Spatial Issues

In February and March of 2012, Hyperallergic invited the Spatial Team [Occupy Wall Street/NYCGA/Arts & Culture Working Group] to occupy the Hyperallergic office in Williamsburg/Brooklyn/NYC/NY/USA.

Spatial Occupation at Hyperallergic:


^ Click the image to see what the space really looks like.

Is a fully occupied life better than any movie?

PRESS RELEASE FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE The Arts & Culture Space Team will be occupying the offices of Hyperallergic from February 1 through the end of March 2012. On Sunday, February 5 at 7PM, the Spatial Occupation Reading Group will convene with an orientation session. [PROPOSITION 1]: At our first meeting, we will ask ourselves to construct a reading program for the two-month residency at Hyperallergic. What are the questions we would like to raise? What texts and printed matter will be in our library that speak to those questions? Our initial focus - aligned with the residency objectives - will be Occupied Space, and the projection of it, its materialization processes, the definitions and realities of space and habitation. How does history affect (or not affect) space, or location? Time? Naming? Do the differences between virtual and actual need to be addressed, or can they co-exist? Who owns “space,” and who owns “occupation” of it? What contingent schemes emerge, once we begin to answer such questions. Is space a fact? Can or does space change? Is occupation the energy that drives such change, and is such change progressive or systematic? Of course, because we are agents of Arts & Culture, these and other considerations and conjectures will be inspected through that particular lens, at least to begin. Because we are OWS, we must articulate our grievances (peacefully), for their redress; & because we are OWS, we must simultaneously investigate ourselves, collectively, individually, expressively. Finally, we can explore what arts best apply to space and occupation, and who and what factors engage to determine the spatial arts of Occupy, in this threshold moment - [an event?].  The “Spatial Occupation” residency at Hyperallergic will generate screenings, a reading group, exhibits, performances, demonstrations, artist talks, workshops, teach-ins and much more over a two-month span. To learn more about the residency, visit the website ( ) or contact the Space Team ( ). About Hyperallergic: Hyperallergic is a forum for serious, playful and radical thinking about art in the world today. To learn more, visit the website ( )  Hyperallergic: 181 N 11th St Brooklyn, NY 11211 Spatial Occupation Reading Group Session 1 [Orientation]: 7PM, Sunday February 5, 2012 ###

  • Pot-Luck Social [Opening]: February 3, 7PM [Invite ^]
  • Reading Group [Orientation]: February 5, 7PM [Invite ^]; Sundays 7PM, February-March
  • Screening [TBA]
  • Teach-in [TBA]
  • Demonstration [TBA]
  • Exhibition [TBA]
  • Workshop [TBA]
  • Panel [TBA]

  • Imagining
  • Mapping
  • Models
  • Teach & Learn
  • Practice
  • Pre-production
  • Make Art
  • Share + Exchange
  • Exposition
  • Present
Hyperallergic / OWS A+C Spatial / Residency

[NOTE: What follows are several proposals for activities and programs that I’ll be co-organizing or facilitating or offering during the Hyperallergic / OWS A+C Spatial / Residency at the Hyperallergic offices in Williamsburg, this February & March. The lists are by no means meant to be exhaustive. I imagine we’ll cover a lot of territory during the program’s run. Check back for calendar, sign up forms, guidelines etc. – Paul]

Proposal for a Reading Group, Questions as Points of Origin and Course Proposal for the Hyperallergic/OWS/NYCGA/Arts & Culture Working Group/Spatial Group Residency

Working Title: Occupational Art School, Reading Group #1 [NYC]

Timeline: February/March 2012

Recommended Readings:

•    Dark Matter, Greg Sholette
•    David Graeber [all published texts]
•    Adbusters [all]
•    Donald Judd [collected writings]
•    The Handbook on the Economics of Art and Culture
•    Brian Holmes [selections]
•    Jean Baudrillard [Simulacra and Simulation, selections]
•    Walter Benjamin [The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction, selections]
•    Seven Days in the Art World, Sarah Thornton
•    The Robber Barons, Matthew Josephson
•    Dispersion, Seth Price
•    The Relation of Art and Techne, Friedrich Kittler
•    Relational Aesthetics, Nicolas Bourriaud
•    Video Vortex [Reader II]
•    The Coming Insurrection, The Invisible Committee
•    “Agrarian Justice,” Thomas Paine
•    Data Visualization, Lev Manovich
•    Art in Action: American Art Centers and the New Deal, John Franklin White
•    Walls and Bars, Eugene V. Debs
•    On Being and Time, Martin Heidegger
•    The Dimensionist Manifesto, Charles Sirota, et al.
•    Management, Peter Drucker
•    More//

(for informal consideration, to begin)]

[1] Is Occupy Wall Street “art?”

The assertion, circulating now in the Occu-sphere, is that the occupation, as a movement, as an action or event sequence, as a community or collective, as a totality and in its variations, nodes and multiplicities, is in itself a work of art. Is it? What definition of art establishes OWS as such? What does “art” mean if the assertion is true? What are the dimensions of Occupy Wall Street? What does this assignation entail for the OWS in relative to objects – such as OWS memorabilia, the archives, the prints, documentaries, the photos and videos, the written history, and so forth. If OWS is art, who or what is the artist? Did the clearing of Zuccotti Park by the authorities constitute a kind of signature? [+ More.]

[2] Do anarchists care about art or artists?

As Occupy Artists operating in an organizational schematic [The General Assembly] that has been attributed to neo-anarchists, shouldn’t we be informed about the anarchist perspective about art: what it is; what it ought to be, and what it is not? How has art been defined and applied throughout the history of anarchy, in propaganda, in texts, in anarchist collectives and communes or squats, in protests? What can we learn from the promotion of protestant utilitarian “art” in direct action as an anarchist concept of art? [+ More.]

[3] Mapping Occupied Artist Space

Various agencies in New York City use cartography like ZOLA, the interactive zoning and land use online tool, as data visualization. The Spatial Group will commence an anecdotal study of artist studio locations, galleries and museums, student work locations, artist supply and support providers, etc., utilizing a variety of pre-existing infographics and databases, to paint a picture of the city’s brick and mortar arts topology. The generated images will be attached to artist commentaries, confronting the reality of art-spatial concerns in the Big Apple. Tracking the flow of art from studio to presenters will aid in clarifying the mechanisms of selection and exchange in the art industry. It’s possible that our project can provide answers to questions artists ask, in one form or another: Is the market for art a function of type and content, or a fundamentally logistical issue of visibility and access? Is it “who you know” that determines art market success, or is success dependent on whether the curator can find/reach you and your studio easily? Finally, we will explore how the Internet may override or exacerbate the problems of location for artists.

[4] The Economies for Art in Occupy

The Watergate informant “Deep Throat” famously instructed the investigative reporters to “follow the money.” We will analyze cash flow within the movement to creative enterprises. What can Occupy artists learn from Occupy Wall Street’s fiscal priorities over the past four+ months, about the value of art to the “leaderless” movement’s consensus bodies?

[5] Slavery, the Indigenous, Art and Occupation

Occupy Publishing is trying to call attention to the history of Wall Street as a slave exchange 300 years ago. The Un-Settling gatherings, as a coincident of OWS, have shed light on the indigenous American ana-narrative that affixes problematically to the central meme for Occupy. How has OWS reacted to opportunities to confront the most basic injustices and crimes against humanity – not as global economic, political or social issues, but as local histories? What can artists do to help, that protesters can’t, when the matrix of common memory and culture is fractured or destroyed?

[6] Are OWS Arts & Culture Working Groups working (for art)?

Does the GA format for group organization result in effective production of art? Do art and working (for free) in the OWS platform constitute an accidental or unintended mode of exploitation of art and artist in relation to the protest-centric ethos of Occupy? Can social media alleviate the problem of unproductive feedback loops that seem to emerge over time in working groups, and/or does Web 2.0 praxis privilege one artist or art form over another (e.g., does a Google doc apply to any non-verbal art medium)?  Is it possible to evaluate and therefore improve productivity of Arts & Culture WGs systematically? If so (or not), should we be asking whether productivity is in fact desirable for OWS art? Are the art-org management terms and protocols applicable to Occupy as an arts incubator?

Proposed Courses:

[1] Art of Occupations: How Occupy Wall Street Is Reformulating, Reforming and Reformatting the Art World(s) for the 99%

A dimensional exploration of media, techne, precursors, expressive means, collectives and individuals who have now emerged through the global Occupy movement to challenge the 1% art schema and re-open artistic possibilities for the Dark Matter* – the vast under-represented majorities of neo-colonized “creative” people and resources.

*Ref. Gregory Sholette’s seminal text on the subject.

[2] Concentricity: The Dimensional Schematics of Progressive Expansion; for Artist Social Networks and Related Concurrent Phenomena; for Visionary Actualization As Representation

The amazing pace of growth evidenced by Occupy Wall Street – burgeoning from a few dozens, then hundreds of protesters in the financial district of Lower Manhattan, to a worldwide movement consisting of millions of supporters connected actually and wired virtually – shocked elites, political figures, media pundits, and even those who organized and executed the 9-17 #OWS occupation of Zuccotti Park. How did it happen, and how are the dynamics that drove this historic phenomenon, which is shaping the most important art movement in half a century?

[3] Dimensional Art Practice and Theory: An Introduction

Philosopher Martin Heidegger proposed* that true time is four-dimensional. Management guru Peter Drucker asserted that society is dimensional. Author William Faulkner wrote, “no man is himself, he is the sum of his past. There is no such thing really as was because the past is.”** Which artists have demonstrated dimensional approaches in their work? Is 4D a latest iteration in human perceptual evolution, and is the only object of this phenomenon Time?

[4] 4D Apps for Artists

Four-dimensional applications are ubiquitous in science, medicine, business and the military for nearly a century, used diversely to increase productivity, data-mine, study disease and generate models for counter-terror response.  Artists have led the way in 4D innovation, although you might never know it. We’ll review the evolution of dimensional tools developed by artists for art over the centuries, arriving 3OOOO years ago to some recently “discovered” caves in France.

*On Time and Being
**Faulkner and the Artist (Kartiganer, Abadie)

[5] Art Economies, Past, Present and Future: How Artists Today Can Determine, Shape, and Improve the Arts Topology through Individual Accomplishment and Collective Power

The apparent irrationalities of the art market are only incomprehensible until one learns who and what is served by the misshapen and inequitable “art world” status quo. Artists today are more plentiful, better networked and possess more resources than at any time in history. The possibility of correcting distortions in the domain of artistic enterprise- caused by destructive arts, political and economic policy, and the entrenched, flawed or false media representations of art, artists, and their social purposes – has never been better. How can artists and arts collectives help fix this broken system, and in so doing help themselves and the communities they occupy?

[6] Time Is the Only Object and Everything Else Is the Subject: Seeing Art in Time and All Things Timely

What is Time? What is Art, and where does it exist? How do these questions help establish an artistic identity, for the one and everyone, and provide the means for evaluation of art over time? Drawing from art history and anahistory, time-thinkers and the timeless, the techniques for marking human time and emancipating it, we will attempt to map dimensionally the phenomena that converge in making art and an artistic life well-lived.

[7] The DIY Community Arts Collective: New Models for Alternate Art Economies and Residencies for Occupational Artists

An analysis of strategies for establishing successful temporary and permanent spaces for art and artists, utilizing non-corporate and hybrid profit/non-profit approaches, in a domain that resists them. Formulae include home-based enterprises, art in the commons, virtual and actual combinations, subscription-funded co-ops, membership schools, shared leadership formats, and more. The organizational dynamics of internal and external exchange, for generating good outcomes, artistic independence and sustainable collaborative relations will be considered.

[8] Practicum in 4 Dimensional Art

Media: Painting, drawing, still and moving image (camera- and computer- generated, film and digital), printing, text; web-based applications and concerns; optics, thinking, platforms and archives; sequences, processes and time; installation, presentation, and exhibition; optics, perception and graphics; situating press and community relations; materials and material support (economies); studio practice, education and self-maintenance; more.


Our next meeting will be held offsite on Sunday, November 20, 2011. Please email if you are interested in joining the team!

Our current initiatives are:

1. Establishing an Arts and Culture space in the park as an info desk, rendez-vous point, art supply storage, performance and music venue, and art-and-sign-making station at Liberty Plaza. Click here to view notes for a bid to Architecture and Town Planning for an A+C Space in Liberty Plaza.

2. Acquiring an offsite, indoor multipurpose space for Arts and Culture (Plan A). Our dream is that this space will accommodate:

studio space, rehearsals, concerts, storage, performances, exhibitions, teach-ins, film screenings, art classes for children, sleeping, etc.

and will be free and open to the public 24/7. We envision it as a community art and culture center for OWS and the neighborhood where it is located. Notes from Meeting 1 can be found here: A+C Multipurpose Offsite Space.

3. Plan B, a network of various spaces for various uses. Here is a start.