Generator Projects show

August 2014

The New York Times Special Edition will show at Generator Projects in Scotland.

Opens 5th September 6th to 28th September, Thurs-Sun

Generator Projects
25/26 Mid Wynd
Dundee, Scotland

Curators: James S Lee & Daniel Bruton with Holly Keasey


On The Cover of Chronogram Magazine

August 2014

My work is on the cover of the August issue of Chronogram – a Hudson Valley, NY based art and culture magazine.

On The Cover: Steve Lambert

By Iana Robitaille

read the article here

Steve Lambert On The Cover of Chronogram Magazine photo

Sand Ocean Sky – The Commons

If there’s one thing Steve Lambert learned as an undercover security agent at Stanford University’s bookstore, it’s that anyone—a history professor, a freshman’s dad on Parents Weekend, an ex-felon—can try to steal a pen. After each incident, he would sit down with the offender and discuss the attempted theft often born of some psychological conflict, according to Lambert. The meetings tended to end constructively: “Maybe today can be a turning point,” he would suggest.

Lambert retired his badge years ago, but conversation remains at the core of his work. The artist/activist creates public pieces that ask viewers to consider their value systems as consumers. Advertising is a frequent subject. “I consider myself ‘media-agnostic,’” he says. “I use whatever material will work best for me.” For Lambert, this is signage; he critiques advertising using its own methods. Sand Ocean Sky—The Commons is one of a series of arrow signs Lambert fashioned and photographed around Los Angeles. The signs are witty—one reads “No Trespassing” outside of a gated home, another “You are Still Alive” beside a large cemetery—and consider how we perceive and value public space. Lambert also fights advertising with software—his web application Add-Art replaces online advertisements with art.

For Lambert, his work isn’t about feeding a message to his audience. It’s about discussion and exchange. “[In college] I would see art in galleries, stuff that looked fun to make, but not so fun to look at. It was great when I realized that art could be whatever I wanted it to be.” The desire to make art “fun” for both artist and audience has created works that require interactivity. Lambert’s piece Capitalism Works For Me! True/False is a giant traveling scoreboard, with two buttons inviting passersby to agree or disagree. It looks and feels like a game show: bright, colorful, competitive. But Lambert is more interested in stories than scores. He recalls one man who voted false in Times Square: “He was so frustrated with the broad inhumanity of economic inequality that all he could do was cry. For the piece to cause that kind of profound response felt like an incredible achievement far beyond what I ever expected.”

In 2008, Lambert collaborated with the Yes Men on The New York Times Special Edition, distributing 80,000 fake copies of only “best-case scenario” news across the country. “The point,” he says, “wasn’t to make all of those things a reality, but to enjoy walking toward them.” For Lambert, walking is talking. Lambert occasionally sets up a table with a hand-painted sign that promises, “I will talk with anyone about anything. Free!” The mobile table has proven popular; Lambert says discussions have run the gamut, from weather to Native American agricultural techniques. Whatever the subject, the artist wants to walk and talk with you.

Steve Lambert currently teaches in the New Media Program at SUNY Purchase and works from his studio in Beacon. Information on his work and upcoming exhibitions can be found on his site:

video by Stephen Blauweiss


Kickstarter Block Party

April 2014

Steve Lambert Kickstarter Block Party photo

I will have a photograph in the Kickstarter Blockparty art show.

Saturday May 3, 2014 | Noon to 6pm
Kickstarter HQ | 58 Kent St, Brooklyn NY
Rain or shine

Our inaugural art show includes a survey of work by artists who have used Kickstarter for every thing from public artworks, experimental publications, exhibitions, iPhone apps, new institutions, monographs, documentary films and newsprint editions.

Featured artists include: Marina Abramovic Institute, Marshall Arisman, Jeremy Bailey, Amanda Browder, Seth Indigo Carnes, Heather Hart, Steve Lambert, Ligorano Reese, Mary Ellen Mark, Paul Mpagi Sepuya, Mike Perry, Leon Reid IV, Richard Renaldi, Phil Stearns, Swoon, Howard Tangye, Spencer Tunick, Saya Woolfalk


Interview in We Make Money Not Art

March 2014

An interview Stephen Duncombe and I did about the Center for Artistic Activism was published on the site We Make Money Not Art yesterday.

Here’s an excerpt:

For example, we often hear political artists say things like “I’m interested in raising awareness about issues around immigration.” This statement is so vague it could also serve as a mission statement for a Nazi propaganda office. Consciousness raising is only useful as a means directed towards something larger. Not addressing a specific, distant goal is a strategic error. Unfortunately merely political content is often what passes for political art, while it has little political impact. If the artist were to be more ambitious and more specific, “I will create a more accepting culture around immigration through my art work” they’d probably be more successful because they’d have a clearer idea of what they were trying to do.

We Make Money Not Art Read the rest.


DIRGE: Reflections [on Life] and Death in Cleveland, OH

March 2014

I have my photo ‘You Are Still Alive‘ showing in this exhibition at MOCA, Cleveland.

Steve Lambert DIRGE: Reflections [on Life] and Death in Cleveland, OH photo

Dirge: Reflections [on Life] and Death March 7, 2014—June 8, 2014

Organized by Megan Lykins Reich, Director of Programs and Associate Curator
MOCA Cleveland information page:

REGULAR HOURS Tuesday through Sunday: 11am – 5pm
Open late Thursdays until 9pm
Closed Mondays
Check the calendar or call 216.421.8671 for more information

Museum of Contemporary Art Cleveland
11400 Euclid Ave Cleveland
Ohio 44106

Other information:



The School for Creative Activism in Scotland

February 2014

This is a short video about out work around democracy in Scotland last November. It gives an idea of what Stephen Duncombe as the School for Creative Activism. We do about 6-8 of these throughout the year and we’re also currently working on a book.


Art Matters Foundation Grantee

January 2014

Proud to be a grantee of the Art Matters Foundation this year.

Art Matters currently considers applications by invitation only. Each round we select a national group of recognized artists, curators, and other arts leaders to nominate artists to apply. We award grants of $3,000-$10,000 to U.S. artists for projects that are socially engaged with a focus on local, national and/or global concerns. We fund individuals, collectives and collaborative teams working all visual media including experimental performance, and film.

via Grantees — Art Matters Foundation.


Italian version of I Will Talk with Anyone

January 2014

Steve Lambert Italian version of I Will Talk with Anyone photo
A friend passed this on this italian version of a project I started 8 years ago: I Will Talk With Anyone


Activist Art: Does it Work? | open!

December 2013

Stephen Duncombe and I published a column called “Activist Art: Does it Work?” for Open! Magazine.

It begins like this:

Activist Art: Does it Work?

The first rule of guer­illa war­fare is to know the ter­rain and use it to your ad­vant­age. The to­po­graphy on which the act­iv­ist fights may no longer be the moun­tains of the Si­erra Maes­tra or the jungles of Vi­et­nam, but the les­son still ap­plies. Today, the polit­ical land­scape is one of signs and sym­bols, story and spec­tacle. Re­spond­ing to this new ter­rain, there has been an up­surge in the use of cre­at­ive, artistic, and cul­tural strategies as a tool for so­cial change. This prac­tice goes by many names: polit­ical art, act­iv­ist art, in­ter­ven­tion­ist art, so­cially en­gaged art, and so­cial prac­tice art. No mat­ter the de­scrip­tion, artists are using their aes­thetic train­ing and skill to wage battles for so­cial change. Yet as prac­ti­tion­ers and train­ers in these forms of artistic act­iv­ism, we are haunted by the ques­tion: Does it work?

Read the rest: Activist Art: Does it Work? | open!.


For Pakistani Artists, an Exercise in Creative Activism

December 2013

Steve Lambert For Pakistani Artists, an Exercise in Creative Activism photo

Midway through a workshop on creative activism the morning of November 22, a group of Pakistani visual artists visiting NYU got some surprising news: Jay-Z had heard they were in the States, and had requested that they perform with him in a music video, as backup singers.

Stephen Duncombe, the Gallatin associate professor who was leading the workshop with conceptual artist Steve Lambert, produced a blank sheet of paper. “You’ll all need to write down your shirt sizes,” he deadpanned, “so you can be fitted for costumes.”

Lambert squinted at a message on his cell phone as he rattled off some logistics. The shoot was to take place that afternoon. In Maryland. On a boat.

read the rest: For Pakistani Artists, an Exercise in Creative Activism.