The School for Poetic Computation is changing. This summer, we are making a temporary space together in a COCOON. We invite you into our collective studies as we work towards an experimental curriculum that can grow and transform over time. We will learn to unlearn with others in order to change the conditions of learning itself. We are making new schooling formations that facilitate the oscillation between teacher and student. Not yet flying, we invite you to wrap yourselves in the warm, gooey muck of becoming in the shedding over and over again.
What does this chrysalis body space do for us as learners? What can it help us unlearn? What protection does it give? What vulnerability does it keep? And, if we're faithful to the image of the COCOON, what is it we're surfacing around ourselves? Are we in the COCOON together? Do we each make our own after we depart?
COCOON is organized by Zainab Aliyu ("Zai") is interested in the material affect of the "immaterial." She contextualizes the cybernetic and temporal entanglement embedded within societal dynamics to understand how all sociotechnological systems of control are interconnected, and how we are all implicated through time. She often dreams, experiments and inquires through built virtual environments, printed matter, video, archives, writing, installation and community-participatory (un)learning, Todd Anderson is a digital artist, organizer and educator based in NYC. He likes to make weird websites, browser extensions, interactive digital poems, video games and experimental plays about the Internet. He is currently teaching and learning about online performance and the history of computer viruses. In addition to SFPC, Todd helps out as an organizer for Babycastles and the Illuminator Projection Collective. He is probably best known as the host and curator of WordHack, a 7-year running language+technology talk series at Babycastles, Neta Bomani is an abolitionist, learner and educator who is interested in parsing information and histories while making things by hand with human and non-human computers. Neta’s work combines archives, oral histories, computation, social practices, printmaking, paper engineering, zine making and workshops to create do it yourself artifacts. Neta received a graduate degree in Interactive Telecommunications from the Tisch School of the Arts at New York University. Neta has taught at the School for Poetic Computation, the New School and Yale University. Neta has studied under Mariame Kaba, Simone Browne, Ruha Benjamin, Fred Moten and many others who inform Neta’s work., Emma Rae Bruml practices writing and teaching. She is an artist and a scholar who studies the history of the computer mouse. In other words, Emma studies the space between humans and computers, Melanie Hoff is committed to creating spaces that foreground pleasure and celebration, that model sustainable support systems and make it possible for people to learn socially, ambiently, and holistically. Their work re-codes social norms, interfaces, and sex, through software, installation, and new choreographies of exchange. Melanie is a founding member of the Cybernetics Library and the collective Soft Surplus, where they strive to cultivate spaces of learning and feeling that encourage honesty and reconciliation for the ways we are shaped by systems of gender, racialization, class, and the trauma these systems inscribe upon our selves. They have exhibited their work at the New Museum, the Queens Museum, Tate Exchange London, The Internet Archive, Pioneer Works, and elsewhere. They do work they believe in at SFPC, and Galen Macdonald is an artist, teacher and organizer based in Toronto. He is interested in thinking by hand with others, and in the relationships that form with and around tools. He is a former student of School for Poetic Computation and a former organizer of the InterAccess Studio in Toronto, with the support of American Artist makes thought experiments that mine the history of technology, race, and knowledge production, beginning with their legal name change in 2013. Their artwork primarily takes the form of sculpture, software, and single-channel video. Artist is a resident of Red Bull Arts Detroit, a recipient of the Queens Museum Jerome Foundation Fellowship, a former resident of EYEBEAM, Pioneer Works, and the Whitney Museum Independent Study Program. They have exhibited at the Whitney Museum of American Art; MoMA PS1; Studio Museum in Harlem; Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago; and Nam June Paik Center, Seoul. They have had solo museum exhibitions at The Queens Museum, New York and The Museum of African Diaspora, California. Their work has been featured in the New York Times, Artforum, and Huffington Post. Artist is a 2021 Regents’ Lecturer at UCLA and teaches critical theory at the School for Poetic Computation, Luke Demarest is a visual artist, researcher, and teacher based in London. He specializes in computational approaches to drawing, sculpture, and installations, although he also has formal training in fine art. He is currently an Associate Lecturer in Graphic Communication Design at Central Saint Martins and a Research Fellow in Complex Systems Modelling and Information Design at University College London. Previously he was an Artist in Residence at the Victoria & Albert Museum, an engineer at Rosetta Stone, and a studio assistant at the Mountain Lake Workshop for the John Cage Centennial. Luke’s artist practice has been supported by Arts Council England and Celine Wong Katzman is a Singaporean-American curator, writer, and educator based in New York. She is currently the web manager at Rhizome. Previously she was a NYSCA Curatorial Fellow at the Queens Museum and a gallery assistant at bitforms gallery. Celine holds a B.A. in Visual Art from Brown University. Recent projects include a forthcoming exhibition at the Queens Museum co-curated with Shu Lea Cheang and consider the scallion, an anthology co-edited with Diane Zhou, featuring a constellation of artists’ reflections on the elusive, intricate nature of the scallion. Celine has taught and organized at SFPC since 2018. Summer programming began in July and included sessions taught by American Artist, Neta Bomani, Natalie Freed is a maker and educator with a lifelong love for craft and book arts. She has worked as an exhibit developer at the San Francisco Exploratorium, taught high school computer programming and digital fabrication, taught electronics at Autodesk Pier 9, and has led myriad workshops on paper circuits, the mathematics of bookbinding, algorithmic design, internet-connected art objects, and other combinations of tech and craft. She holds a B.S. and M.S. in Computer Science from Arizona State University and a M.S. from the MIT Media Lab, and is currently pursuing a PhD in STEM Education at the University of Texas at Austin, Nabil Hassein is an SFPC alum who has previously worked as a high school math teacher, a software developer, a freelance educator of programming and critical theory of technology, a co-organizer of events such as "Code Ecologies" and "Mathematics as a Religious Experience", a writer of articles such as "Against Black Inclusion in Facial Recognition", and a speaker of talks such as "Computing, climate change, and all our relationships". Now a PhD student, Nabil's research interests include the history of higher technical education in Africa and among the African diaspora, connections among decolonization and development and education, the relationship between computing and climate change, and translation, Melanie Hoff, Zach Lieberman is an artist, researcher, and educator with a simple goal: he wants you surprised. In his work, he creates performances and installations that take human gesture as input and amplify them in different ways -- making drawings come to life, imagining what the voice might look like if we could see it, transforming people's silhouettes into music. He's been listed as one of Fast Company's Most Creative People and his projects have won the Golden Nica from Ars Electronica, Interactive Design of the Year from Design Museum London as well as being listed in Time Magazine's Best Inventions of the Year. He creates artwork through writing software and is a co-creator of openFrameworks, an open source C++ toolkit for creative coding and helped co-found the School for Poetic Computation, a school examining the lyrical possibilities of code. He is a professor at MIT Media Lab, where he leads the Future Sketches group, Kameelah Janan Rasheed was born in East Palo Alto, CA. She lives and works in Brooklyn, NY. Rasheed has a MA in Secondary Social Studies Education from Stanford University (2008), a BA in Public Policy from Pomona College (2006), and was an Amy Biehl U.S. Fulbright Scholar - South Africa at the University of Witwatersrand (2006-7). Since 2016, she has been on the faculty at the School of Visual Arts in the MFA Fine Arts program. After five years as a high school social studies teacher and many more years in a variety of learning contexts since 2001, Rasheed transitioned into curriculum design and teacher coaching in 2013. Since 2013, Rasheed has worked with an education non-profit as a curriculum developer and adult professional learning manager supporting secondary social studies teachers develop their practices. Rasheed is the founder of Mapping the Spirit as well as the owner and founder of Orange Tangent Study, Gabrielle Octavia Rucker is a writer & literary radio experimentalist from the Great Lakes. Her debut poetry collection is forthcoming from The Song Cave in 2022, Jie Qi is cofounder of Chibitronics, an open hardware company that produces creative learning toolkits that blend paper crafting with circuit building and coding. Her mission is to combine art with engineering to empower creators of all backgrounds to make their own expressive and personally meaningful technologies. Jie holds a B.S. in mechanical engineering from Columbia University and an M.S. and Ph.D. in media arts and sciences from the MIT Media Lab, where she was a member of the Responsive Environments, High-Low Tech and Lifelong Kindergarten groups and Chang Yuchen is an artist based in New York. She works in an interdisciplinary manner -- writing as weaving, drawing as translation, teaching as hospitality and commerce as everyday revolution (see Use Value). By constantly entering and exiting each medium, she strolls against the category of things, the labor division among people. Yuchen was an artist in residence at MASS MoCA (North Adams), Offshore (Sabah), MAD Museum (New York), Bananafish Books (Shanghai) and Textile Art Center (Brooklyn). She has shown/performed her works at UCCA Dune, Taikwun Contemporary, Abrons Art Center, Para Site, Salt Projects, Assembly Room and etc. Yuchen teaches through Center for Book Arts, Printed Matter, Asia Art Archive in America, CUE Art Foundation and more. She has also been a guest lecturer at New York University, ArtCenter College of Design, School of the Art Institute of Chicago, University of the Arts, among others. Our 119 summer participants joined us in exploring the history and poetics of math, critical approaches to biometric surveillance, the craft of reading and writing, being loving and loved online and the augmenting of reality.