at land’s edge: Dialogues


April 3, 2016, 10:15am to 5:30pm

Los Angeles Municipal Art Gallery

4800 Hollywood Blvd.

Los Angeles, CA 90027


at land’s edge: Dialogues is a day-long series of conversations that press the limits of creative praxis via decolonial thought and action. Led by twelve emerging artists and scholars—all recent research fellows with at land’s edge—this event will explore the urgent themes of history, embodiment, sexuality, migration, racism, and incarceration. at land’s edge is an artist-led, autonomous, and experimental platform focused on intergenerational mentorship and engaged programming in community-run spaces across east and south Los Angeles.



10:15-10:30, Welcome and Opening Remarks

Michelle Dizon


10:30am-12pm, Panel #1: Re-envisioning the Past: History, Memory, and Geopolitics

Description: The artists and scholars of this panel will address ideas of collective memory, the archive, and re-imagining narratives of the past. They are interested in how one activates the past in the present in order to engage, question, and challenge dominant discourses of war, civil unrest, the nation, and the family.

Moderator: Yong Soon Min



Gelare Khoshgozaran, UNdocumentary 

My presentation will give an outline of my work-in-progress UNdocumentary (2014-Present). The project is multifaceted and involves research, documentation, and writing presented in the forms of performance, video and text. Informed by the experience of living the first four years of my life during the Iran-Iraq war, I address the concreteness of that experience vis á vis the neoliberal abstractions of violence in the drone-age United States. The project is an experiment in aesthetic remembering, collective trauma, and the technologies of alienation.



Rose Salseda, “From Ruins: Art in the Aftermath of the 1992 Los Angeles Riots”

In this presentation, I will trace the artistic urgency to address the importance of the burnt down buildings and other ruins left in the aftermath of the 1992 Los Angeles Riots. From 1992 to 2012, assemblage artist Seth Kaufman, video artist Michelle Dizon, and multimedia artist Juan Capistran amongst others, have made work that contains materials salvaged from burnt-down properties and figurative “ruins” to express the traumas and long-lasting impact of the civil unrest. They have also paid special attention to those stories that popular accounts of the riots have largely ignored. As a result of my close analyses of their artwork, I contend with the artistic effort to remember and archive the devastation.



Abigail Han, “a memoir not for the history books”

Early political history in Singapore, from the 1950s-1970s, was tumultuous. Living there as a Chinese meant having to endure patterns of systematic repression, discrimination, and violence as a by-product of British and Japanese colonization. For example, in 1963 a covert security operation known as “operation coldstore” led to the arrest of over 100 people from the progressive left in Singapore. This caused the barisan sosialis, a political group alleged to promote communist ideology, to go underground and it resulted in the exile of many of their members. At the same time, a group of women met every week in a kitchen to collectively bake and test recipes. Recently, I found some of these recipes and became interested in the women’s possible involvement in the progressive left. Thus, my presentation explores the artist’s role in revisionist Singaporean history. I ask the following: 1) How does memory play a role in the writing of history? 2) Whose memories and what types of memories are remembered? 3) Why are others often ignored or forgotten? 4) What do we lose when we ignore and forget those memories?



Andre Keichian, “tracing back(s) through a speculative archive of family and becoming”

My project takes form through research, family archives, and sculpture. I am interested in the overlap of the diasporic body and the transgender body and how this exploration may speak to a geopolitical and subjective understanding of migration and belonging. It is through this connection that I wish to insert my trans narrative into my family’s archive. I am speaking about the transition of borders—a movement of place and of body—and how both, though perhaps sites of trauma, may also speak to new possibilities of becoming.



Panel #1, Q & A



1-2:30pm, Panel #2- Invisible Things are not Necessarily “Not-There”

Description:  The artists of this panel illuminate the invisibility of communication, emotion, and globalization through performance, art, music, and food. Some of the presentations come from personal experiences of trauma and exposure to death, incarceration, and/or diaspora. Others come from a more analytical place. All of the presenters move through intangible, liminal space to bring forth ideas connected to alternative modes of healing and existing in this world.

Moderator: Rafa Esparza



Penelope Uribe-Abee, “Distant Lover: Art Laboe and the PIC”

“Distant Lover: Art Laboe and the PIC” is a presentation of research and artworks that explore the intersections between incarceration, oldies music, queerness and melancholia.



Xiomara Rios, “Incarceration: Commissary Sanity”  

In this presentation, I will discuss incarceration, nutrition, and the school-to-prison pipeline. I will also examine the role that commissary food plays for the incarcerated population and how prisoners try to recreate recipes in an attempt to connect to their freedom.



Joestine Con-ui, “an incomplete look at the ‘big picture’”

I first started using Google Street View for an art project my senior year in undergrad as part of a collaboration with a friend, Karl Orozco. Since then I have continued exploring the virtual world searching for key elements that express the conditions of our world today. During my journeys, I have found everyday moments that I hope captures contemporary gestures and incidents of our time. My presentation will comprise documents of in-progress work and installation images from my mid-residency show at CalArts. I will explain the multiple and interdependent meanings of the elements of the show, as well as my ever-changing thought process in relation to my current practice. The goal is to show the audience my understandings of my journeys online and my attempts in constructing ideas inspired from these experiences into content and form in space.



Kyle Johanson, before, brother, before: peripheral visions of an invisible libretto

This performance/exhibition embodies theoretical peripheries or liminal spaces surrounding representation, language, trauma, and time. before, brother, before is rooted in the event of my brother’s suicide and feels through theories of opacity, intersubjectivity, absence, dematerialization, and quantum mechanics. A hauntological call and response conjures the indeterminate, the speculative, the entangled, and their potential energies for revolutionary becoming.


Panel #2, Q & A



2:35-3:20pm, Interactive Session: New/Old: Interactive Healing


An interactive workshop led by Shruti Purkayastha and Cinthia Marisol Lozano.

“We create our stories and identities. We have the tools. Living vocabulary, witness, and creating collective identity through nature. Centering queer, trans, intersex people of color. Meet yourself where you are at. Meet us outside.”




3:25-4:55, Panel #3: Memories We Store in Our Bodies

Description: The artists of this panel will provide a discussion that explores the ideas of illness and coping, body memory, family and ancestry, migration, genetics, and storytelling through their recent writings and current art projects.



Johanna Hedva, “In Defense of De-Persons”

This is a presentation of work-in-progress that comprises the “second chapter” of what began as Sick Woman Theory, and moves into a critique of “sickness,” “woman-ness,” and “theory-ness,” and the political conditions that have constructed these as descriptive identities and/or universalizing experiences. A “defense of de-persons” has to do with how we conceive of a “self” in conversation with theories around humanism and personhood, and who is and who is not granted access into those spheres. Following the work of Sylvia Wynter, Denise Ferreira da Silva, and Fred Moten (Hedva’s mentor), Hedva’s research grapples with the fact that most humanist discourse and ideology around self-hood deploys categories that are violent, imperialist, capitalist, colonial, racialized, sexist, ableist, and neoliberal. This is echoed in therapies around the “healing” of trauma: concepts of self-mastery, self-control, and self-management are deployed, replicating the violence about not only “what” is and is not human, but what “human” as a practice does and, crucially, is allowed to do.



Brittany Neimeth, “The Mother Archetype and Illness”

I will be reading a short text that I will have made into a perfect bound book that deals with personal history, absence, repetition, disruption, mental illness, the mother and genetics/inscribing on the body. I am thinking a lot about what is passed down.


Panel #3, Q & A



5-5:30pm, Closing