Currents 826: New Gallery, New Media, New Show

Emerging art curators for over a decade in Santa Fe open a new show at their new Canyon road gallery.

Gallery CURRENTS 826 opened its doors last December on the historic Canyon Road, yet CURRENTS’ success in Santa Fe has been building momentum for a decade. The new and permanent gallery is an offshoot of CURRENTS NEW MEDIA Festival, which takes over the city’s Railyard district every summer.

(l to r) Frank Ragano, C Alex Clark and Mariannah Amster of Currents Gallery

Tucked into an adobe house constructed in the early 1900s, the gallery’s low doorways and thick adobe walls make it difficult to hang art, but co-executive directors Frank Ragano and Mariannah Amster have poured their hearts into the space and have executed some popular shows, amping the presence of contemporary, new media arts in the city’s traditional art district.

CURRENTS NEW MEDIA Festival hosts national and international new media artists whose work knows no boundaries between technology and art.

This June will be the festival’s tenth year, and for two weeks, the oldest capital in the United States will feature 100 artists contributing to this distinct festival.

Anne Farrell, an artist on the HOER, has 3d sculptures in the Currents show.

On the heels of the festival’s success, Ragano and Amster are trying out a permanent gallery in hopes to promote new media artists year-round and generate funds for the annual festival. They call it a “test run,” but so far, the gallery’s seen traffic that will likely keep it on track.

On Friday, March 22, from 6:00-9:00 p.m., Currents 826 opens its latest show, showcasing the unusual work of seven new media artists:

Ziv Schneider works with new and emerging technologies, tying her work to cultural preservation and non-fiction storytelling through art and design. Her work has been shown at international festivals as well as museums like MIT, Sothbey’s, and Futurim Berlin.

Eco-cultural activist and planner/designer Richard Lowenberg has dedicated his creative life to investigating and making art, as his artist statement on his website says “[about] an ecology of the information environment and the resulting opportunities for development of a cultural and ecologically rooted economy.”

Jenny Filipetti's Breath Vessels

Anne Farrell has worked with CURRENTS NEW MEDIA Festival before. Her installation work incorporates found objects and draws inspiration from things that you might find on the side of the road. She’s also known for animating inanimate objects, using playfulness and shadow to find depth.

Keeley Haftner is a Canadian artist currently based in the Netherlands. Her sculpture work uses garbage as a material has found its way to showings across the United States, Canada, and Europe.

Jenny Filipetti is “a New York-born, Denver-based electronic media artist,” according to her bio. Her work explores how through technology we might extend human perceptual abilities and render the imperceptible material. Drawing from a background that also includes computational biology and design, her interactive work has been exhibited and awarded internationally.

Danish artist and director Jakob Kudsk Steensen is based in New York. His work focuses on how imagination, technology, and ecology intertwine. Steensen develops VR installations that allow and invite visitors to “enter new ecological realities.”

Morgan Green states on her website that she seeks “to disrupt stasis in the way people read words and bodies” in her work. At present, she is scrutinizing the effect of digital reality on the body, as well as the work that “flesh does on machines.” Green was born in Wisconsin and is based out of both Chicago and Los Angeles.

At CURRENTS 826, we get a closer curated, more intimate look at some of the artists whose work might flash us by during the summer festivals.

We can experience Steenson’s full-room virtual reality Aquaphobia and the 3D-printed clay Breath Vessels of Fillipetti alongside Lowenberg’s curious Intelligent Devices on the Internet of Things. From sculpture to screen to AI-generated poetry, CURRENTS 826’s new show promises to be as absorbing as its annual fest.

Photo Credit: Kate Russell