March 19, 2020
... Asian Futures, Without Asians: an illustrated talk by Astria Suparak (POSTPONED)
This event has been postponed due to CCA’s ongoing response to the evolving COVID–19 outbreak. The program will now take place on June 10, 2021. Click here for details and to register.


“If the war is the continuation of politics by other means, then media images are the continuation of war by other means. Immersed in the machinery, part of the special effect, no critical distance.”
- Surname Viet Given Name Nam (1989) by Trinh T. Minh-ha

A samurai sword on the wall of an evil mastermind's office. A home decorated with Buddha statues. A blonde woman in a cheongsam. A speculative cityscape punctuated with prominent signage in Arabic. What does it mean when so many white filmmakers envision futures inflected by Asian culture, but devoid of actual Asian people?

Astria Suparak discusses the implications of not only borrowing heavily from Asian culture, but decontextualizing and misrepresenting it, while excluding Asian contributors. Her lecture is interspersed with visual examples from popular American science fiction movies and TV shows, from the 1970s through today.

Astria Suparak is an independent curator and artist based in Oakland, California. She has curated exhibitions, screenings, performances, and live music events for art institutions and festivals across ten countries, including The Liverpool Biennial, Museo Rufino Tamayo, MoMA PS1, Eyebeam, The Kitchen, Expo Chicago, and Kadist, as well as for unconventional spaces such as roller-skating rinks, ferry boats, sports bars, and rock clubs. Suparak’s cross-disciplinary projects often address urgent political issues and have been widely acclaimed for their high level concepts made accessible through a popular culture lens. Suparak is the former director and curator of Carnegie Mellon's Miller Gallery; The Warehouse, Syracuse University's first contemporary art gallery; and the Pratt Institute Film Series.

This is the seventh event in our year-long season dedicated to the questions posed by the work of Trinh T. Minh-ha and how they address art, culture, and society today.

Asian Futures, Without Asians: an illustrated talk by Astria Suparak (POSTPONED)

6:30 pm