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
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
Occasionally I show up on Michael Leahy’s Cool As Folk show. When I was doing my radio show at KDVS, Mike’s show was just after and I would usually hang around and talk on air. When I moved to NY, I would call and check in every few weeks. Last week I was on talking about a sort of a driving game I created along with Ian Connelly, Alicia Rice, Matthew Moore and some other people while traveling or hanging around. You can listen to it here:
Add-Art is the web browser plugin that replaces advertising on the web with art from a curated database. I have been working on with a team of volunteer open-source developers off and on for the past year. As with most open-source projects it’s a work in progress – for example you’ll notice the site is rather plain – but we’re preparing for a more public announcement Friday.
Rhizome Commissions 08
Conversation with eteam, Steve Lambert, Evan Roth and Ben Engebreth, and Rafael Rozendaal
The Rhizome Commissions Program was founded in 2001 to provide support to emerging artists working with new technologies. The forty-four works commissioned to date represent some of the most innovative, pioneering efforts in the field. Tonight, artists eteam (Hajoe Moderegger and Franziska Lamprecht), Steve Lambert, Evan Roth and Ben Engebreth, and Rafael Rozendaal, who received support in the 2008 cycle, present their finished projects as well as other select projects. Additional Rhizome Commissions will be presented in August and October.