Join us this spring for a symposium directed by Asad Raza & Prem Krishnamurthy.

We are living through a moment marked by many forms of fragmentation, political division, and social isolation, exacerbated by the global pandemic. WPA's symposium explores the question of gathering within this context.

The symposium is the culmination of two years of research and collaboration. It convenes artists, theorists, and organizers from all over the world as well as artworks and films. Participants include adrienne maree brown, Ambrose Nzams, Black Techno Matters, Cynthia Connolly, Ed Halter, Emily Verla Bovino, Farrah Skeiky, Hope Ginsburg, Jonathan Yu, Leigh Ledare, Lenka Clayton, Mēlani N. Douglass, Mindy Seu, Mojdeh Rezaeipour, Naoko Wowsugi, Natalia Lombardo, Philippe Parreno, Phillip Andrew Lewis, Richard D. Bartlett, Sarah Morris, Stefanie Hessler, Tiffany Sia, Tony Cokes and others to be announced.

“How can we gather now?” is also itself a gathering and will be a shared collective experience. It collects a rich variety of experiential modes, from conversations to cinema to shared food to a “drum circle” of synthetic techno rhythms. Raza and Krishnamurthy have offered this urgent question to invited contributors to, who in turn have used it as a prompt for artworks, conversations, performances, workshops, and gustatory experiences.

We welcome you to join in, break bread with us, and experience togetherness.

The symposium will take place at Eaton DC in downtown Washington, DC from Friday, March 31 through Sunday, April 2.

For full event information and tickets, please visit: symposium.wpadc.org

Tickets

Tickets are available at a sliding scale starting at $90. Tickets include access to all programs, three meals (breakfast & lunch on Saturday and brunch on Sunday), and a publication that will be produced after the Symposium. Tickets can be purchased here.

We have a limited number of scholarships to offer free admission to artists based in the DC area. Artists can apply for a scholarship through the ticket portal by selecting “Applying for a Scholarship” in the sliding scale options and by completing a short question in the form.

Program Schedule

Full program schedule to be released on March 1st!

About the Participants

adrienne maree brown grows healing ideas in public through her multi-genre writing, her music and her podcasts. Informed by 25 years of movement facilitation, somatics, Octavia E. Butler scholarship, and her work as a doula, adrienne has nurtured Emergent Strategy, Pleasure Activism, Radical Imagination, and Transformative Justice as ideas and practices for transformation. She is the author/editor of seven published texts and the founder of the Emergent Strategy Ideation Institute, where she is now the writer-in-residence.

Ambrose Nzams is a music writer, zine maker, and lifelong DC hardcore devotee.

Black Techno Matters is a DJ Collective based in Washington, DC. Their mission is to reclaim techno as a manifestation of Black expression in a society that has oppressed it by creating spaces, both virtual and IRL, that celebrate the black roots of techno. An assertion and a reminder that Techno IS Black.

Cynthia Connolly is a photographer, curator, letterpress printer and artist who lives in Arlington, Virginia. She graduated from both the Corcoran College of Art and Design, and Auburn University’s Rural Studio, worked for Dischord Records, and booked an avant-garde performance venue, d.c. space. In 1988 she published Banned in DC: Photos and Anecdotes From the DC Punk Underground (79–86) through her independent press Sun Dog Propaganda. Internationally shown and a prolific artist, her photographic work, postcards, and books were exhibited in Beautiful Losers in the United States and Europe from 2004–2009 establishing herself as a pioneer in DIY culture. Her artwork is in private collections including those of Michael Stipe, Jem Cohen, Nick Hornby, Gary Hustwit, and Ian Mackaye as well as the The J. Paul Getty Museum, The National Museum of Women in the Arts, Smithsonian Museum of American History, and American University Museum at the Katzen. As Special Projects Curator for Arlington, Virginia, she launched the Arlington Art Truck with a National Endowment for the Arts Grant in 2018. The Arlington Art Truck brings curated short interactive artist designed projects to open public spaces. She has been curator for Arlington for nearly twenty years and continues to search the world both as curator and artist to connect disparate places, people, and things.

Ed Halter is a critic and curator living in New York City, and a founder and director of Light Industry, a venue for film and electronic art in Brooklyn, New York.

Emily Verla Bovino is an artist and art historian based in Hong Kong.

Farrah Skeiky is an Arab American photographer, creative director, and writer based in DC. Her work celebrates those who make and do in their element—subcultures, and underrepresented communities—and those familiar moments that make you feel warm and welcomed. In 2020, she self-published a photo book called Present Tense: DC Punk and DIY Right Now

Hope Ginsburg has exhibited nationally and internationally at venues such as the Wexner Center for the Arts, MoMA PS1, MASS MoCA, USF Contemporary Art Museum, Institute for Contemporary Art at VCU, Baltimore Museum of Art, SculptureCenter, KW Institute for Contemporary Art, and Contemporary Art Center Vilnius. Her projects have received support from Women & Philanthropy at The Ohio State University, the National Endowment for the Arts, and The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts. She is the recipient of a Wexner Center for the Arts Artist Residency Award in Film/Video, a Virginia Museum of Fine Arts Fellowship in Film and Video, and an Art Matters Foundation Grant. Ginsburg is a professor at Virginia Commonwealth University School of the Arts and lives and works in Richmond, VA.

Jonathan Yu is a Chinese calligraphy artist, teacher, and farming apprentice based in Hong Kong.

Leigh Ledare creates work that raises questions of agency, intimacy, and consent, transforming the observer into the voyeur of private scenes or situations dealing with social taboos. Using photography, the archive, language, and film, he explores notions of subjectivity in a performative dimension. Ledare’s projects have been exhibited extensively in the US and abroad. Ledare's work has been the subject of major surveys at Charlottenborg Kunsthal, Copenhagen (2013), and WIELS Contemporary Art Centre, Brussels (2012). Ledare’s work is in the public collections of The Museum of Modern Art, New York; The Art Institute of Chicago; The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles; The Hessel Museum of Art, Bard College, Annandale-on-Hudson, New York; The Centre Pompidou, Paris; and Fotomuseum Winterthur, Switzerland. In 2017, Ledare was awarded a John Simon Guggenheim Foundation Fellowship.

Lenka Clayton is a British-American conceptual artist and educator based in Pittsburgh. Her work contemplates, exaggerates and defamiliarizes accepted rules and practices of everyday life, extending the ordinary to the poetic and absurd.

Mēlani N. Douglass is a socially engaged artist and curator and is the founder of the award-winning Family Arts Museum—a migratory institution focused on the celebration of family as fine art, home as curated space, and community as gallery. Mēlani’s art and life practice is rooted in rituals of healing informed by ancestral and communal connections. She currently serves as the director of public programs at the National Museum of Women in the Arts and as a consultant on numerous projects. Her work has been highlighted by The New York Times, Atlas Obscura, Shondaland, Bmore Art, American Museum Alliance Magazine, Baltimore Magazine, Artnet, and National Geographic

Mindy Seu is a designer and technologist whose practice involves archival projects, techno-critical writing, performative lectures, and design commissions. Her latest writing surveys historical precursors of the metaverse and reveals the materiality of the internet. Seu’s ongoing Cyberfeminism Index, which gathers three decades of online activism and net art, was commissioned by Rhizome and presented at the New Museum in its online form. Its print form received a Graham Foundation grant. Seu holds an M.Des. from Harvard’s Graduate School of Design and a B.A. in Design Media Arts from UCLA. She is an Assistant Professor at Rutgers Mason Gross School of the Arts and a Critic at Yale School of Art.

Mojdeh Rezaeipour is an Iranian-born artist whose interdisciplinary practice bridges her varied backgrounds as an architect, storyteller, and community organizer.  She has exhibited nationally and internationally in a wide range of venues, from DIY project spaces in Berlin to museums such as The Phillips Collection. Mojdeh is currently based in Washington, DC, where she is an Artist-in-Residence at Henry Luce III Center for the Arts & Religion.

Naoko Wowsugi is a community-engaged artist who lives and works in Washington, DC. Using multidisciplinary practices of visual art, local research, and collective healing, Wowsugi’s projects highlight and fortify everyday communal and interpersonal identities. Notable exhibitions and talks include “Fungus Among Us” at Redux Contemporary Art Center, Charleston, SC (2019); “Open Engagement” at Queens Museum, Queens, NY (2018); “Ae Kai: A Culture Lab on Convergence,” presented by the Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Center in Honolulu, HI (2017); and “The Outwin: American Portraiture Today,” at the Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery (2016). Wowsugi received an MFA from Virginia Commonwealth University and a BFA from the Kansas City Art Institute and Osaka University of Arts.

Natalia Lombardo is a member of Enspiral, founder of the Newtown Tool Library, and co-founder of The Hum. Her background is in community development, permaculture, and creative activism. She has more than a decade of experience working in self-organizing teams. As a facilitator, coach and consultant, she helps groups to cultivate a collaborative culture through behavioral change and peer-to-peer support.

Philippe Parreno was born in Oran, Algeria, and raised in Grenoble, France. He now lives and works in Paris. His early works include video-conference lectures incorporating footage from television shows and films. In 1999, Parreno collaborated with Pierre Huyghe to buy the copyright to a manga character named AnnLee and create a series of videos titled No Ghost Just a Shell. Other artists created works involving AnnLee, and their collective work culminated in a group exhibition. Parreno continued collaborating on films, creating Zidane: A 21st Century Portrait, which followed soccer player Zinedine Zidane through a 90-minute match, in 2006; and June 8, 1968, a film about the train that carried Robert Kennedy’s body from New York to Washington, in 2009. Parreno’s films can start anywhere—during a conversation with a friend, from an observation made during a soccer game—but nearly always follow a single person or idea. 

Phillip Andrew Lewis is an artist working in a variety of media including photography, video, objects and sound. His creative research often responds to historical events, psychology, and phenomenology. This work consistently examines duration, perceptual limits and attentive observation. Lewis is actively involved in collaboration with artists and various groups. Phillip has exhibited his work both nationally and internationally. He received a 2012 Creative Capital Grant in Visual Art for his ongoing long-term project entitled SYNONYM. He has also received generous support for his research from Black Cube, Headlands Center for the Arts, Culture and Animals Foundation, Center for Creative Photography, Foundation for Contemporary Art in New York, Fathomers, Bemis Center for Contemporary Art, Midway Contemporary Arts Fund, Tennessee Arts Commission, University of Tennessee, Urban Arts Commission, The Heinz Endowments, The Pittsburgh Foundation, and Sabrina Merage Foundation.  He teaches at the University of Tennessee in Chattanooga. In collaboration with his wife, Lenka Clayton, he runs a project space in Pittsburgh called Gallery Closed which is open 24/7 via two street facing windows.

Richard D. Bartlett is a Director at Enspiral, a network of self-managing, purpose-driven companies. He co-founded Loomio, a worker-owned company that builds collaboration software, and The Hum, helping decentralized organizations thrive. He’s the author of a community building practice called Microsolidarity. He's enthusiastic about co-ownership, self-governance, and building relationships of partnership instead of domination to create collaborative workplaces. 

Sarah Morris is an American artist. She was born in the United Kingdom, and lives in New York City, in the United States.

Stefanie Hessler is a German-born contemporary art curator, an art writer, and the current director of Swiss Institute in New York.

Tiffany Sia is an artist, filmmaker, and writer. She lives and works in New York City.

Tony Cokes lives and works in Providence, Rhode Island, where he serves as Professor in the Department of Modern Culture and Media at Brown University. In 2022, he was the subject of a major survey jointly organized by the Haus der Kunst and Kunstverein in Munich. Other recent solo exhibitions include De Balie, Amsterdam (2022); Greene Naftali, New York (2022, 2018); Memorial Art Gallery, University of Rochester, Rochester (2021); MACRO Contemporary Art Museum, Rome (2021); CIRCA, London (2021); Museu d’Art Contemporani de Barcelona, Barcelona (2020); ARGOS centre for audiovisual arts, Brussels (2020); Carpenter Center for the Visual Arts, Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts (2020); BAK – basis voor actuele kunst, Utrecht, Netherlands (2020); Luma Westbau, Zurich (2019); Goldsmiths Centre for Contemporary Art, London (2019); The Shed, New York (2019); Kunsthall Bergen, Norway (2018); and REDCAT, Los Angeles (2012). His work is in the collections of the Art Institute of Chicago; Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburgh; Centre Pompidou, Paris; FRAC Lorraine, Metz; Hammer Museum, Los Angeles; Kunsthallen, Copenhagen; Los Angeles County Museum of Art; The Museum of Modern Art, New York; Queensland Art Gallery, Brisbane; San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; The Studio Museum in Harlem, New York; Wexner Center for the Visual Arts, Columbus; and the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, among others.

About the Artistic Directors

Asad Raza creates dialogues and rejects disciplinary boundaries in his work, which conceives of art as a metabolic, active experience. Using actions and processes such as soil-making, tennis, and horticulture, his projects create encounters within and beyond the exhibition setting. They have been realized by institutions including the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; Kaldor Public Art Projects, Sydney; Gropius Bau, Berlin; the Serpentine Galleries, London; Kunsthalle Portikus; Metro Pictures, New York; Urbane Kunst Ruhr, Essen; the Lahore Biennale; and his one-bedroom apartment.

Prem Krishnamurthy is a designer, writer, and teacher. He received the Cooper Hewitt National Design Award for Communications Design in 2015 and KW Institute for Contemporary Art’s “A Year With…” residency fellowship in 2018. His professional papers were acquired by Bard College’s Center for Curatorial Studies in 2019. In 2022, Domain Books published his book-length epistolary essay, On Letters. He currently directs Wkshps, a multidisciplinary design consultancy and organizes Department of Transformation, an emergent, itinerant workshop that practices collaborative tools for social change. He has directed and curated large-scale exhibitions including “Oh, Gods of Dust and Rainbows”, the 2022 edition of FRONT International, Cleveland Triennial for Contemporary Art; “Our Silver City, 2094” at Nottingham Contemporary; and “Ministry of Graphic Design” in Sharjah, UAE. Previously, Prem founded the design studio Project Projects and the exhibition space P! in New York. 

About the Venue

Eaton Workshop is a global mission-driven hospitality company. Eaton is global in outlook, yet local in community engagement.  Eaton DC opened in downtown Washington, DC in September 2018, closely followed by Eaton HK in the Jordan neighborhood of Hong Kong in November 2018. Both Eaton DC (1202 K St NW) and Eaton HK (380 Nathan Road) are top to bottom renovations of existing hotels.

Eaton DC is Eaton Workshop’s flagship location in downtown Washington, DC. It is inspired by the historic movements that made the world a better place, from the suffragettes to the Women's March, from civil rights to today’s climate change movement. Our design, which references the history of the building as a bus terminal and printing press, evokes the nostalgia of an analog era while presenting a green and culture-filled sanctuary on K Street. A custom-designed sculpture acknowledges the indigenous land Eaton DC is built on, while the naming of its rooms honors Black histories of DC. Eaton DC offers a cinema, radio station, library, holistic wellness center, members' workspace, music venue, rooftop bar, literary bar, exhibition space, a creator’s room, event spaces, restaurant, and coffee shop. Eaton DC is the ultimate cultural hub for kindred spirits, locals, and travelers alike, to convene, collaborate, and create.

www.EatonWorkshop.com | Instagram: @EatonWorkshop

Supporters

Generously supported by the DC Commission on the Arts & Humanities, Eaton Workshop, Emily Hall Tremaine Foundation, Goethe Institut-Washington, and Terra Foundation for American Art

Questions?

For any questions or to request additional information about accommodations, travel, and group tickets, please email gathering@wpadc.org.

Dates

March 31-April 2, 2023

Location

Eaton DC, 1201 K St NW in downtown Washington, DC