Tag Archives: Creative Time

Our Russian Election Day Special

Russia: Was There a Ballot Box?
By Chto Delat (St. Petersburg, Russia)
March 12, 2012

It is no secret that an overwhelming amount of corruption pervades Russia’s civic and economic life. And this [past] winter’s parliamentary and presidential elections proved to be no exception. Anyone who has taken an active interest in the practice of so-called “free and democratic” Russian elections can attest to their being rigged or skewed, to a greater or lesser degree, since 1993. This was especially the case with post-Soviet Russia’s first president, Boris Yeltsin, and his “triumphant” re-election in 1996.

In light of this, it was widely anticipated that in the most recent elections, the ruling party, United Russia, and the campaign of presidential candidate Vladimir Putin—which were, in fact, one and the same entity—would engage in massive electoral fraud to secure vote majorities. Which is why the simple demand for “fair elections,” first made this past winter by a widespread grassroots election monitoring movement, was not just a radical call for change, but also one that proved capable—albeit temporarily and incompletely—of uniting opposition parties and ordinary citizens across the country’s political spectrum.

The grassroots movement turned this unprecedented opportunity to challenge the status quo into a palpable reality, with the main goal of impeding any attempts to manipulate and falsify election results, or, at the very least, documenting them.

No one, however, could have predicted this movement would become so popular among segments of the population that have previously been averse to politics. Young professionals—including lawyers, artists, economists, journalists and academics—suddenly enlisted as volunteer observers at polling stations. They drafted legal complaints and attended protest marches and rallies after monitors revealed the monstrous and despicable tricks the authorities employed to tip the elections in their favor.

This film, shot by the Mobile Observers Group for the Petrograd District of St. Petersburg on March 4, 2012, recounts what the group considers to be a run-of-the-mill instance of electoral fraud: a portable ballot box that should have been used by workers at a local market was stuffed, unbeknownst to the constituents, with ballots marked for Putin. It was impossible, however, to prove conclusively that the fraud had taken place because the “victims” themselves either could care less about what had happened or were too disempowered to do anything about it other than to wish the observers success in their mission.

The most dramatic result of the work done by the Mobile Observers Group was not the evidence it offered of electoral violations, but rather its exposure of the traditional division of Russia into two classes of people: those who recognize the need to act as free citizens and defend common civic interests, and those who remain indifferent. Only time will tell how this conflict, recurrent throughout Russian history, is resolved in its most recent incidence.


Editor’s Note. Although this little bit of exposé reporting might seem like “ancient history” to some, we thought it was worth posting, because elections were held in various Russian regions and cities today (October 14). The effects on the voting population of the system of total fraud sketched above were best demonstrated in Vladivostok, where the turnout was LESS THAN 11% for elections to the city council. As Komsomolskaya Pravda notes, the turnout in Vladivostok was lowest in precincts where the greatest number of candidates had been tossed off the ballot before election day, while it was highest in the single precinct where all candidates were allowed to run.

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Filed under activism, film and video, Russian society

Global Action for International Migrants Day: Open Call for Submissions

Immigrant Movement International: Open Call For Submissions

Global Action for International Migrants Day on December 18

With Creative Time and Queens Museum of Art

Immigrant Movement International (IM International), an ongoing project initiated by artist Tania Bruguera and co-presented by Creative Time and the Queens Museum of Art, today announced an open call for submissions for actions that will take place on December 18, 2011, designated “International Migrants Day” by the United Nations. The organizers call on artists, immigrants, activists, and interested members of the public to stage an action on December 18, 2011 at 2pm local time in recognition of the concept of transnational migrants as a “global class” united across continents and cultures by common political and social conditions, as well as by the human experience of being a migrant. By engaging participants across the globe in a UN-endorsed project, the organizers hope to promote understanding of the specificity of local migration issues and the political interconnectedness across nations and regions that migration engenders.

“As migration becomes a more central element of contemporary existence, the status and identity of those who live outside their place of origin starts to become defined not by sharing a common language, class, culture, or race, but instead by their condition as immigrants,” said Bruguera, whose project was initiated in Corona, Queens in January 2011.

Individuals and groups from around the world are invited to participate by visiting www.immigrant-movement.us/december18 and submitting an idea for an action—for example, a public performance, panel discussion, or community gathering—to take place on December 18 at 2pm local time. The website will enable users to track these actions as they happen in real time across the globe by presenting an interactive map of the world with a description of each action. Confirmed participants to date include: Pedro Reyes (Mexico City), Chto Delat (St. Petersburg), Ghana Think Tank (New York), Oliver Ressler and Martin Krenn (Vienna), Polibio Díaz (Santo Domingo), Monali Meher (Amsterdam), Situations + Nowhereisland (London), Dora García (Barcelona), Khaled Jarrar (Palestine), Mizuki Endo (Japan), Lauren Berlant (Chicago), Haim Sokol and Ekaterina Lazareva (Moscow), Vit Havranek and Tranzit (Prague), and Ruby Chishti (Pakistan), as well as artists in Rome, Copenhagen, Basel, Zagreb and other cities around the world.

“What does it mean to represent the contemporary immigrant? And furthermore, what are the forms of governance for a global citizenry? These questions are at the heart of Tania Bruguera’s Immigrant Movement International,” said Nato Thompson, Chief Curator of Creative Time.

In addition to mobilizing members of the global public to perform an action on December 18, IM International will also provide a “Migrant Manifesto,” which will be made available on the IM website for participants to incorporate into their actions on December 18. The document was produced by immigration academics, activists, politicians and community members at a weekend convening at the IM International headquarters on November 4th and 5th.

“Given the migrations that have brought 167 different languages to Queens, we are reminded every day of the contributions, sacrifices and experiences of our diverse group of friends, staff members, and visitors,” said Tom Finkelpearl, Executive Director of the Queens Museum of Art. “We are particularly proud to be involved in a project related to the International Day of the Migrant, given the fact that the United Nations General Assembly met in our building in the late 1940s. That was a great moment for international exchange, as is a walk through almost any Queens community today.”

Additional information about the International Migrants Day/December 18 global action, as well as a downloadable PDF of the “Migrant Manifesto,” will be available throughout Fall 2011 at: www.immigrant-movement.us/december18.

Immigrant Movement International
108-59 Roosevelt Avenue
Queens,‎ NY‎ 11368
Phone: 718 424 6502
E-mail: united@immigrant-movement.us

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Filed under activism, contemporary art, immigration, open letters, manifestos, appeals

Creative Time: Living as Form (New York City)


Living as Form is an unprecedented, international project exploring over twenty years of cultural works that blur the forms of art and everyday life, emphasizing participation, dialogue, and community engagement.

Living as Form provides a broad look at a vast array of socially engaged practices that appear with increasing regularity in fields ranging from theater to activism, and urban planning to visual art. The project brings together twenty-five curators, documents over 100 artists’ projects in a large-scale survey exhibition inside the historic Essex Street Market building, features nine new commissions in the surrounding neighborhood, and provides a dynamic online archive of over 350 socially engaged projects.

Living as Form will culminate with a book, co-published by Creative Time Books and MIT Press, that will highlight projects from the exhibition archive, as well as commissioned essays from noted critics and theorists in the field, including Carol Becker, Claire Bishop, Teddy Cruz, Brian Holmes, Maria Lind, and Shannon Jackson. Detailing some of the most important socially engaged projects from the last twenty years, this unique archive will provide key examples, allow insights into methodologies, contextualize the conditions of site, and broaden the range of what constitutes this form. Living as Form: Socially Engaged Art from 1991-2011 will be out in January 2012.

Invited artists, organizers, and groups include:
Ai Weiwei; Ala Plástica; Jennifer Allora and Guillermo Calzadilla; Lara Almarcegui and Begoña Movellán; Alternate ROOTS; Francis Alÿs; Appalshop; Claire Barclay; Barefoot Artists; Basurama; Marilyn Douala Bell and Didier Schaub; BijaRi; Stephen Biko and partners; Bread and Puppet Theatre; CAMP; Cemeti Art House; Mel Chin; Chto delat? (What is to be done?); Colectivo Cambalache; Phil Collins; Complaints Choir; Céline Condorelli and Gavin Wade; Cornerstone Theater Company; Minerva Cuevas; Cybermohalla Ensemble; Decolonizing Architecture; Jeremy Deller; Mark Dion, J. Morgan Puett, and collaborators; Fallen Fruit; Finishing School; Free Class Frankfurt/M.; Frente 3 de Fevereiro; Theaster Gates; Paul Glover; Josh Greene; Federico Guzmán and Alonso Gil; Fritz Haeg; Haha; Harlem (Election Night 2008); Jeanne van Heeswijk; Helena Producciones; Stephen Hobbs and Marcus Neustetter; Fran Ilich; Farid Jahangir and Sassan Nassiri, Bita Fayyazi, Ata Hasheminejad, and Khosrow Hassanzedeh; Kein Mensch Ist Illegal (No One Is Illegal); Amal Kenawy; Suzanne Lacy; Steve Lambert, Andy Bichlbaum of The Yes Men, and collaborators; The Land Foundation; Long March Project; Los Angeles Poverty Department; Rick Lowe; Mammalian Diving; Reflex/Darren O’Donnell; Mardi Gras Indian Community; Eduardo Vázquez Martín; Angela Melitopoulos; Zayd Minty; The Mobile Academy; Mongrel; Anthea Moys and Bronwyn Lace; Mujeres Creando; Vik Muniz; NSK (Neue Slowenische Kunst); Nuts Society; John O’Neal; Oda Projesi; Wendelien van Oldenborgh; Marion von Osten and collaborators; Park Fiction, part of the Right to the City Network Hamburg; Pase Usted; Piratbyrån (The Bureau of Piracy); Platforma 9.81; Public Movement; Pulska Grupa; Navin Rawanchaikul; Pedro Reyes; Laurie Jo Reynolds; Athi-Patra Ruga; The San Francisco Cacophony Society; Katerina Šedá; Chemi Rosado Seijo; Michihiro Shimabuku; Andreas Siekmann and Alice Creischer; Buster Simpson; Slanguage; Apolonija Sustersic; Tahrir Square (2011); Taller Popular de Serigrafía (TPS); Mierle Laderman Ukeles; Ultra-red; United Indian Health Services; Urban Bush Women; The U.S. Social Forum; Voina; Peter Watkins; WikiLeaks; Elin Wikström; WochenKlausur; Women on Waves.

The 15,000 square-foot historic Essex Street Market building in the Lower East Side of Manhattan serves as the hub for Living as Form. An architectural environment designed by the collective Common Room houses the Living as Form archival exhibition, a vast collection of documentation of 100 socially engaged projects from the last twenty years and from locations around the globe. In addition, the exhibition space will be activated by a series of events and performances, and offer dynamic areas for artists and collectives to present new work throughout the show.

September 24–October 16
Thursday–Sunday, 12–8 PM
The historic Essex Street Market
Southeast corner of Essex and Delancey Streets
(entrance on Delancey), NYC

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Filed under activism, art exhibitions, contemporary art, urban movements (right to the city)

The Creative Time Summit: Revolutions in Public Practice 2 (New York)

The Creative Time Summit:
Revolutions In Public Practice 2

October 9-10, 2010

The Cooper Union Great Hall
51 Astor Place
New York, NY 10003-7132

Over 40 international artists and thinkers present on socially engaged art at this second annual, two-day conference.

Creative Time is pleased to announce the second annual Creative Time Summit: Revolutions in Public Practice. Over 40 international artists, curators, critics, scholars, anarchists, and activists will travel from countries throughout Asia, Africa, South and Central America, Europe, the Pacific Isles, as well as from across the United States, to give concise presentations about their socially-engaged work in this two-day conference. The talks are grouped into topics including Markets, Schools, Food, Governments, and more. The second Leonore Annenberg Prize for Art and Social Change, a 25,000 USD award generously supported by the Annenberg Foundation, will be given to Rick Lowe on the opening day of The Summit. The Summit is curated by Nato Thompson.

Presenters will bring to the table a vast array of practices and methodologies that engage with the canvas of everyday life. The Creative Time Summit is meant to be an opportunity to not only uncover the tensions that such a global form of working presents, but also to provide opportunities for new coalitions and sympathetic affinities.

“We will talk and provoke,” said Creative Time Chief Curator Nato Thompson. “Although many believe that politically engaged art speaks to the choir and operates in a naïve consensus, we are aware that there are numerous forms and numerous politics. Not only are the questions of audience, engagement, resistances, legibility, and aesthetics complicated, but of course, more pressing, are the political realities they confront. The Summit offers the opportunity to hear from artists, curators, and thinkers whose work offers examples that wrestle with these concerns.”

Presenters include: Danielle Abrams, The Bruce High Quality Foundation University, Julia Bryan-Wilson, Chen Chieh-Jen (represented by Amy Cheng), Chto delat/What is to be done?, Phil Collins, Agnes Denes, Dilomprizulike, Claire Doherty, Eating in Public, FEAST, Amy Franceschini, Andrea Fraser, Regina José Galindo, Gridthiya Gaweewong, Shaun Gladwell, Sofía Hernández Chong Cuy, InCUBATE, The International Errorists, Jakob Jakobsen, Surasi Kusolwong, Dinh Q. Lê, Learning Site, Aaron Levy, Chus Martinez, Otabenga Jones & Associates, Trevor Paglen, Claire Pentecost, J. Morgan Puett, Oliver Ressler, Laurie Jo Reynolds, Scott Rigby, Bisi Silva, Mounira Al Solh, Superflex, Anton Vidokle, W.A.G.E., Eyal Weizman, Stephen Wright, and more.

For a detailed schedule, please visit www.creativetime.org/summit.

Tickets can be purchased from www.creativetime.org/summittickets from September 9 onwards.

Creative Time’s new projects continue the organization’s 35-year-long commitment to groundbreaking, historically important artwork and fostering a culture of experimentation and change. Creative Time works with artists to push the boundaries of art-making and expand its own practice. Creative Time’s recent projects include Paul Ramírez Jonas’ Key to the City, Jeremy Deller’s Conversations About Iraq, Paul Chan’sWaiting for Godot in New Orleans, and Tribute in Light. The organization has worked with 1,400 of the world’s most dynamic artists and worked in 17 states across the nation.

Project support has been provided by the Annenberg Foundation and the Laurie M. Tisch Illumination Fund.

The Leonore Annenberg Prize for Art and Social Change is made possible by the generous support of the Annenberg Foundation.

Creative Time is funded through the generous support of corporations, foundations, government agencies, and individuals. Major programming support for 2010–11 has been provided by the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts and the Lambent Foundation, a project of The Tides Center. We also gratefully acknowledge public funding from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, in partnership with the City Council; and the New York State Council on the Arts, celebrating 50 years of building strong, creative communities in New York State’s 62 counties.

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