Renée Reizman, “Individual Standards” (2019) (courtesy the artist)

First coined by influential philosopher and media critic Marshall McLuhan in 1964, the phrase “The Medium is the Message” proposes that the form through which a message is communicated is just as important, if not more so, than the content of the message itself. Building off of this initial premise, Spectacular Grammar is an exhibition and series of workshops organized by artist, curator, and Hyperallergic contributor Renée Reizman for her MFA thesis that explores how information technology is not just a means of communication, but an evolution in language.

This Saturday, Reizman has put together a free, day-long symposium to explore in greater depth the ideas raised in the exhibition. Technology evangelists often tout the democratic, non-hierarchical nature of contemporary digital revolutions; however, as the title of one of the talks suggests, “Tech is not Neutral.” In many ways, the tech industry has reproduced systems of exclusion and hegemony rather than disrupt them. With roots in activism, accessibility, and design, symposium panelists will discuss how technology’s progressive potential for empowerment can be realized. Alongside Reizman, participants include designer, educator, and Harvard GSD student Mindy Seu; paige watkins, a Detroit-based community organizer, archivist, and co-founder of the Black Bottom Archives; Color Coded, a POC-only space in Los Angeles working with historically disenfranchised communities to teach and create new technologies; and Feminist.AI, a research and design group challenging the lack of diversity in AI with a “feminist posthumanist (inclusive) approach.”

When: Saturday, April 6, 9am–6pm
Where: Room Gallery, University of California, Irvine (712 Arts Plaza, Irvine, California)

More info at Spectacular Grammar.

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Matt Stromberg

Matt Stromberg is a freelance visual arts writer based in Los Angeles. In addition to Hyperallergic, he has contributed to the Los Angeles Times, CARLA, Apollo, ARTNews, and other publications.