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Call for Artists | A+C "Future City" Gallery Exhibition
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When: Friday, June 15, 2018
11:59 p.m. PST
Where: San Francisco
United States
Contact: Alex Nichols/Mushi Wooseong James

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Call for Entries Deadline: June 15, 2018, 11:59 PM PST

Notification: June 25, 2018, 11:59 PM PST

Exhibition Dates: August 23 - October 12, 2018

Entry Fee: Free



Submit projects to:

Submit projects or concepts, built or unbuilt, developed within the last 5 years. All mediums are welcome.

  • Up to 10 images may be submitted

  • Video links can be sent to be reviewed (No more than 5 minutes will be viewed per entrant)

  • CV and short bio (100-150 words) in an editable format as additional editing may be needed to fit the design of exhibitors’ board

  • Headshot - 300 dpi, black & white JPEG

  • A written statement: The question being examined by the artist. Short description (300-400 words) of the work submitted and how it impacts future thinking.

Participation is open to artists in ranging fields of visual art, sound art, installation, photography, performance, video, writing, interior designers, design professionals practicing in San Francisco, Bay Area, and internationally.

The American Institute of Architects (AIASF) and Center for Architecture + Design invite artists of multiple disciplines to submit ideas for this year’s gallery exhibition, METROPOLIS re-IMAGINED—what we didn't ask. With this year's Architecture + the City festival theme as "Future City", the unique role of the artist is to extrapolate beyond linear projection. Art has no immediate need or function that it fulfills and this allows the freedom to explore questions and look at the world differently. This exhibit looks at future cities from the place of: 

  • What are the questions about the future that we are not asking?
  • What does it mean to imagine a future?
  • What does it mean to see the future unbound of our biases? 
  • How do we shift our perspectives, look at the questions from a different stance? 

The ‘Future City’ exhibit examines the origin of future thinking, taking one step back from our initial predictions to explore and contemplate where we can build from. This year’s curators, Alex Nichols and Mushi Wooseong James, will seek artists from all disciplines whose work explores questions that are not always asked. The exhibit is organized as part of AIASF’s 15th Annual Architecture + the City festival.

This exhibition will seek work that explores the origin of future thinking. Art asks us to look at the world differently. It is the willingness to be curious about how our society functions. What are the questions about the future that we are not asking? We leave it to the artists to prepare the question and work that they feel lies inside this realm:

  • Existing and conceptual work that explores: what does it mean to imagine a future?

  • The complexity of the city in its interiors and exteriors, urban fabric and landscape.

  • How social influence informs and determines the idea of future.

  • New ways of perceiving our surroundings: values, morals, and structure.

  • How do we connect? What is connection? When are we connected? 

  • What ideas or modes are becoming marginalized but feel core to ‘future thinking’?

  • How do we take one step back from our initial predictions to explore and contemplate where we can build from?

Art asks us to look at the world differently. Art is the willingness to be curious. The artist looks. Everything is an assumed unknown to be questioned.

Often we look at the future from the perspective of structures already in place. For example, technology is dominating our current culture so we make predictions based on technology advancement and we imagine an artificially intelligent (AI) future. We imagine Bitcoin and a new truth held in blockchain. We assume there is a type of linear progression, single truths and we create projections. Certain variables are put into the equation as constants based on social norms, values, on what we know now. Capitalism, do we know life without capitalism? One question leads in many directions. History shows us the rise of inconceivable events and discoveries. In reality where we might go is inconceivable and unpredictable, it is known factors in a vast unknown, those variables create an infinity of possibility. 

We are looking for artists whose work and process examine where we are and where we are going—willing as Ai Wei Wei states to help us look at the world differently:

“Art makes us look at the world differently…the importance lies in the willingness to be curious about how our society functions and to ask what are our fears? To be original is to speak about truth fearlessly.” 


Photo Credit: ©Alex Nichols & Mushi Wooseong James. Nakameguro, Tokyo, Portable Studio2015, b&w photograph

Curators: Alex Nichols + Mushi Wooseong James

Alex and Mushi are a collaborative duo. They are ‘artists as anthropologists’. Using art systems to isolate different forms of verbal and nonverbal languages across multiple cultures they examine the unifying core forms of communication and connection.

Mushi and Alex met on the streets. Alex, a San Francisco native, who had recently been evicted from her art studio was sitting at an Indian Restaurant’s outside table writing. Mushi, who is of Korean descent and grew up in the United Kingdom, was in Sausalito for an artist residency, and wandered by. They met via a single Japanese sentence written on a page in Alex’s journal. Mushi walked by and recognised the hiragana characters and stopped. An entire collaboration began from a single sentence.

If you look at us, as collaborators, we span different generations, languages, cultures, and genders. We learn about the ‘other’ through intimate dialogue and we use art to unravel what is inexplicable. Understanding our differences is merely the starting point of our collaboration. We practice working together over time. We understand that there are many truths. Through transparency and clarity we are able to share perspectives and expand our vision. 

Our working practice combines these three beliefs:

  • An idea must be experienced to become one’s own.
  • The questions we ask define our lives: what did we not ask?
  • Only the greatest of all idealists have the ability to overcome reality.