I Am Maneuvering With Difficulty
Angela Willetts
August 25 – September 16, 2017
Embark Gallery

I Am Maneuvering With Difficulty addresses the history of the Fort Mason military site and the semiotics of naval codes. In researching Fort Mason’s history and following conversations with National Park Service historians, Angela Willetts’ explorations of the defunct military base led her to consider how the psychology of fear and defense systems currently operate within her own life. Borrowing military strategies and languages, her work underscores themes of vulnerability and protection through task-based performances, drawings, and handmade, site-specific flags. Read more.

Visions from the Pit
Zulfikar Ali Bhutto and Gabriel Christian
May 25 – 27, 2017
The San Francisco International Arts Festival, presented by Embark Gallery

Visions from the Pit are performative vignettes on chaos, the monstrous, and the apocalypse performed by Zulfikar Ali Bhutto and Gabriel Christian. Allow Bhutto and Christian to calm your existential nerves with the news that the world has always been falling apart. With both gravity and humor, they present queer strategies for living and dying in the Anthropocene in this one-hour performance. Bhutto and Christian explore through sound and movement the effect of state sanctioned violence on the bodies it finds threatening. To imagine a single apocalypse at the end of our days is a privilege reserved for the cloistered, when there are those who live many apocalypses. With each one, we must stand back and confront each trauma moment by moment. Read more.

Fluid State
Martin Machado
May 30 – August 19, 2018
Main Gallery, San Francisco Art Institute

Martin Machado is a visual artist and alumnus of San Francisco Art Institute who has travelled the world on international commercial vessels as a merchant mariner. His work takes the form of drawings, paintings, and photographs that offer a window into this often-overlooked system of global commerce that underpins modern life. Cumulatively, the works in this exhibition illustrate Machado’s time at sea and his deep engagement with the people, places, and historical and cultural complexities of maritime exploration and trade. The exhibition’s title, Fluid State, alludes to the state of flux that defines both a life at sea and the shifting tides of global capitalism. Read more.

Landscape Sculpture with Foghorns
Bill Fontana
February 16 – April 30, 2018
Gray Box Gallery & Main Gallery, San Francisco Art Institute

As part of the year-long opening celebrations of SFAI’s new Fort Mason Campus, internationally-renowned sound artist Bill Fontana’s 1981 work Landscape Sculpture with Foghorns is re-presented in its original location on the eastern wall of Pier 2, now San Francisco Art Institute’s Fort Mason campus. This temporally-specific installation layers and overlaps with the contemporary soundscape of the San Francisco waterfront. Read more.

Will Brown
September 13 – November 10, 2018
Walter and McBean Galleries, San Francisco Art Institute

The collective Will Brown invests their exhibition budget in the cryptocurrency Ethereum, making the investment’s fluctuations visible in real time via an accompanying app which also controls elements inside the gallery. I commissioned and developed this project in collaboration with the artists over four years, and secured funding from two granting organizations. Read more.

Lurid Ecologies: Ways of Seeing the Bay
Tanja Geis
July 28 – August 19
Embark Gallery

Tanja Geis partnered with the Smithsonian Environmental Research Center (SERC) to develop an exhibition responding to their work monitoring, conserving and restoring the San Francisco Bay. For Embark, Geis reimagines the substrates set in the bay for colonization by Ostrea lurida, the native oyster, for a series of phantasmagoric drawings made using mud pigment from the Bay. These drawings are shown alongside a 3-channel video installation, shot in research tanks at the Romberg Tiburon Center. Read more.

Carole Doyle Peel: Memorial and Exhibition
April 2017
Kala Art Institute

Carole Doyle Peel, the southern California-born Berkeley artist known especially for portraits and still lifes died on December 25, 2016. Peel was professor emerita at the California College of the Art, where she taught for over 40 years. Read more.

A Few Select Bits of All Knowledge: A Visual Archive
Christopher Nickel
July 28 – August 19
Embark Gallery

For A Few Select Bits of All Knowledge: A Visual Archive, Nickel mines the image collection of the Internet Archive—an ever-expanding visual database of user generated digital (and digitized) media—for the raw materials to create large-scale scroll-like tableaus. These digital collages of seemingly unrelated images have been filtered through the eclectic categories employed by the Whole Earth Catalog—a publication that acted as compendium and how-to guide for the utopian visions enacted by the self-sufficient back-to-the-land communities of the 1960s and 70s. Visually drawing the two together acknowledges both the active role that the Whole Earth Catalog took in promoting digital networks as the emerging form for self-organizing communities, while also serving as a direct model for our current Internet-based aggregators, searches engines, and the non-hierarchical system the Internet Archive has applied to its multiple repositories as they seek to fulfill their mission of providing “Universal Access to All Knowledge.” Read more.

The Anthropocene Style
Philippe Rahm
March 29 – May 19, 2018
Walter and McBean Galleries, San Francisco Art Institute

Philippe Rahm: The Anthropocene Style is the first United States exhibition of internationally renowned Paris-based Swiss artist and architect Philippe Rahm. The exhibition manifests Rahm’s ideas surrounding the urgency of climate change through an architecture and design process that takes climate, atmosphere, and physiology as its primary material. Read more.

Feathered Changes, Serpent Disappearances
Mariana Castillo Deball
April 14 – July 30, 2016
Walter and McBean Galleries, San Francisco Art Institute

Feathered Changes, Serpent Disappearances presents an archaeological search for absence and a study in the gaps of memory. What role does chance—in the form of lapsed time, erosion, fragmentation, and human intervention—play in our subjective interpretation of history? By lingering on the unknown histories of artifacts, Deball underscores the effects of natural and social processes within archaeological narratives. The exhibition presents a new vision of archaeology—one that acknowledges ghosts, double visions, and multiple versions of history. Read more.