BYO 2013


(Bring Your Own: Voices of the Contemporary at the Carpenter Center)

BYO fosters discussion and debate about pressing issues in contemporary culture across Harvard and Boston area communities by bringing to campus emerging figures in contemporary art for informal evening conversations.

BYO: Criminal Queers

Thursday, April 25, 2013
7 pm
Film Screening and Discussion with Chris Vargas & Eric Stanley

Two current Supreme Court cases—Hollingsworth v. Perry and Windsor v. U.S.—have turned the national spotlight on marriage equality, making 2013 a potentially watershed year in the history of gay rights. And yet, some ask whether the struggle for marriage equality represents a true advance for queer people everywhere, regardless of race, gender identity, and class. Has achieving respectability come at the expense of other strands of queer politics: grassroots activism, trans-queer solidarity, punk nonconformism or even camp humor? In Criminal Queers, directors Eric A. Stanley and Chris Vargas raise these questions and more while also bringing back DIY/punk filmmaking to queer cinema. They envision a radical trans/queer struggle against the prison industrial complex and toward a world without walls. Follow protagonists Yoshi, Joy, Susan and Lucy as they fiercely read everything from the Human Rights Campaign and hate crimes legislation to the non-profitization of social movements. Featuring a cameo by Angela Davis, Criminal Queers offers a biting critique of the gay rights movement laced with pitch-perfect deadpan humor. Post-screening discussion with directors Stanley and Vargas, moderated by Stephen Vider.

Co-sponsored by the Provostial Fund for the Arts and Humanities, the Carpenter Center for the Visual Arts, Open Gate Fund, Committee on Degrees in Studies of Women, Gender, and Sexuality, and Black and Pink.

Chris E. Vargas is a queer-trans-feminist film and video maker from Los Angeles, currently living in Oakland, CA. He has screened work extensively in queer, transgender, POC and feminist film festivals, galleries, and community spaces in the US and internationally. He is currently preparing video and media work for Transforming Justice, and CR10: Critical Resistance 10th anniversary conference. Along with Greg Youmans, Chis collaborates on the queer relationship sitcom-satire Falling In Love…with Chris and Greg. Chris can be reached at

Eric A. Stanley works at the intersections of radical trans/queer aesthetics, theories of state violence, and anti-coloniality. Eric is currently visiting faculty in Critical Studies at the San Francisco Art Institute and along with Chris Vargas, directed the films Homotopia (2006) and Criminal Queers (2012). A coeditor of the anthology Captive Genders: Trans Embodiment and the Prison Industrial Complex (AK Press, 2011), Eric’s other writing can be found in the journals Social Text, American Quarterly, and Women and Performance as well as in numerous collections. Eric, a formerly homeless youth from Richmond, VA, now lives in San Francisco, CA and continues to collectively organize with Gay Shame and Critical Resistance to abolish prisons and build worlds we all can inhabit.

Stephen Vider is a doctoral candidate in American Studies at Harvard University. His dissertation No Place Like Home: A Cultural History of Gay Domesticity, 1948-1982 explores the development of gay male domestic spaces and their representation in American culture. Before coming to Harvard, he worked as a freelance journalist and assistant editor at, an online magazine about Jewish culture. He has published academic articles and reviews in the Journal for the Theory of Social Behaviour, Transition, and Journal of the History of Sexuality. His writing has also appeared in The Village Voice, Newsday, and the New York Times.

Black & Pink is an open family of LGBTQ prisoners and “free world” allies who support each other. Our work toward the abolition of the prison industrial complex is rooted in the experience of currently and formerly incarcerated people. We are outraged by the specific violence of the prison industrial complex against LGBTQ people, and respond through advocacy, education, direct service, and organizing.

BYO: Working Conditions
Paradox of Labor and the Creative Industry

Wednesday, April 10, 2013
7 pm

Event and discussion in concert with Alexis Clements, Jesal Kapadia,
and Lise Soskolne.

The sphere of art has become newly bound to post-industrial economic structures, where terms such as “creativity” now circulate as hard currency in the branding of corporations and universities alike. The increasing value placed on cultural capital (in Pierre Bourdieu’s formulation), and the rise of the so-called “experience economy” have blurred lines between production and consumption, making it increasingly difficult to define what constitutes work, and to identify who is working, and to what ends. Working Conditions brings together three artists and practitioners engaged in challenging the notion of “work” in an increasingly individualistic and creative economy. The program will be structured as an open forum facilitated by Lise Soskolne, co-orginizer of W.A.G.E. (Working Artists and the Greater Economy); playwright and journalist Alexis Clements; and Jesal Kapadia, artist and lecturer at MIT’s Program in Art, Culture and Technology.

Lise Soskolne (W.A.G.E) is a visual artist with over 14 years of work experience in non-profit arts presenting and development in New York at venues that have included Anthology Film Archives, Participant Inc, Roulette Intermedium, Diapason Gallery, The House Foundation for the Arts, and Artists Space. In 2007 she founded and managed Industry City Art Project, the arts component in the broader regeneration of Industry City, a century-old 6.5-million square foot industrial complex on the South Brooklyn waterfront. This included the establishment of 40 rent-stabilized studios for artists in financial need, 30 market-rate studios, and sporadic arts programming that gave rise to film venue Light Industry. The project’s goal was to establish a new paradigm for industrial redevelopment that would not displace artists, workers, local residents or industry but would instead build a sustainable community of working artists in a context that integrated cultural and industrial production. Lise is currently co-organizer with A.L. Steiner of Working Artists and the Greater Economy (W.A.G.E.), a group of artists, art workers, performers and independent curators fighting to get paid for making the world more interesting.

Alexis Clements is a playwright and journalist based in Brooklyn, NY. She is currently a Fellow at the Cultural Strategies Initiative. Her creative work has been produced and published in both the US and the UK. She is the co-editor of the two-volume anthology of performance texts by women titled, Out of Time & Place, which includes her performance piece, Conversation. Her articles, essays, and interviews have appeared in publications such as Bitch Magazine, The Brooklyn Rail, The L Magazine, Nature, and Aesthetica. She regularly writes about art and performance for Hyperallergic. She is currently working on a nonfiction book about the way that the arts are valued in the US. Much of her writing is concerned with art and labor. She works to bring greater transparency to the often long and complex processes by which a work of art goes from the idea-stage to presentation before a public audience. Many casual arts audiences have little understanding of all that is involved in the creation of a single work of art—time, research, resources, assistance, infrastructure, etc. This lack of understanding, which Clements seeks to rectify, stands in the way of much-needed critiques of the structures of access and support for artists.

Jesal Kapadia is an artist and lecturer at MIT’s Program in Art, Culture and Technology. Over the last ten years, she has collectively edited art for Rethinking Marxism (a journal of economics, culture and society) and has organized and participated in events with members of 16beaver group (a New York artist community that functions as an open platform for discussion, critique and collaboration). She has taught and developed courses at the International Center for Photography, New School for Public Engagement, Cooper Union School of Art in New York City, and Rhode Island School of Design in Providence. Her work in different classrooms and with the two collectives has further enabled her explorations into the fragile but dynamic exchange between art and organizing, art and social change, and art and pedagogy. Recent screenings, installations and workshops include the “And And And” platform at Documenta 13 in Kassel, “Fiat: Experiments in Financial Semantics” at the Neiman Gallery in Columbia University, “Prolonged Engagement” at EFA Project Space in New York, and “Art and Revolution" at the U.S. Social Forum in Detroit. Her current work is focused on the resurgent idea of Satyagraha, led by the community-based activists in Gangtok, Sikkim, and the members of ACT (Affected Citizens of Teesta river) in the north east part of India, where they conducted a year-long hunger strike protesting the construction of hydroelectric dams proposed for the Himalayan region.

BYO: Dance-Text Collaborations

Wednesday, March 27, 2013
Sculpture Studio, Second Floor

Presentation/performance and discussion with Julie Carr and K.J. Holmes

Moderated by Carrie Lambert-Beatty

Dance and writing would seem, on first glance, to hail from very different worlds of thought and feeling – the one spatial and immanent, the other lexical and more permanent. Indeed, there is a temptation to distinguish the two practices according to all-too familiar antinomies: body versus mind, gesture versus word, ephemeral versus archival. And yet, like those cognitive pairs, dancers and poets share many overlapping concerns as well as a rich history of collaboration. On March 27th, BYO: Voices of the Contemporary at the Carpenter Center will host an evening forum to seek out the intimacies between writing and dance, both historically and in current practice. Longtime collaborators dancer K.J. Holmes and poet Julie Carr will screen a series of videos documenting pivotal dance-text collaborations from the mid-seventies through the present, among artists such as Anne Carson, Rashaun Mitchell, Silas Riener, Miguel Gutierrez, Sarah Shelton Mann, Michael Palmer, Margaret Jenkins, Ralph Lemon, Lisa Nelson, and Steve Paxton. After their presentation, Holmes and Carr will perform a new work and discuss their collaborations across dance and writing. The discussion will be moderated by Carrie Lambert-Beatty, Professor of History of Art and Architecture and Visual and Environmental Studies at Harvard.

In the spirit of this series, and of ecological sustainability, we invite you to "bring your own" cup, plate, and utensils if convenient. (There is a designated dish-washing sink in the studio.)

Julie Carr is the author of four books of poetry, Mead: An Epithalamion, Equivocal, 100 Notes on Violence (winner of the Sawtooth Poetry Prize, 2009), and Sarah-Of Fragments and Lines (a National Poetry Series winner for 2010). Her study of Victorian poetry and poetics is forthcoming from Dalkey Archive. Carr is a professor of English at the University of Colorado, Boulder, where she teaches creative writing, and courses on British and American poetry from the Victorian period to the present. Carr is also the co-publisher, with Tim Roberts, of Counterpath Press. Carr danced professionally in New York for more than ten years, performing at venues such as PS122, Dancespace Project, DTW, DIA and The Kitchen.

K.J. Holmes is an independent dance artist based in Brooklyn, NY who has been exploring improvisation as process and performance since 1981. She teaches, choreographs and performs at festivals, universities and venues throughout the world, as a soloist and in her collaborations with artists such as Simone Forti, Image Lab (Lisa Nelson, Karen Nelson and Scott Smith), Body of Truth and in the work of Steve Paxton. Holmes is adjunct faculty at New York University Experimental Theater Wing and is an ongoing teacher at Movement Research NYC where she is a 2012-14 Artist-in-residence. Holmes completed a two year acting training of Sanford Meisner technique at the William Esper Studio in NYC (2009) and is a graduate of The School for Body-Mind Centering, of which the play between is essential to her current dance/theater making. Her evening length piece—This is where we are (or take arms against a sea of troubles)—which looks at where the body and linguistics meet, was performed at The Chocolate Factory Theater, Long Island City, NY in 2011.


Locating Media

Thursday, April 12, 2012
7:00 pm
Sert Seminar Space, 3rd Floor

Advanced computer generated mapping and data visualization techniques often abstract the tangible effects of the information they compile and display. Bringing together artists and scholars working in the disparate fields of cartography, musicology, and astrophysics, this panel investigates contemporary efforts to short-circuit data's sometimes distancing effects and create a more direct, participatory relationship between data, media, bodies, and environments. New York University artist Wafaa Bilal will discuss his 2010 24-hour performance …and Counting, during which he publicly tattooed his back with a borderless map of Iraq covered with one dot for every Iraqi and American casualty of the current war near the cities in which they were killed. Columbia University musicologist Beau Bothwell will discuss his work on the circulation of popular music between the US and the Middle East, examining the shifting soundscape of state-funded radio diplomacy and propaganda in the region. Harvard Astrophysicist Alberto Pepe will discuss his work on the dual nature of airports as structures necessarily located in real time and space, yet tightly coupled with a sense of transience and mobility that threatens a coherent sense of place, with reference to airport restrictions related to contemporary counter-terrorism efforts.

Free and open to the public. Food and drinks provided.


Iraqi-born artist Wafaa Bilal, an Assistant Arts Professor at New York University's Tisch School of the Arts, is known internationally for his on-line performative and interactive works provoking dialogue about global politics and internal dynamics. Bilal's work is constantly informed by the experience of fleeing his homeland and existing simultaneously in two worlds – his home in the "comfort zone" of the U.S. and his consciousness of the "conflict zone" in Iraq. Bilal suffered repression under Saddam Hussein’s regime and fled Iraq in 1991 during the first Gulf War. After two years in refugee camps in Kuwait and Saudi Arabia, he came to the U.S. where he graduated from the University of New Mexico and then obtained an MFA at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. In 2008 City Lights published "Shoot an Iraqi: Art, Life and Resistance Under the Gun," about Bilal's life and the Domestic Tension project. For his most recent project, the 3rdi, Bilal had a camera surgically implanted on the back of his head to spontaneously transmit images to the web 24 hours a day – a statement on surveillance, the mundane and the things we leave behind. Bilal’s 2010 work "...And Counting" similarly used his own body as a medium. His back was tattooed with a map of Iraq and dots representing Iraqi and US casualties – the Iraqis in invisible ink seen only under a black light. Bilal's 2007 installation, Domestic Tension, placed him on the receiving end of a paintball gun that was accessible online to a worldwide audience over the period of a month in a Chicago gallery.

Beau Bothwell is a doctoral candidate in the Music Department at Columbia University, where he is completing a dissertation on the use of music in American government-funded radio broadcasts to the Middle East. His research addresses the intersection between popular music, mass media, and transnational politics. Beau has lived and studied Arabic in Syria on a FLAS grant, and in Yemen on a fellowship from the American Institute for Yemeni Studies. He received his M.A. and M.Phil. from Columbia University, where he teaches courses in the Music Department and has lectured on various aspects of music, culture, and media in the Arab World and the United States. Beau also holds B.A. degrees in music history and ethnomusicology from UCLA, where he studied contrabass performance, and began his interest in Arabic music and culture playing the oud in UCLA’s Near Eastern Ensemble under Ali Jihad Racy. He has published in American Music Review, Current Musicology and the New Grove Dictionary of American Music, and has a chapter in the forthcoming volume The Soundtrack of Conflict: The Role of Music in Radio Broadcasting in Wartime and in Conflict Situations.

Alberto Pepe Gentile is the in-house information scientist at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics. He is a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at Harvard University working at both the Center for Astrophysics and the Institute for Quantitative Social Science. Previously, he worked at the CERN high-energy physics laboratory in Geneva. He holds a Ph.D. in Information Science from the University of California, Los Angeles, M.Sc. and B.Sc. in Astrophysics from the University College London, UK. Pepe was born and raised in the small wine-making town of Manduria, in Puglia, Southern Italy.

BYO 2012 is made possible by a grant from the Provostial Fund for the Arts and Humanities.

The Order of the Third Bird: Further Research on the Fascicle of E

WEDNESDAY, April 18, 2012
7:00 pm

Sert Seminar Space, 3rd Floor

The number of works of art in the world now exceeds the number of persons. If each of these human artifacts can be understood as a request for attention, the nature and scale of the problem immediately becomes apparent. The Order of the Third Bird, a small community of practitioner-friends working at the convergence of performance and aesthetic theory, has set out to address this problem. Their aim is two-fold: first, to evolve practices of sustained attention suitable to the occasion of a work of art; and second, to mobilize these shared practices in various interventions and engagements.

Making use of available documentation, D. Graham Burnett and Sal Randolph will provide a brief synopsis of The Order of the Third Bird, its principles, and preoccupations. The focus of the evening will be their ongoing efforts to sift an emerging archive that bears on the genealogy of the Order's practices. Is it possible to trace the history of the Order, and to make sense of its implicit entanglement with crucial moments in the philosophy of aesthetics? Surprising new sources are continuously coming to light, and require both public airing and critical scrutiny. Following Burnett and Randolph’s presentation, Helen Mirra will moderate an open discussion.

D. Graham Burnett is an editor at Cabinet magazine and a professor of history at Princeton University.

Sal Randolph is an artist and theorist working with issues of gift-giving, money, alternate economies, and social architecture.

Helen Mirra is the John L. Loeb Associate Professor of the Humanities in Visual and Environmental Studies at Harvard.

Free and open to the public. Dinner and drinks will be provided.

This BYO event is made possible by a grant from the Provostial Fund for the Arts and Humanities and the Arts in Education program at the Harvard Graduate School of Education.


The Order of the Third Bird: Practical Aesthesis

3:00–5:00 pm

Sackler Museum
485 Broadway, Cambridge, MA

Please email if you would like to participate in this afternoon practicum.
Space limited.

The Order of the Third Bird will lead a small group of students and members of the public through a distinctive mode of aesthetic practice—a way of being with a work of art that experiments with orientations to the art-object and styles of address that are simultaneously physical (marked by a distinctive habitus) and mental (mobilizing an inner state or process). The practice is structured but elastic. It is quasi-liturgical, best practiced in groups, and tends to be silent. It is generous (not judgmental) and deemphasizes “learning” (i.e., prior knowledge of artists and works of art). Using such an approach, The Order of the Third Bird and workshop participants will make themselves available as (ludic/loving) agents of aesthetic realization.

This BYO event is made possible by a grant from the Provostial Fund for the Arts and Humanities and the Arts in Education program at the Harvard Graduate School of Education.

Unstable Art [Art and the Occupy Movement]

Tuesday, March 27, 2012
7:30 pm
Sert Seminar Space, 3rd Floor

In a climate of instability and forced austerity, artists and cultural workers face an increasingly precarious position. For some, present conditions challenge the very category of art altogether, and give renewed urgency to the question of art's purpose or "usefulness" in a period of social upheaval.

This evening discussion, hosted by BYO: Voices of the Contemporary at the Carpenter Center, seeks to create an open forum for critical reflection on the relevance of art in light (and shadow) of the burgeoning politics of the Occupy movement.

Please contribute questions for discussion by contacting

Free and open to the public. Food and drinks provided.

BYO 2012 is made possible by a grant from the Provostial Fund for the Arts and Humanities.

BYO: Being Together

Tuesday, March 29, 2011
6:45 pm, doors close promptly at 7 pm
Sert Space
Carpenter Center, 3rd Floor

This panel blurs the distinction between "discussion" and "performance," incorporating live works by experimental choreographers alongside a conversation about the ways contemporary dance registers and responds to its live audience. In "Being Together," BYO: Voices of the Contemporary at the Carpenter is pleased to feature the work of Ursula Eagly, Catherine Galasso, and Jen Rosenblit in our first performative artist lecture. Casting back to the 1960s moment of interdisciplinary, experimental work, the renewed emphasis on performance art and contemporary dance in art museum programming opens up an opportunity to explore contemporary dance's activation of visual, sensory and somatic modes of spectatorship. This panel will push the boundaries between work and viewer, asking how a dance that actively invites its audience into the conversation would look and feel.

Free and open to the public. Food and drinks provided.
Because this panel includes live performance, as a courtesy to the artists and fellow audience members, please arrive on time.

Participant bios

Ursula Eagly has been working in dance in New York City since 2000.  For the past six years, she's been especially interested in manipulating viewing experiences. Her latest work, a quartet called Group Dynamics and Visual Sensitivity that premiered at Danspace Project, was an experiment in a new way of seeing movement. Her previous piece, the solo Fields of Ida, premiered at Dance Theater Workshop in 2009 and subsequently toured to Macedonia and Albania. Ursula frequently dances in the work of other choreographers, and her approach to improvisation is influenced by four years of working with choreographers Kathy Westwater and Yoshiko Chuma. Through Yoshiko's work, Ursula has collaborated with extraordinary artists in Japan and East/Central Europe and has become deeply invested in cross-border exchange. She is currently engaged in an ongoing exchange with the Macedonian choreographer Iskra Sukarova.  Ursula also investigates performance through writing. She's written for various magazines, including Artforum, and is the current guest editor of Critical Correspondence.

Catherine Galasso is an interdisciplinary artist and choreographer based in New York City and San Francisco. For the past five years her work has been presented at Danspace Project, Dance New Amsterdam, Brooklyn Arts Exchange, Chen Dance Center, Hollins University, ODC Theater, CounterPULSE, Theatre Artaud, SomArts, as well as the International Theater Festival in Pristina, Kosovo. She has been awarded grants from the Zellerbach and Bossak/Heilbron Foundations as well as commissions by ODC Theater, Duo Theater, the San Francisco Film Society, and the San Francisco Foundation. 2011 engagements include mentorship with Ralph Lemon, an evening-length performance installation about silent film pioneers the Lumière Brothers, and a live-in residency at the Headlands Center for the Arts. Catherine earned a European Baccalaureate from the Venice Art Institute in Venice, Italy, and a BA in Film from Cornell University in Ithaca, NY.

Jen Rosenblit has been living in NYC since 2005. Her most recent works including Everlast and So Badly which premiered at Dance Theater Workshop's Fresh Tracks series, When Them as part of Danspace Project's Platform 2010 Back to New York City, and Salivate if you could, are all part of her desire to be with audience. In 2011 Rosenblit will set work on students at both Hampshire College and Hollins University as well as teaching for and co-organizing CLASSCLASSCLASS! In her apartment she spends much of her time rearranging the way the spice shelf looks and bouncing between the idea of hiding or showcasing certain objects used for everyday utility.


October 19, 2010
7:30 p.m.
Sert Space
Carpenter Center, 3rd Floor

BYO: Voices of the Contemporary at the Carpenter Center is pleased to host a panel discussion dedicated to local alternative arts organizations in Boston/Cambridge, with representatives from Big RED & Shiny, iKatun, and Platform 2. The discussion will address such questions as:

  • What is it like to be an artist in Boston in 2010?
  • What are the political, cultural and infrastructural conditions that limit artistic endeavors in the city?
  • Is there a 'scene' that is specific to Boston?
  • If so, how might we characterize its potential, its challenges, its uniqueness?

The goal of this forum is to bring voices from local artist-run organizations into dialogue with students and scholars from Harvard, MIT, and other academic institutions.


Matthew Gamber holds a BFA from Bowling Green State University, and an MFA from the School of the Museum of Fine Arts/Tufts University. He is currently a Digital Imaging Technician with Preservation & Imaging at Harvard University, and the former Editor in Chief of Big RED & Shiny. Gamber has taught at Art Institute of Boston/Lesley University, College of the Holy Cross, Savannah College of Art & Design, and Massachusetts College of Art & Design. He is represented by Gallery Kayafas, Boston.

Kanarinka, Boston, Massachusetts, is an artist and educator. Her art practice is interdisciplinary and is often distributed across various sites, physical and virtual. A single project might take place online,in the street and in a gallery and involve multiple audiences participating in different ways for different reasons. Many of her projects are collaboratively authored. Her artwork as been exhibited at the ICA Boston, Eyebeam in New York City, MASSMoCA, and the Western Front in Vancouver. Kanarinka, a.k.a. Catherine D’Ignzaio, is co-director of the experimental curatorial group, iKatun, and a founder of The Institute for Infinitely Small Things. She currently teaches at the Rhode Island School of Design in the Digital Media Graduate Program where she runs the Affective Geographies Research Cluster.

Digital media artist Jane D. Marsching's work explores our past, present and future human impact on the environment through interdisciplinary and collaborative practices, including video installations, virtual landscapes, dynamic websites, and data visualizations. Recent exhibitions include: the ICA Boston; MassMoCA; North Carolina Museum of Art; San Jose Museum of Art, CA; Photographic Resource Center, Boston, MA; and Sonoma Museum of Art, CA. She has received grants from Creative Capital, LEF Foundation, Artadia and Artists Resource Trust. Recent publications include: BiPolar (Cornerhouse 2008), Gothic (Whitechapel Press, London, 2008), and S&F Online: Gender on Ice (Barnard College, 2008. With Mark Alice Durant in 2005, she curated The Blur of the Otherworldly: Contemporary Art, Technology, and the Paranormal, at the Center for Art and Visual Culture, Baltimore, MD; a catalog of the exhibition was published in June 2006 with essays by Marsching, Durant, Marina Warner and Lynne Tillman. She is a cofounder and member of Platform2: Art and Activism, an experimental forum series about creative practices at the intersection of social issues. She is currently associate professor at Massachusetts College of Art in Studio Foundation. She received her MFA in photography from The School of Visual Arts, New York City, in 1995.

Matthew Nash is Associate Professor at The Art Institute of Boston at Lesley University, and publisher of the online art magazine Big RED & Shiny, which concluded a 7-year run this past August. Big RED & Shiny received 5 grants from the LEF Foundation. Nash is also half of the artist team Harvey Loves Harvey, whose time-based and experiential work explores themes of communication, friendship and failure. Harvey Loves Harvey will be presenting new work at Gallery Kayafas in January of 2011.

Savić Rašović a.k.a Pirun a.k.a. Sasha… born in Titograd, Yugoslavia;
now from Podgorica, Montenegro… lives and works in Cambridge,
Massachusetts, USA... entrepreneur, new media artist, performer, curator,
publisher, designer, programmer, political activist… co-founder of iKatun,
a non-profit with a mission to foster public engagement in the politics of
information… member of the Institute for Infinitely Small Things that
uses performance to investigate social and political everyday… editor of
kontrabanda, propaganda factory for future dada...

Andi Sutton is an artist whose work explores the ways performance art methodology can be used to create alternative models for community and social engagement. Informed by the Fluxus and Situationist art movements, feminist pedagogy and performance art practice, her interdisciplinary collaborative and solo practice draws on strategies from these practices to create large-scale, interactive public interventions. She is a member of the collaboratives the National Bitter Melon Council and Platform2, and was curator of the Public Art Incubator Program for the Berwick Research Institute. Sutton has presented projects in museums and festivals in San Francisco, Boston, Chicago, New York, Vancouver, Bogota, Yogyakarta (Indonesia), among others. She is the recipient of the Museum of Fine Arts Traveling Scholars Award (2010) and the Artadia Art Award: Boston (2007) with the National Bitter Melon Council. She graduated with a BA in Women's Studies and BFA in Fine Art from a combined degree program between Tufts University and the School of the Museum of Fine Arts Boston, and is currently the Program Coordinator for the Graduate Consortium in Women's Studies at MIT.

March 18, 2009
Sert Space
Carpenter Center, 3rd Floor

An informal discussion on representing blackness
in a post "Shirley Q. Liquor" world
with Kalup Linzy and Tavia Nyong'o

A key figure in a new generation of "queer video artists," Kalup Linzy satirizes almost every cultural scene, high to low, in video pastiches written, directed, performed, edited and overdubbed by himself (perhaps most famously All My Churen ( The work deconstructs identity markers and brings Southern, queer and transgendered subcultures into the frame. Tavia Nyong'o, an assistant professor of performance studies at New York University, poses a challenge to prevailing narratives regarding the historical formation of blackness and queerness by newly reading early nineteenth-century cultural performances of gender and sexuality as preparation for the highly politicized "postracial" nation to come. In this conversation for BYO, each will present recent projects - Linzy's Melody Set me Free (2007) and Keys To Our Heart (2008) and Nyong'o's reading of masochism, music, and queer performance in Linzy's work - while assessing the medium of recorded performance, particularly its potential to expose the connections between, race, class, sex, and popular culture.

Kalup Linzy is an American video and performance artist currently living and working in Brooklyn. Born in Stuckey, Florida, he received his MFA from the University of South Florida in 2003. He was named a Guggenheim Fellow in 2007 and in 2008 he received a Creative Capital Grant and a fellowship from the Jerome Foundation. His work has been reviewed in the New York Times, Art in America, and Artforum and is collected by major museums including MOMA. Most recently he showed in Prospect 1 in New Orleans, at Art Basel Miami, and received a grant from Art Matters to support a European tour of a new album/project with original music, spoken word and performance.

Tavia Nyong'o is assistant professor of performance studies at New York University, where he teaches courses in black and queer art, cultural history, and performance. He is a frequent invited speaker locally and internationally in both academic and museum settings. He has published essays and reviews in Social Text, The Nation, Yale Journal of Criticism, Women and Performance, TDR, and Radical History Review. His first book, The Amalgamation Waltz, will be released by the University of Minnesota Press in 2009.

This event is co-sponsored with Harvard University's Department of African and African American Studies and the W.E.B. Du Bois Institute for African and African American Research.

With Steven Duncombe and Steven Lambert
December 10, 2008
7:00 p.m.
Sert Space
Carpenter Center, 3rd Floor

Q: As a political artist, how can you know when you have been successful?
--Stephen Duncombe and Steve Lambert

A: I've been asked that question many times, and that question requires one to go around it before one really avoids it.
--Hans Haacke

BYO: Voices of the Contemporary at the Carpenter Center is pleased to host a discussion with artist Steve Lambert and theorist/critic Stephen Duncombe about their work-in-progress, "How to Win," which is part of their ongoing interrogation of the terms and conditions of activism, efficacy, and social and political change in contemporary art. Consisting of interviews with approximately 40 mid-career artists in both the visual and performing arts, this project is currently assembled into a dynamic website, and will result in a book that will explore how contemporary artists conceptualize their work's success-its efficacy in bringing about real-world change through artistic practices. Is art effective in bringing about change? How is it most effective? What constitutes efficacy? And how does one know if the art has or has not been effective?

Project Blog:


Stephen Duncombe
is an associate professor at New York University where he teaches the history and politics of media and culture. He is the author of "Dream: Re-Imagining Progressive Politics in an Age of Fantasy" and "Notes from Underground: Zines and the Politics of Alternative Culture," as well the editor of the "Cultural Resistance Reader." Duncombe also writes widely on culture and politics for a number of scholarly and popular publications, from the cerebral Nation to the more prurient Playboy. He is a lifelong political activist, a co-founder of the community activist group The Lower East Side Collective, and a key organizer for the New York City chapter of the international direct-action group Reclaim the Streets. He is currently working on three projects: 1) a book on propaganda and persuasion during the New Deal, 2) an anthology on punk rock and the politics of race and 3) an ongoing exploration of the efficacy of political art (with Steve Lambert). He lives in New York City.


Village Voice profile:

Steve Lambert is currently in the news for his role in the distribution of a hoax edition of the New York Times in cities around the country. A Senior Fellow at Eyebeam Center for Art and Technology in New York, Lambert teaches at Parsons/The New School and Hunter College. Despite never graduating from high school, Steve went on to study sociology, film, and music before receiving a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from the San Francisco Art Institute in 2000 and a Master of Fine Arts degree at UC Davis in 2006. He founded the Budget Gallery, an outdoor guerilla art gallery, in 1999 and the Anti-Advertising Agency in 2004. Steve has worked as a furniture installer, radio host, record store clerk, ballet dancer, parking lot attendant, Winnie the Pooh at kid's parties, mystery shopper, undercover store investigator, theater house manager, delivery truck driver, national dealer representative, upright bass player in country western band, high school teacher, landscaper, and lecturer among other things. He currently claims artist and professor on his taxes. Steve's projects and art works have won awards from Rhizome/The New Museum, Turbulence, the Creative Work Fund, Adbusters Media Foundation, the California Arts Council, the Belle Foundation, and others. His work has been shown nationally in cities like Detroit, New York, and throughout the San Francisco Bay Area, as well as internationally in Havana, Canada, Barcelona, and Rotterdam. He has been banned for life from the El Dorado Hotel and Casino in Reno, Nevada. Writings about his work have appeared in multiple publications such as the New York Times, Punk Planet, ArtNews, and Newsweek.

Steve's website:

New York Times hoax paper:

BYO is supported by the Provostial Funds Committee of the Office of the Dean for the Arts and Humanities.

October 22, 2008
Sert Space
Carpenter Center, 3rd Floor

An Informal Discussion on the Politics of the Handmade with Julia Bryan-Wilson, Liz Collins, Sabrina Gschwandtner and Cat Mazza


Julia Bryan-Wilson is the director of the PhD program in visual studies at the University of California, Irvine and assistant professor of contemporary art history. She has taught previously at the Rhode Island School of Design, where she was awarded the John Frazier Award for Excellence in Teaching, and held postdoctoral fellowships at the Getty Foundation and the O'Keeffe Museum Research Center for American Modernism. Bryan-Wilson was an inaugural winner of the Creative Capital/Andy Warhol Foundation Arts Writers Grant. Her writing has appeared in the Art Bulletin, Artforum, Art US, Art Journal, Bookforum, Cabinet, Camera Obscura, Frieze, and Modern Painters. Her current project examines the feminist, queer, and activist potential of handmade, craft-based art since 1970."Queerly Made: Harmony Hammond's Floorpieces" is forthcoming in the March issue of the Journal of Modern Craft. Her book, Art Workers: Radical Practice in the Vietnam War Era, which focuses on questions of collectivity and artistic labor in the late 1960s and 1970s, will be published in 2009 by the University of California Press. She received her PhD from UC Berkeley.

Liz Collins is an artist and designer, recognized internationally for her use of machine knitting to create ground breaking clothing, textiles, and installations. After five years as an independent designer of ready-to-wear collections in New York, in the fall of 2003 Collins returned to her alma mater, Rhode Island School of Design (BFA’91/ MFA’99), as an assistant professor in the Textile Department. In addition to teaching, Collins currently designs knitwear and collaborates with other designers, producing signature knit pieces and collections for them. In the spring of 2005, a new facet of Collins’ work emerged: a series of performance-based installations called KNITTING NATION, that employ uniformed machine knitters to create a multi-sensory experience that examines the relationship of humans to manufacturing and the process of machine knitting. Collins is a 2006 United States Artists Target Fellow in Crafts and Traditional Arts and a member of the Council of Fashion Designers of America. Her work was included in the celebrated exhibition Radical Lace and Subversive Knitting at the Museum of Arts and Design in 2007, Evolution/Revolution at the RISD Museum of Art in 2008, and can be seen the books Fashioning Fabrics, by Sandy Black and Elyssa da Cruz, Knitknit: Presenting 27 Innovative Knitters and Their Projects, by Sabrina Gschwandtner, and Designing a Knitwear Collection: From Inspiration to Finished Garment, by Lisa Donofrio and Marylin Heffernen.

Sabrina Gschwandtner is a New York City-based artist who works with a range of photographic and textile mediums including: Super 8 film; digital video; 35 mm slides; sewing; crochet; knitting; and embroidery. She received her BA in art/semiotics from Brown University and an MFA from Bard College. Her artwork has been exhibited at various international museums and galleries such as the Fleming Museum, Vermont and the Museum of Arts & Design, New York. She is the founder of KnitKnit, a limited edition art journal published in seven editions to date and included in the permanent collections of the Harvard Art Museums and the Museum of Modern Art in New York. She has curated exhibitions and events around themes explored in the publication, including "The Handmade Goes Digital," a screening at the Museum of Arts & Design, New York, NY and The Workmanship of Risk, an art exhibition at the Richard F. Brush Art Gallery, St. Lawrence University, Canton, NY. Sabrina's book KnitKnit: Profiles and Projects from Knitting's New Wave was published by Stewart, Tabori, and Chang in 2007. She has written articles, reviews, and essays for the Journal of Modern Craft, Selvedge, American Craft and Cabinet, among many other publications.

Cat Mazza is the creator of microRevolt, a web-based practice that engages new media audiences, labor activists, and craft hobbyists. A 2008 Creative Capital grantee and a 2007 Rockefeller Re:New Media Arts Fellow, Mazza has exhibited at the Museum of Arts and Design in New York City, Garanti Gallery in Istanbul, Turkey, and Arte & Arte in Como, Italy and received a  Digital Communities award in 2005 Ars Electronica. Mazza was a founding member of Eyebeam, an art and technology center in New York City, from 1999 to 2002. She received her BFA from Carnegie Mellon University and her MFA from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. Mazza is currently assistant professor of art at UMass, Boston


APRIL 3, 2008

In recent years, Dubai has been posited as a spectacularized, almost virtual landscape whose mind-bogglingly rapid expansion has made it impossible to grasp, much less critique. Rhetoric about Dubai has attempted to render it “post-critical” and “post-ideological,” beyond critical theory’s capacity to adequately engage. Negar Azimi, Joseph Grima and Jace Clayton's work in and about Dubai offers strategies for dismantling this disabling rhetoric, forcing a reconsideration of the notions of the "post-critical" and "post-ideological" in Dubai and within the contemporary critical landscape more broadly. Azimi, senior editor of the Middle Eastern arts and culture magazine Bidoun, discussed the way Bidoun has reconceptualized the glossy magazine as a site for criticality. Clayton, a sound artist, DJ and critic who often writes about and works with North African and Middle Eastern music, discussed sampling and remixing as artistic strategies within and outside of DJ culture. Grima, the director of Storefront for Art and Architecture, discussed Storefront’s intervention in uber-consumerist SoHo, contrasting that with the myriad difficulties Storefront faced trying to establish an outpost in Dubai.
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APRIL 24, 2008

Both Alex Schweder, an architect, and Ward Shelley, an artist, move outside of the traditional boundaries that generally conscribe their respective disciplines, working together on projects they call “Transgressive Architecture.” For BYO, Schweder and Ward explored the particular challenges of their unique collaboration through two of their joint projects: Flatland, a work exhibited at the Sculpture Center in 2007 and Stability, a work currently in progress.  Both of these works reconsider the relationship between architecture and performance, resituating buildings as more than merely the space in which many performances occur in order to consider the ways in which architecture can itself be performative. ( and


MARCH 18, 2008

Born in Israel, raised in France, and now living in Austria, Blum was trained as a historian, and his often biting installations, books, and videos are based in a meticulous but creative research process.  From a house museum in Istanbul for a (very) little-known figure in modern Turkish history, to a video documenting the artist's exhaustive, exhausting attempt to meet in Indonesia the workers who made his Nike sneakers, Blum's art provides innovative openings into debates about historical memory, place, and national identity under the conditions of globalization. (


The term "intervention" has gained currency as an alternative to "committed," "engagé," or "political" artwork. The meaning and implications of this shift, and the resonance of this term for current practice, was the theme considered during the first and second evening sessions of BYO, the first of which took place in spring 2007 and included artist Azra Aksamija, curator Eva Diaz, and sound artist Daniel Perlin, and the second of which happened in fall 2007 and included artist and geographer Trevor Paglan and critic Yates McKee.

Participant Bios

Intervention in Contemporary Artistic Practice, Part 1
April 25, 2007

Azra Akšamija is an artist and architect based in Cambridge, USA. Since fall 2004 she has been affiliated with Massachusetts Institute of Technology as a Ph.D. student in the Department of Architecture. Born in Sarajevo, Bosnia-Herzegovina in 1976, she graduated from the Faculty of Architecture at the Technical University Graz, Austria in 2001, and received her M.Arch from Princeton University in 2004. Her work has been widely published and exhibited in venues such as the Generali Foundation Vienna (2002), Biennial de Valencia (2003), Berlin Art Fair (2003), Graz Biennial of Media and Architecture (2003), Gallery for Contemporary Art Leipzig (2003), and Liverpool Biennial (2004), Witte de With Rotterdam (2005), Sculpture Center New York City (2006). She is currently researching her dissertation on contemporary mosque architecture in post-socialist Bosnia-Herzegovina.

Eva Diaz is a New York-based art historian and curator. Throughout 2006-2007 she served as the Joanne Leonhardt Cassullo Curatorial Fellow at the New Museum of Contemporary Art.  She recently received her Ph.D. at Princeton University for her dissertation titled “Chance and Design: Experimentation at Black Mountain College.” Her essay on Black Mountain, “Experiment, Expression and the Paradox of Black Mountain” appeared in the Arnolfini Gallery and Kettle’s Yard, England catalogue for their retrospective on the College. She recently co-organized the exhibition and accompanying catalog Mind the Gap at Smack Mellon Gallery in DUMBO, Brooklyn about artists’ interventions in the city.  Throughout 2006-2007 she guest curated a series of exhibitions about experiment, art, and performance at Black Mountain College at the Asheville Art Museum in North Carolina. She has been awarded the Jacob K. Javits, Andrew W. Mellon, and College Art Association Professional Development Fellowships, among others. Since 1999 she is Instructor for Curatorial Studies of the Whitney Museum Independent Study Program.

Daniel Perlin is an artist based in New York. He works across media creating sound, video, objects and installations. His work has been shown at the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council, The Chelsea Art Museum, Postmaster's Gallery, D'Amelio Terras, TN Probe Tokyo, Temporary Contemporary Gallery London, Guggenheim Film and the Centre Pompidou. He has collaborated with Natalie Jermijenko on the installation For the Birds for the Whitney Biennial 2006, Rem Koolhaas and Sanford Kwinter on the installation of Mutations, and with Vito Acconci on the public sound installation Viraphone in Madrid, Spain. He has also been the sound designer for such films as Kelly Reichardt's Old Joy, Errol Morris' Fog Of War and Phil Morrison's Junebug. Perlin also performs live video with Dj/Rupture and Nettle and researches sound-mapping techniques. (

Intervention in Contemporary Artistic Practice, Part 2
October 10, 2007

Yates McKee is a PhD candidate in the department of Art History at Columbia University. A two-time alumnus of the Whitney ISP and frequent participant at 16Beaver Group, he has contributed to publications including Journal of Aesthetics and Protest and October. He is the associate editor of Nongovernmental Politics (Zone 2007) and co-editor of the forthcoming Visual Cultures of Nongovernmental Politics (Zone 2008). Engaging artists such as Allora/Calzadilla, the Yes Men, and Laura Kurgan, his current work focuses on the trope of sustainability in the history of ecological art and design since the 1970's.

Trevor Paglen is an artist, writer, and experimental geographer working out of the Department of Geography at the University of California, Berkeley. His most recent projects involve close examinations of state secrecy, the California prison system and the CIA’s practice of “extraordinary rendition.” Paglen’s visual work has been shown in galleries and museums including Mass MoCA (2006), the Warhol Museum (2007), Diverse Works (2005), in journals and magazines from Wired to the New York Review of Books, and at numerous other arts venues, universities, conferences, and public spaces. Paglen holds a BA from UC Berkeley, an MFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, and a PhD in the Department of Geography at the University of California at Berkeley. (

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