Everyone is Hypnotized: Artists Dérive the Bay Area, is a group exhibition of works by 11 Bay Area artists that draw from the experience of wandering about the Bay Area’s rich and varied landscapes. This exhibition was curated by the Oakland-based team Gipe + Tell as part of Pro Arts’ Curators in Residence program. Exhibiting artists include Sebastian Alvarez, Brian Dean, Joanne Easton, Marshall Elliott, Jon Gourley, Jon Kuzmich, Leora Lutz, Andréanne Michon, Maria Porges, Michal Wisniowski and Minoosh Zomorodinia.

The exhibition is inspired by Guy Debord’s “Theory of the Dérive,” a dérive being an unplanned journey in which participants ‘let themselves be drawn by the attractions of the terrain and the encounters they find there.’ Curators, Gipe + Tell began with the question, “What steps can artists take to engage in intellectual investigation, creative growth, and critical interrogation while navigating the urban environment?” They asked the artists to engage in dérive as a template for exploration, with the artwork being a visual manifestation of their experience. The resulting artwork highlights the possibility for engagement, detachment or both.


Born and raised in Lima, Peru, Sebastian Alvarez is a Bay Area-based trans-disciplinary artist. His personal practice and collaborative projects highlight the interrelation of disparate infrastructures and the uncanniness of human-made systems. Alvarez’s research-based work manifests in the form of still and moving allegorical images, video, infographics, performative lectures, sonic compositions, and walks. He is a member of an artist collective facilitating workshops and performances at San Quentin State Prison that collaborates with incarcerated artists to explore their own personal journeys, as well as systemic issues of inequality, violence, and incarceration. Alvarez is currently part of a sci-fi documentary film and transmedia project about the imaginative and material processes of building transcendent, utopian communities in Brasília, Brazil. He has performed, curated, and presented work internationally at such venues and institutions as Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, Museum of Contemporary Art (Chicago), Hyde Park Art Center, Chicago Cultural Center, Whitney Biennial (NYC), Postgarage (Graz, Austria), Townhouse Gallery (Cairo, Egypt), the École Nationale Supérieure d’Art Bourges (Bourges, France), and Wiener Festwochen (Vienna, Austria).

Brian Dean received his MFA in Photography from SFAI and his BFA in Photography from Bard College. He has studied under such renowned photographers as Stephen Shore, Larry Fink, and Linda Connor. He has exhibited photographs locally in SOMArts and the Berkeley Art Center and in numerous galleries on the East Coast. He has also won several awards, including being chosen as a finalist for the INTRODUCING! Young California Photographer Award by Paris Photo, Los Angeles; the Murphy and Cadogan Contemporary Art Award; and the Paul Sack Building Competition. Dean is currently a freelance photographer in San Francisco.

Joanne Easton is an artist, designer and educator. Using a variety of materials and sites, Easton’s work appears straightforward but responds and invites contemplation with perception and phenomenology. Through the use of sculpture, photography, drawing, and installation, Easton creates works that explore how meaning is made, resources are used and value allocated. She is currently an Artist in Residence at Kala Art Institute in Berkeley, CA. Easton received her MFA from the San Francisco Art Institute and an MAAE from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Easton’s thesis focused on doubt and imagination in first-year art-school critiques. Her research was presented at the National Art Education Association Convention in New York.

Oakland-based artist, Marshall Elliott’s work is what he calls “site-responsive,” which emphasizes the role that the site plays on the creative act be it sculpture or conceptual art. His way of making springs from observation, study, or encounter with the history of place as a starting point for work. With a background is in Film Studies and English Literature, Marshall Elliott received his MFA from the San Francisco Art Institute in 2014 and exhibited his MFA thesis work in the exhibition “Principal” at The Old Mint in San Francisco. He has shown his work in Colorado and Oregon as well as in the Bay-Area at venues such as Root Division and Incline Gallery and received the San Francisco Art Institute’s prestigious 2014 Anne Bremer Memorial Prize and Outstanding Graduate Student Award. More recently, he completed an artist residency at Art Farm in Marquette, NE, participated in the Marin Headlands Center for the Arts “(Im)Materiel” in Sausalito, CA and exhibited his work at City Limits Gallery in Oakland, CA. Marshall has completed artist residencies at Art Farm in Marquette, NE and at the Headlands Center for the Arts in Marin, CA. He will be an upcoming resident in the Artist Studio Resident Program at the deYoung Museum in San Francisco.

Jon Gourley is a San Francisco based artist who makes work about modes and failures of communication. He received a MFA from the San Francisco Art Institute in 2012 and a BA Studio Art & Biochemistry and BS in Chemistry from the University of Iowa. He was also a Root Division resident artist for the past two years.

Jon Kuzmich creates labor and process-intensive visual systems that involve the conceptually driven organization of small, synthetic units into large and complex systems. His work is often inspired by the fact that our perception as human beings is altered and distorted by our belief in systems that we create (religious, economic, scientific, etc.). By virtue of this distortion, systems change our relationship to the world, manipulate our understanding of reality and influence our relationship to the cosmos. In essence, our belief systems keep us confined within a synthetic, human-created world.

Leora Lutz’s personal ideology stems from the fruition of DIY, punk rock reasoning and a life-long practice with the handmade—continually supporting the active roles that art and writing both play in shaping history and impacting peoples’ lives. Her hybrid creative professional background includes over 10 years’ experience in art education programming, spearheading events, and writing for museums, galleries and independent art projects including the Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles, Riverside Art Museum and the LA Department of Cultural Affairs to name a few. Since 2011 she has worked at CCA as an educator and Writing Consultant where she counsels students on Visual Thinking Strategies, Critical Thinking and English. She has also taught participatory, conceptual studio classes at City College of San Francisco.

Andréanne Michon received a BFA, with distinction, from Concordia University (Montreal, Canada) with a major in photography in 2010 and she completed a MFA at the San Francisco Art Institute in 2013. She has participated in numerous solo and group exhibitions. Michon’s work has been selected in national and international juried group shows by important photography curators at major museums: – Jennifer Blessing, the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum; Anne Lyden, then at the J. Paul Getty Museum; Julian Cox, the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco; Sandra Phillips, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA); Drew Johnson, the Oakland Museum of California, and Britt Salvesen, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA). Amongst other works, her Winter Solstice piece was shown in a solo exhibition at La Bande Vidéo in Quebec City and her Finite Ecosystems foldbook at the Art Book Show of 2016 at Bass & Reiner Gallery, in San Francisco.

Maria Porges is an artist and writer whose work has been exhibited widely in solo and group exhibitions since the late eighties. She received a SECA award from the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art and has twice been in residence at the Headlands Center for the Arts. A finalist for the Creative Capital/Warhol Foundation Art Writer’s Grant in 2014,  her critical writing has appeared in many publications, including Artforum, Art in America, Sculpture, American Ceramics, Glass, the New York Times Book Review, and a host of other now-defunct art magazines. She has also authored essays for nearly 100 exhibition catalogues and dozens of scripts for museum audio tours. Porges is an Associate Professor at California College of the Arts.

Michal Wisniowski creates installations that depend on collected found objects, crowdsourced images, and interaction with the public. These often generative projects grow with time and require continuous input, resulting in performative acts as part of the work.As a Polish artist whose formative years were divided between communist Poland, refugee camps in Denmark, and post-unification Germany, the intersections of economic and political structures are integral to Wisniowski’s practice. His work seeks out personal agency and alternatives to established narratives within the small resistances of everyday efforts. By using common materials and household objects Wisniowski creates provisional environments that are critical and nostalgic, presenting possibilities for productive survival strategies.

Minoosh Zomorodinia is an Iranian photographer, visual, performance, and video artist. She received an MFA in New Genres from SFAI, and a BA in Photography and an MA in Graphic Design from the Art and Architecture University in Tehran, Iran. She is a member of the environmental artists group Open Five in Iran (view her contribution at 5baz.com), and is a board member of the Women Environmental Artists Directory. Her work has been exhibited locally and internationally at venues including the Museum of Contemporary Art Isfahan in Iran, Pori Art Museum in Finland, Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, Marin Community Foundation, and the Nevada Art Museum.


Gipe+Tell maintain an interdisciplinary practice based in the Bay Area, exhibiting as an art team and curating group exhibitions. Since 2013, they have curated three exhibitions, including “The Known Universe” (March 2015), which was the recipient of the Curatorial Proposal Grant at Root Division, San Francisco, CA. They have also exhibited their own work, an installation called “Is This Normal?” at InSpace Curatorial in the Felt Factory (curated by Hanna Regev); and in “Some Men”, a collaborative installation at t moro projects, Santa Clara, CA.

Larry Gipe’s activist art project is currently featured on PBS online, HERE.

Gipe + Tell’s Studio Lab Curatorial Residency is made possible, in part, through the support of the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA).  Everyone is Hypnotized: Artists Dérive the Bay Area exhibition and related public programs are supported by a generous grant from the Zellberbach Family Foundation. 



Opening Reception: Friday, May 5, 6:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.

6:15 – 7:00 pm: Performance by NOW THE CHANGES 

NOW THE CHANGES is an East Bay-based activist rock band, who combine post-punk dynamism with avant-garde experimentalism. Their songs aim for clarity of vision and intention in response to the urgency of our political moment. NOW THE CHANGES are Daniel Larlham (voice), Anton Patzner (keys, guitar), Aaron Schiller (lead guitar), Eyal Gurion (drums), and Joseph Wharton (bass). They will release their debut EP in May of 2017.

During the opening reception, they will perform material from their upcoming EP release. With driving energy, angular songwriting, and hard-hitting lyrics, these songs approach the political through the psychological, the systemic via the individual. “Revolutions, whether in art or society, are about emotion. These moments engender not simply new ideas but new feelings about established power and human possibilities” (Chris Hedges, Wages of Rebellion). Bring on the change.

7:15 – 7:45 pm: Performance by Minoosh Zomorodinia

Minoosh Zomorodinia is an Iranian photographer, visual, performance, and video artist. She received an MFA in New Genres from SFAI, and a BA in Photography and an MA in Graphic Design from the Art and Architecture University in Tehran, Iran. She is a member of the environmental artists group Open Five in Iran (view her contribution at 5baz.com), and is a board member of the Women Environmental Artists Directory. Her work has been exhibited locally and internationally at venues including the Museum of Contemporary Art Isfahan in Iran, Pori Art Museum in Finland, Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, Marin Community Foundation, and the Nevada Art Museum.

Closing Reception: Friday, May 26, 6:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.

Join us for a two-part closing event of Everyone is Hypnotized. This culminating program will include a brief talk by curator, Larry Gipe, as well as a guide walking performance by Sebastian Alvarez.

6:00pm: The Impossible Exhibition – A talk on the basics of Situationism and the “improbability” of the current exhibition “Everyone is Hypnotized” with curator, Lawrence Gipe.

7:00pm: DOA [Downtown Oakland Ambulation] – A guided walk and performance by Sebastian Alvarez. Registration is required. More Information, HERE.