Generative Geography: Postcommodity Takes on Millennium Tower
Friday, Jan 17, 2020, 2:00PM - 4:00PM
Osher Lecture Hall
SFAI—Chestnut Street Campus
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Generative Geography: Postcommodity Takes on Millennium Tower

2–3pm Talk in Osher Lecture Hall
3–4pm Listening session + Light reception in Spanish Courtyard

Millennium Tower, a ten-year-old development in downtown San Francisco, is slowly sinking, and its structural problems have become a metaphor for the city's hypertropied real estate market. Postcommodity’s sound piece The Point of Final Collapse—broadcasts at 5:01pm daily from the tower at SFAI’s Chestnut Street Campus—is a response to this civic crisis. The work transforms data about Millennium Tower's deterioration into soothing, ever-evolving audio therapy for the people. In a conversation with Brian Droitcour, an editor at Art in America, artists Cristóbal Martínez and Kade L. Twist of Postcommodity discuss the process of sonification and their use of the technique to comment on San Francisco's rapidly changing built environment.

Cover Image: Postcommodity members Cristóbal Martínez and Kade L. Twist. Courtesy of the artists.


The Point of Final Collapse is a sound installation and broadly conceptual work by art collective Postcommodity that focuses on the sinking Millennium Tower, responding to a scenario of capitalism contributing to the development of new conceptual frameworks of risk and accountability—as a building falls, its value rises. Postcommodity will engage the perspectives of a broad public by providing a call to prayer for relief from the economic stresses and dangers of a city in the throes of radical social, cultural, architectural, and economic transformation.

Postcommodity is an indigenous art collective composed of SFAI Art + Technology Chair Cristóbal Martínez and Kade L. Twist. Postcommodity’s art functions as a shared indigenous lens and voice to engage the assaultive manifestations of the global market and its supporting institutions, public perceptions, beliefs, and individual actions that comprise the ever-expanding, multinational, multiracial and multiethnic colonizing force that is defining the 21st Century through ever increasing velocities and complex forms of violence. Postcommodity works to forge new metaphors capable of rationalizing our shared experiences within this increasingly challenging contemporary environment; promote a constructive discourse that challenges the social, political and economic processes that are destabilizing communities and geographies; and connect indigenous narratives of cultural self-determination with the broader public sphere.

The collective has been exhibited nationally and internationally, including: 18th Biennale of Sydney in Sydney, AUS; 2017 Whitney Biennial, New York, NY; documenta14, Athens, GR and Kassel, DE; and their historic land art installation at the U.S./Mexico border near Douglas, AZ and Agua Prieta, SON.


Postcommodity is the recipient of the 2019 Harker Award for Interdisciplinary Studies, that supports artists-in-residence at SFAI. The Harker Award was established through a generous bequest by artist and SFAI faculty member Ann Chamberlain and is administered by the San Francisco Foundation. Past residents include Alejandro Almanza Pereda, Katrin Sigurdardóttir, and Michael Jones McKean.

This project is sponsored in part by a grant from Grants for the Arts.

SFAI’s Exhibitions and Public Programs are made possible by the generosity of donors and sponsors, including the Harker Fund of The San Francisco Foundation, Institute of Museums and Library Services, Grants for the Arts, National Endowment for the Arts, Creative Work Fund, Koret Foundation, Pirkle Jones Fund, Elizabeth Firestone Graham Foundation, and Fort Point Beer Company. Ongoing support is provided by the McBean Distinguished Lecture and Residency Fund, The Buck Fund, and the Visiting Artist Fund of the SFAI Endowment.