Video: Lecture at Grand Valley State University

November 2014

This is the talk I gave at Grand Valley State University. During the Q&A I was first told I was a finalist for Art Prize, so that’s why none of the issues around the funding and giving away the prize are mentioned.

This is what I was thinking about and talking about in September 2014. Topics covered include:

  • Growing up in San Mateo, CA
  • Liberal Education
  • What art is for
  • Jesus of Nazareth vs. Jesus the King
  • Monet’s Haystacks
  • Futurist Theory
  • Some work I made
  • The problem with awe and wonder
  • The problem with explicit persuasion
  • Power

And there are jokes.

Watch it here:


SUNY Purchase Faculty Colloquium

December 2013

On October 30, 2013 Professor Stephen Flusburg and I presented at the [SUNY Purchase]( faculty colloquium. Flusburg is a cognitive psychologist and I knew I would be presenting after him, so I tried to build on some of those ideas. If you’re up for it, you can rewind back to see his presentation.

Stephen Flusberg, Assistant Professor of Psychology “Thinking about Thinking about Thinking”

Steve Lambert, Assistant Professor of New Media “Creative Disruption for the Common Good”

I start at about 41 minutes in.


Keynote at HOMEWORK II: LONG FORMS / SHORT UTOPIAS Conference November 8-10, 2013

November 2013

Announcing HOMEWORK II: LONG FORMS / SHORT UTOPIAS Conference November 8-10, 2013 : Broken City Lab

I’ll be giving a keynote at the Broken City Festival this weekend. Here’s some info from their site:

We’re very pleased to announce Homework II: Long Forms / Short Utopias, a three-day conference and collaboratively-written publication that will aim to unfold the ways in which we construct, articulate, and practice ideas of micro-utopias, pop-up ideals, collaboration, and long-term social engagement in Ontario, across Canada, and abroad.

The conference will build on our previous conference, Homework: Infrastructures & Collaboration in Social Practices, in bringing together multidisciplinary artists and creative practitioners enacting and articulating the complexities of working in practices driven by curiosities about utopian collaboration, community, infrastructures, locality, and long-form social practice. With support from the Ontario Arts Council and Ontario Trillium Foundation, we’re looking to build an event that can frame a discussion on socially-engaged practices that span disciplines, with a particular focus on emerging practitioners.

Homework II will run November 8-10, 2013 in Windsor, Ontario at Art Gallery of Windsor and CIVIC Space.

Our featured keynote speakers this year will be Jeanne van Heeswijk (Rotterdam), Darren O’Donnell (Toronto), and Steve Lambert (New York). In addition to our keynotes, we’ve also invited a series of curatorial partners to develop panels that tackle the conference themes. And, to top it all off, everyone who attends will be co-authors of a book that captures the ideas and conversations from this year’s conference through a series of interviews with presenters, attendees, and organizers alongside collected materials from our 2011 conference.

For more information, please email

via Announcing HOMEWORK II: LONG FORMS / SHORT UTOPIAS Conference November 8-10, 2013 : Broken City Lab.


Speaking: Social Design Public Action Symposium – Vienna

August 2013

I’ll be speaking at the Social Design Public Action Symposium this fall.

Social Design Public Action
International Symposium
26-27 September 2013
University of Applied Arts Vienna

Download the program.

Social Design Public Action Symposium


MIT Civic Media Lunch: Steve Lambert

May 2013

Thursday, May 23, 2013 – 12:00pm to 1:30pm
Center for Civic Media, MIT Media Lab, E15-344

“Lambert has spent years researching, developing, and testing the “art of activism” – applying an artistic aesthetic tactically, strategically, and organizationally. He’ll share some of what he’s learned from history, cognitive psychology, marketing, and sociology to better understand audiences and make more effective activism.”

RSVP here


Experiments in Extra-Institutional Education

April 2013

I’ll be representing the Center for Artistic Activism at this roundtable on alternative education programs on Thursday.

What are the theoretical and political repercussions of education outside of a traditional classroom? Whether spurred on by a tidal wave of student debt, changes in technology, or new and nontraditional learning scenarios emerging from various academic disciplines, DIY education is on the rise. This workshop and roundtable brings together artists, educators, and researchers to present case studies of important experiments in this area to explore the future of creative learning outside of the conventional classroom, moving beyond questions of whether these alternative spaces can produce meaningful learning.

Mary Walling Blackburn, Anhoek School; Jen Messier and Jonathan Soma, Brooklyn Brainery; Ajay Singh Chaudhary and Abby Kluchin, Brooklyn Institute for Social Research; Haley Mellin, Bruce High Quality Foundation University; Mark Allen, Machine Project; J. Morgan Puett, Mildred’s Lane; Michael Mandiberg, New York Arts Practicum; Jon Santiago, NYC Resistor; Yukiko Hanawa and Cynthia Lawson Jaramillo, Occupy University; Steve Lambert, School for Creative Activism;Nova Benway & Taeyoon Choi, The Public School; Katherine Carl and Srdjan Jovanović Weiss, School of Missing Studies; Carla Herrera-Prats, SOMA Summer; Caroline Woolard, Moderated by Michael Mandiberg, College of Staten Island, CUNY.

The James Gallery Room 9206
April 11th 2013

Center for the Humanities
The Graduate Center
City University of New York

More information

Cosponsored by Graduate Center Digital Initiatives and JustPublics@365.


Creative Time #GillickDecodes Twitter Panel

February 2013

I participated in this “twitter panel” for Creative Time about Nato Thompson and Liam Gillick’s discussion for Creative Time Reports. The whole discussion was archived via Storify and you can read through the embedded page here: Read on…


Flux Death Match: Arts Funding, Follow the $$$$

January 2013


Date + time: Thursday, January 24th, 8 pm – 10 pm
Location: 29-27 41st Avenue, Long Island City

Flux Factory is pleased to present its last edition of Flux Death Match, a feisty debate series in which opinionated experts lay down their thoughts, and put their foot in their mouths over hot button issues. Spontaneous quips, grisly “smack downs,” and a punishing fog machine are the name of the game. But in true action fashion, the final blow comes from the audience.

Steve Lambert, visual artist and co-founder of Center for Artistic Activism; Alexis Clements, writer and current fellow at Cultural Strategies Initiative; and Deborah Fisher, Executive Director of A Blade of Grass, will tangle over the art worlds’ most scarce resource: CASH. Where should it come from? Who gets it? And what should they do with it?

This fourth Death Match, Arts Funding: Follow the $$$$, is Flux Factory’s contribution to No Longer Empty’s How Much Do I Owe You? exhibition which focuses on value and exchange. The event starts at 8:00 pm with an open bar and reception for the panelists and audience members. The debate begins at 8:30 sharp and will be followed by a Q&A session, after which the audience will determine the winner. In keeping with the topic, high stakes are at risk: the winner takes all presenter honoraria and distributes as s/he sees fit.

The series is organized and moderated by Douglas Paulson and Christina Vassallo and is generously supported by our main sponsor AT&T. Additional funding is provided by the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council and the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature.


MediaImpact: International Festival of Activist Art

November 2012

MediaImpact: International Festival of Activist Art

Festival presentation, talks and debates

16 November 2012, 7:00pm

34 Stuyvesant Street, Barney Building (Between 3rd and 2nd Avenues at 9th Street)

NYUSteinhardt, Department of Art & Art Professions, New York

Art that steps out into the public space in order to call for social change is a relatively recent phenomenon in Russia. The development of this genre has evolved alongside the emergence of civil society in Russia, which has been accompanied by a rise of mass protests on the one hand and political repression on the other. In this case artists become precursors to and  catalysts of social processes, but they also assume a heroic role as they go out into the street to confront the system.

The festival presentation will include talks and screenings on Russian activist art as well as discussion with festival participants and audience.

Participants: Alina and Jeff Blumis (artists, New York), Andy Bichlbaum (activist, New York), Andrew Boyd (activist, New York), Avram Finkelstein (activist, New York), Ilya Falkovskiy (artist, Moscow), Nina Felshin (curator, New York), Steve Lambert (activist, New York), Maria Kalinina (curator, Moscow), Anya Sarang (activist, Moscow), Tatiana Volkova (curator, Moscow).

In collaboration with the Center for Artistic Activism.

Media Impact presentation in the US is made possible in part with funds from CEC ArtsLink.


Creative Time Summit Presentation

October 2012

I’m feeling good after the Creative Time Summit this past weekend. I’ve been looking forward to it for years and was glad to participate.

Below is a video of my presentation. All the presentations are limited to 8 minutes and the end of 8 minutes is indicated by a musician playing on the side of the stage. When asked to speak, I knew immediately how I would finish.

If you didn’t see the rest of the presentations, I can point to some highlights like Jeff Chang and Leonidas Martin.

The second day of the summit was very rewarding. I did two 90 minute sessions, one with Stephen Duncombe on Utopian Strategy and another on my own on communication models for activists and artists. This was where the real value came as I got to work with around 40 people total and share some valuable tools that we usually can only share in Center for Artistic Activism weekend workshops.

With so many smart people in town, there’s been some great follow up meetings and conversations. I have a feeling some exciting things will come from this.