"The Armory Show Focus Group" (official trailer), 2013, Liz Magic Laser, an Armory Show Commission produced in association David Guinan of Polemic Media. Featuring focus group moderator Ben Allen of Labrador Agency.
In August of 2012, The Armory Show invited Laser to serve as its commissioned artist. She accepted in October, agreeing to produce limited-edition artworks and to shape the visual identity of the fair through VIP cards, invitations, signage, Jack Spade tote bags, and employee T-shirts. A performance artist confronted with the challenge of producing marketable objects, large in number and scope, Laser enlisted the help of market research analyst Ben Allen of Labrador Agency to conduct a series of focus groups with art consumers. She had The Armory Show invite members of the arts community—a range of collectors, curators, museum professionals, art advisors and critics—to participate in group discussions that would ultimately determine how she would lend her identity to The Armory Show.
Laser conducted a series of six focus groups, each consisting of ten participants and lasting two hours. The first sessions in early November, 2012 were devoted to “exploratory” market research in which participants were asked to characterize The Armory Show’s current status and the critical value of Laser’s work. They were then prompted to suggest how she might apply her artistic strategies most effectively to the fair. Based on feedback from the first sessions, Laser developed prototypes of art editions and visual motifs, which were “taste- tested” by later groups that convened in late November for what the artist deemed the “validation and refinement phase.” Laser’s video, The Armory Show Focus Group (2013), assembles the most useful viewpoints, culled from over twelve hours of focus group discussion footage.
The Armory Show Focus Group
Created by Liz Magic Laser
An Armory Show Commission
Featuring Ben Allen, Labrador Agency
Produced in association David Guinan, Polemic Media
Lew Baldwin, Editor
Geoffrey Hug, Videographer
Matthew Kessler, Videographer
Danilo Parra, Videographer
Brian Mcelroy, Production Coordinator
Reed Seifer, Graphic Designer
Nontsikelelo Mutiti, Post-production Graphic Designer
Michael Romeo, Sound Editor
Special thanks to Michelle Darnell, Michael Hall, Noah Horowitz, Winnie JieLin Hu, Manuela Paz, Allison Rodman and Esther Kim Varet
Produced with support from Various Small Fires, Los Angeles
© LIZ MAGIC LASER 2012