The Interventionists: Users' Manual for the Creative Disruption of Everyday Life (MIT Press)
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Art made to attach to buildings or to be given away? Wearable art for street demonstrations or art that sets up a booth at a trade show? This is the art of the interventionists, who trespass into the everyday world to raise our awareness of injustice and other social problems. These artists don't preach or proselytize; they give us the tools to form our own opinions and create our own political actions. The Interventionists, which accompanies an exhibit at MASS MoCA, serves as a handbook to this new and varied work. It's a user's guide to art that is exciting, provocative, unexpected, inspiring (artistically and politically), and fun. From Michael Rakowitz's inflatable homeless shelter and William Pope.L's "Black Factory" truck with pulverizer, gift shop, and giant inflatable igloo to the Biotic Baking Brigade's political pie-throwing, the art of The Interventionists surveys a growing genre and offers a guide for radical social action.The book classifies the artists according to their choice of tactics: the Nomads, who create mobile projects; Reclaim the Streets, artists who act in public places; Tools for Resistance: Ready to Wear, artists who produce fashion for political action; and the Experimental University, artists whose work engages pedagogy and theory. The accompanying text includes essays by noted scholars putting the work in a broader cultural and social context as well as texts by the artists themselves.
questions of reproductive and bio- technologies in a dynamic interactive manner that in many regards confounds classic definitions of art. In 2002, subRosa produced a project at Bowling Green State University titled “US Grade AAA Premium Eggs.” Under the guise of a recruiting campaign set up in the Student Union, subRosa performed an educational demo about sex and gender in the Biotech Century, and then asked students to estimate the dollar value of their eggs, sperm, and organs. Students
rather that the methods for communicating these issues have changed. The symbolically charged image, as a tactic, no longer feels adequate as a communicative device. The Interventionists: Art in the Social Sphere is both an exhibition and a limited survey of tactical practices in contemporary visual culture beginning in the late 1980s. The timing of this exhibition is not without a sense of urgency as the entire world feels ‘unsettled’ (to use a term of globalism theorist Saskia Sassen)1 with no
and the derivé manage to territorialize the visual. The spectacle is a territory. The city is a spectacle. Both tactics, derivé and detourné, take as a given their trespassing nature. They must cross into the territory of others, whether these are the advertisements of Nike or the orderly streets of Paris, to produce new meanings. This sensibility becomes visually apparent in the video performances of Alex Villar. In his 2001, project Temporary Occupations, Villar performs movements that resist
the intended structuring of public space. He clambers up, hops over, crawls into and slides past fences and walls designed to prevent one from entering particular spaces in the city. These actions bring to light the manipulative nature of the built environment and how strongly it is developed around notions of public and private. As we know, the political upheavals of the adolescent Baby Boomer generation (born between 1946 and 1964) were not simply occurring in the streets of Paris, but across
illusion of order, control, and restriction. In this way “magical thinking” drops its cloak of transcendental escapism and materializes as a social, political, and cultural counter perception - an alternative worldview that summons the creative and prophetic power of the multitude. ed 20 0 3 Michael Rakowitz - Climate Control , New York City 2002 Michael Rakowitz - Climate Control , New York City 2002 Project Description: The Ultimate Jacket embodies many of the tactics that the Center for