Stephen Duncombe and I led a think tank on creative activism called The College of Tactical Culture at Eyebeam’s Summer School this year.
Summer School is an annual workshop and public presentation series designed to encourage the creative use technologies for personal expression, activism, communication, and community involvement. The College of Tactical Culture was established within this context to create an opportunity for creative activists to get together within a focused period of time to discuss ideas and develop strategies.
The College of Tactical Culture (CTC) examined questions such as:
* How can we measure the impact of our work?
* What lessons can we learn from popular culture?
* How can we use humor to broach difficult content?
* How can we reach new audiences?
* How can we use new tools and technologies to organize and connect with audiences?
Participants in CTC were encouraged to draw from and build off of each other’s experiences to inform their practices, build new relationships, and create space for new projects and collaborations. The group met in close-door sessions twice per week over the course of three weeks (June 30 – July 16, 2009).
EYEBEAM’S COLLEGE OF TACTICAL CULTURE, CLASS OF SUMMER ’09
• Larry Bogad, Writer/Perfomer/Activist; Associate Professor of Theatre and Dance, University of California at Davis
• Andrew Boyd, DIY, BYOB, FtGPhD*; NYC
• Rebecca Bray & Britta Riley, Eyebeam Residents, Artists, NYC
• Ava Bromberg, Spacemaker, PhD Student @ UCLA Urban Planning Department; Los Angeles
• Anne Frederick, Executive Director, Hester Street Collaborative, NYC
• Packard Jennings, Artist, Oakland CA
• Kristin Horton, Freelance Director/Clinical Assistant Professor of Theater, NYU’s Gallatin School, NYC
• Aaron Hughes, Artist and Organizing Team Leader Iraq Veterans Against the War, Chicago, IL
• Laura MacCleery, Deputy Director, Democracy Program, Brennan Center for Justice, NYC
• Ricardo Miranda Zuniga, Artist, Associate Professor of Film and Media Studies, CUNY Hunter, NYC
• Eve Mosher, Artist, NYC
• Brooke Singer, Artist and Assistant Professor of New Media, Purchase College, NYC
• Ella Turenne, Artist, Activist & Educator, NYC
*Forgot to Get his PhD
Date: Friday 9.18
Start Time: 2:00pm
Location: NYU Einstein Auditorium, Rm. 105, Barney Building
The CTC is a think tank on creative activism led by Stephen Duncombe and Steve Lambert, where participants traded experiences in order to inform practices, build relationships, and create space for new projects and collaborations.
The College of Tactical Culture workshop will kick off with a panel of participants, including Brooke Singer, Britta Riley, Eve Mosher, Stephen Duncombe, and Steve Lambert, who will summarize lessons taught during the college in the first 75 minutes. The remaining 45 minutes of the workshop will be a discussion about the purpose of the CTC, the lessons taught by each panelist, and an open dialogue with Conflux participants.
The College of Tactical Culture (CTC) examined questions such as:
How can we measure the impact of our work?
What lessons can we learn from popular culture?
How can we use humor to broach difficult content?
How can we reach new audiences?
How can we use new tools and technologies to organize and connect with audiences?
College of Tactical Culture
Steve Lambert is a Senior Fellow at the Eyebeam Center for Art and Technology in New York, and teaches at Parsons/The New School and Hunter College.
Stephen Duncombe is the author of Dream: Re-Imagining Progressive Politics in the Age of Fantasy and editor of Cultural Resistance Reader and is an Associate Professor at New York University.
Brooke Singer is a media artist, an Assistant Professor of New Media at Purchase College, State University of New York, and co-founder of the art, technology and activist group Preemptive Media.
Britta Riley is a social media strategist and co-founder of Submersible Design, an interaction design company. She studied Social Entrepreneurship at NYU Stern and computer programming at NYU Interactive Telecommunications Program.
Eve Mosher is an artist and interventionist whose work has been profiled in international media including the New York Times, ARTnews and Le Monde.
Possible surprise guest: Larry Bogad
The New York Times Special Edition received an Award of Distinction at the 2009 Prix Ars Electronica. I will have more images, video, and details here soon. In the meantime…
Installation of The NY Times Special Edition at the OK Centre in Linz, Austria
Video of Steve Lambert’s presentation on behalf of Because We Want It.
Artist’s Talk: Steve Lambert
Thursday, Aug 27 4:00p
Weatherspoon Art Museum, Greensboro, NC
Steve Lambert talks about bridging the divide between museum visitors and his own practice. Lambert’s, “I Will Talk With Anyone About Anything“, 2006/2009 is currently featured in “Our Subject is You”.
Freedom: Do It Yourself
A conversation between artists Sam Gould and Steve Lambert
Monday, July 20, 2009 – 6:30 to 8:00 p.m.
The New School, Malcolm Klein Room
66 West 12th Street, 5th floor
New York City
Further information: 212.229.2436 or www.newschool.edu/vlc.
A tricky word, Freedom is usually considered the cornerstone of democracy. All too often the concept is warped, mangled, and spun to benefit those using it to control and usurp power for their own political and monetary gain. Artists Steve Lambert and Sam Gould display what they acknowledge is an unhealthy obsession with other kinds freedom, concepts that will fuel the conversation among them.
Using art as a hybrid of collective action, public demonstration, comedy, and the discussion of what America, and the world, could be—if only we were willing to ask questions, and to fail—Lambert and Gould’s practice aims to dismantle and flatten common notions of power, history, and individual responsibility.
Over the last ten years, Gould and Lambert have staged collective public discussions; produced innumerable free publications; created illegal bars and restaurants; looked to the creative disruption of military recruitment; systematically shut down every McDonald’s in New York City; and distributed over one million copies of a special edition of the New York Times announcing a utopian future.
In this public discussion the pair highlight their projects (through groups such as Red76 and the Anti-Advertising Agency), which often borrow from other disciplines and genres, including history, marketing, consumerism, punk rock, indie rock, and entertainment. The two also discuss artists and groups who utilize similar models of action and process, teasing out a picture of a murky strain of aesthetic practice that, while not shunning the benefits of the traditional art world, sees the greatest benefit when it adapts its language to engage a broader audience (or, to be more accurate, everyone in the entire world).
* Presented on occasion of the Vera List Center’s 2008-2009 annual theme “Branding Democracy”
Founded in January of 2000 in Portland, Oregon, Red76 is the moniker for collaboratively based initiatives conceived, most often, by Sam Gould, and fleshed out by a group of collaborators across the United States and abroad, who have included; Khris Soden, Zefrey Throwell, Paige Saez, Colin Beattie, Jen Rhoads, Laura Baldwin, Gabriel Mindel Saloman, Dan S. Wang and many others. Often situating themselves in public space, or creating an atmosphere wherein the definition of space may have an opportunity to redefine itself, Red76 initiatives utilize overlooked histories and common shared occurrences as a means of creating a framework in which to construct their public inquiries.
Gould is a founding member of MessHall, an experimental social space on the North Side of Chicago. He is also the editor of the Journal of Radical Shimming and co-editor, along with John Vitale, of “…….” (dots and quotes), a free arts publication, that is distributed internationally and was last sponsored by the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council. In 2006 Gould was one of nine nominees’ for the Menil Collection’s Walter Hopps Award for Curatorial Achievement.
Along with producing many independent initiatives, Gould and Red76 have engaged in projects commissioned by the Institute of Contemporary Art Philadelphia, the Drawing Center, the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council, SF MoMA, Printed Matter, Creative Time, the Douglas F. Cooley Memorial Gallery at Reed College, 01 San Jose, and many others.
Steve Lambert was born in Los Angeles in 1976 and moved to the Bay Area four days later. His father, a former Franciscan monk, and his mother, an ex-Dominican nun, imbued the values of dedication, study, poverty, and service to others—qualities which prepared him for life as an artist.
Steve Lambert recently made international news with the New York Times “Special Edition,” a replica of the grey lady announcing the end of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and other good news. He is the founder of the Anti-Advertising Agency, lead developer of Add-Art (a Firefox add-on that replaces online advertising with art) and has collaborated with numerous artists including the Graffiti Research Lab and the Yes Men. Steve’s projects and art works have won awards from Rhizome/The New Museum, Turbulence, the Creative Work Fund, Adbusters Media Foundation, the California Arts Council, and others. His work has been shown at various galleries, art spaces, and museums both nationally and internationally, and was recently collected by the Library of Congress. Lambert has appeared live on NPR, the BBC, and CNN, and been reported on in multiple outlets including Associated Press, the New York Times, the Guardian, Harper’s, The Believer, Good, Dwell, ARTnews, Punk Planet, and Newsweek. He is a Senior Fellow at the Eyebeam Center for Art and Technology in New York, and teaches at Parsons The New School for Design and Hunter College. Lambert studied sociology and film before receiving a BFA from the San Francisco Art Institute in 2000 and a MFA at UC Davis in 2006. He dropped out of high school in 1993.
I’m calling it a lecture/performance because I don’t know what exactly to call it. I’ll just say I’m taking my talks further into a direction they were already going. Come see at the Figment Festival. You will learn things and you will be entertained.
I will also be participating in a collaborative project on Saturday near the Ferry Dock. Keep an eye out.
“Everything You Want, Right Now!” How advertising distorts culture.
Sunday 2:30-3pm – come early, there are some great lectures including fellow Eyebeam Fellow Jeff Crouse at 4pm.
Figment Festival, Pershing Hall, Governor’s Island, NYC
From The Figment Site:
What’s wrong with advertising? Steve Lambert makes the case with a fast moving lecture that’s as funny as it is informative. Steve’s anarchist/sociologist take on how modern, non-stop persuasive messages have distorted and altered our culture will leave you plenty to ponder on the ferry ride home. Steve Lambert recently made international news with the The New York Times “Special Edition,” a replica of the grey lady announcing the end of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and other good news. He is the founder of the Anti-Advertising Agency, lead developer of Add-Art (a Firefox addon that replaces online advertising with art) and has collaborated with numerous artists including the Graffiti Research Lab, and the Yes Men. Lambert has appeared live on NPR, the BBC, and CNN, and been reported on in the New York Times, Harper’s, The Believer, Good, Dwell, and Newsweek. He is a Senior Fellow at the Eyebeam Center for Art and Technology in New York, and teaches at Parsons and Hunter College.
FIGMENT is an annual arts event on Governors Island, with artwork in every medium, from installation to performance to music to games and many things in between. Participation is open to any artist who would like to share their work. It is a free, non-profit endeavor run by volunteers.
FIGMENT’s vision for art looks past the white-walled galleries and into the realm of participation. Art is not just something that you stand still and quietly look at – it is something you participate in. You touch it, smell it, climb it, write on it, talk to it, dance with it, play with it, learn from it… Interactive art creates a dynamic collaboration between the artist, the audience and their environment.
As a free, public, non-profit event, we aim to advance social and personal transformation through creativity. FIGMENT is uninterrupted by commercial sponsorships, transactions, or advertising. Selling or advertising goods or services is not permitted. Neither our artists nor our planners and staff are paid – everything that you see at FIGMENT is born from a simple desire to share imagination with each other and the public.
In these challenging economic times, it is important that artists devise new ways to create, share, think, and dream about what is possible. FIGMENT is an alternative to many of the shortcomings of the commercial art world— exclusive, expensive, impersonal, untouchable and often simply boring.
Famous for his role in New York’s artistic heritage and the Pop Art movement, Andy Warhol believed that everyone had it in them to be a star for fifteen minutes. Through his own art, he defined his identity and shaped the world around him. He once commented that he’d like his tombstone to say only one word: “Figment.”
Today Ars Electronica announced the winners of the Prix Ars and the New York Times Special Edition won an Award of Distinction in the Hybrid Arts category. Steve Lambert will be accepting the award at the Ars Electronica Festival in September as a member of Because We Want It: a coalition of artists, activist groups, and everyday citizens who contributed to the project.
About Prix Ars:
Since 1987, the Prix Ars Electronica has served as an interdisciplinary platform for everyone who uses the computer as a universal medium for implementing and designing their creative projects at the interface of art, technology and society.
The Prix Ars Electronica, the Ars Electronica Festival, the Ars Electronica Center – Museum of the Future and the Ars Electronica Futurelab are the four divisions that comprise the Ars Electronica Linz GmbH, whose specific orientation and long-term continuity make it a unique platform for digital art and media culture.
The competition is organized by the Ars Electronica Linz GmbH and ORF’s Upper Austria Regional Studio in collaboration with the OK Center for Contemporary Art and the Brucknerhaus Linz, and the prizes are awarded during the Ars Electronica Festival each year. The Prix Ars Electronica is one of the most important awards for creativity and pioneering spirit in the field of digital media.
Eyebeam is holding a “How To Apply” Forum on April 16 at 7 PM featuring past Eyebeam Resident and recent Residency Curatorial Panelist Robert Ransick (Bennington College, Vermont) and current Eyebeam Senior Fellow Steve Lambert (Parsons/The New School and Hunter College). The forum is a chance for those interetsed in applying to our current cycle of Eyebeam Residencies, open April 1 – May 15, to ask questions and have dicussions with those who have gone through it and seen both sides of the application process, both as an artist and a selection panelist.
Friday, February 27, 2:30 PM–5:00 PM
Concourse Meeting Room 402AB, Level 2, Los Angeles Convention Center
Chair: Michael Mandiberg, College of Staten Island, City University of New York
MyFrienemies.com: Anti-Social Networking
Angie Waller, Parsons the New School for Design
xtine burrough, California State University, Fullerton
Beyond Friend Collecting and the Gossip Mill: Social Networking for Change
Brooke Singer, Purchase College, State University of New York
Add-Art.org: Why Reinvent the Wheel When One Gear Can Make the Whole System Run Backward
Steve Lambert, Eyebeam Center for Art and Technology
But Does it Work?
Art, Activism and the Interventionist’s Gesture
Tuesday, February 24, 6:30 pm
A Conversation between Joseph DeLappe, Stephen Duncombe, and Steve Lambert
Artists/activists Joseph DeLappe and Steve Lambert join writer/activist/media scholar Stephen Duncombe to discuss what happens when artists interfere with existing structures of media in order to manipulate and use them as vehicles for political and social commentary. How do these forms of intervention compare to straight-forward art activism, and what are these artists hoping to achieve? How does one even measure success when utopia is the goal? The talk will focus on the artists’ works “dead-in-iraq”, “iraqimemorial.org” and the recent faux New York Times “Special Edition” announcing the end of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
EFA Project Space presents this event in conjunction with the exhibition Post Memory: A Collection of Makeshift Monuments, on view February 21- March 28.
The Flying University is a Red76 project.
Red76 is going to be doing a project called Pop-Up Book Academy in Sam Gould’s hotel room on Tuesday the 10th. If you are free it would be great to see you there. Also, we are looking for books for people to sell for the project. Do you have any that you would be interested in getting rid of? You would get the majority of the profits, while a percentage of all sales would go to a fund to produce future projects in print form by Red76 and like-minded associates.
Contact me and I will get you info on the hotel and room number. It starts at 6pm.
SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 7TH, BLUESTOCKINGS BOOKSTORE, 7:30PM
As the new age dawns all over us, we feel that now is an opportune time to take a breath and appreciate the profound contradictions some of us are feeling during these momentous times. Optimism washes over us like a heat flash brought on by a titillating advertisement, we feel briefly feint with luminous expectation, only to find ourselves suddenly jarred out of our pre-coital daze, coolly eyeing the political landscape for clues as to where we actually are and where we might be going. We feel skeptical. Sometimes we worry that this makes us bad hopers, but nevertheless there it is, the jaundiced eye peering into the murky crystal ball, and we are left to wonder: “Just what is this Hope thing, anyway?”
In the thick of this moment between hope and skepticism, some friends of ours put words and pictures to some of our better hopes and released this as “tactical media,” into the world. Some of you may have seen it: http://www.nytms-se.com/. This Saturday, a few of the Hoaxsters will re-visit their shenanigan. Their remembrances will be complemented by the edifying, amusing, anecdotal, analytical, political, polemical, and poignant musings of several angry and/or euphoric writers:
Stephen Duncombe (author, “Dream: Progressive Politics in an Age of Fantasy”)
Steve Lambert (Anti-Advertising Agency, Eyebeam Fellow)
Joseph Huff Hannon (The Nation, the Progressive, the Advocate, In These Times)
Jeff Crouse (Eyebeam Fellow)
Andrew Boyd (author, Daily Afflictions and PoMo to Go)
Katherine Sharpe (editor, 400 words, a literary-journal-meets-social-experiment)
Virginia Vitzhum (author, I Love You, Let’s Meet)
RANT RHAPSODY #19
Saturday, February 7, 7:00pm
172 Allen St./Stanton
F train to Delancey or 2nd Avenue, or JMZ to Delancey
TUESDAY, JANUARY 27
5PM, MCCONOMY AUDITORIUM
Spring 2009 Lecture Series Carnegie Mellon School of Art.
All lectures are free and open to the public. Carnegie Mellon makes every effort to provide accessible facilities and programs for individuals with disabilities.
In addition to moderator Jamie Wilkinson, the panel will feature fellow F.A.T. Lab member Steve Lambert (who you may remember from the NYTimes Special Edition project a month back, among other projects), and Tobias Leingruber, creator of China Channel and the man behind Pirates of the Amazon. They’ll also be talking about ArtZilla, an awesome repository for Firefox add-on projects usually denied from listing on the addons.mozilla.org universe for being “useless art.”
New York City ROFLThing Details
When: January 24th, 2009
Where: Santos Party House (96 Lafayette Street, Manhattan, NY)
Featuring Alexis Ohanian (Reddit), Charlie Todd (Improv Everywhere), the creator of Comic Sans, the founder of 4chan, Bre Pettis and a host of others to be announced.
The Carpenter Center for the Visual Arts presents
Bring Your Own: Voices of the Contemporary
December 10, 2008
Carpenter Center, 3rd Floor
BYO fosters discussion and debate about pressing issues in contemporary culture across Harvard and Boston area communities by bringing to campus emerging figures in contemporary art for informal evening conversations.
HOW TO WIN:
With Stephen Duncombe and Steve Lambert
BYO: Voices of the Contemporary at the Carpenter Center is pleased to host a discussion with artist Steve Lambert and theorist/critic Stephen Duncombe about their work-in-progress, “How to Win,” which is part of their ongoing interrogation of the terms and conditions of activism, efficacy, and social and political change in contemporary art. Consisting of interviews with approximately 40 mid-career artists in both the visual and performing arts, this project is currently assembled into a dynamic website, and will result in a book that will explore how contemporary artists conceptualize their work’s success—its efficacy in bringing about real-world change through artistic practices. Is art effective in bringing about change? How is it most effective? What constitutes efficacy? And how does one know if the art has or has not been effective?
Stephen Duncombe is an Associate Professor at New York University where he teaches the history and politics of media and culture. He is the author of “Dream: Re-Imagining Progressive Politics in an Age of Fantasy” and “Notes from Underground: Zines and the Politics of Alternative Culture,” as well the editor of the “Cultural Resistance Reader.” Duncombe also writes widely on culture and politics for a number of scholarly and popular publications, from the cerebral Nation to the more prurient Playboy. He is a lifelong political activist, a co-founder of the community activist group The Lower East Side Collective, and a key organizer for the New York City chapter of the international direct-action group Reclaim the Streets. He is currently working on three projects: 1) a book on propaganda and persuasion during the New Deal, 2) an anthology on punk rock and the politics of race and 3) an ongoing exploration of the efficacy of political art (with Steve Lambert). He lives in New York City.
Duncombe’s book, Dream, and a Village Voice profile.
Steve Lambert currently made international news for his role in the hoax New York Times “Special Edition.” A Senior Fellow at Eyebeam Center for Art and Technology in New York, Lambert teaches at Parsons/The New School and Hunter College. Despite never graduating from high school, Steve went on to study sociology and film before receiving a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from the San Francisco Art Institute in 2000 and a Master of Fine Arts degree at UC Davis in 2006. He founded the Budget Gallery, an outdoor guerilla art gallery, in 1999 and the Anti-Advertising Agency in 2004 and has collaborated with numerous artists including the Graffiti Research Lab, and the Yes Men. Steve’s projects and art works have won awards from Rhizome/The New Museum, Turbulence, the Creative Work Fund, Adbusters Media Foundation, the California Arts Council, and others. His work has been shown nationally and internationally, and was recently collected by the Library of Congress. Lambert has personally appeared on NPR, the BBC, and CNN, and been reported on in multiple outlets including Associated Press, the New York Times, the Guardian, Punk Planet, and Newsweek.
Steve’s website, and a story on the New York Times hoax paper.
BYO is supported by the Provostial Funds Committee of the Office of the Dean for the Arts and Humanities.
Next week I’ll be heading out on the Eyebeam Roadshow. We’ve covered Chicago and Iowa City in the past, and now we’re touring California.
- November 15th: Mills College – 12pm Danforth Hall
- November 16th: UC Berkeley Center for New Media – 11am
- November 17th: UC Santa Cruz
- November 18th: UCLA – Broad Art Center
- November 19th: UC Santa Barbara
- November 20th: CalArts
The talks are open to the public. See the Eyebeam Roadshow site for details.