It’s the inaugural year for Seattle Art Fair’s new artistic director, Nato Thompson, and today the fair detailed the programming that the curator and writer has in store, which has a futuristic and political bent.
During its run from August 2 through 5, the Seattle Art Fair will offer programs that include the presentation of a functioning satellite by Trevor Paglen; Anishinaabe artists Charlene Vickers and Maria Hupfield wielding large-scale cardboard megaphones in a performance series; and Mark Pauline, the founder of Survival Research Laboratories, joining sci-fi author Bruce Sterling in conversation about the future of technology.
“I’m particularly excited to do something in Seattle because I live in Philadelphia, and I have a deep love and interest in supporting a kind of arts ecology in the non-big cities,” Thompson told ARTnews in a phone interview. The fair, he continued, “highlights a lot of new work for people. So it’s a really interesting space to work in.”
Thompson, who has worked as both the director of New York’s public arts organization Creative Time, underscored Seattle as a “land whose future is rooted in its past” in his curatorial statement, and went on to explain in our interview that the fair “is a wild ecosystem of different approaches. We’ve got technology, we’ve got dystopia, there’s utopia, we have gender, we have indigenous culture, we have a certain kind of interest in historical conditions. There’s a lot of different through-lines of the project, and we’re very excited about it.”
The Seattle Art Fair will host more than 100 galleries on site. The full list of participants in Thompson’s programming are Heather Dewey Hagborg, Beth DeWoody, Maria Hupfield, C. Davida Ingram, Omar Kholief, Jennifer Levonian, Wanda Nanibush, Trevor Paglen, Mark Pauline of Survival Research Laboratories, Bruce Sterling, Robert Stilin, Charlene Vickers, and Wayne White.