2014 Introduction

What Now? 2014: Collaboration & Collectivity

Curated by Anne Barlow, Carin Kuoni, Naomi Miller

Art in General and the Vera List Center present

WHAT NOW? 2014: Collaboration & Collectivity
Friday, April 4, 4.30–7:30p.m.
Saturday, April 5, 11:00a.m.–4:00p.m.

The New School, Anna-Maria and Stephen Kellen Auditorium
66 Fifth Avenue, New York City
Free Admission

Organized by Anne Barlow, Carin Kuoni and Naomi Miller

Symposium Booklet:

2014 Resource Guide:

What Now? 2014 is a two-day symposium organized by Art in General in collaboration with the Vera List Center for Art and Politics. This launches a new series of annual conferences, called to investigate issues arising in the field of contemporary art. This year’s conference is dedicated to Collaboration and Collectivity and organized around three sessions spanning Friday and Saturday, with a keynote lecture on Friday evening, delivered by Charles Esche.

In the spirit of philosopher Hannah Arendt, who taught at The New School for many years, the symposium examines collaboration through a politics of place—how the way in which we live and work together directly creates the political landscape we inhabit. In Arendt’s words, “To live together in the world means essentially that a world of things is between those who have it in common, as a table is located between those who sit around it; the world, like every in-between, relates and separates men at the same time.”

Taking this central question of how we work together and how we form a community, What Now? 2014 explores collaborations between artists and institutions while examining the modes and methods of collective action, including positions of disengagement. With collaboration becoming a more prominent form of practice for both artists and institutions, the symposium examines some of the reasons behind this phenomenon—from the desires to produce new projects, knowledge, or research to developing new institutional structures. Through a series of presentations by various collectives, artists, scholars, curators, and writers, What Now? 2014 aims to generate new thinking around these issues, including authorship and authenticity as well as modes of collaboration as strategies for social change.

The symposium comprises three sessions, Collective Authorship, Collective Bargaining and Collective (Dis)engagement. Speakers include: Anne Barlow, Director, Art in General, New York; Charles Esche, Director of the Van Abbemuseum, Eindhoven, and Curator of the 2014 São Paulo Biennial; Mariam Ghani, artist, New York; Sean Jacobs, The New School for Public Engagement, New York; Carin Kuoni, Director and Curator, Vera List Center for Art and Politics, New York; Johan Lundh, Co-Director, Institute of Modern Art, Brisbane; Jens Maier-Rothe, Co-Director, Beirut in Cairo; Sergio Muñoz Sarmiento, artist, founder of The Art Law Office, New York; Laura Raicovich, Director of Global Initiatives, Creative Time, New York; Sarah Rifky, Co-Director, Beirut in Cairo; Nitin Sawhney, The New School for Public Engagement, New York; Robert Sember, Ultra-red, New York; Luis Silva and João Mourão, Co-Directors, Kunsthalle Lissabon, Lisbon; Sonja Srdanovic, Tufts University, Boston; Tercerunquinto, Mexico City; Pieternel Vermoortel, Co-Founder and Director, FormContent, London; and The Yes Men, New York.