Transformer Radio

In 2018, Transformer initiated Transformer Radio, an online radio & podcast program produced in collaboration with Full Service Radio at The LINE DC. Transformer Radio, much like their Framework Panel Series, is intended to provide an oral ‘field guide’ to artists & audiences on current & best practices in contemporary visual art.

Presented 3-5 times a year, Transformer co-Founder, Executive & Artistic Director Victoria Reis, interviews DC, national, and international artists on their work, process, and craft. These interviews often coincide with exhibitions & programs Transformer is presenting, providing deeper context to works on view.

This show records and broadcasts LIVE on Full Service Radio from the lobby of the LINE DC in Adams Morgan, Washington DC.

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    Victoria Reis, Co-Founder, Executive & Artistic Director of Transformer, hosts a radio special on “where we came from & where we are going”, a group exhibition curated by Kimi Kitada and featuring works by Eliseo Casiano, Dhanashree Gadiyar, Gelare Khoshgozaran, Keisha Scarville, and Karina Aguilera Skvirsky, that consider the precarious status of immigrants in the U.S.

    Over 44 million immigrants currently reside in the United States. During the Trump administration, immigration issues have become increasingly pervasive and urgent. The rhetoric employed by politicians on these matters often capitalizes on fear, racism, and xenophobia.

    Exploring immigration through the mining of family histories and personal narratives, where we came from & where we are going asks viewers to consider the complexities of immigration reform, nationhood, and migration through the artists’ perspectives, emphasizing that all individuals are part of a collective humanity. Integrating the past and the present, the featured artworks create new representations of hybrid cultural identity, highlighting the migration of both people and objects, and investigating topics of displacement, isolation, cultural assimilation, and government surveillance, among other pressing issues.

    Exhibition curator Kimi Kitada shares: “In the publication Can We Solve the Migration Crisis? writer Jacqueline Bhabha outlines a historical trajectory of migration. She contends that there are four broad driving forces of human migration globally – a migration of desperation, colonial migrations, the migration driven by the quest for a better quality of life, and immigration motivated by the desire to further trade and commerce. The narratives in this exhibition focus largely on the pursuit for a better quality of life, and also question the realities of the ‘American Dream’ for many immigrants.”

    Kitada continues: “Breathing new life into family stories and tracing their own personal lineage while calling into question the personal, the political, and power dynamics, the compelling narratives featured throughout the exhibition are relevant not only to immigrant audiences, but also to any individual in our society.”

    where we came from & where we are going was selected for presentation at Transformer via the organization’s first open call for proposals shared in summer 2018.

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    Aristeidis Lappas (Athens, 1993) lives and work in Athens. He studies for a BA in the University of West England, Bristol, UK during which time he did an exchange program with Academia De Belle Arti, Bologna, Italy. He has exhibited his work in exhibitions such as, Athens and it’s Periphery in Regards to Contemporary Painting (Curated by Hugo Wheeler) at The Breeder, Athens, Greece (2017); Mine, Yours and Others – Curated by Eleni Papazoglou at We Are Bud, Athens Greece (2017), Interceptions – curated by Eleonora Cantini at La micro, Barcelona, Spain (2016), as well as the solo show Laughing to the Joke of the Sour Oranges (2017) – curated by Hugo Wheeler at Zoodochou Pigis 91, Athens, Greece.

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    Ramekon O’Arwisters lives and works in San Francisco, CA. He was a recipient of a 2002 Artadia Award and a 2014 Eureka Fellow, awarded by the Fleishhacker Foundation, San Francisco. He has exhibited extensively throughout the US and internationally, including at The Luggage Store, San Francisco, California and Kato Gallery, Tokyo, Japan. He was honored with his second San Francisco Arts Commission Individual Artist Grant in 2011. Ramekon recently retired as Curator of Photography and Video Art at SFO Museum to focus on Crochet Jam, which has been presented extensively through the US.

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    Tune in for a conversation between Victoria Reis is the Co-Founder, Executive & Artistic Director of Transformer & the Environmental Performance Agency (EPA).

    Transformer is proud to present The Department of Weedy Affairs, an exhibition, and series of programmatic performances and workshops led by the Environmental Performance Agency (EPA), an artist collective which imagines a governmental agency that is beyond human. Offering visitors an opportunity to engage with and learn from spontaneous urban plants (aka weeds) through a toolkit of radical care practices and embodied science.

    The exhibition includes a living participatory sculpture featuring a weedy island of refugee plants from the marginal ecologies (ex. vacant lots, sidewalk cracks, highway medians) of Washington DC. An accompanying installation features liberated soil from the National Mall, deleted data from the US EPA’s website, tools and prompts that invite the visitor to experiment with and contemplate other ways of engaging with an urban multi-species environment. A recording booth and web platform encourage visitors to share their voice, and to speculate, imagine and contribute their ideas for a beyond human stewardship and weedy solidarity.

    Since the appointment of Scott Pruitt in 2017, the US Environmental Protection Agency has removed nearly all mention of climate change from its website and strategic plan, has censored its own scientists, and has overturned 33+ rules and rolled back dozens of initiatives that protect human and more-than-human health. With an aim to foster public commentary that articulates a vision for environmental justice on behalf of all life, challenging the current administration’s self-serving disregard for climate and the environment, the EPA invites you to call or text the Environmental Performance Agency’s hotline (240) 808-2372 or submit online at www.OnBehalfOf.Life, and leave a message for Scott Pruitt and US EPA officials on behalf of a life form who can’t.

    Throughout the exhibition, the EPA: Department of Weedy Affairs invites the public to consider multi-species empathy, the ecological interdependence of all life, and to imagine a governmental agency that advocates for ecological justice in a multispecies entangled world. At the close of the exhibition, the EPA Agents will lead a public march to deliver the collection of comments, desires, and demands on behalf of the weeds to the US EPA on the National Mall – The EPA meets the EPA.

    The Environmental Performance Agency (EPA) is an artist collective founded in 2017 and named in response to the proposed defunding of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Appropriating the US EPA’s acronym, The EPA’s primary goal is to shift thinking around the terms environment, performance, and agency – using artistic, social, and embodied / kinesthetic practices to advocate for the agency of all living performers co-creating our environment, specifically through the lens of spontaneous urban plants, native or migrant. Since launching in March 2017, the EPA has developed a range of workshops and artworks exploring interspecies social engagement and human-nonhuman solidarity. This includes activities such as fostering wild plant literacy, developing scores for movement and awareness explorations, DIY bioremediation, public (performative/kinesthetic) fieldwork, and interspecies storytelling for a world beyond human. Current EPA Agents include Catherine Grau, andrea haenggi, Ellie Irons, and Christopher Kennedy.