Celine Wong Katzman

celine
wong
katzman
bio

Model Minority and Model Majorities at SVA MA Curatorial Practice

November 7, 2019

I am a participant in Asia Art Archive in America’s annual Leadership Camp, a four-part closed seminar that addresses the complex subject of Asians in America, and the even more complex subject position of Asian-Americans, a term that encompasses diverse histories, languages, and ‘home’-country politics. This year's session, “Model Minority and Model Majorities,” is facilitated by Furen Dai and Christopher K Ho.

We were invited by SVA's masters program in curatorial practice to present a series of propositions responding to the strangeness of Asian and Asian-American lived experience in relation to historical meta-narratives and notions of “home”—country politics, history, and language. The event will take place on Thursday, November 7 at 7 pm and is free and open to the public.

From Message Board to Crowded Bar: Inside Angela Washko’s The Game: The Game

October 30, 2019

The Eyebeam Center for the Future of Journalism and The Nation invited me to collaborate with artist Angela Washko to produce an interactive article about the research behind her project The Game: The Game, building upon our conversation in Rhizome in 2017. The Game: The Game is a choose-your-own-adventure style video game in which a player navigates a female protagonist through a bar attempting to meet a friend. In order to advance, the player must interact with pick-up artists blocking her way and deploying the manipulative strategies that gained them notoriety. The article contains text written by me, a Twine game made by Angela and data visualizations she made in collaboration with Aman Tiwari.

Read it on The Nation.

Breaking the System: Sound and Technology in the Art of Tiri Kananuruk

May 31, 2019

I interviewed artist Tiri Kananuruk whose practice explores the manipulation of sound in the context of technological consumerism, examining human relationships through the use of transmitted signals and machine learning, natural language, and bodily movement.

Read it on the Mana Contemporary website.

Lecture in Asian American Art History and Literature Seminars at Bard College

April 3, 2019

I will be a guest lecturer at Bard College for two seminar classes in Asian American Art History and Asian American Literature taught by Tom Wolf and Dr. Nathan Shockey, respectively. The courses explore a range of artistic and literary works associated with the contested category “Asian American” and consider the ways in which these works are inextricable from historical context; the experience of exclusion, internment, war, (post)colonialism, and political activism.

Travels Through the Unreal

March 28, 2019

I will be moderating an artist panel on March 28, 2019 at Outpost Artist Resources which will take place as a part of Travels Through the Unreal, a video screening curated by Ann Haeyoung featuring artists Morehshin Allahyari, Frank Wang, Everest Pipkin, and Chen Wang.

The VR viewing and video screening will begin at 7PM. Afterward, Frank Wang, Everest Pipkin, and Chen Wang will join me for the panel at 8PM.

RSVP on Facebook.

The Art Happens Here:
Net Art Anthology Book

January 31, 2018

I have two texts published in Rhizome's The Art Happens Here: Net Art Anthology. The 435-page catalogue accompanies the exhibition The Art Happens Here: Net Art's Archival Poetics, on view at the New Museum through May 26, 2019.

You can buy copies on Rhizome's webstore and in person at the New Museum.

Five Contortions

November 2–16, 2018

EST (Diane Zhou, Son Kit, and myself) curated Five Contortions, a selection of single channel video works by Dana Davenport, Valery Jung Estabrook, Shu Lea Cheang, Chang Jin Lee, and Jen Liu. Taken together, the works in Five Contortions engage the East Asian femme body as a site upon which visibility, labor, agency, and exploitation shift in dangerous flux. The relentless effort of combating sexual exotification and western expectations of “Asian-ness” troubles the notion of representation as liberatory, even as one struggles against American racism’s negation of Asian individuality, the facelessness of the exploited laborer in global industrial capitalism, and the emptiness of superficially embracing ethnic diversity. The physicality of the body is palpable in all these works, through emphasis, modification, damage, distortion, or even omission, and these unflinching treatments force viewers to confront notions of personhood in the face of dehumanization.

The exhibition is on view November 2 - 16 at the Granoff Center for the Creative Arts at Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island.

EST (Eastern Standard Time) is a research collective co-founded by Celine Wong Katzman, Son Kit, and Diane Zhou. EST questions the Western imaginary of Asia as a monolithic entity. While overly-expansive, orientalist definitions make it impossible to ascribe cultural, political, or geographical unity to Asia, EST is interested in its potential as a call to organize across a spectrum of experience. EST is based in New York, NY and Providence, RI.

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Rhizome Microgrants Announced

October 4, 2018

This year I served on the jury for the Net Art Microgrants with Rhizome Community Manager Lauren Studebaker, Rhizome Preservation Director Dragan Espenschied, and Rhizome Software Curator Lyndsey Moulds.

The awardees were announced today!

Black Stroke White Fill:
American Artist and Ryan Kuo

July 26, 2018

I organized Black Stroke White Fill, a conversation between American Artist and Ryan Kuo at bitforms gallery. The artists will discuss their complementary approaches to critiquing whiteness in the digital realm. Black Stroke White Fill will take place during The Pointer, a commissioned solo project by Kuo for the bitforms gallery office.

In The Pointer, Kuo utilizes “well intentioned” white interfaces such as Keynote, the macOS UI, and first-person game space—seamless, easy to accept at face value—and folds them back on themselves in order to reveal the whiteness that drives these platforms and social production. Kuo compares his approach to a “model minority” identity politic, in which the tools are accepted as a given and either successfully made one’s own, or enforce further assimilation into whiteness.

Artist’s recent body of work titled Black Gooey Universe examines the history of the computer interface and the establishment of whiteness as a “neutral” blank canvas for virtual innovation. Artist’s sculptural works consider an alternative Black screened device that has yet to materialize, and references an Afro-pessimistic logic for engaging with an interface that positions itself as inherently white.

RSVP on Facebook.

Outside the Palace of Heavenly Purity

June 7–August 5, 2018

EST (Diane Zhou, Son Kit, and myself) curated Outside the Palace of Heavenly Purity featuring Ho Rui An, Jen Liu, Ingrid Zhuang, Zheng Bo, and O Zhang. Outside the Palace of Heavenly Purity presents narratives that complicate the prevailing idea of globalization as a force emanating directly from privileged Western centers. Engaging with a variety of speculative models, the works explore the dynamics of emergent networks of power within the global landscape and its local permutations.

The exhibition title refers to the former location of a controversial Starbucks franchise within the Forbidden City. First opened in 2000, the cafe closed in 2007 in the wake of an online campaign spearheaded by TV anchor Rui Chenggang, who argued that its presence was a neo-colonial intrusion of Western “coffee culture” into Chinese cultural heritage.

The exhibition is on view June 7 - August 5 at bitforms gallery in New York.

EST (Eastern Standard Time) is a research collective co-founded by Celine Wong Katzman, Son Kit, and Diane Zhou. EST questions the Western imaginary of Asia as a monolithic entity. While overly-expansive, orientalist definitions make it impossible to ascribe cultural, political, or geographical unity to Asia, EST is interested in its potential as a call to organize across a spectrum of experience. EST is based in New York, NY and Providence, RI.
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The Pointer

June 7 - August 5, 2018

I curated The Pointer, an exhibition by Ryan Kuo on the construct of whiteness and its involvement in technological aesthetics and productivity, on view June 7 - August 5 at bitforms gallery in New York.

Kuo has developed three new software works for the gallery office, which for the first time, will host a commissioned artist project. A limited edition of software boxes containing the macOS application OK. and an accompanying cheat sheet is available for purchase here. Kent Szlauderbach conducted an excellent interview with Kuo about The Pointer - read it on BOMB.
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Reigns: Her Majesty

April 24, 2018

For the past two weeks I’ve been ruling centuries of kingdoms in Reigns: Her Majesty, reincarnated as queen in perpetuum. The iOS game succeeds its king-centric predecessor, Reigns, in which the player makes choices to advance the narrative by swiping left or right on cards, as in Tinder. Reigns: Her Majesty is not simply a version of the original game with an almighty female head of state, but is instead a complex examination of the contradictory obligations and impossible choices for a woman in (proximity to) power.

Read it on Rhizome.

Lecture in Digital Non-Fiction
at Brown University

April 23, 2018

I will be a returning guest lecturer in Michael Stewart's advanced English class, Digital Non-Fiction, at Brown University. The class examines how digital environments and platforms enrich as well as challenge traditional narrative strategies.

Make Pictures: Casey Reas and
Jeffrey Alan Scudder in Conversation

March 24, 2018

I organized a conversation between artists Casey Reas and Jeffrey Alan Scudder at bitforms gallery. The artists will explore the intersecting histories of drawing, animation and coding systems. In addition to highlighting notable crossovers from computation, cinema, painting, and music, they'll be demonstrating a few of their own works from recent years, with ample time for discussion and questions from the audience.

This presentation is a part of Make Pictures, a collaborative pop-up exhibition that I facilitated between bitforms gallery and GIPHY Arts. Make Pictures features four web-based drawing and animation tools commissioned by GIPHY Arts: Sketch Machine by Casey Reas, Extinctr by Harm van den Dorpel, Eyemall by Withering Systems, and Boopy by Andrew Benson.

RSVP on Facebook!

Chavez / Hatakeyama / Park / Tamirisa

February 18, 2018

I organized a performance at bitforms gallery on February 18 featuring four artists who I greatly admire: Maria Chavez, Akiko Hatakeyama, Caroline Park, and Asha Tamirisa. Their sound-based practices span electroacoustic improvisation, audiovisual composition, and the construction of experimental controllers and software for performance.

RSVP on Facebook.

Interview: Sara Ludy

February 4, 2018

I interviewed artist Sara Ludy about her archival approach, animation process, and the symbiotic relationship between her lucid dreams and VR practice.

Read it on Niio's blog.

Artist Profile: Ryan Kuo

November 30, 2017

I interviewed Ryan Kuo, one of my favorite artists working today. We spoke about filing files, diagramming family dynamics in the Mac interface, and publishing content in a medium that can only frame it incorrectly.

Read it on Rhizome.

Artist Profile: Angela Washko

July 17, 2017

I interviewed Angela Washko about her art practice and ongoing projects challenging misogyny in both virtual and IRL gaming cultures. In particular, we discussed her most recent project The Game: The Game, a choose-your-own-adventure style video game in which a player navigates a female protagonist through a bar attempting to meet a friend. In order to advance, the player must interact with pick-up artists blocking her way and deploying the manipulative strategies that gained them notoriety. I asked Washko about her frustrating experiences interacting with the pick-up community, developing counter-strategies for game, and how we, as women, can treat the well-being of these men as a feminist issue while practicing self-preservation.

Read it on Rhizome.

Conversation: opensignal

June 19, 2017

opensignal is a collective of artists based in Providence, Rhode Island concerned with the state of gender and race in experimental electronic-based sound and art practices. I spoke with them about carving out space for traditionally excluded voices in a creative field dominated by homogeneity.

Read it on SCREEN 介面.

The Republic of Samsung

June 5, 2017

I co-authored an essay with Son Kit to accompany the presentation of Samsung by Young-hae Chang Heavy Industries in Rhizome's Net Art Anthology. We discuss globalization, South Korean corporate culture, and the complex nature of Samsung—its existence not only as an economic entity but also as an emotional phantom, reaching its incorporeal fingers into relationships, daydreams, and fantasies.

Read it on Rhizome.

Artist Profile: Diane Zhou

May 31, 2017

Artist Diane Zhou grew up in New Jersey and currently lives and works in Beijing and New York. Through a variety of media, her work explores the complexity of Chinese identity (both across diasporic populations as well as mainland China) through playful engagement with cultural artifacts such as bubble tea. I asked her about surfing the Chinese internet, her GIF-making process, and anime in contemporary art, and she answered in both text and GIF.

Read it on PAPER.

Lecture in Digital Non-Fiction
at Brown University

March 6, 2017

I will be a guest lecturer in Michael Stewart's advanced English class, Digital Non-Fiction, at Brown University. The class examines how digital environments and platforms enrich as well as challenge traditional narrative strategies.

Artist Profile: Anthony Antonellis

February 7, 2017

Artist Anthony Antonellis playfully engages with network culture and investigates its relationship to IRL phenomena such as institutions, bodies, and physical objects. I asked him about his personal archival practices, GIF art preservation advocacy, and feelings on surgically integrating technology into his body.

Read it on PAPER.

Sondra Perry

November 17, 2016

I wrote about Sondra Perry's solo show, Resident Evil, at the Kitchen. Technology, power, and identity are at play in several new works that collectively comprise an uncanny domestic scene set in a spacious chamber of Chroma-key blue.

Read it on Art in America.

Respectability Politics

September 22, 2016

I wrote about the group show, Respectability Politics at OUTLET which asks how identity shapes participation in the art world and determines the parameters of acceptable behavior. The transgressive energy in these works serves as a reminder of norms of decency in the art world and beyond, prompting a reflection on who gains from flouting them, and how.

Read it on Art In America.

Eyebeam Book of Ideas

May 10, 2016

I collaborated with David Xu Borgonjon to edit and produce the Eyebeam Book of Ideas, a limited edition in a collectible, tiny volume that gathers ideas from 50 Eyebeam alumni over 20 years.

Buy it in print here.
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John Russell's SQRRL

December 7, 2015

I wrote about John Russell's hypertext fiction, SQRRL. The text is structured along two trajectories, allowing the reader to toggle between a narrative poem and a series of footnotes. Moving fluidly between contemporary theory and futuristic narrative, the reader of Russell's text finds that this cynical and beautiful vision of a future society, in which a person's consciousness may be distributed among seven lizards, has strong echoes of the present.

Read it on Rhizome.

Always-Already a Ghost: Laura Brothers featured on Net Art Hell

October 20, 2015

I wrote about Laura Brothers who was included in the online exhibition Brushes and is featured on the newest installment of Gene McHugh's podcast, Net Art Hell.

Read it on Rhizome.