Live news through art.

*Photo above: Doug Ashford. “Next Day (New York Times, pages A1-A28) 2016 (detail: page 12). Courtesy the artist and Wilfried Lentz Rotterdam.

On view November 1, 2016 - February 19, 2017

Dispatches gathers and generates artistic responses to the news by 34 contemporary artists and photojournalists. The exhibition includes a survey of works from 2010 - present and launches a series of commissions, or "dispatches" on current events and the critical issues of our time.

The art works emerge from within and in defiance of today's media landscape, ranging from real-time coverage to deliberately slow and analog forms. They enlarge our collective capacity to sensitively receive stories delivered in today's unevenly regulated and fast flow of news. They decelerate the speed of information. Or, they organize collective efforts toward a more humanizing interaction.

Dispatches is divided into five thematic zones: Post-9-11 Realities; Borders and Migrations; Ecological Justice; New Forms of Social Action; and the 2016 US Presidential Election.

The Dispatches public program features artist talks and live performances. Partnerships with Universities and a blog mentorship initiative with student Millennials will appear in the new media landscape that is the show's defining context.

An exhibition is a forum—one of the few public commons designed to cultivate our ethical and civic capacities to grapple with what is happening in our world. Dispatches invites you to enliven this forum and say something.

Artists + Collectives

Doug Ashford, Rossella Biscotti, Sayler/Morris (The Canary Project), Mel Chin, Damon Davis, Electronic Disturbance Theater 2.0/b.a.n.g. lab, Hasan Elahi, For Freedoms, LaToya Ruby Frazier, Stacey L. Kirby, Eva and Franco Mattes (0100101110101101.ORG), !Mediengruppe Bitnik, Sheryl Oring, Trevor Paglen, Larry C. Price, Dread Scott, Chloe Bass + George Scheer,  and iO Tillett Wright.

VII Photo Agency: Ashley Gilbertson, Ron Haviv, Tomas van Houtryve, Ed Kashi, Sarker Protick, Maciek Nabrdalik, Sim Chi Yin,  and Danny Wilcox Frazier.

Curated by Cora Fisher, SECCA Curator of Contemporary Art

Dispatches educational outreach is realized in partnership with the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting, a non-profit journalism organization dedicated to raising awareness of under-reported global issues through direct support for journalism and educational outreach.

Dispatches Programs

Post-9-11 Realities. Borders and Migrations. Ecological Justice. Social Action. 2016 US Presidential Election.

Performance @ SECCA: Yard Sign Intervention

  • Thursday, Nov 3, 2016, 4:30 pm to 6:30 pm
  • In anticipation of voting week, come write your own political messages on 100 yard signs on SECCA's front lawn by For Freedoms, the first and only artist-run Super PAC.


Talk @ SECCA: Post - 9/11 Realities

  • Thursday, Nov 17, 2016, 6 pm to 8 pm
  • Photographer Tomas van Houtryve delves into his photo series, Blue Sky Days, a drone's-eye view of America and Traces in Exile, a work that debuts in Dispatches and uses augmented reality and social media streams to capture the journey of new migrants in Europe.


Talk @ SECCA: 2016 U.S. Presidential Election

  • Thursday, Dec 1, 2016, 6 pm to 8 pm
  • Artist Sheryl Oring will discuss her 12-year project I Wish to Say, and recent publication Activating Democracy(Intellect, 2016). In performances all over the country, I Wish to Say invites the public to dictate messages to the US President that are sent to the White House.


Talk @ SECCA: Dispatching from Across the World

  • Thursday, Dec 8, 2016, 6 pm to 8 pm
  • What does the future of photojournalism look like? Award-winning Photojournalists and members of VII Photo Ron Haviv and Ed Kashi discuss their work on the ground in places of crisis and social change, including the Middle East and the US on issues ranging from Arab Spring, to the 2016 Presidential election, to Black Lives Matter.


Talk @ SECCA: Ecological Justice

  • Sunday, Jan 29, 2017, 2 pm to 4 pm
  • Artists Mel Chin with Edward Morris and Susannah Sayler of The Canary Project discuss their innovative and imaginative projects on environmental issues such as water use, climate change and green remediation to show us how art can provoke greater social awareness and responsibility.


Talk @ SECCA: Ecological Justice

  • Thursday, Feb 2, 2017, 6 pm to 8 pm
  • Winston-Salem-based Journalist Justin Catanoso shares vivid stories of his recent travels and reporting on climate change and illegal mining in Peru, showing us how journalists can intervene and spur ecological protection.


Performance @ SECCA: I AM, Social Action

  • Saturday, Feb 4, 2017, 1 pm to 4 pm
  • Come experience a humorous participatory performance by Raleigh-based artist Stacey L. Kirby who plays the part of a compliance officer in SECCA's transformed family bathroom.


Talk @ SECCA: Grass Roots Activism

  • Thursday, Feb 16, 2017, 6 pm to 8 pm
  • Artist, activist, actor, MTV host and author iO Tillett Wright discusses his photo-portrait project Self Evident Truths and the quest for greater visibility, empathy and dignity for LGBTQ people.