How does contemporary art and film illuminate the Black Imagination? A stimulating segment from our archive explores some of the issues and ideas behind creative practices that re-imagine the Black experience.

To begin, we share a conversation recorded with curator Valerie Cassel Oliver from 2013, while she was working at the Contemporary Arts Museum Houston. Cassel Oliver is now Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, where she’s expanding the representation of African American and African-diasporic artists in the Museum’s collection.

On November 2, 2016, artists, filmmakers and curators joined us to consider this topic during the Fresh Art International show on Jolt Radio, Miami. Since then, curator Natalia Zuluaga continues to edit [NAME] publications and co-edits the bilingual online journal Dispatches. In summer 2019, Zuluaga curates Materia Abierta, a program on theory, art and technology in Mexico City. Artist Domingo Castillo has been working under the radar since visualizing the complexities of Miami’s future in his 2017 video Tropical Malaise. In 2019, among other recent projects, artist Jamilah Sabur presented a five channel video installation at the Hammer Museum, Los Angeles, and showed a commissioned video at Hudson Yards, New York. Amir George, co-founder of the touring visual shorts program Black Radical Imagination, continues to engage in cinema culture. Mikhaile Solomon, founding director of the annual PRIZM art fair, is preparing for the Fair’s seventh year in Miami, scheduled for December 2019.

Sound Editor: Guney Ozsan 2016; Anamnesis Audio 2019 | Special Audio: courtesy Jamilah Sabur and Oolite Arts

Fresh Art International
Beginning with research, networking, and field recordings, independent curator Cathy Byrd works with a team of creatives to script, direct, produce, publish, and promote a range of perspectives on contemporary art. Fresh Art International models the fresh thinking and positivity essential to building a sustainable professional practice in the field. With her supporters, Byrd has effectively invented a vital new art media platform that offers a globally-informed assessment and a virtual archive of contemporary art and culture.

For more than 20 years, Byrd has engaged in extensive field work, traveling across the U.S., and to Germany, France, Spain, the Netherlands, Portugal and Turkey. To capture the voices you hear in our Fresh Art International podcast series, she records in-person, via Skype and by mobile phone. Fresh Art International features the voices of Claire Tancons, Tania Bruguera, Theaster Gates, Joan Jonas, Jason Moran, Franklin Sirmans, Marinella Senatore, Cesar Cornejo, Antoni Muntadas, Janet Biggs, Valerie Cassel Oliver, Trenton Doyle Hancock, William Pope.L, and many more. Select sounds and photographs illustrate Fresh News and Fresh VUE features on Miami Art Week, São Paulo Biennial, dOCUMENTA, Venice Art Biennial, Istanbul Biennial, Lyon Biennial, SXSW, ARCO Madrid, Armory Arts Week, Frieze New York, Cartagena Biennial, Havana Biennial, and Prospect New Orleans, among other international exhibitions and events.

Notably, each Fresh Art International podcast episode features an introductory text, photo feature and signature sound. All are archived on multiple platforms, and the full series is downloadable for free on iTunes, Stitcher, SoundCloud, Android, Google Music Play, and Public Radio Exchange, where we make our podcast available for public radio broadcast.

Our Global Initiative
Since the launch of this platform, our reach has spanned the U.S., including residencies on Miami Beach, in Baltimore, Newcastle, Austin, Brooklyn, Chicago, and New Orleans. In Europe, we’ve set up shop in Barcelona, Amsterdam, and Berlin. Engaged with the diverse character of creative practitioners globally, we’ve recorded conversations with visual, performance and sound artists, curators, architects, and filmmakers, among other culture makers. We’ve toured exhibitions and art fairs, attended performances, experienced public art and explored architecture. We’ve captured field recordings worldwide in cities and remote sites including São Paulo, Brazil; New York City; Lubbock; Roswell, NM; Marfa; Baltimore; Washington, DC; Madrid; Lisbon; Istanbul; Bergen (Norway); The Hague; Frankfurt, Brooklyn; Providence, Rhode Island; New Orleans; Chicago; Atlanta; Austin, Texas; and Key West, Florida.