Celine Wong Katzman


The Longest Whistlegraph Ever (so far)

May 14, 2022

I commissioned The Longest Whistlegraph Ever (so far), a composition by the artist collective Whistlegraph, which debuted in New York as a live performance at the New Museum on May 14, 2022.

Whistlegraphs are audio-visual digital artworks performed manually by drawing and singing. Every whistlegraph results in a poetic image through the performance of a reproducible score.

Video of a subsequent performance, recorded in Ashland, Oregon, was published online alongside materials from the composition process, including manuscripts, recordings, and a full graphic score. In addition, I worked with Whistlegraph to develop and administer online workshops for kids, where participants learned about computer software and art history while creating their own artistic compositions. Reflections and documentation from these workshops are viewable on Rhizome.

Alex Freundlich, Camille Klein, and Jeffrey Scudder draw, sing, and make videos together as Whistlegraph. Since forming the group in 2020, they regularly share their work on their TikTok account, @whistlegraph, where they have over two million followers. Over the past few years, they have honed a distinctive style and practice that speaks to embodied cognition, art education, and experimental composition for live performance.

NEW INC Mentor-in-Residence

August 30, 2021

I will be serving as a Mentor-in-Residence for NEW INC's 2021-22 Art & Code track, a collaboration between Rhizome and NEW INC, now in its second year. I'll be facilitating monthly meetings, conducting studio visits, and facilitating a presentation of work by track members at the end of the residency period.

NEW INC is the first museum-led cultural incubator, which supports a diverse range of creative practitioners with a values-driven program and safe space for gathering and developing creative projects and businesses. The Art & Code track is a space for artists, designers, researchers, and technologists to redefine the artistic landscape through internet-based practice.

Read more about the impressive cohort on the Rhizome blog!

Artist Profile: Katherine Frazer

August 2, 2021

I interviewed prolific digital painter Katherine Frazer. We spoke about productivity software, ikebana, and her artistic process.

Read it on Rhizome.

Online Artist Statement Class at the School for Poetic Computation

May 3, 2020

I'm offering an online artist statement class with the School for Poetic Computation starting on June 1st, 2020. There will be 5 sessions, 3 hours each.

Enrollment is open to anyone including artists, designers, creative technologists, engineers, architects, and others whose practices are difficult to define.

Much like a user guide helps non-technical readers understand a system, an artist statement introduces an unfamiliar audience to the artist’s practice and informs them about the references, questions, and thought processes behind the artist’s work. We will consider the artist statement as a practical communication tool (for grant and residency applications) as well as a more intimate map for guiding the direction and values of one’s practice.

Students will:

☆ give thoughtful presentations of their own work and feedback to others
☆ participate in writing exercises and one-on-one editorial meetings
☆ read and discuss texts written by artists
☆ engage in group discussions about the challenges of maintaining an honest practice
☆ imagine alternatives to capitalist institutions as the context for our creative work

By the end of the class, students will cultivate clear and compelling artist statements.

Applications are open until May 20, 2020. More info here!

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.

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.

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.

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.