Working Alternatives: Breaking Bread, Art Broadcasting, and Collective Action.

Franklin Street Works presents the original exhibition Working Alternatives: Breaking Bread, Art Broadcasting, and Collective Action, on view from October 27, 2012 – January 13, 2013. The exhibition looks at three threads of alternative art space histories and examines how engaged, inclusive strategies are still being used to break down perceived barriers between contemporary art and its audiences. The themes covered in Working Alternatives are conviviality and food, artists who use media (newspapers, television, and radio) as platforms for artworks, and artist collectives in the US, explored through an open archive gathered specifically for this exhibition.

Chris Sollars and Jerome Waag, Voting Booth Assembly, 2006, courtesy of the artists

Originally Working Alternatives was designed to be the backdrop for our first annual fundraiser, but Franklin Street Works is postponing that event until the spring so the indoor/outdoor extravaganza will coincide with warmer weather and have less proximity to long-standing regional art events. If you saved the date for our fundraiser, however, don’t despair and keep Saturday, October 27, on your calendars – there is still a party! Working Alternatives will open October 27 with a free, public reception from 5:00 -8:00 pm. The evening will include a lively performance of San Francisco artist Tom Marioni’s “Beer Drinking Sonata (for 13 Players)” where thirteen people will create music by blowing into beer bottles based on Marioni’s score.

Tom Marioni, The Museum of Conceptual at the San Francisco Museum of Art. 1979 (free beer) installation

For Working Alternatives, curators Mackenzie Schneider, Terri C Smith, and Jess Wilcox explore three threads of alternative art platforms and production: conviviality and food as components in alternative art space programming and mission (Wilcox); artists using media such as radio, television, and newspapers as alternative venues for presenting work (Schneider); and artist collectives presented in a living archive with weekly changing exhibitions using archive materials (Smith). In addition to historical examples, the exhibition also includes original artworks by contemporary artists that reflect and expand on the showʼs themes. Working Alternatives’ artists include: Paul Branca, Jaime Davidovich, ESP TV, Group Material, Ann Hirsch, Alison Knowles, Tom Marioni, Anna Ostoya, Legacy Russell, Chris Sollars and Jerome Waag. Artist collectives involved will constantly evolve and grow, they include:  Basekamp, Conflict Kitchen, Fierce Pussy, Howling Mob Society, JustSeeds, M12 Studios, Paper Tiger, Philly Stake, The Pinky Show, Second Front, SubRosa, Temporary Services, and W.A.G.E.

Franklin Street Works is also excited to collaborate on several off-site artworks, including the live radio broadcast of an Ann Hirsch performance on WPKN, Bridgeport, and collages by Anna Ostoya in the Stamford Advocate via four, monthly ads during the show’s run.

More on Working Alternatives’ thematic sections

BREAKING BREAD

In the upstairs gallery next to Franklin Street Works’ café, curator Jess Wilcox presents creative and alternative projects that involve gathering and communing with food and beverages. This “Breaking Bread” theme imagines the kitchen table as an alternative space, presenting contemporary participatory, culinary art projects in juxtaposition with several 1970’s food art projects. According to Wilcox, “This thread of the show traces conviviality as a key characteristic that emerged from and continues to be central to alternative art practices.  These artists use food’s dual nature as something that both equalizes and distinguishes as means to explore ideas of collaboration, collectivity, individuality, and community.  Food unites us as humans in need of sustenance, but also divides and marks us culturally and politically.”  Paul Branca, Tom Marioni, Legacy Russell, Chris Sollars and Jerome Waag take on these ideas through works that incorporate food and drink with performance, sculpture, and interactive installations. There are also several collaborative food-related events in the works. Check out Franklin Street Works’ website in November and December for updates.

ART BROADCASTING

Chris Burden, Chris Burden Promo, 1976

The “Art Broadcasting” segment of the exhibition is curated by Mackenzie Schneider and takes a look at artists that have used media as a way to distribute their work. Local newspapers, radio, and cable access have served as alternative spaces in and of themselves, allowing for the exhibition of work that offers alternative perspectives from the regularly scheduled programming. Beginning with a brief history from the 1970’s to today and then leading to works commissioned by emerging artists, the exhibition will explore media as an unexpected venue for art. Historic examples in the exhibition include videos by Chris Burden, cable access broadcasts produced by Jaime Davidovich, and New York Times newspaper inserts by Group Material.

The contemporary segment of “Art Broadcasting” will include three artworks placed into the Fairfield County region via newspaper, radio, and television. Brooklyn performance artist Ann Hirsch explores the contemporary portrayal of women in the media by inserting herself into popular culture through reality TV shows, Twitter and YouTube. For this exhibition Hirsch will perform on public radio for the first time thanks to Bridgeport, Connecticut’s, independent radio station, WPKN.  For the television component, a video shoot featuring ESP TV will take place at Franklin Street Works.  Slated for November 10, ESP TV will tape an installment of their nomadic showcase of contemporary and experimental art presenting music, performance, and video art in front of a live audience. Bringing print media into the mix, works by Anna Ostoya will be carried in the Stamford Advocate.  Ostoya will create a monthly collage in the newspaper using elements from the newspaper itself, simultaneously responding to and inserting herself into the local context.

COLLECTIVE ACTION

Not for Sale PAD/D’s project against Displacement, PAD/D (Political Art Documentation/Distribution) poster, from Gregory Sholette’s Dark Matter archive: http://www.darkmatterarchives.net

For the “collective action” component of Working Alternatives Franklin Street Works’ team put out a call for materials from artist collectives working today as an informal exploration of that landscape. There are relatively recent examples of exhibitions and projects that overlap in some ways with this archive/alternative space concept, consequently, curator and FSW Creative Director, Terri C Smith, sees this project as one addition to a layered, ongoing investigation – as one exploratory moment that reflects the pulse of creative collective action today. Materials will be presented in an open archive that visitors can explore as part of an immersive installation that includes changing, weekly exhibitions drawn from the archive’s materials. This section of the exhibition was inspired, in part, by Gregory Sholette’s book Dark Matter and PAD/D (Political Art Documentation/Distribution).  PAD/D was an activist art group whose stated purpose was, “To provide artists with an organized relationship to society, to demonstrate the political effectiveness of image making, and to provide a framework within which progressive artists can discuss and develop alternatives to the mainstream art system.” The installation will, consequently, also include reproductions of documents from the PAD/D archive as an informative, historical backdrop for the contemporary materials collected by Franklin Street Works.

posted by Owner on October 27, 2012 at 4:00 pm

Working Alternatives: Breaking Bread, Art Broadcasting, and Collective Action.

Franklin Street Works presents the original exhibition Working Alternatives: Breaking Bread, Art Broadcasting, and Collective Action, on view from October 27, 2012 – January 13, 2013. The exhibition looks at three threads of alternative art space histories and examines how engaged, inclusive strategies are still being used to break down perceived barriers between contemporary art and its audiences. The themes covered in Working Alternatives are conviviality and food, artists who use media (newspapers, television, and radio) as platforms for artworks, and artist collectives in the US, explored through an open archive gathered specifically for this exhibition.

Chris Sollars and Jerome Waag, Voting Booth Assembly, 2006, courtesy of the artists

Originally Working Alternatives was designed to be the backdrop for our first annual fundraiser, but Franklin Street Works is postponing that event until the spring so the indoor/outdoor extravaganza will coincide with warmer weather and have less proximity to long-standing regional art events. If you saved the date for our fundraiser, however, don’t despair and keep Saturday, October 27, on your calendars – there is still a party! Working Alternatives will open October 27 with a free, public reception from 5:00 -8:00 pm. The evening will include a lively performance of San Francisco artist Tom Marioni’s “Beer Drinking Sonata (for 13 Players)” where thirteen people will create music by blowing into beer bottles based on Marioni’s score.

Tom Marioni, The Museum of Conceptual at the San Francisco Museum of Art. 1979 (free beer) installation

For Working Alternatives, curators Mackenzie Schneider, Terri C Smith, and Jess Wilcox explore three threads of alternative art platforms and production: conviviality and food as components in alternative art space programming and mission (Wilcox); artists using media such as radio, television, and newspapers as alternative venues for presenting work (Schneider); and artist collectives presented in a living archive with weekly changing exhibitions using archive materials (Smith). In addition to historical examples, the exhibition also includes original artworks by contemporary artists that reflect and expand on the showʼs themes. Working Alternatives’ artists include: Paul Branca, Jaime Davidovich, ESP TV, Group Material, Ann Hirsch, Alison Knowles, Tom Marioni, Anna Ostoya, Legacy Russell, Chris Sollars and Jerome Waag. Artist collectives involved will constantly evolve and grow, they include:  Basekamp, Conflict Kitchen, Fierce Pussy, Howling Mob Society, JustSeeds, M12 Studios, Paper Tiger, Philly Stake, The Pinky Show, Second Front, SubRosa, Temporary Services, and W.A.G.E.

Franklin Street Works is also excited to collaborate on several off-site artworks, including the live radio broadcast of an Ann Hirsch performance on WPKN, Bridgeport, and collages by Anna Ostoya in the Stamford Advocate via four, monthly ads during the show’s run.

More on Working Alternatives’ thematic sections

BREAKING BREAD

In the upstairs gallery next to Franklin Street Works’ café, curator Jess Wilcox presents creative and alternative projects that involve gathering and communing with food and beverages. This “Breaking Bread” theme imagines the kitchen table as an alternative space, presenting contemporary participatory, culinary art projects in juxtaposition with several 1970’s food art projects. According to Wilcox, “This thread of the show traces conviviality as a key characteristic that emerged from and continues to be central to alternative art practices.  These artists use food’s dual nature as something that both equalizes and distinguishes as means to explore ideas of collaboration, collectivity, individuality, and community.  Food unites us as humans in need of sustenance, but also divides and marks us culturally and politically.”  Paul Branca, Tom Marioni, Legacy Russell, Chris Sollars and Jerome Waag take on these ideas through works that incorporate food and drink with performance, sculpture, and interactive installations. There are also several collaborative food-related events in the works. Check out Franklin Street Works’ website in November and December for updates.

ART BROADCASTING

Chris Burden, Chris Burden Promo, 1976

The “Art Broadcasting” segment of the exhibition is curated by Mackenzie Schneider and takes a look at artists that have used media as a way to distribute their work. Local newspapers, radio, and cable access have served as alternative spaces in and of themselves, allowing for the exhibition of work that offers alternative perspectives from the regularly scheduled programming. Beginning with a brief history from the 1970’s to today and then leading to works commissioned by emerging artists, the exhibition will explore media as an unexpected venue for art. Historic examples in the exhibition include videos by Chris Burden, cable access broadcasts produced by Jaime Davidovich, and New York Times newspaper inserts by Group Material.

The contemporary segment of “Art Broadcasting” will include three artworks placed into the Fairfield County region via newspaper, radio, and television. Brooklyn performance artist Ann Hirsch explores the contemporary portrayal of women in the media by inserting herself into popular culture through reality TV shows, Twitter and YouTube. For this exhibition Hirsch will perform on public radio for the first time thanks to Bridgeport, Connecticut’s, independent radio station, WPKN.  For the television component, a video shoot featuring ESP TV will take place at Franklin Street Works.  Slated for November 10, ESP TV will tape an installment of their nomadic showcase of contemporary and experimental art presenting music, performance, and video art in front of a live audience. Bringing print media into the mix, works by Anna Ostoya will be carried in the Stamford Advocate.  Ostoya will create a monthly collage in the newspaper using elements from the newspaper itself, simultaneously responding to and inserting herself into the local context.

COLLECTIVE ACTION

Not for Sale PAD/D’s project against Displacement, PAD/D (Political Art Documentation/Distribution) poster, from Gregory Sholette’s Dark Matter archive: http://www.darkmatterarchives.net

For the “collective action” component of Working Alternatives Franklin Street Works’ team put out a call for materials from artist collectives working today as an informal exploration of that landscape. There are relatively recent examples of exhibitions and projects that overlap in some ways with this archive/alternative space concept, consequently, curator and FSW Creative Director, Terri C Smith, sees this project as one addition to a layered, ongoing investigation – as one exploratory moment that reflects the pulse of creative collective action today. Materials will be presented in an open archive that visitors can explore as part of an immersive installation that includes changing, weekly exhibitions drawn from the archive’s materials. This section of the exhibition was inspired, in part, by Gregory Sholette’s book Dark Matter and PAD/D (Political Art Documentation/Distribution).  PAD/D was an activist art group whose stated purpose was, “To provide artists with an organized relationship to society, to demonstrate the political effectiveness of image making, and to provide a framework within which progressive artists can discuss and develop alternatives to the mainstream art system.” The installation will, consequently, also include reproductions of documents from the PAD/D archive as an informative, historical backdrop for the contemporary materials collected by Franklin Street Works.

Franklin Street Works curates “Another Crystal Land” at City Wide Open Studios, New Haven

Franklin Street Works programming includes on and off site collaborative projects. We were excited to be asked to collaborate with ArtSpace New Haven on a project as part of the City Wide Open Studios alternative space on October 20 and 21!

On view October 20 and 21 at the New Haven Register Building at 40 Sargent Dr., New Haven, Connecticut, Another Crystal Land is a group exhibition curated by Terri C Smith. The show simultaneously explores the crystal’s structural characteristics/behaviors and its history within contemporary art. A starting point for the exhibition is the work of conceptual artist Robert Smithson, who was inspired by crystals, especially salt crystals, leading to his ambitious earth art work, The Spiral Jetty, 1970.

Debra Baxter and Margot Quan Knight

For the exhibition Another Crystal Land artists bring contemporary attitudes, technologies, and approaches to the mix of science/ science fiction references, shamanistic voices, and conceptual art making that Smithson explored in his work, making the crystal their own. Artists include: Debra Baxter & Margot Quan Knight, Ben Goddard, Chris McIntyre, Lucy Raven, Rob Smith, and Robert Smithson. A reading room of Robert Smithson books as well as poster-sized reproductions of critic/writer Ann Reynolds’  “Crystal Land” text from her book Robert Smithson: Learning from New Jersey and Elsewhere will further contextualize this two-day exhibition, which is organically arranged throughout the industrial newspaper production site. This is a collaborative project between ArtSpace, New Haven, and Franklin Street Works, Stamford, Connecticut.

posted by Owner on October 20, 2012 at 12:00 pm

Franklin Street Works curates “Another Crystal Land” at City Wide Open Studios, New Haven

Franklin Street Works programming includes on and off site collaborative projects. We were excited to be asked to collaborate with ArtSpace New Haven on a project as part of the City Wide Open Studios alternative space on October 20 and 21!

On view October 20 and 21 at the New Haven Register Building at 40 Sargent Dr., New Haven, Connecticut, Another Crystal Land is a group exhibition curated by Terri C Smith. The show simultaneously explores the crystal’s structural characteristics/behaviors and its history within contemporary art. A starting point for the exhibition is the work of conceptual artist Robert Smithson, who was inspired by crystals, especially salt crystals, leading to his ambitious earth art work, The Spiral Jetty, 1970.

Debra Baxter and Margot Quan Knight

For the exhibition Another Crystal Land artists bring contemporary attitudes, technologies, and approaches to the mix of science/ science fiction references, shamanistic voices, and conceptual art making that Smithson explored in his work, making the crystal their own. Artists include: Debra Baxter & Margot Quan Knight, Ben Goddard, Chris McIntyre, Lucy Raven, Rob Smith, and Robert Smithson. A reading room of Robert Smithson books as well as poster-sized reproductions of critic/writer Ann Reynolds’  “Crystal Land” text from her book Robert Smithson: Learning from New Jersey and Elsewhere will further contextualize this two-day exhibition, which is organically arranged throughout the industrial newspaper production site. This is a collaborative project between ArtSpace, New Haven, and Franklin Street Works, Stamford, Connecticut.

Walk Through of VHS The Exhibition with the Franklin Street Works Team.

Join Franklin Street Works on Thursday, October 4 from 6:00 – 6:45 pm for a guided tour of VHS The Exhibition, with Franklin Street Works’ Creative Director, Terri C Smith, and Gallery Manager, Sandrine Milet.

The tour is followed by vodka cocktails in the cafe courtesy of MINSK Vodka! With mild aromas of nut toast and honeycomb you might want to taste it solo first, but we will also have — celebrating the horror movie sub-theme of VHS The Exhibition — Bloody Mary mix and a couple of other mixer options, so everyone can enjoy a refreshing beverage as we talk about the videos and discuss our memories analog.

This conversational walk through will answer questions related to the exhibition and gives audiences the opportunity to discuss the show’s theme, it’s pop culture and contemporary art relevance, and how it fits within Franklin Street Works’ mission. Join us for a free public event and bring a friend to explore the current show with some of the folks closest to it!

Creative Director, Terri C Smith, and Gallery Manager, Sandrine Milet, get into character for their tour.. poses inspired by the "Blood Beach" poster in the background.

VHS The exhibition, curated by video specialist and writer Rebecca Cleman, is Franklin Street Works’ second guest curated show. The exhibition explores VHS as a tool and inspiration for artistic experimentation with a heavy dose of ephemerafrom the 80s analog culture, such as B horror movie posters and Max Headroom collectibles. Taking advantage of Franklin Street Works’ split-level architecture, Cleman juxtaposes observations from everyday domestic histories and art historical analysis of VHS consumption and artistic creation. Artists in the exhibition include Robert Beck, Sadie Benning, Dustin Guy Defa, James Fotopoulos and Trevor Shimizu. VHS The Exhibition is on view at Franklin Street Works through October 14.

Thanks to Minsk Vodka for sponsoring this event through their in-kind donation!

posted by Owner on October 4, 2012 at 6:00 pm

Walk Through of VHS The Exhibition with the Franklin Street Works Team.

Join Franklin Street Works on Thursday, October 4 from 6:00 – 6:45 pm for a guided tour of VHS The Exhibition, with Franklin Street Works’ Creative Director, Terri C Smith, and Gallery Manager, Sandrine Milet.

The tour is followed by vodka cocktails in the cafe courtesy of MINSK Vodka! With mild aromas of nut toast and honeycomb you might want to taste it solo first, but we will also have — celebrating the horror movie sub-theme of VHS The Exhibition — Bloody Mary mix and a couple of other mixer options, so everyone can enjoy a refreshing beverage as we talk about the videos and discuss our memories analog.

This conversational walk through will answer questions related to the exhibition and gives audiences the opportunity to discuss the show’s theme, it’s pop culture and contemporary art relevance, and how it fits within Franklin Street Works’ mission. Join us for a free public event and bring a friend to explore the current show with some of the folks closest to it!

Creative Director, Terri C Smith, and Gallery Manager, Sandrine Milet, get into character for their tour.. poses inspired by the "Blood Beach" poster in the background.

VHS The exhibition, curated by video specialist and writer Rebecca Cleman, is Franklin Street Works’ second guest curated show. The exhibition explores VHS as a tool and inspiration for artistic experimentation with a heavy dose of ephemerafrom the 80s analog culture, such as B horror movie posters and Max Headroom collectibles. Taking advantage of Franklin Street Works’ split-level architecture, Cleman juxtaposes observations from everyday domestic histories and art historical analysis of VHS consumption and artistic creation. Artists in the exhibition include Robert Beck, Sadie Benning, Dustin Guy Defa, James Fotopoulos and Trevor Shimizu. VHS The Exhibition is on view at Franklin Street Works through October 14.

Thanks to Minsk Vodka for sponsoring this event through their in-kind donation!

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