micha cárdenas, Patrisse Cullors, Edxie Betts and Chris Head
18 December – 22 January
Curated by Alejandra Salinas and Aeron Bergman
INCA SEATTLE (NEW SPACE)
2 West Roy St. Seattle, WA, 98110
Uptown (Lower Queen Anne)
Exhibition: 18 December – 22 January
Opening: 18 December 7:30-9:30pm
Opening hours: Wednesday-Saturday 3-7pm
Closed: 24,25,31 December and Jan 1st
Conversation: micha cárdenas, Edxie Betts, Kiyomi Fujikawa, C. Davida Ingram and Nikkita Oliver on 18 December at 8:30pm
Organized by micha cárdenas
At the 2015 Allied Media Conference opening ceremony, Patrisse Cullors asked “what would technology for black lives be,” while wearing a shirt designed by Foremost and Damon Turner with the words BULLETPROOF #BlackLivesMatter emblazoned across her chest in gold. Inspired by this idea, micha cárdenas, Patrisse Cullors, Edxie Betts and Chris Head are collaborating to develop UNSTOPPABLE, a set of materials and processes for producing DIY bulletproof clothing at low to no cost. UNSTOPPABLE is art as intervention. The artists have developed a set of instructions for making these garments for wide dissemination. These clothes and prototypes will be the basis for a series of workshops, round tables and conversations about direct action approaches to ending the murder of black people, in particular black trans women, at universities and community centers around the US, and wherever there is interest in hosting these conversations.
The project name comes from the words of Sylvia Rivera, a trans latina leader of the movement for freedom for transgender people, who said “a lot of heads were bashed [at Stonewall]. But it didn’t hurt their true feelings — they all came back for more and more. Nothing — that’s when you could tell that nothing could stop us at that time or any time in the future.” Also, the name refers to the idea of that firearms’ capacity to cause harm is called stopping power. We are unstoppable.
Governments today kill both through direct acts of state violence, such as police killing black people, and through neglect, choosing not to prosecute the murders of trans women, or looking the other way when civilians and paramilitaries arm themselves and commit murder. In this state of necropolitics, where the government facilitates death for communities it deems unwanted, we must act to physically protect ourselves now, as we do not even know where the next bullet might come from.
Dr. micha cárdenas is an artist/theorist who creates and studies trans of color movement in digital media, where movement includes migration, performance and mobility. cárdenas is an Assistant Professor of Interdisciplinary Arts & Sciences at the University of Washington | Bothell.
cárdenas completed her Ph.D. in Media Arts + Practice in the School of Cinematic Arts at the University of Southern California. She is a member of the artist collective Electronic Disturbance Theater 2.0. Her solo and collaborative artworks have been presented in museums, galleries and biennials including the Museum of Modern Art in New York, the ZKM in Karlrushe, the Art Gallery of Ontario in Toronto, Los Angeles Contemporary Exhibitions, the Centro Cultural del Bosque in Mexico City, the Centro Cultural de Tijuana, the Zero1 Biennial and the California Biennial.
Patrisse Cullors is an artist, activist, organizer and Black Lives Matter co-founder. Cullors leads Dignity and Power Now in Los Angeles. She was honored by the radical funders at the Tides Foundation with their annual Mario Savio Young Activist Award, named in honor of the best-known leader of the 1964 Free Speech Movement at UC Berkeley. Cullors was also the Fall 2014 visiting fellow at the Arcus Center for Social Justice Leadership, an institute at Kalamazoo College in Michigan.
Edxie Betts is a black, filipin@, black footed, trans femme, gender non conforming, queer anti-authoritarian art healer whose aims are to uplift those within the margins of margins. They aim to combat all oppressions and systems of domination through their cultural political work while critically engaging in movements with an end goal of liberation.
Chri Head is an artist. Much of his work focuses on the intersection of software design and art practice to produce projects that take a variety of forms including computer visualization, simulation, games, and hardware hacking. Christopher received his Bachelor of Fine Arts from San Jose State University and his MFA at the University of California San Diego.
Public conversation: December 18, at 8:30pm there will be a public conversation about how art can be a space to develop direct action strategies to save the lives of black trans women, trans women of color and black people more broadly. Artist/theorist micha cárdenas has invited a range of conversants including artists and activists Edxie Betts, Kiyomi Fujikawa, C. Davida Ingram and Nikkita Oliver to get the conversation started. The conversation will include everyone who shows up to the event and will center on these questions:
– What direct action strategies can we imagine to stop the murders of black trans women, black people and trans women of color?
– How have you used art to create change to save black lives? – How can artists and organizers work together to create change, now, without asking other people to do it for us?
– Relative to our art and expressions, for those of us whom are either black or trans or both, what are ways we can heal ourselves and uplift each other from some of the deepest internalizations of white supremacy, anti-blackness, and trans misogyny without perpetuating ‘master narratives’ and symbology that say we will always be oppressed?
C. Davida Ingram
Seattle-based artist C. Davida Ingram received the 2014 Stranger Genius Award in Visual Arts. She is a writer and artist-curator who focuses on creating counter-narratives via education, performance, and curating. She is co-founder of the Seattle People of Color Salon, and has been involved with many community-based arts organizations including Video Machete, Women in the Director’s Chair, and Insight Arts. Her recent projects included Avatar: Fanon & Decca; Object Lesson: Where Can My Black Ass Go to Be Safe; I Wish a Motherf***** Would. Her work continually explores the intersections of social justice, social practice, and the art of protest.
Kiyomi Fujikawa is a Seattle-based, gender-fabulous, queer, mixed-race organizer. Kiyomi has been involved with movements to end sexual assault and domestic/dating violence since 2001, and she currently works as the Queer Network Program Coordinator at API Chaya and organizes with a collective of nikkei (people of Japanese descent) folks called Tadaima.
Nikkita Oliver is a Seattle-based creative, teaching artist, mentor and organizer. She is an attorney in Washington State and is currently completing a Masters of Education at the University of Washington. She is the 2014 Seattle Poetry Slam (SPS) Grand Slam Champion, the 2012 and 2013 SPS Women of the World Poetry Slam representative, a three-time SPS national team member and is coaching the SPS national team for the second time.
Co-sponsored by the University of Washington Bothell Community-Based
Learning and Research Fellowship and Uzuri* Productions.