The Holidays Are a Time for Traditions, and Breaking Them

Teen Editorial Staff December 2022 Editorial

Written by Teen Editorial Staff Members Aamina Mughal and Kyle Gerstel

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As we enter the depths of winter and the holiday season, art in Seattle is picking up a familiar festive theme—with a twist, of course. Tradition connects us to our heritage and identity, but it can also feel limiting. The ability to evolve traditions and create something new and interesting for the present is and has always been integral to art. Rest assured, there will be plenty of opportunities to revisit and reconstruct our favorite holiday classics this December.

Seattle Public Theater is bringing a Christmas classic to the mix with a revival of their A Very Die Hard Christmas, running from December 3 — 30. Similarly, A Very Drunken Christmas Carol is coming back to the Seattle Opera after a sold-out run in the 2021 season.

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An Educational Arcade

Review of Artificial Intelligence at MOHAI (Museum of History & Industry)

Written by Teen Writer Daphne Bunker and edited by Teen Editor Disha Cattamanchi

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At Seattle’s Museum of History and Industry (MOHAI), Artificial Intelligence: Your Mind & The Machine currently resides in the special exhibit hall. It’s a quiet, secluded corner among MOHAI’s bustling attractions. An array of brain teasers, touch screens, sci-fi movie posters, and robot models line the room’s edges, while interactive puzzles and pillars of text fill the center. Created by The Relayer Group, this traveling exhibit explores the relationship between the human mind and computers, charting the development of artificial intelligence from its ancient roots. It’s a fun, worthwhile exhibit for both kids and adults interested in learning more about A.I., but it dulls in comparison to MOHAI’s other offerings.

The exhibit hall doors open to an olive green wall with a few lines of white serif text: what is the difference between a human mind and a computer? The exhibit quickly answers this question, leading visitors through optical illusions that perplex our eyes but go unnoticed by computers. Giuseppe Arcimboldo’s paintings of fish and fruit, arranged to look like portrait heads, hang on the wall. An A.I. would simply recognize these as fish and fruit rather than the portrait heads humans recognize. A Tower of Hanoi puzzle sits below, comprised of stacked rings that must be placed in ascending order without putting bigger rings on top of smaller ones. A program could solve it in seconds, but it might take you and a friend a bit of extra effort. As Artificial Intelligence explains, conversation around A.I. swirls with sensationalist claims that computers will render human minds obsolete. These first few displays clarify that the human brain and A.I. each have strengths and weaknesses; A.I. is not a looming threat to civilization, but a tool we use to solve problems. The rest of the exhibit builds off this foundation to further explain the relationship between “your mind and the machine,” getting into how A.I. functions, its heights and limitations, its representations in pop culture, and its history. There are touchscreen games, translators, and hands-on activities as the exhibit continues to tell the story of artificial intelligence.

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Experimenting with Environmental Anthropology in "Laboratory for Other Worlds"

Review of Laboratory for Other Worlds at the Bellevue Arts Museum

Written by Teen Writer Olivia Qi and edited by Teen Editor Aamina Mughal

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Climate change is real and dangerous, but you do not need this article to tell you that. There is an abundance of scientific knowledge about environmental collapse, so why is it so hard for our society to develop cultural responses and policies that prioritize the environment? Patte Loper, the artist behind Laboratory for Other Worlds at the Bellevue Arts Museum, takes French philosopher Bruno Latour’s stance: we need art to translate scientific data into political knowledge. In the “Laboratory”, Loper experiments with connecting the human world and other worlds of plants, animals, spirits, and land. She uses her distinct visual language to encourage unity between humans and nonhumans, proposing a spiritual solution to climate change.

“There is another world but it is in this one,” reads the Paul Éluard quote on the wall facing the exhibit’s entrance. Entering the exhibit, I understood that Loper’s art belongs to that other world, the world of nature. Loper’s three Paintings for Trees (2022), which look like silver scraps on sticks, hang on a wall behind little sculptures of clay, cement, glass jars, dirt, and wood. These little sculptures are Plant Companion Devices (2022), a Painting for Plants (2021), and Lichen Incubator (2022). The Plant Companion Devices are relatively small and made of clay and sticks, and some have a tangled mass of cardboard reminiscent of tree roots. The Lichen Incubator drips water through bendy tubes into glass flasks for a rock or piece of wood. Patte Loper's Laboratory for Other Worlds, The Mattress Factory (Pittsburgh, PA) 2019-2020. Photo courtesy of Mark Woods Studio.

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Rain and Leaves, with Hints of Snow

Teen Editorial Staff November 2022 Editorial

Written by Teen Editorial Staff Members Disha Cattamanchi and Yoon Lee

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Welcome to the “Thursday” of the year! November isn’t exactly the Wednesday of the week, but it definitely isn’t Friday either. As we float towards the weekend of the year (December), the local arts scene too begins making the shift from fall to the holiday season. Various arts events of holiday spirit now coexist with cultural exhibitions that redefine the giving season, culminating in a Mariah Carey-esque thawing as the festive fun begins. So please you, enjoy yourself this November with productions of all kinds, holiday-themed or not!

Thanksgiving season is a time to reflect on our cultural identities, identifying how they will shape our futures. American Art: The Stories We Carry, an exhibit at the Seattle Art Museum, does just that, highlighting a diverse array of experiences that give new meaning to the term “American.” The exhibit opened on October 20th, and is a fun way to spark conversation with family and friends as you trudge about Seattle’s art scene in the remaining fall weather.

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Behind the Art of "Beyond the Mountain"

Review of Beyond the Mountain at the Seattle Asian Art Museum

Written by Teen Writer Olivia Qi and edited by Teen Editor Esha Potharaju

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There’s a mountain of historical Chinese art, and many people are familiar with its loose inky style. But what lies beyond the mountain? The answers, present in the Seattle Asian Art Museum’s Beyond the Mountain exhibit, are thought-provoking performance art, painting, photography, and multimedia installations. The exhibit is organized around five themes and five artists. The themes are combinations of a traditional motif and concepts gaining traction in the modern world, with names like ink/protest, artifact/culture, proverb/nature, landscape/cityscape, and landscape/escape. Beyond the Mountain shows how contemporary Chinese artists react to a modern world while staying rooted in tradition. Furthermore, it shows how their Chinese art breaks national boundaries, becoming internationally relevant in the face of globalization.

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Frights and Thrills for the Creative Spirit

Teen Editorial Staff October 2022 Editorial

Written by Teen Editorial Staff Members Audrey Gray and Esha Potharaju

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A rush of autumnal spirit thrums in the air. The transition from September to October is jarring—all of a sudden, the wind picks up, carrying the aroma of fall spices, and Halloween seems just around the corner. Throughout the local art scene, creative minds are preparing for this transition, setting up spooky productions of well-known favorites and spine-tingling selections of film and art that are sure to offer you a new vision into what the human mind is capable of creating. This October, seek out some new frights and thrills to get your blood pumping and rejuvenate your spirit, curated by the Teen Editorial Staff here at TeenTix.

If you’re eager to experience how the classic monster-laden iconography of Halloween manifests in the mind of Shakespeare, visit Center Theatre for Seattle Shakespeare Company’s taste of cackling witches and cold-blooded murder in their production of the world-renowned play Macbeth. If you’re riding on that wave of spooky theater but are looking for something a bit more lighthearted and punchy, drop by at Village Theatre to watch Little Shop of Horrors, based on the cult classic 1960s film of the same name. The show is jam packed with comedy, rock, romance, and carnivorous, borderline predatory plants.

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The Immersive World of MAGMA SLIT

Review of MAGMA SLIT exhibit at the Henry Art Gallery

Written by Teen Writer Lily Fredericks and edited by Teen Editor Aamina Mughal

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Equal parts enthralling and bewildering, your queries will spiral as you immerse yourself in Donna Huanca’s MAGMA SLIT. Transporting the viewer from the mundane reality of Seattle traffic and tedious routine, Huanca provides a reprieve from the ordinary, casting the viewer into a cathartic land of discovery. Residing in the Henry Art Gallery, MAGMA SLIT consists of four expansive paintings depicting each season, bringing life to their formerly inanimate white backdrop. These paintings emerged from an array of digitally printed photographs from Huanca’s life, which were stitched together and transformed into the paintings. Huanca coated these foundations with vivid strokes of paint, hues primarily corresponding with their associated seasons: warmer tones depicting summer, cooler ones characterizing winter, and a flurried blend of both expressing the transitory seasons of spring and fall. Echoed with hints of life, these paintings display glimpses of the photographs of people and natural textures concealed within them, providing a real life connection between the audience and Huanca’s abstract world.

In the middle of the exhibit lies a stage. Down the center, a line of six steel sheets with alternating reflective and opaque sides create a transcendent mirror effect. This allows you to simultaneously view slivers of the paintings behind you, before you, and even catch glimpses of yourself. Cast against the vibrant settings of the paintings, viewers are further immersed in Huanca’s surreal world by becoming part of it. This deepens the viewer’s connection with the exhibit through encouraging them to relate Huanca’s pieces to themselves. Donna Huanca, Installation view of Donna Huanca: MAGMA SLIT, 2022, Henry Art Gallery, University of Seattle, Washington. Photo: Jonathan Vanderweit courtesy of the Henry Art Gallery.

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The Time of Change with Double Dare Ya

Review of Double Dare Ya presented by the Henry Art Gallery

Written by Teen Writer and Editor Lucia McLaren and edited by Teen Editor Eleanor Cenname

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At the Henry Art Gallery, everyone wants to see the Skyspace, an oval-shaped building with an oval-shaped skylight. To get to this famous exhibit, you have to pass through a small, square room. Most people give a few seconds or minutes of a glance before moving on, either to the Skyspace or to another more popular exhibit at the Henry. Within this room is Viewpoints. It’s essentially a rotating display: works from various artists that center around a different theme each time it’s changed.

Double Dare Ya, the most recent iteration of Viewpoints, features works by Amanda Ross-Ho, Marsha Burns, and Justine Kurland. They center around the reality of teenage girls—facing vast change, transience, and the rigidity of femininity. Amanda Ross-Ho, Untitled (SIMPLE PLAN), 2013. Acrylic on dyed canvas. Photo Courtesy of the Henry Art Gallery.

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Water, Art, and Their Inseparable Histories

Review of Our Blue Planet: Global Visions of Water presented by Seattle Art Museum

Written by Teen Writer Stella Crouch and edited by Teen Editor Disha Cattamanchi

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Our Blue Planet: Global Visions of Water is a temporary exhibit at the Seattle Art Museum (SAM), chronicling the privileges and powers humanity has over water. The exhibit features works from a wide array of mediums including photography, film, painting, sculpture, and various textiles, analyzing the sustaining role water has played in the past, and what that can mean moving forward.

Pushing the boundaries of what a single exhibit can be, Our Blue Planet contains the works of 74 artists from numerous countries and Indigenous tribes. The exhibit is not limited by a certain medium, location, point of view, age, or history; rather, it embraces the duality of art forms to create an immersive experience. The multitude of forms the exhibit takes emphasizes the universal need for a healthy planet. Ultimately, the exhibit comments there is no place or person who will not be affected by climate change.

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Final Stretch, Here We Come!

Teen Editorial Staff May 2022 Editorial

Written by Teen Editorial Staff Members Esha Potharaju and Disha Cattamanchi

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Exam season is in full swing for teens across the country. It can be difficult to ease the waves of stress that accompany exams. We at TeenTix would like to reassure our readers that we have full faith in their abilities. Whatever happens, it will be alright! De-stressing is important for success, both personally and academically. We hope that readers will set time aside to take care of themselves by participating in art, be it a classical music performance or a modern film! There’s a huge selection of events that will be happening this month, and we’d like to highlight just a few that we hope you’ll enjoy.

From May 20-21, Pacific MusicWorks will be holding their music show, Wayward Sisters: A Dynamic Tapestry of Sound, at Benaroya Hall. The event will be an ode to 17th century soprano trios, reimagining the major works of the century as theatrical events. If you’re looking for something more contemporary, catch SIFF’s film Hatching. The film follows a twelve-year-old gymnast as she confronts her conflicts in the form of a fantastical, yet increasingly grotesque, creature that hatches from an egg that she finds in the woods.

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Embodied Change Teaches Us About What We Inherit

Review of Embodied Change: South Asian Art Across Time presented by Seattle Asian Art Museum

Written by Teen Writer Aamina Mughal and edited by Teen Editor Esha Potharaju

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When you walk to the back of Seattle Asian Art Museum, across from the floor-to-ceiling windows looking out over Volunteer Park, you experience a neon vision. The museum’s Embodied Change: South Asian Art Across Time starts here with Chila Kumari Singh Burman’s visual art piece Kali (I’m A Mess). With this commencing motif, Burman uses a historically revered Hindu goddess to reflect on societal concerns from the year of its conception, 2020. The words “I’m A Mess” glow above a technicolor image of Kali, eyebrows raised and tongue out. Although this is not a message commonly associated with the figure, Burman uses Kali as a symbol of rebellion and liberation to ask the question—“Can Kali drive time forward into a brave new world where we are no longer a mess?” In the 6th century, the Hindu philosophical text Devi Mahatmyam, or “Glory of the Goddess,” denoted when the worship of the female body became a part of Hindu tradition, which set the stage for works like Burman’s in the 21st century.

Burman’s work demonstrates how historical images, the ones deep rooted in cultural history, can be used to make implications about our modern world. This idea is echoed throughout this exhibit. Although South Asian Art cannot be defined as one thing, as South Asia and South Asian identities do not take a singular form; as she shared in an interview, it was a goal of the curator Natalia di Pietrantonio, “to show the expanse of the South Asian field by purposely including artists from across the diaspora.” This idea of dynamic identity and reclamation are echoed throughout Embodied Change and are told through the lens of the human body, specifically the female form. One thing that I believe unites these works is the burden of inheritance. There are certain things that we inherit through our heritage without us making the choice to do so. What we do choose, however, is how we carry this inheritance.

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