“For years, the white face of punk music erased the black and brown artists whose contributions to the genre shaped its path from the start. There was Bad Brains, an all-Black band from 1980s Washington D.C. who paired rumbling, whiplash-inducing drums with reggae. Death, the band of brothers from Detroit, are often cited as one of the first punk bands of all time. Poly Styrene, a biracial, working class woman, fronted the U.K.’s X-Ray Spex with an inimitable caterwaul. On the West Coast, Chicana artist Alice Bag brought her foundation of Rancheras and soul music to the East L.A. punk scene in the 1970s.

In short, a festival like The Multivrs is Illuminated isn’t a novelty: it’s both a reminder and a continuation of a long history of black and brown artists in the punk scene.”

Read more on KQED’s write up on “The Multivrs is Illuminated” Festival at Pro Arts here.

Shawna Shanté Scroggins and Jade Ariana Fair

“This year the multivrs is illuminated we are embodying the futures that we want to exist in. We feel now more than ever is a time to transcend pain. Get free of die trying (getfreeorlivetrying). We are descendants and transformers of infinity. Our inheritance is freedom.

Time doesn’t exist
creating the world that we want and believe that’s
Fuck Identity movement
I-dentity is about seeing
Looking, out, processing and judging
Mii-dentity is about looking within and defining ourselves
Mii-dentity defies the constructs of Identity
Y-dentity asks who/what benefits from forcing the sight of eye-dentity
on each of us
Mii-dentity recognizes that a multivrs resides in each of us
Our bodies are illumination
Mii-dentity is shining light on the multivrs within
What do I invest energy into
What do I illuminate, believe in, reflect, create

View the event here.

The Universe is Lit: A Bay Area Black and Brown Punk Fest:

TRACE: Wayfinding in Contemporary New Media Art” is currently on view at Pro Arts after a successful extended run at the Museum of Contemporary Art Salon in Belgrade, Serbia. The exhibition, which closes on August 31st, is a Provisional Art Spaces [PAS] production – curated by Dejan Grba (Serbia), Anna Novakov (USA) and Yvonne Senouf (Spain). Working in the United States, Asia and Europe, Provisional Art Spaces [PAS] offers an innovative model for contemporary art production that goes beyond the established art market and towards a more egalitarian embrace of viewers and audiences. [PAS] artist and organization co-founder, Ron Hutt, explains that “the physical space in which art objects exist is engulfed by globally connected digital space and they are both equally “real” and proper creative spaces for artists to explore and shape new experiences, cultural and personal meanings.”

TRACE features artists who draw inspiration from different forms of situational awareness, transforming them into complex new platforms for reflection and discourse: from apocalyptically-utopian social allegory (Yin-Ju Chen & James T. Hong, End Transmission), interplanetary spectacle of mortality (Badfaith VR, Orbital Vanitas) and critique of the online culture (Jonathan Harris & Greg Hochmuth, Network Effect), through indexing the creative process (Ron Hutt, Sort), monitoring the peer-to-peer file sharing (Nicolas Maigret & Brendan Howell, The Pirate Cinema) and compression of daily media consumption (Kelly Mark, REM), to automated supervision of everyday life (Julian Palacz, Surveillance Visualizations), narrative reconstruction of urban landscape (Alexander Schellow, Kifissos), generative mapping of satellite imagery (syntfarm, Formations), animating the imprecisions of global positioning system (Dejan Grba, Study 7/0) and Seth Myers + Sarah Stolar (Myers, Stolar Ribbons) a work that explores the displacement of time and space within the construction of an ethereal and psychological landscape.  Exemplifying a spectrum of artistic approaches to the idea of wayfinding, these projects are accessible although they emerge from layered poetic platforms, and they retain experimental freshness even though ensuing from rich repertoires of methodologies and techniques.

Kelly Mark’s work is presented within a mock living room complete with armchairs, a TV screen and lamp. Badfaith’s Orbital Vanitas, uses VR goggles, to transport the viewers into an imagined space. These pieces, and other works in the exhibition, allow the gallery visitors to migrate between an asteroid belt and a living room by simply moving a few feet.

As an association, [PAS] uses territorial entanglement and emerging technology as vehicles for migratory art practices. The show’s interactivity allows new viewers of digital art to feel comfortable: “we hope to have our audience stimulated to think about the digital media world that we all swim in now and how digital art is a valid expression of the human intellect, feelings and capacity for awareness,” says Novakov.

The show features Hutt’s SORT: 2018 v2, an inspired work that reveals the creative process of combining digital, visual and auditory files into a post-cinematic performance. The goal is to achieve a new digital indexicality – a time-based audio visual experience that employs amped up digital processes that trace the artist’s aesthetic choices. Hutt comments that “our future is already here and it outpaces our ability for a contemporaneous awareness of its impacts, short-term effects and long-range possibilities but we must try, artists must try, to get out in front of it, if only just enough to see where we are going.”

Together, the pieces in TRACE address the inundation of digital media we experience daily; while walking through a gallery, a viewer can consciously choose a path between scenes and worlds. We frequently send messages through digital media: can these virtual pathways also be considered migrations?


In Response to Our “Imagining Post-Capitalism Festival” (May 1-May 6th 2018), Sasha Leitmann has been kind enough to share her team’s upcoming feature documentary, “Socialism: An American Story” with Pro Arts.

Leading up to their film they are also putting out a few short animations about capitalism. They’ve just released the first one which is an attempt to historicize capitalism to reinforce that it is a mutable and constructed system. It lives here on Youtube, and here on Facebook, and there are two more to come.

About the movie:
Socialism: An American Story is a documentary highlighting the lives of contemporary Americans who have been radicalized by their experiences and are fighting to create a new power structure that puts people before profits.

The election of Donald Trump isn’t the only sign of America’s profound disillusionment with the neoliberal order. In 2016, over 13 million Americans cast their ballot for an avowed socialist in the Democratic primary; Bernie Sanders remains the most popular politician in the country. A poll conducted by Harvard University found that a majority of those under 30 prefer socialism to capitalism. Ideas that were toxic in American politics for much of the 20th Century as a result of the Cold War are now back in vogue, and for good reason.

Our current political economy seems to have no answers to the great challenges of our era – rising health care costs, immigration, climate change, mass incarceration, and the ever deepening crisis of economic inequality. Increasingly, Americans are asking, “How did we get here? And is there an alternative for America’s future?”

This film examines forgotten chapters of America’s past and the burgeoning movements of the present to tell the uncensored story of socialism in America and its potential to fulfill the nation’s democratic promise.

We are currently in production and so far have filmed with Lee Carter, the democratic socialist who was recently elected to the state assembly in Virginia, Kshama Sawant, a socialist in Seattle’s city council, Stephanie, an Oklahoma teacher on strike, the popular podcasters of Chapo Traphouse, and experts like historian Eric Foner and journalist John Nichols. This character-driven piece will be supported by archival footage and images to illustrate America’s socialist past, and animations to illustrate the potential future of socialism in our country.

About the team:
We are 3 friends, a filmmaker, an actor and a journalist brought together by a shared interest in alternatives to capitalism. Here’s a bit more on each of us!

Yael Bridge is an award-winning documentary filmmaker. She recently produced Saving Capitalism, a documentary feature starring renowned political thinker Robert Reich, which premiered as a Netflix Original in Fall 2017. As Director of Productions at Inequality Media, she made numerous viral videos that tackled complex political issues and gained over 150 million views on social media in 2017 alone. She holds an MFA in Documentary Film and Video from Stanford University and an MA in Media Studies from the New School.

Bhaskar Sunkara is the founding editor and publisher of Jacobin magazine, which reaches over 30,000 in print and a million online every month. He is also the publisher of Catalyst: A Journal of Theory and Strategy and the editor of The ABCs of Socialism (Verso, 2016), among other titles. His book Socialism In Our Time is forthcoming from Basic Books. Sunkara lives in New York City.

Morgan Spector is a NYC based actor and producer. He currently stars opposite Claire Danes as a series regular on Homeland. He is a graduate of Reed College and the American Conservatory Theatre M.F.A. program.

Twitter: @socialismmovie
Facebook: www.facebook.com/socialismmovie
Website/Kickstarter: www.socialismmovie.com

In order to imagine Post-Capitalism, we had to come to terms with the demise of Capitalism. Perhaps, even more than our parents, Capitalism has shaped our psyches and our memories. Thus, we came together, to share our memories, both fond and traumatic, of this economic system that has contributed so much to our lived experiences.

We gathered on the grass of Oscar Grant/Frank Ogawa Plaza with food and beverages to share in a non-transactional way, and collectively reminisce about Capitalism. There was an open floor (well, literally, lawn) for those to share memories and stories of Capitalism, which had been such a significant presence in all our lives. What better way to come to terms with the demise of something so significant than in the company of others?

And in order to pay proper tribute to Capitalism, you were encouraged to bring souvenirs, mementos, and objects produced by the labor of exploited workers to send Capitalism on its way to it’s post-life. This event was concluded with a short funereal procession for Capitalism. 

Rethinking Economics and Embodying the Post-Capitalist Economy We Want Right Now

How could rethinking economics allow us to more clearly imagine a post-capitalist world? What would happen if we enlivened economics so that it wasn’t so mechanical, quantitative, and lifeless? What if we could see how we enact and perform diverse economies every day and begin to find more agency and choice in which economies we want to leave behind and which we want to embolden and bring more to life? What are each of our own unique contributions to a just transition? In this workshop, Della wove together poetry, practices, and collected wisdom to invite us to see the economy and our relationship to it with new eyes.

Della Duncan is an alternative economist, teacher, and broadcast journalist interested in returning the field of economics to the realm of moral philosophy. She produces the Upstream Podcast, teaches courses about rethinking economics, and serves as a mentor and consultant for those individuals, local governments, and organizations committed to freeing themselves from the chokehold of capitalism and transitioning to more beautiful, sustainable, and just alternatives.