• A Variation on Powers of Ten
    Futurefarmers: Amy Franceschini & Michael Swaine
    Apsara DiQuinzio
    San Francisco Museum of Modern Art
    Sep 15, 2012 to Jan 09, 2013
    Amy Franceschini &
    Michael Swaine

Futurefarmers, Promo shot of the Artists, 2011, San Francisco, CA. Photo: Jeff Warrin.

A Variation on Powers of Ten uses the opening picnic scene of the Charles and Ray Eames film Powers of Ten (1977) as a conceptual framework for public programming, exhibition, a catalogue, and a series of short audio and video interviews. A Variation casts a contemporary look upon fields of knowledge connected to the increments of ten in the original movie—a framework for exploring the outer-most edges of understanding within various fields of inquiry. Through a series of ten picnics, A Variation recasts the picnic blanket as a space where the quotidian and the cosmic comingle. Researchers are invited to discuss the changing landscape of their field and to examine the tools they use or invent to gather, quantify, and measure their research now as compared to thirty-three years ago. These discussions are photographed and podcast on the host museum and project websites and archived for further use in the project.

Amy Franceschini is an artist and educator who creates formats for exchange and production, many times in collaboration with other practitioners. An overarching theme in her work is a perceived conflict between humans and nature. Her projects reveal the history and currents of contradictions related to this divide by collectively challenging systems of exchange and the tools we use to "hunt" and "gather." Her work often provides a playful entry point and tools for an audience to gain insight into deeper fields of inquiry—not only to imagine, but to participate in and initiate change in the places we live. She founded Futurefarmers in 1995. Her work has been exhibited in the Whitney Museum, Museum of Modern Art, and the Walker Art Center. She received her BFA from San Francisco State University and her MFA from Stanford. She currently teaches at both California College of the Arts and Stanford.

Michael Swaine is an inventor and designer working in many media. Michael has collaborated with Futurefarmers since 1997. He is dedicated to working in the community, and his Mending Library Generosity Project involved him pushing an old-fashioned, ice cream-style cart on wheels with a treadle-operated sewing machine through the streets of San Francisco. That project was included in exhibitions at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, the San Francisco Museum of Craft and Folk Art, and the Exploratorium, San Francisco. He received a BFA from New York State College of Ceramics at Alfred University's School of Art and Design in Alfred, New York, and studied advanced ceramics and sculpture at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. He teaches at California College of the Arts and is currently working on his MA in design at University of California, Berkeley. He teaches at California College of the Arts and received his MA in Design at University of California, Berkeley.