Ceci Moss
Since 2005
Works in Oakland, California United States of America

Ceci Moss is the Assistant Curator of Visual Arts at Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in San Francisco. She launched YBCA’s exhibition series “Control: Technology in Culture” which showcases work by emerging and mid-career artists who engage the social, cultural, and experiential implications of technology on the museum’s second floor. In its first year, the series includes solo exhibitions by Jacqueline Kiyomi Gordon, Lucy Raven, Nate Boyce and Shana Moulton. Taking its title from Gilles Deleuze’s 1992 essay “Postscript on the Societies of Control,” the series seeks to prompt timely questions about the profound and far-reaching influence of a control society in the 21st century by focusing on artists whose work spans a multitude of disciplines and relates to a diverse set of issues, including architecture, acoustics, psychology, labor, consumerism, the environment, and the military. Beyond the “Control” series, she curated a large scale public art installation by Kota Ezawa in YBCA’s sculpture court, the solo exhibition Brenna Murphy: Liquid Vehicle Transmitter, the video installation Erin Shirreff: Lake, and co-curated with Betti-Sue Hertz the exhibition portion of YBCA’s signature triennial Bay Area Now 7. She also co-curated with Astria Suparak the touring group exhibition Alien She that examines the lasting influence of the punk feminist movement Riot Grrrl on contemporary artists, and originated at the Miller Gallery, Carnegie Mellon University.

Currently a PhD candidate in Comparative Literature at New York University, her academic research addresses contemporary internet-based art practice and network culture. Her PhD dissertation “The Informational Milieu and Expanded Internet Art” examines the expansion of internet art beyond the screen in the 2000’s, especially towards sculpture and installation, as a product of what theorist Tiziana Terranova called an “informational milieu.” Combining art history and media theory through the analysis of case studies that range from internet art and social media in the 2000’s to Jean-François Lyotard’s groundbreaking new media exhibition at the Centre Pompidou in 1985 Les Immatériaux, her dissertation asks how the widespread technological capture of information affects cultural production, specifically contemporary art, and the kind of critical response it necessitates.

Her writing has appeared in Rhizome, ArtAsiaPacific, Artforum, The Wire, Performa Magazine, and various art catalogs. Prior to her position at YBCA, she was the Senior Editor of the art and technology non-profit arts organization Rhizome, and an Adjunct Instructor at New York University in the Department of Comparative Literature. From 2000-2014, she programmed a radio show dedicated to experimental music, Radio Heart, on the independent radio stations KALX, East Village Radio and Radio Valencia.

Up in the AIR: How will tech residencies reshape Bay Area art?

Image from Art+Tech: Virtual Reality, November 2014. (Photo: Codame).

Over the past year, San Francisco and the Bay Area have come to be defined in the national sphere by the think piece. In the constant stream of articles about gentrification, the Ellis Act evictions, artist displacement, and arts non profits closing left and right in response to the city's rising population and booming tech industry, it might be surprising to note that a number of tech companies are investing increasingly in artist residency programs. In fact, two of the biggest tech companies in the region—Facebook and Autodesk—maintain active residency programs. For companies without the infrastructure for such endeavors, local art and technology non-profit CODAME offers to pair tech companies with artists for individual projects through their "Adopt An Artist" program. While there is a lot of conversation (and concern) in the Bay Area regarding the tech industry's lack of support and philanthropy for the arts, the questions seem skewed towards trying to figure out how to cater to tech wealth, rather than thinking through art's role in the tech industry itself. This text surveys corporate residency programs in the Bay Area which exemplify how artists engage with this industry, and begins to sketch out possible implications—or potential—for the art infrastructure and its relationship with tech creativity.

Autodesk's Pier 9 Artist-in-Residence program is housed in the corporation's immense facility in Pier 9 along the waterfront in downtown San Francisco. Artists apply for four-month residencies at the space, which provides access to their workshop, a stipend, and the ability to work directly with the company's engineers on their projects. The program maintains a diverse pool of applicants who range from fashion designers to chefs, architects, and technologists as well as fine artists, who have access to Autodesk's high-end equipment, materials, and software, plus training and skillshare programs. Although it is not an explicit part of the program, the focus on "makers" over "fine artists" benefits Autodesk as well. The company launched Autodesk 123D in 2009 as free 3D modeling software designed for the general consumer, and they acquired the DIY info sharing website Instructables in 2011. The AIR program began at Instructables before their purchase by Autodesk, who developed it into a much larger initiative. All AIR residents are required to post their projects to the website, so there is a direct tie into the site's content. Envisioning how people create with their tools, or their competitor's tools, in a variety of scenarios is clearly a valuable asset to the company, especially as the mainstream culture moves into a maker culture.

Autodesk Pier 9 Workshop.

Autodesk's Pier 9 AIR Program Manager Vanessa Sigurdson describes the environment at Autodesk as an "office full of artists, not an office with artists" and they aim to have active interchange between the resident artists and engineers. Former resident artists Joseph DeLappe and Adrien Segal felt that the environment was very supportive and encouraging for visiting artists, with an "anything goes" atmosphere. DeLappe created rubber stamps for In Drones We Trust, while Segal used water consumption statistics to build a canyon-like bench. Both mentioned that the workshop helped to foster the company's culture of bustling, creative energy. Sigurdson referenced the Xerox PARC artist-in-residence (PAIR) program as an important inspiration for the residency, a project that similarly brought artists and technologists together in collaboration.

Continuous Partial Listening: Holly Herndon in Conversation

After completing her informal education in Berlin's underground club scene, artist and musician Holly Herndon relocated to the Bay Area to pursue an MFA at Mills College's esteemed music program. Now continuing her studies in computer-based music at Stanford, Herndon has an inquisitive approach to technology, finding common threads among often-divided disciplines and communities: electronic music, academia, the tech sector, and contemporary art. As a result, her work is not easily categorized, whether she's composing music for brass ensembles or working on robotic sculptures with artist Conrad Shawcross, touring festivals in Europe or making dance music with heavily processed recordings of the human voice. This week, she released a 12" entitled Chorus on RVNG Intl

Ceci Moss: Your new 12" Chorus comes out this week. The title track recalls the experience of continuous partial attention in online browsing, using audio samples derived from your own daily browsing. Chorus begins chaotically, taking form with the addition of percussion. Could you discuss the ideas behind this composition? Also, what did you use to sample your browsing history, and how did you technically create the track?

Expanded Internet Art and the Informational Milieu

Ben Aqua, NEVER LOG OFF, 2013 (Limited edition t-shirt designed for #FEELINGS)

We are no longer mostly dealing with information that is transmitted form a source to a receiver, but increasingly also with informational dynamics—that is with the relation between noise and signal, including fluctuations and microvariations, entropic emergences and negentropic emergences, positive feedback and chaotic processes. If there is an informational quality to contemporary culture, then it might be not so much because we exchange more information than before, or even because we buy, sell or copy informational commodities, but because cultural processes are taking on the attributes of information—they are increasingly grasped and conceived in terms of their informational dynamics.

- Tiziana Terranova, Network Culture: Politics for the Information Age

Post internet[1], post media [2], post media aesthetics[3], radicant art[4], dispersion[5], formatting[6], meme art[7], circulationism[8]—all recent terms to describe networked art that does not use the internet as its sole platform, but instead as a crucial nexus around which to research, transmit, assemble, and present data, online and offline. I think all of the writers advancing these terms share a sense that since the rise of mainstream internet culture and social media, art is more fluid, elastic, and dispersed. As Lauren Cornell astutely points out in the recent  "Post Internet" roundtable for Frieze, terms are always placeholders for more complex ideas, and when successful, can instigate further, deeper conversation. Towards that end, I'd like to introduce another word to the list—expanded. Drawing from the definition of expansion as "the action or process of spreading out or unfolding; the state of being spread out or unfolded," I consider "expansion" not as an outward movement from a fixed entity, but rather, in light of data's dispersed nature, a continual becoming.[9] Expanded internet art is not viewed as hermetic, but instead as a continuously multiple element that exists within a distributed, networked system. In order to elaborate this term, and to take small steps towards thinking through the changing conditions for art production in the early 21st century, I will use Tiziana Terranova's notion of an "informational milieu" to describe the dynamic process of exchange among artist, artwork, and network.

Questioning the World as Image: The 55th Venice Biennale and "The Whole Earth"

Photo of Earth by the crew of Apollo 8. December 22, 1968

The central theme for this year’s Venice Biennale exhibition, curated by Massimiliano Gioni, comes from an obscure patented design for an encyclopedic palace by the self-taught Italian-American artist Marino Auriti. Envisioned as a 136-story building that would take over sixteen blocks of Washington, D.C., Auriti’s palace was to house all the available knowledge in the world. Titling the show "Il Palazzo Enciclopedico" after Auriti’s unrealized model, Gioni and his team selected an eclectic group of artists, psychologists, mystics and more whose work resonates with Auriti’s desire to create a total image of the world. In many ways, the exhibition can be seen as a response to the exhaustive overabundance of information available on the internet. As Gioni pointedly asks in his essay, "…what is the point of creating an image of the world when the world itself has become increasingly like an image?"

Wavelength: "The Paris, Texas of the Second Empire" by Lawrence Kumpf

The Paris, Texas of the Second Empire

Compiled July 2012 by Lawrence Kumpf

The flâneur is someone abandoned in the crowd. He is thus in the same situation as the commodity. He is unaware of this special situation, but this does not diminish its effects on him, it permeates him blissfully, like a narcotic that can compensate him for many humiliations. The intoxication to which the flâneur surrenders is the intoxication of the commodity immersed in a surging stream of customers. -- Walter Benjamin, 1938

A phantasmagoric journey through mid-20th century Country-Western music inspired by Walter Benjamin’s "The Paris of the Second Empire in Baudelaire."

Like the poet as flâneur in Benjamin’s essay, the country singer holds a position as the susceptible vessel that embodies the incongruities and ruptures characteristic of modern life. Neither an active symptom nor proprietor of a solution for the social ills, the singer finds himself drawn into the intoxicating world of empathetic relations to, with and as commodity. We hear, perhaps more clearly then in Baudelaire, a voice speaking not from the elevated position of a social commentator or critic, but as the desire of the commodity and commodified. Connoisseurs of narcotics sing empathetic odes to inanimate objects and intoxicants, fortifying themselves in homes that are really bars. Hobos, trashmen and ragpickers walk the street collecting and picking through the worn out, exhausted items that have escaped our economy of exchange: the antiques of modernity, the images of obsolescence. The perpetual peregrinator, a rambling man, heroically stripped of the comforts of modern life finds himself stalking graveyards and mourning a loss that has yet to occur, the final refuge of his own death. In a way these songs embody the last gasp of a failed American politics, the moment before county western music slips into an emphatic listing of personal property as banal as Rick Ross’ "Trilla." The tragedy of our era is that the latent revolutionary desires present in Hank Williams Jr.’s "Fax Me a Beer" (not included in this mix) are forever doomed to find their outlet in an inane fantasy of endless technological advancement.

1.Porter Wagoner - The Wino
2.Jim Ed Brown- Bottle, Bottle
3.Porter Wagoner – Shopworn 4.Hank Williams – Men with Broken Hearts
5.Leon Rausch – Glass of Pride
6.Don King – Live Entertainment
7.David Allen Coe – Sad Country Song
8.Don Silvers – Play me another Hank Williams
9.Porter Wagoner – Bottom of the Bottle
10.Merle Haggard – Swinging Doors
11.Porter Wagoner – I Just Came to Smell the Flowers
12.D. Sheridan – Don’t Make Me Laugh (While I’m Drinkin’)
13.The Willis Brothers – Gonna Buy Me A Jukebox
14.David Frizzell – I’m Gonna Hire A Wino to Decorate our House
15.Frank Lowe - "Trash Man"

Lawrence Kumpf is a curator at Issue Project Room in Brooklyn, NY.

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Lucy Raven: Hollywood Chop Riding

Thu Nov 06, 2014 18:30 - Sun Jan 11, 2015

Oakland, California
United States of America

New York-based artist Lucy Raven uncovers the diffuse, obscured systems that support contemporary life through a research-led practice that encompasses films, installations, illustrated lectures, and essays. Deeply attuned to the processes of production often unseen within visual culture in a networked, globalized world, Raven’s contemplative storytelling uncovers the economic, historical, geographic, and material complexities at play in technology through an exploration of topics such as the outsourcing of post-production work for the film industry from Hollywood to countries around the world, evolving technical standards in film projection, and the immense infrastructure behind the global copper mining industry.

For her solo presentation at YBCA, Raven stages a new anaglyph 3D video installation entitled Curtains (2014). The project emerges out of the artist’s ongoing research into the global network of post-production facilities that create the visual effects for Hollywood’s blockbuster films. Post-production is meticulous and labor intensive, involving hours of frame-by-frame detailing. Film studios seek the least expensive labor force worldwide to complete their work, outsourcing labor to studios that span Bombay, Beijing, Toronto, London, and Vancouver. Raven visited and documented some of these spaces through sound and image. The result is Curtains, a 3D video that creates a portrait of an otherwise invisible global assembly line, providing a glimpse into the quiet reality and human hands that lie behind the spectacle of fantastic computer-generated simulations found in today’s mainstream films.

A series of screenprints from Raven’s ongoing RPx project are also featured in the exhibition, as well as a new lenticular print. RPx emerged from research undertaken during a 2011 residency at the Hammer Museum in Los Angeles, where Raven unearthed and archived motion picture test patterns used by projectionists to calibrate the quality of film projection. The “RP” in Raven’s project stands for “recommended practices,” a directive set by the standards-developing committee in Hollywood, the Society of Motion Pictures, and Television Engineers (SMPTE) to ensure continuity across viewing experiences. The test patterns featured in the RPx prints are images meant for machines and the technicians who maneuver them, a relic and a precursor to the standards that surround our current high definition images. Both RPx and Curtains point towards the careful engineering involved in the fabrication of illusion, including the construction of human vision within that process.

About the Series
Control: Technology in Culture is a new series of exhibitions in the YBCA Upstairs Galleries showcasing work by emerging and mid-career artists who examine the social, cultural, and experiential implications of technology. The exhibitions in this series seek to prompt timely questions about the profound and far-reaching influence of technology in our daily lives by focusing on artists whose work spans a multitude of disciplines and relates to a diverse set of issues, including architecture, acoustics, psychology, labor, consumerism, the environment, and the military.

The term “control” refers to philosopher Gilles Deleuze’s theory that, as a result of the ever-increasing role of information technology, Michel Foucault’s “disciplinary society” of the 20th century has given way to a “control society” in the 21st century. In contrast to discipline, which molds the individual through confinement in factories, prisons, and schools, control is diffuse, adaptable, and ubiquitous, modulating rather than molding the individual.

Control: Technology in Culture is curated by Ceci Moss, Assistant Curator of Visual Arts.


Jacqueline Kiyomi Gordon: It Only Happens All of the Time

Fri Mar 07, 2014 18:00 - Sun Jun 15, 2014

San Francisco, California
United States of America

Los Angeles-based artist Jacqueline Kiyomi Gordon works in sound, installation, and sculpture. Her work is often devised around audio and spatial feedback systems that manipulate the visitor’s awareness of sound and space, incorporating the physical and sonic qualities of surrounding architecture to engage the viewer’s senses. Gordon investigates sonic and architectural applications of cybernetic systems in the 20th and 21st centuries to technological design, from anechoic chambers to the military’s use of Long Range Acoustic Device (LRAD) speakers. Reverse engineering those implements of social control, the dissonant spaces she creates uncover how such systems regulate human subjectivity, mobility, and perception.

Commissioned by YBCA, Gordon’s new installation—part of her solo exhibition It Only Happens All of the Time—is an immersive sonic experience that emphasizes the primacy of the embodied experience; one that encourages the visitor to navigate the space through a mode of listening that is both felt and heard. Gordon explores sound’s ability to establish different levels of intimacy, and the exhibition’s title points towards the ubiquitous presence of sound in that process, whether it exists at the periphery or center of our awareness. The installation’s sound-absorbing walls reference the design of anechoic chambers found in military and scientific testing facilities, which insulate and absorb sound reflections. In contrast to the walls of the installation, which gestures towards a calculated experience, the sculpture Love Seat situated within this contained environment suggests another, more emancipated, arrangement. Surrounded by a multichannel speaker system distributed throughout the gallery, Love Seat encourages visitors to sit and share in a listening experience with others, while maintaining a physical separation. Fostering an exchange between visitors that wavers between proximity and distance, Love Seat parallels how we listen together.

Gordon’s other works for the exhibition echo a similar concept—sound as experienced within the body becomes a way to feel with others, and to experience the mechanisms of built space through non-visual means. Her film Everyone Will Be Here Now But Me documents a site-specific sound environment created within the empty offices of the Los Angeles Food Center. It follows visitors as they explore sound installations distributed throughout the building, with the option to listen through binaural microphones that captured the 3D stereo sound of the space. The suspended figures in Gordon’s new series of drawings and watercolors Filter Resonance B more subtly signal the body; wire-like lines protrude and drift through these organ-like forms, a reference to the potential for connectivity. Gordon imagines that the drawings represent actual filters, which isolate information, and their presentation is meant to evoke the interfaces of audio filters in music software, which allow the user to directly regulate reverb, equalization, and so on by manipulating graphic elements. Much like the show itself, these strange configurations invite reflection on the many ways the body is instrumentalized through technology.

About Control: Technology in Culture

Control: Technology in Culture, curated by Ceci Moss, Assistant Curator of Visual Arts, is YBCA’s new series of exhibitions showcasing work by emerging and mid-career artists who examine the social, cultural, and experiential implications of technology. The series seeks to prompt timely questions about the profound and far-reaching influence of technology in our daily lives by focusing on artists whose work spans a multitude of disciplines and relates to a diverse set of issues, including architecture, acoustics, psychology, labor, consumerism, the environment, and the military.

The term “control” refers to philosopher Gilles Deleuze’s theory that, as a result of the ever-increasing role of information technology, Michel Foucault’s “disciplinary society” of the 20th century has given way to a “control society” in the 21st century. In contrast to discipline, which molds the individual through confinement in factories, prisons, and schools, control is diffuse, adaptable, and ubiquitous, modulating rather than molding the individual.


Brenna Murphy: Liquid Vehicle Transmitter

Fri Jul 19, 2013 18:30 - Sun Sep 08, 2013

San Francisco, California
United States of America

Working in sculpture, game design, installation, performance, sound and the internet, Portland-based artist Brenna Murphy is interested in digital technology’s capacity to connect and expand human consciousness. For Murphy, digital tools act as an electronic prosthesis that deepens awareness and cognition, rather than as an alien entity outside human experience. The labyrinth is an ongoing theme in Murphy’s practice. Her installations, websites, and virtual environments are set up as a series of interlocking spaces that encourage wandering, displacement and discovery. Like the naturally occurring geometric forms referenced in her work, they organically branch out from each other as a dense array of unfolding structures. The title for her exhibition at YBCA, Liquid Vehicle Transmitter, alludes to the fluid property found in much of Murphy’s output.

For her new installation, emergent entity chant array, Murphy has designed a type of fractal involving self-similar patterns at varying scales. Constructed out of a precisely configured assemblage of 3D printed sculptures, LED lights, light boxes, and wood cut forms, the installation resembles a real life version of her complex and dizzying internet-based works. Like Murphy’s virtual video game environments, emergent entity chant array plays upon the visitor’s perception of both space and dimension, encouraging the exploration of elevated states of consciousness.

Deeply post-humanist in her approach, Murphy views her creative process as a form of meditation in which she seeks an intuitive, harmonious relation with the tools used to produce her work. Her intricate arrangement of forms focuses her own energy and that of the viewer, drawing them in. This sense of an attuned connection with an audience is also an active element in the art collectives of which she is a member, MSHR and Oregon Painting Society.


Architecture and Computation with Keller Easterling and Erica Robles (Part of PROGRAM: Media and Literature at NYU)

Fri Nov 09, 2012 18:00 - Fri Nov 09, 2012

New York, New York
United States of America

Join us on November 9th at 6PM for "Architecture and Computation" with speakers Keller Easterling (Architecture, Yale) and Erica Robles (MCC, NYU). This will be the first event in this year's PROGRAM: Media and Literature lecture series.

Architecture and Computation

19 University Place, Great Room
New York, NY 10003
Map: http://goo.gl/maps/f2ad3


Free and Open to the Public

"PROGRAM" is an interdisciplinary event series organized by graduate students within New York University’s Media, Culture and Communication, English, and Comparative Literature Departments. Intentionally broad in scope, the series will present talks that explore the cultural, historical, aesthetic and political impact of software and programming logic.

This first event in our year-long lecture series explores the intersection of architecture and the logic of computation. How does computation structure our physical world, and in what ways has the function of computational media been applied to the spaces we inhabit?

Keller Easterling (Yale University, Architecture)

Extrastatecraft: Global Infrastructure and Political Arts
Repeatable formulas and spatial products make most of the space in the world. Now, not only buildings but also entire cities have become spatial products that typically reproduce free zone world cities like Shenzhen or Dubai. Space has become a mobile, monetized, almost infrastructural, technology, where infrastructure is not only the urban substructure, but also the urban structure itself. Some of the most radical changes to the globalizing world are being written, not in the language of law and diplomacy, but rather in the language of this matrix space. Massive global infrastructure systems, administered by mixtures of public and private cohorts and driven by profound irrationalities, generate de facto, undeclared forms of polity faster than any even quasi-official forms of governance can legislate them—a wilder mongrel than any storied Leviathan for which we have studied political response. Infrastructure space is one crucible within which multiple fields of analysis encounter ample complexity, and it tutors special approaches to both form making and political arts.

Keller Easterling is is an architect, urbanist, writer, and Professor of Architecture at Yale University. Her latest project is titled Extrastatecraft.

Erica Robles (New York University, MCC)

Mediated Congregation: The Crystal Cathedral and God’s Place in a Networked WorldThis talk focuses on an often-overlooked institution that has helped produce and legitimate transformations in 20th century social life: the church. Through an analysis of the Crystal Cathedral Robles situates Protestant spatial production within a broader project of cultural re-formation whereby collective life became conducted via increasingly mediated, mobile, and distributed arrangements. For more than half a century, this influential Southern California ministry helped reshape the style and material conditions for worship. At its height, the Crystal Cathedral was perhaps the most visible Protestant church in the world.

Robles will render three distinctive and successive portraits of the church as a drive-in theater (1955-1957), an indoor-outdoor/television church (1962-1970), and then a globally-broadcast, glass and steel cathedral (1980 – 2012). Each site was a re-imagining of the socio-technical conditions for communion. Together, these portraits will trace a trajectory from the post-war to the present whereby the church helped determine technological and architectural meanings. By designing for mediated congregation, ministries like the Crystal Cathedral inscribed the production of broadcast and then networked geographies with spiritual significance. In so doing, they also translated Christian cosmology into a new technological regime.

Erica Robles is an Assistant Professor of Media, Culture, and Communication at New York University.

Upcoming 2012-2013 PROGRAM events

Media Archaeology with Matthew Kirschenbaum and Wendy Hui Kyong Chun, March 1st, 2013

Values in Technological Design with Geoffrey Bowker and Sara Hendren, April 12th, 2013


The series is sponsored by NYU's Information Futures, the Humanities Initiative, and the Departments of Media Culture, and Communication, English, and Comparative Literature.


Music, Language, Thought V

Fri Dec 10, 2010 00:00 - Wed Dec 08, 2010

Music, Language, Thought V

Friday, December 10th 2010 / 3:00 - 7:00pm

Myles Jackson (History and Philosophy of Science and Technology, NYU): “The Role of Physicists in Measuring and Defining Nineteenth-Century Musical Aesthetics”

Kevin Bell (English, SUNY Albany): “Non-Cognitive Aspects of the City: Sound as Break in Christopher Harris’s “Still/Here"”

Ana María Ochoa (Music, Columbia University): “Orality and Orthography in Nineteenth-Century Colombia”"

Gary Tomlinson (Music, University of Pennsylvania): “Paleolithic Formalism”

Reception to follow


New York University / Silver Center for Arts and Science / 100 Washington Square East / Department of Music, Rm 220, 2nd floor

Sponsored by the departments of Music and Comparative Literature; with support from the NYU Humanities Initiative

Music, Language, Thought” is an interdisciplinary event series organized by graduate students within New York University’s Music and Comparative Literature Departments. Broadly speaking, the series focuses on the relationship between music and language, and our speakers will examine its theoretical ramifications for politics, aesthetics and historiography. The project stems from ongoing conversation and collaboration between graduate students within these two departments, and will continue on an annual basis.