March 2019 Design & Art Event Hotlist

After all the rain these past couple of months (anyone else just over “atmospheric rivers”?), we are eager to get out of our studios and stretch our creative muscles. Arianna Orland and Dava Guthmiller, In/Visible Talks’ co-founders and both long-time practicing designers, have kept tabs on all the upcoming events in the Bay Area, and they have some suggestions for where you might go and what you might do to get inspired. March’s curated list includes lectures, exhibitions, and a fantastic painting competition. Reserve your tickets soon.

Binary Salon.

We love medium crossovers. By artists and for artists, Binary Salons are places where creatives who are working at the intersection of art+tech come together to collaborate, share ideas, and practice their crafts. This Binary Salon features presentations by installation and graphic artist Anastasia Victor and new media artist Tyler Freeman. Ages 21+. Free with RSVP. March 5, 6:00–9:00 pm. The Midway Gallery, 900 Marin Street, San Francisco.

Jenny Odell: Open Source Intelligence.

Jenny Odell brought the house down with her talk “How to Do Nothing” at In/Visible Talks 2018, so we can’t wait to hear from her again. Taking a cue from “open source intelligence” (OSINT, a term that refers to the collection of publicly available data for intelligence purposes), this lecture will focus on the role of the artist as researcher and interloper into other disciplines. Free. March 8, 4:30–6:30 pm. San Francisco Art Institute—Chestnut Street Campus, 800 Chestnut Street, Osher Lecture Hall, San Francisco.

Art Battle.

Witness the process of craft—live! In three fast-paced rounds, painters will compete for your vote to become the champion. Join the fun as a spectator or apply online here to participate as one of the featured artists. All paintings created that night will be available via silent auction at the event. Ages 21+. $15–$20. March 13, 7:00–10:00 pm. The Great Northern, 119 Utah Street, San Francisco.

Register to participate:

Neil Torrefiel: Inclusion in Design.

People around the world are discriminated against every day for who they are. As designers, we have the power to make marginalized populations feel seen, accepted, normalized, holistic, and loved. Inclusive design is the practice of designing products, services, and experiences that are accessible and usable by as many people as possible. In his lecture, Neil Torrefiel will explore the issues and responsibilities designers must embrace to create an equitable future. Free. March 14, 6:00–8:00 pm. California College of the Arts, 1111 Eighth Street, Main Building, San Francisco.

Five and Two Others.

Acclaimed artist Mildred Howard believes “Art is art, regardless of who makes it.” In this forthcoming group show, Howard presents selected works of five Creativity Explored artists, Vincent Jackson, James Miles, Selene Perez, Evelyn Reyes, and Lance Rivers, alongside two contemporary Bay Area artists, Oliver Lee Jackson and John Moore. Addressing inequities in curatorial practices in the art world, Howard aims to open up a dialogue about artistic representation by presenting groupings of small-format works by artists with and without developmental disabilities, with an egalitarian vision and exceptional grace. Free. March 14 (Opening Reception 7:00–9:00 pm) through May 2. Creativity Explored, 3245 16th Street, San Francisco.

Algorithmic Art Assembly.

In presentations, performances, and workshops, this new two-day conference and music festival showcases a diverse range of artists who use algorithmic tools and processes in their works. From live coding visuals and music at algoraves, to virtual reality, gaming, augmented tooling, generative music composition, and knot tying, this event celebrates artists abusing algorithms for the aesthetics. Two-Day Assembly Pass: $75 (individual event tickets are also available). 12:00 pm March 22 to 11:00 pm March 23. Gray Area / Grand Theater, 2665 Mission Street, San Francisco.


Looking for more ideas? Check out the In/Visible Talks blog for reviews of design and arts events we’ve attended recently and to learn about upcoming opportunities.

GOAT Salon with Arianna Orland & Dava Guthmiller

Our guests are Dava Guthmiller and Arianna Orland creators of In/Visible Talks. They founded these design community events as a platform to keep learning, stay inspired, and to celebrate their genuine love of design.

Dava is the Founder and Chief Creative Officer at Noise 13, a branding and design agency that focuses on lifestyle brands. She has been featured in publications such as HOW, Communication Arts, and Print Magazine, and is also a board member for Slow Food California and advisor for Good Food Awards.

Arianna is a creative director, advisor, and artist with over 20 years experience leading brand, product, and marketing work. While she’s based in the Bay Area now, her life and work have spanned both coasts. In New York City, she led the web design practice for Hillman Curtis and worked with well-known artistic and cultural institutions such as David Byrne and SVA (School of Visual Arts).

She is also the founder of Paper Jam Press, a letterpress poster and apparel company.

About GOAT Salon

*GOAT Salons are intimate evening talks where a special guest is interviewed for a bit and then we all have a spirited discussion.

Each salon features a special guest who will talk about something they are working on – a book, music composition, video piece, online project – or just a provocative topic they have an opinion about. Most importantly, we want you to ask questions and chime in, salon-style. It’ll be thought-provoking, funny, and yes, there will be adult beverages.

We charge you money because space is limited and charging $10 keeps people from grabbing a seat and then flaking. Also, to buy beer and snacks. We don’t have VC money.

*Greatest of All Time. Also, we love goats.

Five Questions with Alex Zyuzikov: Photographer

Growing up in a family of architects, Alex Zyuzikov was exposed to the world of art and creative thinking early on. Although he tried his hand at drawing, painting, and graphic design, today he works as a photographer and visual storyteller, and he describes his work as “creative environmental portraiture.”

Alex is a commercial advertising and editorial photographer and his photos are atmospheric, immersive, vibrant, imaginative, and moving.

You can check out some of Alex’s work on his website and in the gallery of photos from 2019 In/Visible Talks. Alex and his wife—and business partner—Anastasia shot all the beautiful photos at the speaker dinner and conference on January 17.

What is your relationship to the creative process?

“Photography as a career exists because we can show things in a way that other people can’t. It’s our own interpretation of the world. We can look at the same subject in the same room with the same light as 20 other people, but portray them in a completely different and unique way through our photos. By choosing what to show (and what to hide), we have the power to show the audience what the subject and their surroundings mean to us personally and thus make others see a completely new side of them.

“We also have the ability to create work that has extraordinary power and meaning for our clients. By learning about and studying our subjects—what’s important to them, their passions, their fears, and what makes them happy—we can create the deepest of meanings in the simplest of photos. Pretty photos with little substance are soon forgotten. Meaningful photos make you feel something and make you come back to them again and again. Meaningful photos need to move you in some way, to make you see an ordinary place or a familiar face in a different light. We, as photographers, have the power to do that.”

How or where to you find inspiration?

“I find myself drawing inspiration from the world of physical art and its design principles when thinking up new ideas for photos. My curiosity is what helps me keep myself inspired, as I am always trying new ways to make my photos interesting and unique.”

When did you first realize you needed to be in a creative field?

“I had absolutely no interest in photography—never owned a camera or wanted to take pictures of any kind—until about 2009 or so. What sparked my interest was going on a shoot with a photojournalist friend of mine. I was fascinated with the way she was capturing people in their environments and her unique way of translating moments into photographs. I went out and bought a camera the next day and started shooting everything I could—landscapes, urban life, portraits, and eventually commercial assignments.

“In 2010, I did a personal 365-day project during which I went out and created a photo every single day. These weren’t just simple snapshots; a lot of them involved my packing a backpack full of expensive camera gear and going out into the city, often with no idea of what I was taking a picture of that day. Day or night, rain or shine, I still took a photo every single day. A lot of them were portraits (and a lot of them self-portraits, for the lack of a better model), and most of them were multi-light setups on the busy streets of San Francisco. I had my lights on light stands, my camera on a tripod, an interval timer, and me running back and forth between adjusting camera settings and posing for the shot. I even tried to recreate a few pretty complex sets used by such masters of light as Joe McNally—all while trying to make sure none of my gear got stolen or damaged. Needless to say, each shot took hours to create. This was exhausting, but it accelerated my learning process tremendously and helped me launch my photography career. It also made me realize how important it was for me to keep pushing myself creatively and how much I enjoyed the creative process.”

What was one of your biggest creative challenges?

“How to see the extraordinary in normal, everyday things. How to look past the obvious. How to create work that is meaningful.”

Who is one of your heroes and why?

“Steve McCurry is a true genius when it comes to composition and capturing moments. Some of his work is almost too perfect, but I know that this comes with a lot of patience and year and years (and years) of perfecting and refining your skills and I was finally able to fulfill my dream of working with him and learning from him in Myanmar earlier this year.”