neta bomani is a worker who engages in social practices like oral history and direct action through organizing and making archives, writings, prints, zines, computational objects and workshops. neta's work has materialized as an educator of pioneer works after school programs, an organizer of the school for poetic computation, a member of stephanie dinkins studio and a participator in grassroots organizing against prisons and borders in new york city and beyond.
Bomani McClendon (right) and Neta Bomani (left) in front of a bookshelf at Pioneer Books. Photo by Walter Wlodarczyk.
Out of the Black Box (OBB) is a workshop series that aimed to help children in grades 2-5 to uncover the magical logic of computation through arts and crafts. Together we built electronic circuits by making sculptures with conductive clay, letters with voice recording modules, and drawings with robots. The activities in this workshop series were designed to encourage participants to produce collaborative works with their peers–emphasizing skills such as teamwork, compromise, and communication. Participants left this workshop series with a basic understanding of electronic circuitry and a deepened exposure to multimedia art-making practices.
Bomani McClendon helping a group of kids with their letter which includes a voice recording circuit. Photo by Walter Wlodarczyk.
OBB is inspired by the 90s children’s TV show Out of The Box. In Out of the Box, teachers Tony and Vivian lead a community of children through interesting arts and crafts activities, while also instilling values about friendship, communication, and relationship-building. We aimed to create a similar environment for values-based exposure to art-making by extending our focus to be inclusive of STEAM education. OBB is taught by Bomani McClendon and Neta Bomani for the Pioneer Works and Good Shepherds after school program. OBB is coordinated by Tiffanie Harris, Director of Community & School Programs at Pioneer Works.