Molly Surno, Artist & Curator
Molly Surno is an artist and curator who uses her eclectic background to create dynamic and community-driven cultural programs. Molly walks us through her recent curatorial project with Spotify. In the process, she explains what transcendental screen savers are and what it was like to commission artists for the first video project on a major streaming service. She gives us examples of new models and has theories on why the art world is so slow to change. Why is she in New York and not Los Angeles? Listen to find out!
Molly Surno graduated with an MFA in Visual Art at Columbia University. She blends visual art, film, music, food, and technology to create performances and happenings. We of Me, her large scale sound performance, was exhibited at the Getty Museum in 2017 and as part of BAM's Next Wave in the fall of 2015. She has also been a resident of Recess, Pioneer Works, Steeprock Arts, and Watershed Arts.
In 2008, Surno founded her nomadic performance series Cinema 16, which pairs contemporary musicians with experimental films. Named after the New York-based avant-garde film society in 1947 and inspired by Maya Deren's Greenwich Village exhibition of experimental films, Cinema 16 has shown at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, The Kitchen, MoMA/PS1, Museum of Moving Image, among others. Surno has brought thousands of people together to experience avant garde cinema, performance, and music in each of these establishments.
Surno has also curated video artworks for the “Spotlight” (a new format on Spotify) version of the 2017 novel The Minefield Girl. Currently, she is the Art Director for Elsewhere, developing a rotating arts program called Landscape. Surno has worked for the team that created TEDx and as the first Outreach Director for Kickstarter. She now consults on cultural research, curating, and creative programming for brands and organizations such as Kickstarter, Spotify, Neuehouse, Sonos, Clif Bar, MANGO, and WhatShouldWeDo, among others.