Category Archives: News

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


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.


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.


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

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. 

Non-Participation at the Luminary, St Louis, Opening June 27


June 27 – August 8, 2014
The Luminary Center for the Arts
2701 Cherokee, St. Louis, MO


Non-Participation is an in-progress collection of letters written by artists and others in which they refuse to take part in cultural events for various political and ethical reasons.

The first public presentation of the ongoing project will take place at the Luminary Center for the Arts in St. Louis, from June 27 – August 8, 2014. The exhibition follows a residency at the Luminary during the last two weeks of June.

I am still actively taking submissions of letters, which may be sent

The call for submissions follows.

More info at



Call for Submissions

Non-Participation is an on-going collection of letters written by artists, writers, musicians, curators, and other cultural producers, in which they decline opportunities to participate in cultural events, such as exhibitions and performances, for various political and ethical reasons. These statements serve as evidence that the artist may act with agency, and is not beholden to the terms of an institution. They also pose a positive alternative to a ubiquitous pressure to perform, and state cases for the legitimacy of art-work as a real and remunerable form of labor. At the core of the project is the notion that what we say “no” to is perhaps more important than what we agree to.

Examples of such letters include: The artist collective YAMS’ withdrawal from the 2014 Whitney Biennial on grounds that the Museum perpetuates racism within the institutional art world; the withdrawal of John Baldessari, Barbara Kruger, Catherine Opie and Ed Ruscha from the board of trustees of LA MoCA in response to the leadership of Jeffrey Deitch and the exit of curator Paul Schimmel; Artist Michael Rakowitz’s refusal of an invitation to create a commissioned work for the Spertus in Chicago, after they had pre-maturely closed a show on contemporary and historic interpretations of mapping the Israel Palestine region; and a heavily annotated and criticized request received by the artist activist group Working Artists for the Greater Economy (W.A.G.E.) for their participation in a major exhibit for which no artist fees or support of any kind was offered by the organizer.

I am now collecting your letters of non-participation, which will be compiled as a publication and online archive, with additional exhibitions and events to be announced.

Please send copies of your letters via email to

With your submission, please indicate whether or not you wish to remain anonymous. All names and contact information can be omitted or made public.

Each letter will be accompanied by a factual account of the incident and/or any other relevant information that could illuminate the situation, as you see fit.
There is currently no deadline for submissions.

Thank you in advance.

Lauren van Haaften-Schick


The Luminary Center for the Arts



Valuing Labor in the Arts: Response

Now on A wrap-up and response article by Patricia Maloney on Gauging the Gray Area, a workshop organized by myself and Helena Keeffe for “Valuing Labor in the Arts” at the Arts Research Center, UC Berkeley:

Valuing Labor in the Arts – Response: Negotiating Terms and Setting Precedents

By Patricia Maloney May 22, 2014

On April 19, 2014, the Arts Research Center hosted Valuing Labor in the Arts: A Practicum. This daylong event included a series of artist-led workshops that developed exercises, prompts, or actions that engage questions of art, labor, and economics.

Patricia Maloney participated in the “Gauging the Gray Area: Standards for Artistic Labor” workshop at the Valuing Labor in the Arts practicum and was commissioned to write this response….


One of the participants in the workshop, choreographer and Berkeley PhD student Sara Wilbur  also came up with a great dance-focused response to the project. Amazing!


You can download our Gauging the Grey Area broadside here.



“Gauging the Gray Area: Standards for Artistic Labor,” Valuing Labor in the Arts at UC Berkeley

Last weekend I presented a workshop with Helena Keeffe for the practicum Valuing Labor in the Arts, presented by the Arts Resource Center at UC Berkeley. It was a big experiment for both of us, and proved very productive for both the facilitators and workshop participants, as the workshop structure opened up new ways for us to talk about difficult personal, ethical and economic questions as group.

Below is a description of our workshop. Descriptions for the full day of events available at Art Practical, to be followed by reflections on the day, and a pdf of the document our workshop collectively produced.

Image credit: Michele Bock

Gauging the Gray Area: Standards for Artistic Labor
Helena Keeffe and Lauren van Haaften-Schick

When is it okay to work for free? Why is remuneration a concern for artists and arts workers? What perpetuates the devaluation of artistic labor? How have artists confronted these challenges? Can we devise a scheme for artists to follow during negotiations for compensation? Is it possible to create a shared standard of artist needs?

Artistic labor is often assumed to be unquantifiable, difficult to define, existing solely within a gift economy. At the same time, we live in the era of the presumed professional artist, in which art practitioners are expected to be hyper-performers, on the clock, and giving it all for the promise of exposure. Both assumptions about art work have positive aspects: a gift economy encourages collectivity and mutual exchange while the professionalization of the arts presumably elevates the artist to a more respected role in society. Yet the collision of these contradicting assumptions has instead cast artists as precarious workers, in which they are expected to give and to perform endlessly without any established standards for remuneration.

The workshop “Gauging the Gray Area: Standards for Artistic Labor” consists of a conversation and exercise through which participants will consider the ways that we value our artistic labor and attempt to formulate a set of standards for answering the above questions in our professional and daily lives. We will discuss examples of artists who have refused work for the lack of payment and who have turned these conflicts into opportunities for teaching or encouraging change. We will consider tools that artists have devised to evaluate situations: when to work for free, when to demand more, and how to better define the myriad gray areas of artistic work. Such tools include Helena Keeffe’s project Standard Deviation, Jessica Hische’s Should I Work for Free?, Lauren van Haaften-Schick’s Non-Participation, data collected by WAGE and CARFAC, and legal tools such as Seth Siegelaub’s Artists Reserved Rights Transfer and Sale Agreement. Workshop participants will discuss their experiences with such negotiations and will be asked to formulate their own standards for when and why to say yes or no to unpaid—and sometimes paid—art work.

At the conclusion of the workshop, we will devise a tiered system of standards for determining whether or not to accept paid and unpaid work within the arts, taking into consideration the personal, social, and practical circumstances behind each decision. Rather than seek a collective standard, we will recognize that personal needs and ethics regarding payment for artistic labor will vary among participants. Our considerations and conclusions will be printed as a broadside for conference attendees to take with them and reproduce or edit for themselves. We hope that this broadside will not only be the spark of many future conversations, but will begin to be used as a concrete tool among artists for measuring the value of their work.



Living Labor: Marxism and Performance Studies conference

I’m pleased to announce my participation in the conference Living Labor: Living Labor: Marxism and Performance Studies at NYU on April 12, 2014.

I’ll be presenting on the origin and use of Seth Siegelaub’s Artist’s Reserved Rights and Transfer of Sale Agreement, and the notion of critical circulation.

Panel information:


“If you give me your time, I’ll give you experience”: The Marina Abramovic Institute (MAI) and the Value Theory of Labor
Samara Davis (New York University)

Field Notes from an Ethnography of Manhattan Marxism
Steve Lyons (Concordia University)

Live Matter, Hidden Labor: Rethinking the Silent Presence of the Other in Contemporary Art
Jimena Ortuzar (University of Toronto)

Siegelaub’s Agreement as Critical Circulation
Lauren van Haaften-Schick (Independent Curator)



Living Labor: Marxism and Performance Studies
April 11 – 13, 2014
Performance Studies, NYU
Keynote Address by Professor Fred Moten and Sianne Ngai

Living Labor: Marxism and Performance Studies is an interdisciplinary graduate student conference being organized at the Department of Performance Studies at New York University, and will take place April 11th-14th 2014.


“Canceled” in Baltimore at Guest Spot Art Space, curated by Arts & Sciences Projects

Canceled: Alternative Manifestations & Productive Failures will be presented within the exhibit Cookbook Dreams and Inflatable Futures, curated by Arts & Sciences projects at the Reinstitute/Guest Spot art space in Baltimore. For this exhibit, “Canceled” has been presented as an artist project & archive of itself. This is a nice thing about making shows that can exist on a book shelf or in a big white space.

More info on the show at Guest Spot, and on Arts & Sciences projects.

Cookbook Dreams and Inflatable Futures

Antoine Lefebvre, Robin Cameron, Cybele Lyle, Luca Antonucci, John Bohl, NOWORK, and Lauren van Haaften-Schick

On view: March 8, 2014 through April 19, 2014

Opening Reception: Saturday, March 8, 2014, 7-10pm

Guest Spot at THE REINSTITUTE (Baltimore) is pleased to present Cookbook Dreams and Inflatable Futures, a group exhibition organized by Arts & Sciences Projects. Opening Saturday March 8, 2014, the works will be on view through April 19, 2014. The show will feature artists’ books and works in other media by Antoine Lefebvre, Robin Cameron, Cybele Lyle, Luca Antonucci, John Bohl, NOWORK, and Lauren van Haaften-Schick.

Inspired by Ant Farm’s 1971 Inflatocookbook, which envisioned a utopia of DIY inflatables within its humble photocopied pages, Cookbook Dreams and Inflatable Futures brings together artists who concoct varied approaches to circulating and advancing concepts and ideas central to their practice through innovative means of book making and distribution. For these artists, books are conceived as alternative spaces in which to exhibit works to a broader audience; they embrace a process-oriented approach to book making, where dialogues are revealed between books and works in other media, including photography, prints, video, and painting. The assembled artists in Cookbook Dreams and Inflatable Futures not only utilize the book as a vehicle for their ideas, they also position the book as an art object, thus challenging notions of assigned value in contemporary art. In making a diverse range of books, these artists assert agency by choice of content, form, materials, and production values. What unites the artists in the show is the realization of the boundless possibilities of books as they enter circulation, free to establish a life of their own.

Antoine Lefebvre initiated La Bibliothèque Fantastique (LBF) in 2009 as an artist’s book virtual publisher. Free and downloadable from the internet, LBF books are made of excerpts of other works, with pages, sentences and words realized in new editions, thus developing a discourse on the ontology of the book.Robin Cameron’s The Book That Makes Itself exposes its own production through its content and form. By personifying the book itself, Cameron articulates her artistic practice as the subject (The Artist), agent and author. The collaborative practice of Cybele Lyle and Luca Antonucci reveals itself in their Space, Time + Architecture projectwhich includes the titular Sigfried Giedion tome in a highly redacted state, collaged photographs that imagine new conceptions of space, and a revised, letterpressed Space, Time + Architecturethat unites their ideas into a new form. John Bohl uses painting and sculpture to examine utopia, kitsch, and romanticism. Typically produced in collabration with other artists, his books may be seen as sculptural objects dialectically engaged with his paintings and works in other media. NOWORK is a platform for collaboratively produced, anonymous projects that relate to New York City, with a focus on photographic material in public spaces. Not citing individual authorship for their work has allowed them to treat their source material, whether taken or found, as part of an act of re-circulation. The problem of artistic agency features prominently in Lauren van Haaften-Shick’s curatorial practice, which considers a selection of art exhibitions manifested in alternative forms, such as publications. van Haaften-Schick’s work highlights the book form (and printed matter) as a crucial means of disseminating artworks and ideas, potentially in ways that are more historically accessible and lasting than a traditional exhibition would have been.


Guest Spot is located at 1715 N. Calvert Street, Baltimore, MD 21202

Saturday 1pm-4pm
Wednesdays 5pm-7pm
or by appointment unless otherwise noted.



“Canceled” at Smith College, February 5 – 28

Guerrilla Girls, Do women have to be naked to get into the Met. Museum?, poster on the streets of New York, 1989. Image courtesy of the Guerrilla Girls.


Alternative Manifestations & Productive Failures

The Oresman Gallery, Smith CollegeFebruary 5 – 28, 2014

Opening reception and Curator’s Talk: Wednesday, February 5, 12-1pm

The Oresman Gallery
Brown Fine Arts Center
Smith College
Northampton, MA

Guest curated by Lauren van Haaften-Schick

Canceled: Alternative Manifestations & Productive Failures considers a selection of historic and contemporary canceled exhibitions, and the secondary projects that artists and curators created in response to, or in place of, these foreclosed efforts. Initially presented at the Center for Book Arts in New York, Canceled highlights the book form and printed matter as a crucial means of disseminating artworks, documentation and information on a wide scale, potentially in ways that are more historically accessible than the intended exhibition would have been.

The materials in Canceled also serve to document the process and politics of a cancellation, stand as an alternative manifestation of an exhibit, act as a critique of prohibitive forces, and may be an admission and exposition of an ultimately productive failure. In some cases, alternate venues and curators take a direct hand in ensuring other outlets for controversial artworks. At other times, artists will choose to opt out, subverting accepted institutional power structures. By utilizing non-traditional means of dissemination and exhibition, these artists and curators have found alternative routes through which the politics surrounding the presentation and creation of art become at least as relevant as the work itself.

Please contact to purchase an exhibition catalog.

Exhibitions and artists’ projects:
– Seth Siegelaub, publications, 1968
– Manifesta 6, 2006
– Hans Haacke, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, 1971
– Guerrilla Girls, Do women have to be naked to get into the Met. Museum?, the Public Art Fund, 1989
– Jill Magid, Article 12, commission for the AIVD, 2004–2008; Authority to Remove, Tate Modern, 2009
– The Aesthetics of Terror, curated by Manon Slome and Joshua Simon, The Chelsea Art Museum, 2008
– Imaginary Coordinates, curated by Rhoda Rosen, The Spertus Museum, 2008
– Robert Mapplethorpe: The Perfect Moment, The Corcoran Gallery of Art, 1989
– David Wojnarowicz, A Fire in My Belly, censored from the Smithsonian Institution, 2010
– Richard Serra, Tilted Arc, 1981–1989
– Christoph Büchel, Training Ground for Democracy, Mass MoCA, 2006
– Patrick Cariou, Yes Rasta, Celle Gallery; Richard Prince, Canal Zone, Gagosian Gallery, 2008
– Takis, removal of sculpture from the Museum of Modern Art, 1968; The Art Workers Coalition, 1969
– Temporary Services, Why the Exhibit Was Canceled, 2001
– Brendan Fowler, BARR tour, 2008
– Bas Jan Ader, In Search of the Miraculous, 1975
And others.

Associated publications, artworks, and documentation:
Bas Jan Ader, Greg Allen, the Art Workers Coalition, Wallace Berman, Christoph Büchel, Martha Buskirk, Patrick Cariou, Shu Lea Cheang, Dexter Sinister, Exit Art, Brendan Fowler, the Guerrilla Girls, Hans Haacke, David Horvitz, Douglas Huebler, Jonathan D. Katz, Jill Magid, P.P.O.W., Primary Information, Richard Prince, Seth Siegelaub, Richard Serra, Temporary Services, Lawrence Weiner, Werkplaats Typografie, Marion van Wijk and Dalstar, Amy Wilson, David Wojnarowicz, and many others.

Canceled: Alternative Manifestations and Productive Failures

The Center for Book Arts, New York, NY
April 12–June 30, 2012

Freedman Gallery, Center For the Arts
Albright College, Reading, PA
October 10–November 17, 2013

The Oresman Gallery
Smith College, Northampton, MA
February 5-28, 2014

“Canceled” was also shown as an exhibition archive for David Horvitz’s “How Can A Digital Be Gift?” at the Goethe Institut, New York, NY, October – December 2012.


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