San Francisco has its roots in the gold rush: in the mid-19th century, its population grew from a few hundred to tens of thousands, attracting immigrants from around the world. Kinetech Arts’s multi-media project entitled Aurum portrays a modern-day “gold rush” in San Francisco, with the world’s tech capital viewed through the lens of the events of 1849. Humanity is in a disruptive transition era analogous to that time of proliferation, as developments in AI are growing exponentially. By reflecting on the gold rush, when greed fueled ecological and human tolls, especially on the indigenous population and exploited workers, this project reflects on our place within a delicate ecosystem. This ecosystem now includes the intimate relationships between humans and the digital world.
Aurum is the Latin word for gold but can also be understood as money, wealth, or something noble and beautiful. The title references the aural nature of Kinetech Arts’s project, as sound will be the generator of movement, and the light in this work will be the cymatics (the visual manifestations of sound waves). Choreographers Weidong Yang and Daiane Lopes da Silva will use a multi-modal, multi-sensory approach to create an interactive dance performance and participative installation. This project will render bio-data audible, visual, and haptic (using technology to simulate the senses of touch and motion when interacting directly with physical objects).
Aurum will create a space for that contemplation, using reflections of dancers and spectators alike in shimmering golden light. This visual metaphor illustrates how the past has led to careless excess and abandonment while representing possible balance and harmony between humankind, nature, and technology that could be a part of San Francisco’s future.
Historically, technology has been thought of as a tool that distances, but when employed creatively and judiciously, technology can serve as a means of connecting meaningfully with our bodies, thoughts, and emotions. In the final four performances, audience members will be allowed to experience its potential while simultaneously witnessing the representation of the lure and luster of gold, which has attracted people from around the world to San Francisco from the 19th century to today.
During their residency, Kinetech Arts will run a weekly Open Lab where artists and engineers come together to share research and experiment with fresh ideas. Starting January 25th and ending April 26th 836M will host these labs, free and open to the public, they offer opportunities to conduct artistic and technological exploration around the subjects related to this residency – namely, biosensors/somatics, cymatics, audiovisual interaction, and haptics. As part of this lab, there will be a “hackathon” about haptics and their potential to render artistic experiences more accessible to people of different abilities.
Soft Opening and Preview – February 24
About the Artists
Daiane Lopes da Silva is a dancer, choreographer, educator, and artistic director of Kinetech Arts, where she explores the intersection of dance, science, and technology. Lopes da Silva often incorporates biometric devices and nondeterministic technologies in her work, reflecting upon societal issues in relation to the human body. Since 2013, she has created over ten full-length performances, which have been performed in South America, Europe, and the U.S. She has performed with esteemed companies and choreographers in the Bay Area and Portugal and has been commissioned by various companies and Universities in the U.S.A. Lopes da Silva is a faculty member of Alonzo King LINES Ballet Dance Center and Western Ballet, teaching contemporary dance, improvisation, composition, and ballet. She was a guest lecturer at S.S.U. (Dance and Technology), UC Davis (SHAPE) and U.S.F. (LASER) and has choreographed for UC Berkeley Dance Project. Her residencies include Headlands Center for the Arts, CounterPulse, Djerassi Resident Artists Program, O.D.C. Theater, SAFEhouse arts, Temescal Art Center, Estalagem da Ponta do Sol/Madeira, and participation at Dancing Lab at NCCAkron. She studied at The Municipal Ballet of São Paulo, Brazil, and at P.A.R.T.S. (Performing Arts Research and Training Studios), directed by Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker in Brussels. She graduated with a B.A. in Psychology from S.F.S.U.
Weidong Yang is the co-founder and director of Kinetech Arts. He also founded Kineviz, creating visual analytics solutions for understanding complex data creatively. He received his Ph.D. in Physics and a Masters’s in Computer Science. He has collaborated with and created many
performances and installations. As a dancer, he has performed with various dance companies in San Francisco. His residencies include Djerassi Resident Artists Program, KUNST-STOFF, CounterPulse, and ODC Theater. He was granted 11 US patents.
Tessa Nebrida (she/they) is a Filipina improvisational dance artist and bodywork + energy healing practitioner rooted in community healing practices. Her work is heart-centered and regenerative and invites a grounded inquiry into the body as both a landing place and bridge for interconnection, expression and deeper experiencing of source and mystery. Her inquiries live within the integrative space of consciousness and form, the seen and unseen, the local and non-local dance that makes up our rich human experience. She holds a BFA in Dance and Composition from the California Institute of the Arts and 20 years of training and exploration in healing arts therapies. She has collaborated and performed in the works of JoAnna Mendl Shaw, The Ensemble Project, De Facto Dance, Joyce S. Lim, Manuelito Biag, Erin Mei-Ling Stuart, Lisa Townsend, Aura Fischbeck, SAMMAY Peñaflor Dizon, and pateldanceworks.
Erin Coyne is a San Francisco-based dancer, choreographer, and educator. Originally from the Chicago area, Erin graduated from the University of Minnesota with her Master’s in Education and a dual degree in Dance and Education. Since then, Erin has had the pleasure of performing with FACT/SF and Roseann Baker while presenting her work at various venues throughout Minneapolis, Chicago, and the Bay Area. Her dance film, shift, was an award-winning Dance Film in the 2021 San Francisco Indie Short Film Festival. Most recently, Erin co-produced and directed the dance premiere, A Flight of Movement & Drinks, at Uzay Gallery in February 2023 with a local music producer.
Feng Ye is a “National First-Class Dancer” in China. She was a seasoned professional, serving as Artistic Director and President of the dance company in the China National Song and Dance Troupe. As a performer, choreographer, and artistic director, her works were presented in the Olympic opening and closing ceremonies three times in 2004, 2008, and 2014, respectively. In the South Bay Area, Feng Ye launched the Feng Ye Dance Studio and Feng Ye Dance Troupe and successfully produced and performed a grand annual gala entitled ENCOUNTER at the San Jose Art Center Montgomery Theater in 2018 and DANCE WITH NATURE at the Cowell Theater in San Francisco in 2019. For three consecutive years, the Feng Ye Dance Troupe was selected as the only representative of Chinese dance to participate in the San Francisco Ethnic Dance Festival. Feng Ye has emerged as an important figure in the region, promoting the integration of dance cultures from multiple ethnic groups.
Lillian Bickley is a dancer and choreographer with a BA in Dance from UC Berkeley. She has been dancing and choreographing since 2014. Her primary focus is contemporary, modern, and improvisational dance. She worked with Kinetech Arts previously as a dancer performing in their piece from the 2022 Berkeley Dance Project film and their recent performance/installation of Sublimation. She has also participated as a choreographer and dancer in the NACHMO 2023 performance. She enjoys yoga, listening to music, and sharing her passion for art with others.
Patricia Alessandrini is a composer/sound artist. Her intermedial, interactive and theatrical works have been presented in the Americas, Asia, Australia, and over 15 European countries. She is also a performer and improviser of live electronics, and instrument and interface designer. She holds two PhDs, from Princeton University and the Sonic Arts Research Centre (SARC), Queens University. She currently teaches and performs research on embodied interaction and immersive audiovisual experience – including instrument design for inclusive performance – at the Center for Computer Research in Music and Acoustics (CCRMA) at Stanford University serves on the international board of Share Music and Performing Arts, Sweden.
Michael Koehle received his BA in Art Practice at UC Berkeley, his MS in Biomedical Engineering at UC Davis, and his MFA in studio art from Mills College. He has received residency grants from the Headlands Center for the Arts, Autodesk Pier 9, and Djerassi. He is also the recipient of the general prize in the YouFab Global Creative Awards in Japan and the Murphy & Cadogan fellowship. Koehle lives and works in Oakland.
Pierre Mariaca is a Swiss composer and sound artist based in the Bay Area. His music is mainly composed for acoustic and electronic instruments and has been performed by the Hollywood Studio Symphony, the Mivos Quartet, the TAK Ensemble, the Ecce Ensemble and the CalArts Ensemble. His compositions often explore esoteric topics (astrology, tarot) and are in the intersection between contemporary classical music, experimental music, interactive electronics and improvisation. Very interested in expanding the sonic possibilities of instruments in an interdisciplinary way, he creates interactive music installations with prepared instruments (piano and harp) performed by musicians and dancers.
Miguel Mariaca is a Swiss composer, sound designer, music producer and film director based in the Bay Area. As a media composer, he has scored for commercials, films, animations, video games and dance companies like the LA Philharmonic, 20th century Fox, Disney and Hublot. His compositions explore electronic music, visual arts and contemporary classical music. He blends acoustic and electronic instruments to create ambient soundscapes. Lately, he has developed a new interest in visual notation performance that includes the audience in the notation to explore a new sonic universe.
Tanja London is a performing, haptic, visual and sound artist as well as a somatic educator based in West Oakland, CA. She grew up in Germany rummaging around in the beautiful wide spread forests of the South and in her WWll family history. Querying social and hierarchical constructs is an integral part of who she is. Her work has an inclusive feminist viewpoint. She loves to explore sociopolitical and ecological discourses with her choreography. Topics such as the erosion of democracy, inherited stress and trauma, the cultural impact of military technology, climate change and resilience shape her theoretical and in studio research.With her electronic sound projects Tanja London alias qualia-c is dedicate to experimentation and to explore the somatic impact of vibrations, interconnection, as well as the edges of her emotions and thoughts. Besides a BA in Social Pedagogy and Contemporary Dance she majored in Math and Art in German High School, holds a MFA in Modern Dance including a Screendance Certificate, is a certified STOTT Pilates® Instructor and Medical QiGong Practitioner.
Shawn Bullen has been creating large-scale murals in San Francisco since 2011. He moved to New York City in 2016 but often returns to the Bay Area to create art inspired by the surroundings.
A Chicago native, Shawn grew up creating art and refined his techniques by painting graffiti and working with the American education nonprofit organization, City Year, creating murals in Chicago public schools. Shawn Bullen, Chris Gary, and a group of artists formed IDC Art House, dedicated to developing their creative talents and providing access to the arts in underserved communities. Shawn studied art at NSCAD University in Halifax, Nova Scotia and then began traveling the world, creating murals and art shows, and teaching art.
His style often blends reality with his imaginative world, taking audiences on adventures through his work. Influenced by nature, the urban landscape, and people, Shawn often uses flowing lines throughout his work to give the paintings structure, depth, and movement.
During the first three weeks of January, Shawn added to a series of paintings titled Illuminated Droplets, Watching You Rise, and Over Colorful Skies in a hybrid open-studio art show at 836M Gallery in San Francisco. Shawn started these paintings during the Drevers’ Foundation Hotbed Gala in Tiburon (where they have been on display since 2015) to support Planet Hope, an organization providing outreach and educational resources to homeless, abused, and terminally ill children and their families. Shawn will now move the paintings to downtown San Francisco.
These large 5 by 4 feet paintings depict portraits with a spectrum of colors, with the sunrise overlaid onto the faces and a complex, imaginative world of memories and dreams over their heads. The paintings are an ode to precious times spent with friends.
Shawn Bullen came to San Francisco to share his artwork with the city and has been very grateful for the positive feedback and support he has received through painting with groups like Mother Brown’s Dining Room, the San Francisco Arts Commission, Google, and 836M. He looks forward to continuing to return here to share his work with the city.
I Always Hoped I’d Find
Another Boat Out In The Sea
I Never Thought I’d Find
Someone As Lost As Me
Two Flowers In Sunshine
Help Eachother Grow
We Sit And Talk The Time Away
About Everything We Don’t Know
About Shawn Bullen
Shawn Bullen (b. 1988) is a muralist who brightened up the streets of San Francisco from 2014-2017. A Chicago native, Shawn Bullen’s creative journey started as a child having drawing contests against his sister on the back of their Dad’s Ph.D. dissertation papers. Shawn developed his passion for art early on through a coloring book lesson he received from his grandmother and his sister’s figure drawing classes at the Art Institute of Chicago. Photography and drawing became Shawn’s obsession in high school, winning him several awards and scholarships. The Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago displayed his art when he was eighteen.
Bullen refined his techniques at Columbia College Chicago before transferring to NSCAD in Halifax, Canada, where he worked with Halifax Government Mural Program and began doing professional mural work. Shawn eventually formed ID Crew with friends, later expanding into the art collective IDC Art House with friend Chris Gary to contribute to and better communities through art. Shawn received the opportunity to paint several murals and host art shows worldwide. San Francisco was one of the first cities Shawn returned to with recurring projects and workshops, teaming with Tyra Fennell at the San Francisco Arts Commission to produce several large-scale art projects with collaborations with companies such as Google to American Express. In 2016, Shawn moved to New York City to start IDC Gallery and continues to travel globally, creating art.
Kelp! is a collaborative exhibition with the 836M gallery, Erol Foundation, and the Above/Below project. Featuring six months of programming centered around bull kelp, the foundational species of California’s coastal marine ecology, this exhibition aims to bring art and science together to inspire wonder, activate visitors’ curiosity about bull kelp, and catalyze action to protect our forests of the sea.
The gallery is transformed into an immersive environment featuring prints on textile by Josie Iselin, cyanotypes by Ann Holsberry, kelp sculptures by Lina Jane Prairie, prints by Laurie Sawyer, a tondo by Tiffany Bozic, and a stunning mural by Ellen Litwiller in the adjacent office space. As part of the programming, we will host regular ‘seaweed science consortium’ calls with the Greater Farallones and Cordell Bank NMS, and other events centered around rebuilding ocean resilience, inspiring climate action, educating about policy, and experiencing kelp-based food.
Kelp forests form the foundation of California’s coastal marine ecology and are crucial climate regulators. Unfortunately, the ocean forests along California’s North Coast have declined since 2014 due to a convergence of natural factors and human impacts on the oceans. Globally, kelp forests are critical for biodiversity and climate mitigation but are disappearing fast.
As an exhibition at 836M and as robust programming of events, Kelp! hopes to build public awareness for an underrepresented flora of our near-shore oceans. The artwork will guide us into the science and policy issues surrounding kelp forest restoration efforts and aims to grow a culture of ocean stewardship among the public.
With this exhibition, one can go beyond the talking points and ask deep questions about the bull kelp forest’s complex workings and realize that we can learn not only about seaweeds but also from them: their resilience, their resourcefulness, their poetry, and magic.
About the Artists
Josie Iselin is a photographer, author and designer of numerous books exploring our coastal universe. Beach Stones was published in 2006; Beach: A Book of Treasure in 2010; and her visual primer on seaweed, An Ocean Garden: The Secret Life of Seaweed, was published in 2014. Iselin continues her explorations into the world of marine algae in her most recent book, The Curious World of Seaweed (2019), winner of the Tiffany Award from the Phycological Society of America and shortlisted for The Northern California Book Awards and The Alice Award. She holds a BA in Visual and Environmental Studies from Harvard and an MFA from San Francisco State University. Her writing and art focused on seaweed, kelp and sea otters put her on the forefront of ocean activism, collaborating with scientists and groups working to preserve the kelp forests of our Pacific Coast. Through art, design and research, Iselin celebrates the marine flora and brings thoughtfulness and stewardship to this realm of our oceans. You can often find her on various coasts at low tide exploring tide pools and investigating the intertidal realm. For more information, visit josieiselin.com.
Ann Holsberry is an artist based in the San Francisco Bay Area. Her work celebrates the inherent beauty of the natural order of things from the microscopic to the cosmic. As an artist with a background in law and the healing arts, she explores interconnections in nature using mixed media and the experimental photographic process of cyanotype. She often works outdoors in direct collaboration with the forces of nature using materials sourced directly from her surroundings. She has had solo exhibitions at the Morris Graves Museum of Art (Eureka, CA), and the de Saisset Museum of Art (Santa Clara, CA), among other venues. Her work has been exhibited and held in collections nationally and internationally, including the UCSF Cancer Medical Center and the Stanly Ranch Auberge Collection in Napa, CA. She has been awarded numerous residencies and grants.
Lina Prairie is an artist whose practice for more than 15 years has centered on twining and weaving bull kelp experiments. Her creations are both sculptural and utilitarian. Based in Point Reyes, she sources her materials – driftwood, rope, kelp, roots – along the Point Reyes National Seashore. She teaches classes, participates in group shows and opens her studio to the public twice a year. Prairie developed a curiosity about the natural world as a child growing up in Minnesota. She moved to the Bay Area in 1966 to attend the University of California, Berkeley. She has a background in Slavic languages and literature and early childhood education.
Laurie Sawyer grew up on the shores of the Pacific Ocean in Southern California. Today she lives in Northern California, where her family runs a business growing shellfish in Tomales Bay. Working primarily in life drawing, Sawyer’s interests are the concern and care for the ocean. She has a BFA from the Art Center College of Design and, more recently, a Graduate Degree in Science Illustration from CSU Monterey Bay.
Tiffany Bozic is a California artist whose work evokes the tradition of tightly rendered nature illustration, which she explodes with highly emotional, surreal metaphors. Not so much departing from reality as articulating it more deeply, Bozic makes paintings in which a faun can simultaneously be alive and dead. As nature is ever more subjugated by human impacts, Bozic corrects the balance sheet. She establishes inescapable chains of consequence among the myriad species whose interactions create the world. The complexities of natural processes like death and decomposition percolate through pictures of otherwise shining life. Painting on masked and stained maple panels with watered-down acrylic, Bozic summons the grain of the wood into her compositions. With her ornithologist husband and school-aged daughter, Bozic spends significant time in wild places, the rhythms of which are evident in her vision. The subject of several solo exhibitions and included in many group shows across the country, Bozic is at the forefront of artists today who are redefining the aesthetics and imperatives of global change. Her work has been collected in two books published by Gingko Press: Drawn By Instinct (2012) and Unnatural Selections (2019).
Ellen Litwiller approaches her art with a scientific narrative through observation and appreciation of the world we live on and the universe we live in. After graduating from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Litwiller returned to the Bay Area to work in the Natural History Museum exhibit industry as a muralist, illustrator, model maker and exhibit preparator. She has painted murals for the Smithsonian museums in Washington DC, Chicago’s Field Museum, the Papalote Museo del Niño in Mexico and the California Academy of Sciences, among others. She’s a founding member of the Fortnight Collective based in San Rafael, and she has exhibited her work widely around the Bay Area.
Forests above and below sea level are disappearing at an accelerated rate globally, and California is no exception. This piece is aimed to draw attention and stewardship to California’s unique and irreplaceable underwater kelp forests that have experienced catastrophic loss in the past decade. This piece was written and supported by scientists at The Nature Conservancy and was filmed and produced by the Coldwater Collective. To dive deeper into this subject, filmmakers Justin Lewis and Sashwa Burrous will release a longer format documentary in the fall of 2022.
A film by Coldwater Collective with support from Coriolis Films
Directors: Justin Lewis and Sashwa Burrous, Coldwater Collective
Editor: Michelle Olivera
Cinematography: Justin Lewis and Sashwa Burrous
Sound Design: CLEOD 9 Music
Narrator and Writer: Tristin Anoush McHugh, The Nature Conservancy
Co-writers: Patrick Webster @underwaterpat, and Norah Eddy, The Nature Conservancy
June 13 Kelp! In an effort to raise awareness and find solutions in the areas of climate action, ocean stewardship and environmental equity, an exhibition in…30 Things to Do This June: Honor Juneteenth, SF Pride Returns, the Obama Portraits at the De Young and More
June 01, 2022
It’s no surprise Tiffany Bozic’s meticulously detailed paintings feature all sort of animals, fish, and other critters that share our planet.Our place in nature: Larkspur artist aims to connect humans and animals through her paintings
May 31, 2022
Residency February 1 – April 29
Rehearsals every Tuesday and Wednesday from 10 am to 2 pm
Weeklong Intensive workshops: February 14 – 18, March 21 – 25, and April 18 – 22
Public Performances April 27 & 28
836M is proud to present Ensemble for Nonlinear Time, a community-based residency and exhibition culminating in performances based on multidisciplinary storytelling with professional dancers and immigrant and refugee artists. This collaboration between choreographer Hope Mohr and multidisciplinary artist Ranu Mukherjee will create new narratives about the future with people who have experienced remaking their lives. The project centers displaced voices and pairs them with the wisdom of the moving body.
Hope and Ranu conceived this project motivated by climate-based migration, and began collaborating during the pandemic with ARTogether, an Oakland-based nonprofit serving immigrant and refugee artists. In October of 2020, Ranu and Hope led the project’s pilot workshop. They continued these workshops throughout the fall of 2021 in both the Bay Area and Los Angeles, continuing their partnership with ARTogether in Oakland and adding a partnership with 18th Street Art Center in Los Angeles.
Through movement, drawing, and writing, artists from all mediums brought their stories, learned from each other, and collaborated. By imagining rupture as a character that changes over time, they connected to its lessons and their sense of continuity. In these safe spaces, they could give voice to what sustains them and create visions of possible futures.
The community-based residency at 836M is an invitation to push Ensemble for Nonlinear Time into its next phase. During the next three months, Hope and Ranu will develop their fall workshop series material into choreography with a select cast of dancers and community participants. They will explore embodied narratives and build choreographic and film sequences centered around witnessing rupture as a learned experience. Hope and Ranu view this knowledge as essential to our time and catalyst for imaginative capacity, joy, and resilience.
Ensemble for Nonlinear Time will have an intensive and rich process with performers, resulting in new multidisciplinary work that weaves together performance, video installation, and hybrid film. We invite visitors to return to the gallery over the next three months to see the progression of performance and transformation of the gallery space into a future reimagined.
During this three month period, dancer rehearsals will take place Tuesdays and Wednesdays and week-long intensives with our full cast once per month. We will explore choreography, drawing, video and writing towards our public performances and process installation.
Multi-disciplinary storytelling workshops form the backdrop for Mohr and Mukherjee’s residency.
Images and videos are from recent workshops co-led by the artists in partnership with ARTogether (Oakland) and 18th Street Art Center (Los Angeles).
About the Artists
HOPE MOHR has woven art and activism for decades as a choreographer, curator, community organizer, and writer. She co-directs The Bridge Project, which creates and supports equity-driven live art that centers artists as agents of change. As a dancer, Mohr trained at San Francisco Ballet School and on scholarship at the Merce Cunningham and Trisha Brown Studios in New York City. She performed in the companies of dance pioneers Lucinda Childs and Trisha Brown. Hope makes dances that “convey emotional and socio-political contexts that just ride underneath the surface of a rigorous vocabulary” (Dance View Times). She has directed performance projects with breast cancer survivors and military veterans. Her work has been presented in such venues as the Baltimore Museum of Art, Highways Performance Space (L.A.), Moody Center for the Arts (Houston), SFMOMA, ODC Theater, and Yerba Buena Center for the Arts. She was named to the YBCA 100 in 2015 and was a 2016 YBCA Fellow. In 2014, Dance Magazine editor-in-chief Wendy Perron named Mohr one of the “women leaders” in the dance field. Her new book, Shifting Cultural Power: Case Studies and Questions in Performance, is forthcoming from the National Center for Choreography.
RANU MUKHERJEE does hybrid work in painting, moving images, and installation to build new imaginative capacities, drawing on collage histories, feminist science fiction, and Indian mythological images. She is guided by the forces of ecology and non-human agency, diaspora and migration, motherhood, and transnational feminisms. Ranu has produced commissioned projects for the San Jose Museum of Art, the Los Angeles Museum of Contemporary Art, the Asian Art Museum, the de Young Museum, the 2019 Karachi Biennale, the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, and the San Francisco Arts Commission. Recent honors include a Lucas Visual Arts Fellowship at Montalvo Arts Center (2019-2022), Pollock-Krasner Foundation Grant (2020), and a residency at 18th Street Arts Center Los Angeles (2022). Gallery Wendi Norris represents her, and Mukherjee is the Chair of Film at California College of the Arts in San Francisco.
Over the course of the 3-month residency Mohr, Mukherjee and the ensemble focused on translating workshop material into a weave of performance, visual art…Ensemble For Non-Linear Time At 836M Gallery Comes To A Close With Two Performances
May 31, 2022
Ensemble for Nonlinear Time, a new collaborative multidisciplinary work between choreographer Hope Mohr and artist Ranu Mukherjee at Gallery 836M in San Francisco, could not be timelier.Fusing Art and Movement in Ensemble for Nonlinear Time
May 31, 2022
Opening – October 20th, 2021
Artist Talk with Chad Hasegawa – November 19th, 2021
Artist Talk with Paz de la Calzada – December 9th, 2021
Artist Talk with Monica Canilao – December 16th, 2021
Artist Talk with Jet Martinez – January 19th, 2022
Closing Group Show – CANCELLED
Closing Apexer Solo Show – CANCELLED
836m is proud to announce Piecing, an exhibition and first-ever open studio of Apexer, highlighted by guest appearances from Jet Martinez, Chad Hasegawa, Paz de la Calzada, and Monica Canilao.
There are so many misconceptions surrounding graffiti and street art. If you delve into the medium and its history, you realize that street art isn’t just about graffiti. Street art has been labeled in various ways, from vandalism to fine art, depending on the marketability and profitability of the work. Street art has, in fact, often been judged not by its intrinsic qualities but by its ownership and location.
Artists of the New York School of train writers were called “writers” because their work centered on writing their names on walls. Mark-making is one of the tenets of artmaking; you can’t create without it, and writers, in this respect, are no different. For this reason, Apexer prefers not to be called a “street artist” or “graffiti artist” but a writer. Yet, in choosing to be identified as such, Apexer has found himself somewhat outside the mainstream, and he has had to work hard to prove his worth as an artist, which he has most certainly been able to do.
In the past, gallerists frequently visited his studio and the studios of his artist friends, but he noticed they were only picking some artists to promote and not all of them. Apexer recalls this as his first moment to pause and reflect on himself and what was expected of him as an artist. He ended up backing out from his first gallery show to process his identity as an artist further and realized he wanted to have a say in the narrative around him and his career. He wanted the freedom to experiment and be himself. Integrity and humanity are most important to Apexer, and you can feel this in his work and the way he expresses himself.
Apexer has been conceptualizing his work consciously over the last eight years and subconsciously for the last sixteen. In 2005, he started the Gestalt Collective, made up of a group of his artist friends. They spoke to a new group of local artists, and the Bay Area art community celebrated the Gestalt Collective for answering the question “what’s next?”. The collective spurred a grassroots movement that was anti-establishment, emphasizing a do-it-yourself approach to making art.
While with the group, Apexer could visualize a way to transition from his public practice to his studio practice. As did other public artists, he struggled with the duality between the two and tried to define exactly how he felt about the merits of each. After undergoing self-discovery, he started doing gallery shows, eventually transitioning eight years ago to primarily commercial projects.
Piecing is the culmination of Apexer’s career as a public artist and a writer. It explores how the audience and community participate in his artmaking and continue to do so via his “open studio.” Apexer takes the public art practice and brings it indoors. In producing his works in this new gallery environment, he considers what constitutes gallery work. He reflects on the dualities inherent in art craft making in the United States. He plays with the similarities between what people call graffiti and another American art form, quilt making. Piecing has a double meaning. Piecing is what you call a stylized mural painting of your name that involves connecting letters like a block of patterns in the writer community. In quilting, piecing is when fabric pieces are sewn together to form a block, garment, or quilt.
Apexer, whose mother was a seamstress and his former studio mate a seamster, gravitated toward quilt making. After cutting spray-painted canvas into square tile patterns and then, with the help of his studio mate, sewing them together with scrap fabric, he created his first rendition of a canvas quilt. From his first piece nine years ago, the elements of these quilts compelled the viewer to ask, “What’s going on here and why?”
A quilt is such a recognizable object. To see a piece of art treated as such, getting dirty through use, was freeing for Apexer, and his “quilts” from the beginning drew some intriguing comments from viewers. The process inherent in his quilt making brought back the human hand, the human eye, and the human connection into artistic creation.
Through visiting Apexer’s open studio and observing firsthand Apexer and his quilting process, the hope is that viewers will detach from preconceived notions about what art belongs in a gallery and will be impressed, consciously and or subconsciously, with the creative process behind it.
ABOUT THE ARTISTS
APEXER (b. 1978, San Francisco, CA), also known as Ricardo Richey, is a street artist who creates colorful abstract patterns through the use of spray paint. Part of the Gestalt Collective that engages in collaborative murals in San Francisco, Apexer curated mural projects on Bluxome Alley, other districts of San Francisco, and the SFMOMA display windows in association with St. Johns Community Center (San Francisco, 2002). His work has been shown extensively both in the Bay Area and abroad. Recent group exhibitions include Calligraffiti: Writing in Contemporary Chinese and Latino Art, Pacific Asia Museum, Pasadena, CA (2009); Bay Area Now 4, Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, San Francisco (2005), White Walls, and the Luggage Store Gallery. He was the artist in residence at the Headlands Center for the Arts (2007), and was featured in documentaries and publications regarding the Mission District in San Francisco.
CHAD HASEGAWA was born and raised in Honolulu, Hawaii. Enthralled with graffiti and the art of the Mission School, he moved to San Francisco in 2000. He received a BFA in advertising from the Academy of Art University and worked for top agencies, including Venables Bell & Partners and Goodby Silverstein & Partners. After leaving advertising, he concentrated on creating murals on the streets and painting canvases for both commercial and non-profit gallery exhibitions. He quickly gained recognition for his bold and colorful latex paintbrush strokes that pushed the boundaries of public art.
PAZ DE LA CALZADA is a a San Francisco based artist working in site-specific murals, installations and public art. Born and raised during the democratic transition in Spain, she witnessed the subversive counterculture that flourished in a country that moved from systemic oppression and censorship to a path of self-liberation, awakening, and healing.
By growing up in an environment where national catholicism blended with ancient pagan rituals, superstition, and plant magic, Paz was inspired to create art projects investigating the significance of nature to human life, highlighting art’s capacity to heal the broken aspects of our society.
Her site-specific installations and paintings draw audiences into unexpected and potentially liminal experiences elevating banal materials into sublime meditative landscapes that encourage contemplation, introspection, and healing.
MONICA CANILAO lives in the heart of Oakland and spends her days stitching, painting, printing, building, and breathing life into the refuse that dominates her surroundings. Moving across different media, sometimes with friends and sometimes alone, Monica creates a delicate visual record of her personal and communal space.
She received a BFA from the California College of Arts and Crafts. Her work has been shown both internationally and nationally: at The Luggage Store Gallery (San Francisco), Inner State Gallery (Michigan), Chandran Gallery (SF), Black Rat Press (London), Subliminal Projects (LA), and at KRETS (Sweden). She has also done large-scale public art installations at Miami Art Basel. Her work has been displayed in community spaces and abandoned places worldwide.
JET MARTINEZ (b. Tuxpan, Veracruz, Mexico 1973) is a full-time muralist and painter based in Oakland, California. He lives with a much beloved and talented wife and two ridiculously energetic children.
After receiving a BFA in Painting and Printmaking from the San Francisco Art Institute (he had previously studied Spanish Literature at the University Of Colorado), Martinez acted as one of the Clarion Alley Mural Project directors in SF’s Mission District for nearly a decade.
His paintings have been exhibited in various institutions and galleries, including Syracuse University, Facebook HQ, MACLA (Museo de Arte y Cultura Latino Americana), Mesa Center for the Arts, SomArts, SF Arts Commission Gallery, White Walls, Project1 SF, and 111 Minna.
Piecing is the new exhibition at @836M, giving Apexer the time and space to piece things together. Indeed, Ricardo Richey, aka the famous street artist Apexer, will operate an…836M presents Piecing by Apexer, All About Connections
June 07, 2022
836M Gallery in San Francisco is proud to finally present a pair of artists they have been hoping to work with for some time: Agnès Guillaume, who works out of both Paris and Brussels, and John Sanborn, who operates out of Berkeley. Each artist will show two works that contrast their different approaches to their shared art form, video. While one is more a minimalist (Guillaume) and the other a maximalist (Sanborn), both prefer suggestion and seduction as a means of embracing ambiguity in place of directly answering essential questions.
The two artists met in Paris when each had gallery shows going on at the same time that coincidentally both featured works about Adam and Eve. They became friends and decided to collaborate on a show that ultimately became All Roads Lead at 836M.
You can listen to an interview with the artists on San Francisco’s public radio station KALW here.
PHOTOS & VIDEO BY ROGER JONES
ABOUT THE ARTISTS
A former musician Agnès Guillaume turned to video art in 2010. She produces videos, mixed media works, and embroideries. She sees her videos as mirrors reflecting intimacy that also function as poetic forms that ponder self-awareness. They imply the consistency of several internal realities that the spectator is invited to recognize, appropriate and share. Against any certainty or single mindset, the videos are a call to an open-minded, critical, and personal gaze.
The recipient of growing international recognition, her work has been shown in venues such as the Petit Palais – the Fine Arts Museum of the City of Paris, the Royal Museums of Fine Arts of Belgium, the Nuit Blanche 2020, Videoforme, ArtBrussels, and Contemporary Istanbul. You can also find Guillaume’s work in several public and private collections.
Agnès Guillaume lives in both Paris and Brussels.
“In her videos, as well as in her embroideries, Agnès Guillaume speaks only of us, humans. Not an abstract, transcendent, invented humanity, giving substance to an idealized conception of our condition. Humans who are all too human, in Nietzsche’s phrase… In the age of speed, the permanent state of acceleration that we live in, this type of visual endeavor nails its colors to the mast: art is an idiom that demands and deserves attention.”—Paul Ardenne, Art Historian, and Writer
“Video art is to short films what poetry is to novels: narrative gives way to the visionary”— Christophe Leribault, Director of the Petit Palais Fine Arts Museum of the City of Paris.
John Sanborn is a crucial member of the second wave of American video artists, including BillViola, Gary Hill, Dara Birnbaum, and Tony Oursler. Sanborn’s career spans the early days of experimental video art in the 1970s through the heyday of 80’sMTV music/videos and 90’s interactive art to digital media art of today.
Sanborn’s work has manifested itself on television (Alive from Off Center, MTV, Great Performances on PBS, Comedy Central), as video installations (at the Whitney Museum, The Kitchen, Videoformes, ZKM), video games (for EA, MMG), Internet experiences (MGM Interactive, Microsoft, Jeu de Paume) and music/videos (with Rick James, Van Halen, Nile Rodgers, Grace Jones, King Crimson, Tangerine Dream, Philip Glass). He is known for collaborations with virtuosic performers, contemporary composers, and choreographers. His oeuvre primarily addresses the themes of music, mythology, and memory as he pursues his elusive sense of NOT ME.
Vanity Fair called him “the acknowledged genius in the field,” the NY Times says his work is “…rarely predictable and always absorbing”; and both the New Yorker and Rolling Stone praised his recent work as “mind-blowing.”
Projects from 2019 – 2020 include live video/theater performances of God in 3 Persons, a collaboration with The Residents, at MoMA NY; commissions from the National Museum of Qatar (the permanent installation Alchemy) and Jeu de Paume, Paris (NONSELF); solo exhibitions at Galerie Tokomona, Paris and Telematic, San Francisco; and digital editions of single-channel works released through (s)edition.
Sanborn’s works have been shown at numerous contemporary art venues in the world, including the Whitney Museum; the Museum of Modern Art, New York; the Prado, Madrid; ZKM, Karlsruhe; the Centre Pompidou, Paris; Videoformes, France, the Tate Modern, London; and Seibu Museum, Tokyo. Sanborn’s linear works have played at the New York Film Festival. The Mill Valley Film Festival, Sundance, the Toronto Film Festival, and London Film Festival. His video works have been broadcast worldwide, including programs featuring Bill T. Jones, Robert Ashely, Philip Glass, Nam June Paik, Twyla Tharp, Mikhail Baryshnikov, The Residents, and David Gordon.
John Sanborn holds an honorary Master of Cinema degree from ESEC in Paris and was honored as a Chevalier des Arts et des Lettres by the Minister of Culture for the Republic of France. Sanborn’s YouTube channel has over 20 million views and over 110,000 subscribers. In 2017, the Mill Valley Film Festival honored him with its lifetime achievement award. John Sanborn lives in Berkeley, California.
The surreal video works prompt the viewer to ask deeper questions about what they see onscreen.On View Now: Agnès Guillaume’s ‘Souls’ at 836M
April 16, 2021
A resident of Paris and Brussels, the works of the former operatic singer have been curated by the cream of Francophone Europe’s art establishment….As a runaway artist: Agnes Guillaume at Sanatorium in Istanbul
March 28, 2021
836M gallery in San Francisco is proud to finally present a pair of artists they have been hoping to work with for some time; Agnès Guillaume lives…Exhibition: All Roads Lead @836M
February 10, 2021
This week on Open Air, KALW’s radio magazine for the Bay Area Performing Arts in Times of Corona, we raise the virtual curtain of…Word for Word: Forster’s ‘The Machine Stops’, part III – Video artist John Sanborn – Peter Robinson
January 19, 2021
When curating this exhibition, our core mission was to amplify young artists’ careers and affectively “watch” them grow and evolve in their emerging careers. We had no idea what this would mean in 2019, but 2020 showed us that this would be a year to document, and we continue to watch and learn from these young photographers.
ABOUT THE ARTISTS
MYRIAM BOULOS B. 1992 | BEIRUT, LEBANON
Myriam graduated with a master’s degree in photography from the Academie Libanaise des Beaux-Arts in 2015. She has taken part in both national and international collective exhibitions, including two solo exhibitions. Myriam uses her camera to question the city, its people, and her place among them. Her photo series are mixes of documentary and personal research.
“NIGHTSHIFT focuses on parties that take place in industrial places in Beirut. These venues gather social bubbles of my generation that stand against Beirut’s mainstream bling-bling. I followed young women who appear all at once strong and fragile, determined and vulnerable. Like me, these women are constantly changing in a society that is also undergoing permanent evolution. This project questions the place of women in a patriarchal capitalist society where self-discovery, self-preservation, and resistance come in different forms.”
REMY LAGRANGE B. 1991 | NEW YORK, NY
Remy Lagrange was born in Chicago, Illinois, and graduated from Rhode Island School of Design in 2014 with a BFA in Photography. He moved to New York in 2014. He has spent five years working for Annie Leibovitz as an archivist, print production manager, and assistant designer. He runs around taking photos and putting together exhibitions and books of his work during the night and weekends.
SWALLOWS AT SEA “These photos in front of you…I’d be more than happy to tell you about them. They all have a story behind them: why I have chosen them, taking them, etc. But this knowledge does not matter from me to you. You are looking at art. Think of this as a puzzle or choose your own adventure story. I’ll give you a hint: we don’t speak about what hurts us.”
SILVIA GRAV B. 1993 | LOS ANGELES, CA
At the age of 18, Silvia dropped out of the first year of her Fine Arts program. It was then that her work got discovered and became known worldwide, and in 2014, Flickr recognized her as one of the “20 Under 20”, an award given to the best young photographers worldwide. That opportunity took her to the United States for the first time. Since then, she’s spent almost all her days between Los Angeles and airplanes while exhibiting and working worldwide.
“LOST PHOTOGRAPHS are taken from when it all started until today and will probably continue for as long as I am alive. For the longest time, I struggled with not understanding where my imagery came from. For years, I ignored I went through trauma, experiencing dissociation and a strangely accepted depression, which I believed to be the “normal” amount of sadness for a human being my age. I was so grateful to be alive that I believed these feelings were just the price to pay for it. These images are one more of the ways I found to explode. And it worked: my work took me to a life I never imagined possible, and to people who became the mirror I needed to understand my own experience finally.”
WOLFGANG BOHUSCH B. 1985 | VIENNA, AUSTRIA
Bohusch decided to become a photographer at the early age of thirteen when he began experimenting with his grandmother’s old darkroom equipment and shooting with a 35mm camera. After studying photography for five years at “die, Graphische Wien,” he started working as a freelance production manager, location scout, and later as a photographer, director of production, and advertising director for film production companies.
With his series’ SILICONE BASED CREATURES,‘ Wolfgang Bohusch invites the viewer to stand in front of his photographs, meditate, and let the mind wander into the subconscious. Every work tells a different story, your own story. There are no titles, no hints for interpretation, and no directions to guide you through your viewing experience. Like in a Rorschach test, Bohusch wants you to find your associations and recognize patterns that are not given, rendering every photograph an individual experience.
YORIYAS B. 1984 | CASABLANCA, MOROCCO
Yassine Alaoui Ismaili, also known as Yoriyas, is a Casablanca-based photographer and performance artist. Yoriyas started playing chess when he was five years old, falling in love with mathematics. And by the age of 16, the influence of Hip Hop music and culture had paved a new path for his life, as he became a breakdancer. While traveling around the world in 2013 as a professional dancer in competitions, he experienced a severe knee injury that halted his dance career, paving the way for a new artistic transformation: photography as a means of self-expression.
“CASABLANCA NOT THE MOVIE is a project that I started in 2014. This series is a love letter to the city I call home and an effort to nuance the visual record for those whose exposure to Morocco’s famous city is limited to guide book snapshots, film depictions, or Orientalist fantasies. Casablanca is a city of diverse cultures shaped by numerous currents that may seem in opposition. I remember being a kid and going to the roof of my family’s building and looking out onto the seaside and the horizon. For me, Casablanca was the end of the world. I want to convey the real street life and situations of Casablanca and highlight the moments where these cultures meet, which we would overlook if not in a photograph from the perspective of a Moroccan, who was born, grew up, and still lives there.’’
Finally, going out to see a photo exhibition in real life is now possible at the 836M gallery. Closed since mid-March before the inauguration of its…Photo exhibition at 836M gallery… Just Watch!
August 28, 2020
Postponed until further notice We are very pleased to welcome you on March 19th, 2020 to the opening reception of JustWatch@836M, a group exhibition…JustWatch at 836M
February 24, 2020
Born in Beziers (France) in 1960, Elisabeth Daynès lives and works in Paris. In the early stages of her career in theatre, she was fascinated by the question of identity and metamorphosis. From the 1990s, this passion led her to painstakingly recreate the bodies of prehistoric hominids, based on the most advanced scientific knowledge. She thus became a world-renowned paleo-artist notably with her reconstructions of fossil hominids for the Museum of Tautavelandherre-creation of the Australopithecus Lucy in 1999 for the Field Museum in Chicago. In 2010, she was awarded the John J. Lanzendorf PaleoArtPrize. In 2011, the Ile-de-France Museum of Prehistory devoted a solo exhibition to her work, while a number of her sculptures of hominids were inaugurated in South Korea.
Using her work on human origins, Elisabeth Daynès now invites the public to reflect on appearance and the human face, today and in the future. She wishes to show that in a time of social networking and on-stop exposure to ubiquitous images, everyone is free to invent endless narcissistic mirrors: boundaries blur between real and virtual and between artificial and natural. Her work demonstrates that in the future as well as in the past, we are not the apex of evolution nor are we the only possible humanity. We were once diverse and we again become diverse. Her art constantly plays with science since science feeds much of our imagination, takes us on a voyage through time. By greatly varying size, material, and treatment while playing with and recomposing the subject of the skull, she shows us all the faces that we might have had, and that we will have one day if that is our choice as artists
French artist, Elisabeth Daynès is a world-renowned paleo artist that has been acclaimed in multiple occasions for her reconstructions of fossil hominids. Among other…Find Yourself – Elisabeth Daynès, paleo artist @836M gallery
November 18, 2019
Over the last 7 months I have been asked to bring a scientific perspective to several art projects that incorporate themes from human evolution….SCIENCE NEEDS ART
October 09, 2019
Applied Imagination expands on many of the topics presented in Phase I of the exhibition, exploring artificial intelligence and its incorporation into society. Applied Imagination is a group exhibition organized in collaboration with YESUNIVERSE and curated by Lady PheOnix, a 2019 curatorial fellow at 836M. Artificial Intelligence will soon be present in all aspects of our lives, from the cradle to the grave. As our culture continues to evolve, technological trends have given rise to what many contemporary thinkers refer to as the imagination economy: “an economy where intuitive and creative thinking produces economic value.” Applied Imagination will feature media artistRefik Anadol, Phase I artist Marjan Moghaddam, computational artist and interdisciplinary researcher Parag K. Mital, and creative technologist Jacqueline Assar.
“This exhibition encourages us to look beyond our preconceived notions and participate in moving the culture forward through the use of AI as our creative partner.”
Lady PheOnix is a curator of contemporary art and a passionate producer of creative works at the intersection of visual art and technology. She elevates and amplifies the work of artists through curated group shows organized in her virtualInstagramgallery, YESUNIVERSE. She has organized exhibitions for the Museum of the African Diaspora in San Francisco, 836M in SanFrancisco, and HuffPost Arts. As an autodidact, she began curating in 2015 as a form of creative self-care. #theyesuniverse has reached a global audience of millions, making it an institution. Lady PheOnix is regarded as one of the most influential digital gallerists. She has built an engaged community of dynamic artists, curators, and collectors by leveraging virtual space’s ability to generate and facilitate new forms of collaboration. She currently lives and works in the Bay Area.
PHOTOS BY CHRISTINE CUETO AND DAVID MULGADO
ART x TECHNOLOGY x CULTURE
YESUNIVERSE is a vessel for experimentation and collaboration that builds communities online and in-person through events and exhibitions where art and technology bring people together.
We proudly present Re-Engineering Humanity @836M, a group exhibition organized by YESUNIVERSE and curated by Lady PheOnix. A cautionary tale for the twenty-first century, the exhibition examines a range of contemporary issues shaping how reality is manufactured and understood. Featuring works by Anthony Akinbola, Stuart “Sutu” Campbell, Max Cooper, Paul D. Miller (DJ Spooky), Marjan Moghaddam, Mark “Digital” Sabb, John Sanborn, Samira Idroos, and Lady PheOnix, Re-Engineering Humanityinvites us to take a closer look at the social engineering that organizes human thought.
Composed of a constellation of perspectives signaling present societal dissonances, Re-Engineering Humanity is presented in three interconnected forms: a gallery exhibition, a series of public programs, and an interactive catalog. The exhibition aims to lay bare the silent messages of social engineering by extracting our interpretations, perceptions, and beliefs of embedded systems of control. It addresses augmented reality as a new form of communication, shifting cultural norms, and narcissistic approaches to existence due to constant engagement with social media. We’re living in a time where truth has been diluted, and fake news competes with reality- a shift in human history whose impacts are yet to be fully understood. Instability through social engineering has become a defining feature of the 21st century.
836M presented this six-month exhibition in two phases: Phase One, Re-Engineering Humanity, highlighted by augmented reality works; Phase Two offered computational pieces made with artificial intelligence. AI will soon be present in all aspects of our lives, from the cradle to the grave.
PHOTOS BY CHRISTINE CUETO & DAVID MULGADO
An art exhibit at 836M at which nobody will judge you for having your phone out.“Re-Engineering Humanity” Proves That AR Isn’t Just for Gaming
April 25, 2019
“My work is currently on view at 836M gallery in San Francisco as part of Re-Engineering Humanity curated by lady Ph0enix of @YesUniverse.art till May, and I will…Marjan Moghaddam: Pioneering Humanity in a Digital Age
April 24, 2019
From March 28th to May 18th, 2019, the Galerie 836M gives us the opportunity to look at the world with a critical but benevolent…Re-Engineering Humanity @ 836M – An exhibition of a new kind
April 09, 2019
Discussing her upcoming exhibit, Re-Engineering Humanity, at 836m gallery in San Francisco this March, curated by lady Pheonix of Yes Universe, Moghaddam walked us through some of the key…Augmented Humanism: The Digital Art of Marjan Moghaddam
March 16, 2019