Opening Reception: Will Brown: Ether
Thursday, Sep 13, 2018, 6:00PM - 9:00PM
Walter and McBean Galleries
SFAI—Chestnut Street Campus
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Please join us in celebration of Will Brown: Ether at the Walter and McBean Galleries at San Francisco Art Institute's Chestnut Street Campus.

In late 1970’s, San Francisco Art Institute sold the collection of Eadweard Muybridge photographs and ephemera to finance the creation of what is now the New Genres department. This speculative maneuver wagered the future of media against the history and foundations of the moving image. In a similar speculative action, this fall San Francisco Art Institute presents a project in which the artistic collective Will Brown invests their exhibition budget in Ethereum, a digital cryptocurrency.

The value of the Ether investment will be monitored and made visible by an accompanying public mobile application that controls various environmental elements inside the gallery based on the currency’s micro-fluctuations. Will Brown will withdraw profits above the initial investment and direct them into a student or faculty project, an unmediated re-investment in the artistic mission of the school. This gesture places Will Brown firmly within a historic lineage of artists advancing or complicating our cultural—and economic—state of affairs.

Will Brown is an experiment whose main objective is to manipulate the structures of exhibition-making as a critical practice. Will Brown recently mounted a solo MATRIX exhibition at the UC Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive and authored Bruce Conner: Brass Handles, published by J&L Books. Will Brown has realized projects with KADIST, the Wattis Institute for Contemporary Arts, di Rosa Center for Contemporary Art, and the Ulrich Museum of Art, and related press has appeared in The New York Times, Frieze, KQED, and Artforum. Will Brown received a Creative Work Fund Grant in 2015, an Alternative Exposure Award from Southern Exposure in 2012, and in 2013 was an artist-in-residence at Headlands Center for the Arts in Marin County, California.

Will Brown: Ether at San Francisco Art Institute is curated by Katie Hood Morgan, Curator of Special Projects, and organized with Christopher Squier, Manager of Exhibitions, Events, and Partnerships. The exhibition is made possible in part by a grant award from the Creative Work Fund, a program of the Walter and Elise Haas Fund that also is supported by The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation. The organizers would like to thank the artists; Gordon Knox, SFAI President; Hesse McGraw, Principal, el dorado inc; and Elisa Isaacson, SFAI Grants Manager for their dedication to the success of this project.

SFAI’s Exhibitions and Public Programs are made possible by the generosity of donors and sponsors, including the Harker Fund of The San Francisco Foundation, Grants for the Arts, Institute of Museums and Library Services, Elizabeth Firestone Graham Foundation, The Robert Lehman Foundation, Meyer Sound, and Fort Point Beer Company. Ongoing support is provided by the McBean Distinguished Lecture and Residency Fund, The Buck Fund, and the Visiting Artist Fund of the SFAI Endowment.