DxArts at Freeway Park
Friday September 1st
SPAM New Media Festival presents the work of artists Esteban Agosin, Nicolas Kisic Aguirre, Laura Luna Castillo, CHARI, Umut Gunduz, Afroditi Psarra and Sadaf Sadri, from the University of Washington’s DXARTS’ Phd platform. This collective activation of Freeway Park begins SPAM’s Summer/Fall program of events in Seattle and is part of the Downtown ARTS Recovery Program for 2023. As a commonality, practitioners at DXARTS work with digital and experimental media—including sound, video, mechatronics, photogrammetry, radio and AI. The participating artists have occupied Freeway Park with sound performance and installation, video work, and sculptural intervention, much of which draws on data sets, collective memory and other kinds of archives. The result is a collection of works which ruminate on the space’s architecture, on possibilities of transcendence, and on ideas of alternativity which arise out of artistic practice and research.
DXARTS at Freeway Park is inspired by ideas of salvage. In her book, Mushrooms at the End of the World, feminist and anthropologist Anna Tsing uses the term to describe the process by which human and non-human actors alike turn the “violence and pollution” of the capitalist system into a means of subsistence. Like the idea of salvage, which is rooted in the possibilities of life to thrive in the wake of catastrophe, and which simultaneously operates underneath and outside of capitalism’s vast shade, much of the work in the park is about contradiction. Some of these propose alternative worlds and times, while others interrogate what it means to world—an activity which is both constructive and destructive. Some of the works ask about the co-existence and collaboration of complex dichotomies like chaos and rhythm. Others, still, operate incognito, drawing on practices of camouflage, yet transmit in open protest. Together, the works examine the relationships between technology and nature, built environments and entropized systems, oneself and the other. Like a palimpsest being examined under new light, these things flickered on and off in the tall grass of Freeway Park, exposing the imaginary nature of binaries.