There’s nearly 20 years of work on this site, where to start? These are the more popular projects – some you may already be familiar with! If you want a quick run through of what I do, this will give you an idea:
- Capitalism Works For Me! True/False
- The Center for Artistic Activism
- The New York Times Special Edition
- Everything You Want Right Now
- Arrow Sign in Los Angeles
- I Will Talk With Anyone About Anything
- Wish You Were Here: Postcards From Our Awesome Future
- Simmer Down Sprinter
- The Anti-Advertising Agency
The origin story
If you have some time, I was asked to write a chapter in the book The Artist as Cultural Producer: Living and Sustaining a Creative Life (amazon, library). The book includes forty essays from “artists who have successfully expanded their practice beyond the studio and become change agents in their communities.”
A Brief Narrative Bio
Steve Lambert’s father, a former Franciscan monk, and 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.
Lambert made international news after the 2008 US election with The New York Times “Special Edition,” a replica of the “paper of record” announcing the end of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and other good news. In the Summer of 2011 he began a national tour of Capitalism Works For Me! True/False – a 9 x 20ft sign allowing people to vote on whether capitalism worked for them . He has collaborated with groups from the Yes Men to the Graffiti Research Lab and Greenpeace. He is also the founder of the Center for Artistic Activism, the Anti-Advertising Agency, Add-Art (a Firefox add-on that replaces online advertising with art) and SelfControl (which blocks grownups from distracting websites so they can get work done).
Steve’s projects and art works have won awards from Prix Ars Electronica, Rhizome/The New Museum, the Creative Work Fund, Adbusters Media Foundation, the California Arts Council, and others. Lambert’s work has been shown everywhere from museums to protest marches nationally and internationally, featured in over fourteen books, four documentary films, and is in the collections of The Sheldon Museum, the Progressive Insurance Company, and The Library of Congress. Lambert has discussed his work live on NPR, the BBC, and CNN, and been reported on internationally in outlets including Associated Press, the New York Times, the Guardian, Harper’s Magazine, The Believer, Good, Dwell, ARTnews, Punk Planet, and Newsweek.
He was a Senior Fellow at New York’s Eyebeam Center for Art and Technology from 2006-2010, developed and led workshops for Creative Capital Foundation, co-directs the Center for Artistic Activism, and is an Assistant Professor at SUNY Purchase. In 2013 he was invited to speak at the United Nations about his research on advertising’s impact on culture. Steve is a perpetual autodidact with (if it matters) advanced degrees from an reputable art school and respected state university. He dropped out of high school in 1993.
- A list of every job I remember having in my life.
For me, art is a bridge that connects uncommon, idealistic, or even radical ideas with everyday life. I carefully craft various conditions where I can discuss these ideas with people and have a mutually meaningful exchange. Often this means working collaboratively with the audience, bringing them into the process or even having them physically complete the work.
I want my art to be relevant to those outside the gallery – say, at the nearest bus stop – to reach them in ways that are engaging and fun. I intend what I do to be funny, but at the core of each piece there is also a solemn critique. It’s important to be able to laugh while actively battling the various power structures at work in our daily lives.
I have the unabashedly optimistic belief that art changes the way people look at the world. That belief fuels a pragmatic approach to bring about those changes.