Spring 2023

Topics & Cohort

03/27 – Between the Black Body and Water; Finding Rest in Turbulent Times | Daya Tiye Stanley

I became interested in Black people’s relationship with water after spending a lot of time in my college career relearning the ways I am connected to water and can be in water as well as nature. Water has been a vehicle for both rest and oppression in my life. It is the duality of water that interests me.

How can something so critical to survival also be the means by which colonization has disconnected generations of Black Americans from their ancestors? How have Black people utilized water to escape, if only momentarily, oppression? What possibilities for healing lie in relearning to be in water? How has racism and urbanization obstruct our relationship with water?

Daya Tiye is a multimedia artist and writer from Chicago, Il. Through her work, She strives to paint vibrant portraits of Black American life, specifically focusing on the experiences of Black women.

04/03 – Storytelling Post Colonialism Through Landscape & Plants History | Jenny Rafalson

As a female immigrant from the former USSR in Israel and currently an alien in the US. I’m asking questions on belonging, longing for home and borders through language on plants. How language and representation helps build an image on political issues, especially when it comes to weeds and wild plants and the way it reflects on the political discourse on immigration.

Jenny Rafalson (Born in the former USSR and grew up in Israel) is a photographer and a video artist, based between NYC, Chicago and Tel-Aviv. Rafalson question the meaning of belonging in modern society, detachment and yearning for home, post-colonization in different contemporary cultures, often through the use of plants. She exhibited at Yi gallery, Brooklyn (2023), NARS Foundation, Brooklyn (2022), Expo Chicago (2022), Filter photo (2021), 062 gallery ,Chicago (2020) and The sixth Israel Photography Festival, Tel- Aviv, 2018. Rafalson holds an MFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, (2020), BFA Hadassah College Bachelor program (2013).

04/10 – Afterlife Assemblage: Craft as Speculative Framework for Memorial Practice | Gabriel Moreno

Our present moment is increasingly referred to as “the end times,” and I’ve been asking more earnestly “what happens after the end?” Aware that the end of the world has already happened for many civilizations, cultures, and species, it seems apparent we are already living in a condition of multiple afterlives. I want to explore what the concept of an afterlife can mean beyond traditional Christian frameworks of resurrection. Entering the subject through the material language of craft I hope to reflect, speculate, and dream how it can be a vessel for considering witness, memorial, and building in our time.

Gabriel Moreno is a multidisciplinary artist based in Chicago, Illinois. His practice is indexical and based in assemblage: culling forms, textures, narratives, and materials from the world in order to refigure it in objects and drawing. Attuned to how objects witness time, he utilizes research, design, participation, and craft processes flexibly to play with notions of history, memory, and endings.

04/17 – Los Nuevos Ayllus: Collaborative Resistance and Pedagogical Resonances from the Global South | Olenka Macassi & Rodrigo Carazas Portal

As members of the latine diaspora, artists and educators, we want to help highlight and frame the mutual-help efforts of our communities as methods of teaching and resistance. From WhatsApp groups to major artist collectives, we wish to dig deeper into the micro practices that help our cultures mutate during our dispersion around the globe. How is this data disseminated? What does it look like? Who has access to it? Why are they important?

Olenka Macassi and Rodrigo Carazas Portal are core members of R.I.C.O. R.O.B.O. (The Research Institute on Cannibal Opportunism Repository of Obsessive Bobo-lutionary Obsolescence). A cultural production bureau specialized in scratching, remixing and hacking the corporate and institutional consumption of Latin(x)(o)(a)(e)(+) narratives in the Americas. Roleplaying with commercial and academic business models, R.I.C.O. R.O.B.O harvests a counter-manipulation agenda through transgressive knowledge exchange, site-specific interventions and cross-border research.

R.I.C.O. R.O.B.O. is a current member of New Museum’s NEW INC. Recent public programs include “Looking 👀” an itinerant plaza presented at New Lab (New York City), a conversation with Helena Lugo for Untitled Art Podcast (Miami) and “Amix, Lo Siento” a short story published by Terremoto (Mexico City).

04/24 – LL Proyectos. Auto-Constructed Pathways in the Central American Art Scene | Karon Sabrina Corrales

During these years, being an independent curator in a country that has no support for contemporary art teaches you to find your own alternative routes to work. Despite the lack of support for Central America and particularly Honduran art; we decided to start our own project and address this in some sort of way. LL proyectos, has been able to shapeshift as the need arose; this mutability of being able to transpose from one set of circumstances to another was part of our survival strategy in this chaotic country we are part of. This shapeshift capacity has turned our projects into a series of “nomadic thinking projects”; open to encounters with others; building transversal alliances. With this unstable and constant movement of the city we found ourselves in the need to create our own alternative back routes; our self-made pathways and workarounds; learning as always to create altered spaces of our own.

Karon Sabrina Corrales is a cultural producer, art manager and currently independent curator. In 2016 she co-founded LL Proyectos, an independent contemporary art project in Tegucigalpa, Honduras with artist and curator Leonardo Gonzalez. She was selected for the 12th Berlin Biennale Curators Workshop that was curated and directed by Reem Shadid. In 2021 she was part of the Young Curators Academy as part of 5th Berliner Herbstsalon of the Maxim Gorki Theatre, Berlin. In 2021 she was awarded the Prince Claus Seed Award by the Prince Claus Fund. She was head of programmes for the Museo del Hombre Hondureño in Tegucigalpa, and Cultural producer for the Spanish Cultural Center in Tegucigalpa, Honduras.

05/01 – The Semiotics of Belonging: A Study of Belonging in the Chicago Urban Landscape Through Visibilizing Markers of Displacement and Environmental Racism | Carlos Flores

Through Tanda, I hope to collaboratively further a shared exploration of signs/signifiers that engender belonging  and non-belonging in our everyday environments. Through decoding the markers of ‘sacrifice zones’, to studying the effects of a gentrifying South West side, to showcasing how Chicago artists are resisting silent and extractive capitalist complexes, I hope to explore as a group how the performance of objects/people/places create space for some and displaces others.

Carlos Flores is an artist, radical community arts organizer, culture worker, and flower farmer based in Archer Heights, Chicago. He received his BFA from UIC in 2016 and has since received recognition and awards including 3Arts, United States Artists, The Luminarts Cultural Foundation, and the Andy Warhol Foundation. Past exhibitions include the Hyde Park Art Center, Heaven Gallery, Mana Contemporary, and the National Museum of Mexican Art. His work is informed by his experiences as a queer Latine immigrant on the Southwest Side of Chicago and brings viewers face to face with issues of environmental racism, displacement, gender, and race.


Josué Esaú co-facilitated the SP ’23 season. Josué participated in the Tanda Spring ’22 with the topic: Mesofuturism: Reclaiming Historical Identity through Archiving and Critical Fabulation.

Josué Esaú channels Mesoamerican cosmology, culture, and ritual to anchor reconnection with ancestry, land, and energy. Following the tradition of Afro- and Indigenous Futurisms, Esaú ventures the energetic middle spaces, spiritual-temporal portals and sites of future knowledge through the coined framework of Meso-Futurism. Aware of problematic pseudo-histories and distrust in science-fiction relationship to western ideas of progress and settler colonial time, Esaú creates garments, ritual devices, and collaborative performance as a mode of accountability, play, and care work to offer bridges to Maya space-time. He proposes ancient, plural ways to mark and enjoy time and space, entwining ourselves with the inherent rhythms of the earth, the cosmos and our co-inhabitants.