Steve Lambert

wrote a book!!!

Yearly Archives: 2018

Acting Out: Art that Changes the World – panel

Panel as part of the “Words & Ideas” program at the Melbourne Fringe Festival
Presented by The Wheeler Centre, Melbourne Fringe and Arts House
September 19, 2018 at 6:15PM

From the Melbourne Fringe Event Page:


‘We don’t have to accept our world as it is, the ways we’re told we should navigate it,’ Steve Lambert has argued. ‘The democratic ideal [is] that we’re not subject to culture: we can create it.’ The guerrilla artist and founder of the New York-based Center for Artistic Activism makes work that is funny, meaningful, accessible and often radical — raising questions about image culture, advertising and the basis of capitalism itself. At this panel discussion, Lambert and Melbourne artists Candy Bowers and Jax Jacki Brown will talk about their methods and motivations in making work that seeks to change the world. How can art ignite social change? When does activist art become preachy and boring? Join us for this free conversation at the Wheeler Centre, as we talk the fine balance of art and activism, from creativity and accessibility to strategy.

Steve Lamber’s work Capitalism Works for Me! True/False is happening as part of Melbourne Fringe for more info – click here

SPACES anniversary show: WHY NOT, OHIO?

I was proud to be invited back to SPACES in Cleveland as part of their 40th Anniversary show, SPACES. SPACES helped launch Capitalism Works For Me! True/False in 2011.

For the anniversary show we featured recent signs, videos, websites, and other materials created for the YES to SCS effort in Seattle. It even had drafts of work that we never ended up using (so far) and contextual materials from the campaign.

We decided to do this because Ohio has the highest overdose death rates in the country. 8 people die per day in Ohio of overdose.

We called the exhibit, “WHY NOT, OHIO?”

Photos by Jerry Man

ArtsHouse and Melbourne Fringe Festival

I’m returning the Melbourne Australia to present Capitalism Works for Me! True/False at the Melbourne Fringe Festival with ArtsHouse. We’ll be set up at the State Library of Victoria, Queen Victoria Market, Bourke Street Mall, and Federation Square.

It’s been very encouraging to present the work with the level of support I’ve had in Melbourne and I’m looking forward to returning. They’ve put together an exceptional team that has changed the way I think about creating and exhibiting these projects. (Thanks ArtsHouse!)

Details on the Melbourne Fringe site and on ArtsHouse site.

We started exhibiting Capitalism Works For Me! True/False in Australia in May of 2018. You can watch Australian TV coverage here:

And see other Australian media coverage at these links:

from ArtsHouse site:

Completing an Australian journey that began at this year’s Festival of Live Art, Capitalism Works for Me! True/False returns to Melbourne for the Fringe Festival. At changing locations throughout the Festival, a cheerful retro billboard sign prompts you to cast your vote — does capitalism work for you?

US artist—activist Steve Lambert invites visitors to evaluate and talk about the economy and how it might be better. Wired for instant update, Lambert’s electronic scoreboard registers visitors’ votes via a panel with two buttons: True and False.

We talk about capitalism constantly, using terms like ‘job creation’ or ‘the business climate’, and discussing whatever ‘crisis’ is at hand — housing, financial, employment. We focus on the symptoms — but why not take the leap and discuss the problem itself?

Optimistic or downbeat? Confident or cynical? Ideas for reform? Capitalism Works for Me! True/False is a provocation and a conversation. Now’s your chance to have a say.

“What I have really liked about this project is it’s about conversation and questioning what you think.” Festival of Live Art participant, 2018

visit ArtsHouse site

Speaking at 13th Intl. Conference on Art and Society

Stephen Duncombe and I will be speaking (as the Center for Artistic Activism) at this conference in Vancouver next week.

The Thirteenth International Conference on Art and Society

How Art Makes Things Happen — Situating Social Practice in Research, Practice, and Action

27-29 June 2018
Emily Carr University of Art & Design
Vancouver, Canada

The Thirteenth International Conference on the Arts in Society features research addressing the following annual themes:

  • Theme 1: Arts Education
  • Theme 2: Arts Theory and History
  • Theme 3: New Media, Technology and the Arts
  • Theme 4: Social, Political and Community Agendas in the Arts 2018
  • Special Focus: How Art Makes Things Happen–Situating Social Practice in Research, Practice, and Action

Open Call: Decompression Gathering Summer Camp 2018

I’ll be hosting this residency at the Corniolo Art Platform this summer.

More info and application

Practicing Decompression
20 — 26 August
Corniolo Art Platform
Borgo San lorenzo (Florence, IT)

Invited by Radical Intention, Visiting artist Steve Lambert will be hosting the 2018 Decompression Gathering Summer and he takes decompression seriously. The field of Artistic Activism is rife with overcommitment and hard work is undervalued. There is a high risk of bitterness and burn out, for those who don’t quit entirely. To fight this tendency, the 2018 summer camp will structure fallow time (the irony of structuring fallow time isn’t lost on us), create boundaries to free participants from continual internet connection, and encourage leisure, wandering, and exploration — metaphorical and otherwise. During the week the group will have the chance to discuss projects and life in a relaxed atmosphere, create new relationships that might evolve, and explore the territory of the Mugello Valley.

Participants are encouraged to gather for daily meals and will have time to share their past research. From there, they will have the opportunity to gather at their leisure, and share what they learn together at the evening meals on the days that follow. The group will investigate folk culture in the area surrounding Corniolo art platform through thematic field trips to enchanted Castles, Giotto’s residence or walking tours through the woods in search of the spring of the Arno River. These educational experiences function as different tool, contribute to the overall conversation around decompression, while disrupting the schedule of fallow time.

The 2018 DCAMP embraces the idea of decompression as form of investigation in to ways of working. In 1993 croatian artist Mladen Stilinovic wrote a manifesto of laziness, stating ‘Laziness is the absence of movement and thought, just dumb time — total amnesia. It is also indifference, staring at nothing, non-activity, impotence. It is sheer stupidity, a time of pain, futile concentration. Those virtues of laziness are important factors in art. Knowing about laziness is not enough, it must be practiced and perfected.’ (1993) With Irony, sarcasm, intelligence, stupidity and seriousness, the group of DCAMP 2018 will ask themselves how practice and perfect decompression.

Cancel the Apocalypse at Re:Publica

I’ll be giving a Keynote at Re:Publica in Berlin.

I believe all the talks at Re:Publica are live-streamed on their site.

May 3 at 17:30 (11:30am EDT, 8:30am PDT)

Building Fearless Futures – a 30 minute “keynote”

May 4 at 16:15 (10:15am EDT, 7:15am PDT)
SolarPunk and going Post-Post-Apocalyptic – a 1 hour long panel discussion.

Both part of the Cancel the Apocalypse program, which includes fellow Eyebeam alumnus Mushon Zer-Aviv, friend of the C4AA Celine Keller, and others.

Other speakers include another Eyebeam alum Morehshin Allahyari, Katherine Maher the Executive Director of Wikipedia, Chelsea Manning, and others.

Hope you tune in. And of course, if you’re going, let me know.

Marx@200 in Pittsburgh

Capitalism Works For Me! True/False will be a part of Marx@200 at SPACE in Pittsburgh.


Curated by: Kathy M. Newman and Susanne Slavick

Opening Reception April 6th, 6-9pm.
On Display April 6 — June 10th, 2018.
Gallery Crawl April 27th 5:30-10pm
Program and Reception May 5th 6-8pm

Curated by Kathy M. Newman and Susanne Slavick, Marx@200 will feature more than 25 works by artists from around the world. The artworks represent a diverse range of perspectives on Marx and his critique of inequality and capitalism, as well as his influence on political movements and regimes.

Sponsored by CMU’s Humanities Center

Marx@200 is an exhibit inspired by the 200th birthday of Karl Marx (May 2018). Some of the artworks in this exhibit engage directly with Marx’s image or his writings, while others confront capitalism and still others dream of revolution. Marx is a controversial political figure. His impact on the history of global communism is profound, but that is not this exhibit’s focus. Instead, Marx@200 is a spirited, playful, and international effort to respond to some of the big social and economic issues that peoples in Pittsburgh–and across the globe–are facing at this moment.

“As artists respond to both historical and current conditions, Marx’s legacy has shaped how and what they create,” said Newman, associate professor of English, who has also organized a series of lectures that examine Marx. “He is also becoming a popular culture icon in the digital age, with his image being used in countless memes and on products. We want to give people a chance to examine these phenomena and to reflect on the themes these artists have appropriated for their own work, from the rising tide of globalization to wealth inequality, to job loss and automation.”

Highlights from the exhibition include:

  • Ukranian-born Nataliya Slinko’s gigantic version of Marx’s beard made of steel wool
  • An animated Marx wielding a hammer in battle with Charles Darwin by Michael Mallis
  • Kiluanji Kia Henda’s photographic triptych of a fishing vessel named “Karl Marx, Luanda”
  • Kathryn Clark’s “Foreclosure Quilt,” a stitched urban map of foreclosed homes, block by block
  • An embroidered barcode by Rayna Fahey that says, “Don’t just buy it/Make Revolution”

“Artists working within a variety of economic and political systems have contributed to this show, responding to Marx’s complicated legacy with appreciation or apprehension–and sometimes both. They invite us to consider his critique of capitalism and what it feels like to live in today’s globalized economy,” said Slavick, the Andrew W. Mellon Professor of Art.

Artists With Links to the Exhibition

Image by: Lázaro Saavedra González

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