The world of contemporary visual art is often intimidating, challenging, and seemingly unapproachable. To help break those perceptions and barriers, New Jersey Museum of Contemporary Art will present “Art Conversations,” a series of three scholar-led panel talks that will provide context and insight into what defines contemporary art, its transformational trends, and its relevance and impact on society. The highly credentialed and charismatic United Nations journalist Alexandra King will moderate conversations with art critics, collectors, curators, technology producers, and artists. The program will target new audiences comprised of the public, students, and informed art lovers wanting a richer understanding of these topics. The series will encourage public thought and discussion with an open Q&A at the end of each panel.
This panel will focus on
the influence and
incorporation of breaking technologies on contemporary art.
Zachary Kaplan is Executive Director of Rhizome, the leading born-digital art institution, an affiliate of the New Museum in NYC. Rhizome commissions, presents, and preserves art engaged with digital culture. This year, the organization was awarded a historic grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation to build Webrecorder, a new tool to create interactive archives of the dynamic web. Kaplan has been at Rhizome since 2013, and before that at the Renaissance Society, Chicago, and MOCA, Los Angeles.
Atif Akin (1979, Turkey) is an artist, curator, lecturer and designer. As an artist his work aims at contemplating politics through artistic practice. His work in digital media is informed by his interest in the mutational and transformational implications of the digital world. Recent projects tackle topics such as natural disasters and energy politics; radioactivity and nuclear mobility; multi-culturism within the context of war; and how society’s catastrophes turn into spectacle. Although his work can take many forms, moving fluidly between various media, he frequently employs information architecture and data visualization in his presentations, which can be site-specific or public installations as well as in screen-based formats including online works. He has curated projects including PixelIST: Festival for Electronic Arts and Its Subcultures as well as the exhibition Uncharted: User Frames in Media Arts at Santralistanbul Museum, a show of artworks employing the use of large-scale digital and interactive media. He has written numerous articles including: Creativity and Connectivity; Alice in Wonderland; Art and Politics; and Data Driven Boredom, among others. He has taught at Bilgi University and Kadir Has University both in Istanbul and is currently Assistant Professor in Design at Mason Gross School of the Arts, Rutgers University. He runs his own design studio, PaganStudio in NYC.
Andrew Demirjian is an interdisciplinary artist who creates alternative relationships between image, sound and text that challenge contemporary media conventions. He uses computer programming, surveillance, data gathering and motion tracking to twist perceptual relationships between the senses. The pieces take the form of interactive installations, generative poems, audiovisual performance and single channel videos. His work has been exhibited at The Museum of the Moving Image, Eyebeam, Rush Arts, the White Box gallery, The Newark Museum and many institutions internationally. The MacDowell Colony, Puffin Foundation, Artslink, Harvestworks and the New Jersey State Council on the Arts are among some of the organizations that have supported his work. Andrew teaches theory and production courses in emerging media in the Film and Media Department at Hunter College.
SERIES MODERATOR | ALEXANDRA KING
Alexandra King is a multimedia journalist living in New York City. Currently, Alex works as a Producer/Reporter at United Nations Television in New York. Alex began her career in journalism in her local BBC newsroom in her native England, aged 16. She studied English Literature at University College London, becoming News Editor of London Student (Europe’s largest student newspaper) where she was twice shortlisted for the prestigious Guardian student media awards. She also began interning and freelancing for local newspapers, as well as working for BBC London, Sky News and Five News. A Masters degree in Journalism at Columbia University in New York City followed. In 2008, Alex won a Columbia fellowship for young broadcast journalists at United Nations Television, a broadcasting operation set up to provide people around the world who may not have access to objective factual news coverage with unbiased and accurate reporting. UN stories and raw footage from the front lines of global conflict and crisis are distributed rights-free to global broadcasters, as well as broadcast on the UN’s own TVchannel, Channel 150. In her first year, Alex helped cover the crisis in Libya, the conflict in Darfur and the humanitarian response to the tsunami in Japan. Since then, she has covered human rights abuses, conflict, women’s issues, international justice, climate change, and humanitarian crises. She has reported from four UN General Assembly Debates, interviewed numerous celebrities like Stevie Wonder, Pharrell Williams and Steve McQueen, and produced and reported from the field in Mozambique, Democratic Republic of Congo, Rwanda, Uganda and Ethiopia. In addition, Alex has produced and co-produced a number of PSA’s, promos and official Secretary- General messages, designed to highlight pressing UN issues or events, everything from World Autism Awareness Day to Holocaust Remembrance Day. She also assists and advises other UN departments and offices on digital strategy and production, has conducted trainings in editing and shooting, and is frequently called on to help coach top UN officials and celebrities in on-camera delivery and voice overs. Her work has been featured on networks such as CNN International, MTV, NHK and Agence France Presse.