Panelists: Poetic Emergences: Organisation through Textile and Code

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Brenda Rodriguez Alegre

Brenda Rodriguez Alegre, PhD in Psychology. Her MA thesis and doctoral dissertation were about transgender women. She is currently among the Board of Directors of STRAP (The Society of Transsexual Women Advocates of the Philippines). Alegre is a Lecturer at the University of Hong Kong where she teaches Sexuality and Gender, with upcoming publications on transgender people’s experiences. As an activist for LGBTQI and women, she has been featured as an expert in TV and radio programs. In 2018, Alegre was awarded the LGBT + Public Champion in Hong Kong and delivered a speech at the United Nations Human Rights Council in June of that year. She is a choir soprano. 

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Zainab Aliyu

Zainab Aliyu (‘Zai’) is an artist and cultural worker living in Occupied Lenapehoking (Brooklyn, New York, USA). Her work is about the material affect of the ‘immaterial’. She contextualises the cybernetic and temporal entanglement embedded within societal dynamics to understand how all socio-technological systems of control are interconnected, and how we are all implicated through time. She often dreams, experiments and inquires through built virtual environments, printed matter, video, archives, writing, installation and community-participatory unlearning.

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Asinnajaq

Asinnajaq is the daughter of Carol Rowan and Jobie Weetaluktuk. She is from Inukjuak, Nunavik and lives in Tiohtià:ke (Montreal). Asinnajaq’s work includes filmmaking, writing and curating. She co-created Tilliraniit, a three-day festival celebrating Inuit art and artists. Asinnajaq wrote and directed Three Thousand  (2017), a short sci-fi documentary. She co-curated Isuma’s show in the Canadian pavilion at the 58th Venice Biennale. She is a part of the curatorial team for the inaugural exhibition INUA  at the Qaumajuq. Asinnajaq’s work has been exhibited at art galleries and film festivals around the world.

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Photo: Pati Tyrell

Amy K. S. Chan

Amy K. S. Chan is an Associate Professor at the Department of English and the Director of Centre of Comparative Gender Research at Hong Kong Shue Yan University.

Chan is a local Hong Kong scholar teaching and doing research in technoscience culture, gender studies, literary studies and science fiction. Her doctoral dissertation is on Cyberfeminism. She is particularly interested in exploring the intersections of Deleuzian philosophy, technoscience culture and Chinese culture and philosophy. She has co-edited World Weavers: Globalization, Science Fiction, and the Cybernetic Revolution (2005), Science Fiction and the Prediction of the Future (2011), Technovisuality: Cultural Re-enchantment and the Experience of Technology (2016) and Deleuze and the Humanities (2018).

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Taeyoon Choi

Taeyoon Choi is an artist and educator based in New York and Seoul. He co-founded School for Poetic Computation in 2013, where he organised classes and taught experimental workshops. He is inspired by the poetics in science, technology, society and human relations. He works with computer programming, drawing and writing, in collaboration with fellow artists and community members. He believes in the intersectionalities of art, activism and education. He works with activists and scholars on disability rights, environmental justice and anti-racism.

He has presented at M+ Museum, Hong Kong (2020), and his projects, participatory workshops, performances and installations has been exhibited at the New Museum (2017), Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Center (2016), Van Alen Institute (2016) and Whitney Museum of American Art (2015) in New York, USA, Los Angeles County Museum of Art in Los Angeles, USA (2014) and more. He participated in Biennale Architettura (2021), Istanbul Design Biennale (2018), Seoul Mediacity Biennale (2016) and Shanghai Biennale (2012). Through his diverse practices, he seeks a sense of gentleness, magnanimity, justice, solidarity and intellectual kinship.

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Photo: Joe Swide

Laura Devendorf

Laura Devendorf is an artist and a researcher who questions relationships between technology and culture by playfully subverting and reinterpreting categorisations of ‘machine’ and ‘body’. Her work presents alternative understandings of technology that draw heavily from feminist techno-science, trading notions of efficiency for engagement, control for humility, and individualism for cooperation and care. Her work takes the form of garments and tapestries with embedded electronics, open-source software and mixed-media systems.

Devendorf is an assistant professor in the ATLAS Institute and the Department of Information Science at the University of Colorado Boulder and she directs the Unstable Design Lab, where she works closely with artists, students and researchers to develop both provocations and software for textiles design with support from sponsors ranging from the United States National Science Foundation to the Center for Craft. She received her PhD at the UC Berkeley School of Information. Devendorf is based and works in Boulder, Colorado.

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Alexander R. Galloway

Alexander R. Galloway is a writer and computer programmer working on issues in philosophy, technology and theories of mediation. Professor of Media Studies at New York University, he is author of several books on digital media and critical theory. He is currently finishing a new manuscript on the deep history of computation, scheduled to be published in autumn 2021.

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KOBAKANT (Satomi Mika and Hannah Perner-Wilson)

Satomi Mika and Hannah Perner-Wilson have been collaborating since 2006, and in 2008 formed the collective KOBAKANT. Together, through their work, they explore the use of textile crafts and electronics as a medium for commenting on technological aspects of today’s ‘high-tech’ society. KOBAKANT believes in the spirit of humour technology, often presenting their work as a twisted criticism of the stereotypes surrounding textile craftsmanship and electrical engineering. KOBAKANT believes that technology exists to be hacked, handmade and modified by everyone to better fit our personal needs and desires. In 2009, as research fellows at the Distance Lab in Scotland, KOBAKANT published an online database to share their DIY wearable technology approach titled HOW TO GET WHAT YOU WANT. KOBAKANT is currently based in Berlin.

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Eugenia Law Pik Yu

Eugenia Law is Assistant Curator of Learning and Community at CHAT (Centre for Heritage, Arts and Textile). She graduated with first class honours from the Department of Chinese, Translations and Linguistics at City University of Hong Kong (2011) and a Master of Social Sciences in Media, Culture and Creative Cities at the University of Hong Kong (2015).

With experience in programme development at the National Geographic Channels and university research, she was the Gallery Manager of Hong Kong non-profit making contemporary art organization 1a space in 2016-20 and curated contemporary art and educational community events include Kowloon City Art Festival @West Kowloon (2019) at Art Park, West Kowloon Cultural District, Hong Kong Visual Art Critic Nurturing Programme (2017-19) and Emerging Talents in Contemporary Art (2020).

She was a Fung Scholar and a recipient of the Local Arts Administration Scholarships 2017 for her PGDip in Museum Studies at the University of Leicester (UK). Served as lecturer at tertiary colleges, Law’s practices focus on the possibilities of public engagement in contemporary art and creative industry. 

Bruce Li

Bruce Li is Assistant Curator at CHAT (Centre for Heritage, Arts and Textile). With knowledge and practical experience as a weaver, knitter and writer, one of Li’s main research strands includes what mode of reading is engendered through textile-making. Having graduated from Brown University and the Rhode Island School of Design, Li holds degrees in Comparative Literature and Textiles.

Annapurna Mamidipudi

Annapurna Mamidipudi completed her PhD in the study of Science, Technology and Modern Culture at Maastricht University supervised by Wiebe Bijker in 2016. Using concepts from the history of technology as well as traditional Indian music Mamidipudi explored how innovation and creativity in Science and Art follow similar cognitive processes. She co-organised a seminar on Craft and Innovation in Kalakshetra, the premier Music and Dance institution, in Chennai in 2016, and a large conference bringing together more than 500 weavers and international historians of technology in Chirala in 2018.

Mamidipudi’s research interests include the study of how craftspeople innovate their material practices and how they make knowledge claims to build recognition in contemporary society. She is currently a postdoctoral fellow at the PENELOPE project in the Deutsches Museum.

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Mok Chiu Yu

Mok Chiu Yu is a community cultural development worker, people’s theatre worker, performance artist and the founder of The 70’s Biweekly , Asian People’s Theatre Festival Society, Centre For Community Cultural Development (CCCD) and Hong Kong International Deaf Film Festival. He is a writer, translator, part-time lecturer at Lingnan University, independent filmmaker, awardee of Achievement Award in Drama by the Hong Kong Arts Development Council in 1999, conference organiser (including the World Congress of International Drama/Theatre & Education Association 2007 and many arts-related therapy conferences in Hong Kong), advocate of community music, playback theatre, playforward theatre, theatre of the oppressed, SAORI and inclusive arts, etc. He is editor of The Big Wind, The Black Sky  (books of Asian People’s plays), 1984/1997 , Voices from Tiananmen Square , The Revolution is Dead; Long Live the Revolution , etc.

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Amor Munoz

Based and works in Mexico City, Munoz works across textiles, performance, drawing, sound and experimental electronics to explore the relationship between technology and society with a special interest in the interaction between material forms and social discourse. Munoz often invites peripheral communities for creative production of e-textiles, involving local employees and businesses. She was a resident of the 2014 and 2016 programme at Nordic Artists’ Center Dale, Norway, at Kultur Kontakt, Vienna, Austria in 2015, at the Bauhaus Dessau, Germany in 2017, and at the Google Arts and Culture Jacquard Artist Residency in Paris, France in 2019. Her work has been exhibited in various museums and festivals, such as San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, USA; 21 Haus, Belvedere, Austria; National Art Center in Tokyo, Japan; Mobilier National in Paris, France; Museum of Contemporary Art of Castilla y León, Spain; XIII Bienal de la Habana, Cuba; OK Center/CyberArts Exhibition in Linz, Austria; Craft Contemporary Museum, Los Angeles, USA, among others.

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Innocent Mutanga

Dedicated to rebranding blackness and sharing an African perspective, especially black consciousness in Asia, Innocent Mutanga launched the Africa Center Hong Kong at the turn of 2019. The platform and creative hub has since gained traction with its on-site programmes seeing around 300 users in a week. The centre runs a range of on-site programmes from African Literature Book Club, Afro art jams, African cooking workshops, etc. In addition, the centre runs off-site cultural competency and Diversity, Equity & Inclusion programmes in schools and companies, tours of Chung King Mansions and has a growing online presence. Born and raised in Zimbabwe, Mutanga fled for his life from his homeland to Hong Kong in 2013 where he arrived as a refugee, sleeping on the streets with only $HK200 in his pockets. He later went on to study Anthropology at the Chinese University of Hong Kong, where he became the first refugee to get into an official undergraduate programme in a local university and further went on to work for an investment bank.

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Rebirth Garments (Sky Cubacub)

Sky Cubacub is a non-binary queer and disabled Filipinx artist from Chicago, Illinois. As a multidisciplinary artist and the creator of Rebirth Garments, they are interested in fulfilling the needs for disabled queer life, with an emphasis on joy, making a line of wearables that challenges mainstream beauty standards through centring queer and disabled people of all sizes, ethnicities, and ages. They are the editor of the Radical Visibility Zine, a magazine for queer and disabled people of all ages based on their manifesto. Sky Cubacub was named 2018 Chicagoan of the Year by the Chicago Tribune.

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Photo: Ryan Burke

Rhys (Ophelia Keung and Kadri Keung)

Ophelia Keung

Ophelia Keung (Mrs Keung) is CEO and Founder of Rhys. Mrs Keung has over 30 years of experience working in the garment industry. After retirement, Mrs Keung became the primary caretaker of her mother who was housed at an elderly home, the experience led her to realise that garments for the elderly often lack style and utility. She believes that age and body conditions should not limit one’s access to fashion and a sense of dignity. Her experience led to her founding of Rhys in 2017, a social enterprise that strives to create aesthetically pleasing garments for the elderly and for different bodies.

Rhys products are all produced locally in Hong Kong. Rhys also hopes to enhance the lives of grassroots families. To achieve this, Mrs Keung provides sewing training and equipment to women such that they are able to work from home and make an extra earning.

Kadri Keung

Kadri Keung is Creative Director of Rhys and graduated from the Institute of Textiles and Clothing at the Hong Kong Polytechnic University with a focus on Knitwear Design and Technology. Her background has led her to realise the superficiality of mainstream fashion and its failure to form connections with its users.

Keung was inspired by her experience witnessing her grandmother’s hospitalisation, which led to founding of Rhys with her family in 2017. The mission of Rhys is to combine design thinking with the individual needs of its users. The resulting work injects love and respect into accessible garment designs, allowing those marginalised in society to feel a sense of hope and dignity. In 2019, Rhys became recipient of the Grand Award to DFA Design for Asia Awards.

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Takahashi Mizuki

Takahashi Mizuki is the current Executive Director and Chief Curator of Centre for Heritage, Arts and Textile. She completed MA History of Art from both Waseda University, Tokyo and The School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London.

After serving as a founding curatorial member at Mori Art Museum in Tokyo from 1999-2003, Takahashi worked as senior curator at Contemporary Art Center, Art Tower Mito and realised numerous transdisciplinary exhibitions addressing various artistic forms including manga, film, fashion, architecture, performance and contemporary art.

Her curated exhibitions in and outside Japan include Eight Days: Beuys in Japan (2009); Quiet Attentions: Departure from Women (2011); You reach out – right now – for something: Questioning the Concept of Fashion (2013) and MILL6 Foundation Fall Programmes: TECHSTYLE Series 1.0 – Ariadne’s Thread (2016), Spring Programme: Line of Time (2017) and Spring Programme: (In)tangible Reminiscence (2018); Unfolding: Fabric of Our Life (2019); N S Harsha: Gathering Delights (2019); Sudo Reiko: Making NUNO Textiles  (2019); and Unconstrained Textiles: Stitching Methods, Crossing Ideas  (2020).

Takahashi was a research fellow at Central Saint Martins, The University of the Arts London from 2015 to 2016. She curates, writes and gives lectures extensively in Asia and Europe.

Chantal Wong

Chantal Wong is the Director of Culture, Eaton Workshop Hong Kong, a hospitality brand dedicated to shaping a better world. She is the co-founder of charities including Things that can happen (2005-07), an art-space connecting art to its socio-political environment, Learning Together, which creates opportunities for refugee and asylum seekers to access education and career opportunities through scholarships, internships and leadership programmes and Women’s Festival, the only festival in Hong Kong celebrating the experiences of and questioning the definition of women. She was the Head of Strategy at Asia Art Archive, a research centre dedicated to facilitating the writing of Asia’s changing art history from 2011-17 and prior to that Director of Development at Outset Contemporary Art Fund (London) from 2009-12.

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