Ashley Hunt is an artist and activist who uses video, photography, mapping and writing to engage social movements, modes of learning and public discourse. Among his interests are structures that allow people to accumulate power and those which keep others from getting power, while learning from the ways people come to know, respond to and conceive of themselves within these structures. Rather than seeing art and activism as two exclusive spheres of practice, he approaches them as complimentary, drawing upon the ideas of social movements and cultural theory alike — the theorizing and practices of each informing the other. This has included investigations into the prison, the demise of welfare state institutions, war and disaster capitalism, documentary representations and political activism. His recent performance, Notes on the Emptying of a City, explores the first-person politics of being in New Orleans with a camera in the months following Hurricane Katrina, when he engaged with community activists to research the city’s refusal to evacuate the Orleans Parish Prison. Other projects include a number of works included under the umbrella of The Corrections Documentary Project (www.correctionsproject.com), which centers around the contemporary growth of prisons and their centrality to today’s economic restructuring and the politics of race; 9 Scripts from a Nation at War, a collaboration with Andrea Geyer, Sharon Hayes, Katya Sanderand David Thorne, and an ongoing collaboration wtih Taisha Paggett, On Movement, Thought and Politics.
Hunt’s work has been screened and exhibited at the P.S.1/MOMA, Project Row Houses, Documenta 12,the Gallery at REDCAT, Nottingham Contemporary, the 3rd Bucharest Bienial, the Tate Modern, the Museum of Modern Art, the Contemporary Museum in Baltimore, the Martin Luther King Jr. Center in Atlanta, as well as numerous grassroots and community based venues throughout the U.S.
Writings and publication include, Printed Project 12 (’09), the Journal of Aesthetics and Protest (‘08, ‘07& ‘05), On Knowledge Production: A Critical Reader (BAK ’08), Art Journal (‘07), Chto Delat (‘07), Rethinking Marxism (‘06), and at Artwurl.org (‘03–‘05), and Sandbox Magazine (‘02) .
Susan Gevirtz lives in San Francisco. Assistant professor for 10 years at Sonoma State University, Calfornia, she now teaches in CCA’s graduate Visual and Critical Studies and Fine Arts programs. Her books of poetry include Aerodrome Orion & Starry Messenger (Kelsey Street, 2010); BROADCAST (Trafficker, 2010); Thrall (Post-Apollo Press, 2007); Hourglass Transcripts (Burning Deck, 2001); Spelt, a collaboration with Myung Mi Kim (a+bend, 1999); Black Box Cutaway (Kelsey Street, 1999); PROSTHESIS : : CAESAREA (Potes and Poets, 1994; reissue Little Red Leaves, 2009); Taken Place (Reality Street 1993); Linen minus (Avenue B 1992); and Domino: point of entry (Leave Books, 1992). Many essays have appeared in literary magazines and scholarly journals. She was an associate editor of HOW(ever) a journal of modernist/innovative directions in women’s poetry and scholarship, on the editorial advisory board of the journal Avec, and the online journal HOW2. She received the New Langton Arts “Bay Area Award in Litertaure” in the Spring of 2000. She has recently collaborated with interdisciplinary artist Margaret Tedesco and sound artist Andrew Klobucar. Her play Motion Picture Home was performed as part of a poet’s theatre event in the winter of 2002.
For more than a decade, solo performer Stokley Towles has been studying us. He examines the mundane aspects of life in Seattle like an anthropologist from another planet–our libraries, our trash system, our police force, the history of a single city block–and delivers his findings in rich, understated monologues full of bizarre, colorful trivia and bittersweet observations about how people navigate the world and each other. His latest study, Stormwater, is about the rivers that run beneath our feet. – Brendan Kiley, The Stranger Weekly
Eirik Steinhoff has taught contemporary and renaissance poetry at Mills College and at the University of Chicago, where he received his PhD in December 2012. He also teaches in the Workshop on Language and Thinking at Bard College and at the Green Haven Correctional Facility in New York State. Between 2000 and 2005 he edited CHICAGO REVIEW; in 2009 his translations from Petrarch’s RIME SPARSE appeared as a limited-edition letterpressed chapbook from Albion Books; and in fall 2013 a series of pamphlets called A FIERY FLYING ROULE that he produced in the vicinity of the Oakland Commune (a.k.a. Occupy Oakland) will be published by Station Hill Press. He lives in Olympia, Washington, where he is composing a book on the sense of chance in early modern England.
With a practice akin to an alchemist, Jenny Heishman creates approachable objects that elicit misunderstanding and require a shift in perspective. Using a variety of run-of-the-mill materials including aluminum foil, ceramic tiles, paper, tape, fabric and Styrofoam, Heishman alters the way we experience the use of these humble items. Encountering her works on paper and in sculpture, one recognizes her misuse of material and her interest in broken patterns, faux surfaces and optical illusions. Jenny Heishman grew up in Florida surrounded by theme parks, water flumes and golf courses. Nature was mimicked — much of her world was a reconstruction of some other place’s history and landscape. She writes: “Because we enjoyed year-round warmth, we built the seasonal changes with plastic autumn leaves, artificial snow, and unspoken agreements. This environment taught me how to use objects to create a fabricated reality.” Her work encourages us to find pleasure in the act of looking and her playful gestures reward us with multiple visual surprises. Heishman received the Betty Bowen Award and a Pollock-Krasner Foundationan grant in 2011. She received her MFA from Ohio State University in 1998.