"B priori" Art Showcase April 30 - May 8

b priori show poster

Opening in Troy, NY on Sunday, April 30th from 3 - 7 pm

Collar Works Gallery 

621 River Street, Troy, NY 

April 30 - May 8, 2023 

hours by appointment


B Priori brings together work from seven current Electronic Arts PhD students at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. The pieces on view span a range of disciplines including performance, installation, drawing, sculpture, video, architecture, photography, light and neon, microbiology, and horticulture. The artists' practices are research & process-based, and extend from discourses with soil scientists, nuclear waste specialists, geologists, political theorists, and plant communication experts. The works challenge historic assumptions about how knowledge can be produced, and what role artists have in scientific and theoretical discourse. 


Nina Isabelle

John Santomieri

Hanae Utamura

Jenifer Wightman

Allie E.S. Wist 

Arma Yari

Jude Abu Zaineh


There will be a Live-Coding Performance by Aaron Juarez and Kosmas Giannoutakis. Date and time tba.

This exhibition situates knowledge as derived through process in art-making found at a point when resolution, conclusion and critique is still unknown, and 'experience' has yet to be understood. Or, on the "b-side", the flip-side, of realizing the idealized art object as outcome. Containing narratives of political dissent and mass accummulations, personal foment and the machinations of movement, speculations of environmental and sensory awarenesses; all can be experienced here as a multi-dimensional 'iconograph' of being in the now.

As artists, we deal with space, making and re-making meaning and form concurrently. We try to make space in language, space in community, space for discovery and for recovery. Unintentionally or not, we've ascribed to a priori and a postiroi binaries, but neither properly accounts for the deep interplays of knowing and experiencing that occur in and through art spaces. The power of art compels us towards additional ways of knowing and allows us to glimpse a peculiar something that gets in-between these two modes—something that turns and folds them together in an aesthetic encounter. Enter B priori! B priori is our intervention, our in-between. It is a gesture of language to make space for the unimaginable, the unexpected, and all the things we don’t know that we don’t know yet.


The B priori Manifesto!

B priori proposes a way of knowing that combines experience and logic with an ephemeral quality of not-yet-knowing-how-to-know!

B priori creates space for the type of knowledge derived through art processes and is a way of knowing independent of reason and experience!

B priori lets us embrace the aspects of not knowing that happen along the path of discovery!

B priori lets us experience what it means to not know!

B priori is the flip side of a many-sided coin!

When the construction of knowledge requires more expansive modes- B priori!


Immanuel Kant described how we arrive at the feeling of knowing something and suggested a kind of a priori knowledge that happens completely apart from lived experiencea disembodied sense of knowing which arises through theoretical reasoning alone. An architect may know how to build a house through scholarly studies, apart from the experience of ever using a hammer. While Kant offers one counterpoint, a posteori— the idea that we can arrive at the feeling of knowing through lived experience- learning-by-doing, we contest these dualistic modes of thinking and offer b priori as a starting point to expand the dialogue. 


Thank you, b priori!


NINA ISABELLE is a process-based artist working with perception, action, language, and phenomena. Her practice is a method to sort and solve the inconsistencies of language, memory, and form. She makes paintings, drawings, photographs, video, sculpture, sound, performance and writing as inquiry into how sensory perception functions as the impetus for action, reaction, response, and choice making in art and life. Her work merges disciplines as she explores how sense data compels actions, informs concepts, and the unconscious and conscious impact these variables have on decision-making processes used to construct meaning and worlds. 

JOHN SANTOMIERI is immersed in garden-based research as a PhD student at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute’s Integrated Electronic Arts program in New York, USA. His research-led practice has been cultivated from a professional career and experiences as a horticulturist and landscape designer. He works to express new visualizations of landscape by aligning critical theory, situated landscape technologies and BioArt practices that re-present significances of vegetal agency. John received his MFA in Emerging Practices from the University at Buffalo studying at Coalesce Center for Biological Art, as well as his BA in interdisciplinary Urban and Public Policy Studies.


HANAE UTAMURA is a Japanese interdisciplinary artist and researcher based in New York and Tokyo. Her research centers around the questions on modernity, ecology and technology. Utamura’s media include video, performance, installation, and sculpture. She connects human beings and earth, using the physical human body as a conduit. Negotiations between the human and the non-human, and how all the varieties of the wills of life manifest, have been the central focus of her practice.


For the last two decades, JENIFER WIGHTMAN has focused on systems-based analysis of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions to inform equitable design of meaningful mitigation strategies (agriculture, forestry, energy, waste). She is also a science-based conceptual artist, exploring the co-evolution of life and landscape.


ALLIE E.S. WIST is an artist-scholar with a focus on sensory futures, environmental humanities, and agriculture. She is currently working on an "anarchive" for the Anthropocene, where sensorium and affect are prioritized through artifacts of changing environments and material juxtapositions. Her work encompasses photography, radio broadcasts, dinners, installations, and writing that render challenging temporalities accessible. She has an MA in Food Studies from New York University and a BA in Media from Boston University; she worked as a photo director for media outlets in New York for over a decade.


ARMA YARI is a Persian Canadian interdisciplinary artist based in Toronto and New York. She received an MFA in Visual Arts from York University, a BFA in Photography from OCAD University and is currently a student in the Electronic Arts (Ph.D.) program at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. Arma’s approach is based on blending disciplines of art and technology, and the incorporation of both social issues, philosophical theories and scientific methodologies that revolve around the notions of perception and reality. Her current research concerns the mechanisms of mass formation within totalitarian systems. 


JUDE ABU ZAINEH is a Palestinian-Canadian interdisciplinary artist and cultural worker. Her practice employs art, food, and technology to investigate meanings of culture, displacement, diaspora, and belonging. She examines ideals of home and community while working to develop aesthetics rooted in her childhood and upbringing in the Middle East. 

Abu Zaineh is the recipient of the 2020 William and Meredith Saunderson Prizes for Emerging Artists, and was one of the first selected artists to participate in a collaborative residency with the Ontario Science Centre and MOCA Toronto (Canada). She has presented her work at a number of cultural institutions including Cultivamos Cultura, São Luis, Portugal; Museu de Arte, Arquitetura e Tecnologia, Lisbon, Portugal; Centro de Cultura Digital, Mexico City, Mexico; SVA, NYC, USA; Institute of Contemporary Art San Francisco, USA; Forest City Gallery, London, Canada; Art Gallery of Windsor, Canada; and Centre Culturel Canadien, Paris, France. Forthcoming works showing at Museum London x Media City Film Festival, London, Canada; Artcite, Windsor, Canada; City of Windsor x DWBIA, Windsor, Canada; and Museum of Glass, Washington, USA.

SERENDIPITOUS LIQUIDATORS are an experimental art duo, Aaron Juarez and Kosmas Giannoutakis, who both share a passion for exploring the intersection of theory and aesthetics through their shared practice. They seek to engage in the digital medium fluidly through films, live coding, games, and installations. Their performances highlight remix, improvisation, and serendipity in unexpected audio-visual manifestations. They have been active in local and international live coding scenes. Wrangling and probing the depths of techno-capital alienation, the Serendipitous Liquidators navigate speculative scatological eschatologies. 

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