Celine Wong Katzman


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.

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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.

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.

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.

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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.

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