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Curated Art Exhibitions

The Institute for Aesthetic Advocacy uses innovative curatorial practices and gallery spaces to break down the digital divides that have made it harder for everyone to decide what is true and who can be trusted. The IAA prides itself on producing and promoting academically peer-reviewed “aesthetic education” exhibits that can also be curated to provide supplemental materials for social activism or legal action.  We are especially interested in using gallery spaces as a means of navigating scientific and technological controversies during a time of rampant institutional distrust.

Spring 2023:
All Bullets Shatter

Over 20,000 bullets were fired in Minneapolis in 2021. These stories of gun violence are always “counted” in fatalities and injuries. But behind the numbers, there is always an “uncounted” human story of trauma for victims and their families that can’t be qualified. As a small step towards correcting this injustice, and to amplify the stories and voices of these unheard victims, the Institute for Aesthetic Advocacy – in partnership with the Institute for Digital Humanity, Guns Down. Love Up.; and the Digital Archive of Literacy Narratives – invited submissions to our art exhibition and online storytelling archive: “All Bullets Shatter: Uncounted Stories of Gun Violence and Trauma.” The original exhibition took place on May 5, 2022, with more installations coming in 2023.

Fall 2021:
Plugging In

As with every other part of society, technology is changing public safety forever.  The need to ensure basic principles of human and civil rights in the mechanisms of digital public safety has never been more pressing.  Along with the Institute for Digital Humanity and the Safety Not Surveillance coalition, the IAA participated in a public discussion and technology workshop focused on surveillance, privacy rights, racial justice, and digital ethics. The event was hosted on October 20, 2021

Spring 2021:
Digital Rights are Civil Rights

The murder of George Floyd made it clear to the world that systemic racism is a life or death issue for people of color in our country.  This issue has only become more pressing in light of recent technological developments:  racist facial recognition software; predictive policing programs that target minorities;  and discriminatory algorithms (in employment, healthcare, education, and criminal justice) that violate our privacy, threaten free speech, and replace human judgment with encoded systemic inequity.  In partnership with ACLU MN, Native Youth Arts Collective (NYAC), Post ME, and the Institute for Digital Humanity, the Institute for Aesthetic Advocacy facilitated a juried art exhibition and community conversation — “Digital Rights are Civil Rights” — that focused on the intersection of race and technology, and was curated to catalyze local and national community conversations on digital ethics.  It took place virtually and physically on February 19th, 2021.

Spring 2020:

In this time of uncertainty, COVID-19 -- both at its height and in its aftermath -- has contaminated everything: our homes, our lives, our communication, and even our shared reality. But how can we use art to cleanse and decontaminate our world of the “political plagues” --  cultural divisions, medical inequities, and digital pollution -- that COVID has called greater attention to?  In order to start disinfecting ourselves -- and re-constructing our shared humanity (and reality)  -- the Institute for Aesthetic Advocacy and the Institute for Digital Humanity solicited submissions to our juried show “Contaminated.”  Focusing on how COVID-19 has invaded every aspect of our lives -- but curated to catalyze cross-cultural conversations on our post-COVID-19 existence  -- “Contaminated” was hosted (virtually and physically) on May 7th, 2020.

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