Touch On Opening Reception, Thursday, December 1, 6–9 pm


Touch On: Aesthetics in the Art, Politics and Ontology of Touch is a deep inquiry into the multifaceted nature of touch curated by James Fleming and Kelly Lovemonster. The first exhibition in the 2016–2017 season of the SOMArts Curatorial Residency, this group exhibition challenges viewers to reconsider preconceived notions of the meaning of touch through sculpture, installation, performance, traditional art and digital mediums. Touch On is the first in a series of curatorial programs by Fleming and Lovemonster.

On Thursday, December 1, Touch On will open with a free public reception featuring  performances by acclaimed international performance artist boychild and the Bay Area’s emotionally visceral and visually fascinating Dia Dear. Both artists will compose performances that will culminate in their own visual ephemera. The reception will include an interactive crotchet installation from Ramekon O’Arwisters, a somatic experience installation designed by Erica Dixon, a literary mural by Brontez Purnell and an audio visual installation by Yetunde Olagbaju. Expect large dynamic pieces and small contemplative works all exploring: what is touch and what does it mean to be touched?

Craig Calderwood
Erica Dixon
Render Fruit
Xandra Ibarra
Aron Kantor
Damien Moreau
Ramekon O’Arwisters
Yetunde Olagbaju
Brontez Purnell
Manuel Solano
Robbie Sweeny
Virgie Tovar
Courtney Trouble

Dia Dear


Exhibition on view December 1, 2016–January 12, 2017
Gallery hours: Tuesday–Friday 12–7pm & Saturday 12–5pm

The exhibition is free to visit during gallery hours and during the opening reception. SOMArts Cultural Center is located at 934 Brannan St. (between 8th & 9th Streets), San Francisco, CA, 94103. SOMArts is wheelchair/ADA accessible. More information on accessibility is available here:

Figure, Form, Frame: Artist and Curator Visual Dialogue
Thursday, December 15, 6–8pm
An evening presentation and discussion by fat femme writer and activist Virgie Tovar, choreographer and performance artist Larry Arrington and Touch On curators James Fleming and Kelly Lovemonster. Figure, Form, Frame brings together voices on the science, politics and cultures of touch.

Closing Reception & Film Screenings
Thursday, January 12, 2017, 6–9pm
Touch On presents an evening of mixed media, experimental films, and digital art to celebrate and reflect on the closing of the exhibition. The evening will begin with social-practice artist Ramekon O’Arwisters leading visitors through an interactive crotchet jam.

Image credit: boychild, performance still from “The Future” with Korakrit Arunanondchai, MoMAPS1 (2014), Photo credit: Michael Moser