Kimi Hanauer (they/them) is an artist, media-based organizer, facilitator, and writer. Kimi is a founding collective member of interdisciplinary publishing initiative, Press Press (est. 2014) and the founding steward of nomadic political education school, Center for Liberatory Practice & Poetry (est. 2021). In their practice, Kimi co-develops pragmatic-poetic initiatives as scaffolds for autonomous communities. Their interdisciplinary projects take various responsive forms, including installations, performances, videos, texts, programs and printed matter. They are a queer and neurodivergent diasporan of Sephardic-Ashkenazi descent; born in Tel Aviv-Jaffa in Israel/Palestine and raised in Pittsburgh, PA.
As an Assistant Professor at Pratt Institute’s Graduate and Undergraduate Communication Design Departments, Kimi teaches courses in experimental publishing and collective cultural practices. Informed by anarchist and abolitionist frameworks, their work as a facilitator and educator aims to deepen our capacities for self-governance, belonging, solidarity and care. Kimi received an MFA from the University of California, Los Angeles, a BFA from the Maryland Institute College of Art, and is a 2023 studio fellow in the Whitney Independent Study Program.
Kimi’s work has been exhibited at the Mandeville Art Gallery at the University of California, San Diego (2023), Vox Populi (2023), the Sarofim School of Fine Arts Gallery at Southwestern University (2023), Hauser & Wirth (2023), Lainer Family Gallery at the University of California, Los Angeles (2022), Southern Exposure (2021), Gas Gallery (2021), Printed Matter (2020), the Geffen Contemporary at MOCA (2019), Counterpublic (2019), Tufts University Art Galleries (2019), George Peabody Library (2019), ACRE Projects (2018), MoMA PS1 (2018), among others. Kimi’s work is archived in the public collections of the Museum of Modern Art, the Brooklyn Museum, the Metropolitan Museum, the Whitney Museum of American Art, The San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, the Library of Congress, Yale University Library, George Peabody Library, John M. Flaxman Library at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Art Center College of Design Art Library, Virginia Commonwealth University Special Collections, among others.
Kimi has facilitated public programs at conferences and art institutions including the Allied Media Conference, UCLA Center for the Study of Women’s Thinking Gender Conference, Common Field Convening, Open Engagement, Art & Feminism, Contemporary Artist Books Conference, Printed Matter Art Book Fair, Center for Book Arts, Pioneer Works, Knockdown Center, Virtual Care Lab, X-TRA, Active Cultures, ICA Los Angeles, ICA at Virginia Commonwealth University, among others. Kimi has lectured widely at universities including at University of California Berkeley, Yale University, California College for the Arts, Rhode Island School of Design, American University, Ithaca College, School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Antioch University, Tufts University, Maryland Institute College of Art and was formerly an Assistant Professor at Virginia Commonwealth University. They have been published by the Women’s Studio Workshop, GenderFail, Wendy’s Subway, Temporary Art Review, Arts of the Working Class, BmoreArt, MARCH, Thick Press, and the Contemporary (Baltimore).
Kimi is the recipient of grants and awards including the Lightening Fund Grant by the Andy Warhol Foundation and Los Angeles Contemporary Exhibitions (2023), Virginia Commonwealth University Research Grant (2023), Louis Vidal Foundation (2021), the Robert W. Deutsch Foundation (2018), the Ruby’s Artist Grants (2017), the Grit Fund by the Andy Warhol Foundation and the Contemporary Museum (2016), the Fred Lazarus Social Change Award (2015), among others.
As an artist, media-based organizer, publisher and facilitator, I co-develop pragmatic-poetic  initiatives that aim to build collective autonomy  and decentralize institutional resources. My interdisciplinary projects take various responsive forms, including organizations, collective actions, installations, workshops, publications, performances, videos, and texts. Through inherently collaborative print-, media-, and dialogical-based processes, I work to facilitate spaces of collectivity, belonging, possibility, action, and power-sharing. Feminist, queer, anarchist, and abolitionist praxis offer me a horizon, while my lived and familial traditions of migration and exile offer me a ground. Informed by these threads, my projects address questions of belonging in legal, social, and psychological spheres.
I understand my practice in spatial and relational terms. My projects often appropriate mass printing technologies, such as copy machines, risographs, and offset printers, as methods of organizing counterpublics through the distribution of printed and digital matter. The act of distribution, which unravels across space and through intimate networks of relationships, intervenes on and blurs the boundaries of “public” and “private.” While often employing text and dialogical exchange, my projects approach the english language from a multilingual perspective. By gathering with those who diverge from normative english speaking traditions to reclaim speech on their/our own terms, I aim to transform language into a location of healing.
The most meaningful sites of my work take place in seemingly mundane, daily encounters and events of life where intimacies, ruptures, and solidarities are nourished. As I move fluidly in-between social movement spaces, DIY arts communities, and education spaces, I am guided by the understanding that our ability to build autonomous and liberated worlds rests on our capacity to feel the inherent worth within ourselves and others as living beings of the past, present, and future. Thus, calling on my communities–and being called on by them–to move through the deeply interconnected processes of personal and collective transformation is both a foundation and an aspiration of my practice.
 I use the word pragmatic-poetic to refer to processes where the material and embodied impacts of the work are interdependent and interconnected.
 The goals of my work have been impacted by anarchist teachings on autonomy that define autonomy as the recognition of one’s own agency and a deep commitment to the collective. Autonomy is not something we can have as individuals, rather it is only something we can create through deeply meaningful, self-organized, and self-defined collectivity.
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