Virtually since television’s invention, artists have used its form, content, and media to create artworks whose intentions range from homage to critique. Your Content Will Return Shortly is a group exhibition that explores how contemporary artists harness the in-between moments of our television experiences. By taking their cues from the physical and functional qualities of television and a variety of elements associated with broadcasting, they touch on phenomena that include: advertising; laugh tracks; the affects of VHS, DVD and remote control devices on viewing habits; public service announcements; and nuanced observations of the relationship between spectacle and cable news. The exhibition is on view from January 24 – March 24, 2013, at Franklin Street Works with a free public reception on Thursday, January 24, from 5:00 to 8:00 pm. Exhibiting artists include: Christopher DeLaurenti, Eric Gottesman, Jonathan Horowitz, Sophy Naess, Jeff Ostergren, Lucy Raven, Martha Rosler, Catherine Ross, Emily Roz, Carmelle Safdie, and Siebren Versteeg.
With Your Content Will Return Shortly, television is explored as both medium and subject. “Early exhibitions such as TV as a Creative Medium organized by gallerist Howard Wise in 1969 posited that video could be art, and that televisions would become as important to contemporary exhibitions as paint, canvas and other traditional materials,” says the exhibition’s curator Terri C Smith, “This show was inspired by a desire to connect my own research on historic video exhibitions and readings in media theory — including texts by David Joselit and Marshall McLuhan — with observations of our own contemporary relationships with ‘television,’ which for many is streamed at will via a laptop, bypassing the TV set altogether.”
Rather than taking a comprehensive view of television as inspiration in contemporary art, Your Content Will Return Shortly, as the title implies, explores contemporary works that highlight televised elements tangential to the main narrative arc — our “stories”. This exhibition brings to light the physical, stylistic, and economic elements that surround the narrative arcs of situation comedies, melodramas, news features, etc. Exhibiting artists Jeff Ostergren and Martha
1Rosler focus on advertising in their works. With Global Taste, Rosler creates a three-channel work that brilliantly appropriates food advertisements from the 1980s. In Jeff Ostergren’s two-channel video Stimulus, pharmaceutical ads are deconstructed shifting focus to specific components such as health warnings. Ostergren asserts that the commercials are in fact the true content of our television experience, writing, “Advertisements are vehicles of capital. Despite our understanding of them as the filler surrounding our programming content (news, sporting events, sitcoms), in reality, commercials ARE the content – the programming they surround are sublimated by the lurking capital that funds them, that relates to the content, that is geared towards a target audience, a focus- group-determined viewer.”
Artists Jonathan Horowitz, Sopy Naess, Catherine Ross, Emily Roz, and Carmelle Safdie pull from specific and seemingly unimportant elements from televised narratives, reminding us of the devices such as laugh tracks, physical comedy, and repeated plot motifs that are interwoven throughout. In Roz’s work Death by Mel the artist takes Polaroid photographs of the TV set to capture scenes where actors are killed by Mel Gibson, “Archiving images from films into sub-groups strips them of their original meaning within a narrative and places them into reliable and familiar categories,” writes Roz, “An image of a president immediately brings to mind an entire genre without specifying any one film. Grouping many similar images reminds us of what we come to expect from certain genres and how those devices signal the moviegoer to understand and accept certain pretexts without question.” Similarly, Catherine Ross, who often uses old sitcoms as her material, feels that “Isolating the movements of humans and/or objects, ! create new sequences that reveal an inseparable relationship between motion and sound ! movement reveals an inherent awkwardness, a humor that echoes our vulnerabilities.”
Christopher DeLaurenti, Lucy Raven and Siebren Versteeg pay close attention to the physical and operative aspects of television. With Prop, Versteeg seems to “prop” a plasma screen on the wall with a long stick. The video on the monitor features someone spelling words in the sand with a stick. The first impression of the television is that it’s a sculptural element, followed by its role in conveying a moving image – with this Versteeg actively reverses the viewer’s usual dynamic with the television set. In Remote DeLaurenti’s 2002 performance employs a television remote control and TV set to create an audio work, flipping channels in order to make random sound patterns. Listening to the piece eleven years later, the antiquated sounds of an older technology are surprisingly audible. Mining the history, geography, and mix of commerce and community in cable access, Lucy Raven invents a public service announcement that elucidates the journey from taping to broadcast, including shared land use and other economies. In her work 4:3, a scrolling text reads in part, “The exchange is asymmetrical: images and sound travel from the production studio to the home and into the TV via copper cable wire, and money from the couch potato travels to the cable company via US mail. You can check if your payment went through by turning on your television.”
As Raven’s text implies, Your Content Will Return Shortly looks beyond the screen and asks questions about the cultural circuitry surrounding television as well as its relationship to daily life and contemporary art. Using videos, photographs, Internet, and sculptural elements, the artists in Your Content Will Return Shortly provide insights into the structures and languages of television, reminding viewers that their relationships with the commerce, programming, and operational structures of TV are multifaceted and extend far beyond the living room
Franklin Street Works and The Ferguson Library are happy to announce a conversation with Reanimation Library founder, Andrew Beccone, on Saturday, March 2, from 3:00 – 4:15 at the Ferguson Library auditorium in Stamford, CT. There will be a reception at Franklin Street Works from 4:15 – 5:30 pm, after the talk! Reanimation Library is one of three collaborators involved in Franklin Street Works’ upcoming exhibition, Strange Invitation (April 4 – June 2013.) For the talk, Andrew Beccone will discuss the mission of his independent library and explain the temporary Franklin Street Works’ branch that he is creating for Strange Invitation. The branch library created for the exhibition will be open for public use, encouraging daily audience participation and hosting related programs. During the show’s run Franklin Street Works will also present collaborative workshops and projects in association with the Stamford Art Association and the Loft Artists Association.
Reanimation Library is a small Independent Presence Library, meaning a non-circulating collection that exists in the physical world. It is open to the public and is meant to inspire the production of new creative work. Reanimation Library features a collection of books that have fallen out of routine circulation and are acquired for their unique visual content. Outdated and discarded, they have been culled from thrift stores, stoop sales, and throw-away piles to be given new life as a resource for artists, writers, cultural archeologists, and other interested parties. “I consider the library itself to be an ongoing collaborative artwork that is activated by people who engage with and use it,” Andrew Beccone explains. Since 2006, the library has been situated in Proteus Gowanus, an interdisciplinary gallery and reading room in Brooklyn, NY.
Since 2009, Andrew Beccone has created branch libraries that are temporary site-specific manifestations of the Reanimation Library. This allows the library to exist outside of its Brooklyn home, giving the possibility of others to engage with its content. Each branch library contains a collection of books that has been gathered from sources in its local community. For Franklin Street Works’ branch, the library will contain books from the Fairfield County area as well as Reanimation Library inspired artworks by New York based artist Pradeep Dalal. A free scanner and photocopier will be provided to allow visitors to use the books as resource material for their own creative projects. For more information on the Reanimation Library, visit: http://www.reanimationlibrary.org/
Join Franklin Street Works on Thursday, March 14 from 5:30 – 7:00 pm for a casual tour of the contemporary art space’s current exhibition, Your Content Will Return Shortly. Those in attendance will walk through the show with three of its exhibiting artists, Jeff Ostergren (New Haven, CT), Catherine Ross (Brooklyn, NY) and Siebren Versteeg (Brooklyn, NY). While walking through the three galleries, artists will discuss their works, including how videos and installations reflect themes in the exhibition and relate to their larger practice.
The evening will end with an open discussion and reception in the café. Please join us for this free event that is open to the public – a unique opportunity to explore the current show with some of its artists that are emerging figures in contemporary art today! This event program is made possible in part through the support of the Community Arts Partnership Program awarded to Franklin Street Works by the City of Stamford and a two-year grant from the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts.
Your Content Will Return Shortly, curated by Franklin Street Works’ Creative Director, Terri C Smith, explores television as both medium and subject. Rather than taking a comprehensive view of television as inspiration in contemporary art, the exhibition explores works that highlight televised elements tangential to the main narrative arc. The artists take their cues from the physical and functional qualities of television and a variety of elements associated with broadcasting. They touch on phenomena that include: advertising; laugh tracks; the affects of VHS, DVD and remote control devices on viewing habits; public service announcements; and nuances observations of the relationship between spectacle and cable news. Exhibiting artists are: Christopher DeLaurenti, Eric Gottesman, Jonathan Horowitz, Sophy Naess, Jeff Ostergren, Lucy Raven, Martha Rosler, Catherine Ross, Emily Roz, Carmelle Safdie, and Siebren Versteeg. Your Content Will Return Shortly is on view at Franklin Street Works through March 24.
Do you enjoy the outdoors and building things? Then join Franklin Street Works on Saturday, March 16 for a shed building event from 2:00 – 5:00 pm! The build will take place in Franklin Street Work’ back patio and outdoor space and will invite those in attendance to help artist Simon Draper install one of his signature 6 x 6 Studios, which he calls Habitat For Artists. The artist studio is part of the Digging Deeper installation, which is one of three components in Franklin Street Works’ upcoming exhibition, titled Strange Invitation (April 4 – June 16). The structure will be transformed by artists and evolve throughout the run of the exhibition. For this event, Stamford’s Lorca Café will be providing delicious snacks for all of the builders, while composer and musician Evan James will be providing a playlist! Please join us at any point during the event for some outdoor fun and a unique opportunity to engage with artists and the community. Stick around after for a rewarding party from 5:00 – 6:00 pm that includes a sampling of beers from Half Full Brewery!
“Habitat for Artists” is a collective project that uses the idea of artists’ studios as a catalyst for mutual engagement between artists and communities. The “habitats” are small, temporary, 6’ by 6’ studios installed at a variety of locations. The studios are made from predominantly recycled or reclaimed material and are reused for each new iteration of the project.
The Digging Deeper component of Strange Invitation will focus on artists who work in relationship to sustainability and agriculture through three components: Draper’s habitat; a group exhibition curated by Amy Lipton; and a farm stand and garden conceived and organized by artist/activist Andrea Reynosa. The Franklin Street Works Heritage Garden and Farmstand is a civic ecology investigation into local youth, regional watershed/foodshed awareness, heirloom crop production and entrepreneurship.
Franklin Street Works’ habitat will initially act as an artist studio and a greenhouse for the propagation of seedlings that will be transplanted to a small raised bed garden. Once the seedlings have been planted, it will be the site of mini artist residencies where artists activate the space periodically. Simon Draper will also be partnering with Stamford’s Fairgate Farms, the Hudson Valley Seed Library and other regional artists and community groups as the space evolves, exploring themes such as gardening, farming, and urban sustainability.
The newest contemporary art exhibition at Franklin Street Works is structured via a string of invitations. Three participants were invited by the art space with the understanding that they, in turn, would ask a collaborator to join them – a framework that encourages improvisation, experimentation and exchange.
Titled Strange Invitation (also the title to a Beck song), this show brings together three, collaborative teams that will design engaging installations, programming, and interactive hubs encouraging direct audience involvement. Strange Invitation, consequently, also invites the audience to participate in a manner that extends beyond that of a passive viewer. The exhibition asks questions such as: “What happens when you invite an artist who defines him/herself as both social activist and organizer to do a project at a gallery space?” “How do projects evolve and surprise if you then ask those participants to invite a collaborator?” “What is revealed and what is obscured through collaboration itself?” “How can this exhibition yield knowledge about social practice and audience engagement that will inform Franklin Street Works’ activities moving forward?” Strange Invitation is on view at Franklin Street Works from April 6 – June 16, 2013. The show will open with a free, public reception, Saturday, April 6 from 5:00 – 8:00 pm. This exhibition is made possible, in part, through the support of a two-year grant from the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts.
With Strange Invitation, Franklin Street Works continues to blur the boundaries between participation and creation through collaborative projects. Each component reflects a mix of art and activism, addressing themes informed by the participants’ in-depth work with local communities. Those who were invited by Franklin Street Works to participate are: Andrew Beccone, founder of the Reanimation Library in Brooklyn, NY; artist, activist, community organizer, and founding director of Smack Mellon, Andrea Reynosa, Narrowsburg, NY; and, based in Brooklyn, New York, Stephen Zacks, an urban writer/critic and artistic director of the Flint Public Art Project. Each one of these collaborators has invited artists, curators, and/or civic activists to join them. For the Franklin Street Works branch of the Reanimation Library, Beccone asked Pradeep Dalal to make new works using books from the Library’s main branch. Andrea Reynosa is organizing the Franklin Street Works Heritage Garden and Farmstand and invited ecoartpsace curator Amy Lipton to create a gallery exhibition that expands on themes surrounding the natural environment and sustainability in the show’s “Digging Deeper” component. Highlighting artists he’s worked closely with in Flint, Michigan, Zacks invited the artist collective “Flower Tour” to create installations and projections that highlight the group’s past performances.
Through its structure and range of participants, Strange Invitation brings multiple and variously informed viewpoints to the exhibition — all steeped in an understanding of how contemporary art can interface with grass roots, community-oriented projects. In addition to their knowledge of contemporary art, Franklin Street Works’ collaborators inform the show via their knowledge of urban planning, library science, and environmental activism, making this exhibition one that connects contemporary art with themes surrounding the natural, urban, and organizational environments in our daily lives.
1. Franklin Street Works invited Reanimation Library founder Andrew Beccone to participate in Strange Invitation.
2. Andrew Beccone asked artist Pradeep Dalal to make works for Franklin Street Works’ branch of the Reanimation Library.
Franklin Street Works will host the ninth Reanimation Library off site branch, which extends the reach of its Brooklyn-based main branch into new communities. The Reanimation Library is a small Independent Presence Library, meaning a non-circulating collection that exists in the physical world. It is open to the public and is meant to inspire the production of new creative work. Reanimation Library features a collection of books that have fallen out of routine circulation and are acquired for their unique visual content. Outdated and discarded, they have been culled from thrift stores, stoop sales, and throw-away piles to be given new life as a resource for artists, writers, cultural archeologists, and other interested parties. “I consider the library itself to be an ongoing collaborative artwork that is activated by people who engage with and use it,” Andrew Beccone explains. Since 2006, the library has been situated in Proteus Gowanus, an interdisciplinary gallery and reading room in Brooklyn, NY.
Since 2009, Andrew Beccone has created branch libraries that are temporary site-specific manifestations of the Reanimation Library. This allows the library to exist outside of its Brooklyn home, giving the possibility of others to engage with its content. Each branch library contains a collection of books that has been gathered from sources in its local community. A free scanner and photocopier will be provided to allow visitors to use the books as resource material for their own creative projects.
For Franklin Street Works’ branch, the library will feature approximately 40 books found in Connecticut as well as Reanimation Library inspired artworks by New York based artist Pradeep Dalal. An artist and writer, Dalal’s work was recently included in exhibitions at Higher Pictures in New York, the Herter Art Gallery in Amherst and at Aljira Center for Contemporary Art in Newark. He has also exhibited at New York venues, including the New York Public Library, Orchard, and ps122 Gallery. Dalal’s reviews and interviews have been published in ARTWURL, Teaching Photo, Village Voice, and EGO Magazine. He is a recipient of the Tierney Fellowship, and has an MFA from ICP/Bard College and an MArch from MIT. Dalal works at the Creative Capital | Warhol Foundation Arts Writers Grant Program, and is on the faculty at the International Center of Photography in New York.
1. Franklin Street Works invited Andrea Reynosa — artist, activist, and founding director of the alternative art space Smack Mellon to participate.
2. Andrea Reynosa invited ecoartspace curator Amy Lipton, who is collaborating with seven artists on an indoor/outdoor exhibition for Strange Invitation.
Digging Deeper focuses on sustainable agriculture, entrepreneurship, and artists who create projects informed by our relationships to natural environments. The exhibition and programming involve several components: An outdoor artist studio and greenhouse created by Simon Draper as part of his Habitat for Artists (HFA) project where artists Draper and Michael Asbill, in partnership with the Hudson Valley Seed Library, will germinate seeds and build a small food garden; The Franklin Street Works Heritage Garden and Farmstand conceived and coordinated by Andrea Reynosa, which is a civic ecology investigation into local youth, regional watershed/foodshed awareness, heirloom crop production and entrepreneurship; and a gallery exhibition curated by ecoartspace curator Amy Lipton, featuring works by Habitat for Artists, Joan Bankemper, Andrea Reynosa, Jenna Spevack, Elaine Tin Nyo, and Linda Weintraub.
With the Digging Deeper exhibition, inventive projects around agriculture from greenhouses to urban furniture gardens to canning and color-coding vegetables to making cheese from goat’s milk will populate Franklin Street Works’ downstairs gallery and back yard. Some of the projects address farming as both activism and art form. Artists in this exhibition are known for bringing community-specific issues into their work.
A key component to the exhibition will be Andrea Reynosa’s project Franklin Street Heritage Garden and Farmstand in the Stamford community. Andrea Reynosa is an artist-farmer who actively aims to rally citizens to spark an interest in food production and to offer ways to get people involved. Reynosa’s project Franklin Street Heritage Garden and Farmstand, takes inspiration and instruction from her Big Eddy Farmstand project in Narrowsburg, New York, 2012. The Franklin Street Heritage Garden and Farmstand will focus on mapping the food-shed of the Stamford region as a curatorial tool for garden and farm stand development with an overlay of youth workforce development, heritage food investigation and production, creation of a marketing identity and sales strategy.
Flint Public Art Project and Flower Tour
1. Franklin Street Works invited Stephen Zacks, executive director of the Flint Public Art Project and a reporter, theorist, and cultural producer based in Brooklyn, New York.
2. Stephen Zacks invited the artist collective Flower Tour to create sculptures and installations for Strange Invitation.
Flint Public Art Project (FPAP) has invited Flint-based artist collective Flower Tour to exhibit their work in Stamford, Connecticut as a part of Franklin Street Works’ upcoming Strange Invitation show. Flower Tour is a collective of young artists using public appearances and handmade objects to create excitement in the city. They design colorful paper hats, ceramic rings, and structural dresses, installing them in underused spaces, and donning them as instant fashion boutiques, creating immersive environments animated by their presence. Members of Flower Tour arrive wearing brightly colored flowers as hats, which they exchange and photograph with people they meet, and install custom displays to sell inexpensive multiples and specialty designs in the form of Bloom: The Traveling Shoppe.
For Franklin Street Works’ Strange Invitation, Flint Public Art Project and Flower Tour collaborate in an ongoing series of programs including crepe-paper flower installations in a gallery and storefront, video projections, interviews with the artists, meetings and workshops with community members, public appearances by Flower Tour, and a presentation by FPAP Executive Director Stephen Zacks. As a series of critical, entertaining, and economic activities, the collaboration will exchange and publicize information, connect networks, and share resources between Stamford, Flint, and New York.
Strange Invitation’s generous in-kind donors are Stamford based Green UP and Hotel 0 Degrees as well as the Hudson Valley Seed Library:
Strange Invitation visitors gets a discount! If you plan on visiting the show from out of town, Hotel 0 Degrees is offering a 15% discount if guests use the promo code “FACE” when reserving their room online or on the phone.
On Saturday, April 13 from 3:00 – 5:00 pm, the Stamford Art Association’s Richard Tedeschi and Carolyn Lyngholm will lead a collaging workshop using the the books at Franklin Street Works branch of the Reanimation Library.
The workshop is, in part, preparation for an exhibition of Reanimation Library inspired works at the Ferguson Library, on view from May 30 – September 19, 2013. Click HERE for exhibition submission requirements.
ART What Thou EAT: Innovation in Food / Art / Ecosystems, a lecture by Linda Weintraub
ART What Thou EAT: Innovation in Food / Art / Ecosystems is a talk presented by Linda Weintraub at UConn, Stamford.
This lecture explores the dynamic issues at work today in art, food and social practice, addressing questions such as : Why does art change over time? Why is innovation a measure of great art? Linda Weintraub is an artist, curator, educator, homesteader, and the author of TO LIFE! Eco Art in Pursuit of a Sustainable Planet (2012), the first eco-art textbook for college art and environmental studies students. Weintraub shared her knowledge on the topic with 40 UConn, Connecticut, art history students.
Please join Franklin Street Works for the launch of its “Across Disciplines” program on Thursday, April 25 from 6 – 7:30 pm. The Across Discipline events feature regional artists talking about their work alongside someone from a different discipline, — to create a dialogue that explores the visual arts from multiple viewpoints. For this program, local artist, Phyllis Sinrich, will be talking about her series of photographs titled “Mannequins: A Parallel Universe,” exploring the art world’s recent obsession with fashion, and how mannequins play a powerful role as fashion’s avatars. She will be paired with Professor Ingrid Semaan, Director of Women’s Studies at UConn, Stamford, who will talk about Sinrich’s series from the perspective of female identity in concert with advertising, fashion, and consumption. This free, public,event provides additional opportunities for regional artists and thinkers to share their work with the public, while paying close attention to the fluid relationships between the visual arts, the humanities, and popular culture.
Phyllis Sinrich’s portfolio of mannequins includes more than twenty images from her travels in countries such as Hungary, France, Italy, Turkey, Croatia and the United States. According to the artist, the facial expressions, postures and individuality of the mannequins is what has kept her intrigued and transfixed, explaining “it’s fascinating to note both the similarities and differences that are manifested through each society’s mannequin ‘population’”. “Mannequins: A Parallel Universe” is part of Phyllis Sinrich’s solo exhibition, The Thrill of Discovery, at The Gallery at Bistro Latino in Old Greenwich, CT, on view through April 30.
ABOUT PHYLLIS SINRICH: In 2001 Phyllis Sinrich turned a passion for photography — which had been a hobby since childhood — into her “third life.” Her work is exhibited regularly in juried shows in the area, most notably the annual Faber Birren National Color Award Show at the Stamford Art Association, where she has won several sponsored awards over the years. In 2003 one of her abstract images was a First Place winner in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution Annual National Photo Competition. Her work has also been shown at other venues such as the Katonah Museum of Art in Katonah, NY; Silvermine Guild Arts Center in New Canaan, CT; the Edward Hopper House Art Center in Nyack, NY; the Fairfield Museum and History Center, the Quick Center of the Arts, and the General Electric World Headquarters, all in Fairfield, CT.
ABOUT INGRID SEMAAN: Ingrid Semaan is a committed feminist activist who has worked on campaigns against violence against women and for reproductive rights, workers’ rights, and peace and justice in the Middle East. Ingrid received her Ph.D. in Sociology in 2006 from the University of Massachusetts-Amherst. She teaches in Sociology and Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies, and she is the Director of Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality at the University of Connecticut-Stamford. Her research interests include gendered violence, the battered women’s movement, and health disparities.
Connecticut meet up 10:30 a.m. at Franklin Street Works and walk to train station or join us at Stamford Train Station for 11:03 train (third car from end). New York meet up between 12:30 and 1:00 pm at Clocktower Gallery.
SIGN UP TODAY by emailing Sandrine@franklinstreetworks.org!
There are 55 Honey Locust trees growing in New York City’s Zuccotti Park, the central locale of the 2011 Occupy Walls Street protests. Artist David Horvitz collected the seeds from those trees in 2012 and is now germinating them at New York’s Clocktower Gallery. On Saturday, May 4, after his Clocktower artist residency ends, Horvitz will lead 55 people in carrying the seedlings (one plant per person). The group (consisting of CT and NY participants) will take a Metro North train to Franklin Street Works, which is 40 minutes outside of NYC in Stamford, Connecticut. The plants will continue to germinate at Franklin Street Works through June 16.
For this collaborative performance, Franklin Street Works and David Horvitz are enlisting participants to help carry the trees from Clocktower Gallery to Connecticut, stopping off at nearby Zuccotti Park in route. Horvitz sees one person carrying one plant as a poetic component, adding, “I really like the image of someone going across the Atlantic in the 17th, 18th, 19th century, in a boat, carrying a small apple branch, or rose cutting, ready to plant it in America.”
In germinating the Honey Locust trees, David Horvitz also considers the temporality of trees explaining, “The slowness of their pace is not subject to the world of the instantaneous and the immediate that we live in.” These trees can live up to 150 years and will continue to germinate at Franklin Street Works during the Strange Invitation exhibition. In June, Horvitz and Franklin Street Works will find permanent homes for the trees, ideally at public institutions such as museums, libraries, and college campuses.
We still need participants! So Franklin Street Works hopes that you can join us in taking part in this collaborative performance and to bear witness to the relocation of these Honey Locust trees. Connecticut participants will meet up at Franklin Street Works at 10:30 am, while those living in NYC will meet up at 12:30 am at the Clocktower Gallery. To sign up and be a part of the performance please email your RSVP to Sandrine@franklinstreetworks.org. For information on FSW support and options in purchasing Metro North tickets, please email email@example.com.
ABOUT DAVID HORVITZ: David Horvitz is an artist from California who is currently based in Brooklyn. He works in a variety of media, including photography, video, web-based work, publications, and watercolor.
Join Franklin Street Works at the Stamford Innovation Center on Thursday, May 23, from 6:00 – 7:30 pm for “Art in the New City,” a talk by Brooklyn-based journalist, reporter and founder of the Flint Public Art Project, Stephen Zacks. Currently, Zacks is writing A Beautiful Ruin: The Generation that Transformed New York: 1967 – 1986. He will share his insights informed by a unique combination of historical research and hands-on experience to indicate how practices of public art and design can be put at the service of contemporary city-making. With Connecticut’s recent emphasis on ideas of “placemaking,” this is a highly anticipated conversation that will contribute to the regional dialogue about how contemporary art can invigorate towns and cities.
The talk will take place at the Stamford Innovation Center, located at the Old Town Hall, which is a new entrepreneurial hub in Stamford striving to create community-driven space and encouraging the free exchange of ideas and resources for start-up businesses. The perfect backdrop for Stephen Zacks’ talk on innovative urban art practices, the Stamford Innovation Center will join Franklin Street Works in hosting this free, public event.
As the Director of the Flint Public Art Project (FPAF), Stephen Zacks was one of three collaborators invited to participate in Franklin Street Works’ current exhibition, Strange Invitation (April 6 – June 16). This original Franklin Street Works show examines some of the relationships between art and activism that are happening around the country today. Zacks invited the emerging Flint artist collective Flower Tour to collaborate with him for the exhibition. Flower Tour blends fashion, performance, video and installation to bring color and excitement into public spaces. Their project is an extension of the FPAF’s mission, which, according to Zacks “draws on multiple artistic disciplines in an effort to transform the city’s image and identity, activate disused sites, connect places, and amplify the local culture.”
ABOUT STEPHEN ZACKS:
Flint Public Art Project founder and executive director Stephen Zacks is an internationally recognized architecture and urbanism reporter, theorist, and
1cultural producer based in Greenpoint, Brooklyn and a native of Flint, Michigan. He received an M.A. in Liberal Studies from the New School for Social Research, served as an editor of Metropolis, and has received awards from the NY State Council on the Arts, Newtown Creek Fund, Graham Foundation, ArtPlace, MacDowell Colony, and the Warhol Foundation. Co-founder of the Bring to Light– Nuit Blanche New York festival, he is currently writing A Beautiful Ruin: The Generation that Transformed New York, 1967-1986, a nonfiction narrative about the role of contemporary artists in reinvigorating New York neighborhoods during the mid-70s fiscal crisis (Princeton Architectural Press, 2014).
ABOUT THE STAMFORD INNOVATION CENTER:
Featuring coworking, dedicated offices, conference facilities and a comprehensive slate of startup-centric classes and events, the Stamford Innovation Center, which opened in November 2012, is the ideal place for young enterprises to grow and interact with peers, mentors, investors, industry experts and service providers. For information on how to join our community, please visit www.stamfordicenter.com.
Thursday, May 30 from 6:30 – 8:00 pm, Franklin Street Works will host An Incomplete Portrait of the Reanimation Library. This free, public event features Reanimation Library founder, Andrew Beccone, performing a set of short readings made up entirely of excerpts from the library’s holdings. The readings are paired with projected images from Reanimation Library’s image archive. Sequenced, unmediated fragments of found text and an accompanying stream of decontextualized images will provide a personalized, fractured, and incomplete portrait of the wide-ranging attitudes, ideologies, and visual systems contained within the collection. The event is in the casual, intimate environment of Franklin Street Works’ upstairs gallery.
Beccone’s performance is one of eight exhibition programs Franklin Street Works organized for the art space’s current group exhibition Strange Invitation, which includes a Reanimation Library branch featuring dozens of locally sourced books and artworks by Brooklyn based artist Pradeep Dalal. The performance takes place in the Reanimation Library FSW branch and lends a first- hand, experiential perspective on the library’s role as a generative source for making new artworks from the collection.
According to Beccone, these performances provide a platform to focus on texts found in the library’s collection, explaining, “I started doing readings from texts found in the library because I’ve become increasingly interested in and engaged with the language in the collection. A lot of the information in the library is very dry, and unlikely to have ever been read aloud. Most of it was not intended to be, but I have started unearthing small fragments – from a sentence to a few paragraphs – that strike me as particularly unusual. The Incomplete Portrait is a kind of way to let the library speak for itself.”
For more on Reanimation Library http://www.reanimationlibrary.org/
Are you a book lover and enjoy making your own unique publications? Then join Franklin Street Works and artist Emily Larned for a free, public bookbinding workshop on Thursday, June 13th from 5:30 – 7:00 pm where you will learn simple, non-adhesive book structures that are easily made without special materials or tools. These basic handmade books can be made as editions or unique works of art. This event is part of Strange Invitation programming and inspired by Franklin Street Works’ Reanimation Library branch, which features a physical collection of books that have fallen out of routine circulation.
“Marshall McLuhan said that when a technology becomes obsolete, it becomes an art form,” Larned says. “And that’s what we’re seeing with the book as it becomes supplanted by digital storage and search technologies.” So what else are books good for? Franklin Street Works’ Reanimation Library branch addresses some of these issues by making explicit what isn’t being digitized. In what is meant to inspire the production of new creative work, you will find books with a variety of illustration styles and printing techniques that have disappeared in most digital content due to the fact that photographs are now cheaper and quicker to make than illustrations.
Although the handmade book no longer serves its responsibility of recording the knowledge of humanity, it retains other qualities is has always had: a book is portable and requires no batteries or power, and a photocopied edition can be made inexpensively and distributed in public space anonymously. A book is finished in a moment in time, and is a great vehicle for aesthetic exploration, sharing of ideas, storytelling, and good old self-expression. “And maybe there’s also something to the fact that there will never be an untold number of other people accessing it at the same time,” Larned says. “It is limited and finite and physically inhabits the world – just like us.”
ABOUT EMILY LARNED:
Emily Larned has been self-publishing for 20 years, when she made her first zine Muffin Bones as a teenager in 1993. Since then, her artist publications have been collected by major institutions around the world including the V&A, the Tate Modern, The Smithsonian Institution, The J. Paul Getty Museum, and the Brooklyn Museum. She was a director of Brooklyn Artists Alliance for nearly a decade and co-established its education department. She also has taught basic bookbinding at every level from after-school programs through graduate workshops, including at Pacific Northwest College of Art (PNCA), University of Pennsylvania MFA program, and the Independent Publishing Resource Center (IPRC). Current work includes: Impractical Labor, an international member-organization-as-art-project for like-minded makers; Pleasure Beach Lives, a public park reclamation project in Bridgeport; and Land of Steady Habits, a zine/book series documenting progressive living in Connecticut. She’s currently Chair of Graphic design at SASD, University of Bridgeport.
“Excess” performance by Brooke Singer and Ricardo Miranda will take place
Saturday, June 15 from 3-6pm in Stamford Downtown. The performance will be followed by a Picnic from 6-8pm at Franklin Street Works.
Artists Ricardo Miranda and Brooke Singer will conduct a survey of restaurants in downtown Stamford to learn more about the food waste landscape. This information will be mapped and will be displayed along with their composting bicycle in a downtown storefront window. During Stamford’s art walk on June 15, the artist team will cycle around downtown Stamford on the bicycle, collecting waste from businesses, redistributing edible portions at a free public picnic at Franklin Street Works, and composting the remainder. For more on the Excess project visit http://www.excessnyc.org. This programming will be happening during Stamford’s first art walk!
As We Perform It is a two-week, group exhibition at Franklin Street Works that brings together emerging and mid-career artists who use performance, painting, video, photography, and social practice to expand on the rich, ever-evolving role of contemporary art as a tool for exploring self-representation. This exhibition is the first by emerging curator and Franklin Street Works’ staff member Sandrine Milet. It is on view from June 22 – July 7, 2013, with a free, public reception on Saturday, June 22, from 5:00 – 8:00 pm. Exhibiting artists include Lisa Fagan, Christina Sukhgian Houle, Kristin Lucas, Erica Magrey, Peter Bonde Becker Nelson, Dani Padgett, Bastienne Schmidt, Devan Shimoyama, and Thuan Vu.
For many decades, especially during the “identity politics” era of the 1980s and 1990s, artists have investigated the self in relation to society, oftentimes reclaiming their identity or critiquing related politics and stereotypes. Yet how are current approaches of expressing identity affected by new modes of communication? “Today, there are so many platforms to express and communicate ourselves,” explains Sandrine Milet, “that it becomes a constant search and desire to define ourselves to others. This need and the accompanying confusion many of my peers talk about peaked my interest in how artists deal with these issues.”
These themes in As We Perform It are expressed in a variety of ways. Artists such as Peter Bonde Becker Nelson, Bastienne Schmidt and Devan Shimoyama create narratives that blend autobiography with the imagined, while also investigating the self’s ability to change and transform. Lisa Fagan, Christina Sukhgian Houle, Erica Magrey and Dani Padgett focus on the body and mind in relation to our physical and social environments, oftentimes foregrounding performance. Paying close attention to the political environment of the 21st century and its impact on identity, Kristin Lucas and Thuan Vu draw connections between their personal identities and the larger construct of the hyper-mediated world, bringing an understanding of the new and existing shared platforms.
As We Perform It features works made by artists who spent their formative years in the 21st century’s hyper-connected world where physical and digital lives collide. Focusing on the “multi-place-ness and multi-space-ness” of our society, as described by exhibiting artist Erica Magrey, the show, among other things, asks how the prevalence of expressing identity through immediate visual cues has affected contemporary art practices. Many of the works in As We Perform It map out experiences or narratives through performative self-representations in an attempt to answer the “where and how am I” inquiry, propagated by our sharing-obsessed society.
Franklin Street Works is proud to present Kool-Aid Wino, a group exhibition curated by Brooklyn-based writer and critic Claire Barliant. The exhibition explores the foregrounding of mistakes and missteps in contemporary art practices and features works by Anne Carson, Choi Dachal, Frank Heath, Owen Land, Rotem Linial, James Merrill, Alice Miceli, Jenny Perlin, Aki Sasamoto, as well as an ikat-dyed silk suzani from the Middle East made in the early twenties. It is on view at Franklin Street Works from July 20 – September 22 with a free, public reception on July 20 from 5:00 – 8:00 pm.
The show starts with the widely accepted premise that artistic process relies on trial and error. You try something, you mess up, you move on. But what if you stay with that mistake, or that troubling passage, and make it the focus? What if you let it be awkward, an irritant, wiggle it like a loose tooth or pick at it like a scab that never quite heals? What if, instead of being one (quickly deleted) step toward success or resolution, the error becomes the climax and the denouement—an end point in itself, or even a goal? Hence the title Kool-Aid Wino, which comes from Trout Fishing in America by poet and author Richard Brautigan, who deliberately fudged words while writing in order to invent new ways of saying things.
The artists in Kool-Aid Wino poke and prod at systems—be they technological, linguistic, musical, or administrative—until they find or create a chink or flaw that sheds light on the whole. Jenny Perlin’s three-channel video projection, Sight Reading, presents three different pianists on each screen, each struggling to play a composition they are seeing for the first time. Choi Dachal’s photographs feature dress shirts that have been pressed, cleaned, and folded. Yet on close inspection they prove to be two different shirts with slightly varying patterns that have been buttoned together and folded to look like a single shirt. Owen Land, Rotem Linial, and Alice Miceli take a reflexive approach to film and photography, revealing and reveling in glitches and mechanical failures. Frank Heath and Aki Sasamoto disassemble objects to point out ruptures in systems such as urbanism and history that, while abstract, are often deemed airtight and error-proof.
Errors, as Freud demonstrated in his writings on parapraxis (slips of the tongue), often tip others off to our secret aversions or buried desires, which we strenuously try to conceal. By highlighting or even celebrating errors, the art works in Kool-Aid Wino redeem flaws, accentuate their value, and open up myriad new possibilities. The last line of the pseudonymous chapter in Brautigan’s book reads: “He created his own Kool-Aid reality and was able to illuminate himself by it.” In a sense, each of the artists in this show creates his or her own Kool-Aid reality. Cumulatively the works remind us that uniqueness relies on flaws and our imaginative negotiation in, around, and through them. It is also worth noting that Trout Fishing in America famously ends with the word “mayonaise,” a typo that may not have been intentional, but made it into the final draft.
About the curator: Claire Barliant has lived in New York City for the past fifteen years, except for seven months when she lived in Houston in 2004-05. Her various jobs during that time have included stamping words on rubber bands (when she worked for an artist who sold soaps, perfumes, and rubber bands with words stamped on them in upscale shops like Barney’s and Moss), fact-checking for the Village Voice, packing up props for a Wes Anderson film, and numerous editorial gigs at art magazines. Today she writes, edits, teaches, and curates.
Franklin Street Works will screen Aki Sasamoto’s performance, It’s hard to relate to you, (indoor version), followed by a Q & A with the artist via Skype ,Thursday, August 29 from 6:00 – 8:00 pm. Following the 20 minute screening, we will Skype with Sasamoto and open it up to an informal discussion where the artist will discuss how her performance was part of the process in creating the sculpture for Kool-Aid Wino. This free, public event promises to shed light on performance as a tool for making objects and its larger role in museums and galleries.
When entering Franklin Street Works, viewers are greeted with a top-heavy sculpture Aki Sasamoto created during the opening reception. Domestic furnishings combined and augmented with a mix of text, tape, and concrete are at once precarious and intimidating, elegant and chaotic. For the opening reception of Kool-Aid Wino, Aki Sasamoto’s performance involved doing a “slow dance” with a large desk, accompanied by Bobby Hebb’s song “Sunny.” The artist also spoke about the “disease” of artists and the relationship between strategic and charismatic personalities, using Martha Stewart as an example of the latter. Sasamoto’s magic marker text on wood and etched words in concrete imbed the installation with cryptic messages from artist to viewer, hinting at the ideas and impulses behind its creation.
Kool-Aid Wino is an exhibition that explores the foregrounding of mistakes and missteps in contemporary art practices and features works by Anne Carson, Choi Dachal, Frank Heath, Owen Land, Rotem Linial, James Merrill, Alice Miceli, Jenny Perlin, and Aki Sasamoto, as well as an ikat silk suzani textile made in the early twenties. By highlighting or even celebrating errors, the art in this show redeem flaws, accentuate their value, and open up myriad new possibilities. Barliant explains, “Cumulatively the works reminds us that uniqueness relies on flaws and our imaginative negotiation in, around, and through them.” The title of the show comes from a chapter in the book Trout Fishing in America by Richard Brautigan, who deliberately fudges words while writing in order to invent new ways of saying things. Kool-Aid Wino is on view through September 22, 2013.
ABOUT AKI SASAMOTO:
Aki Sasamoto is a New York-based, Japanese artist, who works in performance, sculpture, dance, and whatever more medium that takes to get her ideas across. Her works have been shown both in performing art and visual art venues in New York and abroad. Besides her own works, she has collaborated with artists in visual arts, music, and dance, and she plays multiple roles of dancer, sculptor, or director. Sasamoto co-founded Culture Push, a non-profit arts organization, in which diverse professionals meet through artist-led projects and cross-disciplinary symposia.
Sasamoto’s performance/installation works revolve around everyday gestures on nothing and everything. Her installations are careful arrangements of sculpturally altered found objects, and the decisive gestures in her improvisational performances create feedback, responding to sound, objects, and moving bodies. The constructed stories seem personal at first, yet oddly open to variant degrees of access, relation, and reflection. (http://www.akisasamoto.com)
Can’t make it to the screening? You can view the video of her performance HERE.
Franklin Street Works will present Buster Keaton’s critically acclaimed classic The General (1926), at 7:00 pm on September 5th. It was chosen by Erin Shea, a Stamford, Connecticut, resident and the curator of Darien Library’s film series, “Friday Night Features.” Ripe with foregrounded mistakes, the film will provide silent movie slapstick through brilliant physical humor. It’s no small feat to make a pie-in-the-face funny, but the physical humor replete in classic silent films still holds up today. In one of the most famous chase scenes in film history, pretty much everything goes wrong and it is a delight watching Keaton try to make up for it.
The movie is part of a series of three outdoor film screenings on Franklin Street Works’ back patio during the month of September! As summer comes to a close and days become shorter, what could be better than cozying up outside and enjoying free outdoor films right in downtown Stamford? Thursday night screenings will take place on September 5th, 12th, and 19th from 7:00 – 9:00 pm. The film choices are inspired by Franklin Street Works’ current exhibition, Kool-Aid Wino, which foregrounds mistakes and missteps in contemporary art. A film expert will curate each screening for these casual, social events, which also promise to bring various perspectives and create new connections to the exhibition. These free, public events will include special cocktails inspired by each film and snacks such as popcorn and hotdogs for an all-American movie experience.
Kool-Aid Wino is an exhibition that explores the foregrounding of mistakes and missteps in contemporary art practices and features works by Anne Carson, Choi Dachal, Frank Heath, Owen Land, Rotem Linial, James Merrill, Alice Miceli, Jenny Perlin, and Aki Sasamoto, as well as an ikat silk suzani textile made in the early twenties. By highlighting or even celebrating errors, the art in this show redeem flaws, accentuate their value, and open up myriad new possibilities
The New Media program at Purchase College, SUNY and Franklin Street Works, a contemporary art space in Stamford, CT, will present a group exhibition, “Collective Action Archive,” at Purchase College’s The Passage Gallery, beginning September 6. Curated and coordinated by Purchase College faculty and students along with the Franklin Street Works team, the exhibition kicks off the 2013 season at the school’s student gallery. The show features ephemera, documentation, and publications that include photos, videos, zines, and books from more than 30 artist collectives from across the U.S., including Chicago, New York, Pittsburgh, Winston-Salem, and San Francisco.
“Collective Action Archive” will be on view from September 6 – 29, 2013. A reception will take place in the gallery on Wednesday, September 11, from 4:00 – 6:00 pm, followed by a symposium at the Neuberger Museum of Art Study (also on Purchase campus) of Purchase College from 6:00 – 8:00 pm. Both events are free and open to the public. The symposium will include author, artist, and activist Gregory Sholette; along with a member of Working Artists and the Greater Economy (W.A.G.E.); and one of the founding members of the Knifeandfork collective.
The Collective Action archive began in 2012 with Franklin Street Works’ call for materials, which was sent to more than 90 socially engaged artist collectives for the exhibition “Working Alternatives: Breaking Bread, Art Broadcasting and Collective Action” (October 27, 2012 – January 13, 2013). The Collective Action theme was inspired by Gregory Sholette’s writing on the Political Art Documentation/Distribution (PAD/D) archive in his book Dark Matter: Art and Politics in the Age of Enterprise Culture). PAD/D materials— now housed in the MoMA QNS library collection —include a variety of printed items and photographs from socially and politically active collectives working in the 1980s. For the “Working Alternatives” exhibition, the curators considered what a call for materials (similar to art historian Lucy Lippard’s PAD/D call in 1979) would yield. What could these new materials, gathered together, tell us about the strategies and organizational structures of politically active artist collectives more than 30 years later?
For the Purchase College redux, every collective in the archive will be on display simultaneously, with the majority of the items in the Collective Action Archive being featured. In addition to the greater breadth, the exhibition includes new items sent to Franklin Street Works in the last four months. Interpretive labels and a comprehensive gallery handout will augment the materials, contextualizing the work of these socially active artists who tackle topics ranging from fair artist compensation, to environmental responsibility and reproductive rights.
Collectives included in this exhibition are: ABC No Rio, Artists Against Apartheid, Big Tent, Conflict Kitchen, Critical Making, fierce pussy, Floating Lab Collective, Futurefarmers, Guerrilla Girls, Guffey Hollow, Howling Mob Society, Illegal Art, Just Seeds, Kitchen Sink, Knifeandfork, Lucky Pierre, M12 Collective, Meme Rider Media Team, National Bitter Melon Council, Okay Mountain Collective, Paper Tiger TV, Philly Stake, Preemptive Media, Publication Studio, Regional Relationships, Second Front, Students of the African Diaspora, subRosa, Temporary Services, The Pinky Show, W.A.G.E., and Work Progress Collective.
The “Collective Action Archive” exhibition team includes: Purchase College interns Stephen Barakat, Gina Mischianti, Bonnie Moncada, and Diogo Sales; Franklin Street Works staff members Sandrine Milet and Terri C Smith; and Brooke Singer, Associate Professor of New Media in the School of Film & Media Studies at Purchase College.
ABOUT THE SYMPOSIUM PANELISTS
Gregory Sholette: Gregory Sholette is a New York-based artist, writer and founding member of Political Art Documentation/Distribution (1980-1988) and REPOhistory (1989-2000). His most recent exhibition is Collectibles: Models, Action Figures, Objects (8/28-9/4) at Station Independent Projects, NYC, NY, and Imaginary Archive: Graz, Austria (9/21-11/2, 2013). The first chapter of his serial sci-fi graphic novel Double City appears in the Summer issue of Frieze, 201, and his recent books include Dark Matter: Art and Politics in an Age of Enterprise Culture (Pluto Press, 2010) and the co-authored book It’s The Political Economy, Stupid with Oliver Ressler, (Pluto 2013). Sholette is a frequent lecturer and seminar leader in the US and abroad, he teaches at Queens College CUNY where he recently co-founded the Social Practice Queens master’s concentration.
W.A.G.E.: Founded in 2008, Working Artists and the Greater Economy (W.A.G.E.) is a New York-based activist group whose advocacy is currently focused on regulating the payment of artist fees by non-profit art institutions and establishing a sustainable model for best practices between cultural producers and the institutions that contract their labor. Over the past 5 years they have delivered speeches, made videos, held open meetings, teach-ins, coffee klatches and workshops, wage-raging in panel discussions and symposia at museums, galleries, conferences, festivals, schools, summits, and art fairs. In 2010 they launched the W.A.G.E. Survey, which gathered data from visual and performing artists about their experiences with the payment practices of New York City non-profit arts organizations.
Knifeandfork: Brian House is a co-founder of Knifeandfork with Sue Huang. He is a media artist whose work traverses alternative geographies, experimental music, and a critical data practice. By constructing embodied, participatory systems, he seeks to negotiate between algorithms and the rhythms of everyday life. His work has been shown by MoMA (NYC), MOCA (LA), LACE, Ars Electronica, Eyebeam, Rhizome, Conflux Festival, ISEA, and Issue Project Room, among others, and has been featured in publications including WIRED, TIME, The New York Times, SPIN, Metropolis, and on Univision Sports. He is currently a doctoral student at Brown University in the Music and the Modern Culture and Media departments and teaches in the Digital + Media program at RISD.
Franklin Street Works presents a guided tour of the current group exhibition, Kool-Aid Wino, with its curator, Claire Barliant, Saturday, September 7. The event begins at 5:30 and we will extend our hours through 7:00 pm for the tour and casual discussion over a thematic, complimentary cocktail.
A Brooklyn-based writer and curator, Barliant has written about art in publications such as Artforum, Art in America, and the New Yorker. This walkthrough will give visitors a rare opportunity to explore the art in Franklin Street Works’ three galleries with the show’s curator in a casual, conversational setting. Barliant will share her thinking on the exhibition’s theme and its artists. Join us for this free, public event and hear more about the role of trial and error in contemporary art. This event program is made possible, in part, through a two-year grant from the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts.
Kool-Aid Wino is an exhibition that explores the foregrounding of mistakes and missteps in contemporary art practices and features works by Anne Carson, Choi Dachal, Frank Heath, Owen Land, Rotem Linial, James Merrill, Alice Miceli, Jenny Perlin, and Aki Sasamoto, as well as an ikat silk suzani textile made in the early twenties. By highlighting or even celebrating errors, the art works in this show redeem flaws, accentuate their value, and open up myriad new possibilities. Barliant explains, “Cumulatively the works reminds us that uniqueness relies on flaws and our imaginative negotiation in, around, and through them.” The title of the show comes from a chapter in the book Trout Fishing in America by Richard Brautigan, who deliberately fudged words while writing in order to invent new ways of saying things. Kool-Aid Wino is on view through September 29, 2013.
ABOUT CLAIRE BARLIANT:
Claire Barliant has lived in New York City for the past fifteen years, except for seven months when she lived in Houston around 2004-05. Her various jobs during that time have included stamping words on rubber bands (when she worked for an artist who sold soaps, perfumes, and rubber bands with words stamped on them in upscale shops like Barney’s and Moss), fact-checking for the Village Voice, packing up props for a Wes Anderson film, and numerous editorial gigs at art magazines. Today she writes, edits, teaches, and curates.
A reception for the exhibition “Collective Action Archive” will take place at Purchase College’s Passage Gallery gallery on Wednesday, September 11, from 4:00 – 6:00 pm, followed by a symposium at the Neuberger Museum of Art Study (also on Purchase campus) of Purchase College from 6:00 – 8:00 pm. Both events are free and open to the public. The symposium will include author, artist, and activist Gregory Sholette; along with Lise Soskolne from Working Artists and the Greater Economy (W.A.G.E.); and Brian House of the Knifeandfork collective.
The New Media program at Purchase College, SUNY and Franklin Street Works, a contemporary art space in Stamford, CT, organized this group exhibition, which is on view at Purchase College’s The Passage Gallery, beginning September 6. Curated and coordinated by Purchase College faculty and students along with the Franklin Street Works team, the exhibition kicks off the 2013 season at the school’s student gallery. The show features ephemera, documentation, and publications that include photos, videos, zines, and books from more than 30 artist collectives from across the U.S., including Chicago, New York, Pittsburgh, Winston-Salem, and San Francisco. “Collective Action Archive” will be on view from September 6 – 29, 2013.
Kool-Aid Wino exhibiting artist, Rotem Linial, will curate the second screening of Franklin Street Works outdoor film series on Thursday, September 12th. That evening will feature the 1997 Czech film, Buttoners, directed by Petr Zelenka.
Franklin Street Works is pleased to announce a series of three outdoor film screenings on its back patio during the month of September! As summer comes to a close and days become shorter, what could be better than cozying up outside and enjoying free outdoor films right in downtown Stamford? Thursday night screenings will take place on September 5th, 12th, and 19th from 7:00 – 9:00 pm. The film choices are inspired by Franklin Street Works’ current exhibition, Kool-Aid Wino, which foregrounds mistakes and missteps in contemporary art. A film expert will curate each screening for these casual, social events, which also promise to bring various perspectives and create new connections to the exhibition. These free, public events will include special cocktails inspired by each film and snacks such as popcorn and hotdogs for an all-American movie experience.
Kool-Aid Wino is an exhibition that explores the foregrounding of mistakes and missteps in contemporary art practices and features works by Anne Carson, Choi Dachal, Frank Heath, Owen Land, Rotem Linial, James Merrill, Alice Miceli, Jenny Perlin, and Aki Sasamoto, as well as an ikat silk suzani textile made in the early twenties. By highlighting or even celebrating errors, the art in this show redeem flaws, accentuate their value, and open up myriad new possibilities.
From October 6 – 20, 2013, Franklin Street Works presents documentation of our programs and exhibitions in the form of zines, gallery handouts, slideshows and videos from the last two years.
This two-week show celebrates our accomplishments and highlights the 160 artists, curators and cultural producers with whom we have collaborated since opening on September 22, 2011. This overview is a perfect opportunity to introduce friends and family to Franklin Street Works! As you stroll through the galleries, you stroll through time, starting with the inaugural exhibition, Fernando, and ending with Kool-Aid Wino. The exhibition also includes reception photos, audio works by local poets, and a lecture on food and art.
Missed the party? ArtShop! is now online HERE with items from $5 – $150.
ArtShop! The Show is an exhibition on view from November 2 – December 1. During this time we will turn the galleries into a shop featuring new and existing multiples by artists we’ve worked with in our first two years. This show will form the backdrop, and provide an added funding stream, for our first fundraiser, which will take place on Saturday, November 23 from 5:00 – 8:00 pm.
Items will include zines, videos, calendars, glasses, buttons, artists books and more! They will be available at sale prices from $3.00 and up, giving everyone a chance to take something home. Works will only be for sale at the November 23 party. Participating Artists: Michael Asbill, Trisha Baga, Francis Cape, Holly Danger, Christopher DeLaurenti, Simon Draper, Matt Ducklo, Stuart Elster, Lindsey Eskind, Kent Evans, Bethany Fancher, Flint Public Art Project, Flower Tour, T Foley, Marley Freeman, Ben Goddard, Ilana Halperin, Veronica Hryn, Jared Haug, Rachel Higgins, Ann Hirsch, Dana Hoey, David Horvitz, Tehching Hsieh, Hudson Valley Seed Library,
Jessica Jackson Hutchins, Renee Kahn, Tara Kelton, Karsten Krejcarek and Seth Kelly, Emily Larned, Mads Lynnerup, NPeaches, Jeff Ostergren, Andrea Reynosa, Emily Roz and Carmelle Safdie, Joshua Seidner, Trevor Shimzu, Brooke Singer and Ricardo Miranda, Gordon Skinner, Stephen Sollins, Rbt. Sps., Second Front, Brent Stewart, Penelope Umbrico, Siebren Versteeg, Linda Weintraub, Grant Worth, Helen Zajowski, Dzmitry Zhykh.
In celebration of our two-year anniversary, Franklin Street Works is hosting its first fundraiser party on Saturday, November 23 from 5:00 – 8:00 pm! Buy tickets HERE!
The fundraiser will highlight the collaborations in contemporary art, urban planning, publishing, new media and other fields that have made the space a leading cultural destination in the region. The accompanying exhibition (Nov. 2 – Dec. 1) will be a pop-up shop featuring portable multiples made by artists who exhibited here in our first two years.
Items will include zines, videos, calendars, glasses, buttons, artists books and more! They will be available at sale prices from $3.00 and up, giving everyone a chance to take something home. Works will only be for sale at the November 23 party. Participating Artists: Michael Asbill, Trisha Baga, Francis Cape, Holly Danger, Choi Dachal and Jennyfer Haddad, Christopher DeLaurenti, Simon Draper, Matt Ducklo, Stuart Elster, Lindsey Eskind, Kent Evans, Bethany Fancher, Flint Public Art Project, Flower Tour, T Foley, Marley Freeman, Ben Goddard, Ilana Halperin, Veronica Hryn, Jared Haug, Rachel Higgins, Ann Hirsch, Dana Hoey, David Horvitz, Tehching Hsieh, Hudson Valley Seed Library, Jessica Jackson Hutchins, Renee Kahn, Tara Kelton, Karsten Krejcarek and Seth Kelly, Emily Larned, Mads Lynnerup, NPeaches, Jeff Ostergren, Andrea Reynosa, Emily Roz and Carmelle Safdie, Joshua Seidner, Trevor Shimzu, Brooke Singer and Ricardo Miranda, Gordon Skinner, Stephen Sollins, Rbt. Sps., Second Front, Brent Stewart, Penelope Umbrico, Siebren Versteeg, Linda Weintraub, Grant Worth, Helen Zajowski, Dzmitry Zhykh.
We would like to thanks our lead sponsor, Seaboard Properties and our in-kind sponsors to date: Half Full Brewery and cafe oo la la.
General admission: $35.00
Show your general admission ticket at Franklin Street Works at any time for a discounted membership. Tickets will also be available at the door the night of the event.
ARCHIVE LINKS: Gallery Handout / Juliana Huxtable Reading / Installation Photographs / Stamford Advocate article on Ingrid Burrington’s “Center for Missed Connections” / “Kaye Cain-Nielsen and Carolyn Lazard, “Health is Happiness,” 2013, PDF of ZINE
Franklin Street Works presents Neuromast: Certain Uncertainty and Contemporary Art. The group exhibition explores “emergence,” the theory that says unforeseeable results happen when a system reaches a certain level of complexity. The show’s title is inspired by a very specific emergent phenomenon, “neuromast,” which is the sensory organ that allows fish to effectively behave in unison against the threat of predators. Neuromast features sculpture, videos, text-based works, photographs and more by contemporary artists, writers and theorists interested in theories of emergence. Exhibiting artists are: Kari Altmann, Christian Bök and Micah Lexier, Ingrid Burrington, Kaye Cain-Nielsen, Mircea Cantor, hint.fm, David Horvitz, Brian House and Jason Rabie, Juliana Huxtable, Thilde Jensen, Carolyn Lazard, M. M. Mantua, Preemptive Media, Robert Spahr, Elizabeth Stephens and Annie Sprinkle’s Sexecology collaboration, and The Waterwhispers Ilse.
The exhibition is curated by Taliesin Gilkes-Bower and Terri C Smith and is on view from December 12, 2013 through February 23, 2014. It will open with a free, public reception on Thursday December 12 from 5:00 – 8:00 pm. The exhibition is sponsored, in part, by the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts.
Emergence often includes situations where a series of small actions can yield unexpected or unintentional outcomes. Sociologist R. Keith Sawyer adds in a 2001 paper on emergence and sociology, “Canonical examples of emergence include traffic jams, the colonies of social insects, and bird flocks. For example the V shape of the bird flock does not result from one bird being selected as a leader. Instead, each bird’s behavior is based on its position relative to nearby birds. The V shape is not planned or centrally determined; it emerges out of simple pair-interaction rules.”
With Neuromast: Certain Uncertainty and Contemporary Art, several shared themes arose among the thirty-one works, including: how culture and gender contribute to constructing identity; the dynamic between an individual’s health and the medical industry, commerce, or the natural environment; and the collection and distribution of digital information as it relates to business, personal security, and persona.
A primary inspiration of the show was a series of photographs by Thilde Jensen called The Canaries, which served as an inspiration for the exhibition. Her photographs document the lives of individuals living with heightened levels of sensitivity to the toxic chemicals and powerful electromagnetic radiation found in modern, built environments. Preemptive Media’s Air project also explores emergence and the environment through the collective work of Beatriz da Costa, Jamie Schulte and Brooke Singer. Their portable air quality measurement kits demand reflection on the proliferation of smart phones and pocket computers that do little beyond promise increased entertainment and productivity. Mircea Cantor’s video Deeparture juxtaposes predator and prey by placing a wolf and a deer in a typical white cube gallery space. The artist calls into question traditional narratives of danger and the inevitability of death while he simultaneously hijacks the gallery by excluding art objects and audience. With Elizabeth Stephens and Annie Sprinkle’s Sexecology project, the artists approach nature very differently, creating performative weddings that link the concept of a couple’s love to our love of the planet via inclusive, largely unscripted community events.
Neuromast also approaches personal identity as a microcosm of larger complex systems. Juliana Huxtable’s portrait series Seven Archetypes explores her process of gender transitioning through cultural expectations of performance. M. M. Mantua’s sculptures ask viewers direct questions that hint at the unequal distribution of privacy between viewer and artist while creating cognitive engagement through language. Brian House and Jason Rabie’s Facebook Portraits present identity through algorithm and data, attempting to humanize the ways in which social networks identify and classify their users. Kari Altman’s site-specific iteration of her Smart Mobility/Invisible Protection series calls into question abstract ideals of security as they relate to identity in finance and branding.
Moving out in scale to broader social phenomena, lngrid Burrington’s Center for Missed Connections identifies configurations of socially and sexually disconnected people in New York City through the missed connections section of Craigslist. David Horvitz also tried to change collectively authored online information through his zine documenting the artist’s attempted removal of himself from the group-edited encyclopedia site Wikipedia. Another text-based work that involves collaboration and an unpredictable outcome is Two Equal Texts by Christian Bök and Micah Lexier. The large vinyl wall work is an elaborate anagram that consists of two texts placed on either side of a freestanding wall. One side features Lexier’s descriptive text, which outlines the terms of the collaboration; the other side hosts Christian Bök’s elegantly resolved anagram of Lexier’s original text. Kaye Cain-Nielsen’s installation Miranda further explores the social consequences of shared responsibility in relationship to her own experience as a potential paid egg donor to an infertile couple.
Using contemporary art as its starting point, the artists in Neuromast investigate complex systems within social, environmental, and personal fields. The exhibition shows ways in which collective small-scale actions can prevail against seemingly insurmountable odds. Writer and activist Adrienne Marie Brown adds, “Rather than laying out big strategic plans for our work, many of us have been coming together in community, in authentic relationships, and seeing what emerges from our conversations, visions and needs. We can define emergent strategy as intentional, strong because it is decentralized, adaptive, interdependent, and creating more possibilities.” The artists in Neuromast: Certain Uncertainty and Contemporary Art join in an interdisciplinary conversation on emergence via the adaptive and generate approach Brown sites, giving us insights into the often invisible, yet shared, complex systems that pervade our everyday lives.