Steve Lambert

wrote a book!!!

Yearly Archives: 2016

Work included in INFORMATION

More at Whitechapel Gallery


Edited by Sarah Cook

Part of the acclaimed series of anthologies which document
major themes and ideas in contemporary art.

‘Raw data is now the stuff of life — and of art, as this impressive compendium makes plain. But data is never simply dematerialized or pure; it is always tethered to modes of transmission, storage and embodiment, and the artists and artworks highlighted here thrillingly explore the things and networks and media that have changed how we see and what we know in the age of information.’

— Michelle Kuo, Editor in Chief, Artforum

While information science draws distinctions between ‘information’, signals and data, artists from the 1960s to the present have questioned the validity and value of such boundaries. Artists have investigated information’s materiality, in signs, records and traces; its immateriality, in hidden codes, structures and flows; its embodiment, in instructions, social interaction and political agency; its overload, or uncontrollable excess, challenging utopian notions of networked society; its potential for misinformation and disinformation, subliminally altering our perceptions; and its post-digital unruliness, unsettling fixed notions of history and place.

This anthology provides the first art-historical reassessment of information-based art in relation to data structures and exhibition curation, examining landmark exhibitions and re examining work by artists of the 1960s to early 1980s, from Les Levine and N.E.Thing Co. to General Idea and Jenny Holzer.

Artists surveyed include David Askevold, Iain Baxter, Guy Bleus, Heath Bunting, CAMP (Shaina Anand & Ashok Sukumaran), Ami Clarke, Richard Cochrane, Rod Dickinson, Hans Haacke, Graham Harwood, Jenny Holzer, Joseph Kosuth, Christine Kozlov, Steve Lambert and the Yes Men, Oliver Laric, Les Levine, Eva & Franco Mattes, László Moholy-Nagy, Muntadas, Erhan Muratoglu, Raqs Media Collective, Erica Scourti, Stelarc, Thomson & Craighead, Angie Waller, Stephen Willats, Young-Hae Chang Heavy Industries, Elizabeth Vander Zaag.

Writers include James Bridle, Matthew Fuller, Francesca Gallo, Marina Grzinic, Lizzie Homersham, Antony Hudek, Eduardo Kac, Friedrich Kittler, Arthur and Marilouise Kroker, Scott Lash, Alessandro Ludovico, Jean-François Lyotard, Charu Maithani, Suhail Malik, Armin Medosch, Srinivas Aditya Mopidevi, Steve Rushton, Craig Saper, Jorinde Seijdel, Tom Sherman, Felix Stalder, McKenzie Wark, Benjamin Weil.

Sarah Cook is a curator and researcher, and co-author with Beryl Graham of Rethinking Curating: Art After New Media (MIT Press, 2010). She is Dundee Fellow at Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art and Design, University of Dundee.

Information Whitechapel Press

Paperback, 240 pages. ISBN 978-085488-248-9

Publication date: September 2016

Moscow – Times Square(d): Theater of the Absurd

An online version of Capitalism Works For Me! True/False will be a part of this show in Moscow.

Exhibition “Times Square(d): Theater of the Absurd”

Curated by Sherry Dobbin
Theatre of Nations’ New Space on September 17th
Press opening September, 16
Strastnoy Boulevard, 12/2

This exhibition, running from September 17 — 25 at the Theatre of Nations’ New Space, is dedicated to the public art in Times Square, its past and current development, and on the territory of the New Space. More than 40 artists are to take part in this exhibition (Bjork, Yoko Ono and JR).

Highlights to include:

  • 15 curated pieces from the Midnight Moment program currently running in its fourth year, where a new artist each month is featured on the electronic billboards of Times Square from 11:57 to Midnight. People will stand in the center of the space and be surrounded by the 15 pieces playing on 4 channel installation screens that are 6m x4m and 3m x 4m.
  • JR’s Inside Out project will combine Times Square’s May 2013 installation of pasted photo booth photos on Duffy Square at Broadway and 46th Street with the similar Moscow version of the project connecting the two countries.
  • Luke DuBois’ Times Square Portraits will also be included as a video art installation broadcasting the faces and photos collected during his residency from the 17,000 taken and posted on social media from Times Square every day.

Curator Sherry Dobbin, creative director of Times Square Arts (former director of Robert Wilson’s Watermill Center) will present her curatorial project and a cycle of lectures on public art for the first time in Moscow (at Strelka Institute for Media, Architecture & Design, September, 15 on 8 pm).

Sherry Dobbin, Curator —

“Typically, the questions that arise when an artist engages with Times Square, as this exhibit illustrates, include those that concern it remaining open day and night; it not being square; it having no formal proscenium; obliging no exclusive audience; inviting no pretentions; and allowing no privacy. Times Square is the ultimate challenger. It will always win, which means the artist must always collaborate, using the environment and visitors and hawkers. One is drawn to Times Square for the sheer energy of the city, yet one doesn’t know what awaits. Much like in the absurdist dramas where characters await Godot, or are stuck in Huis Clos, or expect The Rhinoceros, time is subjective; the experience is unknown and there is no clear beginning or end. Times Square itself is the stage, so each individual in proximity is simultaneously audience, participant and performer.

This exhibition leads the viewer on a journey that alters scale and proportion, extends through passages and odd juxtapositions, conjuring a sense of place that is sometimes diverse to the point of contradiction. And throughout this new space, we introduce how Times Square Arts, informed by an historic cultural precedence, engages artists to use the physical public space, the private corners, the electronic billboards, and the intimacy of airwaves to demonstrate that ‘public art’ is truly defined by the limitless investigation into how ‘public’ and ‘art’ intersect, much like a crossroads”

Presented by The Theatre of Nations in Central Moscow, The New Space is an interdisciplinary project that is going to unite modern artists of all fields to create a new cultural environment by researching all the diverse forms of contemporary art. The conception of The New Space consists of seven units: curating, literature, dance and performance, architecture, music, visual and cinema art. As a part of each unit not only the kind of art but also its interaction with the theatre tradition is to be explored. The opening unit of the New Space includes exhibitions and performances of the leading Russian and American artists and curators. Follow on Instagram; Visit: for more information.

Times Square Arts, the public art program of the Times Square Alliance, collaborates with contemporary artists and cultural institutions to experiment and engage with one of the world’s most iconic urban places. Through the Square’s electronic billboards, public plazas, vacant areas and popular venues, and the Alliance’s own online landscape, Times Square Arts invites leading contemporary creators to help the public see Times Square in new ways. Times Square has always been a place of risk, innovation and creativity, and the Arts Program ensures these qualities remain central to the district’s unique identity. Generous support of Times Square Arts is provided by the. New York State Council on the Arts, the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, and the National Endowment for the Arts. Visit for more information. Follow us on Twitter and Instagram at @TSqArts.

Exhibition: Times Square(d): Theater of the Absurd
Curator: Sherry Dobbin (USA)
Dates: September, 17-25, 12pm-8pm
Where: Theatre of Nations’ New Space




Co-op Bar Version 3

This summer I built the third iteration of the Co-op Bar while serving as visiting faculty at Sierra Nevada college’s Low Residency MFA program in Nevada.

The Co-op Bar was designed because artists tend to hang out in bars and cafés, and a co-op structure allows them to capture the profits and redistribute them as artists grants. In past versions the Co-op Bar dealt only in liquor. This version of the project included food — a daily lunch service that I cooked — and coffee (12oz of Coffee grounds can cost around $8-12, and selling cups of cold brew at the Co-op Bar we were able to raise a significant amount of money).

We used scrap materials for the bar, so the original project budget was invested in a few kitchen gadgets sourced at local thrift stores and food. Participants paid a competitive price for lunch. Then that money was re-invested the following day for the next lunch, each time making a profit. At the opening students invested in bottles of alcohol, which was then sold. All the profits were collected and left for students to use for their collaborative projects. When I left, we had served 3 or 4 lunches and accumulated several hundred dollars.

These are photos of the bar, which is slightly different than previous versions. You can find some previous plans on the Co-op Bar Online Resources page.

You can see a post about my on-the-cheap iced coffee brewing method (iced coffee is very profitable).

Instructable: Meth Lab Cold Brew Coffee Method

With the Meth Lab Cold Brew Coffee Method, you can brew 800ml of coffee concentrate from 12oz of coffee with minimal up-front investment and very low effort. The concentrate makes an 8oz iced coffee from 2oz of concentrate (more or less, depending on how you like it).

It’s called the Meth Lab method because it looks… unprofessional. But the results are powerful and (relatively) addictive.

The Meth Lab Cold Brew Coffee Method balances low cost, high quality, and it’s easy. I developed it while working on Co-op Bar #3 as a visiting artist at Sierra Nevada College’s MFA summer residency. The Co-op Bar was designed because artists tend to hang out in bars and cafés, and a co-op structure allows them to capture the profits and redistribute them as artists grants. 12oz of Coffee grounds can cost around $8-12, and selling cups of cold brew at the Co-op Bar we were able to raise a significant amount of money.

See all the steps on Instructables

Performance at Catch, Hudson Basilica

This was a performance I did with Victoria Estok for the CATCH series of performance events. It’s one of those “you had to be there” things, but I played an aspiring guitarist who brings Victoria on stage to sing with me and then it all goes wrong over and over again. Also,  Victoria was very helpful in refining the performance in our rehearsals.

CATCH takes the Basilica Hudson was Presented by CATCH series curators Andrew Dinwiddie, Jeff Larson and Caleb Hammons.


Images courtesy of Maria Baranova

San Francisco Magazine – “Can Code be Art?”

I was quoted in this story. The author and I talked a long time — he only ended up directly quoting this — but I’m glad he used this brutal truth wrapped in a joke:

“That’s how bad it’s gotten [in the Bay Area],” he says. “All the artists have been driven out, so maybe all these people in coding, they’re artists. That’s how desperate we are for culture.”

If that grabs ya, read the rest.

The “invisible house” in Milwaukee

On Milwaukee magazine wrote a story about my Invisible piece installed in Brad Lichtenstein’s house. It’s become something of a landmark.

When they first installed the sign, people often stopped their cars for a photo or rang the doorbell to find out more about it. “People are usually receptive,” says Lichtenstein,” but sometimes I get, ‘Oh, that’s interesting,’ which is Midwest for, ‘I’m done talking to you about this.'”

Read the whole story: “Shorewood shines with the world’s only ‘invisible house'”. There’s some other great quotes, for example:

It’s a public service — maybe sometimes an annoyance — but mostly a public service.

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