Seattle Art Fair Artistic Director Nato Thompson Brings Robots, Giant Puppets, And A Satellite To Fourth Edition

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Seattle Art Fair Artistic Director Nato Thompson Brings Robots, Giant Puppets, And A Satellite To Fourth Edition

The Seattle Art Fair, presented by AIG, is proud to announce this year's on-site programming, curated by the fair's Artistic Director, Nato Thompson. From August 2-5, the Seattle Art Fair will host daily talks, special projects, and performances, in addition to the over 100 participating galleries from around the world. Read Thompson's curatorial statement here.

"Art is a vehicle that conjures new possibilities, new worlds. My hope is that this year's Seattle Art Fair program is dreamy, bizarre, yet tangible-something people new to art can get excited about," said Nato Thompson, Seattle Art Fair Artistic Director. "I want to create space for different forms of art, reflect on the city of Seattle, highlight local voices, and, of course, be political. We're considering the future from many angles, from a first-nations perspective to a robotic, tinkering one. This broad range of complex, sometimes contradictory attitudes will both refresh and captivate."

Programming participants include Heather Dewey Hagborg, Beth DeWoody, Maria Hupfield, C. Davida Ingram, Omar Kholief, Jennifer Levonian, Wanda Nanibush, Trevor Paglen, Mark Pauline of Survival Research Laboratories, Bruce Sterling, Robert Stilin, Charlene Vickers, and Wayne White.


MacArthur Fellow Trevor Paglen will present a preview of his satellite, Orbital Reflector, which will be launched into space and orbit the Earth starting in late August. Paglen will join artist and curator Omar Kholief in conversation about the project and the transformation of "space" into "place."

Heather Dewey Hagborg will present Probably Chelsea, an installation of thirty different possible 3D portraits of Chelsea Manning that were algorithmically generated by an analysis of her DNA, showing the multitude of ways DNA can be interpreted as data, and how subjective the act of reading DNA really is.

Mark Pauline, founder of Survival Research Laboratories, brings the newest of his infamous machines to the Seattle Art Fair for a series of live demonstrations. Pauline will join acclaimed science fiction author Bruce Sterling in conversation about the technological future.

This debut of a new work by Emmy Award-winning artist Wayne White, who designed the set of Pee-wee's Playhouse, will feature two 14-foot-tall puppets of Seattle pioneer women, Mary Ann and Louisa Boren. Using large ropes, the public is able to move these puppets and participate in a recollection of the hard work done by these early female settlers.

Anishinaabe artists Charlene Vickers and Maria Hupfield will deploy their large-scale cardboard megaphones in a new performance series. They will remind us that Seattle, the land of the Suquamish tribe, is a land whose future is rooted in its past. The artists will will also join Wanda Nanibush, Inaugural Curator, Indigenous Art of the Indigenous + Canadian Art department of Art Gallery of Ontario, in conversation about cultural specificity, embodied sound in public spaces, and futurity.

*Schedule in formation. For updated dates and times, visit our website.


C. Davida Ingram
Rootsystems and ley lines
C. Davida Ingram presents a multimedia project that reconsiders Seattle's changing cultural landscape as it evolves in the global economy. The videos will be a poetic revisitation of the 1999 World Trade Organization protests, which earned the nickname "The Battle of Seattle." This fictive reimagining poses indigenous, black and otherwise displaced interlocutors as the central players in the Battle of Seattle of past, present and future.

Charlene Vickers and Maria Hupfield
Jingles and Sounds For Speaking To Our Grandmothers
Presented with Fazakas Gallery
Vickers and Hupfield's new performance will feature monumental jingles, and build on their collaborations with hand-sewn cardboard megaphones. It is inspired by the groundbreaking work of Anishinaabekwe artist Rebecca Belmore, whose work Ayum-ee-aawach Oomama-mowan: Speaking to Their Mother (92-95) featured a large megaphone for people to speak into. The work allowed viewers to experience the megaphone as an object to speak to history, to landscape, and the socio-political conditions that bring people together or drive them apart. The lightweight cardboard-and-paper object seen in Jingles and Sounds For Speaking to Our Grandmothers becomes an activated prosthetic that speaks to jingles worn in Anishinaabe women's jingle dress dancing.

Heather Dewey Hagborg and Chelsea E. Manning
Probably Chelsea
Presented with Fridman Gallery
Genomic data can tell a multitude of different stories about who and what you are. Probably Chelsea shows just how many ways your DNA can be interpreted as data, and how subjective the act of reading DNA really is, by presenting thirty different possible portraits of Chelsea Manning algorithmically generated by DNA analysis. Suspended at a variety of human heights at the intersection of aisles, Probably Chelsea evokes the form of a diverse crowd or mass movement standing with Chelsea. It is a refutation of outmoded notions of biologically inscribed identity and a testament to the commonality of all, a molecular solidarity that is clearly present even at the cellular level.

Trevor Paglen
Orbital Reflector
On view will be a model for Trevor Paglen's upcoming satellite launch, which he is undertaking with the Nevada Museum of Art. Orbital Reflector is a sculpture constructed of a lightweight material similar to Mylar that will be a non-functional aesthetic object. Once in low Earth orbit at an altitude of about 350 miles (575 kilometers), the CubeSat opens and releases the sculpture, which self-inflates like a balloon. Sunlight reflects onto the sculpture making it visible from Earth with the naked eye - like a slowly moving artificial star. Orbital Reflector will transform "space" into "place," making visible the invisible and thereby rekindling our imaginations and fueling potential for the future.

Mark Pauline
Survival Research Laboratories - New Machine Demo
Artist and Survival Research Laboratory founder Mark Pauline will produce several demonstrations during the Seattle Art Fair. The word "analogue" is too mild to describe the truly massive force and sound that erupts from the work of this wildly imaginative pioneer of industrial performance. Visceral, hypnotic, and freakish, the performance of these machines gives the viewer much to consider, and feel, in regards to the technological future to come.

Jennifer Levonian
Presented with Adams and Ollman
In this animated short, Philadelphia-based artist Jennifer Levonian features the bizarre journey of a single mother in a run-down, gentrified hipster neighborhood attempting to raise a daughter, go to yoga, and simultaneously steal a goat from a paintball petting zoo.

Wayne White
Here Comes the Boren Sisters
Presented with Joshua Liner Gallery
This new work by artist Wayne White features two 14-foot-tall puppets of Seattle pioneer women, Mary Ann and Louisa Boren. Using large ropes, the public is able to move these puppets and participate in a recollection of the hard work done by these early female settlers.


Bruce Sterling + Mark Pauline
Artist and robot maker Mark Pauline and science fiction author Bruce Sterling discuss their mutual interest in the good, the bad and the ugly of a technological future. With each artist operating at the forefront of what was once called cyberpunk and industrial culture, they bring their insights to the table to discuss their evolving thinking, their current work and their dreams of a future still be written.

Charlene Vickers + Maria Hupfield + Wanda Nanibush
A conversation by Anishinaabe women on cultural specificity, embodied sound in public spaces, and futurity, led by performance artist duo Charlene Vickers and Maria Hupfield with Wanda Nanibush, Inaugural Curator, Indigenous Art of the Indigenous + Canadian Art department, Art Gallery of Ontario, Canada.

C. Davida Ingram
Artist C. Davida Ingram is known for making social inquiries that show how we relate to power and difference. Join her to look at her recent project that examines Seattle's global economies past, present and future, through the lens of the upcoming 20th anniversary of the WTO protests. Ingram will be in conversation with local scholars, artists and community organizers.

Trevor Paglen + Omar Kholief
This talk will focus on Trevor Paglen's Orbital Reflector, a satellite project set to launch this fall with the Nevada Museum of Art. Paglen's second satellite project, it works on a continuing theme of using the orbiting realm to produce aesthetic ventures that tell those viewing eyes on earth something about themselves.


Beth DeWoody & Robert Stilin, moderated by Nato Thompson
Longtime friends and collectors Beth DeWoody and Robert Stilin will have a conversation about their mutual passion for collecting and their influences on each other. In doing so, they will touch upon works they have deployed in their projects and homes, Beth DeWoody's travelling show Reclamation!, Pan-African works from the Beth Ruden DeWoody Collection, and her current venture, Bunker Artspace, located in West Palm Beach.


This year's Seattle Art Fair, presented by AIG, will take place August 2 - 5 2018 at the CenturyLink Field Event Center. The 2018 Seattle Art Fair boasts a diverse roster of local, national, and international galleries representing over 100 galleries from 36 cities from 10 countries, including 25 international galleries.

The fourth edition of the fair welcomes returning international stalwarts such as David Zwirner, Gagosian, Galerie Lelong & Co., and Adams and Ollman, and Seattle's Greg Kucera Gallery, Foster/White Gallery and James Harris Gallery. The fair continues to expand its reach, drawing new exhibitors from around the globe, including Tokyo's Gallery Yufuku and Talion Gallery, Berlin's Kuckei+Kuckei, Los Angeles' Samuel Freeman Gallery, and New York's C24 Gallery and Hirschl & Adler Modern.

Photo: From left to right: Heather Dewey Hagborg's Probably Chelsea, Courtesy of Fridman Gallery; Charlene Vickers and Maria Hupfield, Resurgent Seeing, Courtesy of the artists; Mark Pauline / Survival Research Laboratories, Courtesy of the artist.
All Images Courtesy of Seattle Art Fair.

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