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Tuesday, December 1, 2015

The Nasdaq Entrepreneurial Center Sounds Like a Stock Exchange. But It's a Cultural Space.

Posted By on Tue, Dec 1, 2015 at 11:00 AM

click to enlarge Mesocosm (Wink, Texas) - COURTESY THE ARTIST AND BITFORMS GALLERY
  • Courtesy the artist and bitforms gallery
  • Mesocosm (Wink, Texas)

There is a new venue for creative types, and it's in an unlikely place.

The Nasdaq Entrepreneurial Center, on the corner of Howard and First streets — in the one area of town where people routinely wear pantsuits and ties — is collaborating with the Brooklyn nonprofit art and technology center Eyebeam to launch its new gallery space. Inaugurating their year-long partnership is an exhibit this Thursday, Dec. 5, showcasing multimedia artwork from former Eyebeam Resident Marina Zurkow, whose past work includes things like a five-course dinner highlighting invasive species (Not an Artichoke, Nor From Jerusalem) and a temporary "convention center" in the Guadalupe River in downtown San Jose (Paradoxical Sleep).

click to enlarge Weights and Measures - COURTESY THE ARTIST AND BITFORMS GALLERY
  • Courtesy the artist and bitforms gallery
  • Weights and Measures

But because Nasdaq is still a finance-related company, the Center will have an enterprising spirit. The idea is to use the company's educational foundation to square the circle that has been plaguing San Francisco for five years or more: the allegedly firm separation between arts and tech. Socially conscious art combined with a cross-disciplinary incubator space that will help artists and entrepreneurs at all levels of their careers? How refreshing, given San Francisco's current climate of retrenchment from the creative domain.

Concretely, the facility has a broadcast studio, built specifically for training, media productions, and an "evolving museum" on the history of innovation. There's that classic accoutrement of how people with irons in the fire find likeminded peers to move their projects along — that would be a cafe — plus one of the largest living walls in the Western Hemisphere. In other words, it's a brand-new venue for artistic collaboration with a ton of money backing it, and the gallery space launches this Thursday night with free art!

Art Night: Event Horizon by Marina ZurkowThursday, Dec. 3, 2015, 5:30-7:30 p.m., at the Nasdaq Entrepreneurial Center, 505 Howard.

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About The Author

Peter Lawrence Kane

Peter Lawrence Kane is SF Weekly's Arts Editor. He has lived in San Francisco since 2008 and is two-thirds the way toward his goal of visiting all 59 national parks.


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