Steve Lambert

is just back from the Frank Gathering.

Yearly Archives: 2005

The Offices of the Anti-Advertising Agency

In early 2004 the Anti-Advertising Agency was offered a show at the McBean Project Space at the San Francisco Art Institute. I had never thought about how the AAA would be presented within a gallery – the project was always oriented towards public spaces. However, after some thought, I realized that the space could be used as a “home base” for the Agency, both for its members and the public. This would make us more available to the public, our work more “transparent” (as they say in business), and more accountable to anyone who wanted to talk to us. For the Agency itself, it would give us a central place to work and meet. This idea evolved into creating offices within the gallery space that would function both as a working office and as an exhibit of the AAA’s works.

We collected cubicle walls, desks, chairs, a conference table, filing cabinets, typewriters, and computers to set the stage. Then the various members of the AAA moved in, bringing their books, notes, drawings, and other material related (and sometimes not related) to the AAA projects. Each project had a desk. Additional areas were carved out for a conference room, graphics design studio area, and CEOs office. Some sineage was posted, but primarily visitors learned about the work through snooping and discovering as they browsed through the workspace. Members of the agency showed up to work in the space throughout the exhibition, we held focus groups in the conference room, public meetings, and weekly events. A calendar was available so that anyone who came in could make an appointment with me, the CEO of the Agency, to discuss whatever they liked.

The office was so convincing some asked if they were allowed in once they entered. At the time, many of the Art Institute’s spaces were being converted to office spaces, so it was theoretically possible that the gallery could have become an office in real life.

There are photos and more information at the Anti-Advertising Agency site.

Budget Gallery Los Angeles

Budget Gallery Los Angeles has had their first show. I started the Budget Gallery 6 years ago, and to see it finally take off on its own in another city is weird and great. My plan is to eventually have the Budget Gallery “franchised” out to any city with volunteers willing to take it on. My role would eventually be unnecessary and the project will truly have a life of it’s own. That may be a ways off now, but seeing this show happen successfully in Los Angeles is one of the beginning steps.

Soap Box (Crazy You)

This piece was reverse-shoplifted into supermarkets around California. It was also shown in POND Gallery’s Shopdropping show.

Screenprint on paper.
7″h x 6″w x 2″d
2005

The design is based on a soapbox from the 1960’s. The front is blank, and the back contains the following text, to be discovered by shoppers in the supermarket:
“Yes, the world has gone completely crazy. You are not the only who has noticed. Tell others. Write your congressman. When that doesn’t work, riot in the streets.”