Christina Battle: Imagining New Systems of Exchange
October 2020 - March 2021
Christina Battle is an Artist whose research and work consider the parameters of disaster – looking to it as action, as more than mere event, and instead as a framework operating within larger systems of power. Her Fellowship with 221A seeks to imagine beyond capitalist cycles of economic breakdown and towards new systems of exchange, drawing from strategies of spread observed in plants and fungi, as well as in online spaces.
Joining 221A as a 2020-21 Fellow, Christina Battle will conduct research under the working title, Imagining New Systems of Exchange: Looking to Plant and Online Systems for Future Models. Seeking to move beyond capitalism’s built-in cycles of economic breakdown, Battle draws from strategies of resource consumption and trade observed in plants, fungi and online spaces to imagine alternative systems of exchange. Battle’s Fellowship will be developed as a publication, insofar as a publication suggests a political strategy that constructs a public and extends beyond the written page. Research will therefore take multiple forms: a living research document that exists online, a series of public conversations, and a participatory project that engages publics and shifts responsibility of performance onto participants themselves.
Imagining New Systems of Exchange builds upon Battle’s previous experiments with dissemination and methodologies of participation, as explored in recent works such as Postcards for a better budget: reimagining the cut and connecting thru grasses. Research developed through this Fellowship will inform a future participatory artwork that will interact with the x̱aw̓s shew̓áy̓ New Growth《新生林》(T’uy’t’tanat-Cease Wyss, 2019) garden at Semi-Public 半公開, to be launched in 2021-22.
Battle’s Fellowship with 221A follows several lines of inquiry:
How is crisis built into our current economic models, and how might we imagine them otherwise?
What alternative economic models are currently being discussed, especially in light of the compounded crises of COVID-19, income inequality, systemic racism, and climate collapse? How might these models approach and respond to crisis differently?
How might we imagine a new economic model that is more just and more equitable to both human and non-human entities?
How might these new economic models be applied to online environments?
Christina Battle (Edmonton, Amiskwaciy Wâskahikan ᐊᒥᐢᑲᐧᒋᕀ ᐋᐧᐢᑲᐦᐃᑲᐣ, Canada) holds a B.Sc. with specialization in Environmental Biology from the University of Alberta, a certificate in Film Studies from Ryerson University, an MFA from the San Francisco Art Institute, and a PhD in Art & Visual Culture from the University of Western Ontario. Her research and artistic work consider the parameters of disaster; looking to it as action, as more than mere event and instead as a framework operating within larger systems of power. Through this research she imagines how disaster could be utilized as a tactic for social change and as a tool for reimagining how dominant systems might radically shift. She collaborates with Serena Lee as SHATTERED MOON ALLIANCE and has exhibited internationally in festivals and galleries as both artist and curator, most recently at: The Art Gallery of Southwestern Manitoba (Brandon), The Boulder Museum of Contemporary Art (Colorado), Latitude 53 (Edmonton), The John & Maggie Mitchell Gallery (Edmonton), Harbourfront Centre (Toronto), Capture Photography Festival (Vancouver); Forum Expanded at the Berlinale (Berlin), Blackwood Gallery (Mississagua), Trinity Square Video (Toronto), Untitled Art Society (Calgary), 8-11 (Toronto), Nuit Blanche Toronto, Galveston Artist Residency (Texas); Studio XX (Montreal), Le Centre des arts actuels Skol as part of Le Mois de la Photo à Montréal (Montreal), Thames Art Gallery (Chatham, ON), Casa Maauad (Mexico City); and SOMArts (San Francisco). http://cbattle.com/
221A acknowledges that the area called Vancouver is within the unceded Indigenous territories belonging to the xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam), Sḵwx̱wú7mesh (Squamish), and Səl̓ílwətaʔ/Selilwitulh (Tsleil-Waututh) peoples. 221A recognizes that the colony of British Columbia was created through organized dispossession and colonial violence. 221A seeks to shift its organizational practices to work together with Indigenous people to end ongoing violence, dispossession and displacement.