BLM Pratt 2021 Teach-In: Technology in the Art Practice, Black Artists in Future Mediums facilitated by Simone Barros and Ari Melenciano

<div><div><p>Technology in the Art Practice, Black Artists in Future Mediums presents two artists using technology in their arts practice, defying stereotypes that black artists lack technical acumen and dexterity. Focusing on the intersection of technology and art, Simone Barros moderates a dialogue with Ari Melenciano discussing their art works of moving image, soundscapes, interactive technology and design while sharing the challenges, barriers and joys of creating technology dependent art and relating their artistic backgrounds, professional experiences and current project exploring future mediums. Simone invites participants to an experimental workshop fashioned after the Black American call and response tradition. Through a modes of listening prompt, participants engage with one of Simone Barros’ soundscapes as she guides participants in impromptu artistic responses.<br>After viewing two video documentations of Ari Melenciano’s performance of Alaïa’s Lab: Past | Present | Future an audiovisual, living-breathing installation that uses visuals and sounds to discuss culture, identity, and politics which over the two-day installation duration moves from reflection, memory and political dissent to a vision for the future and her creation of sonic sculpture, participants may ask Ari about her process and methodology. The workshop concludes with an introduction to Ari’s current projects Afrotectopia and her Eyebeam Rapid Response for a Better Digital Future fellowship. Simone invites participants to come ready to explore and create!</p><p>About the facilitators:</p><p>Ari Melenciano, a designer, creative technologist and researcher passionately explores the relationships between various forms of design and sentient experiences. As described in the Prattfolio Fall/Winter 2020 issue, “Melenciano’s work moves among the realms of interactive technology, design that orients toward the speculative and creates experiences across the senses, and racial activism—with projects such as Afrotectopia, an interdisciplinary community-driven forum for empowering Black innovators. This summer, Melenciano was selected as a fellow of Eyebeam’s Rapid Response for a Better Digital Future fellowship, launched by the artist organization as the pandemic and social justice actions intensified around the world, to support artists in developing transformational ideas aimed at improving the human experience. Her project centers on imagining, via an interactive platform, a more humane future, via a simulated “utopian society rooted in natural intelligence.” Ari Melenciano has been recognized as a 2020 NYU ITP Teaching Fellow, a 2020 NYU Tisch School of the Arts Future Imagination Fund Fellow, a 2020 and 2019 Artist in Residence at MICA Photography and Electronic Media and by the New York Live Arts Creative Technologist 2020 Residency, the Guild of Future Architects in 2020 and the Onassis Foundation + New Inc. in 2020.<br></p><p>Simone Barros&nbsp;creates moving image and soundscapes as film, theater an audio sound art. Simone has screened her short films and soundscapes in New York and Cleveland after graduating from New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts receiving the Martin Scorsese Filmmaker Grant and Tisch Dean Craft Award. Simone worked postproduction for filmmakers Judith Helfand, Ric Burns, Sam Pollard and Spike Lee. In 2016, Arts Cleveland awarded Simone a Creative Workforce Fellowship during which she created the experimental documentary, Freedom Runners, a cinematic study of memory and history as collective memory revolving around a ninety-one year old woman’s crusade to save a house rumored as an Underground Railroad shelter. Simone currently teaches at Pratt Institute and the Manhattan Theatre Club while directing audiobooks by acclaimed authors including Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Charlie Kaufman, Jacqueline Woodson and Ibram X. Kendi.</p></div></div>