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  • Sal Randolph: Free Manifesta
    part of Free Manifesta Over 225 artists groups participated in free public art projects of all kinds which took place around the city as well as through the broadcast airwaves telephone and mail systems and on the internet freemanifesta org 2002 Free Manifesta was a project for Manifesta 4 the European Biennial of Contemporary Art held in Frankfurt am Main Germany from May 25 to August 24 2002 and was

    Original URL path: http://salrandolph.com/art/14/free-manifesta (2016-04-26)
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  • Sal Randolph: The Free Biennial
    New York during the month of April 2002 Functioning both as an exhibition and as a situational artwork the Free Biennial joined over 200 artists from around the world in a social experiment in creating a spontaneous gift economy The

    Original URL path: http://salrandolph.com/art/13/the-free-biennial (2016-04-26)
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  • Sal Randolph: Free Words
    network of volunteer distributors The text is a list of 13 000 words collected over 10 years It has been uncopyrighted and placed in the public domain freewords org 2001 2005 Free Words is a project for public space but has also been part of exhibitions and events at The Kitchen Glowlab s psy geo conflux 2003 Swoon Union Evolutionäre Zellen at NGBK Berlin and Transmission dérivée cneai at Villa

    Original URL path: http://salrandolph.com/art/2/free-words-2001-ongoing (2016-04-26)
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  • Sal Randolph: archive
    larger recipe or instruction which has the potential to be enacted by one or many a kind of narrative in the the collective mode and future or conditional tense 2005 Recipe was part of Timeline an online show of PDF artworks no longer online produced by Window42 and The Store as well as Timeline Vol 2 exhibited at Bétonsalon in Paris Situational Audio Explorations in pyschogeographic sound collection situationalaudio org 2004 2005 Situational Audio has been shown as part of Glowlab s Stranger issue and at the Pace Digital Gallery as part of Synthesis and Distribution curated by Will Pappenheimer Cake Some instructions on making a cake Cake Theory Is a cake an artwork Only if you make it A cake is an activity as much as it is an object and this cake is an invitation to action just saying that makes it sound a bit like a manifesto as if cake could be revolution but lest that seem an impossible reach think for a moment about pleasure and the way it has of overthrowing the little dictatorships of the mind The word recipe both in English and French recette has historical ties both to medical prescriptions and to receiving and receipts Participatory algorithms recipes are shared forms made specific by and for each individual in the manner of a prescription In relation to art they lie at the junction of narrative the story of an artwork and instruction procedure and process In the mode of cuisine they evoke food as a gift as an opportunity for an experience between people The linguistic matrix also includes the ideas of transmission and communication as in radio receivers recipes like art narratives are a way that ideas can be sent from one person to another or one to many Recipes ask

    Original URL path: http://salrandolph.com/archive/ (2016-04-26)
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  • Sal Randolph: The Uses of Art
    of Art I am delighted to report that I am writing a column on The Uses of Art for The American Reader You can find the essays collected at theamericanreader

    Original URL path: http://salrandolph.com/text/129/the-uses-of-art (2016-04-26)
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  • Sal Randolph: Why Unknow?
    beauty can only be a beauty of situations Only an art of creating situations they thought had the potential to change how people lived and felt The situations they loved involved cities going from one place to another chance encounters Here s Debord Of all the affairs we participate in with or without interest the groping quest for a new way of life is the only thing that remains really exciting Aesthetic and other disciplines have proved glaringly inadequate in this regard and merit the greatest indifference We should therefore delineate some provisional terrains of observation including the observation of certain processes of chance and predictability in the streets Psychogeography sets for itself the study of the precise laws and specific effects of the geographical environment whether consciously organized or not on the emotions and behavior of individuals The charmingly vague adjective psychogeographical can be applied to the findings arrived at by this type of investigation to their influence on human feelings and more generally to any situation or conduct that seems to reflect the same spirit of discovery Drawing from a variety of artistic sources beyond the Situationists surrealist games conceptual and land art John Cage s love of chance Alan Kaprow s happenings Fluxus recent developments in uncreative writing as well as a long interest in travel as a psychic form Australian songlines pilgrimages arctic explorations tales of walking the Hindu Kush and riding the Trans Siberian express The Bureau of Unknown Destinations has set out to develop a practice of unknowing Tickets were given away because unexpected gifts prompt action Trains were chosen because of their peculiarly contemplative atmosphere at once melancholy and hopeful by prompting train journeys to unknown destinations the Bureau hopes to physicalize the situation of being carried along towards a destiny travel as

    Original URL path: http://salrandolph.com/text/98/why-unknow (2016-04-26)
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  • Sal Randolph: Uselessness, Refusal, Art, and Money
    value a class of collector s items ancient Greek coins Miro prints first edition Silver Surfer comic books These are not quite unique but they have a rarity that derives from their historical origins what s more when they circulate they almost invariably accumulate a further history in the form of a pedigree of former owners which then in turn tends to further enhance their value In any society one should probably be able to map out at least a rough continuum of types of objects ranked according their capacity to accumulate history from the crown jewels at the top to at the bottom such things as a gallon of motor oil or two eggs over easy 8 Graeber s key insight is to see the elusive relationship between values and valuable objects as one based on time And what mediates this relationship is action We may think of values as being part of the present but really they are all about the future They are potentials templates for new action They state in advance what we care about and how we intend to behave Valuables on the other hand are values in the past tense They represent or show the effects of actions that have already happened actions which evoke or were based on values We can t literally see these values when we look at the object instead they exist in a field of associations a cloud of knowledge and fantasy They are projections histories stories names things we know or imagine As Graeber puts it when one recognizes value in an object one becomes a sort of bridge across time That is one recognizes not only the existence of a history of past desires and intentions that have given shape to the present form of the object but that history extends itself through one s own desires wishes and intentions newly mobilized in that very act of recognition 9 Valuables have a kind of secondary agency because they are able through the values they collect around themselves to inspire action Graeber links money to the power of infinite potential We don t know what it is capable of In this way it is more than a little like magic When objects function as treasures they tend to be displayed and used to inspire When they function as money they tend to be invisible or hidden With the help of Graeber s untangling it s clear that artists aren t really minting currency in their studios Instead they re creating the kinds of objects that collect stories around themselves Part of what s confusing is that those stories are since the turn of the last century in part about uselessness refusal and the ideal of unalienated life which makes them in turn about money Unalienated Life It s no accident I think that the modernist precursors of the avant garde began their move as Europe and America s period of political revolution had cross faded into the end stages of the industrial revolution Money that mysterious force dominated more and more of life Work had become wage labor and wages in turn had become the primary means that most people used to meet their basic needs for food housing and everything else One of the things I think we see in artworks is the ideal of the unalienated creative work that we imagine went into making them 10 This flips right back to the questions Marx raised about our human life and labor How is it he asks somewhat plaintively that we have taken something precious in the sense of priceless the human capacity for creative action and made it into something that can be bought and sold Something fundamentally incommensurable the individual and unique human soul becomes under capitalism reduced to its status as a fully exchangeable and replaceable unit of labor In this model as in the bohemian and countercultural fantasy there is something directly opposed about money and the ideal of unalienated life It is the situation of exchanging needing to exchange one s own incommensurable and specific self stuff for the blank potentiality of money that causes alienation in the first place In this way it suddenly becomes intelligible that the more elaborated and dominant capitalism becomes the more valuable financially artworks become Works of art in general represent artisanal modes of production the relative privacy and sexiness of the studio the pure idealized notion of creativity and individual genius As as artworks collect their stories and histories stories about genius freedom and creativity histories of who has owned them and why they come to symbolize and embody these values They gain a capacity to inspire As Graeber suggests it is exactly that history and capacity to inspire that tends to make artworks gain financial value As the industrial revolution progresses and the role of money expands some dominant values like the protestant work ethic link making money to signs of God s grace But societies also have counter values and counter powers The dream of unalienated life is one of capitalism s counter values and one of the places it survives and persists is in art The project of the avant garde by exaggerating art s uselessness it was always slightly useless just not exclusively useless began a state of cultural confusion If art was a value rather than a valuable it should be outside the realm of exchange and commodity it had done its best to move away from the marketplace and into the conversation about values and meanings After more than a hundred years of struggle we can only laugh at the result this useless art commands an ever inflating market of its own There s every reason to believe that the art market now is bigger than it has ever been in the history of humankind by whatever measure you like more dollars more transactions more auctions more fairs and festivals more galleries more museums more schools more artists and

    Original URL path: http://salrandolph.com/text/68/uselessness-refusal-art-and-money (2016-04-26)
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  • Sal Randolph: Let's Blush
    its conversations that we want to keep Philosopher Yuriko Saito s everyday aesthetics might be helpful here Her sense of aesthetic perception is broad and covers a wide range of phenomena In the realm of the aesthetic she says I am including any reactions we form toward the sensuous and or design qualities of any object phenomenon or activity And she is careful to distinguish that she is not valorizing the aesthetic elevating it to equal some form of good My notion of the aesthetic is decidedly not honorific our aesthetic life includes not only pleasant but also unpleasant experiences characterized as depressing disgusting or dreary In my view the aesthetic further includes reactions towards qualities such as dingy nondescript or plain looking which may or may not be accompanied by an emotionally tinged quality like disgust I d argue that aesthetic perception in this sense has strong functional or practical implications once translated towards the social Aesthetic social perceptions will include attractions and repulsions structures of hierarchy inclusion and exclusion You will find discomfort awkwardness danger dullness risk and intensity as well as bonding or healing If we remap the word aesthetics in this way to go beyond the visual into our social sensations this gives us the potential to talk about social artworks in terms of their form Form here isn t just about elegant design it s about structural properties that directly affect our relations with other people We know a great deal from ordinary personal experience about the ways social form matters Just think of a few occasions in which you met with a group to make some decision The size of the group the hierarchical structure the formality of the situation how well you know each other the aggressiveness or timidity of individual characters time location all these aspects of social form affect how the meeting goes Your response to all of these factors can be considered as aesthetic responses By giving sustained attention to social form and social aesthetics how structure and expectation relates to experience and feeling we may begin to create some new possibilities for social creativity Beyond the design of Bourriaud style microtopias or Kester style therapeutics we may find weirder social beasts As Judith Rodenbeck has pointed out the iconic participatory works of the sixties were plenty strange sometimes boring confusing scary creepy or even dangerous If you ve seen any of the recent reenactments of works by Kaprow Acconci or Abramovic this thought will already be familiar In Social Acupuncture O Donnell makes his own case for unease in social artworks Social discomfort while a pain in the ass to endure is often necessary if we have any interest in increasing our social intelligence It s like mental confusion any learning process must encounter a period of confusion without it there s no learning With social intelligence discomfort and antagonism are hallmarks of a successful encounter Even while still sitting in the stylist s chair I felt a swirl

    Original URL path: http://salrandolph.com/text/67/lets-blush (2016-04-26)
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