Workshops, Talks, Texts

Presentations & Workshops

All of our Grievances are Connected: A Screening and Discussion with the Illuminator Collective, Union Docs
July 19, 2018
Rachel Brown, Grayson Earle

A screening and discussion of tactics exploring the relationship between direct action and movement building. We discussed collaborating with community organizations, new forms of protest offered by technology and programming, and the horizon of activism, protest, and direct action.

Programmed in conjunction with World Records, Volume I: The Documentary Camera with Editor Jason Fox. Screening of Garbage, Black Film, and AAC303847E followed by discussion led by Eli Horwatt.

Weekend Workshop at the International Center of Photography
June 9-10, 2018
Emily Andersen, Anna Ozbek, Grayson Earle

A two-day Projection and Activism workshop tailored for the New Media Narrative program. Students learned the fundamentals of projection interventions by collectively designing public projection campaigns inspired by the work presented and discussed during the workshop.

Workshop at Teachers College, Columbia University
April 24, 2018
Rachel Brown, Emily Andersen

As guerrilla projectionists, we often only have seconds to show our work. Given our unique medium, we have to ensure that our content meets the following criteria: 1. It communicates a brief yet important message, 2. It is easily understood by a general audience, 3. The graphic design aids the messaging, and 4. It compels action.

The above criteria can be applied to various mediums including stickers, signs, banners, memes, or GIFS, making this exercise versatile for a variety of settings. Given the pace of our modern culture, the skill to communicate clearly and concisely is more important than ever. This activity asks students to craft their own political messaging.

Fourth Arts Block Panel: Murals, Messaging, Organizing
April 10, 2018
Anna Ozbek

A panel discussion to highlight the ways in which past and present artists and organizers have collaborated to create public art and attempt to enact change.

NYU Infrastructure Working Group
November 28, 2017
Zoe Bachman, Emily Andersen

A discussion about systems, structures, resistance, and ephemera.

Pecha Kucha, Taos, NM
September 24, 2017
Emily Andersen, Kyle Depew

PechaKucha 20×20 is a fast-paced presentation format for artists and creatives to share their work. We presented our project from the PASEO Festival – an interactive “confession” booth set up during an outdoor art event that encouraged attendees to make the personal public.

Photography Expanded - Magnum Foundation Symposium
June 8th, 2017
Grayson Earle, Zoe Bachman, Mark Read

A presentation on amplification, provocation, instigation, collaboration, and public space as a forum.

Climate Working Group Panel Discussion
April 21, 2017
Emily Andersen, Chris Rogy

Participated in a presentation and panel discussion during the March for Science weekend in Washington, DC, at the Dupont Underground. The Illuminator is part of a Climate Working Group that works to bridge humanities, science, and practitioners for ongoing collaborations.

New Museum Teen Night
April 7, 2017
Grayson Earle, Zoe Bachman

Presented interactive protest works to attendees at the New Museum as part of a larger event.

Workshop at Colgate University
February 21, 2017
Grayson Earle, Rachel Brown

Presented good messaging practices and technological techniques – had students isolate on-campus issues and create slogans for a hands-on projection evening around the school.

Curated Conversation Panel
November 10, 2016

Real estate developers and landlords use the arts, and artists, to usher in waves of gentrification that ultimately displace neighborhood residents. As politically engaged artists, we ask ourselves whether or not our instrumentalization is inevitable.

We curated this conversation with organizers, activists, and artists at the Hemispheric Institute of Performance and Politics. Moderated by Silvia Juliana Mantilla Ortiz (Immigrant Movement International/Mobile Print Power/Queens Museum). Panelists included Martha Rosler, Betty Yu (Chinatown Arts Brigade), Ro Garrido (Laundromat Project), Michael Higgins Jr. (FUREE), and Catherine Green (ARTs East New York).

Artist in Residence Talk
October 27, 2016
Rachel Brown, Anna Ozbek

An overview of The Illuminator Collective – what we do, and what we did as Artists in Residence at the Hemispheric Institute.

Encuentro eXcéntrico: dissidence, sovereignties, performance
July 17–23, 2016
Emily Andersen, Rachel Brown, Kyle Depew, Hugo Genes, Mark Read

The Illuminator participated in “Encuentro eXcéntrico,” organized by the Hemispheric Institute of Performance and Politics, in Santiago, Chile. Our performance project, “Student Debt Rebellion,” was a collaboration with student activists on the issue of educational debt and the government’s proposed educational reform. During two nights of urban intervention, we worked with students in the Confech, Deuda Educativa as well as technical institute students and anarchists, representing a broad spectrum of opinions on the complex situation. We also spoke on a Round Table: Street Artists.

Allied Media Conference (AMC)
June 18-21, 2015
Todd Anderson, Rachel Brown, Kyle Depew, Hugo Genes, Anna Ozbek, Shaun Persaud, Chris Rogy

The Illuminator shared their experience of using projections in public spaces for social justice with Allied Media Conference goers in June 2015. In the workshop “Guerrilla Projection,” the collective taught participants about strategies and skills needed, and led small groups in planning for interventions on local issues. We also collaborated with the People’s Water Board Coalition, We the People of Detroit, and the Michigan Welfare Rights Organization (MWRO) on a projection about the water crisis.

Open Engagement Conference: Place and Revolution
April 17 — 19, 2015
Rachel Brown, Kyle Depew, Grayson Earle, Mark Read, Chris Rogy

Open Engagement is an international conference and platform to support socially engaged art. The conference highlights the work of transdisciplinary artists, activists, students, scholars, community members, and organizations. The theme of the 2015 conference, held in Pittsburgh, was Place and Revolution. The Illuminator’s presentation was entitled “The Battle for Public Visual Space,” in which we presented a history of our work followed by an investigation into our continued battle over the visual environment of New York City and beyond.

REFEST: Hybrid Performance and New Media Festival
November 22nd, 2014
Rachel Brown, Kyle Depew, Grayson Earle, Mark Read, Chris Rogy

At CultureHub’s REFEST, The Illuminator presented some of their recent work to a crowd of artists, activists, and technologists. After the discussion, in the spirit of “surveillance” – the theme of this year’s REFEST – The Illuminator projected a dual channeled video onto buildings on the street below. One channel showed video of US drone strikes from the on-board drone cameras; the other channel showed images acquired from Flickr that were geo-tagged from the same location as the drone strikes pictured. Images of families, birthday parties, landscapes, and normal life of people in the targeted regions.

Encuentro, MANIFEST! Choreographing Social Movements in the Americas
June 21-28, 2014
Kyle Depew, Grayson Earle, Hugo Genes, Mark Read, Chris Rogy

The Illuminator participated in “Encuentro, MANIFEST,” organized by the Hemispheric Institute of Performance and Politics, in Montreal. Our performance project, “Illuminating Protest,” was both a tribute to the recent student-led activism that erupted in the province of Quebec in Spring of 2012, and a potential strategy to navigate the “post-78” landscape, wherein gatherings of more than 50 people in public space had been banned. We also spoke on two panels – Insistence and Possibility & Open Sourcing Public Space – during the week.

School of Visual Arts: Projection Interventions + Message-Making Workshop
January 31, 2019
Emily Andersen, Zoe Bachman, Rachel Brown

Artist talk followed by a collaborative hands-on design and messaging workshop for students, who worked together to develop a site-specific, timely projection intervention on campus.

Oberlin College: Artist Talk + Student Projection Events
April 19-20, 2019
Emily Andersen, Kyle Depew, Grayson Earle

Students were taught projection mapping software and assigned projects as part of coursework. The Illuminator gave an artist talk, followed by multiple on-campus student-designed projections.

The Center of Digital Culture (Mexico City): Hybrid Working Group
June 11, 2019
Emily Andersen, Todd Anderson, Zoe Bachman, Rachel Brown, Kyle Depew, Grayson Earle

The Open Technologies Lab hosted a workshop open to visitors and participants in the Encuentro Performance Festival. The Illuminator partnered with artists and activists in a speculative design exercise.

Queens College (NYC): Art and Activism Talk
November 13, 2019
Emily Andersen

An artist talk following the origins and current practice of The Illuminator, followed by a Q&A about creative activism and messaging practices.

Sierra Nevada University: Art & Activism Talk
February 3, 2021
Emily Andersen

Online workshop covering the practices of The Illuminator, followed by a Q&A on creative activism.

UC Santa Barbara: Guerrilla Projection Action Workshop
April 30, 2021
Emily Andersen

Online workshop open to UC graduate students, faculty, and organizers covering best practices for guerrilla projection.

Rhode Island School of Design: Artist Talk + Student Projection Workshop
November 12, 2021
Emily Andersen, Anna Ozbek

Artist talk followed by a hands-on workshop providing feedback on student project designs. Students then participated in multiple on-campus projections, and led through the process of projection mapping and good documentation practice.


"All of our grievances are connected": An Interview with The Illuminator Collective
World Records
Eli Horwatt & The Illuminator Collective
All of Our Grievances Are Connected
Public Arts Dialog
The Illuminator
The Illuminator
First Person Scholar
Grayson Earle