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Refest 2.0

  • La MaMa Galleria 47 Great Jones Street New York, NY, 10012 United States (map)

CultureHub's annual festival will bridge communication between artists, activists, and technologists to explore technology's role in shaping our future. In this "un-conference", participants will engage in performances, exhibitions, demonstrations, and open dialogue sessions that will question the ways in which creative technologies enhances or limit our personal and collective freedoms. 

Presented in collaboration with La MaMa Galleria, NYU's Interactive Telecommunications Program, Center for Constitutional Rights, Magnum Foundation and Seoul Institute of the Arts.

March 8, 2018
6pm | Exhibition Opens
7pm | Performances by Matt Romein and Tiri Kananurak 

March 9, 2018
7pm | Performances by Renata Gaui and Jaycee Hermida Holmes
8pm | Long Table

March 10, 2018
1pm | Exhibition Open

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I want to escape humanity and become a machine. If a machine's journey to become human starts with speech synthesis, what does a human becoming a cyborg sound like?

TK1971 or Tiri Kananuruk is a machine who came to learn at Interactive Telecommunications Program at NYU. She was programmed in exhibition design at Chulalongkorn University in Bangkok Thailand. Photo by Mikey Asanin.

March 8, 2018

In Triplicate

In Triplicate is a custom audio/visual instrument originally developed for the New Interfaces in Musical Expression showcase. Using a live camera and a microphone, quick samples of of the artist’s face and voice can be chopped up and distorted using granular synthesis and slit-scan techniques. 

Matt Romein is an artist and performer working at the intersection of live performance, generative computer art, and multi-media installation. His current artistic research explores how the physical body is represented in digital spaces and how those bodies can be manipulated in evocative and unsettling ways in order to challenge ideas of identity, autonomy, and ethics. Photo by Leon Eckert.

March 8, 2018


In the silence of my lonely room

The act of “beautifying” oneself is historically associated with the core of femininity – and is itself a product of the male gaze. Is the beautifying ritual women go through on a daily basis an act of conformity or resilience? 

Renata Gaui is a brazilian designer & creative technologist, currently working as an interactive designer at EdLab. She is a jill of all trades within art, design & technology.

March 9, 2018

The Zoo

The Zoo is a performance piece featuring a wearable instrument that visualizes actual verbal microaggressions heard by the artist, a woman of color.

Jaycee Hermida Holmes is not your angry black girl. She's a multi-media artist and performer interested in documenting queer/ afro-latinx/ femme narratives and their experiences with the distraction called racism. Photo by Leon Eckert. 

March 9, 2018

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Shelley Xinyu Hu

I am interested in the disconnections in this world: the gaps of ideologies, the misplacement of languages, the divide between realities, and the separation between nature and culture.

Shelley Hu is an artist from Chengdu, China. Shelley’s work is research based and often involves code. They are performances and installations, in real and virtual spaces. The audience can participate in Shelley's performance both in person and remotely. 

March 8 and 9, 2018
7pm | Show Shelley 

Featuring Artworks by:

Ghaleb Al-Bihani

Painting makes me feel as if I am embracing the universe... I also see things around me as if they were paintings, which gives me the sense of a beautiful life.

Ghaleb Al-Bihani, a Yemeni citizen, was detained without charge at Guantánamo Bay for nearly 15 years before being transferred to Oman in January 2017. Most of his paintings and drawings were created after 2014, when he was cleared for release, and sometimes depict his musings on what his life would look like when that release finally came.
Ghaleb’s artwork was most recently exhibited as part of Ode to the Sea: Art from Guantánamo at the John Jay College of Criminal Justice in New York City from October 16, 2017 through January 26, 2018. The exhibit received worldwide media attention. In November 2017, the U.S. military announced that it would no longer allow detainee artwork to be released to the public.

Ghaleb is represented by the Center for Constitutional Rights.

March 8, 2018
7pm | Presentation by Aliya Hana Hussain

Heba Khalifa

Storytelling is a way to heal, to free ourselves from the weight of experience. The women who found the strength to stand and speak in front of the camera, this is the real gift. It gives me the strength to photograph and I hope it will give other women who are still silent the strength to open the door. 

Heba Khalifa is an Egyptian multimedia artist, photographer, and painter. She was a grantee of Magnum Foundation's Arab Documentary Photography Program, during which time she produced Homemade, a series of conceptual portraits of women navigating body and identity within Egyptian society which will be on view throughout the festival.

March 9, 2018
7pm | Presentation by Magnum Foundation

Omar Imam

I chose to make complex photographs, employing symbolism and surrealism, in an attempt to approach the psychological situation of my subjects. I wanted to disrupt the audience’s expectations of images of refugees and to present them with questions rather than answers.

Omar Imam is a  Syrian photographer and filmmaker. He was a grantee of Magnum Foundation's Arab Documentary Photography Program, during which time he produced Live Love Refugee, a series of environmental portraits made in collaboration with Syrian refugees forced to flee their homes. Omar uses a collaborative and conceptual approach to disrupt how refugees are portrayed in media.

March 9, 2018
7pm | Presentation by Magnum Foundation

“Just Like Us” becomes the beginning of a journal about the lives of queer friends, who I call participants, and others I meet along the way who have and will possibly lend themselves to this continuous visual record of daily, ordinary life that exists outside of the heteronormative, yet also within it — a record of our existence and eventually as part of the cumulative history of Ghana.

Eric Gyamfi is a Magnum Foundation grantee documenting the everyday life of Ghana’s LGBTQ community, of which he is a part. His quiet and tender approach challenges stigma and discrimination by portraying commonalities between neighbors. Eric uses his photographs for facilitating dialogue and community conversations in local galleries, universities, and spaces of gathering.

March 9, 2018
7pm | Presentation by Magnum Foundation

Mimi Onuoha

Missing Datasets are blank spots in otherwise data-saturated spaces. The Library of Missing Datasets (2016) is an ongoing physical repository of these things that have been excluded in a society where so much else is collected. Search through the drawer on view throughout Refest 2.0.

March 9, 2018
7pm | Meet the Artist

Yang Wang

Ever wondered what Google and Facebook look like in China? Just Another Internet prevents you from accessing all websites that are normally blocked inside The Great Wall, just as you would experience it if you were in China.

Yang is a new media artist, a designer, and a programmer. He graduated from NYU's Interactive Telecommunications Program in 2014. He now works independently creating computational new media art installations.

March 8, 2018
7pm | Meet the Artist


Yang Yang

In our mind, instead of a realistic hi-resolution beautiful appearances, our constant awareness of ourselves is just a vague and sketchy arrangement of abstract and simplified figures, which is being reflected by this simple mirror.

Yang Yang is a student at NYU's Interactive Telecommunications Program.

March 9, 2018
7pm | Meet the Artist

Danielle Isadora Butler

YesPlease is a multi-sensory, traveling installation, currently in R&D. It plans to reframe conversations of consent inside a multi-sensory ‘amusement ride.’ It uses physicality, tactile interactions, and audio gathered from candid interviews to re-imagine talking about intimacy and sex through introspection and play.

YesPlease invites you to record your own stories and contribute to the story bank.

March 8, 2018
7pm | Meet the Artist

Claudia Maté

I have an ambition to fuse the internet and interactive 3D technology into an aesthetic that is non-ideological and defines a never-ending new aesthetic – into a surreal and pixelated world where anything is possible, and nothing is as it seems. 

Claudia works in a large area of new media and online based works. Her works come from a variety of formats including programming, 3D, video, videogames, VR, GIF and sound. Her work manages to blend the familiar with the odd, and the futuristic with strange retro tropes.

March 8, 2018
7pm | On View

Earlier Event: December 8
Displaced Plan
Later Event: April 14