As a curator, writer and educator, Vanessa Chang builds communities and conversations about art, technology and human bodies. She is Senior Program Manager at Leonardo/ISAST. She holds a Ph.D. in Modern Thought and Literature from Stanford University and teaches at California College of the Arts. Most recently, she curated Recoding CripTech at SOMArts Cultural Center, Intersections at Fort Mason Center for the Arts, and Artobots. She has appeared on NPR’s On the Media and State of the Art, and her curatorial work has been profiled in Art in America and KQED Arts. Her writing has been published in Wired, Slate, Los Angeles Review of Books, and Noema Magazine, among other publications.
When Plan A lost its luster, I became more attuned to the core values that had originally guided me – and allowed that to be the illumination for reimagining and remaking my path, rather than the measures that had come with the territory. I wasn’t sure if I was carving a niche or digging a hole…but maybe you never are.
Sometimes the continuities aren’t where you expect them to be – or they become clear later. What might seem like disruptions of expectation might later emerge as continuities of spirit. Also, compassion – for self and others – nurtures the marathon work.
Technological platforms best serve when community norms are articulated – muting on/off to allow people to speak, etc. Inviting some play and embodiment is also helpful – AR/snap filters were a fun way to integrate some visual elements into a storytelling relay race i was part of. I also think its important at this time to acknowledge that virtual platforms have allowed folks to participate who may not have been able to, but that we also need to be cognizant of accessibility needs (i.e. ensuring closed captions are on for people who are hard of hearing).
Miro, Third Space Network, New Art City
Finding the right collaborators – and doing the work to clearly define the terms of that collaboration from the outset – is key to elevating (and where necessary, reining in) creative vision.