The Second Great SMRN Meeting of 2019
SMRN had another wonderful meeting on February 28, with members joining including Bettina Schülke, Carol Bier, Farshid Kazemi, JR Osborn, Laura Marks, Radek Predpełski, Siying Duan, Somayeh Khakshoor, Narjis Mirza, Nina Czegledy, and Walid El Khachab.
Two of our members: Nina Czegledy and Bettina Schülke presented their cooperative work in progress. Nina and Bettina have closely collaborated since 2007 first on the
Aurora project (originally started in 1997) Their most recent cooperative project is the Working Together exhibition in 2017 at Simbiosis, Pachuca, Mexico.
Bettina first started to introduce her collaboration and shared the interest with Nina in secret language in textiles and mystery of art. There are several approaches to the topic: secret forms of language; how they are expressed; their interpretation; the cultural background; their history, etc. Nina continued to present the history of Quipu, or talking knots, a particular secret language of textiles used by a number of cultures in the region of Andean South America. It is a special memory device that fits neither in the category of alphabetic writing nor in the non-alphabetic writing. It can keep records including economic information, laws, rituals, histories and also provides drawings of Inca officials.
After the Bettina and Nina’s presentation and a fervent discussion, our founding member Laura U. Marks introduced the SMRN Workshop on Non-Western Media Genealogies in Buffalo NY. Six media artist-scholars explored alternative media genealogies in relation to their own research and art practice, engaging in dialogue with and receiving feedback from Laura and our member Kalpana Subramanian. Laura also announced the upcoming workshop on Cross-Cultural Roots for Media Practice which will be held in Vancouver.