Don’t Piss on Me and Tell Me it’s Raining
Curated by Bad at Sports

April 7 – May 22, 2010

Opening reception: April 7, 6-8 pm

go here to read the following in its entirety…

Richard: Just talk it through? Is that too postmodern?

Duncan: I don’t know. Well, what do you want to do with the apexart essay?

Richard: Are we recording? Is this ironic or is this not ironic?

Duncan: I don’t know if it’s ironic or not, but yes, we’re recording.

Richard: I think that we should talk about the philosophy of the program. Do a little bit about how it got started. Sort of do the compressed version of that talk we did the other day. And by “we,” I mean you, mostly. The royal “we.”

Duncan: [Laughs.] So you want to start with…?

Richard: Well, I think originally, we were just screwing around, having a conversation, being dumbasses, and I think it’s evolved into something more rich, with more depth and more seriousness. I mean, I think, at this point, we’re creating an audio archive of what’s going on in the art community, or at least the art community we have access to in this time and place. And the place has expanded into more cities than it was originally. Now it’s New York, San Francisco, Los Angeles, London, Switzerland, Sweden.

So I think it’s an examination, like a time capsule of what’s going on now, and that we’ll look at this project twenty, thirty, fifty years from now—at least on a personal level—and see an interesting history of what was going on now.

Duncan: Do you think we already do that? Do you think, when you look back on the programming that we put together five years ago, it seems kind of strange? Like, what we thought was urgent at that moment versus what turned out to be kind of urgent?

Richard: Oh, it’s embarrassing. [Laughs.] I listen to those early shows and groan. We were very flip about it at first, only when people started to list us on their resumes and we started to get feedback, either…deliriously angry or deliriously happy about what we were doing…only then did we realize that we had any sort of an audience and that we might need to be conscientious about how we were doing things.

Next Weekend: Bookfair

February 21, 2010

posted by caroline picard


Friday, February 26, Noon – 6 pm
Saturday, February 27, Noon – 6 pm

Two days of art, books, talks, things for sale, things for free, and more!

Organized by Temporary Services in conjunction with ART WORK: A NATIONAL CONVERSATION ABOUT ART, LABOR, AND ECONOMICS •

G400 Lecture Room & Gallery 400 at the Art & Design Hall, University of Illnois, Chicago
400 S. Peoria St (at Van Buren) • 312-996-6114

AREA Chicago
Bad At Sports
CAFF “Find us in the real world motherfuckers!”
Gallery 400
Esteban Garcia
Golden Age
Green Lantern Press
Half Letter Press
Terence Hannum
Harold Arts
Imperfect Articles
Clifton Meador & guests
David Moré
No Coast
Onsmith Dog Stew & Monkey Nudd Wine
Pros Arts Studio
Proximity Magazine
Radah & Team
Spudnik Press
Bert Stabler

posted by Caroline Picard

I’ve been working on a collaboration with incuBAte and Harold Arts – Harold Arts is putting out a series of interviews that take place between different arts organizations. I was kindly asked to interview inCUBATE; Abigail Satinsky ended up sending me an article that we used as a starting point. I thought I would include some of that article here. In it, Walter Robison of Colab (Collabarotative Projects in NYC) presents an argument for how alternative artspaces are like rock collections and commercial spaces are more like pet rocks….

so. Here goes it–



A text read at the “Profit vs. Nonprofit” panel at the annual meeting of the National Association of Artists Organizations, Houston


Walter Robinson

The subject at hand here today reminds me of rock, particularly two ways my father, who sold explosives for DuPont, commended rocks to me–in that way adults have, hoping to relive certain excitements vicariously via their kids. When I was litte, my dad tried to get me to start a rock collection’ he brough pieces of quartz and mica and doloite and sandstone home from the quarries, and tried to get me to label them and keep them on a set of shelves he built me and things like that. I remember being particularly interested in the way you could cut translucent shavings from the mica (I think it was mica), and the way you could grind the soft sandstone into ersatz into arrowheads on the concrete, but that’s about all that came of my preadolescent rock collection.

Anyway, I think having a rock collection if like having an alternative space, and what’s like having a commercial gallery is inventing a pet roxk, which for those of you with more important things to think of was a little rock that came in a box with instructions as to its care and keeping, that was phenomenal gift fad a few years ago, making its devisor rich, and amazing many people, my father included, because it showed how a clever person with a clever idea could hit that just-right cultural reflex and basically spin with gold out of thin air. Sort of like the American dream, in a postmodernist information age.

So bear with me here, while I spin out this metaphor. A pet rock and a rock collections are obviously very much the same, both being rocks–just as commercial galleries and alternative spaces are both places with stuff you come and look at. But of course they’re very much different, and the difference has not to do with what a thing is but how it’s approached, its cultural context, the kind of social organization it engenders, and of course its relationship to economics, scholarship and esthetics.

Your rock collection is an ensemble, a group whose individuals make sense, take on meaning, as part of a whole; it’s multidimensional, any kind of rock can fit in; it’s open-ended, int’s nonexclusive, and it appeals to the ineffable, one could say spiritual side of life, almost like esthetic appreciation. It’s not really worth anything (though this may not be strictly true, you don’t read about big rock collection sales in the papers much). It’s not worth anything, but you can spend money on it. Its pleasures are of a higher sort. But tis’ outside of any rock-market mechanism, and has an equivocal relationship with the avant-garde of the rock world. Doesn’t this sound like your typical alternative space?

I should stop here and talk a little about Collaborative Projects (New York City), the alternative space I was involved in a coupdl of years ago, to show what I’m thinking of when I talk abou alternative spaces and artists’ groups and things like that. I sued to call Colab an alternative alternative space on grant appliations and in press releeases (not to suggest the two are in any way similar). Colab was (and is still) an all-artists group, we had no administrators per se, we thought up projects and raised money (or should I say the other way around) and spent it the way we wanted, and basically positioned ourselves in opposition not only to the commercial gallery system of alternative art showcases too. This is nothing personal, this bias against administration, only a result of rhetoric and the kind of insightful analysis of society artists are known for.


if you would like to continue reading this article, you can download a pdf here.0754_001



January 31, 2009

posted by Caroline Picard

for all of you who are interested in seeing a spectacle today, I’d recommend heading down to Garfield Park at 1 pm for a show of Unlympics, a game of “class conscious” kickball. It’s part of a larger scheme created by Anne E. Moore, ” a month-long series of quirky sporting events aimed at encouraging debate about Chicago’s bid for the 2016 Olympics,” according to Chitown Daily News. Moore is currently working through a month-long residency at InCUBATE, a wonderful and ingenuitive space next to The Congress Theater.

here is a link to the unlympics website.

see you there?

bring hot toddies and chocolate

Episode three: open

by Rachel Shine

The last episode of the interview with Nell Taylor, captain of the Chicago Underground Library and Stephanie Acosta, first mate of the C.U.L. and co-founding member of the Anatomy collective.

You share a physical space with AREA and InCUBATE.  How has that helped to facilitate a sense of community and dialogue?

Nell:  Well, what’s cool about that is that we all have slightly overlapping missions in different ways. InCUBATE is an images-1artist residency program; they pull people in from all over.  AREA explores arts research education [and] activism – I think I said that actually in the exact order – so they do a lot of cross-disciplinary research in tracking organizations.  We’re still talking about ways we can all work together, and we’re looking forward to it.  But that wouldn’t necessarily reach back to the Anatomy Collective.  It’s funny.  A lot of people in the last couple of years have been working on charts and graphs maps trying to show these connections visually, so I’m kind of seeing that in my head right now and visualizing a lot of connections that people aren’t realizing or that kind of dead end before you get somewhere else and I feel like it could create a lot of opportunities for collaboration if people just knew what else was going on in the city.  Even if it has nothing to do with them.

Stephanie:  What Nell and I have talked about a lot is the hyper specialization in the consumer America world- that people are getting so educated in one thing that that’s all they can do, that everything has its place.  The idea of retaking the word dilettante is very exciting to me.  I can’t be great at everything, but it’s not actually a negative thing for me to have multiple n657396778_682839_9552interests and try to understand multiple things.  That makes me more accessible to more of the world than if I can only think and only embrace the one thing that comes naturally to me.  How is that reaching out?  Yet that’s exactly what a lot of the arts community has done.  That’s part of why I run a collective rather than a company.  It’s not that we are as multi-disciplinary as I hope we will someday be, but I want that door to have started open, rather to have to force it open [later] with the idea that the Chicago Underground Library can be a member of the Anatomy Collective.  It’s about how we interact rather than working in a vacuum.  For sure I think that that has happened in the literary world and in the music world; everybody is in such a rush to self-define that they reject anybody else that might have something to contribute that [doesn’t do] what they do, which is exactly why they need to access it.

Nell:  A very current example for me: [I’ve installed] a display at the Art Institute Flaxman Library of things from our collection.  The Art Institute has an amazing art books collection; they also have an amazing art periodicals collection.  How do I use my collection to make people think about art in a different way?  First I tried to look at it from a collaboration standpoint; can I find examples of artists working in things that aren’t necessarily art-based?  Artists collaborating with community groups, artists doing work with poets, artists working with musicians, things that would make [visual art] come off in a different way. But it’s hard to do that because that’s really a reflection of the subject matter that it’s tackling in the first place.  So I started to think about it from an audience perspective.  So, now if instead of its being about what artists are producing, what if it has to do with who the artists’ audience is?  How do I find work that’s not just artists making work for other artists, which it so often is?  And that’s when it starts to really get interesting for me because it is such a challenge, especially on a community level. In Chicago, everyone is making their performances for other performers – that’s who’s watching it, you know, you’re writing for other writers, you’re making your art for other artists, so how do I find things that reflect art directed to a different audience?  And that sort of defines the message of this library: how do you make people think about things differently?