Arte Útil makes certain propositions about the goals, methodologies, and values that pertain to it. We assembled particular questions in four key areas to be tested throughout the laboratory. Key figures in artivism and related academic fields were invited to publicly present various positions vis-à-vis these hypothesis areas.
May 11, 2013: Access & Replication Mechanisms
How are Arte Útil projects made accessible to the intended users? What are the challenges when a project works as a prototype versus when it intends to have a more permanent presence? What are the challenges of passing the project to others or becoming an open source project, and how does that challenge the concept of authorship? How do Arte Útil projects navigate local needs while still becoming a reproducible model? How does Arte Útil maintain its political topography and coherence while changing location and circumstances?
• Azra Akšamija
• Tom Kalin
• Manon Slome
Azra Akšamija is a Sarajevo born artist and architectural historian, currently Assistant Professor in the Visual Arts at MIT’s Art, Culture and Technology Program. She holds undergraduate and graduate degrees in architecture from the Technical University Graz, Austria (Dipl.Ing. in 2001) and Princeton University (M.Arch. in 2004), and received her Ph.D. from MIT (History Theory and Criticism of Art and Architecture / Aga Khan Program for Islamic Architecture) in 2011. In her interdisciplinary practice, Akšamija investigates the potency of art and architecture to facilitate the process of transformative mediation in cultural or political conflicts, and in so doing, provide a framework for researching, analyzing, and intervening in contested socio-political realities. Her artwork takes shape though different types of media, including clothing, video, performance, sculpture and/or new media.
Tom Kalin is a New York based filmmaker, known as a prominent figure in the New Queer Cinema. Kalin’s award winning, critically acclaimed work traverses diverse forms and genres, from experimental video installations to narrative feature films. Based on two notorious 20th century crimes, his features Swoon and Savage Grace explore the tension between documentary fact and dramatic truth. In his short experimental work, Kalin often takes inspiration from literary sources and addresses contemporary issues such as displacement, urban isolation and homophobia. In these works and as a part of the AIDS activist collective Gran Fury, Kalin has done significant work to change the public opinion of AIDS, simultaneously expanding the definition of activist video. From short experimental videos to feature-length narrative films, Tom Kalin’s award winning, critically acclaimed work has been screened throughout the world. His films and videos are in the permanent collection of the Whitney Museum, the Centre Georges Pompidou and MoMA.
Manon Slome is a curator and co- Founder of No Longer Empty (NLE), a non-profit organization whose mission is to introduce high caliber art to a wider public by temporarily transforming vacant spaces throughout the city. From 2002 to June 2008 she was the Chief Curator of the Chelsea Art Museum in New York. During that time, she curated and oversaw a program of some forty exhibitions, symposia and museum publications as well as monographs and scholarly essays. Ms. Slome became highly involved with the Israeli art scene during her research for the exhibition, Such Stuff as Dreams are Made on, (2005) and has followed and researched the Israeli scene for the last three years. Prior to the CAM, Ms. Slome worked as a curator at the Guggenheim Museum for seven years and was a holder of a Helena Rubinstein curatorial fellowship at the Whitney Independent Study program. She has written widely on contemporary art and has recently completed The Aesthetics of Terror published by Charta Press.