Kameelah Janan Rasheed Artist Lecture & Exhibition Opening Reception

September 1, 6pm-9pm

Join us for an artist lecture by Brooklyn-based learner, Kameelah Janan Rasheed followed by an exhibition reception celebrating her new installation Smooooooooooooooth Operator.

Kameelah Janan Rasheed presents a new exhibition that examines the poetics and power of machine learning. She questions computation, the role of the reader, and ritual in Smooooooooooooooth Operator which considers the menace of smoothness. We know what a smooth thing is; we’ve run our hand over a surface without noticeable projections or interruptions. Smoothing as a practice shows up in music via quantization and again in image processing via filters. Both are procedures of standardization and forced patterning by disregarding dirty data (or noise) in the service of fulfilling the audience’s expectations. Smooth viewing is easy viewing because the brain doesn’t have to second guess what it is looking at. Smooth images, smooth text make smooth, speed readers.

Kameelah Janan Rasheed (she/they) was born in East Palo Alto, CA. Rasheed lives and works in Brooklyn, NY. She has an MA in Secondary Social Studies Education from Stanford University (2008) and a BA in Public Policy from Pomona College (2006). She was an Amy Biehl U.S. Fulbright Scholar at the University of Witwatersrand, South Africa (2006–7). Rasheed’s work has been exhibited nationally at the Brooklyn Museum; the New Museum; MASS MoCA; the Queens Museum; the Bronx Museum; the Studio Museum in Harlem; Portland Institute for Contemporary Art; the Institute of Contemporary Art, Philadelphia; Jack Shainman Gallery, New York; the Brooklyn Public Library; and the Brooklyn Historical Society, among others. Her work has been exhibited internationally at NOME; Transmission Gallery, Glasgow; Kunsthalle Wien; Bétonsalon Centre d'art et de recherche, Paris; Contemporary Art Gallery, Vancouver; Artspace Peterborough; the 57th Venice Biennial; and the National Gallery of Zimbabwe, among others. Her public installations have appeared at Ballroom Marfa; the Brooklyn Museum; For Freedoms x Times Square Art, New York; Public Art Fund, New York; Moody Center for the Arts, Houston; The California Air Resources Board; and several others.

Rasheed is the author of three artist’s books: An Alphabetical Accumulation of Approximate Observations (Endless Editions, 2019), No New Theories (Printed Matter, 2019), and the digital publication Scoring the Stacks (Brooklyn Public Library, 2021). Her writing, including longform essays and interviews, has appeared in Triple Canopy, The New Inquiry, Shift Space, Active Cultures, and The Believer. She is a 2021 Guggenheim Fellow in Fine Arts and a 2022 Creative Capital Awardee. For the 2021-2022 school year, she was an adjunct at the School of Visual Arts - MFA Fine Arts (2016–present) and The Cooper Union (2022-present). In 2021, she was a Core Critic at Yale School of Art - MFA Painting and Printmaking as well as a Program Mentor for the School of the Art Institute of Chicago’s low-residency MFA Program (2021–present). Additionally, for the 2021–22 school year, she was the inaugural Douglass Discovery Arts Fellow at Rutgers University’s Douglass Residential College and Mason Gross School of Arts.

This program is supported by the Lamar Dodd School of Arts Visiting Artist and Scholar Lecture Series and by the 2021 Presidential Interdisciplinary Seed Grant Program,


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