Tuesday, November 6th, 2018

8 pm–12 am


Storefront for Art and Architecture

97 Kenmare Street, New York


#CriticalHalloween     #CriticalMidterms     #ElectionDay    @storefrontnyc


It’s time to get REAL.


Halloween is one week before the 2018 U.S. midterm elections. Maybe our political context is so surreal that we’d like to believe that more of our Facebook and RSS feeds are just “fake news.” Maybe we’d rather retreat into alternative and virtual realities, the Really Really Free Market, or the comfortable spectacle of the brand (where they’re not shoes; they’re Nikes).


Maybe it’s easier to think of it all as a simulation, in which everything is imaginary and nothing hurts. Maybe, shocked back to reality by a bogus tweet, you’re wondering how it’s possible we got to this level of realpolitik…and what you can do about it.


In 2018, the real can’t be limited to concept; it is more tangible than ever. Real lives are at risk worldwide, from Brazil to Bhutan. As (and in solidarity with) survivors of assault, brutality, and displacement, we need authentic healing at individual, community, and legislative scales.


So this year, we’re changing it up. We’re asserting that, as a society, the most important piece of real estate we can claim is the voting booth. We’re calling out the irrationality of gerrymandering and restrictive voter ID laws. We’re addressing the civic architecture of our time, and, with your help, reshaping it to represent what’s really real this election cycle.


For Critical Halloween: REAL, Storefront partners with the Movement Voter Project, a non-profit that works to mobilize voter turnout around issue-based campaigns in forty states across the country.


Instead of buying a ticket, we’re asking you to become a member of Storefront at any level. For each membership pledge that is made toward Critical Halloween: REAL, an equal amount will be donated to Movement Voter Project in support of issues such as economic fairness, racial justice, gender equality, immigration, LGBTQ advocacy, healthcare access, and environmental sustainability through electoral change.


In other words, your membership to Storefront will have a REAL impact on a broad range of ideas and solutions that cross disciplinary and geographic boundaries, and will simultaneously empower voters nationwide.


On Tuesday, November 6th (ok, so it’s not really on Halloween), we invite you to bring your realest self to Storefront’s gallery space to hang out, watch the results, hear from each other, and have a drink. Come as you are, or as you want to be. This year, renewed aspirations are a critical part of our collective reality.


Let’s make this Halloween REALLY Critical. We hope you’ll join us.




Critical Halloween is a space of reflection and action based upon the belief that critical ideas have a place within even the most seemingly carefree manifestations of our culture: the Halloween costume party. Each year, Critical Halloween is a party, an intellectual debate, a costume competition, and space for the expression of radical thought.


This year, it’s also a way to create actual change in our political system.



With the aim to empower voters in every context, Storefront for Art and Architecture will present the Truly Democratic Costume and Campaign Slogan Competition. Instead of a jury, costumes and slogans will be judged by popular vote, with winners in the following categories: Realest Individual, Realest Duo/Group, and Realest Campaign Slogan. 
Attendees are invited to present their slogans on a soapbox at Storefront’s gallery space on November 6th.

From art movements to political forces, from economies to technologies to ontologies, from the unreal to the too real, we invite you to serve us your constituent body REALness in costume or speech.
Critical Halloween: REAL is supported by a bibliography of seminal readings in architecture, design, philosophy, and political science, which serves as inspiration for costume concepts. The bibliography for REAL focuses in particular on political embodiment, philosophical notions of reality, architectural and spatial imaginations, simulationism and computation, realism and surrealism in art, violence and architecture, and more.
See here for the full bibliography.
To submit your own contributions to the bibliography, send an email with citations and your Instagram handle to membership@storefrontnews.org with the subject line “REAL REFERENCES.” Selections will be featured on Storefront’s social media.
Critical Halloween: REAL is open to new and existing members of Storefront.
New Members: To pledge and join us, see HERE and select your desired membership level. For levels that include more than one ticket, please include a list of attendees in an email to membership@storefrontnews.org with the subject line “NEW REAL RSVP” by Friday, November 2nd. You can also email us at the address above to pledge and pay by check. 
Existing Members: To confirm your membership and join us, email membership@storefrontnews.org with subject line “REAL RSVP.” Once your membership is confirmed, you will receive a code to RSVP. A $20 donation per attendee is encouraged, and all donations will be matched to Movement Voter Project. 
Emerging Supporters (student membership): To pledge and join at a student rate, please include a photo of your valid student ID in an email to
membership@storefrontnews.org with the subject line “REAL STUDENT.” Once your student status is confirmed, you will receive a code to RSVP.
For more information about membership levels and benefits, visit www.storefrontnews.org/get-involved/membership.
Graphic design by Partner & Partners.
Membership pledges partly matched through a generous gift by Allison and Campbell Hyers.