12/10 – “How to Win” Talk at Harvard University

November 2008

The Carpenter Center for the Visual Arts presents
Bring Your Own: Voices of the Contemporary

December 10, 2008
7:00 p.m.
Sert Space
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?

Participant Bios

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.

--