Poetic Justice: On the Intersection of Art and Law in the Work of Félix González-Torres

I’m thrilled to be heading to Miami at the end of this week for this excellent conference, organized by Cornell Law School and Art & Law Program Director Sergio Muñoz Sarmiento:

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Poetic Justice:
On the Intersection of Art and Law in the Work of
Félix González-Torres

Thursday, February 11, 2016

de la Cruz Collection
23 NE 41st Street, Miami, FL 33137
(305) 576-6112

Since the beginning, Félix González-Torres‘ art and activist work have received substantial academic and institutional attention. However, in the last few years, there has been a growing scholarly interest in González-Torres’ art works and the ways in which they are informed by law and juridical structures. Through the intersection of conceptual art strategies and legal instruments, González-Torres’ art works complicate and expand our understanding of what constitutes the art object, the ownership, exhibition and dissemination of art, and the public’s relationship to art and art institutions.

This symposium brings together scholars with backgrounds in law, art history and cultural history, as well as collectors and contemporary artists, in order to analyze the work of Félix González-Torres and its impact on the emerging field of art and law. This will be a unique opportunity for researchers, art historians, curators, artists, students and lawyers interested in art and law and the work of Félix González-Torres to meet and discuss their mutual interests.  The symposium is organized by Cornell Law School and the Art & Law Program and the de la Cruz Collection.

Full program and speakers here: http://www.lawschool.cornell.edu/Events/Poetic-Justice-On-the-Intersection-of-Art-and-Law-in-the-Work-of-Felix-Gonzalez-Torres_Program.cfm

 

Seth Siegelaub: Beyond Conceptual Art, 12 Dec 2015 – 17 Apr 2016, The Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam

I am thrilled to have made it to Amsterdam for the opening of Seth Siegelaub: Beyond Conceptual Art, at the Stedelijk Museum. The exhibition is the first to present an overview of the life and work of the art pioneer, collector and publisher. Full info at Stedelijk.NL 

I have a short text on my work with Seth in the catalog to the show, available at buchhandlung-walther-koenig.de

At left, Joseph Kosuth with Seth Siegelaub; “Titled (Art as Idea as Idea) The Word ‘Definition,'” 1966-1968, by Joseph Kosuth installed above sofa, c. 1960s-1970s. New York, Museum of Modern Art (MoMA). Photograph, resin-coated print 5 x 7″ (12.7 x 17.7 cm). Seth Siegelaub Papers. Gift of Seth Siegelaub and the Stichting Egress Foundation, Amsterdam, I.A.119. The Museum of Modern Art Archives, New York (copyright unknown). Cat.no.: MA2177).© 2015. Digital image, The Museum of Modern Art, New York/Scala, Florence – See more at: http://www.stedelijk.nl/en/exhibitions/seth-siegelaub-beyond-conceptual-art#sthash.4qZcBfGk.dpuf

Non-Participation at Art League Houston, November 20 – January 11

Glad to announce that the second exhibition of Non-Participation is now on view at the Art League Houston.

Non-Participation
Lauren van Haaften-Schick
Exhibition dates: November 20, 2015 – January 11, 2016
Opening reception: Friday, November 20, 6-9 PM
ALH Front Gallery I Artist talk at 7 PM

Art League Houston is excited to present Non-Participation, organized by Lauren van Haaften-Schick. Non-Participation is a collection of letters written by artists to decline invitations to participate in cultural events for various political or ethical reasons. In recent years there has been a surge of public protest against highly notable and prestigious art events, including the 2014 Whitney Biennial, The 19th Sidney Biennale, Manifesta 10, and many others. Concurrent with this phenomenon is an increase in attention to artists’ labor rights, as evident in the great interest in Working Artists for the Greater Economy’s W.A.G.E. Certification system, and major conferences facilitating new ways of speaking about art and labor, such as the Art League Houston’s charge practicum. In this moment of encouraging upheaval in the arts, Non-Participation seeks to collect the evidence of these efforts and make visible the key role that acts of refusal and withdrawal might play in introducing reform. In the words of artist Michael Rakowitz, “what an artist refuses is sometimes more important than what he or she agrees to.”

The act of non-participation extends beyond a statement of “no.” It forces a pause or stoppage allowing for the reconsideration of our routine modes of production and of the transactions in which we take part, and leads us to ask why it is that we might feel pressured to say an unqualified “yes.” The activation of non-participation as strategy and method is dually tied to histories of protest as well as creative destruction, wherein the aim is to reveal a new form of production that disrupts the reproduction of the standards in place. As written documents, the letters and statements within this project comprise an archive of pauses, breaks, risk, and non-reproduction. The declaration and inscription of “N-O” remains the foundation, for it ends with an opening.

These letters have been collected through an ongoing open call for submissions, complemented by historical research. Issues raised in these artists’ letters include the non-payment of artists’ fees, the denial of copyright ownership, censorship, and controversy over funding sources, among many others. The submissions received are global in reach, from as far as Australia, the Balkans, to all regions of the US, and include both established and lesser-known artists. At the Art League Houston, this presentation of Non-Participation focuses on letters that challenge labor and economic inequities, in conversation with the second edition of charge. Letters submitted during the exhibition at the Art League Houston will be added to an online archive at nonparticipation.org. Submissions should be sent to lauren@laurenvhs.com.

Previous presentations and workshops around Non-Participation have been held in St. Louis, MO, the University of California at Berkeley, the Art League Houston, TX, and in Copenhagen and Aarhus, Denmark. In the summer of 2014 the first exhibition of Non-Participation was held at the Luminary in St. Louis. The letters are currently being compiled into a book published with Half Letter Press (Copenhagen/Chicago), and will also be collected in an ongoing online archive.

Associate Director, The Art & Law Program, and Call For Applications

I’m pleased to announce that in January 2016 I will join artist and lawyer Sergio Muñoz Sarmiento as Associate Director of the Art & Law Program in New York City. In 2012 I participated in the Program as a curatorial fellow, and have returned many times since as a guest seminar leader. I’m extremely pleased to contribute to the continued growth of the Program and look forward for the exciting developments that the 2016 season will bring.

The Program is now taking applications for the spring 2016 session

About

The Art & Law Program (“The Program”) is a 13-week seminar series with a theoretical and philosophical focus on the effects of law and jurisprudence on cultural production and reception. An examination of how artistic practices challenge, rupture, and change the apparatus of law completes The Program. The Program consists of a nonpartisan community that aims to attract qualified individuals in the areas of visual art, architecture, writing, curating, and film. This list is non-exclusive. Artists with non-traditional practices are especially encouraged to apply, as are cultural producers interested in the cultural effects of law. The Art & Law Program takes place in New York City from mid-January to early May. In 2016 the Program will hold its seminars at the Triple Canopy space in Brooklyn. Until further notice, please reserve Monday and Wednesday nights, 6-9pm, for these seminars.

Fellows of The Program will meet once a week to discuss readings and visual materials with the Director of the Program, Sergio Muñoz Sarmiento, curator/art historian and Associate Director of the Program, Lauren van Haaften-Schick; and/or with a guest seminar leader. Seminar leaders assign required readings and present ideas and materials relevant to their areas of practice. There is a particular emphasis on the understanding of legal cases and texts through a close analysis of reading and writing.

Through an analysis of legal structures and modes of thought, the Program aims to critique current artistic, curatorial, theoretical and art historical practices and methodologies. Conversely, the use of law and jurisprudence as theory, practice and medium is explored.

Please note that The Program does not focus on traditional and conventional critical theories (e.g.- Marxism, post-structuralism, post-colonialism, feminism, globalization, etc.), but rather investigates how the philosophy and practice of law disturbs the critical theory establishment and creates a new space and discourse for aesthetic, cultural and intellectual practices.

The Art & Law Program will conclude with an end-of-program retreat at Denniston Hill artist residency.

Who Should Apply? 

The Program seeks qualified, open-minded and self-motivated individuals with a genuine and rigorous attraction to critical thought and debate. In particular, The Program welcomes candidates who are open to controversial dialogue and who seek to challenge their respective practices.

With this in mind, there is no exhibition or paper presentations which conclude the program. Rather, participants are highly encouraged to produce – on their own – a static or non-static material with what is learned, or unlearned, during and after The Program. Please note that the Program is not for everyone. Applicants are encouraged to study and fully understand the mission of the Program and speak with alumni regarding the Program’s structure and expectations of its participants.

Origins

The Art & Law Residency, the first residency of its kind, was founded by Sergio Muñoz Sarmientio in 2010. The Program has emerged as a reflection of his experience at Cornell Law School, CalArts, and the Whitney Independent Study Program, and merges or responds to the discourses of each of these spaces. We now look forward to welcoming the seventh class to The Program in 2016.

Donate

The Art & Law Program is fiscally sponsored by Fractured Atlas, a 501(c)(3) public charity. Contributions for the purposes of Art & Law Program are tax-deductible to the extent permitted by law. If you would like to donate to the Art & Law Program, you may do so online here.

3 Sundays for Robert Seydel and Closing of “Robert Seydel: The Eye in Matter” at the Queens Museum

I’m honored and a bit humbled to be speaking Sunday September 27 at the Queens Museum for the closing of the exhibition “Robert Seydel: The Eye in Matter” at the Queens Museum. I’ll be talking about Robert’s work and the work of Seth Siegelaub, two of my most influential mentors, and two of the most inspiring living libraries…

Many other excellent folks will be presenting too. Thank you to Nathaniel Otting for inviting me.

“Journal Page, 6.10” by Robert Seydel, n.d. from A Picture Is Always a Book: Further Writings from Book of Ruth (Siglio and Smith College Libraries, 2014). © the Estate of Robert Seydel.

“Quail rise”: “R’s Queens” Reprised
ROW / SEW: 3 Sundays for Robert Seydel

“ROW / SEW: 3 Sundays for Robert Seydel” is a series of gatherings of artists and writers to address, to read, to perform, to pay homage to the life and work of Robert Seydel, his alter ego Ruth Greisman, and her friends Joseph Cornell, Marcel Duchamp, et al. to complement the exhibition Robert Seydel: The Eye in Matter. The series is organized by Emmy Catedral with Nathaniel Otting in conjunction with Siglio and Ugly Duckling Presse.

My name & time: a Queens of the mind.
There’s an occult meaning in initials.

“Read in splendour” between these two lines from Robert Seydel‘s Book of Ruth (Siglio, 2011), this restaging of a scene from last year’s Eterniday event features Renee Gladman, Ross Simonini, and Jane Carver. Proceeding from the “occult meaning in initials,” the afternoon includes short readings from (and for) Seydel’s Songs of S (Siglio | Ugly Duckling Presse, 2015) by Stefani Barber, Sarah Wang, Simone Kearney, Shanxing Wang, Sophie Seita, Sarah Jane Stoner, and Simone White. With opening and closing ceremonies by Andre Bradley (on initials) and Lauren van Haaften-Schick (on Seth Siegelaub).

Other events in the “ROW / SEW: 3 Sundays for Robert Seydel” series:

Jul 26: Art a Grammar, Grammar a House: A Gathering (or, Artist-Writers: A Weaving)
Aug 16: Plaid Duchamp Record in Magenta

 

The Experimental Television Center: A History, Etc – Hunter College 205 Hudson Street Gallery Opening September 24, 7-9pm

The Experimental Television Center: A History, Etc . . .
At the Hunter College 205 Hudson Street Gallery
Opening October 24, 7-9pm

Analog control box documentation, Richard Brewster, 1980. Courtesy Experimental Television Center and the Rose Goldsen Archive of New Media Art, Cornell University.

Analog control box documentation, Richard Brewster, 1980. Courtesy Experimental Television Center and the Rose Goldsen Archive of New Media Art, Cornell University.

This summer I contributed to a major archival effort to identify and process materials for this exhibition, and the acquisition of the Experimental Television Center Archives by the Rose Goldsen Library & Archives at Cornell University. Lots of amazing history on artist-run spaces and video art in NY State.

The Experimental Television Center: A History, Etc . . .
September 25–November 21, 2015
Opening: September 24, 7–9pm
Hunter College 205 Hudson Street Gallery 
Hunter College MFA Campus, New York
Hours: Wednesday–Sunday 1–6pm
www.hunter.cuny.edu
goldsen.library.cornell.edu
www.experimentaltvcenter.org

For over 40 years, the Experimental Television Center (ETC) in Owego, New York was one of North America’s preeminent organizations for video art, fostering a community for creativity and innovation through its residency and tool-building programs. The Experimental Television Center: A History, Etc . . . is the first academic survey of the Center’s prolific yet under-recognized role in the evolution of video art. Through works of art, ephemera, and video processing tools, this exhibition maps the ETC’s influence within the larger narrative of the history of video into the digital and internet age. 

From 1971 to 2011, over 1,500 artists participated in the ETC residency program, which functioned as a site for exploration, education, and practice for media artists. This exhibition spans works from the 1960s through the 2000s, including a collection of original analog instruments designed by artists/technologists, as well as two interactive installations featuring contemporary tools designed by Dave Jones, a long-time collaborator with ETC, and Jason and Debora Bernagozzi, founders of the new media organization Signal Culture in Owego, New York.

Organized by: Sarah Watson, Chief Curator of the Hunter College Art Galleries; Timothy Murray, Curator of the Rose Golden Archive of New Media Art; and Sherry Miller Hocking, Assistant Director of the Experimental Television Center. 

The Artist’s Resale Right at Artists Space

The Artist’s Resale Right
Presentations & Discussion

Artists Space Books & Talks
Wednesday, July 22, 2015, 7pm

resale royalty

In light of recent action at the congressional level concerning artists’ resale rights, this event will provide a public forum for discussion around the proposed legislation of secondary market art sales in the US, and will locate these developments in relation to historical and international precedents and alternative models. 

In 2014 and 2015 Congressman Jerrold Nadler (Democrat, 10th District of New York) introduced into congress theAmerican Royalties Too Act, or ART Act, which would grant visual artists a resale right enabling them to collect a percentage of any works re-sold for a profit at public auctions over a value of $5000. While there have been many previous unsuccessful attempts to pass such legislation in the US, this current bill brings with it indications of a potentially different outcome: the Copyright Office recommended in a 2013 report that a federal resale royalty for visual artists should be adopted, this past May the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit upheld portions of the California Resale Royalty Act concerning in-state sales of visual artworks, and this month the World Intellectual Property Organization’s Standing Committee on Copyright and Related Rights (SCCR) announced that they will discuss visual artists’ resale rights in December 2015.

In order to stimulate discussion, and to ask what artists and the broader art community might want—or not want—from such legislation, this event brings together speakers from backgrounds in art, art history, and law for a series of presentations and discussions. Dr. Theodore Feder and Janet Hicks of the Artists Rights Society will outline the ART Act and the work they have done lobbying for the bill, followed by curator and art historian Lauren van Haaften-Schick, who will provide a historical perspective concerning artists’ contracts and the legal history of art in the US. These presentations will be followed by a discussion between art dealer Maxwell Graham, artists Hans Haacke and R. H. Quaytman, and Justice Barbara Jaffe, New York Supreme Court, New York County, moderated by van Haaften-Schick.

The evening will conclude with an open floor debate, at which all present are welcome to share thoughts and experiences. Even if the 2015 congressional session does not vote on the bill, or if it fails to pass, the recurrent interest in the issue of resale rights for artists merits greater involvement and consideration of the issue from those who stand to be impacted most—artists.

This event is the first in a series organized by the recently formed W.A.G.E. Artists’ Resale Rights Working Group:
Richard Birkett
April Britski
Maxwell Graham
Leah Pires
Cameron Rowland
Lise Soskolne
Lauren van Haaften-Schick

“What Now? The Politics of Listening,” Art in General in collaboration with the Vera List Center for Art and Politics, April 2015

Screen Shot 2015-06-15 at 2.10.53 PM

This April I had the pleasure of moderating a panel for the always excellent annual What Now? symposium organized by Art in General and the Vera LIst Center at the New School, New York.

What Now? 2015 examines the idea of listening as a political act, a pedagogical process, and a protocol for engagement. Opening with an analysis of listening, the symposium considers the scientific definition of the term alongside perspectives on listening that are shaped and informed by diverse social, cultural, technological, and spatial considerations. As keynote speaker Lawrence Abu Hamdan has noted, “Listening is not a natural process inherent to our perception of the world but rather constructed by the conditions of the spaces and times that engulf us”.

I participated in SESSION THREE: FACT, FICTION, AND THE IN-BETWEEN

This panel addresses the slippages between truth and fiction in relation to interpretative listening, media communication, and acts of testimony, translation, or redaction. What is the place of language and translation in this evolving narrative space? Every translation sets into play distinct vocabularies and systems of listening and interpreting, and it is in these encounters that priorities and positions are negotiated. In forensic analysis, for example, how are ideas of truth, testimony, propaganda, translation (or “untranslatability”) played out? In terms of oral histories, why are narratives meant to be listened to rather than read alone, and what is the relative role and importance of accuracy, credibility, and the spinning of truth within this realm?

Moderator: Lauren van Haaften-Schick
Participants: Joshua Craze, Naeem Mohaiemen, Beatriz Santiago Muñoz

Full information on the symposium here.

 

The legal history of the Siegelaub-Projansky Contract, paper presentation at the Association for the Study of Law, Culture and the Humanities, March 6-7

 

I’m very pleased to be presenting a paper on the legal history and impact of Seth Siegelaub and Robert Projansky’s “The Artist’s Reserved Rights Transfer and Sale Agreement” at the  Eighteenth Annual Meeting of the Association for the Study of Law, Culture and the Humanities.

The conference will be held at Georgetown University Law Centre, March 6-7, 2015.

More information on the conference here.

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