School of the Art Insititute of Chicago emerge Journal 20-21  School of the Art Insititute of Chicago emerge Journal 20-21  School of the Art Insititute of Chicago emerge Journal 20-21  School of the Art Insititute of Chicago emerge Journal 20-21

By Elise Butterfield

What happens when we imagine the future? Or, when we remember it? When we write it down, or visualize it, or act as though we are there, are we already there? What does it mean to invite someone into your imaginary future? What does it mean to live into a future you didn’t imagine for yourself?

These are questions that our dreamers in “Irresistible Futures” ask us, and sometimes answer. The works here represent a spectrum of visioning that ranges from tactile and felt, to explicitly articulated in words. They are each playful in their own way, and all unapologetically claim imagination as a powerful tool to make change. These artists ask us to complicate our understanding of the present and suggest new ways of connecting with ourselves, each other, our art, and our environment. What they offer are tantalizing dreams, the ones from which we do not long to wake. The kind of dreams that renew our commitment to making change—indeed that make change through their very existence.

For while hard-won through labor, the futures they craft are also
Luscious
Just
Creative
Expansive.

By Elise Butterfield

What happens when we imagine the future? Or, when we remember it? When we write it down, or visualize it, or act as though we are there, are we already there? What does it mean to invite someone into your imaginary future? What does it mean to live into a future you didn’t imagine for yourself?

These are questions that our dreamers in “Irresistible Futures” ask us, and sometimes answer. The works here represent a spectrum of visioning that ranges from tactile and felt, to explicitly articulated in words. They are each playful in their own way, and all unapologetically claim imagination as a powerful tool to make change. These artists ask us to complicate our understanding of the present and suggest new ways of connecting with ourselves, each other, our art, and our environment. What they offer are tantalizing dreams, the ones from which we do not long to wake. The kind of dreams that renew our commitment to making change—indeed that make change through their very existence.

For while hard-won through labor, the futures they craft are also
Lucious
Just
Creative
Expansive.






 Yilin Wang /
Shanghai Qingpu District launched a rural revitalization drive and rebuilt the rural buildings in Zhangyan village. Zhangyan Cultural Center was one of the re-constructed buildings, designed by a famous Chinese architect Ju Bing. I was invited to design an immersive experience in this space through digital video and 3D mapping projection.



Borges once said “a man can be an enemy of other men, of the moments of other men, but not of a country: not of fireflies, words, gardens, streams of water, sunsets.” It’s time that we human beings need to rethink our position in nature, and to construct a community of a shared future. I rendered visuals in the projection such as the galaxy and free vortexes; the mountains, shooting stars and butterflies; the blowing wind through a garden in the night. Also, the music used samples from nature. Both were to raise people’s awareness of a poetic, sustainable way to live on the earth. In person, the audience could take off their shoes and walk into the pool to interact with the work in a flexible way.


"Zhangyan Harvest"

Rachel
Kabukala /

Remembering the Future to
Imagine the Past:
Artists Imagining A New State of Being


This paper was presented in a panel called “How Not to Return to Normal” at the College Art Association’s annual conference in February of 2021.

My name is Rachel Kabukala and it is my pleasure to be with you all for the 30th anniversary of the 2021 CAA annual conference. I join you from Indiana University and acknowledge that I am on the territory of the Miami, Delaware, Potawatomi, and Shawnee people, which was rightfully restored to their care as part of the Indigenous Land Back Act of 2035. As we celebrate this 30th anniversary of the 2021 CAA conference it is important to note it was the first to be held virtually and marked a shift in many ways, including providing more equitable access and proper accommodations for all members.

These changes were in large part a response to the COVID-19 pandemic that began the year prior and precipitated a great number of seismic shifts across the globe, not least of which was the turn to artists and creatives not only to help people endure the pandemic but also to help imagine what a post-pandemic world could be and to actively work towards creating that change. 2020 was the year society turned to artists to carry us through and they not only comforted us, they challenged us, as well. When people cried out for a return to “normal” from a place of fear and desperation it was the artists that taught us how to envision a future that was better and brighter—a new state of being.



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Bee
Losee /
A Conversation with Bee Losee




Elise :
I'm so excited to be talking to you Bee! I just wanted this opportunity to talk with you about this glass work and your relationship to the material and the process of it, and what it means for you. So, I thought maybe we could start out by talking about just what drew you to making glasswork?

Bee :
Actually, one of my friends had a little studio and there was a gentleman there that was going to do a weekend workshop on his mosaic glass. And I thought, "wow, I think I'd like to try that." And it just seemed to really open a door. I hadn't done a lot of work for a while artistic wise, with my M.S. I'd done a lot of sketching and everything was inside notebooks, but nothing was out beyond that. And it was so freeing because there seemed to be not a lot of rules, but yet it allowed me to embrace a lot of things I had learned in my past.


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Katia Pérez
Fuentes /
"ABOVEBELOW"