About

Opportunities

Submission Guidelines

Contact Us

FAQs

 

RESISTING

ARCHIVE MACHINES brings together recent works by Southern California artists that examine the archive as a conceptual vehicle to de-center singular narratives and encourage plural perspectives through the activities of revisioning, resisting, rewiring and relating. 

 

While some may view archival materials as relics of the past, carefully preserved against the elements of time, it is hasty to assume such materials are laid in a passive stasis. It is rather the archives setting within the flux of time that lends itself towards a call for reckoning. As we continue to excavate the sociopolitical issues at stake within archival schemas, the collection and presentation of historic materials, evidence, and even mementos reveal themselves to be anything but neutral. The act of resisting can position opportunities for sea changes against the currents of complicity. It is the tool of resisting that stands against systems that perpetuate white supremacy. What then could an archive towards resistance accomplish? 

 

The artists in this section push archival materials to their most active potentials in mobilizing critical conversations around the agency of protest, deconstruction of systemic racism, histories of colonization, and prejudices behind incendiary speech. 

 

Artists Amir Saadiq and Farrah Karapetian document the endurance, physicality and power of protest. Boz Garden, Johanna Breiding and Nova Jiang present studies of iconoclasm as a means to reposition narratives. Keith Walsh, Malisa Humphrey and Keaton Macon dichotomize the past’s presence in everyday life from quotidian media to public spaces. Woohee Cho and Silvi Naçi’s politically charged videos decry normalized violences—revealing escalations of verbal and physical assaults—as a call for resistance against xenophobia, homophobia and transphobia (viewer discretion advised).

Amir Saadiq

In this black and white photograph by Amir Saadiq, a Black woman from the Nation of Islam is pictured wearing sunglasses with a slight smile. She is wearing a black coat with a fur collar. Behind her are figures that are out of focus; these figures are also from the Nation of Islam. This photograph is part of the artist's body of work titled It Takes a Nation.

Artist Statement

It Takes a Nation, is a photographic series that represents Black multigenerational and socioeconomically diverse communities. Birthed out of the Black liberation struggle during the 1930’s in Detroit, Michigan, the Nation of Islam remains one of the last voices of 20th century Black Nationalism. Historically, white hegemony has attempted to eradicate any inclination toward self-determination. Nonetheless Black Exceptionalism flourished in the face of racial epithets and racist policies designed to maintain Black poverty and social and political marginalization. The Nation of Islam acknowledges cross-generational strengths, autonomous Black business, and strong family structures. The Nation of Islam stands at the intersection between the Black community and racism, offering an assessment and critique of racial injustice.”

left to right

 

1. The Mighty MGT, Oakland, CA from the series It Takes A Nation, photography, variable, 2019.

courtesy of the artist

Read More

“Members of the MGT at the 10-year vigil for Oscar Grant at the Fruitvale Bart Station in Oakland, CA.”

 

 Amir Saadiq

2. Brother Aziz, Oakland, CA from the series It Takes A Nation, photography, variable, 2020.

courtesy of the artist

Read More

“Brother Aziz at the Fruitvale Bart Station in Oakland, CA where Oscar Grant was murdered by BART Police.”

 

Amir Saadiq

3. Homewood Ave, Pittsburgh, PA from the series It Takes A Nation, photography, variable, 2019.

courtesy of the artist

Read More

“Members of the Fruit of Islam (FOI) walk through the Homewood neighborhood of Pittsburgh, PA distributing Final Call newspapers and connecting with the community.”

 

Amir Saadiq

Biography

Throughout his life, Amir Saadiq has seen the weight of the system bearing down on people of color. Police killed Shaleem Tindle, Stephon Clark, Mario Woods, and countless others in cold blood. Their deaths have impacted him. After the 2016 election, Saadiq watched microaggressions bloom into flowers of hate. Saddiq left his job in tech, picked up his camera, and decided to address these issues creatively. Saddiq felt emancipated. Since then, Saddiq has committed to social justice and inclusivity in the arts.

Farrah Karapetian

Artist Statement

“My work represents ways of processing archives of language. I force myself to listen to government arguments about its failure to provide safe and sanitary conditions for migrant children while resting on a melting ice cast of a pillow. Isolated chorus members improvise from student survey responses about their beliefs, from the demise of late capitalism to Bjork. Native speakers cold-read a text written in Russian, English, and Arabic by a Syrian student, and then try to find the gaps between the narratives depending on her level of fluency with the language in which she wrote.”

1. The Gesture of Safe and Sanitary: ICE (pillow), video, 1:16:37, 2019.

courtesy of the artist

 

ADA Accessibility Experience

Biography

Farrah Karapetian is an artist and public thinker based in California, who works with narratives of individual agency. Her transdisciplinary, research-based practice incorporates sculptural and performative means to push the medium of photography to an activation of bodily experience and participation. Her work is in multiple public collections, and she has received fellowships from the Fulbright Program, the Pollock-Krasner Foundation, the California Community Foundation, the Center for Cultural Innovation, and the Warhol/Creative Capital Arts Writers Program.

RESPONSES

I would like to stand up against misogyny in the workplace and in the classroom, because I feel that it is extremely hindering and that we as a society have progressed far too much in order for that still to be an issue so many students face. A form of resistance I could use is dialogue with others who I observe exhibiting misogynistic behavior or thinking, which I believe is the first step to resolving it.

 

I’d like to stand up against the corporations that hide poisons in our food and air that endangers our food water and our existence as more and more people suffer and flee as climate refugees. Art does seem to carry strong messages so I would also include joining the green movement with younger generation of activists.

Boz Garden

In this color photograph by Boz Garden, various items seem to float on a sheet of glass in front of a draping, white fabric. These items include (starting from top right going counter clockwise) digital color photographs of riots, a piece of burnt bark, a strip of red tape, a cut out excerpt on white paper, a smaller sheet of glass, a series of small photographs, fallen burnt woodchips, a strip of red tape and a yellow post-it with writing.

Artist Statement

Riotous Folds: Possibilities for the Document is a growing series of photographs that visualizes interventions with archival documents that work to rethink the terms of engagement with the archive. The work addresses the document as an object so as to push both its physical and contextual possibilities. This approach for me is how blackness dismantles hegemonic histories via material and conceptual unruliness. With this iteration in particular, I am interested in unsettling the romance of glass (in) architecture by positing the riot and shattered glass as its necessary redress.”

left to right

 

1. Riotous Arrangement 2, digital photography, 2020.

courtesy of the artist

Read More

Works Cited:

 

Upper Left: Quote from Saidiya Hartman’s “Anarchy of Colored Girls Assembled in a Riotous Manner” that reads “Could they ever understand the dreams of another world which didn’t trouble the distinction between man, settler, and master? Or recounted the struggle against servitude, captivity, property, and enclosure that began in the barracoon and continued on the ship, where some fought, some jumped, some refused to eat. Others set the plantation and the fields on fire, poisoned the master.”

 

Center: Suspended piece of burnt wood

 

Bottom Center: Collection of images from Daniel Paul’s lecture on the glass architecture of Anthony Lumsden and Cesar Pelli and its popularization in Southern California.

 

Note that reads “Glass as an architectural skin of a globalized capitalist future”.

 

Upper Right: Image of people reclaiming an Apple Store in Los Angeles in the demonstrations following George Floyd’s murder.

 

Helicopter footage/still from the incendiary aftermath of Rodney King Riots in ’92.

 

Image from Angela Davis’ speech in New York delivered behind/within bulletproof glass cage.

 

– Boz Garden

2. Riotous Arrangement 1, digital photography, 2020.

courtesy of the artist

Read More

Works Cited:

 

Bottom Center: Quote from Jeffery T. Schnapp’s “A Cultural History of Glass” that reads “The fourth given is surely the most self-evident: namely, that glass is extremely brittle. Until the era of shatterproof glass, the perception of glass has been shaped by the certainty that, at any moment, a glass object can undergo sudden, unexpected, and catastrophic failure. The surface flaws that contribute to shattering are often invisible to the naked eye. No visible plastic deformation of a glass object warns of the imminence of disaster. Metals bend; glass shatters, and irreparably so.”

 

Layered underneath: Highlighted excerpt from Detlef Mertins’ “Walter Benjamin and the Utopia of Glass” that highlights “the anthropologically transformative potential of glass walls”, followed by the highlighted line that reads, “glass architecture, “which lets in the light of the sun, the moon, and the stars, not merely through a few windows, but through every possible wall”. This was a quote that reinforced glass as the means by which we “rise to a higher level” as a culture.

 

Middle Right: Image of Giroux’s CEO Nataline Lomedico, whose glazier company is responsible for the voluntary repair and protection of glass during both recent riots and Rodney King riots.

 

Quote from article about Giroux workers that reads “Out in the field, Giroux workers faced some harrowing challenges. According to Lomedico, one worker putting up plywood at a store in Santa Monica on Sunday night was taunted by a potential looter brandishing a golf club.

 

“Our worker took his hammer and taunted the looter right back,” she said. The looter turned around and fled, she said.

 

At another client, a Mercedes-Benz dealership on Beverly Boulevard in east Beverly Hills, Lomedico said the scene was “very rowdy. People were telling our glaziers: ‘If you keep boarding up, we’ll keep breaking glass.’ Our glaziers did not back down. They didn’t wait for additional security to arrive; they just kept on working.”

 

Recurring image of fiery aftermath of Rodney King Riots folded beneath.

 

Upper Right: Image of boarded up Dior store on Rodeo Drive.

 

Upper Left: The wooden beams used for Angela Davis’ glass barrier used as a frame for images of Los Angeles Riots (Center: image of palm tree set fire during Rodney King riots, bottom Left: Police car set fire during riots following George Floyd’s murder in LA)

 

– Boz Garden

Biography

Boz Garden is an Afro-Latinx (they/them) artist, photographer, writer, and researcher making work about the ways blackness and queerness unmake, rethink, and on some level constitute our assumptions about the (built) environment. Their work at the moment takes a science-fictional approach to a critique of land use, archival practices, and multispecies (in)justice.

Johanna Breiding

Artist Statement

“My practice is committed to representing subjects that are marked “deviant” or illegible, and offers an alternative to state-sanctioned legitimation, and gendered and racialized hierarchies. It invites viewers to feel how resistance might move our bodies and to pay attention to the landscapes that hold us as we persist. In Demonstrative Score, the archival compilation of acts of protest aims to dismantle public monuments and offers a visual score for choreography, performed by taisha paggett. The work demands revisions to national narratives, and defines history as a living document that warrants active engagement by marginalized subjects.”

1. Demonstrative Score, two channel video, 7:13, 2018, choreography and movement by taisha paggett.

courtesy of the artist

Biography

Johanna Breiding is an interdisciplinary artist that employs analog and digital technologies to archive queer narratives and underrepresented voices. Through varying forms of collaboration, Johanna Breiding depicts the importance of kinship and intergenerational exchange via autobiography, historical events, and the landscape as witness. They have exhibited widely throughout the US and Europe and have received numerous awards from DAAD, Rema Hort Mann and the Swiss International Film Festival. Their work has been written about in Artforum, Art in America and Hyperallergic to name a few.

Nova Jiang

In this color photograph by Nova Jiang, six broken ceramic fragments are arranged on a concrete floor. Each fragment is a different color, ranging from white, light green, red, blue and periwinkle.

Artist Statement

“Using ceramic 3D-printing technology, I recently began to create sculptures that embody their own fragility. Their forms often reenact destruction; however, they are meticulously modeled in software and safely preserved as digital files backed up in the cloud. Some of my recent sculptures also “vandalize” and recontextualize 3D scans of museum collections in order to create new meaning. The archives of 3D scanned artworks published by museums make often inaccessible collections into available material for fostering institutional critique.”

left to right

1. Micro-ruins, ceramic, glaze, engobe, green (5.1875 x .143 x  8.25 inches) white (4.75 x 5 x 9 inches) light blue (4.5 x 1.375 x 8.25 inches) blue (3.5 x 3.5 x 7 inches) red (6.375 x 2.5 x 7.125 inches) yellow (7.625 x 2.75  x 8.125), 2019.

courtesy of the artist

Read More

“I am interested in the way identity is shaped by archives assembled from the remnant of destructive forces. Micro-ruins is a series of imaginary enlarged ceramic shards based on Chinese vases in the collection of the Asian Art Museum in San Francisco. I think of ceramic shards as indestructible remnants of a brittle whole, and Micro-ruins as a metaphor for transplanted and transformed cultural memory. This project emerged from research I was doing through the Asian Art Museum’s archives. I was especially interested in tracing the paths traveled by Chinese antiquities from the aristocratic holdings on the mainland to the stock of Japanese dealers confiscated and liquidated by the US government during WWII.”

– Nova Jiang

2. Empire (Amaravati, Knidos, Nereid, Prudhoe), ceramic, engobe, 12 x 21.5x 57 inches, 2019.

courtesy of the artist

Read More

Empire consists of four lion feet taken from 3D models of guardian lions in the British Museum. Their originals came from Greece, India, Egypt and Sudan, illustrating the far reaches of the former empire. The lion feet are displayed in a way that suggests an absent body. Although their destruction is imaginary, they respond to a real sense of instability in a post-Brexit world.”

– Nova Jiang

Biography

Nova Jiang holds an MFA from UCLA. She has had recent exhibitions at LAXART, Los Angeles; Centre Pompidou, Paris; Telfair Museums, Savannah; National Taiwan Museum of Fine Arts, Taichung; ICC, Tokyo among other venues. Nova is the recipient of Fellowships from AIR | LACI, Skowhegan, Eyebeam and Wave Hill as well as major public art commissions from Westfield/UCLA, the City of Cambridge and the City of Sacramento. She currently lives and works in Los Angeles.

RESPONSES

I think the University system needs to be dismantled because it is inherently elitist and therefore sets up certain students for disadvantage automatically.

Keith Walsh

In this photograph of a red, white and black print by Keith Walsh, various lines, texts and a few images intersect to create a map of information relating to socialism in the U.S. The lines and some of the imagery are red, while the various words and phrases and other imagery are black.

Artist Statement

“My artworks map complex historical genealogies, coalitions, and intersections between Left political activism and racial liberation activism in Los Angeles and the U.S.A. My research-based work unearths under-recognized connections from numerous book, online, and regional library-archive sources. The visual formatting of this information is meant to be dynamic and appealing, and to be used a means to connecting art with greater realms of radical political culture, democracy, equal rights, and self-empowerment.”

left to right

 

1. LA Socialist Network, ink, vinyl emulsion paint, and acrylic paper, 38 x 30 inches, 2019.

courtesy of the artist

2. Black Congress Los Angeles, ink, color pencil and acrylic on paper, 30 x 44 inches, 2019.

courtesy of the artist

3. Black Liberation And Socialism Number 2, ink and vinyl emulsion paint on paper, 28.5 x 23.5 inches, 2018.

courtesy of the artist

Biography

Keith Walsh resides in Inglewood, California. Walsh received his MFA degree from Tufts University in 1992. His art work has been reviewed in Artforum, Artsy, Artweek LA, Art and Cake, The LA Weekly, and The Los Angeles Times. Walsh was a 2015 recipient of the School of the Museum of Fine Arts Boston Traveling Fellowship and a visiting artist at the Pike School of Art, McComb Mississippi. He teaches drawing at Woodbury University in Burbank CA, and has organized exhibitions at Cubist Spinoff, Inglewood, and other venues in the Los Angeles region.

Malisa Humphrey

This is a color still from a video by Malisa Humphrey. The still features a side angle of the Fondation Louis Vuitton, designed by Frank Gehry, located in Paris. The museum is dark with sharp angles and is set against an overcast sky. The museum is more specifically located in the Jardin d'Acclimation.

Artist Statement

“As the relationship between museums and colonialism comes under scrutiny, so should the impulse to collect, archive, and exhibit. These methodologies are also linked to the history of European expansion and domination, and are ultimately responsible for producing the systems used to manage the possession of foreign people, lands, and objects.

 

“My work examines how politics and power are visually encoded in the seemingly apolitical aesthetics of architecture, public art, and design. My most recent body of work examines the repurposed relics of colonial expositions in Europe.”

1. Exposing the Foundation of the Museum (after Chris Burden), video, 6:43, 2020.

courtesy of the artist

 

ADA Accessibility Experience

Read More

Exposing the Foundation of the Museum (after Chris Burden) documents a walk through a Parisian park, the Jardin d’Acclimatation. The viewer follows the path from the Frank Gehry designed Louis Vuitton Foundation, through a leisure park filled with animals and rides. The site originally featured animals and plants from French colonies and in 1877 expanded to include living ethnographic exhibitions, also known as human zoos. The viewer is taken past structures and enclosures that remain from this era, as well as rides and visitors from the present, finally resting on a barely noticeable plaque past the exit that partially acknowledges the history of the site.

 

“Among those exhibited at the Jardin was Saartjie Baartman, the “Venus of Hottentot”, whose displayed remains were returned from France to South Africa, in response to a request made by President Nelson Mandela in 1994.”

 

– Malisa Humphrey

Biography

Malisa Humphrey is a Los Angeles based artist whose work has exhibited and screened at Richard Telles Fine Arts, the Los Angeles Municipal Art Gallery, the Armory Center for the Arts, the Museum of Contemporary Art, San Diego, the Hammer Museum, the Museum of Contemporary Art, La Jolla, the Oakland Museum of California and the Banff Centre for the Arts. She received a BA in Studio Art from the University of California, Berkeley and a MFA in Visual Art from the University of California, San Diego. In 2017, she was a recipient of the California Community Foundation Fellowship for Visual Artists.

Keaton Macon

In this color photograph of a work by Keaton Macon, two smaller images are overlaid on a graphite drawing of an aerial view of the Washington Monument. The graphite drawing depicts the Women's March in 2017. The dates January 21 25, 2017 are written in the top right. The two smaller images are stacked in a vertical line on the left side of the graphite drawing. The image on top depicts a loose depiction of Mary Tyler Moore set against a black background and a small group of other figures to her right. The image below it depicts the same central figure but with her arms outstretched. The artwork is framed by black walnut.

Artist Statement

“The tree was felled in 2016 – it was dying. The black walnut frames were CNC’d out of whole tree slab to accentuate the tree rings, and years, so that each frame literally becomes a bracket for a set of dates and events. The content within the frames is generated by said years (1940s-2016), coincidental findings and research.”

left to right

 

1. Mary Tyler Moore/Women’s March [1979-1970], conte, graphite and pencil on paper, black walnut, 18 x 12.25 inches, 2019.

courtesy of the artist

Read More

“Mary Tyler Moore/Women’s March [1979-1970]. MTM dies same week”

2. Under God [1959-1954], graphite on paper, black walnut frame, 12.25 x 6.5 inches, 2019.

courtesy of the artist

Read More

“Under God [1959-1954]. headlines from 1954 when Under God was added to Pledge of Allegiance”

3. The G.O.A.T. and the Southern Strategy [1968-1963], graphite on paper, black walnut frame, 15.25 x 9.25 inches, 2019.

courtesy of the artist

Read More

“The G.O.A.T. and the Southern Strategy [1968-1963]. Lebron won title and Trump the RNC at Quicken Loan Arena”

Biography

Keaton Macon is an artist working in drawing/painting and installation. They use images, objects and sound to allude to events and collective memory, and the gaps in knowledge/experience that it produces. Arrangements often skirt attempts of piecing back together events, in favor of producing sensory experiences that ground the viewer in the now.

RESPONSES

There is an elementary school in my hometown that was first built when the town was established and its original structure is still standing. The visual landscape has changed in that the areas surrounding it have been developed to accommodate for residential housing, but I hope the original building structure continues to stay.

Woohee Cho

This is a color still from a video by Woohee Cho. In this still, a close up of a figure dressed in black holding a container of kimchi in a kitchen. The figure is holding the container in their left hand and a knife in their right; the knife is angled towards the top of the container. Overlaid on the left side of the video still is a square image of President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence during a press conference. There are Korean subtitles placed at the bottom of this image.

Artist Statement

“The key theme of my work is self-identity. I am a gay male who grew up in a religious, conservative Korean family. My identities and living environment merged and clashed with each other, which gave me a deeper understanding of self-identification. The aim of my work which stems from my personal experiences, is to expose and queer the structural irony of patriarchal, heterosexual norms. My body, functioning as the active agent, material, and medium of artwork, is put into discomfort and trauma within the work and serves as the playground/battleground for discourse.”

1. singular, video, 5:56, 2020.

courtesy of the artist

 

ADA Accessibility Experience

Biography

Woohee Cho is an LA-based interdisciplinary artist working with video installation and performance. Cho is interested in personal trauma, marginalized identities built up alongside cyberspace, and how his own body acts as a public sphere within the sociopolitical context. Working with personal experiences, Cho endeavours to expose and queer the structural irony of patriarchal, heterosexual norms. By using his own body as the active agent, material, and medium of artwork, Cho confronts discomfort and trauma within the work and serves as the playground/battleground for discourse. Cho’s work aims to generate discourses related to identity politics, intersectional feminism, social engagement, sexual identity in the junction of technology. Cho received a BFA from Seoul National University, Seoul, KOR, and an MFA from California Institute of the Arts, Valencia, CA.

Silvi Naçi

This is a color still from a video by Silvi Naçi. In this still, the artist is seen on the left side with white text on a black background on the right side. The artist is facing forward at the camera with their long brown hair wrapped over their face, tied with red and orange string and small branches sticking out on the sides. The artist is wearing a light grey shirt and is sitting on a green chair placed in front of a white wall. The text on the right side reads, No, religion forbids this, I am Muslim, my religion forbids this. So then it's okay with your religion for two women to kiss?

Artist Statement

“Silvi Naçi is an artist and writer working between Albania and Los Angeles. Naçi works with performance, video, sculpture, photography, text, and installation. Working with traumatic memories from their childhood, collective and familial, Naçi investigates gender and cultural identity as it relates to exile, migration, the idea of the illegal body, and citizenship. Their interest lies in the subtle and violent ways decolonization and migration affects and reshapes a people, language, gender identity as well as social and cultural dynamics.”

1. Fe [Taximan], video, 7:50, 2018.

courtesy of the artist

 

ADA Accessibility Experience

Biography

Naçi holds a BFA in Fine Arts and Graphic Design from Suffolk University (2011), and an MFA in Photography + Media from CalArts (2019). They have exhibited at Leslie Lohman Museum of Gay and Lesbian Art Project Space, NYC (2019); MAK Center, LA (2019); MoCA Geffen, LA (2019); Other Places Art Fair, LA (2019); Greater LA MFA Exhibition, LA (2019); and is a recipient of the Tim Disney Excellence in Storytelling Prize (2019) and the Felix Gonzalez-Torres Travel Grant (2018). Recently they took part in Saas-Fee Summer Institute of Art (Germany) 2019, and Elsewhere Museum and Residency (NC) 2019.

RESPONSES

I had to make space for my own story in a class on Ethics when we were sharing our personal experiences and I had experienced racial discrimination differently than everyone else. If I hadn’t spoken up to share my own story, the others in the class would never have known that I experienced that.