ICA Ideas expand the reach and meaning of exhibitions on view, while providing dynamic modes of creation and interaction outside the exhibition format.
Idea 008: The Studio
Although many contemporary artists have broadened the term “studio” to encompass any space where they work and even where they present this work to an audience, The Studio program wants to propose a view from the other side: How have socioeconomic changes, the mutation of labor, and the increasing role of media in everyday life of society transformed the possibilities the studio?
Although many contemporary artists have broadened the term “studio” to encompass any space where they work and even where they present this work to an audience, The Studio program wants to propose a view from the other side: How have socioeconomic changes, the mutation of labor, and the increasing role of media in everyday life of society transformed the possibilities of the studio? In post-Fordist times, as our cognitive and affective capacities are constantly put to work, what becomes of the studio?
Our cities and our daily lives—the entirety of the planet—are increasingly organized with and through proliferating infrastructures. Physical and digital systems alike are characterized by massive scale and dominant control: phones and laptops are connected to networks nested in networks, while physical presence is scanned through towering surveillance structures. Global computation has become a tool for governance. Thomas Bayrle’ engagement with highway systems and urban sprawl since the 1970s, as well as his observations on seriality and standardization, anticipate many of the questions regarding form and power that arise from living in a fully interwoven world.
In a world in which experiences are continuously quantified and plotted as information, in which projection models and risk assessments guide our behavior, in which PR and polls drive our politics, there are individuals who function unencumbered by the ubiquitous condition of data. They carve out unlikely and often defiant practices in a world that feels increasingly flattened into numbers and trend reports. Laura Lima, Renaud Jerez, Susan Te Kahurangi King, and Ida Applebroog, each with unique agendas and strategies, make a case for the continued significance of subjectivities that find in defiance a constitutive trait.
Self-determination is a foundational cultural belief, particularly in American mythology, and characterized by faith in meritocracy, middle class self-expression and freedom of choice. John Miller’s work has frequently focused on the figure, and its life in social spaces, in order to point out the material reality that forms us all. Consumption and communication play key roles in constructing our “selves,” as witnessed by Miller’s interest in the banal and the everyday. Through his mannequins, material artifacts and photography, Miller poses a challenge: can the “self-made man” create the conditions that surround, determine and produce us?
When used to describe an apparatus, the term <emblack box typically suggests some unknown relationship between device input and output—consider, for instance, the following obscure machines: brain, computer, theater. Both installation technique and analogy for the camera, in Shannon Ebner’s hands the Black Box is both cybernetic and self-reflexive, a theatrical model that emphasizes the conditions for input while suggesting simultaneous outcomes.
The open call format shares with the general premise of the Internet the promise of a democratic, open-ended exchange of knowledge. In the case of the web, the increasing corporatization of search engines and social media—and recent events related to net neutrality—have led most observers to question the utopian and egalitarian principles of a free web. The works selected for Open Call: Web Based Art examine the structures and operations inherent to digital media, and explore the continued importance of traditionally interactive and de-materialized work.
The artists of Guccivuitton have frequently explored the relationship between artist and location, creating alternative methods of presentation and exchange. Idea 002 addresses the collective’s efforts to present and advance scholarship on regional material culture as it relates to international flows of capital and information. This line of inquiry involves a meditation on the development of Miami as a cultural center seeking to service international and regional audiences.
Ambiguities of composition and facture are just two of the paradoxes presented by the work of Ryan Sullivan. Complicating the “events” of viewership and production, Sullivan’s paintings signal a longer and more complicated life for the object.