Image Credit: Liz Magic Laser, still from The Thought Leader, 2015
A Rule By Nobody
Presented by Third Object
As part of the Fall Curatorial Residency
at Sector 2337
The Nightingale Cinema, 1084 N. Milwaukee
Sunday, October 16th, 7 pm, $5
A Rule By Nobody is an exploration of the boredoms, frustrations and pleasures of bureaucratic routines. Drawing its title from Hannah Arendt’s definition of bureaucracy, the exhibition takes the bored energy of office labor and channels it into a multipart dive into the sublimely overflowing inbox, the inky warm Xerox room, the balled up wads of red tape, and the moments of escape that punctuate the droning beige sameness of nine to five.
This video program is a motivational, team-building corporate retreat through other people’s daily grinds. The works in the screening emulate and parody various workplaces and their hierarchical structures to reveal inner formulas, dogmas and breaking points.
Hanne Lippard, Beige, 2013, Germany, digital video, 6m5s, color, sound
Kay Rosen, Sisyphus, 1991/2011, USA, digital video, 2m1s, black and white, no sound
Liz Magic Laser, The Thought Leader, 2015, USA, digital video, 9m21s, color, sound
Simon Denny, Diligent Boardbooks Website Presentation, 2011, Germany, digital video, 1m20s, color, sound
Ellen Nielsen, Flower Office, 2016, USA, digital video, 3m18s, color, sound
Lawrence Weiner, To and Fro. Fro and To. And To and Fro. And Fro and To., 1972, USA, 1/2” open reel video transferred to digital video, black and white, sound
Pilvi Takala, The Trainee, 2008, Finland, digital video, 13m52s, color, sound
Andrew Norman Wilson, Workers Leaving the Googleplex, 2009-2011, USA, digital video, 11m3s, color, sound
This exhibition series is organized under the Fall Curatorial Residency at Sector 2337. It is composed of a two-part group exhibition, an ongoing back room installation, a video screening at the Nightingale Cinema, a live performance, and a printed publication.
Third Object is a roving curatorial collective based in Chicago. Recent exhibitions include Slow Stretch, Mana Contemporary Chicago; Satellites, The Franklin; Were the Eye Not Sunlike, ACRETV and Fernwey; and Mossy Cloak, Roots and Culture. Third Object is Ann Meisinger, Raven Munsell, and Gan Uyeda.
A Rule By Nobody is made possible through the support of Sector 2337, the Propeller Fund, Direct Office Furniture Warehouse, Video Data Bank and the Nightingale Cinema.
The New School University Center Starr Foundation Hall, UL New York City Free Admission
Mobility in Post Democracy Post Democracy has recently arisen as a complex and contradictory term: for some it promises a new participatory platform for the mobilizing forces of social media, considered catalysts for political imagination. Others equate Post Democracy with democracy's demise due to the penetration of global capitalism into every regime type coupled with the increasing intervention of international actors in domestic politics. Decried as "democratic melancholy," such skepticism is considered ill placed by yet others for whom "democracy" was never a political system to aspire to.
Under the heading Mobility in Post Democracy, the Vera List Center is presenting a series of interdisciplinary panels, seminars, and lectures that examine Post Democracy as a condition informed by mobility – across institutions, states, and ideologies. The series brings together an international group of scholars, activists, students, and artists to probe the concept of Democracy more generally at the time of the contested U.S. presidential elections, and the concurrent emergence and demise of democratic regimes throughout the world.
Artist-driven, the events aim to ask questions such as: How can new social movements counter networks of power? What creative organizing tactics are being developed to reinvigorate a democratic ethos? What forms of political institutions and alliances are flexible and resilient?
Right of Refusal With many states on the brink of a democratic collapse, the Mobility in Post Democracy series connects to the simultaneous disdain and opportunity revealed in this moment. On the heels of a keynote address by Wendy Brown, which will reveal the neoliberal mechanisms that have undermined democracy while pointing toward modes of resistance in new organizational models, this panel discussion will consider refusal as another possible strategy to thwart the further erosion of liberal democracy. By framing resistance as a human right, the right of refusal invokes coordinated action, solidarity, and the law to magnify the political implications of individual decisions. These discussions are particularly relevant as voters in the United States consider their options in the forthcoming presidential elections.
Discourses on human rights are primarily concerned with protecting and supporting individuals as active members of society. Active participation requires two general categories of rights: rights that protect individuals from discrimination, oppression, and other forms of harm; and rights to social, political, cultural, and economic resources necessary to participate, often in the form of material support from states.
This seminar focuses on another form of rights that are often overlooked in rights-based discourses: the right to refuse and embrace non-participation. The right of refusal can take many different forms. In the face of increased globalization and hyper-mobility, how can the right to remain stave off urban developers and alter the flow of migrants? Is it possible to opt out of a digital presence through the right to be forgotten? How does the right of refusal challenge the role of the state as protector and provider? For the 2016 U.S. presidential elections, many voters are considering opting out instead of choosing between the Republican and Democratic candidates. What does non-participation mean for our ability to question and critique the government? What are the affordances of collective refusal, as in a boycott? Is refusal a form of protest, a sign of privilege, the mark of apathy, or something else entirely?
The event begins with a film screening/interactive gaming session from 5-6pm in the University Center Event Cafe, followed by a panel discussion from 6:30-8pm exploring the various manifestations the right of refusal may take. The participants in this event argue for the right to refuse action and participation, to remain silent, to reject market principles of efficiency, to refuse to be part of the system. The upcoming U.S. elections provide the context to consider the ramifications of non-participation.
Participants Colleen Macklin, Associate Professor of Design and Technology, Parsons Lucas Pinheiro, Lecturer in New Media Art History, Parsons Joshua Simon, Curator and 2011-2013 VLC Fellow Pilvi Takala, Artist Miriam Ticktin, Associate Professor of Anthropology, New School for Social research www.veralistcenter.org/engage/events/2024/right-of-refusal/
Sunday, Oct. 23rd, 2016 At Uniondocs
With Filmmaker Pilvi Takala
Part of What You Get Is What You See: A Series on Spectatorship
Co-presented with The Vera List Center at The New School
The Body at Work. Laborious Gestures, Awkwardness and Hostage Spectatorship
Using her own body and presence as a research tool, Artist Pilvi Takala places herself in awkward, uncomfortable but constructive places to investigate social situations and human behavior.
In this screening-presentation, she will look at the creative process behind her narrative videos that emerge from her experiments with others. From a community of poker players in Thailand, a corporation office in the Finland to a boarding school and a text message service in the US, we will follow her infiltration and disguised activities in work settings, witnessing how small but subtle infractions can disrupt people’s sense of purpose and seriously threat social order.
Following the screening and presentation, Pilvi Takala will be in conversation with Mathilde Walker-Billaud.
This event is co-presented with the Vera List Center for Art and Politics at The New School, in connection with the panel-discussion on Monday October 24th: The Right of Refusal.
What You Get Is What You See: A Series On Spectatorship
In What You Get Is What You See, Mathilde Walker-Billaud invites artists, filmmakers and writers to show us how to become more active, more engaged–and perhaps better–spectators. The speakers share their experiences and personal observations as audience members, viewers, readers, watchers, listeners of visual and performance arts, radio, TV, graphic design, cinema and Internet. Through their trained gaze and skilled sensitivity, they disturb and displace our perception of contemporary culture and expose spectatorship as an everyday dynamic act.
Picassian maxim that the art is a lie that tells the truth remains today. In a world dominated by simulations, by speeches and stories “manufactured” to be true, and an image whose primary condition is part of someone’s sneaky ventriloquism, increasingly practices from creation realm that are ready to dress to camouflage something else to reveal the current truthful regimes. It is the same in an images war. If classical aesthetic was based on goodness, beauty and truth foundations, truthful disruptive practices do not stop asking the same questions, but precisely where nobody expected, when we are fully confident in a space dominated by the comfortable “story” idea, sheltered from frauds and deceptions.
The fake that parasitical and masked format that appears what is not, has become, in many artists’ hands, a weapon that seeks to short-circuit the mass reality manipulation, often using his enemy techniques. However, unlike simple deceit from commercials and political marketing -and also, why not aesthetic- the fake does not seek appearance perpetuation, but as soon as possible to reveal mechanisms and myths that make credibility becomes a possibility: to question, in ultimately, authority linguistic forms, in media, in museums, in academic discourses on moral gossip. With additional problem that often fake also becomes part of the criticizing show, making it authority format.
The exhibition FAKE. It is not true. It is not a lie reviews some camouflages, infiltrations and sabotages undertaken by artists around the world since Orson Welles made credible a Martian attack to expose media’s manipulative power in an increasingly constrained society to certain veracity formats. Artists who invent other artists and ridicule the excellence cultural discourse; documentaries that appear objective realities and that put into question the journalistic resources; performers who feigned roles to blow up certain of what we see or hear; digital artists infiltrated in war games to short-circuit users expectations; false statements submitted in iconic truthful academic museums and end up exposing the fiction and fragility of their power …; not forgetting, of course, the fake is also an inherent format of the power discourse, why FAKE. It is not true. It is not a lie exhibition will show some of the most notorious and terrible fakes institutionally promoted. Ultimately, images war is aimed to establish how we should believe.
Nietzsche said that truths are illusions of which have forgotten that they are.