A series of public programs and workshops provides an important component to the exhibition.
Artists Space is an organization whose name discloses its foundational mission and purpose. The frankness of this nomenclature, however, is deceivingly complex, as it foregrounds a critical reflexivity within its own expression of availability. Put simply, there are many different ways of interpreting how a space for artists should conceive of itself. The proposition is, by necessity, mired in instability.
The artists in this exhibition collapse relations of production and conditions of presentation, surfacing the structures that frame their work. Emma Hedditch joins with Lydia Okrent and Elsa Brown to establish Coop Fund, using funds from this exhibition to initiate a cooperative funding platform for artists. John Neff exhibits a new video, in part co-produced with Artists Space staff through a process of inquiry-based learning, featuring an interview with Tom Marioni about his work The Act of Drinking Beer With Friends is the Highest Form of Art (1973–) and scenes from Neff’s daily life. Distilling their ongoing study into forms of care and dependency, Amalle Dublon & Constantina Zavitsanos stage a demonstration of a quantum eraser experiment in the gallery space alongside video and audio works. Devin Kenny utilizes Artists Space as the site for a dedicated computer that mines cryptocurrency to be donated to bail funds, and exhibits works that probe social and material networks in relation to Blackness, the prison-industrial complex, and identity formation.
The exhibition follows a series of conversations and workshops held between the staff of Artists Space and the five exhibiting artists in early 2017, at a time when Artists Space was without an Executive Director. Called Authorization Sessions, this internal work was driven by the staff's desire to interrogate the institution's organizational arrangements, and to re-orient and invent anew its practices. While some of the artists index their respective contributions to these conversations, this exhibition is organized as a second, distinct phase of work.