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Issue 3.  - Harm, Care, 
and The Contemporary Imagination

About four months after stay at home orders began, we find ourselves within a globally shifting paradigm. The conditions of the pandemic have converged to emphasize and raise a broader consciousness around the oppressive systems that structure our lives. Led by the organizers of the Black Lives Matter movement, and other activists, the world faces a reckoning.

The inertia of pre-pandemic life helped to enforce the oppressive machinations of day-to-day life, but COVID-19 has presented a disruption to the steady motion of business as usual. The world as it was has been shut down and this has opened up a liminal space to create something new and better. To repair, recover, and to heal from the effects of the harmful systems we’ve lived within will require care-- for ourselves and for each other, as well as for a world that mostly lives in our imaginations, but is already on the way.

Artists play a key role in conjuring this new world. This issue of Remote Control looks at ideas of how healing plays a role in making art, the way art influences how we shape the world around us, different resources for enacting care in our lives, and how we can better understand how to care for each other and for the planet, so when we emerge on the other side of the pandemic, it is into a something better than what we left.
Remotely wishing you
good health and safety,

Elizabeth Chodos, Miller ICA Director

Q+A with Jessica Gatlin

Jessica Gatlin takes a speculative approach to pursuing ways to deconstruct and destroy a White Supremacist Capitalist Patriarchy that has rendered her and many others invisible. This recent interview was taken with her during the COVID-19 pandemic and Black Lives Matter social justice movement.
Elizabeth Chodos: How does the idea of healing and resilience factor into your work?

Jessica Gatlin: Healing showed up in my work very unexpectedly. I think of myself as a tinkerer, modifying objects, tools, spaces, systems so that they work for me. Insisting that my needs and desires be met is a very uncomfortable pair of shoes, but questioning the default continues to be a healing process. I try to make things work that do not, proposing another way, not as a prescription, but as a catalyst for a number of different methods.
EC: Has healing taken on new meaning for you in the wake of the pandemic and the surging Black Lives Matter movement?

JG: It definitely has. Lately, I am feeling called out. I feel like someone read my artist statement, took all that I think I am, and said, “but are you really down?” So, I’m shook! And I’m humbled! But at the very same time, I feel encouraged. I think I’ve seen more resources, projects, and organizations shared in the last few months than I’ve ever known existed. I wouldn’t have known where to look, who to ask, what questions. I would have

Photo by Jeff Barnett-Winsby
let shame of not knowing keep me from seeking answers.

In the wake of this double pandemic, I feel even more called to put together a life and practice that feels productive in this world. Not productive like producing, but productive like being more than noise, having the potential to move things forward.

EC: What are you doing to stay healthy and creative in the age of corona?

JG: I meditate every morning, followed by a wholesome breakfast. Lots of exercise and reading, taking walks, limiting junk food. FALSE! While I am trying to foster some good habits here and there, I’m really just being nice to myself and learning from my cat. I’m moving slow, responding to emails
I prefer the word endure, or maybe adapt, over resilience. Maybe I take it too literally, but I don’t think I bounce back or recover. My dear friend OB says, “All that you touch, you change. All that you change, changes you.” I do take this into consideration in my work, especially, as it relates to my desire for one-way progressions or for things to “add up.”

in my own time, turning my camera off in zoom meetings, eating my feelings, working on friendships, listening to adrienne maree brown, allowing my practice to become even more amorphous, making clothes, literally being Martha Stewart, tweaking the algorithm, unlearning, unlearning, unlearning, watching cartoons, & trying various pizza dough recipes. And I stretch occasionally.
Stay connected to community and engage in programs while keeping a safe physical distance by joining us for these virtual events!
Poetry Reading

Thurs. Aug 13, 5-6pm

Facebook Event
Zoom Link to follow

Joy Tabernacle-KMT is a Reverent ass miracle worker & Maroon Opulence.
As a poet, she has received residencies and fellowships from Heinz, MacDowell, Callaloo & VONA. Her work is informed by maroon futurisms, liberation & spiritual fugitivity.

She has been published in Callaloo, Pittsburgh Poetry Review, Black Quantum Futurism Vol 1 & 2, Black Girl Dangerous, The Feminist Wire, Nepantla, Pluck! The Journal of Affrilachian Arts & Culture, Blackberry, a magazine, Backbone Press, Fledgling Rag, Sugared Water, Adrienne, a Poetry Journal for Queer Women, Los Angeles Review of Books, VIDA: Women in Literary Arts, The Blueshift Journal and others. She has performed for Trans-Q Live, Red Bull Music Festival, The Afrofuturist Affair, SIX X ATE, The People are the Light, Center for African American Poetics, The Sunstar Music Festival, Black Unicorn Library and others.

Photo by Michael David Battle.‚Äč

Salon Conversation Facilitated by
Dana Bishop - Root

Thurs. Aug 27

Facebook Event
Zoom Link and more details to follow

Honoring the collective health and wellbeing of each other, we shift our large group salon discussions to a space of shared intimacy with a welcome for a wide public as listeners and question askers. Building from the conversation between facilitator Dana Bishop-Root and artist Tourmaline (In This Not Unprecedented Time), the salon series will work to build a dialogue that accumulates conversations of individuals whose practices imagine and actualize what we are walking into--through the pandemic portal.

“Historically, pandemics have forced humans to break with the past and imagine their world anew. This one is no different. It is a portal, a gateway between one world and the next. We can choose to walk through it, dragging the carcasses of our prejudice and hatred, our avarice, our data banks and dead ideas, our dead rivers and smoky skies behind us. Or we can walk through lightly, with little luggage, ready to imagine another world. And ready to fight for it.”

- Arundhati Roy, April 3, 2020

Dana Bishop-Root has centered her work and heart in North Braddock for eleven years, is a founding member of Transformazium, General Sisters and is the Associate Director at the Braddock Carnegie Library Association.

This section considers how the meanings of projects from our archives are relevant to new conditions of social distancing and current events.
RWD: Revisit - Special Edition
Ida Mary Lewis


This video introduces the life of Ida Mary Lewis (CMU alum, librarian, and activist) and presents an edited version of her 1969 lecture comparing two American paintings, Charles Calvert and his Slave by John Hesselius (1761) and Holy Mountain III by Horace Pippin (1945) as they relate to American perspectives on race and “the urban crisis.” Ida Mary Lewis’ talk emphasizes the importance of artists and artworks to convey and confront our realities.

Her presentation was recorded February 3, 1969, the 5th convocation in the Black culture lecture series, on the campus of Pittsburgh Theological Seminary.

This section looks ahead to upcoming projects.
Empowering the Women's Vote

2020 marks the centennial of the ratification of the 19th Amendment, granting women the right to vote in 1920.
It was the first legislation for women’s voting rights. Not until the passage of the Voting Rights Act in 1965 were voting rights of ALL women protected and enforced.

The Get Out the Vote: Empowering the Women’s Vote poster campaign, in partnership with AIGA Design for Democracy and the League of Women Voters, commemorates this milestone.
A core group of invited female designers submitted the first 67 non-partisan posters, to launch the initiative with their vision and voices. Read more: 


This section features special commissions from artists who are pausing to reflect on the impact of social isolation. 
Just for U, a selection from A Growing List of Songs That Come to Mind of Late, Jessica Gatlin, 2020.

In this work commissioned for issue 3 of Remote Control, Gatlin lists the songs that have come into her mind since the beginning of the pandemic and uses an algorithm to randomly generate a selection of four songs from the list every 5 minutes. This work is a portrait of the artist's mind in this period of waiting.


Recommended Resources
A curated selection of artist-generated content for your time in coronavirus isolation.

Nap Ministries - An organization, started by Tricia Hersey, that examines the liberating power of naps.

Ohio Allegheny Monongahela Garment : a Pittsburgh Community Fashion Project - A call for submissions to a sustainable community project by Idia Dega inspired by the Three Rivers and Golden Triangle.

How to Survive the End of the World Show - Chani Nicholas, Autumn Brown, and adrienne maree brown talk about learning from the apocalypse with grace, rigor, and curiosity as part of a special 21st Allied Media Conference.

Annotated Bibliographies
We've asked artists to recommend reading lists to help make sense of this moment. Pick up one of these titles when you need to power down your screen and get off the internet.

Book recommendations for this issue of remote control focus on the environment.

Full annotations and book descriptions available
on  ourwebsite.

Jenny Kendler

•   Braiding Sweetgrass: Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge, and the Teachings of Plants (Robin Wall Kimmerer)

•   This Changes Everything: Capitalism vs. The Climate (Naomi Klein)

•   Active Hope (Joanna Macy & Chris Johnstone)
Jodie Cavalier
•   To Be in a Time of War (Etel Adnan. Essay in In the Heart of the Heart of Another Country, 99–116. San Francisco, CA: City Lights Books, 2005)

•   Nature Poem (Tommy Pico. Portland, OR: Tin House Books, 2017)

•   Magical Negro (Morgan Parker. London: Corsair, 2019)
•   Hope Against Hope: Writings on Ecological Crisis (Out of the Woods Collective)

•   Exile and Pride: Disability, Queerness, and Liberation (Eli Clare)
Mary Maggic

•   Jungle Laboratories: Mexican Peasants, National Projects, and the Making of the Pill (Gabriela Soto Laveaga)

•   Aphro-ism: Essays on Pop Culture, Feminism, and Black Veganism from Two Sisters (Aph Ko and Syl Ko)

•   Animacies: Biopolitics, Racial Mattering, and Queer Affect (Mel Y. Chen)

Ecology is Racist — It’s Time to Eat  
an ongoing bibliography, including:

•   The Forest and The School: Where to sit at the dinner table? (Pedro Neves Marques, ed.)

•   Beyond Nature and Culture (Philippe Descola)

•   Lo-TEK: Design by Radical Indigenism (J.Watson)

  And more!

Buy selected books by going to 44th & 3rd Bookseller a business created to bring customers books that represent the richness, diversity and genius of Black expression and our collective and individual history.

Full annotations and book descriptions available on
our website.



Remote Control: Issue 1. Functional Openness

Remote Control: Issue 2. What Does Not Bend

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