educational event

educational event

Electric Fields
Dec 19

Electric Fields

  • Punch Gallery

Electric Fields

2015 Punch Gallery Juried Exhibition

5 NOV 5 - 8 PM

5 NOV - 15 DEC 2015

Juror: Julia Fryett (Founder, Aktionsart)

Left: Joshua Noble. Aaniscope. 2015  
Right: Kevin Bell. Specimen. 2012.

Juror Statement

I thought about many things while swiping through the 1,075 entries submitted to this exhibition. But mostly, I thought about four things: Aaniscopes, rain forests, Walter De Maria and the Beatles.

  1. The Aaniscope, by Joshua Noble, enables its owner to feel electromagnetic field radiation (EMF) - the invisible waves from radios, power lines, wifi signals, bluetooth transmissions and wireless communications that travel through our bodies each day.

  2. The quietest place in the United States is believed to exist above a moss-covered log 678 feet above sea level, situated near a singular square inch of silence at 47° 51.959N, 123° 52.221W, in the Hoh Rain Forest at Olympic National Park.

  3. In 1977, Walter De Maria installed a grid of 400 polished stainless steel poles in a New Mexico desert, each spaced 220 feet apart, to create his seminal work of Land Art, The Lightning Field. The poles materialize into a living, electric sculpture during a lightning storm. The poles are taller than the average person.

  4. Ten years prior, in 1967, John Lennon wrote these words for a song called Strawberry Fields Forever:

Living is easy with eyes closed
Misunderstanding all you see
It's getting hard to be someone
But it all works out
It doesn't matter much to me
Let me take you down
Cause I'm going to Strawberry Fields
Nothing is real
And nothing to get hung about

The works presented here form an exhibition landscape comprised of electrical and natural fields - charged materials and particles, positive and negative, each dependent on the other. Several objects live between product and sculpture as critical hybrids that conceptualize wearable technologies. The spaces between screens and the distances between data sets are visualized, visibly and invisibly. Informed by the aesthetics of scrolling, loading, browsing and shopping, the gallery becomes a store.

A singular juror statement would not be conclusive, as the works encompass an asynchronous supply of disciplines, formats, concepts and subjects. But here are four more things to think about:

  1. Distributed charges at the surface of physical interfaces: the electric shock of The Bracket that signals you have entered a census subarea where the median income is higher or lower than yours, the cathartic charge of your breath on glass, the pressure of a needle

  2. Cash injections and blasts of wifi radiation

  3. Particles of matter with previous histories: a handkerchief, a hand, mahjong tiles, yards, closets

  4. Ikea, electric fields, silence

Julia Fryett
Seattle, November 2015

Artist List

Michael Handley – Philadelphia, PA
Jenny Hawkinson – Vancouver, BC
Carson Grubaugh – Norfolk, VA
Anna Mlasowsky – Seattle, WA
Hongzhe Liang – Seattle, WA
Juequian Fang – Seattle, WA
Catherine Burce – San Pedro, CA
Kevin Bell – Missoula, MT
Barbara Polster – Seattle, WA
Eli Coplan – Portland, OR
Joshua Noble – Seattle, WA
Holly Martz – Bellevue, WA

Punch Gallery

PUNCH was founded in March 2006 by a group of artists eager to participate in the dynamic cultural exchange resulting from the emergence of other artist-run galleries in Seattle. 

PUNCH seeks to exhibit work that is honest, thoughtful, vocal, fearless, and fresh. Applauding individual expression, the gallery’s primary mission is to provide support and encouragement for artists to create and exhibit their work in an atmosphere free from the constraints of commercialism. Committed to excellence on every level, PUNCH promotes the visual arts as a necessary, valid, and worthwhile contribution to Seattle’s cultural growth.

Header Image: The Lighting Field (1977), by Walter De Maria

Seattle Startup Week: 4-Minute Arts Tech Talks
6:30 pm18:30

Seattle Startup Week: 4-Minute Arts Tech Talks

  • Kremwerk

Seattle Arts & Technology Meetup

Open Floor: 4-Minute Talks

We've partnered with Seattle Startup Week and Kremwerk to organize a Seattle Arts & Technology meetup and give YOU the stage (literally, a stage) to talk about whatever you want, within the realm of art and tech, for a max of four minutes.

Ideas: recent projects you've been working on, ideas, manifestos, speeches, how your organization/business is creatively using tech, or perhaps simply introduce yourself and tell us about what type of people you are interesting in meeting or collaborating with through this group.

6:30 - 6:45 // Arrive at venue and sign up for a slot, send images
6:45 - 8:15 // Talks
8:15 - 9 // Socialize 

Each presenter may bring one image to share during their talk. Transfer the file to us from your phone/laptop/etc when you arrive and sign up.

Happy hour drinks will be on special at the bar. 

If you want to stay for the show at 9PM, please make a donation toward the ticket price ($12) at the door when you arrive.

Check out the Seattle Startup Week events, running all week long.

Thanks to Aashish and Bobby from Coldbrew Collective for hooking up the venue,
and thanks to Austin at Kremwerk for hosting!

Art + Tech: How Tech is Disrupting the Art World
6:30 pm18:30

Art + Tech: How Tech is Disrupting the Art World

  • Winston Wachter Fine Art

Join us at Winston Wachter Fine Art!

Julia Fryett (Founder, Aktionsart) will be speaking on a panel focused on art and tech,
organized by General Assembly and 4 Culture.

Art + Tech: How Tech is Disrupting the Art World

This event will delve into how technology is disrupting the art world and creating new pathways for the evolution of art and design.

General Assembly has put together a line up of creative individuals that work in the intersection of art and technology to chat about the way technology is:

  • transforming the way we perceive and define art
  • providing new opportunities for creation and innovation
  • forming disruptive marketplaces, allowing for greater access and distribution
  • shaping the future of the art world
  • + more....

Stick around after for drinks and mingling after with fellow artists, designers, creatives and innovators!

About the Instructors

Omri Mor
Co-founder and CEO, ZIIBRA

Omri founded ZIIBRA in 2011 with the goal of helping artists turn their creative projects into full-time gigs. He has become renowned for his email-slaying skills and tireless attention to design and product. When he's not in the office, you can find him picking up a new record to listen to, eating copious amounts of sushi, or cheering for his alma mater, the University of Washington.

Coldbrew Collective

Coldbrew Collective is a Seattle-based multimedia art group founded in 2013 by Bobby Azarbayejani and Aashish Gadani. Coldbrew's work bridges the divide between analog and digital, using analog hardware to process their custom-written video software. The duo writes their software in Processing, Openframeworks, and low-level GPU programming languages. Their work is split between live audio-visual performances and VHS and digital releases. Coldbrew currently holds residencies at event series such as analog techno night Motor and all-cassette DJ night Hisssssss.

Andy Arkley
LET'SThe Bran Flakes

Andy Arkley is 1/3 of the interactive sound and light sculpture trio, LET'S and a member of the sample collage duo, The Bran Flakes. His work has been shown at Pictoplasma - Berlin, SOIL Gallery, Bumbershoot, The Hedreen Gallery, The Seattle Art Museum and Gallery4Culture. He has a BA from The Evergreen State College where he focused on animation and art.

Julia Fryett

Julia Fryett is a curator and cultural entrepreneur focused on art, film and tech. ased in Seattle, she works to cultivate engaged communities who think creatively and critically about technology and digital culture. She fuses the arts, emerging technologies and entrepreneurial business methodologies to develop visionary projects that drive social innovation. ulia is the founder of Aktionsart, a new art and technology nonprofit, where she consults for businesses, oversees strategic partnerships and programs including Black Box Festival.

General Intellect
Oct 3

General Intellect

  • Aktionsart | Morningside Academy


18 SEPT - 3 OCT 2015
THURS - SAT, 12 - 5 PM

CURATOR: Julia Fryett

South Lake Union Artwalk

THURS 1 OCT, 5 - 8 PM

Aktionsart is pleased to present General Intellect, an exhibition of new work from James Coupe. Featuring a generative database of 3,000 videos produced by workers hired through Amazon’s Mechanical Turk (mTurk) service, this exhibition displays single and multi-channel video installations throughout an entire decaying school building in South Lake Union. Coupe makes the individuals behind mTurk visible by instructing workers to record a one minute video each hour from 9AM and 5PM, thus creating an archive of their regular daily routine. General Intellect questions the value of digital and cultural labor, the shifting conditions of exploitation and the new forms of social alienation that we face today, alone and together.

Mechanical Turk is an online labor market that was inspired by the vision of humans helping machines to perform tasks. Comprised of over 500,000 workers around the world, mTurk distributes human intelligence tasks (HITs) which computers are not yet capable of completing, such as image recognition and filling out surveys. The tasks typically contain little information about who generated them or how they will be used. This marketplace is named after an 18th century life-sized, mechanical figure - “The Turk” - who travelled the world playing and winning chess matches against notables such as Napoleon Bonaparte and Benjamin Franklin. It was later revealed that the machine was an illusion and The Turk was controlled by a human chess master hidden inside a concealed box.

Coupe: “In a society where machines have largely replaced human workers, there are few skills or forms of knowledge that remain exclusively human. Marx anticipated this situation when he coined the term “general intellect” to describe the collective, social intelligence that arises from abstract human knowledge. In a data-driven society, our individuated responses to particular lived situations and contexts have in themselves become a form of capital. With the rise of social media, the conflict between human knowledge and algorithmic knowledge has been drawn into sharp relief. Every time we post our thoughts, ideas, preferences, and comments online, we contribute to a mechanized version of Marx’s general intellect.”

General Intellect is presented as a series of single and multi-channel videos, each automatically generated from a set of unique queries to the database of videos uploaded by mTurk workers. Designed by the artist, queries are based upon demographic information and other metadata provided by the workers. Each query is available for purchase and is accompanied with an annual subscription that funds the cost of workers to complete further HITs based on the properties of that query. As the workers produce more content, the results from the queries change and the videos continually update. The database expands and generates new content through the act of collecting, positioning the collector within a specific socioeconomic relationship with the workers that their query employs.

A portion of the sales proceeds benefit Aktionsart, a new art and technology nonprofit based in Seattle that experiments with new models of new media art production, exhibition and distribution.

Hashtag: #generalintellect

Amazon Art

GENERAL INTELLECT is the first project on Aktionsart's film, video and new media art gallery on Amazon Art. 


Only Human
City Arts, Ellie Dicola
October 1, 2015

Meet the New Boss: You
The Stranger, Jen Graves
September 23, 2015

The Fussy Eye: Have You Got a Minute?
Seattle Weekly, Brian Miller
September 22, 2015

Artist Bio

James Coupe is an artist who works with installation, video, internet and public art. Born in Blackpool, UK, he is now based in Seattle, where he is an Associate Professor at the Center for Digital Art and Experimental Media (DXARTS), University of Washington. Recent commissions include the Toronto International Film Festival, the Henry Art Gallery, and the Abandon Normal Devices Festival. He has received grants and awards from Creative Capital, the Prix Ars Electronica and New Contemporaries. His work has been exhibited worldwide, including venues such as Camden Arts Centre, ZKM and the Museum of Contemporary Canadian Art. Further information about his work can be found at

Program Partner


Living Systems, Oysters and Robots
Jul 16

Living Systems, Oysters and Robots

  • Institute for Systems Biology

Join us on July 15th for our next Seattle Arts & Technology Meetup: LIVING SYSTEMS, OYSTERS AND ROBOTS.

We’ll be thinking about various ideas of “living systems”, considering the possibilities of natural and artificial systems as a source of artistic material. Three artists will give short presentations of their work, which spans systems art, living installation, wearable robotics, performance art and sound sculpture. 

How does a system become an artistic material? What degrees of control over biological systems does technology offer? How do natural and artificial systems shape the capacity for interactivity?

6:30 - 7 PM: Drinks 
7 - 8 PM: Artist talks 
8 - 8:30 PM: Drinks, social

Beverages generously donated by Hilliard's

Aduén Darriba Frederiks 

Aduén is an interactive media artist and a researcher in wearable technology, who is currently in residency at Microsoft. He has a background in Information Technology and holds a Master of Art in European Media. The combination of technology and art has been a drive since 2008 when he started to collaborate with Fashion Designers. At that moment highly influenced by robotics from his work on animations for the NAO H25. Today he is a recognized creative technologist in the field of Fashion and Technology. 

Allison Kudla 

Allison works at the Institute for Systems Biology. Before that she was an artist-in-residence and faculty member at the Srishti School of Art, Design and Technology in Bangalore, India. She was awarded her Doctorate of Philosophy from the University of Washington’s Center for Digital Arts and Experimental Media (DXARTS) in 2011. She also holds a BFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, 2002. In her most recent projects, she has been exploring the combination of patterns, fabrication technologies and plant tissue culturing to make living installations.

Thomas Deuel 

Thomas is a neuroscientist, sound artist, and neurologist who combines his interests and skills in understanding brain physiology with those of music composition and sound art. He received an M.D. and a Ph.D. in Neurobiology from Harvard University, where his doctoral dissertation focused on genetics and neurophysiology of cortical development. His post-doctoral research focused on complex sound and music processing in the human cortex. He also brings several years of practice as a sound artist, making site-specific sound installations, interactive music devices, and sound sculptures. His current work involves development of a brain-music interface, using thought control of the subject to create music compositions without movement.  He is currently on medical staff at Swedish Hospital as a practicing neurologist, and an epilepsy and EEG specialist.

Towards Invisibility
1:30 pm13:30

Towards Invisibility

  • Henry Art Gallery

Panel discussion focusing on the response of artists and cultural institutions to issues related to privacy and surveillance.

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