Upcoming and recent exhibitions, screenings, presentations, projects.
NextShark, Yahoo News on Virtually Asian
“A video essay by artist Astria Suparak offers a visual critique of sci-fi and speculative fiction films that use Asian cultures as a backdrop and Asian people as props.”
The Hollywood Reporter on Asian Futures, Without Asians
“Asian Futures, Without Asians illuminates the lopsided nature of one Hollywood genre and critiques the way media is concepted to guide audience empathy. Suparak’s [installation] investigates how artificial intelligence is coded in film, and the ways in which sympathetic robots and cyborgs, who are often white, are designed”
MoMA: An Evening with Astria Suparak
Two-week run of “Asian futures, without Asians” at MoMA, NY. Followed by a conversation with Xin Wang and Theodore Lau.
SYMPATHETIC WHITE ROBOTS
An installation that “compiles stills from films that marshal empathy for AI agents who are coded as white and humanized through their association with whiteness […] Suparak’s media archaeology interrogates imaginaries of AI”
Short looping video that collages footage from 30 years of futuristic sci-fi movies and television shows that employ a fetishized tropics trope.
WHY ARE THEY SO AFRAID OF THE LOTUS?
Published by the Wattis Institute & Sternberg Press, distributed by MIT Press. Newly commissioned texts and an edited selection, taking the work of Trinh T. Minh-ha as its point of departure and driven by the question “What are we learning from artists today?”
ASIAN FUTURES, WITHOUT ASIANS (presentation)
Part critical analysis, part reflective essay and sprinkled throughout with humor, justified anger, and informative morsels, this illustrated presentation examines over 50 years of American science fiction cinema through the lens of Asian appropriation and whitewashing.
HELMET TO HELMET
Collage of the Philippine salakót (roughly translates from Tagalog to “native helmet”); how it was worn by Filipinos and Spaniards in the occupying Spanish army; then adapted into the pith helmet, since deployed by every white colonial power.
SEEDY SPACE PORTS & COLONY PLANETS
Visual essay and collage on the history and (sci-fi) future of the ancient Asian technology, the conical hat.
ASIANS HAVE BEEN HERE LONGER THAN COWBOYS
Billboard created for For Freedoms by Stop DiscriminAsian, on view in Los Angeles.
Los Angeles Times on Virtually Asian
“Astria Suparak’s ‘Virtually Asian’ […] well worth checking out.”
New York Times on Virtually Asian
“Countering invisibility is at the heart of a short film by Astria Suparak titled ‘Virtually Asian.’ It splices together scenes from science fiction movies in which urban landscapes are filled with stereotypical ‘Asian’ signifiers, but the actual characters are almost exclusively white.”
Boing Boing on Virtually Asian
“Particularly prevalent are the Asian hologram advertisements that apparently occupy every cityscape in the future, from Blade Runner (1982) to A.I. (2001) to Minority Report (2002), and do we even need to start in on Ghost in the Shell (2017)?”
KQED review of Virtually Asian
“Suparak’s piece is immediate and her voice, narrating the words, is melodic and compelling. The over-dubbing of her acerbic observations on blockbuster films is a compelling prelude to other iterations of her work that will appear in fragments across digital platforms.”
Short video essay that looks at how white science fiction filmmakers fill the backgrounds of their futuristic worlds with hollow Asian figures—in the form of video and holographic advertisements—while the main cast (if not the entirety of their fictional universe’s population) is devoid of actual Asian people.
BECOME THE MONUMENTS THAT CANNOT FALL
A newly commissioned public art project and the first survey exhibition of art collective Related Tactics.
ASIAN FUTURES, WITHOUT ASIANS series
Series of projects, presentations, and texts on how white filmmakers envision futures inflected by Asian culture, but devoid of actual Asian people. A visual analysis of 50+ years of American science fiction cinema.
Joanie 4 Jackie
The complete archives of the influential underground film network for female filmmakers has been acquired by The Getty and is now viewable online. A selection of videos is available on the Criterion Channel (2020-Present).