Nato Thompson

Nato Thompson is an author, curator, and what he describes as “cultural infrastructure builder”. He has worked as Artistic Director at Philadelphia Contemporary, and Creative Time as Artistic Director and as Curator at MASS MoCA.

Thompson organized major Creative Time projects including The Creative Time Summit (2009–2015), Pedro Reyes’ Doomocracy (2016), Kara Walker’s A Subtlety (2014), Living as Form (2011), Trevor Paglen’s The Last Pictures (2012), Paul Ramírez Jonas’s Key to the City (2010), Jeremy Deller’s It is What it is (2009, with New Museum curators Laura Hoptman and Amy Mackie), Democracy in America: The National Campaign (2008), and Paul Chan’s Waiting for Godot in New Orleans (2007), among others.

He has written two books of cultural criticism, Seeing Power: Art and Activism in the 21st Century (2015) and Culture as Weapon: The Art of Influence in Everyday Life (2017). He founded the Alternative Art School in 2020. 

Mario Ybarra Jr.

Mario Ybarra Jr. (1973), a Mexican-American conceptual artist, was born and raised in Los Angeles. His artwork operates as examinations of excluded social norms, often examining complete environments, histories, and narratives. He received an MFA from the University of California Irvine and a BFA from Otis College of Art and Design. He has been featured in many local, national, and international exhibitions/fairs including the 2008 Whitney Biennial, the Tate Museum in London, at the Orange County Museum of Art, Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego, MOCA Los Angeles, MOCA Detroit, the ICA Boston, Museo De Cervantez Spain, ARCO Fair 2011 and 2013, LACMA, the Art Institute of Chicago, among others. In 2002, in partnership with his wife Karla Diaz, he co-founded Slanguage (an artist-run space/collective in Los Angeles that hosted art exhibitions, residencies, and programming for youth and adults). He has been featured as a speaker in many national and international venues including most notably at the Creative Summit in New York, and Art Pace San Antonio.

Zoe Butt

Zoe Butt is a curator and writer based in Vietnam. Her curatorial practice centers on building critically thinking and historically conscious artistic communities, fostering dialogue among countries of the global south.

She is currently Artistic Director of the Factory Contemporary Arts Centre, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam’s first purpose-built space for contemporary art. She formerly served as Executive Director and Curator, Sàn Art, an independent contemporary art space in Ho Chi Minh City (2009–2016); Director, International Programs, Long March Project, Beijing (2007–2009) and Assistant Curator, Contemporary Asian Art, Queensland Art Gallery, Brisbane, Australia (2001–2007).

Her work has been published by Hatje Cantz, Berlin; ArtReview, London/Hong Kong; ArtAsiaPacific, Hong Kong; Independent Curators International, New York; Lalit Kala Akademi, New Delhi; Artlink, Fullarton, Australia; Printed Project, Dublin, JRP-Ringier, Zurich; Routledge, London and Sternberg Press, Berlin, among others. She is also a member of the Asian Art Council for the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York and in 2015 was named a Young Global Leader of the World Economic Forum.

Her curatorial projects include interdisciplinary dialogue platforms such as Conscious Realities (2013–2016), the online exhibition Embedded South(s) (2016), and group exhibitions of Vietnamese and international artists at various venues, such as the Factory Contemporary Arts Centre and Sàn Art, Ho Chi Minh City; Carré d’Art–Musée d’art Contemporain, Nîmes, France; Kadist Art Foundation, San Francisco and Sherman Contemporary Art Foundation, Paddington, Australia. Among her recent exhibitions are Spirit of Friendship and Poetic Amnesia: Phan Thao Nguyen, The Factory, Ho Chi Minh City, (2017); Dislocate: Bui Cong Khanh, The Factory, Ho Chi Minh City (2016) and Conjuring Capital, Sàn Art, Ho Chi Minh City (2015).

ArtLab

Amber Imrie is a queer artist, art educator, and founding team member of The Alternative Art School. She received her BA from UC Berkeley and MFA from Stanford University. She’s been the recipient of many awards, fellowships, and residencies including the Murphy Cadogan Award and Anita Squires Fowler Award in Photography. Amber Founded and was editor-in-chief of the art magazine, Venison Magazine from 2014-2017, ran a pop-up art residency, Camp Venison in 2015, and has facilitated critique sessions in and outside formal education. Imrie has taught at a variety of institutions, including UC Berkeley and Stanford University. Since 2020 Amber has worked alongside Nato Thompson building the Alternative Art School. Imrie lives in Åland Islands, Finland, and is developing a new body of artworks centered on queering rural America.

Janine Antoni

Janine Antoni is a visual artist who was born in Freeport, Bahamas in 1964. She received a BA from Sarah Lawrence College and an MFA from the Rhode Island School of Design. Antoni has been featured in numerous international biennials including documenta14, the Venice Biennale, the Whitney Biennial, the Johannesburg Biennial, the Istanbul Biennial, the Kwangju Biennial, the Prospect.1 Biennial in New Orleans and the SITE Santa Fe Biennial. Antoni is the recipient of several prestigious awards, including a MacArthur Fellowship (1998), John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation Award (2011), Creative Capital Grant (2012), and Anonymous Was A Woman Award (2014).

Her most recent major exhibition, I am fertile ground, was presented at The Green-Wood Cemetery, in Brooklyn, NY in 2019. Antoni currently resides in New York and is represented by Luhring Augustine Gallery, New York, and Anthony Meier Fine Arts, San Francisco.

Janine Antoni is known for her unusual processes. Her body is both her tool for making and the source from which her meaning arises. Antoni’s early work transformed materials like chocolate and soap and used everyday activities like bathing, eating, and sleeping as sculptural processes. She carefully articulates her relationship to the world, giving rise to emotional states that are felt in and through the senses. In each piece, no matter the medium or image, a conveyed physicality speaks directly to the viewer’s body.

Pier Luigi Sacco

Pier Luigi Sacco, Ph.D., is Senior Advisor to the OECD Center for Entrepreneurship, SMEs, Regions, and Cities, Associate Researcher at CNR-ISPC Naples, and Professor of Economic Policy at the University of Chieti-Pescara. He is also a Senior Researcher at the Harvard metaLAB and at the Bruno Kessler Foundation in Trento. He has been Visiting Professor and Visiting Scholar at Harvard University and Faculty Associate at the Berkman-Klein Center for Internet and Society at Harvard University. He has also been Special Adviser of the EU Commissioner to Education, Culture, Youth, and Sport. He regularly gives courses and invited lectures in major universities worldwide, and has published about 220 papers in international peer-reviewed journals and edited books with major international publishers. He works and consults internationally in cultural planning, community-based projects, and culture-led local and national development strategies, and is often invited as the keynote speaker for major cultural policy conferences worldwide.

Marinella Senatore

Marinella Senatore

(Italy, 1977). Trained in music, fine arts, and film, her practice is characterized by public participation, initiating a dialogue between history, culture, and social structures. Rethinking the role of the artist as author and the public as recipient, Senatore’s work merges forms of protest, learning theatre, oral histories, vernacular forms, protest dance and music, public ceremonies, civil rituals, and mass events, reflecting on the political nature of collective formations and their impact on the social history of places and communities. 

Her work has been exhibited widely throughout Italy and abroad, including: Bienal of Sao Paulo ; Manifesta 12; Centre Pompidou; Kunsthaus Zurich; MAXXI Museum; Castello di Rivoli; Palais de Tokyo; Schirn Kunsthalle; Museum of Contemporary Art of Chicago; High Line, NY; Berlinische Galerie; Kunsthalle Sankt Gallen; Faena Art Forum; Bozar, BXL; Queens Museum; Petach Tikva Museum; Sandretto Re Rebau- dengo Foundation; Serpentine Gallery; CCA Tel Aviv; Madre Museum; Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal; ICA, Richmond; BAK Utrecht; Centro de Arte Dos de Mayo; Palazzo Grassi; Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen; Moderna Museet; UABB Bi Shenzhen; Biennale de Lyon; Thessaloniki Biennale; Liverpool Biennale; Athens Biennale; Havana Biennale; Göteborg Biennial; Bienal de Cuenca; 54th Venice Biennale «ILLUMinations».

Senatore is the winner of the 4th and 7th editions of Italian Council; The Evelyn Award at York Museum, UK and the Art Grant from The Foundation of Arts and Music for Dresden, Germany in 2017; The MAXXI Prize and AMACI (Association of Italian Museums of Contemporary Art) Prize in 2014; Castello di Rivoli Fellowship in 2013; The American Academy in Rome Fellowship, Gotham Prize and 23rd M.Bellisario Prize in 2012; The New York Prize and Terna Prize in 2010; The Dena Foundation Fellowship in 2009.

In addition to teaching at various universities, the artist regularly lectures at international institutions such as Goldsmiths, London; ICA-Institute of Contemporary Arts, London; Foundation d’Entreprise Ricard, Paris; NYU, Berlin; Academy of Fine Art, Naples ERG, Brussels; University of Madrid; University of Granada; University of Turin; Beursschouwbug, Brussels; Academy of Fine Arts, Mechelen; New Academy of Fine Arts, Milan; IUAV, Venice; Hochschule für Gestaltung, Frankfurt am Main.

Cassils

Cassils is a transgender artist who makes their own body the material and protagonist of their performances. Cassils’s art contemplates the history(s) of LGBTQI+ violence, representation, struggle, and survival.

For Cassils, performance is a form of social sculpture; drawing from the idea that bodies are formed in relation to forces of power and social expectations, Cassils’s work investigates historical contexts to examine the present moment.

Cassils has had recent solo exhibitions at Ronald Feldman Fine Arts, NYC; Institute for Contemporary Art, AU; Bemis Center for Contemporary Art; Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts; School of the Museum of Fine Arts Boston; Bemis Center, Omaha; MU Eindhoven, Netherlands. They are the recipient of a 2020 Fleck Residency from the Banff Center for the Arts, a Princeton Lewis Artist Fellowship finalist (2020), a Villa Bellagio Rockefeller Foundation Fellowship (2019), a United States Artist Fellowship (2018), a Guggenheim Fellowship, and a COLA Grant (2017) and a Creative Capital Award (2015).

They have received the inaugural ANTI Festival International Prize for Live Art, California Community Foundation Grant, MOTHA (Museum of Transgender Hirstory) award, and numerous Visual Artist Fellowships from the Canada Council of the Arts. Their work has been featured in New York Times, Boston Globe, Artfourm, Hyperallergic, Wired, The Guardian, TDR, Performance Research, Art Journal and was the subject of the monograph Cassils published by MU Eindhoven 92015) and their new catalogue Solutions, is published by the Station Museum of Contemporary Art, TX (2020).

Rirkrit Tiravanija

Rirkrit Tiravanija was born in Buenos Aires in 1961. He received his BA from the Ontario College of Art, Toronto, in 1984, and his MFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 1986. From 1985 to 1986, he participated in the prestigious Whitney Museum of American Art Independent Study Program, New York.

Tiravanija is best known for his intimate, participatory installations that revolve around personal and shared communal traditions, such as cooking Thai meals. At the forefront of the shift in avant-garde art practices in the 1990s, moving  away from more traditional art objects and toward “relational aesthetics” that incorporate diverse cultural spaces, practices, and temporalities, Tiravanija has continually challenged and expanded the social dimension of art, inviting people from all walks of life to inhabit the special and personal spaces that he constructs..

Through his real-time experiences, Tiravanija often addresses broader social and political concerns, such as protest movements against the Thai government, that go largely unaddressed in Western media. Over the course of his thirty-year career, he has also come to incorporate into his art and installations a wide variety of media, including painting, printmaking, video, photography, mixed-media assemblage, and music.

Tiravanija has been featured in numerous solo exhibitions. He was the subject of two major retrospectives in the 2000s: Nothing: A Retrospective, at Chiang Mai University Art Museum, Thailand, in 2004, and A Retrospective (tomorrow is another fine day), which was presented simultaneously at Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen, Rotterdam, the Netherlands, and Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris in 2004 to 2005, and later at the Serpentine Gallery, London, in 2005. His work was featured in the Venice Biennale in 1993, 1999, 2011, and 2015. He also exhibited at the São Paulo Biennial in 2006, and the Whitney Biennial in 1995 and 2006. At the 2012 Paris Triennale, curated by Okwui Enwezor, Tiravanija presented Soup/No Soup (2011–2012), a twelve-hour banquet that was open to all visitors at the Grand Palais.

Among his many awards and honors, Tiravanija was the recipient of the 2004 Hugo Boss Prize from the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation.