Cabaret Series: The Public is in Bits and Bubbles

Thursday, May 4th, 2017

7 – 9 pm


#bitsandbubbles    #cabaretseries   @storefrontnyc


With Dennis Adams, BB (Francisca Benítez and Christina Bueno), Colby Chamberlain, Lucas Freeman, Marisa Jahn, Ann Lui, Jill Magid, Antoni Muntadas, Alan Ruiz, and Gediminas Urbonas


Public space is perpetually being lost and found in accordance with constant changes to the social and technical makeup of our lives. We desire public space because we want our shared landscapes and institutions to reflect and respond to the facts governing our lives. We want our spaces to be contemporary—to be present in our time, to value important cultural heritage, and to perceive common threats obscured by scale and technical complexity or by greed and indifference. Part of our civic selves yearns to be not just collective, but connective.


However, therein lies the problem: this swirling mess of connectivity troubles our sense of public and private, on-time and off-time, and inside and outside, changing our orientation toward common sense and common ground.


Cabaret Series: The Public is in Bits and Bubbles presented a series of performances by artists, architects, and cultural producers that explored the changing states of public space in the age of oversharing, overexposure, and post-fact politics.


The event was hosted by Storefront in collaboration with Lucas Freeman, Ann Lui, and Gediminas Urbonas, editors of “Public Space? Lost and Found” (MIT Press, 2017).


About the Book:

Public Space? Lost and Found explores the contemporary evolution of public space from the milieu of design and artistic thinking and practice at the civic scale. It gathers an eclectic cast of practitioners and theorists of the public domain and welcomes all readers interested in how the production of public space plays out (or could play out) under interrelated, accelerating conditions shaping the present, such as ubiquitous computing, climate change, economic austerity, and the rise of various stripes of political extremism and isolationism.


This publications is edited by Lucas Freeman, Ann Lui, and Gediminas Urbonas, and produced by the MIT Program in Art, Culture and Technology (ACT).


About the Cabaret Series:

Each iteration of Storefront’s Cabaret Series develops modes of expression that engage with contemporary discourses, the audience, and the social, political and physical space of Storefront in a playful, and sometimes humorous manner. The events have the aim to produce new modes of communication between speakers, performers and spectators through provocation, seduction and immediacy.


About the Participants


Dennis Adams has produces site-specific installations,  in highly visible locations, such as bus shelters and city streets, that focus on the phenomenon of collective amnesia in the late twentieth century. A survey of ten years of site-specific interventions was published in a monograph entitled Dennis Adams: The Architecture of Amnesia (1989) written by Mary Anne Staniszewski. The publication was followed by two mid-career surveys organized by the Museum van Hedendaagse Kunst Antwerpen and the Contemporary Art Museum of Houston.


BB (Francisca Benítez and Christina Bueno) is a Deaf/hearing duo performing in American Sign Language. Their work builds on Deaf poetry, political chants, ASL rhyme structures and resistance songs. Recent shows include “Trilingual Choir of Resistance” at El Museo del Barrio and “Flush Trump” at the House of Justice Deaf Club at The Shrine. Composed by Christina Bueno and Francisca Benítez, BB was born in New York City in 2017.


Colby Chamberlain is a Core Lecturer for Art Humanities at Columbia University and a founding editor of Triple Canopy. His scholarship and criticism focuses on intersections of art and other fields of professional practice, in particular the law. His book project, Fluxus Administration, draws on recent media theory to argue that the artist George Maciunas combined experimental aesthetics with bureaucratic procedures, leading to a consequential realignment between the neo-avant- garde and a range of postwar institutions. The recipient of a Jacob K. Javits Fellowship, a Helena Rubinstein Fellowship at the Whitney Independent Study Program, and the College Art Association Art Journal Award, he contributes to publications including Art in America, Artforum, Cabinet, and Parkett.


Lucas Freeman is a writer, editor, and programmer with training in political theory and the history of architecture and urbanism. His research and editorial activities involve him in a wide range of events, exhibits, and publications. He has a particular interest in the spatial consequences of political ideas and the rapid, technologically driven shifts in our modes of privacy and publicity. In recent years, Freeman has contributed to several journals including Scapegoat: Landscape, Architecture, Political Economy and the Harvard Design Magazine, and to many book projects in the field of critical artistic research, including the book series Intercalations (K. Verlag, 2015–) and Art in the Anthropocene (Open Humanities Press, 2015). He is currently Writer in Residence in MIT’s Program in Art, Culture and Technology.


Marisa Morán Jahn is an artist who founded Studio REV-, a public art + creative media non-profit organization whose key projects include El Bibliobandido (a masked, story-eating bandit), Video Slink Uganda (experimental films slipped or “slinked” onto pirated dvds that circulate in Uganda’s bootleg cinemas), several books about art and politics, and the CareForce, a public art project, film, + mobile studios (the NannyVan and CareForce One) amplifying the voices of America’s fastest growing workforce — caregivers. Jahn’s work has been reviewed in The New York Times, Art Forum, Univision, BBC, CNN; presented at The White House, Museum of Modern Art, worker centers, public spaces; and awarded grants from Creative Capital, Tribeca Film Institute, Sundance, NEA, Rockefeller Foundation, and more. She teaches at MIT and The New School.


Ann Lui is an assistant professor in Architecture, Interior Architecture, and Designed Objects at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Ann is also a founding partner of Future Firm, a Chicago-based architecture office, which works at the intersection of landscape territories and curatorial experiments. Previously, Ann practiced at SOM Chicago, Ann Beha Architects, and Morphosis Architects. She cofounded Circus for Construction, a mobile exhibition space on the back of a truck, part of Storefront for Art & Architecture’s WorldWide Storefront program and was Associate Curator of HACLab Pittsburgh: Imagining the Modern (Carnegie Museum of Art, 2015–2016). Ann was assistant editor of OfficeUS Atlas (Lars Müller, 2015); co-editor of “Scandalous,” the 43rd issue of Thresholds (MIT SA+P, 2015); and recently contributed to The Avery Review, Journal of Architectural Education, and Drawing Futures (UCL Press, 2016).


Jill Magid is an artist and writer based in New York City. Her practice is deeply interrogative, forging intimate relationships within bureaucratic structures—flirting with, seducing, and subverting authority. By infiltrating and unsettling powerful institutions, she locates unexpected habits and openings within the structures of bureaucracy. Magid has exhibited at the San Francisco Art Institute; Kunst Halle Sankt Gallen, Switzerland; Berkeley Museum of Art, California; Tate Modern, London; Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; Stedelijk Museum Bureau Amsterdam; Gagosian Gallery, New York; and the Security and Intelligence Agency of the Netherlands, and currently at MUAC, Mexico City. She has participated in Manifesta and Performa, and in the Liverpool, Bucharest, Singapore, and Gothenburg Biennials, as well as the Oslo Architecture Triennial. Her four books include: Failed States (2012), Becoming Tarden (2010), Lincoln Ocean Victor Eddy (2007), and Once Cycle of Memory in the City of L (2004). Sternberg Press recently published The Proposal inspired by her recent engagements with the archives of Mexican architect Luis Barragán.


Antoni Muntadas addresses the social and political power encoded in contemporary media. His projects engage a range of forms, including photography, video, installation, audio recording, and urban intervention. Since 1971, the year of his first solo show, in Madrid, and the year he moved to New York, Muntadas has been a vibrant contributor to a global critical conversation around structures of power. He is currently Professor of Practice at MIT’s Program in Art, Culture, and Technology (ACT). He has received many honors, including fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation, the Rockefeller Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the New York State Council on the Arts; awards from Arts Electronica in Linz and Laser d’Or in Locarno; and the Premi Nacional d’Arts Plàstiques de la Generalitat de Catalunya. In 2009 he was awarded the prestigious Premio Velásquez, given by the Spanish government in recognition of the contributions to Spanish and Spanish-American culture.


Alan Ruiz is a visual artist whose work explores the way space is produced as both material and ideology. His architectural interventions have been shown in exhibitions at the Queens Museum, The Elizabeth Foundation for the Arts, Wave Hill, and the Bronx Museum of the Arts.  His writing has been featured in Archinect, TDR, BOMB Magazine, InVisible Culture, and Women & Performance: a journal of feminist theory. He received an MFA from Yale University and was a 2015 – 2016 fellow in the Whitney Independent Study Program. He teaches at Pratt Institute and The New School.  Alan is a current artist-in-residence at Abrons Arts Center.


Gediminas Urbonas is director of the MIT Program in Art, Culture and Technology, associate professor in the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Department of Architecture, and co-founder with Nomeda Urbonas of Urbonas Studio, an interdisciplinary research practice that facilitates exchange amongst diverse nodes of knowledge production and artistic practice in pursuit of projects that transform civic spaces and collective imaginaries. Combining new and old media, their work frequently involves collective activities contributing to the cross-disciplinary exchange between several nodes of knowledge production: network and participatory technologies; sensorial media and public space; environmental remediation design and spatial organization; and alternative planning design integration. They also collaborate with experts in different cultural fields to develop practice-based artistic research models that allow participants—including their students—to pursue projects that merge urbanism, new media, social sciences and pedagogy to critically address the transformation of civic space.



Storefront’s programming is made possible through general support from Arup; DS+R; F.J. Sciame Construction Co., Inc.; Gaggenau; Knippers Helbig; KPF; MADWORKSHOP; ODA; Rockwell Group; Roger Ferris + Partners; Tishman Speyer; the Foundation for Contemporary Arts; The Greenwich Collection Ltd.; the Lily Auchincloss Foundation; the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature; public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council; The Peter T. Joseph Foundation; and by Storefront’s Board of Directors, members, and individual donors.

Special support for Cabaret Series: The Public is in Bits and Bubbles was provided by Spain Arts and Culture, Consul General of Spain in New York.


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