New World, New Sequence

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© Courtesy of the Artist and Yerba Buena Center for the Arts
New World, New Sequence

701 Mission St.
94103 San Francisco

September 25th, 2012 - January 13th, 2013

Other (outside areas listed)
Thu-Sat: noon-8pm; Sun: noon-6pm; First Tuesdays of the month (FREE) 12-8; Summer Hours (May 28 – Aug 31) include Wed 12-6 PM
Room for Big Ideas (RBI): Free


The migration to a hybrid experience of life, one that combines the physical and the digital worlds, is well underway. The newest RBI installation, New World, New Sequence, channels the intersections of organic and engineered experiences in our era of ever more mediated realities. Using sound and sensory exploration, live projection, painting, sculpture, and interactive online resources, it asks what our shared responsibilities should be in the freer new world that is emerging.

Surabhi Saraf and Sebastian Alvarez's installation and live performance of Oscillations delivers a perception-bending experience that illustrates the role of our senses across creative dimensions. Oscillations will offer a synaesthetic experience within a man-made environment, which enables the audience to connect with the domains of the digital and mechanical, in harmony with the analogue and natural. Evan Bissell's The Knotted Line is an online tactile laboratory where visitors can explore the shifting threads of freedom to uncover the historical roots of our present day prison nation – the dystopian context underneath the surface of the American mythos. Gregory Ito's In the Wake of Setting Sun explores the recurring death of the sun and the predominance of technology in how we process experiences. Ito has also created a work titled Blinded by the Sun, which is a part of the RBI’s new ongoing series of outward facing video projections. The work mimics the transitions seen during the moments between day and night.

Room For Big Ideas (RBI) is YBCA's free and open project space that engages our audiences specifically through the lens of YBCA's big ideas and multidisciplinary socially engaged arts. It is where art and ideas intersect and are shared through interaction, experimentation and engagement. Room for Big Ideas hosts artists multi-media installations/residencies special visual and performative projects, new media and film screenings, and artists conversations.

We would like to acknowledge Glass Apps, LLC for supporting YBCA by providing a unique projection surface on which the artist's work reaches new depths of audience engagement and interaction.



Evan Bissell
Evan Bissell’s work is a project-based practice of creating structures of collaborative dialogue and expressions of personal and community truths. Working with groups of people, Bissell facilitates educational, auto-ethnographic and contemplative processes of interviews, research, listening, writing and art-making. Resulting from these processes are collaboratively designed, larger-than-life portraits, multi-media participatory exhibitions and public installations. Project themes have ranged from the impact of incarceration on families to imagination as a practice of transformation for youth. Through projects, Bissell has produced over 50 portraits, dozens of free workshops, audio-documentation, celebrations, original give-away timelines, maps and resource guides.

Bissell has had exhibitions on Alcatraz Island, Intersection for the Arts and SOMArts Cultural Center, created a hybrid set/installation for the premiere of Chinaka Hodge’s play Mirrors in Every Corner as well as participating in shows at Southern Exposure and Guerrero Gallery. He is a two-time recipient of the Individual Artist Commission award through the city of San Francisco’s Cultural Equity Grants program, and has received funding from Southern Exposure’s Alternative Exposure program, Puffin Foundation, LEF and the California Arts Council, among others. He was a 2010 Eureka Fellowship Nominee. He has taught art and led public projects in schools (K-12) throughout the Bay Area. Currently Bissell co-teaches Teenalive, a class at El Cerrito High School in partnership with Community Works, that combines curriculum addressing masculinity, communication skills and violence with art.
Bissell is a 2005 graduate of Wesleyan University with a double major in Painting and American Studies with an Ethnic Studies concentration. He was trained in 2011 as a circle keeper by Sujatha Baliga.

Gregory Ito
Gregory Ito lives and works in San Francisco, CA and is the co-owner of the Ever Gold Gallery, co-founder/editor of the San Francisco Arts Quarterly (SFAQ), and honorary member of the Society for the Encouragement of Contemporary Art (SECA). Ito received his BFA at the San Francisco Art Institute (SFAI) for painting and currently works in multiple mediums including painting, photography, sculpture, and video with a heavy emphasis on installation. Ito’s work is driven by human euphoria for natural manifestations such as twilight, and ideas dealing with perceived value in today’s current social climate. Celestial imagery is heavily used in Ito’s work referencing our spiritual connection to time and the eternal. Ito has exhibited his work internationally and will be showing at the Eleanor Harwood Gallery later this year (2012).

In the Wake of the Setting Sun is an interactive funeral altar structured from ceremonies from Chinese, Japanese, and Thai funeral ceremonies. Different aspects of the ceremonies are referenced in the altar like flower arrangements, coffin, color schemes, etc. The altar installation will consist of a combination of live projection, sculpture, painting, photograph, and possibly sound. The altar will be in reverence to the recurring death of the sun, and is aimed to instill the feeling of nostalgia for the sun’s cycle we experience everyday (sunrise, sunset). The altar will function as a sacred space for viewers to offer objects, images, and writing to the setting sun. In the third month of the exhibition a performance will occur where Ito will take the offerings and place them in the coffin, close the coffin, and prepare the coffin for its procession to Ocean Beach where it will be burned and the ashes collected, then redistributed to participants and exhibited on the altar for the remaining of the exhibition.

A component of Ito’s installation, Blinded by the Sun, is a projected video piece on the front windows of the YBCA. Ito combines digital mediums with footage of painterly gesture and color field washes, with video feedback and digital manipulations that are re-presented within the defined line of a perfect circle. Blinded by the Sun mimics the transitions seen during the moments between day and night, using vivid colors seen during twilight, and the unique moment of the “green flash” seen directly before the sun passes the horizon line. Blinded by the Sun is a confined product of the epic qualities of the birth and death of our Sun, and the ephemeral connection people have when looking up at the sky in the Sun’s glorious rendition of the world we live in.

Surabhi Saraf
Inspired by the ways we perceive temporal phenomena through movement, both visually and sonically, Surabhi Saraf uses her background in experimental sound, Indian classical music and choreography to create audio and video works. With a diverse array of techniques, such as repetition, fragmentation, and multiplication, Surabhi designs sequences of rhythmic movements, creating multilayered structures of evolving patterns that slow down our perception of time.

Her project FOLD {Live}, is a series of public performances, in which the “everyday” action of folding laundry is abstracted and transformed into a slow movement meditation. In her recent audio-visual performances Surabhi layers the sound of her voice over the droning percussions of aged fans that are augmented by lights and live video, creating an immersive soundscape.

She graduated from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 2009 with an MFA in Art and Technology. Prior to that, she obtained her BFA in Painting from MSU Baroda (India) in 2005. Surabhi is the winner of Art vs Design (2009) organized by Artists Wanted, New York. Her work PEEL is the Winner of Celeste Prize (2009), Italy. Surabhi’s collaborative work with Nadav Assor, was presented at the NETMAGE 10 International Live Media Festival, Bologna, Italy. Her videos have been shown at the Hunter Museum of American Art Chattanooga, Tenn. and the Museum of Contemporary Art, Vojvodina, Serbia. Her solo and collaborative works have been presented at the Links Hall, Sullivan Galleries in Chicago and The Lab and SOMArts Gallery in San Francisco and Vadehra Art Gallery in New Delhi among others. She also received the Djerassi Resident Artist award for a month long residency in Woodside, Cal. Her recent videos have been screened at multiple international video art festival in Spain, Netherlands, South Korea, Israel, Greece, Australia and Italy. Surabhi currently lives and works in San Francisco.

Sebastian Alvarez
Born in Peru, Sebastian Alvarez is an interdisciplinary artist and independent researcher currently living and working in the Bay Area. He is interested in the interrelation of all life processes and the limitations that arise when these processes are fragmented by language, and other human systems. Using notions of intimacy and estrangement, and relying on the use of silence and the musicality of “untranslated” language he choreographs ritual-like performances, situations and events that generate introspection not only for the audience or viewer but also for the performer. Alvarez received a BFA (2009), and MFA (2011) in Performance Art from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, and has performed and presented work internationally.