The 12th Seoul Mediacity Biennale (SMB12) THIS TOO, IS A MAP announces its opening events and public programming.


The 12th Seoul Mediacity Biennale THIS TOO, IS A MAP (September 21– November 19, 2023) presented at Seoul Museum of Art (SeMA) and other venues in Seoul, celebrates its opening with a series of events and several preliminary programs.

Prior to SMB12’s official opening, two new sculptures, Earth Monument by ikkibawiKrrr and I Belong to the Distance 3, (Force Multiplier) by Torkwase Dyson, open to the public on September 5. An invite-only preview of these works takes place on September 4, and includes a new performance by choreographer Kwon Lyoneun.

From September 21, opening events highlight the works and ideas of SMB12 participating artists and contributors. These events shape diverse concepts and urgencies of non-territorial thinking in the context of displacement, diaspora, and multisituated alliances, exploring how individual localities contain their own divergent and mutating histories, while seeking to parse meanings of place and connecting communication strategies in Seoul and beyond. The Biennale’s opening weekend events, as well as scheduled programming that takes place throughout the project’s duration, are aimed at heterogeneous audiences and learning methods– taking place in discursive, performative, sonic, and collaborative forms.

On September 21, the public opening of the SMB12 begins at 1pm on the rooftop of SeMA’s flagship Seosomun Main Branch with two roundtable discussions featuring participating artists. In the early evening, Frequency Tropics (FT) Radio, a DJ set featuring Karllll, Ejo, NET GALA, and Yuzo and curated by artist Kent Chan and Seoul Community Radio (a Collaborating Space of SMB12) engages concepts of global “future tropics” by remixing the sounds and beats of tropical global realities. In addition to these rooftop events, artist Jaye Rhee premieres a choir performance Arizona Cowboy (as part of Far West, So Close) in the museum’s galleries–the piece will later be installed on SeMA’s outdoor speakers. An after-event will be held at Seoul Community Radio in Itaewon and is open to the public.

On September 22, at the Seoul Museum of History will be a focused discussion between Artistic Director Rachael Rakes and artist Jesse Chun, whose survey exhibition 시 language for new moons is installed at the same venue. On September 23 and 24, two programs organized by SMB12 Program Advisor Ong Jo-Lene are presented at SeMA Seosomun’s Project Gallery: Demilitarized Goddesses, a screening and conversation with artist Youngjoo Cho and DMZ tour guides Yang Suk Seo and Seonja Jeon; and Domestic Resistance: Rasa & Asa/Nohdong/노동 Nongkrong, which comprises a screening, light communal meal, meeting, and performance with Okui Lala, Nasrikah, Aletheia Shin, PERTIMIG, Korean Women’s Workers Association (KWWA), and National House Managers Cooperative (NHMC). On September 23 at SeMA Seosomun’s gallery, artist Merecedes Azpilicueta debuts Five Spells & A Song, a multi-lingual operatic Pansori performance sung by Lee Seung-hee. On September 26, Kwon Lyoneun performs I Belong to the Distance 3, (Force Multiplier) to the public.

Throughout the Biennale’s duration, numerous public programs take place, including a multi-speaker, global online event organized by SMB12 Program Advisor Annie Jael Kwan, A map is a story too: a story we can only tell, if we tell it together, featuring artists Anida Yoeu Ali, Sara Sejin Chang (Sara van der Heide), Yong Sun Gullach, Beatrice Glow, Mooni Perry, and Youngsook Choi; a conversation entitled Native is a Metaphor: Biogeography and Belonging between artist Chan Sook Choi and Biologist Matthew Chew; a series of workshop called Geologic Techno: Dance with the Earth Beat by artist Andeath with collaborators Juhye Ko, geologist Seongjun Park, DJ Xanexx and ZEEMEN; Earth Monument Workshop by artists ikkibawiKrrr and Breaking up with a Smartphone by Taeyoon Choi with collaborator Mina Kim. Finally, a podcast series organized by Kent Chan and Seoul Community Radio will release episodes in October and November. The series of programs culminates in November with the presentation of the 2023 SeMA-HANA Media Art Award.

In collaboration with [NAME] Publications, Seoul Museum of Art also publishes THIS TOO, IS A MAP, AN ANTHOLOGY, a volume that informs the investigative textual and visual ideas of the project, through contributions from Dele Adeyemo, Don Mee Choi, Jieun Cho (ikkibawiKrrr), Kat Ditzig and Anissa Rahadiningtyas, Kim Hyesoon, María Lugones, Min Kyung Lee, Nishat Awan, Rachael Rakes, Sohyun Park, Sofía Dourron, Steffani Jemison, and Taeyoon Choi.

Additional details about the 12th Seoul Mediacity Biennale are available at the project’s official website (mediacityseoul.kr) and SeMA’s website (sema.seoul.go.kr). For more information, press, interview, or accreditation questions, please email contact@mediacityseoul.kr.

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