Meet the Makers

Red Bull Arts New York is pleased to present a series of artist talks, film screenings, live performances, and tours that address and respond to critical themes within Gretchen Bender: So Much Deathless.

Programming is free and open to the public. Seating for all events is limited, RSVP is required.

Meet the Makers is a program of artists talks and performative lectures based on a series that originated at The New York Public Library, which will take place select Thursdays at 7PM. Meet the Makers brings together today’s media makers, theorists, scholars, and artists to promote visual arts literacy and explore the ways we engage with emergent media and new technologies.

Originally presented at the Donnell Library Center on 53rd Street, the series invited contemporary artists, media activists, and film organizers, including Video Data Bank, Tony Oursler, Antoni Muntadas, XCHANGE TV, Paper Tiger Television, Carolee Schneemann, Shigeko Kubota, Dara Birnbaum, and Gretchen Bender to screen and discuss their work. Coinciding with her Meet the Makers talk in 1990, Bender became the first artist commissioned to present her work, TV Text and Image, in the street-facing windows of the Donnell Library Center.

On the occasion of Gretchen Bender: So Much Deathless, Red Bull Arts New York is thrilled to be working with NYPL to reprise this groundbreaking platform, celebrating the Reserve Film and Video Collection’s  rich history of media arts education and connecting Bender with our current community of media makers. Retaining the integrity of the original series, Meet the Makers provides a nourishing platform of exchange for the community of progressive, emergent image makers based in New York and abroad. Among the eclectic participants are cyberpunk artist Shu Lea Cheang, outsider librarian Rick Prelinger, and the enfant terribles of Net Art, Eva and Franco Mattes.

“If we are going to encourage a more literate, critical thinking, civic-minded society, then we need provocateurs.  We need materials that radically diverge from convention and conformity. Gretchen Bender and the Red Bull Arts network of artists do just that, says Elena Rossi-Snook, Collection Manager of the Reserve Film and Video Collection.  Revitalizing the Meet the Makers series is a way to mutually meet the goals of the public library using the best cultural tools available.”

Meet the Makers is a collaboration with the Reserve Film and Video Collection of The New York Public Library for the Performing Arts. Visitors will be able to register for NYPL library cards during select events. Talks and presentations will be followed by communal discussion.


Eva & Franco Mattes
Thursday, March 7

Eva and Franco Mattes (1976) are an artist duo originally from Italy, living in New York. They have continually made work that responds to and dissects the contemporary networked condition, always approaching the ethics and politics of life online with a darkly humorous edge.

This talk contains graphic content, viewer discretion is advised. Visitors under the age of 18 must be accompanied by a parent or guardian.

Dr. Pamela M. Lee
Thursday, March 28

Pamela M. Lee teaches the history, theory and criticism of late modernism and contemporary art with research interests in the relationship between aesthetics, politics, time and system. Her courses include lectures and seminars on Abstract Expressionism; the art of the 1960s; contemporary art and globalization; intergenerational and intersectional feminism; methods and historiography; art and technology; modernism and war; and media cultures of the Cold War.

Solveig Nelson
Thursday, April 11

Solveig Nelson is an art critic and art historian who recently completed her dissertation, The Whole World is (Still) Watching: the Televisual, Early Video, Nonviolent Direct Action, 1930s–1970s, at the University of Chicago. She is currently the Andrew W. Mellon Postdoctoral Curatorial Fellow in Time-Based Media at the Art Institute of Chicago, where she is co-curating the Chicago presentation of the retrospective, Gregg Bordowitz: I Wanna Be Well. Nelson is recipient of a Creative Capital Warhol Foundation Arts Writers Grant for the in-progress essay, “Gretchen Bender’s Total Recall, 1987 and the Feminist Return of Television Art,” as well as fellowships from the Luce/ACLS and the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Meriem Bennani
Thursday, April 25

Meriem Bennani  (b. 1988 in Rabat, Morocco) lives and works in Brooklyn, New York. Juxtaposing and mixing the language of reality TV, documentaries, phone footage, animation, and high production aesthetics, she explores the potential of storytelling while amplifying reality through a strategy of magical realism and humour. She has been developing a shape-shifting practice of films, installations and immersive environments, composed with a subtle agility to question our contemporary society and its
fractured identities, gender issues and ubiquitous dominance of digital technologies. Bennani’s work has been shown at MoMA PS1, Art Dubai, the Shanghai Biennale, The Jewish Museum and The Kitchen in New York.

Thursday, May 16

Jlin is one of the most prominent female producers of the current generation. She grew up in Gary, Indiana, just 20 miles from downtown Chicago. Though previously using samples in her work, she now refuses to, and her tracks are composed of all original material.

Thursday, May 23

For nearly a decade, DIS has continuously embraced, engaged, and reinvented important new platforms for the production, dissemination, and discussion of contemporary culture. In 2018, DIS morphed into a radical streaming platform for entertainment and education——producing and publishing original series and docs by leading artists and thinkers about issues critical to us.

Rick Prelinger
Thursday, July 18

Rick Prelinger is an archivist, writer, filmmaker and educator. His collection of 60,000 ephemeral films was acquired by Library of Congress in 2002. Beginning in 2000, he partnered with Internet Archive to make a subset of the Prelinger Collection (now 7,000 films) available online for free viewing, downloading and reuse. His archival feature Panorama Ephemera (2004) played in venues around the world, and his feature project No More Road Trips? received a Creative Capital grant in 2012. His 25 Lost Landscapes participatory urban history projects have played to over thirty thousand of viewers in San Francisco, Detroit, Oakland, Los Angeles, New York and elsewhere. He is a board member of Internet Archive and frequently writes and speaks on the future and politics of archives and archival access. He is currently Professor of Film & Digital Media at University of California, Santa Cruz.

Shu Lea Cheang
Thursday, July 25

Shu Lea Cheang is an artist and filmmaker working with various art mediums and film formats, including installation, performance, net art, public art, video installation, feature length film and mobile web serial. Her artistic pursuits demonstrates an imagination and desire to cross the boundaries of society, geography, politics, and economic structure, thus redefining genders, roles, mechanisms, etc. As a net art pioneer, her BRANDON (1998-1999) was the first web art commissioned and collected by the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York.  Her network installations, including Bowling Alley (1995, Walker Art Center, USA), Baby Love (2015, Palais de Tokyo, Paris), often employ electronic interactive devices to construct open networks that permit public participation. Her multi-player participatory networked performance, including Moving Forest (2008, transmediale, Berlin), UKI (2009-2016) with transgressive plots are realized in collective impromptu mode. She drafts sci-fi narratives in her film scenario and artwork imagination, crafting her own “science” fiction genre of new queer cinema, terming them eco-cybernoia (FRESH KILL, 1994), scifi cyberpunk (I.K.U., 2000), scifi cypherpunk (Fluidø, 2017). From homesteading cyberspace in the 90s to her current retreat to post-netcrash BioNet zone, Cheang takes on viral love, bio hack in her current cycle of works.  This year, she is representing Taiwan with a solo exhibition 3x3x6 at Venice Biennale 2019.

Meet the Makers Red Bull Arts New York