Is Occupy Museums as naive as its critics seem to think? I talk to those behind the movement to get a better sense of what they believe and where this is going. There’s a lot less to be skeptical about than many seem to believe.
The tenor of this argument has been making me uncomfortable; it sounds a lot like those concerned about the raggedy drummers and incoherent rants giving the larger movement a bad name. The truth of the matter is, no matter how elegant the language, the movement would still be attacked. That’s what power structures do when they feel threatened.
I’ve always liked Flux Factory, a warm cockle they must share, as December 2oth the organization will be honoring me and Creative Time Chief Curator Nato Thompson at their annual not-so-silent benefit auction. We have made a “lasting imprint on contemporary art.” This is exciting for me for a number of reasons, not the least of which being an opportunity to wear a fancy dress and give a speech in public. Hopefully, when that occurs I’ll be able to impart all the reasons I think it’s important to support organizations like Flux Factory, whose residency program and exhibition space focuses heavily on the collaborative practices I’ve been discussing frequently this year. Flux Factory actively fosters an art making practice that often doesn’t have support from the art market. From Congress of Collectives, a program that encourages collaboration, to their unique studio community and kitchen, the organization is well worth celebrating.
Rain did not deter this week’s Occupy Museums General Assembly, the second in what is an ongoing series of protests. Joined this week by the Art Handlers’ Union, Teamsters Local 814, a group of roughly 60 people collected on the steps of MoMA to protest a system they say has a funding structure and relationship to the market that “disempowers artists, and alienates art from the 99%”. From the museums, they traveled across town to join the picket lines at Sotheby’s just before the launch of their evening Prints sale.
The Performa Biennial, a city-wide series of performances commissioned by the Performa Institute, returns this year with a line-up that is chock-full of private and public performance, song and dance, classes, lectures, experimental comedy, and a rap joust. Among Performa 11′s themes are language, politics, sculpture, Russian Constructivism, and Fluxus. The schedule, which runs from November 1st-20th, includes a hefty handful of reputed performance artists, choreographers, and comedians, so you’ll want to start booking those tickets now; hence, dear readers, we did some legwork and made a list of picks for you. Here are the events we recommend for this week and next.
Why go to a gallery to see a graphic novel? In the case of Horror Hospital Unplugged at Derek Eller Gallery, we’re given a larger picture than is offered by the book alone. As with any great graphic novel, artist Keith Mayerson and author Dennis Cooper understand the work as a visual and lyrical rhythm rather than a series of individual pages; the effect, when seen spread out in rows across three walls, is a transformation from linear narrative to a score of washes, scratches, and text.
This group is designed to explore the ways in which social media and technology can help bring arts and culture to the masses. "Democratizing" the arts has been a long-standing goal in the art world, and no medium makes it more feasible than the web.
The purpose of this meetup is to bring together those working at the intersection of arts and technology to share ideas, strategies, successes, challenges and failures, and to explore the following questions:
- How can the new technology available help raise awareness about the arts and enrich the audience experience?
- How can cultural institutions interact and engage with each other and their audience in meaningful ways?
- What can they learn from their audience and how can they use this knowledge to improve the way in which they present their content?
- As well as countless others that we hope to uncover at future meetups!