A Conversation on Useful Art
Hosted by artist Tania Bruguera
Presented by Creative Time and Queens Museum of Art
At the Immigrant Movement International Headquarters
Saturday, April 23, 2:00 pm – 5:00 pm
The event, held in conjunction with the Useful Art Association, will feature an introduction by political performance and installation artist Tania Bruguera, followed by a series of brief presentations with artists Mel Chin, Santiago Cirugeda, Not An Alternative, Rick Lowe, Pase Usted, and Patrick Bernier/Olive Martin.
A conversation will follow with responders Nato Thompson, Chief Curator at Creative Time; Tom Finkelpearl, Executive Director, Queens Museum of Art; Larissa Harris, Curator, Queens Museum of Art; and Gregory Sholette, Chair, MFA Studio Art Program, Queens College CUNY.
Claire Bishop, Associate Professor of Art History, CUNY Graduate Center, will moderate a round table discussion with participants, representatives from local immigrant community organizations Make the Road NY, N.I.C.E. (New Immigrant Community Empowerment), and New York City Council Member Julissa Ferreras.
Thursday, April 21, 7:30pm - 9:30pm
Join us at No-Space for a screening of END:CIV followed by a Q&A with filmmaker and director Frank Lopez (of subMedia.tv).
If your homeland was invaded by aliens who cut down the forests and contaminated the food supply, would you resist? If creatures from outer space made the water so poisonous you wouldn't dream of drinking it, would you try to stop them? If monsters released toxic chemicals that caused cancer in the people you love, would you fight back?
These aren't idle questions. It's happening now – except there are no aliens. The culture that's cradled us since birth is a killer.
END:CIV illustrates the brutality of a civilization addicted to systematic violence and environmental destruction, and the heroism of those who confront it head-on. Rapid-fire video-game graphics, interviews, war footage and satire mock the excesses of the global economic system, even as it implodes around us.
Based on the best-seller Endgame by Derrick Jensen, END:CIV begins with the harsh reality that all civilizations eventually end. The ancient Mayans, the dynasties of China, and the mighty Roman Empire, as long-lived and powerful as they were, inevitably crashed. Western Civilization is no different. It's coming down, but not fast enough.
Jensen asks: "If civilization lasts another one or two hundred years, will the people then say of us, 'Why did they not take it down?' Will they be as furious with us as I am with those who came before and stood by? I could very well hear those people who come after saying,'If they had taken it down, we would still have earthworms to feed the soil. We would have redwoods, and we would have oaks in California. We would still have frogs. We would still have other amphibians. I am starving because there are no salmon in the river, and you allowed the salmon to be killed so rich people could have cheap electricity for aluminum smelters. God damn you. God damn you all.'"
Interviews include Captain Paul Watson of the Sea Shepherd Society and writers James Howard Kunstler (The Long Emergency), Gord Hill (500 Years of Indigenous Resistance), Waziyatawin (For Indigenous Eyes Only), Lierre Keith (The Vegetarian Myth), and Stephanie McMillan (Minimum Security). López interviews indigenous activists Qwatsinas (Nuxalk Nation) and Rod Coronado (Pascua Yaqui); environmentalists Steven Best, Zoe Blunt, Dru Oja Jay, Macdonald Stainsby, and many more.
Wed., Mar. 23rd, 6:30-8pm
The New School
55 W 13th st.
Mark Herbst, Journal of Aesthetics and Protest
Member from W.A.G.E.
Beka Economopoulos from Not An Alternative
Chris Mansour, Platypus
This panel will focus on the aesthetic tropes that activists use to express political dissent. Theatrical gestures such as street art (e.g., glamdalism), dance parties (e.g., Funk the War), or costumes have found their way into protest tactics. Simultaneously, many contemporary artists create 'activist' or 'social' art by pulling off media pranks against the government or corporations (e.g., Yes Men), reenact past protests (e.g., Mark Tribe or Sharon Hayes) and other forms of public performances. What are the historical roots that contribute to the use of current aesthetic interventions in political protests? In what ways do they expand or limit the possibilities for protests to transform the social order? How does experimenting with aesthetic and artistic sensibilities influence our political consciousness and practice? Political thinkers and art-activists will address these questions in order to make sense of the various forms of protest today.
1) Contemporary "political" artistic practice aims to raise political consciousness for progressive or left politics. How does -- and how can -- the use of aesthetic, theatrical and narrative elements heighten political possibilities and consciousness?
SnowFlow is a collaborative event between several organizations interested in creativity, sustainability and organizational awareness. Our shared concerns regarding environmental issues and the increasing frequency of global catastrophes have focused our efforts into establishing ongoing collaborative projects that raise public awareness and bring together artists, activists, naturalists and concerned citizens into settings that inform, support and energize participants into making a difference.
SnowFlow will be held the weekend of February 11-13, 2011 at the Full Moon Resort. Located within the Catskill State Park and Forest Preserve, this region serves as both the main contributor to the New York City watershed and as the headwaters to the Delaware River, recently declared the “Nation's Most Endangered River.” The main initiative for SnowFlow is to bridge water rights activism between the Hudson and Delaware Valleys in relation to natural gas extraction, hydraulic fracturing, peak water and the foodshed.
The weekend events will combine outdoor activities, art, music and lively conversations to produce and document a variety of works focused on water in it most crystallized form – Snow! During the day, SnowFlowers will cascade down the slopes of nearby Belleayre Mountain and engage in parallel artistic interventions and snow shelter building competitions. The festivities will continue into the evening with a cocktail reception and a regional Catskill foodshed specialtiesdinner, followed by conversations related to peak water & the foodshed and musical performances curated by Suzanne Thorpe and featuringPauline Olivero, Miguel FrasconiandTianna Kennedy & Hannah Marcus.
Agri-artists, urban farmers, data visualizers, designers, radical cartographers, performers, waterpodders, activist geographers, and YOU in a veggie-oil powered bus. Join us as we drive upstate to the beautiful Delaware River Valley on the NY/PA border to visit local farms that are fighting hydrofracking in their backyards. $50/person includes transportation, meals, hiking, farm and drill site tours, potluck dinner party, accommodations, and free morning yoga class. Leave Saturday morning November 6th, return Sunday afternoon.
WE ARE NOW SOLD OUT! SPACES MIGHT OPEN UP, REGISTER BELOW TO GET ON THE WAITING LIST. WE'LL LET YOU KNOW BY THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 4.
Why should you come? Cuz fall leaves rock, so do veggie oil buses, and organic veggies, and road trips, and rivers, and farmers, and food, but fracking doesn't. Pssst, they're all related, find out how. Get out of Gotham and come visit Gasland.
Organized by Not An Alternative, with Sky Dog Projects.
Co-sponsors: Ant Hill Farm, Damascus Citizens for Sustainability, Delaware Valley Arts Alliance, Electronic Media Foundation/Earth to the Earth, Issue Project Room, Not An Alternative, Riverlights B&B, Rude Mechanical Orchestra, Sky Dog Projects, Urban Rustic.
We'll have two departure points on the morning on Saturday, November 6th, one in Williamsburg, Brooklyn and the other near Columbia University in Harlem.
9am: bus leaves from No-Space (formerly called The Change You Want To See Gallery) in Williamsburg. The address: 84 Havemeyer St, at Metropolitan Ave, Brooklyn NY 11211. Closest subway stops: L to Bedford; J/M/Z to Marcy; G to Metropolitan.
Parallel Lines is a collaborative project that looks critically at the impact of the construction of the High Line park in Manhattan's west side. Since the High Line opened to the public in June 2009, it has become a frequently celebrated example of public space for community, culture, innovative design, and urban renewal. As the High Line becomes a public space, Parallel Lines critically investigates its processes and structure, its surrounding neighborhoods and history. Through dialogue, observation, research and action, the project works to illuminate the blind spots of unchecked gentrification and find ways to occupy the city in a manner that is conscious, creative and vigilant.
Join us this Thursday as we continue our series on Open Sourcing The City with a screening and performance titled A Public Hearing, by members of the Parallel Lines project. A Public Hearing borrows from the physical and communicative structure of public hearings -- open forums held in New York City to introduce community input into urban development and planning processes. The performance aggregates a number of documents from the public record, to consider developments regarding the High Line and its surrounding neighborhoods. These documents form part of Parallel Line's ongoing research into changes affecting neighborhoods such as the West Village, Chelsea, Meatpacking and Hells Kitchen, and include records and board meeting minutes of public hearings and community input forums, legal depositions, newspaper articles, and fundraising publicity over the past five years. Selections from these sources will be read aloud, to explore how communities struggle over space, perform public speech, and produce notions of “the public record.” This research is conducted at a time when neoliberal urban development and its racial, gendered and economic distributions are increasingly uneven and contradictory.
Thursday, October 21, 7:30pm - 9:30pm
Suggested Donation $5-10
Join us for a special screening of the Sundance award winning film GASLAND. Part verite travelogue, part expose, part mystery, part bluegrass banjo meltdown, part showdown, the poetic and rousing film documents astonishing consequences of the gas drilling process known as hydro-fracking.
With more than 200,000 new wells proposed for upstate New York and Pennsylvania, the local farms we love and the water we drink may be at risk. Stick around for a post-screening pow wow with Alice Zinnes of the upstate group Damascus Citizens for Sustainability, and be ready to brainstorm creative ideas for collaborative cultural efforts to fan anti-fracking flames.
And pssssst, clear your calendar! On the weekend of November 6-7 we're planning a "Fall Foliage, Farms, and Fracking Tour" in a veggie-oil bus. Agri-artists, activists, urban farmers, FEASTers, foodies, etc. are invited to join us for a drive to the beautiful Delaware River valley in NY/PA to tour an active drill site and meet local Catskill farmers fighting fracking on their land. Interested? Drop us a line: email@example.com. We're raising funds to offset costs, please donate what you can to help make it happen! All contributions are tax-deductible.
Thursday, October 14, 7:30pm
w/ Greg Sholette, Shaun Slifer and Jim Constanzo
@ No-Space (formerly known as The Change You Want To See)
At the beginning of this series we announced plans to change the name of our venue from The Change You Want To See Gallery to No-Space. This week’s event offers us as good a time as any to formalize this, as the notion of the No-Space relates nicely to artist/theorist Greg Sholette’s description of Dark Matter.
No-Space is an aspect of architecture, a systematically overlooked invisible and absent variable that gives form to every structure. A room is made up of walls, a floor, a ceiling, and also the space in between. You can't draw this space on its own, it’s nothing after all, but it's something at the same time, one of the somethings that define a room.
In his forthcoming book Sholette describes a related concept of Dark Matter. In cosmology this unseen matter constitutes most of the universe. In terms of cultural production, an invisible world of artistic activity gives shape to the recognized art world. It has a gravitational pull and a power overlooked.
On Thursday we consider the role of dark matter as it applies to history and the city. Through interventions in urban space, art collectives Repo History, Howling Mob Society, and the Aaron Burr Society map excluded histories, radical readings of what is there but unseen. Ultimately these are cartographic projects, as architect Eyal Weizman suggests: geography as defining history in space. Through authorized and unauthorized means, they explore the exchange between media and the cityscape, between the past and the present, and a power that lurks in the shadows.
ABOUT THE PROJECTS REPOhistory began in Manhattan in 1989 as a study group of artists, scholars, teachers, and writers focused on the relationship of history to contemporary society. It grew into a forum for developing public art projects based on history and a platform for creating them. For more than ten years REPOhistory's goal was "to retrieve and relocate absent historical narratives at specific locations in the New York City area through counter-monuments, actions, and events". Uncomfortable memories of New York's half-forgotten past were written directly on the skin of a gentrified city using its own system of public signage. REPOhistory's subject matter included workers, abolitionists, slaves, radicals, native Americans and children whose lives were lost in sweat shops and streets that 'drank their tender tears.' As global neoliberalism turned urban spaces into zones of managed consumption and ubiquitous surveillance, REPOhistory believed the battle for public memory had to be played out from within the city’s own repertoire of semiotic management. Eventually REPOhistory ran afoul of municipal and cultural authorities. By the end of the 1990's its subaltern archive was slammed shut once more. http://www.repohistory.org
The Howling Mob Society was a collaboration of artists, activists and amateur historians who convened in 2007 with a commitment to unearthing stories neglected by mainstream history. HMS hoped to bring increased visibility to the radical history of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania through a series of independently researched and installed historical markers with a focus on The Great Railroad Strike of 1877, a national uprising that saw some of its most dramatic moments in our city. While the mainstream media—both past and present—frame events in terms of their effect on national economic interests, the Howling Mob investigated history through the experiences of common, working people. http://howlingmobsociety.org
The 2nd Whiskey Rebellion is the Aaron Burr Society’s latest public artwork designed to expose the Myth of the Free Market and rewrite American history. The original Whiskey Rebellion of 1794 was a referendum on the Constitution and its two-tiered economic system that privileged Alexander Hamilton’s northeastern oligarchy and Thomas Jefferson’s southern plantations. Prior to the 2nd Whiskey Rebellion, the Aaron Burr Society initiated the Free Money Movement by spending paper currency stamped “Slave of Wall Street” on one side and “Free Money” on the other. Both the Whiskey Rebellion and the Free Money Movement are not metaphorical but symbolic. By this we mean that it is not “like” or “as” a rebellion but a symbol for a revolt against Wall Street, Oil, Coal and their corporate cronies to save the planet. http://aaronburrsociety.org
Please join us this Thursday, September 16 as we continue our programming series Open-Sourcing the City: Invited and Uninvited Participation. In the last event, professor/author Miriam Greenberg established the relationship between city branding and urban development agendas like Bloomberg's "Luxury City". Against this backdrop, how can cultural creatives and spatial practitioners participate productively? What are constructive forms of critical engagement?
Drawing from her own practice and from first-hand research, artist/activist Emily Forman will take us on a visual tour of the contested Neoliberal City, highlighting the ‘uninvited participation’ of its discontent inhabitants; grandmothers, squatters, and artists, joined together in a shared struggle for spatial justice.
First we will go to Chicago, where the mythic ‘Department of Space and Land Reclamation’ catalyzes a flurry of public interventions around hyperreal governance and runaway gentrification; and where an anonymous PR campaign nearly threatens to implode the City’s careful rebranding of its controversial public housing policies.
Then we visit ‘Miles de Viviendas’, a social center and ‘Pirate University’, housed in a squatted police barracks in seaside Barceloneta; where the neighbors bring culture to the barricades, defending themselves against immanent displacement and tourist-driven Disneyfication using bottom-up urban planning, critical cartography, tactical textiles, and creative direct action.
Not An Alternative is a hybrid arts collective and non-profit organization with a mission to affect popular understandings of events, symbols, and history. We curate and produce interventions on immaterial and material space, leveraging the tools of architecture, exhibit design, branding, and public relations. Programs are hosted at a variety of venues, including our Brooklyn-based gallery No-Space (formerly known as The Change You Want to See Gallery).
No-Space is host to free lectures, screenings, panel discussions, workshops and artist presentations. The space also consists of a production workshop, filming studio and video editing suite. During the day it is a collaborative office space (aka coworking) for freelancers and cultural producers.
Contact us Not An Alternative info[AT]notanalternative.net 917-426-5562