We are pleased to announce that Counterforce Lab received a 2021 UCLA Transdisciplinary Acceleration Grant! In line with Counterforce Lab’s integrative and inclusive ecologically-minded mission, we will collaborate with UCLA professors and scholars Pamela Yeh (Dept. of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology), Elizabeth DeLoughrey (Dept. of English and Institute for the Environment and Sustainability), Julia Koerner (School of Arts and Architecture) to build our first Biophilia Treehouse in partnership with the Sisters of Social Service and Heart of Los Angeles. The Biophilia Treehouse is Counterforce Lab’s flagship project. It is a living sculpture and an avian sanctuary that supports and fosters L.A.’s rich birdlife, hosts outdoor classrooms, and promotes community storytelling. With our multifaceted project, we aim to honor local wildlife and address legacies of environmental injustices in LA County.

  • What Peter Lunenfeld’s Reading

    Peter Lunenfeld joins critic Howard Rheingold, historian Carla Nappi, and writer/DJ John Morrison (among other luminaries) as a contributor to Roy Christopher’s annual Summer Reading List.


    JUNE 26 - AUGUST 7, 2021

    Ochi Projects is pleased to announce Rakeem Cunningham: Hero, the artist’s first solo exhibition with the gallery to be presented from June 26 through August 7, 2021. An artist’s reception will be held on Saturday, June 26th, from 4:00 to 7:00 pm. Hero features new photographs and a large-scale installation by Rakeem Cunningham that portray the artist and his abundant selves as he plays and poses alone in the studio informed and surrounded by a multiverse of niche subcultures. Each portrait is a declaration of subjectivity and existence—proof of self-validation and an ongoing healing journey that expands upon an outdated definition of hero. Triggered by the designation of essential workers as heroes while being treated as disposable this past year, Cunningham paused to reflect upon his relationship to this loaded word. As a queer youth of color, he idolized heroes that didn’t look like him. Lazy metaphors—green or purple villains dressed in evil black—reinforced false dichotomies and ultimately white supremacy. Dressed and undressed in polyester superhero costumes, leotards, kimonos, wigs, and other items, Cunningham stages himself within unpretentious arrangements of draped fabrics, cast off foam, salvaged classroom materials, acetates, bubble wrap, fake grass, painted wood, and painters tape—a vernacular aesthetics of the San Fernando Valley that is both spontaneous and optimistic. Contrapposto while gazing into the distance or balancing while gracefully drawing an oversized weapon-sculpture—Cunningham appropriates poses from a cascade of emotionally charged scenes sourced from manga, anime, and video games with ecstatic flourishes inspired by the unrehearsed choreography of church-goers as they “catch the holy ghost.” These reperformances are akin to cosplay, a physical embodiment of fictional protagonists, or head-canon, a fan's personal, idiosyncratic interpretation of a fictional canon. With a myriad of references in tow, Cunningham charges into the potent realm of the imaginary—an inherently radical space that envisions alternative realities and better futures. Hero demonstrates that both play and healing test the boundaries of the self. Cunningham tirelessly becomes hero after hero after hero, though he sometimes wears his real glasses and iconic hair comb, notably in the work titled The Heroes Are Tired (2021). Cunningham wears a costume in which black lines draw exaggerated muscles onto our hero’s arms, which gently hold up the heavy head of a resting warrior—definitions will always be open to interpretation, but ultimately a Hero is determined by action.

    Rakeem Cunningham (b. 1992) is a multimedia artist and photographer based in Los Angeles, California. Cunningham's work explores the multivalence of queer black experience and radical self-acceptance through photography, collage, installation, and video works. Cunningham incorporates imagery and pathos from manga, anime, comics, video games, pop culture, and fashion sourced from his ever-growing personal archive into his self-portrait studio-based practice, in an attempt to identify and subvert tropes and stereotypes of blackness in media. Cunningham received his BFA from the UCLA Design Media Arts department, is a member of Monte Vista Projects, and is represented by Ochi Projects. Copyright Ochi Projects 2021

  • REBECA MENDEZ in: Mothers of Design: Radically imagining a world in which women take the lead

    Paula Scher, Gail Anderson, and Rebeca Méndez

    June 25th, 2021, 9:30 AM – 10:30 AM PDT

    The numbers say it all: 61% of designers are women, but only 29% of creative director positions are held by women. This month’s global theme, Matriarchy, invites us to radically imagine a world in which women take the lead. To envision what this could look like for the field of design, we turn to the collective wisdom of the “Mothers of Design”: Paula Scher, Gail Anderson, and Rebeca Méndez. The conversation will be guided by no other than Debbie Millman, the queen of design and branding herself. We want to hear from you about the questions you’d like to ask this powerful lineup.

  • [ALIEN] STAR DUST SIGNAL TO NOISE: Molecular Light for South America

    June 21, 9am - 9pm Every hour on the hour tune in from your timezone for a special guest introducing the meditation

    [Alien] refers to looking up into outer space for star dust but then turning our gaze back down to earth extending the idea that everything is interconnected, flowing, flying and mixing around our planet and beyond. All the molecules in our bodies originate with that residual stardust that finds its way into plants, and from there into the nutrients we need to survive. Analyses of the organic matter in meteorites can provide insights into the types of chemical reactions and organic compounds providing insights into the history of our planetary system and origins of life on Planet Earth.

    From the stars to our farmable lands and tables – having access to nutrients is crucial to survive. On June 21st, 2021 we invite all planetary beings, from quantum to macro scale entities that collaborate in our bodies’ temporary existence, to join this online meditation sending light and inviting to make donations to indigenous organizations in South America that help communities who are under threat during covid 19 pandemic to have voice and gain strength to fight for their rights.

  • ERKKI HUHTAMO to Speak at Gene Youngblood's Memorial

    Gene Youngblood, the legendary media critic and theorist, known for his classic book Expanded Cinema (1970), and his radical thinking about the communications revolution, the work of Kit Galloway and Sherrie Rabinowitz, etc, has passed away.

    Erkki Huhtamo is one of the stellar line up of international figures from the field of media arts and theory who will speak at "The Unfinished Communications Revolution: a Memorial Tribute to Gene Youngblood." The event will take place on Tuesday, June 15, 2021, starting at 1pm PDT. Erkki Huhtamo knew Youngblood for over 30 years and frequently communicated with him until his last few months.

    You can read Huhtamo's conversation with Youngblood (1990) here (see link):

    To register to Gene Youngblood's Memorial, please visit(see link):

  • DALENA TRAN'S Audiovisual Project w/ Ash Koosha

    June 4th

    Dalena Tran has premiered a new video work on AQNB, June 4, 2021 featuring music by Ash Koosha. "Enmeshed throughout ‘Incomplete’, bare constructions of animals and landscapes slowly glitch into loose configurations of human infrastructure as the video goes on with Koosha’s crooning overtones." Read the full feature here; View the project here
    Online @

  • DALENA TRAM and IMAN PERSON in STRP Festival 2021 - All of Us

    June 3rd-10th
    STRP Festival 2021 - All of Us
    • Dalena Tran and Iman Person in STRP Festival 2021 - All of Us

    Dalena Tran's "Acts in Translation" and Iman Person's "New Air" are both featured works at this year's STRP exhibition. "All of Us" contains the works of artists, designers, scientists, and technologists to consider alternative visions for the future and how to conceive of notions such as "the collective" in a world fragmented by social media networks and hyper individualist consumerism.

    Online @ STRP.NL

  • REFIK ANADOL- Sense of Space at the 17th Architecture Biennale in Venice

    REFIK ANADOL Sense of Space at the 17th Architecture Biennale in Venice

    May 22 - November 21, 2021

    Sense of Space at the 17th Architecture Biennale in Venice, Italy is a 3D visual demonstration of Refik Anadol Studio’s long-term research on human neural networks. For the main featured work titled Connectome Architecture, Refik Anadol Studio collaborated with Dr. Taylor Kuhn, coordinator of the Human Connectome Project (HCP) at UCLA, and developed a dynamic network at the intersection of neuroscience and design to study fundamental questions about the architecture of the human brain. Approximately 70 TB of MRI data was used to develop a brain sculpture that will continuously project the still-growing dataset of the study as a living artwork. The piece will also “sense” its surroundings in Venice for six months as the city’s environmental data will be transformed into mesmerizing visuals through machine learning algorithms real time.

    See more here:

  • JOHANNA DRUCKER Assembling/Resassmbling - Panel discussion

    June 24th 1 pm-3 pm

    Assembling/Resassmbling, Panel discussion with Tia Blassingame, Johanna Drucker, Alexandra Grant, Marcia Reed, and Susan Sironi

    Hosted by Now Be Here, with sponsorship from Scripps College, UCLA Center for the Study of Women, and X Artists’ Books

    Why books NOW? Are books symbolic objects? Have books created poliHcal change? What is it that makes arHsts’ book a unique /compelling art form? Can arHsts’ books advance social jusHce for women? This panel discussion will tackle the history and current state of independent press and self-publishing by women arHsts making books as an art form. This panel discussion focuses on book aestheHcs in the history and current state of independent press and self-publishing by women arHsts. Though increasingly acHve in California publishing over the last century, as in so many areas, women have not always been as visible as their con-tribuHons deserve. Showcasing a diverse range of women arHsts and curators, the panel ad-dress the ways in which women arHsts' publicaHons create a disHnct discourse, whether that arises from editorial ethics or curatorial decisions, feminist methods, specific topics and themes, or anHcipated audiences. Most importantly, the panel will call aUenHon to vibrant works of art being made in the book format designed to bring transformaHve points of view into published form.

    Please sign up at the link:

  • GOTTFRIED HAIDER - Vienna Biennale

    Gottfried Haider - Vienna Biennale

    May 28 through October 3, Vienna

    Gottfried Haider (DMA '13) is exhibiting "Amazon Air", a reconstruction of warehouse environments through air cushion analysis, at the "Climate Care" exhibition at the Museum for Applied Arts (MAK), as part of Vienna Biennale. The piece includes a new video made together with Matthew Doyle (DMA '17).

  • LESLIE FOSTER'S film, “Heavenly Brown Body” at the Hammer Museum

    Sunday, June 6th at 2pm PDT

    Student Film Showcase at the Hammer Museum

    Leslie Foster’s 4-channel experimental film “Heavenly Brown Body,” has been selected as a part of The Hammer Student Association’s online student film showcase. The showcase, juried by Made in L.A. 2020 artist Buck Ellison, features work by students from Los Angeles and elsewhere.

  • GELARE KHOSHGOZARAN - Exile Dreams and Anti-Fascist Cinema

    Exile Dreams and Anti-Fascist Cinema
    Via Zoom on June 1st & 2nd, 2021, 1:00 pm — 5:00 pm PST
    Register in advance below.

    The Institute of Arts & Humanities at UC San Diego is pleased to announce Exile Dreams and Anti-Fascist Cinema, a two-day forum contextualizing the political concerns and challenging conversations that underpin anti-fascism and its aesthetics as the tidal wave of totalitarian governance in many parts of the world remain a crisis. Featuring screenings of Yılmaz Güney and Dariush Mehrjui's films (based on stories by Gholam-Hossein Sa’edi), and panelists who will address histories of resistance through cinema, this event will reflect on postmodernism and the Cold War with a focus on the works of Sa'edi and Güney, and their never realized collaboration in exile in Paris.

    Guest Speakers:
    Misho Antadze, Filmmaker, Netherlands Film Institute
    Hazal Çorak, Anthropology, University of Chicago
    Kareem Estefan, Modern Culture and Media, Brown University
    Sara Mameni, Ethnic Studies, UC Berkeley
    Perwana Nazif, Comparative Literature, University of Southern California

    Hande Sever, Visual Arts, UC San Diego
    Gelare Khoshgozaran, Design Media Arts, UCLA

  • PINAR YOLDAS 'Hollow Ocean 2048' In Venice Architecture Biennale 2021

    Two San Diegans Show Work In Venice Architecture Biennale 2021

    Somebody beam us to Venice. Locals Pinar Yoldas and Daniel López-Pérez use immersive sculptural structures to answer the international biennale’s curatorial question: “How will we live together?”

    'Hollow Ocean 2048'
    For the "How will we live together?" theme, UC San Diego researcher, designer, artist and professor Pinar Yoldas said she thought more broadly than a human "we." Yoldas applied it to the marine ecosystem she saw in jeopardy of near-total collapse.

  • 070 Shake LIVE @ Royce Hall

    070 Shake LIVE @ Royce Hall (Virtual Performance & Exclusive Artist Q&A)

    This exclusive performance will be streaming Friday, May 28th at 6:30 PM followed by a live conversation with the artist. This event is only open to UCLA students. Stay tuned for opening acts and other updates on Instagram

    Virtual! Tickets available.

  • LAUREN LEE McCARTHY summer residency at Pioneer Works

    Pioneer Works encourages radical thinking as evidenced by providing an interdisciplinary cast of practitioners a free space to work, tools to create, and a platform to exchange ideas. Pioneer Works welcomes residents who work outside existing models and “norms” of their field and will benefit from our unique facilities and culture.

  • LAUREN LEE McCARTHY and Lecturer Claire Kearney-Volpe receive Teach Access Grant

    Lauren Lee McCarthy and Lecturer Claire Kearney-Volpe were selected as one of 15 awardees to receive a Teach Access Curriculum Development Grant to develop their course Design, Disability, and the Web to be taught in fall 2021. The grant will be used to develop modules, presentations, exercises, and curriculum enhancements that introduce the fundamental concepts and skills of accessible design and development.

  • THEO TRIANTAFYLLIDIS - Radicalization Pipeline

    Radicalization Pipeline
    Solo Exhibition at NOVO, Milano, IT
    Opens June 3rd

    Radicalization Pipeline, Theo's solo exhibition of ceramic weapons and software, is the inaugural show of NOVO, the new location of Eduardo Secci’s project space in Milan. The exhibition opens on Thursday, June 3, 11:00 am - 9:00 pm. On view through September 25, 2021.

    For this new body of work, Theo Triantafyllidis draws inspiration from video games and recent events of civil disorder in the US. Looking at phenomena such as the rise of QAnon, the artist suggests connections between gamification, fantasy, and political radicalization. The gallery space brings together a series of ceramic weapons. These dark glazed stoneware works are adorned with decorative details like tennis overgrip tapes, hair extensions, and laser-cut acrylics. With titles such as Chadslayer, Snowflake and, Stormbringer, they are reminiscent of the exaggerated forms often seen in video games and extremist ideologies which the internet culture has accelerated.
    More Info in the press kit below

  • Teledildonics: Hacker Culture and the Future of Sex with Teddy Pozo

    WEDNESDAY May 19, 12:15 - 1:15 pm PST

    Teledildonics: Hacker Culture and the Future of Sex with Teddy Pozo

    Teledildonics: Hacker Culture and the Future of Sex
    When Howard Rheingold coined the portmanteau teledildonics from "telepresence" and "psycho-acoustic dildonics," he intended only to start a speculative conversation about sexuality in new virtual communities such as the Whole Earth 'Lectronic Link or WELL, where he posted about the idea for the first time in 1989. Instead, the humorous term for the future of networked sexuality proved highly spreadable beyond its initial context, inspiring fiction, parody, and industry across pornography, adult novelty, film, television, and video games from the 90s to the current day. Yet the future signified by teledildonics has shifted over time from a capacious imaginary of fluid and transforming bodies and sexual experiences to a more heteronormative, couples-oriented adult novelty category. By focusing on "hacker teledildonics"-- artistic experiments with the form by independent technologists, often in conversation with video game design-- this lecture tries to re-align teledildonics with its pornographic and humorous roots, as one mode of challenging the increasingly sex-negative and sex-worker-exclusionary culture of the games industry and the online social world.

  • RAYMUNDO T. REYNOSO - L.A. Graffiti Black Book

    L.A. Graffiti Black Book, Getty Publications Getty Research Institute

    This collection of unique works by 151 Los Angeles graffiti and tattoo artists represents an unprecedented collaboration across the city’s diverse artistic landscape.

    Many graffiti artists carry sketchbooks, called black books, and they ask crew members and others whose work they admire to inscribe their books with lettering or drawings. A few years ago, the Getty Research Institute invited artists, including Angst, Axis, Big Sleeps, Chaz, Cre8, Defer, EyeOne, Fishe, Heaven, Hyde, Look, ManOne, and Prime, to consider the idea of a citywide graffiti black book. During visits to the Getty Center, the artists viewed rare books related to calligraphy and letterforms, including works by Albrecht Dürer and Leonardo da Vinci. The artists instantly recognized the connections to their own practices and were particularly drawn to a liber amicorum (book of friends), a form of autograph book popular in the seventeenth century.
    Passed from hand to hand, it was filled with signatures, poetry, and coats of arms, like a black book from another era.

    Release date: May 2021
    Raymundo T. Reynoso / MFA D|MA 2001
    (aka Eyeone)

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