Big Ideas in Art & Culture lecture video

July 2012

The talk I gave at CAFKA/Musagetes in Kitchener back in May has been posted online.


Santa Fe Art Instute Public Lecture 7/2

July 2012

I’ll be giving a public lecture at the Santa Fe Art Institute Monday July 2nd:

Santa Fe Art Institute Flyer Steve Lambert



CAFK+A Big Ideas in Arts & Culture Lecture Series – May 22

May 2012

I’m speaking at City Hall (!) in Kitchener, Ontario on May 22nd.

Tuesday May 22, 2012 – 7:00 pm
Kitchener CIty Hall Rotunda
200 King St. W., Kitchener

Steve Lambert is an American artist who works in a variety of media, commonly using print and communication vehicles as a means of developing a dialogue with his audience.  He has produced interactive scoreboards, letterpress posters, signage and postcards. One of Lambert’s best known projects is The New York Times “Special Edition”, which announced the end of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan following the 2008 American election.

Lambert uses art as a bridge to connect uncommon, idealistic, or even radical ideas with everyday life. He carefully crafts various conditions where these ideas can be discussed with people to produce a meaningful exchange. Often this means working collaboratively with the audience, bringing them into the process or even having them physically complete the work.

He has collaborated with well-known art collectives such as the Yes Men and the Graffiti Research Lab, and other organizations such as Greenpeace. He is also the founder of the Center for Artistic Activism, the Anti-Advertising Agency, Add-Art (a Firefox add-on that replaces online advertising with art) and SelfControl (which blocks grownups from distracting websites so they can get work done).

There will be a complimentary shuttle from downtown Guelph to Kitchener for the Steve Lambert lecture, departing from 193 Woolwich St. (Macquarie House) at 6:00 PM. Seats will reserved on a first-come, first-served basis. Please visit or contact Danica Evering at or 519 836 7300 x 103 to reserve your seat.

Image credit: Steve Lambert, Capitalism Works For Me! True/False, 2011. Courtesy the artist.

About Big Ideas in Art and Culture

The Big ideas in Art and Culture Lecture Series is a joint production of CAFKA and Musagetes. CAFKA is about making art happen in the public spaces of this community, introducing contemporary art to new audiences and engaging the public in new ways of seeing their city. The Musagetes Foundation has been active around the world gathering artists and public intellectuals to consider variations on the theme of social transformations through creative and artistic interventions. These open forums, or cafés, explore and apply new ideas in creative practices, social change and community development. Musagetes Cafés have taken place in London, England, 2007, Barcelona, Spain, 2008, and Rijeka, Croatia, 2010. Future cafés are being planned to take place in Sudbury, Ontario, 2011 and in Lecce, Italy, 2012. CAFKA gratefully acknowledges the support of the Ontario Trillium Foundation, the City of Kitchener, The Kitchener and Waterloo Community Foundation – Musagetes Fund, the Canada Council for the Arts, and the Ontario Arts Council in helping to make this lecture series possible.


Speaking at Occupy Boston April 28th

April 2012

Artists from occupy boston to host night of conversation & action – Featuring artist Steve Lambert

Samsøn (formerly Samson Projects)
450 Harrison Ave, South End Boston
Saturday April 28th, 5pm -
5-6:00 Alternative sign-making workshops
6-7:00 presentation by artist Steve Lambert
7-8:00 Q&A followed by drinks, hangout, and discussion
8-10:00 screening, Yes Men Fix the World

On April 28, 2012, Members of Occupy Boston’s arts working group, CASA, will host a gathering with artist and cultural provocateur Steve Lambert. Taking place at Samsøn, this event will be an opportunity for Lambert and the greater Occupy community to connect over questions of messaging, humor, culture jamming, and creative activism as the movement heads into the coming seasons.

Lambert’s work includes “The New York Times Special Edition” produced with the Yes Men and many other groups in 2008 and distributed in cities across the US carrying headlines such as “Iraq War Ends,” “Maximum Wage Law Passed” and “All Public Universities to Be Free.” More recently, Lambert’s gigantic, sign/scoreboard “Capitalism Works For Me,True/False” is touring the country posing a personal question its viewers can vote on.

The Present Group writes of Lambert’s work, “These bits of provocation get people thinking (and talking) about how they act, what they believe, how they imagine the world around them, and how they imagine it could be.” With the School for Creative Activism, Lambert has taught workshops that infuse creative tactics with traditional community organizing and civic engagement.

Lambert, along with painter Josh Luke, produced signs for many of the tents in the Dewey Square occupation in October 2010. Intending to produce change, he’s given simple advice for how to do more than “raise awareness” while maintaining a positive attitude. Join us on the 28th as we recharge our creative batteries and rehash the radical. Spring is upon us. There is difficult and enjoyable work to be done, absurd futures to dream up, and important questions to ask ourselves in the next stages of the Occupation. We think art and creative action should play a significant role in the shapes, forms, and modes of communication and performance employed in these next steps.


New Political Movements conference at New School for Social Research – 4/21

New Political Movements

Room 913, 6 East 16th Street. 12:15-1:45pm

Roundtable: Activism On The Ground

Melissa Gira Grant
Nicolas Grau
Steve Lambert
Yotam Marom
Moderator: Deva Woodly




Transmediale Audio Recordings – Ludic Salon

April 2012

Transmediale has posted audio recordings of the 2012 panels. This recording is me talking about the Capitalism Sign at the “Zombie Play at the Ludic Salon.”

This panel was a lot of fun. Some of the questions come from great folks like Dmytri Kleiner and Jacob Applebaum.

(By the way I say “extinct” when I meant “endangered”)

You can get all the ludic salon recordings from this page on Soundcloud

This is the link to the Debugging and Rebooting panel, which got a little weird and would be difficult to understand without the video.


College Students Take Note: New York Arts Practicum Program

College students, take note: this summer I will be Visiting Faculty for the inaugural year of the New York Arts Practicum program.

New York Arts Practicum is a summer program in New York City where advanced undergraduates, recent graduates, and graduate students experientially learn artmaking and participate in intellectual culture outside of the art school.


Creative Activism Thursdays at NYU: Steve Lambert

March 2012

I’m speaking at the Hemispheric Institute on April 19.

Steve Lambert made international news after the 2008 US election with The New York Times “Special Edition,” a replica announcing the end of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and other good news. He has collaborated with groups from the Yes Men to the Graffiti Research Lab and Greenpeace. He is also the founder of the Center for Artistic Activism, the Anti-Advertising Agency, Add-Art (a Firefox add-on that replaces online advertising with art) and SelfControl (which blocks grownups from distracting websites so they can get work done). He is on the faculty of the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. Steve will discuss making engaging, funny, relevant art and how it can help effect change.

Revolutionaries Live! (aka Creative Activism Thursdays) is co-sponsored by NYU Dean for Social Science, the Hemispheric Institute, the Yes Lab, the Humanities Initiative at NYU Working Research Group on Artistic Activism, CAA, and Not an Alternative. Speakers also attend following Yes Lab Friday.

via | Creative Activism Thursdays: Steve Lambert.


Talking about Capitalism at Berlin’s Transmediale 2012

February 2012

Tomorrow morning I leave for Berlin with Victoria Estok for Transmediale 2012.

I’ll be speaking at Crashed Economy: Debugging and Rebooting. About the talk/panel:

To face the current economical crisis means to question dualistic perspectives such as capitalism vs anti-capitalism as well as to imagine a sustainable network of values in which accumulation of growth and precarity are substituted by a grassroots ecology of sharing built on an increasing capacity for sociability. This event presents two sets of projects which question the notion of capitalism through direct intervention and collective reflections proposing an exodus from proprietary money and trade regulation through distributed commons and practices of social networking.

In Part 1: What Capitalism? Steve Lambert (us) and Daniel Garcia Andujar (es) show how one can critique the concept of capitalism in times of crisis through direct interventions and ludic practices. Elanor Colleoni (it/dk) will act as respondent.

Victoria is in the reSource program.


“Political Expressionism” and Other Fallacies of Political Art

November 2011

Speaking with Stephen Duncombe at Carnegie Mellon University

"Political Expressionism" and Other Fallacies of Political Art

Stephen Duncombe and Steve Lambert are directors of the new Center for Artistic Activism.

Stephen Duncombe is an Associate Professor at the Gallatin School and the Department of Media, Culture and Communications of New York, where he teaches the history and politics of media.
Steve Lambert was a Senior Fellow at New York’s Eyebeam Center for Art and Technology from 2006-2010, developed and leads workshops for Creative Capital Foundation, and is faculty at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.

Many artists want to create work that has a social impact. Unfortunately most artists don’t learn how to do this. Drawing upon their own artistic and activist practice, their ongoing research project interviewing activist artists, and drawing from contemporary examples, Duncombe and Lambert will lay out common fallacies held by the “political artist.” They still believe, however, that thinking, acting, and creating artistically is essential for effective activism, and  will present strategies for sidestepping common pitfalls of political art-making and lessons in making political art work.

Sponsor: Center for the Arts in Society
Co-Sponsors: School of Art; Dean’s Office, College of Fine Arts