East of West with L.E. Brown

East of West with L.E. Brown

This is one of an ongoing series of interviews with emerging media trailblazers. Stay tuned for more by following Emerging Media Alliance on Facebook.

Who are you and what do you do?

My name is L.E. Brown and I am the owner and director of East of West gallery in Santa Fe, New Mexico, which focuses on representing work by contemporary artists from the Middle East, South Asia, Africa, and their diasporas. I am also the digital media coordinator for CURRENTS NEW MEDIA, which means I run their social media accounts and do community outreach. In my spare time, I do independent curation, conduct artist interviews, give lectures, and bartend.

What do you love about the work you do?

It’s hard to pin down exactly what it is I love about my work. I never thought I would see the day that I’m so fulfilled with the work that I get to do, but here I am. I love connecting people with others who can help support their mutual goals; I love helping artists present their ideas to the world; and I love connecting art—especially work that isn’t often experienced—with communities. I feel so incredibly blessed to have multiple platforms with which I can introduce diverse art to the community in an accessible environment.

Did you go any emerging media month events? If so, can you share your favorite highlights?

Ha, I think I went to nearly every event during Emerging Media Month! CURRENTS is definitely a highlight. It is one of the most phenomenal, immersive, interactive, fun art environments I have ever experienced–and I am always blown away with the quality and quantity of work that is exhibited. Another highlight was definitely the Santa Fe Art Tours preview tour of CURRENTS during installation. 2018 CURRENTS participating artist Ronen Sharabani’s talk at East of West was absolutely mindblowing, and such an interesting look into the artist’s practice and work. I love Susanna Carlisle and Bruce Hamilton’s exhibition at the new Gallery FRITZ at the SF Railyard; it was such an honor to work with everyone to bring the show together. And of course—the EMA Launch Party was a blast!

What’s exciting to you about emerging media?

For me, emerging media extends beyond the radical notions of what is considered “new” and “emerging.” What is most exciting to me is that emerging medias become continuously more and more accessible as time goes on—consider in 5 years, we will all be able to tour sites of global importance with our $20 VR headsets; and even today, we can create and share videos, interactive art, and information online via social media in a way that allows others to share those experiences with us. These new and emerging outlets connect us faster and easier than ever before—and that means that the world becomes perpetually more connected. Emerging media is exciting because we are able to experience ourselves in communities across the globe, we are able to communicate across language or distance barriers, and we are able to experience art and culture in ways never before imagined.

What’s exciting to you about Santa Fe?

Santa Fe is the most exciting city I’ve ever lived in. In contrast to massive metropolises like Los Angeles or Istanbul, Santa Fe has the spatial concentration of thousands of creatives in an area ripe for innovation. It is something that we all push towards and all experience from the support of the community behind us. This magnificently tranquil landscape allows us all a space for reflection, and it is obvious that the creators here are soaking that up. This community is so hands-on and is so dedicated to furthering the ideas of others. It’s a type of supportive and inspirational environment that I could have never imagined possible—and one that I doubt could be experienced anywhere else in the world.

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