The Grammar of Animacy - Co-curated - 2023

Co-curated by Kira Xonorika, Berfin Ataman, Isabel Beaver, and Yara Feghali.



What if we look at architecture through the lens of generative fiction?

What happens to a neighborhood when we design a building? Architectural design is an intricate process involving many factors, and we tend to investigate each separately. In this studio, we study micro urban narratives through understanding design as a participatory process.

We start from an existing urban block and design the future of it through new construction, gentrification, and market driven development. Depending on the decisions taken for each lot, the whole bloc gets redesigned. Learning from choose your own adventure games, we use branching narrative logic as a tool for world-building and invite the audience to play an interactive game and design the future of a Santa Monica block.

Santa Monica uses game engines to craft an interactive narrative for a mixed-use block in Santa Monica; each decision leads to a new block design. We design these variations collectively by simultaneously playing an interactive game where we can see the multiple scenarios play out by piecing together a plan, a physical scaled block model, and an 8-bit style game.


About the Creators


Santa Monica was a Fall 2023 graduate-level design studio led by Yara Feghali at UCLA's Department of Architecture and Urban Design (UCLA AUD), part of the UCLA School of the Arts and Architecture (UCLA Arts). The Santa Monica studio participants are third-year Master of Architecture candidates at UCLA AUD: Peilin Cao, Haydon Chan, Zongli Casper Li, Yufei Ma, Kinamee Rhodes, Jane Wu, Qinyi Wu, Qing Yin, and Chaoying Mavis Zhao.
Game narrative structure consulting by Rachel Joy Victor.
Unity Game Development by Folly Feast Lab.

About this Exhibition

The project space will be open on Saturdays 12 - 5 pm from the 22nd of February to the 2nd of March. Please make a booking above to visit.
If you want to visit outside of visiting hours, kindly email yara.feghali@aud.ucla.edu

https://killscreen.com/product/exhibition-remaking-santa-monica-with-uclas-aud-studio/


The Grammar of Animacy - Co-curated - 2023

Co-curated by Kira Xonorika, Berfin Ataman, Isabel Beaver, and Yara Feghali.

SUPERCOLLIDER and Idyllwild Arts Academy are pleased to present the collaborative exhibition ‘The Grammar of Animacy’. A special thank you to the Native American Art Center for generous support for the exhibition.



Indigenous worldviews have always been aligned with notions of interconnectedness and recognition of the elements of the land–such as stones and mountains–as ancestors with intelligence and wisdom. In “Braiding Sweetgrass,” Robin Wall Kimmerer writes about the grammar of animacy: ‘’Plants and animals are animate, but as I learn, I am discovering that the Potawatomi understanding of what it means to be animate diverges from the list of attributes of living beings we all learned in Biology 101. In Potawatomi 101, rocks are animate, as are mountains and water and fire and places. Beings that are imbued with spirit, our sacred medicines, our songs, drums, and even stories, are all animate.’’ Kimmerer reflects on language as a realm for shaping imagination and possibility, where the English language sets up divisions between humans and objects, which are then assigned gender or animacy. These divisions are often hierarchical.

What is the role of art as a language, and how can it serve as an instrument to invoke other ways of being, thinking, and acting, leading to a reorientation in the relationships between species, people, and spirits? Can art and artists create a space to initiate conversations on the impulse of meaning and community?

“The Grammar of Animacy” brings together the work of six artists who strive to challenge Western myths and cultivate visions that intertwine multiplicity in embodiment, queer mythologies, indigenous epistemologies, and ethical relationships with ecology and technology.

Artists in the exhibition contend with more-than-humans and relations we can build with them. Moara Tupinambá reflects on kinship relations with trees, plants, and animals in Tambaqui.  Gerald Clarke’s work Punu’ul, makes visible the Yucca Whipplei, a plant of cultural significance to the Cahuilla. Artists Tiare Ribeaux and Qianqian Ye merge magical realism with elements of Hawaiian and Mandarin cosmology to examine social and environmental inequities in their project Kai Hai. Artist Edgar Fabián Frias is interested in alchemizing relations between earth and humans. Their artwork ‘3 of Cups (Tatéi Neixa)’ is an altar created with the intention of reaffirming and reestablishing ancestral pacts to bring sustaining rains and healing for the land and its inhabitants.

In addition to convening with more-than-human neighbors, works in the exhibition invite animism as a strategy for challenging colonialism, colonial narratives, and colonial sites of production. Artists Bomi Yook and Bobby Joe Smith III challenge the site of settler cities as sites for utopic worldbuilding, instead highlighting the longstanding presence of indigeneity and speculating on how indigenous people live in futures designed by settler colonizers. The work proposes a vision in which sites of decay are spaces ripe for decolonization for indigenous communities. Noara Quintana is interested in the tangible qualities of everyday items, this artist’s work intersects with the histories of the Global South to challenge colonial narratives.

In Orvópera, artist Óldo Erréve utilizes 3D design and AI-collaborative media to explore the intersection between organic forms and innovative technological tools, projecting physical and virtual bodily expressions. ORVÓPERA brings ideas of animacy to the forefront of technological collaborations – it prompts us to ask about the life and soul of the machines we work with, and how these ideas apply to all bodies.

By proposing alternative notions of animacy, the works in this exhibition ask us to consider life all around us. How are the machines we use, lands we inhabit, oceans of storms and sea life also alive? If we can understand these entities as animated, as beings rather than objects or materials, we can engender respect within our relations to them and disassemble the barriers that separate us.




Artists:  Bobby Joe Smith III, Edgar Fabián Frías, Gerald Clarke, Moara Tupinambá, Noara Quintana, Óldo Erréve,, Tiare Ribeaux, Qianqian Ye, Bomi Yook

This exhibition is made possible with generous funding from the Native American Arts Center and Arts Enterprise Laboratory at Idyllwild Arts.

Land Acknowledgement:
Idyllwild Arts + SUPERCOLLIDER respectfully acknowledge the Qawishpa Cahuillangnah (also known as the Cahuilla Band of Indians) and all nine sovereign Band of Cahuilla people who have stewarded this land throughout the generations and continue to steward this land for all future generations.

About Idyllwild Arts:
Nestled within 205 acres of pristine pine forest located in the renowned arts village of Idyllwild in Southern California’s San Jacinto Mountains, Idyllwild Arts is the most dynamic arts community in the nation. Founded as a respite for creators to come together from around the world, our international and multicultural community is home to a boarding arts high school of over 250 students from 30 countries, a vibrant summer arts program, and year-round programming for artists of all ages and experience levels through camps, workshops, and online courses. As a creative collective, Idyllwild Arts changes lives through the transformative power of art by promoting intercultural understanding and peace while re-envisioning the artist’s responsibility to society. Learn more at idyllwildarts.org.


Image cradits: Isabel Beavers, SUPERCOLLIDER
https://www.idyllwildartsgallery.org/grammar-of-animacy-supercollider
https://www.supercollider.la/exhibitions/the-grammar-of-animacy/


PHD Lab talk at XR²C² 

Artist Residency during summer 2023 at the Extended Reality Research and Creative Center XR²C² in Cannes, French Riviera.


Queer communities inhabit marginal and forgotten spaces, that are anonymous, invisible, and non-mainstream areas. Kite Parade brings the queer communities out to California Coast




https://xr2c2.univ-cotedazur.fr/phd-lab-xr2c2
Folly Feast Lab project - 2023 - Cannes - France.

Mediterranean Sea Diaries - Cal Arts Earth Festival Visions 2030 FUTURING - 2023

Folly Feast Lab is exhibiting Mediterranean Sea Diaries Trailer - 2023.

Located at the iconic CalArts in northern #LosAngeles, this Festival of Eco-Consciousness will offer immersive environments for you to dream up wildly positive #futures. Imagine new possibilities and transform your #consciousness — together we can shift the tone of climate conversation toward Earth optimism!⁠

Learn more at EarthEditionFestival.LA 🌎🌍🌏 ⁠

#Visions2030 #Visions2030EarthEdition #EcoConsciousness #EarthEdition #EcoFuture #DreamForward #CollectiveFuture #ClimateWeek #Innovation #CalArts #LA #LAEvents #LAFestival #LACommunity #LAArt #LAArtists #LAMusic #LAExhibition #Valencia


https://www.eartheditionfestival.la/futuring
https://www.eartheditionfestival.la/futuring-1/folly-feast-lab-(viviane-el-kmati-and-yara-feghali)-
https://calarts.edu/life-at-calarts/the-center-for-life-and-work/events/visions2030
https://www.theartnewspaper.com/2023/09/20/earth-edition-environmental-art-festival-calarts
Folly Feast Lab AR application- 2023 - Cal Arts - Valencia - California.

NO SONG UNSUNG

Part of a group exhibition curated by Supercollider at Brea Gallery in Southern California - 2023

SUPERCOLLIDER presents NO SONG UNSUNG an exhibition with Brea Gallery. The artists in No Song Unsung present a kaleidoscope for imagining new futures. What will our world be like once it is climate-changed? How do marginalized communities and persons find freedom in the face of oppression? The use of digital world building and future-making practices relieve imagined realities from the confines of the mind. Through technologic + sculptural arts practices new utopias, mystics, freedoms, and human-machine relationships are made, revealed, and expressed. If we can imagine new futures, we can build them.


SUPERCOLLIDER x Brea Gallery: No Song Unsung
Opening Reception: July 22, 5-7 pm, Free and Open to the Public

Address: Brea Gallery, 1 Civic Center Cir, Brea, CA 92821
Exhibition Run: July 22 - September 15, 2023

Featured Artists:  Alice Bucknell, Behnaz Farahi, Berfin Ataman, Eli Joteva, Isabel Beavers, Jamison Edgar, Janna Avner, Kate Parsons, Kira Xonorika, Mich Miller, Yara Feghali, Noara Quintana, Regina Teng, Richelle Ellis, Linnea Spransy, Sara Suárez, and Vita Eruhimovitz.

Curated By: Isabel Beavers + Naomi Stewart

Excerpt from Text by Alice Bucknell

“God knows inventing a universe is a complicated business,” remarks the speculative fiction author Ursula K. Le Guin in the introduction to her Haimish Universe trilogy. Known for constructing narrative worlds that hinge between past and future, utopia and dystopia, the real and the imagined, Le Guin’s words and worlds have become a cornerstone reference within a new strain of art practice that leverages emergent technologies, new ways of seeing, ancient knowledge systems, the politics of embodiment, and the pressing precarity of the climate crisis in a generative process of world-making. This type of practice underscores the need to imagine alternatives to a future that feels like it’s already been foreclosed on.

Presented in collaboration with Brea Gallery, No Song Unsung offers a constellation of new and in-progress works by sixteen artists from the SUPERCOLLIDER community. Spanning multiple media and approaches, including historical and emergent imaging techniques, queer tactics of co-creation, AI collaborations, game engines, textile, painting, sculpture, and wearable technologies, these projects are united by their shared engagement in worlding practices: or the collaborative development of possible worlds merging multispecies, ecological, and machinic intelligence.




Folly Feast Lab exhibited Be.Longing XR Tapestries: These four tapestries are snapshots of Amal’s journey taken from the passenger car's point of view to make viewers into active protagonists and challenge their view of their city and look at it through a queer narrative point of view. In this work, they often explore innovative ways to design fantastic experiences as aesthetically engaging as they are technologically performing. The artist is always looking for new opportunities to push the boundaries of storytelling and worldbuilding, pushing participants to explore new territories.




Image credit: Christopher Wormald.
https://www.breaartgallery.com/no-song-un-sung
https://www.supercollider.la/no-song-unsung/
Yara Feghali / 2024