IdeaFestival is an annual event based in Louisville, Kentucky where innovators across all fields come together to talk about how their work precipitates change. Every year IdeaFestival invites Creative Capital to present a session called “Art at the Edge.” This year’s panel, taking place on September 29, is an exciting opportunity to give a platform to some of the artists we support.
This year, our Executive Director Suzy Delvalle will be joined onstage by artists Jeffrey Gibson, Heather Dewey-Hagborg, Shawn Peters and Phillip Andrews Lewis for the Creative Capital presentation.
“A bead is never just a bead.” That’s what artist Jeffrey Gibson brings to light in his paintings, sculptures and installations. With a background of Choctaw and Cherokee, he uses his art practice to research and bring to light all the nuances of Native American culture. “Indigenous, First Nations, Native American, American Indian,” he said in a recent interview, “we always think of that as just one thing, but it’s actually hundreds of thousands of individuals all with different stories.”
Could our DNA be used against us in the future? Heather Dewey-Hagborg‘s work speculates a future in which our DNA is no longer our own. Using emerging forensic science practices, Heather extracted samples of DNA left behind on cigarette butts and strands of hair to reconstruct faces, and make estimated guesses about last names and even whether the subject was a light sleeper. Heather uses her provocative art practice to foster awareness and discussion around DNA ethics and the ways that corporations that might take advantage of this yet unregulated domain.
“When a community loses a young person to death or incarceration,” says Shawn Peters “they lose an asset, they lose an institution.” For his Creative Capital project, The Art of Dying Young, Shawn has explored the lives of two men who died at a young age and have been memorialized through murals. After spending time with family, friends and community members related to the men, Shawn has created a film installation and new media tour that examines the lives, local histories and place-making initiatives of the Brooklyn neighborhoods. Shawn spoke about his project at our recent Creative Conversations panel discussion and you can watch his presentation above!
From 1989–91, Phillip Andrew Lewis was held against his will inside an unmarked building as part of an experimental drug treatment program for teens. This government program used extreme methods of sensory depravation and systems of control, while employing cultic methodologies. It was one of only a few in North America, all of which have been shut down and remain mostly unknown today. In his project Synonym, Phillip plans to recreate the experience through installation, photography, sculpture and video.