In the absence of sight is a new body of work that draws on the erasures of Pilipinx people by American occupiers during the era of US colonialism in the early 1900s. T
Presenting on a panel "Evasive Articulations in the Age of ‘Fake News’", I will speak on two relatively new projects that look to transform the archive through different tactics in a paper titled "Recalibrating the Archive: Insurgent acts and strategies of renewal".
Speaking on a panel "Archiving Mixed Race" for the Critical Mixed Race Studies Association, I'll present my paper "Ambiguous Objects" that considers a what multiracial archive can look like and how it begins to unsettle the ways archives have been understood.
Curated by Amanda Deboer, I'll present some work for the Generator Series at the Kaneko with another set by The Afield.
more info coming soon!
For the panel "Experiencing Vision and Space in the American Empire", I will present my paper "Sustained constraint: Locating the colonial imaginary through material abstractions of the breath" that discusses the US colonial project in the Philippines as sustained through structures that constrained and/or prohibited Filipino breath.
As part of an ongoing series of projects surrounding the breath, this evening of new collaborative performance works include projects that seek to materialize exchange. Three new works will be developed between Soheila Azadi, Jason Charney, and Jenna Lyle as part of a residency at DFBRL8R Gallery in Chicago.
More info coming soon!
MUSCLE MEMORY will be an interdisciplinary exhibition dedicated to rituals and ritual-based art. It will explore the repetitive, deliberate patterns of action that make up our days, the acts not done to produce an outcome, but because they must be done, how they must be done. The show will run from October 4th-7th in the Stella Elkins Gallery at Tyler School of Art.
I'm excited to be included in this year's Terrain Biennial, an international exhibition of site-specific art made for front yards, balconies, and porches.
Centered in the historic village of Oak Park, IL, 2017 Biennial will open on Sunday, October 1st with a block party in Oak Park, IL and run until November 15th. A map of all locations and the dates of the openings for each neighborhood will be posted to www.terrainexhibitions.com.
Continuing a massive expansion that began with the second Terrain Biennial, Terrain has reached out to sites all across the country as well as internationally. In the 2015 Biennial, 75 artists and three collectives created site interventions at over 60 locations around the Chicagoland area, the US and abroad.
This new project is curated as part of Richard Medina's Box Gallery which will be shown in Oak Park. More details coming shortly!
Alejandro T. Acierto will discuss his recent body of work that draws on the photographic and ephemeral archive from the era of US colonialism in the Philippines as a way to theorize and reimagine historically marginalized bodies through the history of their erasure. Centered around themes of the breath and survival, Acierto employs repurposed and transformed archival objects, fabricated mythologies, and reimagined “historical” ephemera as ways to investigate the breath as though it were part of anthropological study. Within this body of work, he articulates mechanisms of bodily control through these material histories and expands upon these archives and ephemera so as to assert other ontologies of being.
Members of contemporary music group Ensemble Dal Niente respond to works from the Art Institute collection with a series of in-gallery performances in the Ando Gallery and elswhere. The event concludes with a large-scale performance in Griffin Court of Artificial Life (2007), a work by composer and musician George Lewis that strives for a structured improvisation experience through an open form score.
Filter Photo is pleased to showcase an exhibition of small prints. Artists were asked to submit works 10 x 10 inches or less for this call for work. Juror, Jennifer Keats, Director of The Donut Shop, chose a compelling assortment of small works.
Pilot Projects is pleased to announce IDLE HANDS - Further Adventures in Metaphysical Arbitrage : 100 Years of the Readymade, a project co-organized with Chicago-based artist and curator Brandon Alvendia. An alternative take on the 100th anniversary of Fountain by Marcel Duchamp, IDLE HANDS highlights the work of dozens of local and national artists in an open-call exhibition and readymade competition. The event on September 9th will have the dual function of opening reception and awards ceremony. Cash, trophies, and other prizes will be awarded to artists selected by a panel of judges including: Erica Battle (PMA), Blake Bradford (Lincoln/Barnes), Kate Kraczon (ICA), and viewers like you!
A surface is only as hard as its pores is a work-in-progress performance work with video and sound that speculates the relationships between house plants, colonialism, and the breath. Performed twice as part of the Chicago Theater Marathon at Strawdog theater.
Friday @ 8:15pm
Saturday @ 2:15pm
Philadelphia-based composer Gene Coleman returns to the Ren for a dynamic performance of material from a new forthcoming media opera.
Featuring acclaimed bass-baritone Nicholas Isherwood and Ensemble NJP, Dreamlives of Debris is based on a novel by Lance Olsen that reimagines the myth of the Minotaur and labyrinth. While drawing on the lasting power of the myth, brought to life here by Isherwood’s voice, Coleman also integrates cultural sources as varied as Japanese Bunraku theater, manga, Monteverdi’s operas, and neuroscience research. The works will be staged by renowned director Luca Veggetti, known for his magical use of movement and light.
The annual Dal Niente PARTY: a non-traditional performance space, a flexible floor plan, music paired with food and beverages, a relaxed environment where audiences can mingle and move around, and musical performances that run the gamut from the hilarious to the sublime. Dal Niente is saving some of its most breathtaking performances for its 2017 PARTY, offering compositions of varying extremes and stylistic influence that ensure all audience members will find a personal, unforgettable experience.
My recent video performance work Rehearsal for the building of mutual support, or, the display of persistence in a moment of silencing through the continual act of presence and becoming will be featured as part of the Rapid Pulse International Performance Art Festival's screening program each day.
More info coming shortly!
ONE is the Cleve Carney Art Gallery’s first ever emerging artist exhibition. This exhibition is intended to provide a survey of contemporary artwork being created by artists in the region and across the country. Surveyed artists include: Alejandro T. Acierto, Hernan Gomez Chavez, Michelle Graves, Rebecca Griffith, Daniel Hojnacki, Cathy Hsiao, Josh Johnson, Wes Kline + Erika Lynne Hanson, Abbey Muza, Kaveri Raina, Monica Rezman, Laura Skinner, Patcharida Smittinet, Jacqueline Surdell, Christina Warzecha, Hillary Wiedemann, Sara Willadsen, and Sarah Beth Woods
RADICAL NOURISHMENT. In the wake of the abuse of power that occurred at Dusek's, in the face of new immigration policies that puts this (and other immigrant communities) in immediate danger, in the context of gentrification and change in Pilsen over the years pushing out more and more people of color, what does radical nourishment look like? What does that look like through the framework of the art we consume to nourish & replenish ourselves? How does that interplay with a neighborhood like Pilsen?
With artists: Soulphonetics, Enid Muñoz, Sebastian Olayo, Alejandro T. Acierto, Lily Be, Gabriela Ibarra + Brian Herrera
Purchase tickets HERE
Ensemble Dal Niente performs Ashley Fure’s Something to Hunt in the classic prehistoric Hell Creek exhibit as part of the culmination of a year-long project with the Milwaukee Public Museum. Audience members will experience brand new compositions, existing works by living composers, and original sound installations in Wisconsin’s largest natural history museum.
In an effort to reimagine the archive, artists Alejandro T. Acierto and Oli Rodriguez are trying to remake it. By assembling and reassembling the media archive to speculate new possibilities and other histories, we can begin to decolonize the images and ephemera from which colonialist discourses are built. Looking historically to re-invent the present, this panel asks what we can begin to do and what strategies we can engage so as to empower the historically marginalized.
Presenting gestures sized for the space of senses and placed in the realm of conversation, Personals is a show of small sculptural works installed together on four large tables. The 99 exhibiting artists span 65 Skowhegan alumni years, 3 continents, 6 countries, and 19 states. They are joined here in an installation that is inherently about making room for others and connecting with one’s peers.
Monday - Friday, 10AM - 5PM and by appointment.
(Monday, May 29, 2–5PM)
This panel features the work of four contemporary Asian American artists who approach themes and topics of care through new materialities and conceptual investigations. Engaging in various theoretical and material conversations, Aarm Han Sifuentes, Kiam M. Junio, Alejandro T. Acierto, and Leonard Suryajaya's work approach history, diaspora, migration, and self-determination through various modalities of performance and image making, offering a variety of strategies that re-imagine Asian American agency and spectatorship. Thinking through care as a lens from which to understand their work, these artists materialize processes of making that contribute to visual cultures home and abroad.
A solo show of new works for the breath.
This collection of work seeks to visualize the seemingly immaterial and proposes the breath as a material of becoming. As part of a larger body of work that emerges from the recurrence of historically marginalized bodies stripped of their agency to speak, I am offering the breath, the seemingly silent gesture of resilient presence, as a site of agency, reclamation, and power in the context of historic oppression and disempowerment. For this work, I am offering these pieces as aesthetic strategies that provide a different, alternative stage from which these voices may become present. —Alejandro T. Acierto
In celebration of Marwen's 30th anniversary we are very pleased to present IMPACT, a new group exhibition featuring current works by Marwen Alumni. IMPACT highlights the many ways that Marwen Alumni are leaving their mark on the arts, education and their communities.
The exhibition will be on view until April 14, 2017. A closing reception will be held on Friday, April 14 from 5-7pm.
With its seven framed-out wooden façades, Allison Lacher and Jeff Robinson’s Subdivision transforms two galleries into a faux neighborhood where, on a weekly basis, additional artists are invited to manipulate one of the home-like structures in any manner of their choosing. Glossy white sheets of acrylic are attached to the face of every façade, each bearing its own vinyl decal depicting a common household object such as a vent, light switch, or power outlet. The installation immerses visitors in a landscape that evokes a recession-stricken, partially developed subdivision that is strangely populated by utilitarian-looking, Mondrian-like sculptures surrounded by decals of picket fences.
Subdivision will continually evolve during its six-week duration as the artists selected by Lacher and Robinson incrementally build upon, alter, or reinvent one of the aforementioned sculptures “causing,” according to Robinson and Lacher, “the exhibition to develop in ways not entirely within anyone’s control.” As people gather for the exhibition’s opening on Tuesday, February 21, at 5pm, Andy Roche and Selina Trepp will be the first participating artists to respond to their assigned structure. Following suit on successive Fridays, artists Amanda Bowles and Erin Hayden, Alejandro T. Acierto, Thad Kellstadt, and collaborative duo Melissa Oresky and Zak Boerger, will “perform” their work with a free public event in the gallery. In the last week of the exhibition, the “subdivision” will have changed from a conglomeration of similar architectural forms to a mash-up of different aesthetics, styles, practices, materials, and tastes—from a series of houses to a community of neighbors.
Friday, March 10, at 7 pm
Alejandro T. Acierto will activate the space through an experimental participatory project that considers the nature of political organizing in the era of Web 2.0. Using a real-time social media monitoring program as a backdrop to activate a set of megaphones within the installation, Acierto engages the structure as an open framework that student organizations and activists can inhabit. After a preliminary solo performance for megaphones and voice, the structure will offer various communities a temporary site to return to, work in, strategize, and recoup for the rest of the exhibition. Using open source technologies, Return, refresh, sustain attempts to embody and present a framework that enables collaborative interactions between organizers, communities, and the public.
Practices of Transgression: Accessing the creative potential of liminal identities to imagine radical futures @ CMRS
This round table will bring together a transdisciplinary group of artists, writers, and thinkers to explore theoretical strategies that can point us as creative practitioners towards praxis that imagines the unimaginable: a future that centers blackness, the feminine, the queer. We ask, how do we approach mixed-race or trans-racial experiences in critically productive ways through our work? How do the underlying ideologies of creative spaces and institutions founded on white supremacy negatively impact our practices, and how can we most effectively speak back to and destabilize these ideologies? What is our relationship to re/telling history, and how does this lead us to new futures?
With Alejandro T. Acierto, Maya Mackrandilal, Erica Mena, and Shylah Pacheco Hamilton; co-organized by Alejandro T. Acierto and Maya Mackrandilal
“Rather than going for the new object of study, the new product to consume, one should work on new ways of seeing, of being, or of living in the world.” – Trihn T. Minh-Ha from D-Passage: The Digital Way
“Cyborg writing is about the power to survive, not on the basis of original innocence, but on the basis of seizing the tools to mark the world that marked them as other.” – Donna Haraway from A Cyborg Manifesto
Following Donna Haraway’s epochal work A Cyborg Manifesto in which she imagines the cyborg condition as a site of liberation and decolonized subjectivity, this panel considers diverse approaches of artists, historians, theoretician-practitioners, and media activists that encode strategies of decolonization in their work and practice. Through a critical engagement of code as a (rhetorical) tool to re-inscribe historically marginalized bodies, this panel looks at a broad array of efforts, tactics, and projects that consider the ethos of a cyborg condition imagined by Haraway’s writing. As part of this conversation, we may begin to ask: through what means and technologies are these situations deployed? What are the strategies that allow for decolonized processes that are situated within feminist, queer, and anti-colonial subjectivities? And how do these methods enable, embody, and construct new realities of being?
Recognizing new media’s ability to rupture obsolete systems in the efforts to reconstruct other idealized ontologies, this panel extends the cyborg condition through theoretical approaches and practice in an effort to re-imagine human relation. In particular, this panel seeks to address how new media practice and theory can reconfigure our understandings of marginality as well as offer strategies that enable the repositioning of subjects so as to decolonize their subjectivity.
Panel presentations by Oli Rodriguez, Dan Paz, Mailee Hung, and Alejandro T. Acierto
Originally based on composer David Behrman’s idea of “deceptively simple scores with complex results”, Easy Not Easy asks a group of composers/makers to write (or submit) simple scores that can be performed with no rehearsal. An ad hoc ensemble is then organized to perform those pieces. Organized by Matthew Mehlan.
more info coming soon.
the means by which we make an opening is a solo show of new works using collected ephemera, artifacts, and works on paper.
more info coming soon!
NINE TO FIVE is a group exhibition of video art curated by Richard Medina. Nine artists, musicians, and filmmakers were invited to put together five minutes of any combination of video, music, collage, and sound art responding to the concepts of "advertisement" and "autobiography"
Alejandro T. Acierto