The rise of AI-generated artwork calls into question not only art’s creative and original validity but also the place of the artist. Much like this section’s title, taken from Anita Giraldo’s statement, the works here explore things that have been, or should be, obsolete; technology, economic policy, body politics – the list goes on. Together, these works prompt questions of human labor and its role in image-making.

Suran Song

For “Americana”,  I propose my recent mixed media series entitled, “Recollections of a Rustbelt Youth”, which examines my childhood experience in Michigan from 1977 through 1989  during the industrial decline —cultural anxiety resultant from Reagan’s economic policy of austerity —disappearance of main street and subsequent rise of hyper consumerism —gentrification —and the emotions of being caught in between wage relation changes from old to new.

Suran Song is a visual artist and post-punk musician. Exhibitions include Queens Museum, Chashama, Jack Tilton Gallery, The Laundromat Project, and Milwaukee’s Villa Terrace Decorative Arts Museum. Her post-punk music hit The CMJ Charts, and she performed live on many American radio stations including WBAI, WFMU, KQED, KPFA, and KEXP.


Ash Hagerstrand

In American culture, there is a longstanding emphasis on individualism and the pursuit of self-improvement. This manifests in our contemporary wellness culture and to our associations with technology. Our positive relationship with technology hinges on associations with health—but the “cyborgian” body is only divine when it masks our mortality. Through the use of digital landscapes, virtual augmentation, and identity curation, this project explores the complex and often fraught relationship that many people with disabilities and chronic illnesses have with technology. As I examine the ways in which technology is seen as a positive force for “wellness”, I also delve into the ways in which it can be used to mask or erase the mortality of the body. This is especially prevalent in a society that values able-bodiedness and sees disability as a deficit.

Ash Hagerstrand is an artist based in New York City who graduated from the Rhode Island School of Design.Their work uses digital landscapes, virtual augmentation, and identity curation to explore the complex and often fraught relationship that disabled and chronically ill people have with technology. Their work seeks to challenge and expand upon traditional notions of identity, ability, and connectivity; encouraging viewers to consider the role of technology in our lives and the ways in which it can both enable and limit us.


Anita Giraldo

Project/Synapse is a group of color panoramic landscape photographs. For this body of work, I use images of the American landscape to convey introspective concepts. By tapping into the reservoirs of memory and association, I confront the feeling that my optimism was vanishing with my youth. 

This was a conversation impossible to have. No longer could I deal with subject matter, I had to take pictures of ideas and emotions. I built the visual vocabulary to communicate what I felt was a waning life and its effect on me. I was in the company of the obsolete—it entered my bloodstream with every stop I made in the junkyards, freight depots, dry docks and defunct manufacturing plants I wandered through.

The philosopher Richard Wollheim states that accepting the value and concept of Intentions, what we are disposed to see as the image becomes irrelevant to what the image is a representation of. A thought which expresses intent is independent of the action–it looks forward to representational seeing. This is the bridge, the synapse projected between the emotion and what was used to express it. Subsequently, it’s what I ask of the viewer to see and ultimately feel.

Trained as a fine artist, I create artwork that addresses the disconnect of interpersonal communication.   I’ve won grants from the NEA, NYSCA, PSC-CUNY, a Puffin Fellowship and residencies throughout the US and Europe following international exhibitions. My latest works have been exhibited at a TED talk and through