I enjoy speaking about my work to all kinds of audiences. Currently, I’m giving talks about my new book Expanded Internet Art and my curatorial practice. Feel free to contact me about possible speaking engagements.
Making a Living as an Artist
Los Angeles Municipal Art Gallery (LAMAG)
Los Angeles, CA, September 14, 2019
In this day and age, when art has become more of a commodity and artists are convinced that they can only make a living from their work by attaining gallery representation, it is more important than ever to show the reality of how a professional, contemporary artist sustains a creative practice over time, particularly through alternative means.
In this conversation moderated by Gas founder/director Ceci Moss, Offal exhibition artists Panteha Abareshi and gloria galvez will discuss their experiences, showing how it is possible to sustain a creative practice that contributes to the ongoing conversation in contemporary art and redefining what “success” means to a professional artist.
AaBKC Talk: Ceci Moss and Winnie Soon
at Århus Kunstakademi
Aarhus, Denmark, May 28, 2019
For this AaBKC Talk, curator Ceci Moss (US) and artist-researcher Winnie Soon (HK/DK) will come together for a conversation about the mediation of “liveness” from artistic and curatorial perspectives.
What strategies critically consider the material infrastructure of technologies, such as network protocols, data processing and program code, and its resulting time signatures? What is the role of the artist or curator in attending to these realities?
Do It Yourself: Alternative Art Spaces in Los Angeles
at the LA Times Festival of Books
USC, Los Angeles, April 13, 2019
Ceci Moss reviews the short history of Gas, a mobile, autonomous, experimental and networked platform for contemporary art located in a converted truck gallery parked around Los Angeles and online. This alternative, non commercial exhibition venue is one of many uniquely sited galleries in Los Angeles, where organizers put on shows in pools, elevators, shoe boxes, and more. How do these spaces model a more democratic, accessible, and open means of art engagement, cultural production and storytelling?
As the first convening of TFAP@CAA conceived during the Trump administration, this symposium will address urgent, intertwined threats to feminism and radical artistic practice under a political regime antagonistic to both. Following Martha Rosler’s astute analysis that “[a] critique of ideology necessitates some materialistic grounding if it is to rise above the theological,” the symposium will be rooted in the material conditions of feminist practices that resist patriarchal ideologies, especially on the level of state-sanctioned control and oppression. The symposium will also open space for the discussion of practices of art and art history that shed light on historical precedents and paths for feminist resistance, with a special focus on methodologies pressing at the limits of art history. Finally, the symposium will act as a tactical platform, where feminists whose practices may not wit within conventional definitions of art are invited to share their skills and strategies.
Included in the panel “The Web as a Political Space” moderated by Aria Dean with panelists Ceci Moss, Guadalupe Rosales, Martine Syms, Angela Washko.
Art Table, Steve Turner Gallery, Los Angeles, November 10, 2016
Since the start of the millennium the internet has become a force that has permeated practically every aspect of culture and society. Internet-based artistic practice has gained ubiquity as a new generation that has emerged and that interweaves art with virtual reality. These artists directly engage with social media, online commercialism, rapidly advancing digital, and mobile technologies. New media art challenges prevailing definitions of artmaking by extending the bounds of its audience, its cultural reach, and its integration with everyday life. This panel will explore the persistent, dynamic relationship that continues to form between art, online culture, and emerging technologies, and will consider how current configurations may evolve in the future.
Moderated by contemporary art curator and writer, Courtney Malick, the panel includes Gene McHugh, author of Post-Internet: Notes on the Internet and Art 12.29.09 > 09.05.10 and head of digital media at the Fowler Museum, UCLA; Ceci Moss, former curator at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in San Francisco and one-time senior editor of the art and technology organization Rhizome at the New Museum; and artists Michael Staniak, Ryder Ripps and Jeff Baij, whose careers are geared towards digital and mediated modes of art making. The panelists will discuss timely issues such as: How does our reliance on the internet as a tool change the ways that art is made, seen, and experienced? What new challenges does the internet create for artists, and is social media’s impact on the art world for the better or the worse? Does authenticity have a role to play within this context? How is mass engagement with online culture positioned vis-à-vis art institutions and the art market?
Gray Area Festival, Gray Area Foundation for the Arts, San Francisco, April 21-24, 2016
Reviewing important developments in San Francisco’s art scene, such as the reopening of SFMOMA, the launch of Minnesota Street Project and the introduction of new galleries and fairs to the region, this lecture asks how the local arts community can go further by fostering a more critical digital culture in the Bay Area. This renewed vibrancy in the arts could be used to imagine alternatives to solely profit driven, neoliberal and capitalist technological production.
Mirror Stage: Panel Discussion for Dallas Museum of Art, Dallas, October 20, 2015
Gabriel Ritter, The DMA’s Nancy and Tim Hanley Assistant Curator of Contemporary Art, leads a conversation focused on representations of the self via digital technology and the Internet with artists Ed Atkins and Jacolby Satterwhite, both of whom are featured in the exhibition Concentrations 59: Mirror Stage—Visualizing the Self After the Internet. Ceci Moss, Assistant Curator of Visual Arts at Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in San Francisco, will join the discussion as an expert on art and the Internet.
Open Call Juror Discussion panel for Institute of Contemporary Art, Miami in conjunction with Open Call- Web Based Art September 24, 2015
Open Call jurors Simon Castets, Alex Gartenfeld, and Ceci Moss discussed ideas central to the exhibition Web-Based Art: the evolving relationship of contemporary art to new media; and modes of interaction and participation in digital art.
Language as a Service: A Roundtable Discussion for NewHive in San Francisco, March 18, 2015
A panel exploring the relationship between the cryptic rhetoric of innovation culture and experimental media art, featuring Morehshin Allahyari, artist, activist, and educator; Melissa Broder, Director of Media and Special Projects, NewHive; and Ceci Moss, Assistant Curator of Visual Arts, Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, in conversation with Nicholas O’Brien.
Riffing on the concept of “software as a service”, the panelists will consider the ways in which startups and contemporary business culture has infiltrated and influenced cultural production. As a way of trying to understand the proliferation of terms like “disruption”, “innovation”, and “entrepreneurship” within the arts, this conversation will examine how media art can adopt the language of venture capital and Silicon Valley to build powerful metaphors and poetic gestures.
“Act so there is no use of a center: (De)centering Contemporary Art in the Digital Age” panel for Fahrenheit in Los Angeles, CA, Sept. 10, 2014
Panel discussion organized by curator and Fahrenheit writer-in-residence (Summer 2014) Dorothée Dupuis, a co-production between Fahrenheit and Les Ateliers des Arques. Panelists included: Débora Delmar Corp., Adam Kleinman, Ceci Moss, Stefan Simchowitz
Last spring Dupuis was invited to curate the yearly residency session of Les Ateliers des Arques, a 25-year old program located in a tiny rural village in the south west of France. She developed her project around the format of the start-up company in order to metaphorically articulate the way productive relationships between centers and peripheries are affected by the digital revolution, in regards to artistic production. The project resulted in an exhibition in the village and was documented through a tumblr blog and social media, which generated interactions within a broad community of global users. The blog lastartup.tumblr.com has been converted into an online magazine, releasing weekly commissioned essays by various writers, curators and thinkers related to the problematics that arose from the project. Recent contributors have included Alex Scrimgeour, Paul S. Sánchez, Jamie Sterns, Andrianna Campbell and Adam Kleinman.
In the framework of her residency at Fahrenheit, Dupuis presents a panel discussing the issues that have come from her project at Les Arques. Drawing from Gertrude Stein’s quote “Act so there is no use of a center” referred to by Alex Scrimgeour in his essay for the Start-Up’s tumblr, the panel aims to examine how the internet and social media have disrupted our perceptions of distance and proximity, challenging positions of power between centers and peripheries. On this panel four speakers, all equally involved in the art-world, yet coming from divergent backgrounds and acting in often drastically opposite directions, will discuss the way that these recent changes continue to affect their current positions and strategies. This will be an occasion to share experiences, discuss notions of ethics and responsibility, openly talk about the influence of the market on current artistic production and art institutions, and possibly imagine new tools and perspectives for the future.
“Curating in a Computer World” lecture for Art Market San Francisco in San Francisco, CA, May 16, 2014
YBCA’s Assistant Curator of Visual Arts, Ceci Moss, will discuss Control: Technology in Culture, a new exhibition series in YBCA’s Upstairs Galleries that showcases the work of emerging and mid-career artists who examine the social, cultural, and experiential implications of technology. The solo exhibitions in this series seek to prompt timely questions about the profound and far-reaching influence of technology in our daily lives by focusing on artists whose work spans a multitude of disciplines and relates to a diverse set of issues, including architecture, acoustics, psychology, labor, consumerism, the environment, and the military.
“Beyond Bay Lights: What is the role of cities and cultural institutions in creating visibility for the digital arts?” panel for artMRKT in San Francisco, CA, May 18, 2013
Artists, curators, gallerists, city officials and collectors will discuss making, collecting, selling, exhibiting, maintaining, and supporting new media in contemporary art. What is the role of the city relative to tech companies and artists working with technology as a medium? What are the unique issues facing artists making work using digital technology? What are the issues facing collectors and exhibiting institutions relative to new and time based media? What role do cultural organizations play in creating visibility for the field? Panelists include artists Anthony Discenza, Laurie Frick and George Legrady; collector Ron Casentini; Catharine Clark of Catharine Clark Gallery; Jay Nath, Chief Innovation Officer for the Mayor’s Office of the City of San Francisco and Ceci Moss, Assistant Curator at YBCA. The panel will be moderated by Joel Slayton, Executive Director of ZERO1.
“Expanded Internet Art” at Real Time & Space in Oakland, CA, January 29, 2013
As part of my residency at Real Time & Space in January 2013, I gave a lecture reviewing the first chapter of my dissertation “The Informational Milieu and Expanded Internet Art” alongside the fellow RTS resident artist Carson Fisk-Vittori. A synopsis of my first chapter is provided below.
In this chapter, I will discuss internet art as the ultimate form of an “expanded” art work, drawing from the definition of expansion as “the state of being spread out or unfolded.” While I plan to review internet art in the 1990s, I will concentrate on contemporary internet art (from the mid-2000′s onward) in an effort to understand this work as it relates to major technological and cultural shifts such as social media, smart phones, and faster bandwidth, etc. I will review the debates and terminology surrounding the decentralized quality of much contemporary internet art, such as critic Gene McHugh’s take on the concept of “post-internet” in his book of the same title, critic Nicolas Bourriaud’s book Postproduction, and artist Seth Price’s essay and artwork Dispersion. This section will additionally cover the artists and curatorial projects that speak to this sensibility, focusing on the work of Kari Altmann, Artie Vierkant, David Horvitz, Harm van den Dorpel, and Oliver Laric, as well as curatorial platforms, like Club Internet and jstchillin. Drawing from Tiziana Terranova’s idea of an “informational milieu” elaborated in Network Culture: Politics for the Information Age and Gilbert Simondon’s work, my chapter will envision these projects as existing in a continual process of unfolding aided by their state as data on a network. Their expansion is not an outward movement from a fixed essence, but rather a continual becoming.
“Internet Aware, Post Internet, Expanded Internet: Recent Developments in Internet-Based Art Practice” at the New Media Caucus-sponsored panel “Spontaneous Combustion” at CAA 2012, Los Angeles, February 16, 2012
The panel was organized by Preston Poe. Other presenters included Lee Montgomery, Joseph Delappe, Robert Lawrence, and Ei Jane Janet Lin.
Synopsis of my paper:
Within the last 5 years or so, two terms have cropped up in discussion of contemporary internet-based art – “internet aware art” and “post internet art.” These works are not intended to be viewed and experienced exclusively online, but are seen as always having the potential to go offline, in many cases becoming physical objects. The dispersed nature of many of these works also allows multiple forms of engagement, across a number of different contexts. This paper will review these concepts of “post-internet” or “internet aware” art while also providing examples of recent internet-based art practice that seems to pertain to these ideas by artists such as David Horvitz, Artie Vierkant, Kari Altmann, Travess Smalley, Mark Leckey, Seth Price, Samara Golden, Anne de Vries and others. Why, within the past 5 years, have internet artists been so attentive to the materiality of their projects, often working both on and offline? How does this relate to a digitally-informed experience of being in public? Is this a response to shifting conditions within the space of the internet itself, brought on by social media, expanded bandwidth (allowing the faster transmission of video, images, sound, animation, etc.), and a limitless landscape of data? Are we seeing the emergence of expanded internet-based art, perhaps akin to expanded cinema?
“Viral Not Virus: Alan Liu’s “Viral Aesthetics” Reconsidered” at The Matter with Media at ISEA 2011, Istanbul, September 17, 2011.
The panel was organized by Jamie Allen and Tom Schofield. Other presenters included Martijn Stevens, Alejandro Schianchi, Shintaro Miyazaki, Thomas Zummer.
Synopsis of my paper:
My paper will explore how a particular subset of contemporary internet-based artworks intentionally operate as “work as assemblage” (after N. Katherine Hayles in My Mother Was a Computer). The examples I will use – Seth Price’s Dispersion (2002-Ongoing), Oliver Laric’s Versions (2009 and 2010), and David Horvitz’s Idea Subscription (2009) – all destabilize the idea of a static, ideal “work” by relying on their diffuse circulation and instantiation through networks for their realization. Notably, they all involve a text in some way – Dispersion and Versions are essays about visual culture and the distribution of content online and both take many forms,Dispersion circulates across various media – sculpture and printed booklets – where Versions is remixed by other artists and curators. Idea Subscription was a year-long tumblr blog disclosing written (often whimsical) ideas for readers to implement, which was recently repackaged in book form as Everything That Can Happen in a Day. In response to what Alan Liu terms “viral aesthetics” in The Laws of Cool, I will argue that these works offer another, alternate aesthetic mode to “viral aesthetics” – one that operates through its immersion within the endless stream of information, where presence results from serendipitous instantiation. Liu emphasizes the “destructive creation” of art by Joseph Nechvatal, Jodi, and William Gibson’s Agrippa (A Book of the Dead) – examples that subvert knowledge work by engaging in a destructive mode of productivity, one that problematically contains the assumption that taking something apart reveals its inner truth. While the art practices I would like to discuss also circulate in a “viral” fashion, they do not engage in corrosive destructivity, e.g. Nechvatal’s computer virus projects. Rather, they offer insight by way of a constructive, symbiotic relation with the information technologies that enable them, becoming powerful through their own momentum and spread, an aspect yielded by their existence as “works as assemblage.” By foregrounding the facets of their own transmission, Dispersion, Versions and Idea Subscription provoke a meditation on the movement of information online.
“The Festival” panel for the INDEX Festival for Media and Culture, August 3, 2011
Opening night panel on the concept of the “festival” for the INDEX Festival for Media and Culture. Other panelists included Malcolm Levy (New Forms Festival), Cornelia Lund (Fluctuating Images), Nathalie Bachand (Elektra Festival), moderated by festival organizers Victoria Keddie and Kristin Trethewey.
New Style Curators” at the New Museum, November 18, 2010
Panel organized by Joanne McNeil, event part of the exhibition “Free” at the New Museum.
Description: Last year, the New York Times proclaimed, “The Word ‘Curate’ No Longer Belongs to the Museum Crowd.” This panel takes a look at “curation” online and how the word applies to social media and Internet use. New media companies sometimes hire “curators” to filter the web for specialized information and data. But missing from this analogy is the importance of context and preservation. Are we all curators of the web? How are sites like Tumblr and Delicious contributing to this trend? Does the Internet even need curation? What can social media learn from the art world? More importantly, with everyone busy curating, who is making the original content online? Joanne McNeil will moderate a panel including Paddy Johnson (Art Fag City), Rex Sorgatz (Kinda Sorta Media), and Ceci Moss (Rhizome).
Rhizome Commissions ’08” at the New Museum, August 8, 2008
Moderated a panel honoring artists awarded grants through Rhizome’s Commissions Program. Artists presented on their commissioned projects and larger bodies of work, artists included Dan Pfiffer, David Nolen, Mushon Zer-Aviv, Carolyn Strauss and Julian Bleecker, and Melanie Crean.