Bissy Riva

Bissy Riva presents an examination of the physical and emotional world of the body through textiles.

Bissy Riva

A Note From The Artist

These garments are the answers to a stream of reflective questioning. They are emotional responses to various anxieties and to the impact of those stresses on the body. The apprehensions I address are products of the societal pressures that females face when success is demanded and composure is a command—the destruction and physical repercussion when one informs the other. The pieces I have created are costumes. They are personal to me as an artist. I worked through a period of trying to articulate abstract feelings from which this collection of sculptural textile grew. The intention of each garments is to give the incommunicable form these anxieties instill in us, bodies of their own.

“Here I am
reworked until I don’t
rephrased until
I mean nothing
rewritten until
there are no words
only myself
revealed to you”

About Bissy Riva

Bissy Riva is a fine artist, poet, and textile student at the Rhode Island School of Design. Bissy manipulates traditional textile techniques to create sculptural garments. Her interest in poetry serves as a narrative to her art work. Bissy will complete her BFA in textiles this June.

Bissy Riva / Website / Instagram

Maku López

Maku López’s photo-series examines false realities, power structures, and surveillance.

Maku López

A Photographic Exploration of ‘Simulacra’ 

This photo series offers a contemporary portrayal of society while asking: What does it mean to live in the shadow of power? 

I wanted to sketch a vision about the fragile boundaries between our actual reality, social reality and fiction, and how power structures in an unconscious lifestyle can program us to assume roles, consume things and make us behave in certain ways.

Part of our panoptic society is the potential of constantly being observed. In today’s ever-connected, cobweb-like community, the notion of privacy turns into something much more complex: There is no difference between private and public life, there is no limit between reality and fiction.

How should we distinguish what’s freely chosen from what has been imposed on us? Society’s unwritten codes can seduce us into identifying with them. Social ambitions and political objectives constantly influence our daily desires and pleasures, even if subconsciously.

This series marks the first step of an ongoing project in which I look to activate ways of thought and explore unabashed human emotions. At its core lies the eternal tension between reality and its symbolic dimension, between notions of power and notions of freedom, following the concept of a “simulacra” as defined by Jean Baudrillard:

“A simulacra is an object that does not refer to any underlying reality, but claims to be this reality itself”

About Maku Lopez

Fashion photographer based in New York.

Maku began her career in Madrid. In 2011 she created Monster Studio and started to collaborate with different publications in fashion and commercial photography.

Since 2012 she has been a teacher in the Fashion Design Degree at the Polytechnic University of Madrid and in the Véritas University of San José, Costa Rica.

Currently she lives in New York City as a lens-based visual artist where she is working as a commercial photographer and developing her personal projects.

Maku Lopez / Commercial Website / Commercial Instagram / Art Website / Art Instagram 

JaMon Jackson

JaMon Jackson uses bricolage to create a video exploring systemic oppression through dance.

JaMon Jackson

A Note From The Artist

Throughout the course of history, people of color have always been the oppressed, yet they remain hopeful and always find a way to move forward. Since our origins back in Africa, dancing has played a vital role in our culture. The thought process for this visual piece stems from the concept ‘living in the shadow of power’ in which the average human is governed by the 10%. In this video, the normally oppressed people are showcased in the foreground whereas the various oppressing forces of power fall into the background. Lyrics from Flying Lotus & Kendrick Lamar’s ‘Never Catch Me’ are synced with various dance moves to create a think piece for viewers of all backgrounds. Our roots are deep and this video personifies that.


About JaMon Jackson

Ja’Mon Jackson is a multimedia artist based out of Northern VA. Inspired by popular culture, Ja’Mon seeks to engage his audience through various concepts that include strong symbolism in the forms of photography and videography. Analyzing the reality around him, his goal is to shed light on the good and bad, admitting that both exists in this world and neither should be hidden in hopes to persuade someone’s opinion.

JaMon Jackson / Instagram

Jen Lewin

Jen Lewin’s luminous sculptures masterfully play with the juxtaposition between light and shadow.

Jen Lewin

A Note From The Artist

Over the last 25 years, Jen Lewin has been honing a highly technical medium to fabricate large-scale interactive, public sculpture that encourages community interaction and play.  Lewin’s use of form and interactive light create a world of light and shadow filled with human connection and magic. This is work that truly explores the reality of a world where both digital and physical connections permeate every aspect of our lives. Placing something interactive in a well-traveled area takes people by surprise and encourages a moment of play, leading them to experience it in a new way. This can lead to a profound contextual, connected community response within public space.


Aqueous at Burning Man 2017 by artist Jen Lewin, Photo by Matt Emmi
Aqueous at Burning Man 2017 by artist Jen Lewin, Photo by Matt Emmi
Aqueous at Burning Man 2017 by artist Jen Lewin, Photo by Matt Emmi

Flux Chandelier

Flux Chandelier is a custom, interactive, mesh network sculpture permanently installed at The University of Akron in 2017. The sculpture is a series of four chandeliers throughout Zook Hall as part of the Ohio Arts Council’s Ohio’s Percent for Art program. The sculptures sense the height and movement of people as they pass underneath, which is reflected in the movement, patterns, and colors of the lighting throughout all four installations.

Flux Chandelier by artist Jen Lewin, Photo by Morgan Sasser
Flux Chandelier by artist Jen Lewin, Photo by Morgan Sasser

Laser Harps

The Chandelier Harp, an interactive art installation where passing a hand through a low voltage laser produces a tone, by Jen Lewin Studio at an exhibition in the CU Art Museum. This solo exhibit was titled ‘Its Electric’ and featured a variety of light and sound based interactive art by artist Jen Lewin.

The Pool

The Pool is an environment of giant, concentric circles created from interactive circular pads. By entering The Pool, you enter a world where play and collaborative movement create swirling effects of light and color. Imagine a giant canvas where you can paint and splash light collaboratively. As multiple users play in The Pool, their interactions become mesmerizing patterns of shifting and fading colors.

The Super Pool by artist Jen Lewin, Photo by Duncan Rawlinson
The Pool by artist Jen Lewin, Photo by Brendan Burkett


The Pool by artist Jen Lewin, Photo by Scott Wiseman
The Pool by artist Jen Lewin, Photo by Brendan Burkett

About Jen Lewin

Jen Lewin is an internationally renowned light and interactive sculptor based out of New York City. Over the last 15 years, Lewin has honed her highly technical medium to fabricate large-scale interactive sculptures that combine light, sound, and motion to encourage community interaction.

Jen Lewin / Website / Instagram

Pablo Gnecco

Pablo Gnecco manipulates light and darkness through his network sculpture ‘Orbitals’.

Pablo Gnecco

A Note from the Artist

Orbitals is an exploration of cause and effect within a network made of light and its obstructions. The results of the obstructions are shadows that reveal patterns in the network. This specific piece was the first version. I hope to have the opportunity to create larger versions that can be more immersive and interactive with people and architecture


Orbitals was created for That’s Not It, a group exhibition curated by Alex Czetwertynski at MANA Contemporary that plays with our need to categorize art practices, but insists on the “tip of the tongue” moment we all feel when confronted with the endless range of the so-called “post-new media art.”

Concept & Design – Pablo Gnecco

Custom Software – Nate Turley

Custom Fabrication – Bradley Bowers

About Pablo Gnecco

Pablo Gnecco is an experiential artist and motion designer from Bogota, Colombia living in Brooklyn, NY. He is an inaugural member of The New Museum’s art and technology incubator, NEW INC. Currently an Artist in Residence at Mana Contemporary. Curator of & Co-Founder of Studio Studio a media and design agency/studio. Gnecco has exhibited in galleries and public spaces in Atlanta, New York City, Boston, and Bogota.

Contributor / Pablo Gnecco / Website / Instagram 

Francis Ukpeh

Francis Ukpeh uses poetry to explore the power of addiction.

Francis Ukpeh

Addiction’s Sway


some things we fold into private drawers
so they can live in the deep places where
they wouldn’t dare interrupt the necessary lies
we tell ourselves of our lives. the small ones
And the big ones are kept segregated
from those things kept tucked far from light,
in places where they can cast no shadows,
and only fester as an ignored open wound
in the damp muck of uncertainty and self-help book
constantly scratching and always searching
for that opening, that one moment of weakness
we swore would never return to turn us back
to old habits prayer isn’t strong enough to break,
because that’s the real power,
found in dopamine soaked deceits of a better tomorrow,
promising that after just one more drink, one more bump,
one more fix…just one. more. good. time.
that somehow our shit will fall lockstep into place,
and that if only those with stones could see the intentions
that yellow-brick pave this road with the dust of our ambitions,
those dreams forfeit because we couldn’t bear to sacrifice
all these smaller, plated luxuries,
maybe they would understand
and their ample judgment would be checked.
but who are you to judge us, motherfucker?
show me that shadow to which you are enthralled,
so we may gauge whose Demiurge is more seductive,
i, no we, never chose this religion but its missionaries
were far too alluring, wrapped in vestments inglorious
to hang about our shoulders in shame,
every soiree draped threadbare,
and every glittering spectacle less sorcerous and magical
until the powerlessness of this predicament
becomes so obviously unapologetic I can’t lie to myself anymore,
and I just admit, years late, and Fundamentally poorer,
that I am not as strong as my addiction.


About Francis Ukpeh

Francis is a DC-based writer, poet and dreamer that hasn’t let himself outgrow his dreams, but has only let them grow with his age.