This Year’s Seattle Art Fair Promises to Be a Raucous Affair. Here Are 3 Works You Won’t Want to Miss

This year's event is bringing fair goers AI art, earthquakes, and a member of Pearl Jam. (It is Seattle, after all.)

Mike Kelley, Extracurricular Activity Projective Reconstruction #27 (Gospel Rocket). Gagosian Gallery at Seattle Art Fair 2018.Courtesy of Seattle Art Fair.

The Seattle Art Fair has been shaking things up in recent years, quite literally. Last year the fair made headlines with an opening-night battle between dinosaur-like robots; this year, not to be outdone, the fair is bringing together an ambitious set of programming that includes… an earthquake simulator.

So while the rest of the art world maybe getting sleepy for the summer, we can expect a fair share of excitement coming out of the Emerald City this week. Ahead of the fair, now in its fifth edition, we’ve put together a list of can’t-miss special features.


An AI Robot That Tells the Multi-Generational Story of a Black American Family

Stephanie Dinkins, Paradox. Courtesy of the artist.

Stephanie Dinkins, Not The Only One (N’TOO). Courtesy of the artist.

Already creating a buzz is artist Stephanie Dinkins’s Not The Only One (N’TOO), a sculpture with evolving artificial intelligence, that recounts the story of one black American family across generations. The voice-interactive AI was trained on information provided by by three generations of women from one family, but the story itself is told from the first-person perspective of the AI. Fair visitors will be able to speak to the AI, hear its story, and participate in its evolution.


An Earthquake Incubator Dining Table

Bigerts and Bergstrom, Incubator for Earthquakes. Courtesy of the artists.

Bigerts & Bergstrom, Incubator for Earthquakes (1992/2017). Courtesy of the artists.

Swedish artist duo Bigert & Bergström are known for creating conceptual installations and interactive public art, which pry at the connections between humanity, technology and environment. They do this, generally, with quite a sense of humor: recently their “Solar Egg,” a golden, portable sauna opened lakeside in a Swedish town. For the fair, they’ve created Incubator for Earthquakesa kinetic dinner table sculpture and vibrating motor, which is intermittently subjected to earthquake tremors that set the dinner china jumping.


In the Birthplace of Grunge, an Art + Music Performance by a Pearl Jam’s Mike McCready & Painter Kate Neckel

Pearl Jam's Mike McCready & Kate Neckel's Art and Music Performance

Pearl Jam’s Mike McCready and painter Kate Neckel will perform as Infinite Color and Sound

Infinite Color and Sound, the creative collaboration between artist and musician Mike McCready of Pearl Jam and painter Kate Neckel, will return to the birthplace of grunge for a series of creative performances. The visual art and music duo create works ranging from collage, sculpture, painting, drawing, music, and performance in semi-choreographed routines. Red Hot Chili Peppers’s guitarist Josh Klinghoffer will join the duo for their performance at the fair.

Seattle Art Fair will take place at CenturyLink Field Event Center, August 2–4, Collectors Preview, invitation only August 1, 3:30 p.m.–6 p.m. and Opening Night Preview, 6 p.m–9 p.m.

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