In Light of Recent Events
An exhibition of necessary research
during Art Basel, Miami Beach
Curated by SPECTREVISION
Wynwood Arts District, December 2-5, 2010
Lions Gallery @ Museovault
346 NW 29th Street, Miami, FL 33127
Showcasing contemporary work inspired by current events. In navigating the borderlands of investigative practice, spectre long ago abandoned the catalogue notion of “genre”; as such spectrevision humbly presents studio art work juxtaposed interchangeably with experiments and efforts that defy current modes of categorization, displayed alongside research materials and other relevant findings.
Jeremy Dean, Jonathon Keats, Abigail Portner, Oliver Laric, Judi Werthein, Julieta Aranda, Michael Mandiberg, Iris Lasn, Nellie Appleby, Mike Ross, hacker Dan Kaminsky, authors Stephen Mihm (“Nation of Counterfeiters”), Howard Bloom (“Lucifer Principle”), Robert Eisenberg (“Boychicks in the Hood”), & Zachary Mexico (“China Underground”), Philip Tinari (founding editor artforum.com.cn & LEAP), photographers Cheryl Dunn, Tod Seelie, Jamel Toppin, Janine Gordon, Stacy Kranitz, Olivia Wyatt, & Julia Solis, Miami firefighter Myles Kaplan, holographer Mark Diamond, psychic economist Eva Destruction, artist/activist Ben Sisto, ‘missed connections’ curator Gillian Sneed, consumer advocate Dewey LLC, and others.
Terracycle upcycles consumer waste into new salable goods. They primarily harvest their raw material from schoolchildren as part of charity drives, though they are now placing recycling stations at certain Walmart stores. At the Walmart centers they pay 3 cents per piece, but only for a narrow range of product packaging; the website supports a wider range of recyclables.
The spirit of the project is wonderful, but the problem is that it creates zombie advertising and branding for these undead consumer objects. Which is actually not all that surprising, as the Walmart program is sponsored by the very brands whose packaging are featured in the upcycled goods.
Now you can send your children to school with Capri Sun drinks, Lunchables, and Oreos in their Capri Sun lunchbox, and feel really good about returning the packages to Walmart, where you can buy more of the same processed food to send your child to school with. Capri Sun, Lunchables, Oreos, et al certainly feel really good about the branding opportunity, as do the big box retailers who are are partnered in the program as well.
Despite my cynicism about sponsorship and branding, the program is pretty incredible in the interpersonal organization that it has created, and the logistical barriers that it has overcome. The mechanism that it has put in place can hopefully be used to produce tools or goods whose central purpose is not advertising and branding. It seems that some of the products they are making either come from unbranded raw materials like film strips and bike chains, or they are using the plain inside surface of the packaging. These are more like Freitag bags. Not only are this last group of upcycled goods unbranded, they are actually much nicer looking and much more likely to be actually used.
An exhibition curated by Magdalena Sawon
10.11.2010 – 26.12.2010
Kenneth Tin-Kin Hung
Eva and Franco Mattes (aka 0100101110101101.org)
The Yes Men
Art has always been a transformative reflection of reality and a moment in time. It is 2010. The screen is the window and the web is the tool to experience and engage in the world. Google, Wikipedia, Facebook, Twitter, Chatroulette, YouTube, Second Life and ebay are not virtual, they are real.
“the future is not what it used to be” brings together artists engaged in the Internet shaped culture. Through photographs, sculpture, video, and online projects they explore new tenets of social interaction in a networked world.
Where Do We Come From? What Are We? Where Are We Going? – the grand troika of Paul Gauguin’s questions about existential doubt and one’s consciousness is always relevant, but this very moment, loaded with radical changes taking place, also calls for specific inquiries: How do new communication tools and smart technologies affect cultural and sociopolitical realm? What happens to contemplation in the times of speed? What are sustainable strategies for contemporary life? How does one navigate between connectivity and dis-connect, instantaneity and rapid obsolescence, and digital/analog divide. How does the Internet – the largest image depository and the largest data base ever – affects new forms of appropriation, means of production and delivery, and modes of political engagement?
The future may only bring more questions. Einstein said “I never think of the future. It comes soon enough” This may be true, but – back to Gauguin – who we are and what we do today shapes our tomorrows.
*The title of this show is a quote from Paul Valery (1871-1945)