interrogating data sets in order to understand their patterns and represent them in beautiful ways. Recently, Michael has been working on real-time audio visualization systems and tools for understanding musical patterns.

Yeseul Song is a Korean-born, New York-based artist and researcher making experiential use of hardware and software. Her work explores poetic representations of data and the relationship between humanity and technology.

David Temchulla was born and raised in Denver. His work combines interactive technology with organic materials, and explores the spaces between the art object and lived experience.