Over the course of the 2022-23 academic year, Deem editors Alice Grandoit-Šutka and Isabel Flower served as Mentors-in-Residence for the Collective Abundance cohort at NEW INC—the New Museum’s incubator for people working at the intersection of art, design, and technology.
This thematic track was imagined to creatively consider new models for wealth, health, and justice, through disciplines including architecture, hardware design, urbanism, art, and education. To culminate the experience, the cohort’s members staged the exhibition “Emergen-C Archive” at La MaMa Galleria in downtown Manhattan.
In their collectively-authored words for the show’s description, “the year shed light on the policies and philosophies that affect both the built environment and the psychologies of those who inhabit it, and their the exhibition was likewise rich in non-traditional approaches to archiving from and for marginalized perspectives, and forefronts the voices, memories, and potentialities of the disempowered. The infrastructures of mapping, zoning, land-use—and the urban social policies that comprise each—contain opaque mechanisms for recording and stratifying information that is rarely known to the public.
In contrast, Collective Abundance’s take on these subjects is iconoclastic and subversive: Lafayette Cruise utilizes afrofuturist imaginary to speculate life in a future Chicago; Eliza Evans questions the politics of property records; Amina Hassen and Muvaboard Studios confront representation and visibility in public policies; Melody Stein and Cara Michell problematize the erasure of social and ecological narratives inherent in Western cartography; MICROPOLITAN Studio reimages the psychogeography of the playground; Smita Sen activates memories of caregivers and loved ones through objects; Office Party considers the temporality and ephemera of nightlife. All of this is housed beneath Philip Poon’s playful reproduction of a Chinatown awning and Ana Ratner’s curving bookshelf, which holds a reimagined Old Farmer’s Almanac and a miniature library of living medicinal and local plants.