July 4, 2018

Ilana, Hannah, and Astrology.

Ilana Harris-Babou Reparations Hardware. Video still.

So wonderful to have had speakers Ilana Harris-Babou and Hannah Black invited as guests for the Summer Institute. The day before we had Ilana Harris-Babou and a screening of Reparations Hardware as well as some of her other films. Something wonderful that Ilana brought up about the choice of making films was the ephemeral quality of seeing images that would disappear and the integration of motion that the screen suggests. In particular, the ephemeral quality of cultivating space through film and the sites which viewing the screen exists. It was so lovely to sit in on Ilana Harris-Babou and listen to them talk about writers like James Baldwin and Audre Lorde and how they've influenced their mode of thinking and processing.  (They also happen to be two of my favourite writers! I recommend Giovanni's Room, Ilana mentions Sister Outsider). Unfortunately, we weren't able to get footage even though we had the camera set up. Our SD card was locked, I swear this cancer season* has us out there :*| Reparations Hardware is screening along with other films as part of Thumbs that Type and Swipe: The Dis Edutainment Network in the main gallery at Plug In ICA.

*This Cancer season (June 22-July 21) is especially :*| because we have six planets in retrograde. The internal emotions beneath the shell that was maybe hiding during Gemini season is finally showing face. Perhaps we are all a bit more sentimental, or maybe it's a call for us to be more sentimental, but Cancer season has us emotionally distracted and scattered. A challenge that the folks at Plug In have finally overcome (look at me finally posting!).

For Hannah Black's artist talk, we got a hold of them via live video feed on our gallery monitors. We started off with a screening and then Hannah began speaking.  Listening to them talk about all of their ideas and how intentional their work was made for a really thoughtful conversation. They would go on tangents of their experience navigating different spaces (predominantly white man marxist organizing), histories of love and abandon, the limitations of technology to enact care through human and robotic affection (the technologies of care), as well as astrology (they mentioned being a scorpio :*| which I guessed from their elusiveness. It was especially interesting to find out that either their moon or rising was also scorpio :*| ). It was so lovely to hear Hannah talk in a way that didn't make the audience feel alienated from the theory, though still filled with depth, and research. One of the artists at the Summer Institute (Jaz) asked some thoughtful questions on Hannah's relationship with shame which sparked discussion on how self interested emotions like guilt and shame could act as tools for change and improvement.

Thank you Ilana Haris Babou for the tenderness and transformation.
Thank you Hannah Black for notions of affection and emotional potentials.

For those wondering: Mercury, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Neptune, Pluto If we're being honest, I have no clue what half of this planetary stuff means, but I'm just so worried for all of us right now :*| Watch out Geminis.



Hannah Black. All My Love All My Love, 2015 screening.

Audience (left to right): Erica Stocking, Stephanie Berrington, Jinhan Kho, Sunny Lee

Question Period: Erica Stocking and Marco Roso

Question Period: Jaz Papadopoulos and Marco Roso


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