Speakers: Aminder Virdee | Ashokkumar Mistry | Helen Starr
Curators & Speakers Art in Flux: Aphra Shemza | Maria Almena | Olive Gingrich
Chair National Gallery X: Ali Hossaini
As London’s foremost forum for pioneering media arts, Art in Flux is excited to present Art in Flux: Reclaimed, an online talk held in collaboration with National Gallery X. As an eclectic avant-garde, Art in Flux provides a bridge between media artists and established art institutions, reclaiming visibility for diverse voices within the art world. This event, curated by the three Art in Flux Co-founders, Olive Gingrich, Maria Almena and Aphra Shemza, invites curators and activists Aminder Virdee, Asshokumar Mistry and Helen Starr to discuss platform cultivation, art communities and the reclaiming of spaces for underrepresented groups. The event will feature a panel discussion chaired by Ali Hossaini, Co-Director of National Gallery X.
The need to discuss curatorial strategies around representation is now more important than ever. Taking into account that media art is an underrepresented form within the contemporary art world, this event will discuss how today’s curators and media artists celebrate diversity, and representation of gender, cultural heritage and neuro-diversity. While UK art institutions continue to address issues around representation and diversity, inequalities remain in their collections and programs. What role can independent art organizations play to facilitate a greater representation within these spaces?
Alongside the event, Flux will launch Art in Flux: Reclaimed virtual exhibition which celebrates some of the most radical and innovative media artists of our times, showcasing artists from the underrepresented spectra of society such as Women in Tech, LGBTQ+, BAME and neurodiverse artists. The exhibition features work by Aminder Virdee, Aphra Shemza & Stuart Batchelor, Camille Baker, Danielle Brathwaite-shirley, Enrique Agudo, Kimatica Studio, Natasha Trotman, Olive Gingrich & Shama Rahman and Ro Greengrass and is supported by Arts Council England.
Exhibition info here: https://www.artinfluxlondon.com/reclaimed-exhibition.html
About the speakers
Amider Virdee: Artist, writer and activist
Aminder Virdee is a British South Asian artist, writer, activist, and Trustee at UK’s leading disability-led live music accessibility organisation Attitude is Everything. She is also the founder and president of Disabled Intersectional Voices in the Arts (DIVA), a disability-focused network (currently at UAL) generating sites of creative resistance against institutional and educational ableism, and co-founder of Cripjoy, a transnational, majority BIPoC, community of practice re-worlding mental health through an intersectional, anti-ableist, and anti-sanist, lens. Aminder is also co-writer, director’s attachment, and access-centred consultant for short film Crutches (2021) funded by BFI, with multi award-winning director Nathan Morris, and executive producers 104 Films.
As an artist, Aminder’s work has been commissioned, exhibited, and performed across the UK, including the National Theatre of Scotland, Lyric Theatre, Bonington Gallery, Lewisham Arthouse, Bow Arts, and Tate Exchange. Aminder views her artistic practice as a creative resistance inherently subverting and transforming spaces, routines, rituals, and memories, into political sites of radical agency. This traverses multiple disciplines such as social justice; crip technoscience; disability, race and diaspora studies; computer science; physics; biology; and philosophy. She also works across multiple artforms as a world-remaking and dismantling tool; endlessly adapting to a world built without intersectional disability in mind, these include digital and computational art, kinetic sculpture, installation, moving image, sound art, live art and performance. She often uses participatory systems to amplify unheard and unrepresented voices, and to connect lived experience to the public sphere.
Ashokkumar Mistry (AKA Ashok Mistry): Artist, writer and curator
Ashokkumar Mistry is a multidisciplinary artist and writer working in the UK for the past 25 years. By subverting technologies, he challenges conventional ways of making and viewing art. “As a person who sees and experiences the world differently, much of my work is concerned with how I make sense of my interactions with the world around me”. Mistry works across visual artforms, performance and moving images and was commissioned to create two interactive digital public artworks by BBC Leicester (2005), presented work at the Decibel Expo (2003), and presented a participatory installation for Southbank Centre (2011). Mistry was also commissioned to co-develop an exhibition in Taiwan for National Cheng Kung University (2016), which led to an invitation to present at the NEXT ART TAINAN Festival (2018).
After identifying as neurodivergent (ND) in his 40s, Mistry has focused on researching and writing about disability, neurodiversity and intersectionality. His research and writing have been commissioned and published through UnLimited, A-N and Disability Arts Online (DAO).
Across 2020 Mistry created a series for DAO titled DNR_RND consisting of articles and interviews exploring difficulties faced by disabled artists and the impact of Covid on their creativity.
The writing has led to many speaker opportunities representing the ND artist perspective. Mistry is currently Associate Artist with DAO, a Development Artist with The Spark Arts and a Fellow of the International Association Of Art Critics (AICA-UK).
Helen Starr: Curator, Producer and cultural activist
Helen Starr is an Afro-Carib curator, producer and cultural activist from Trinidad, WI. Being indigenous Carib, Helen is interested in how digital artforms transform our understanding of reality by world-building narratives through storytelling and counter-storytelling. How, by “naming one’s own reality” we can experience the Other.She began curating exhibitions with artists such as Susan Hillier, Cindy Sherman and Marcel Duchamp in 1995. Helen founded The Mechatronic Library in 2010, to give marginalised artists access to technologies such as Game Engines, Virtual Reality (VR), Augmented Reality (AR).
Helen has commissioned projects from artists such as Rebecca Allen, Danielle Braithwaite-Shirley, Anna Bunting-Branch, Megan Broadmeadow, Aliyah Hussain and Salma Noor. She has worked with public institutions such as Wysing Art Centre, FACT, Liverpool and the Bartlett School of Architecture, London. Helen is on the board of QUAD, Derby. In 2020 she co-founded DAAD Futurism with Amrita Dhallu and Salma Noor to group-think conversations from the Global South.
About the Chair
Ali Hossaini: Co-Director of National Gallery X
Ali Hossaini works at the cutting edge of art, technology and science. His artwork Ouroboros was acclaimed by the New York Times, which calls him “a biochemist turned philosopher turned television producer turned visual poet.” He collaborates with a wide range of talent, and his video installations and performances have been presented worldwide. He is a senior research fellow in the Department of Engineering at King's College London and co-director of National Gallery X.
About the Curators
Maria Almena: Curator and Co-Founder Art in Flux & Creative Director Kimatica Studio
@kimaticastudio @maria_kimatica http://kimatica.net
Maria Almena is a Spanish London-based creative director, art curator and a multimedia artist. Co-founder of the creative studio, Kimatica www.kimatica.net, as well as co-founder of the charitable organisation Art in Flux http://www.artinfluxlondon.com/.
Maria's practice is exploring concepts of human consciousness and perception, making those transcendental ideas accessible to a modern audience, to inspire reconnection with magical thinking and the ethereal world. Fascinated by the juxtaposition of the physical and spiritual, the virtual and real spaces, and the scientific and artistic concepts. She enjoys playing with perception aiming to transport the viewer into new worlds, using experimental technologies as magical tools that help to dramatise the transition between different states of being and highlighting the importance of the journey in itself.
With Kimatica she has been commissioned by British council, Tate Museum, Instagram, Barbican centre, Veuve Clicquot and many Light and Art festivals like Lightwaves, Wilderness and Jerusalem festivals. With Flux she has participated in projects supported by Arts Council England and Computers Arts Society, as well as exhibiting at V&A Museum, Royal College of Art amongst many others.
Olive Gingrich: Artist, Curator and Co-founder of Art in Flux London
@oliver_mag_gingrich | www.olivergingrich.com
Oliver Gingrich, is artist, creative director at MDH Hologram (musion.com), and producer at the collective Analema Group. Holding a doctorate in Digital Media from Centre of Digital Entertainment, and a MA in Fine Arts from Central Saint Martins, his art focuses on the concept of ‘presence’ - transformative experiences that go beyond media. As creative director, he conjures the illusion of presence through holographic projection.
Oliver Gingrich displays across a range of different media, photography, digital art, acrylic on canvas and holographic projection. With the collective Analema Group, invisible phenomena are experienced visually, sensually, sonically resulting in immersive experiences for their audiences. In his photography series, the artist explores the themes of changing identities, spatial transformation and transcendence.
Aphra Shemza: Curator and Co-Founder Art in Flux & Artist
@aphrashemza | www.aphrashemza.com
Aphra Shemza is a London-based multimedia artist and curator. She is also co-founder of Art in Flux and Manager of the Estate of Anwar Jalal Shemza (her grandfather). Inspired by her grandfather, her work explores Modernism, her Islamic cultural heritage, sustainable practice and creating art for all. As an artist and activist, she finds ambitious ways to fuse methodologies from the past with new innovations in technology to imagine what the role of art could be in the future.
Shemza has recently been awarded an Arts Council England Grant for her new project shemza.digital. The project invites the public to be a part of a new interactive artwork based on the work of Anwar Jalal Shemza and is a collaboration between Aphra Shemza and Stuart Batchelor.
Shemza has created many commissions: Synphonica 2.0 for the Canary Wharf Group, Heart Beats of Cristal for Champagne Louis Roederer, Seconds Pass for Save the Children, GlaxoSmithKline and Anagram and Post-Truth and Beauty commissioned by Morley College. She exhibits regularly with recent highlights including V&A Digital Design Weekend, Winter Lights Festival, The Other Art Fair and Xi’an Maker Faire with the British Council. She has also participated in public speaking events, notably at Tate Britain, the British Library and The Courtauld Institute. In 2016 she contributed an article to Tate Etc magazine about the life and work of her grandfather and has received coverage in the Times, Telegraph, London Live, Timeout, GQ and FAD Magazine.