A lecture by Ekene Ijeoma with response by Amina Blacksher, Adjunct Assistant Professor, Columbia GSAPP.
Ekene Ijeoma is an artist, professor at MIT, and the founder and director of the Poetic Justice group at MIT Media Lab. Through both his studio and lab at MIT, Ijeoma researches social inequality across multiple fields including social science to develop artworks in sound, video, multimedia, sculpture and installation. Working from data studies and life experiences, and using both computational design and conceptual art strategies, he reframes social issues through artworks that embody and empower overlooked truths within systems of oppression.
Ijeoma’s Breathing Pavilion was on view at Ashland Plaza in Brooklyn until May 11th. Commissioned by Van Alen and Downtown Brooklyn Partnership, Breathing Pavilion created a public space of reprieve during this time of intense hardship and loss. Site-specific performances were scheduled weekly throughout the run of the installation.
Current additional works in development by Ijeoma and his lab Poetic Justice include A Counting, a series of phone and internet-based artworks, and Black Mobility and Safety in the US, a series of public lectures, conversations, and panels. A Counting is an ongoing series of video-based and sound-based voice portraits of US cities that explore the linguistic and ethnic inequality in the US Census by counting to a hundred with a different language for each number. In Summer 2020, three editions were launched for New York City, Houston and Omaha in partnership with the Museum of the City of New York, Brooklyn Public Library, Contemporary Arts Museum Houston and Bemis Center for Contemporary Art.
His work has been commissioned and presented by museums, galleries and other cultural institutions including Contemporary Art Museum of Houston (Beyond CAMH, ‘20), The Kennedy Center (Heartfelt, ‘19; Arts Summit, D.C, ‘17), Museum of the City of New York (Who We Are, ‘19; Germ City, ‘18), Arts Club of Chicago (Deconstructed Anthems, ‘19), Fondation EDF (123 Data, ‘18), Pratt Manhattan Gallery (You are Here ‘17), Neuberger Museum of Art (Landed, ‘16), Annenberg Space for Photography (New Americas, ‘16), Museum of Modern Art (Design and Violence, ‘15), Design Museum London (Designs of the Year, 15), Istanbul Design Biennial (‘15), and Storefront for Art and Architecture (Measure, ‘15).