10:45 AM – 11:45 AM

Gauging the Grey Area: Houston Edition Spectrogram
Nicole Burisch and Taraneh Fazeli
Session Consultants: Lauren van Haaften-Schick and Helena Keeffe*
(interactive group exercise)
Gauging the Grey Area will begin charge 2016’s two full days of workshops, asking those present to take a stand on a number of urgent issues by responding to a series of hypothetical opportunities often offered to artists. Workshop attendees will position themselves along a continuum of “Yes” to “No” in a human spectrogram that maps individuals' varied initial responses to these common conundrums. Then, after group discussion and feedback, participants will be able to reposition themselves and put their collective thinking process into play. By asking participants to embody their preferences and beliefs, we will manifest political and philosophical ideas as physical positions.

Scenarios presented will deal with the compromises, risks, and potential payoffs that come with navigating our role(s) in the art market, valuing our work and volunteering our labor, and the creative and ethical choices one makes when resources are limited. The thought process of whether to accept or decline such opportunities is rarely exercised openly or in dialogue with the community, despite the fact that these are questions that all artists will face at some time. Engaging this process as a group exercise will allow for participants to see and hear the initial responses of their co-participants, and then accommodate healthy debate on what constitutes a “good” or “bad” opportunity. Weighing personal needs in relation to the collective good, we will visualize how and why we make the very intimate choices that we do, and lay the ground for decision-making that both supports the individual artist and fosters solidarity.

Nicole Burisch is a critic and curator based in Montreal, Canada. With a background working in artist-run centres, her projects centre discourses of craft, feminism, performance, publishing, labour, and materiality within contemporary art. Her research (with Anthea Black) into curatorial strategies for politically engaged craft practices is included in milestone publications The Craft Reader (Berg) and Extra/ordinary: Craft and Contemporary Art (Duke University Press) and together they are currently co-editing a new publication, Craft on Demand: The New Politics of the Handmade, forthcoming from I.B. Tauris in 2016. She is one-third of the Ladies Invitational Deadbeat Society, a collective of cultural workers whose activities make visible and politicize women’s roles in the arts economy through tactical laziness, crafty collaboration, over-performance, and wild hilarity. Her writing has been published in periodicals No More Potlucks, FUSE Magazine, dpi: Feminist Journal of Art and Digital Culture, Textile: The Journal of Cloth and Culture, Cahiers métiers d’art-Craft Journal, and by La Centrale Galerie Powerhouse, Stride Gallery, and the Richmond Art Gallery. Burisch has held positions and presented projects with a number of organizations, including: Mentoring Artists for Women's Art, Artexte, Walter Phillips Gallery, The New Gallery, Centre des arts actuels Skol, and the Mountain Standard Time Performative Art Festival. She holds a BFA in Ceramics from the Alberta College of Art and Design, an MA in Art History from Concordia University, and is a 2014-2016 Core Fellow Critic-in-Residence with the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston. www.nicoleburisch.com/

Taraneh Fazeli is a curator, educator, editor, and researcher from New York that is currently the first year critic at the Museum of Fine Art Houston’s Core Program (2015-17). Her current project, “Sick Time, Sleepy Time, Crip Time: Against Capital's Temporal Bullying" proposes a consideration of the temporalities of debility, disability, aging, and rest as potentially resistive to capitalism. Her practice emerges from legacies of institutional critique and pedagogy, witnessed in her work at the New Museum where she served as co-founder of the postgraduate R&D Seminars; editor of Six Degreesand, as part of the R&D Season’s curatorial staff, co-organizer the 2015 R&D SPECULATION Season (2012-15). In addition, recent curatorial projects focused on the relationship of pedagogy and language to postcolonial ontologies: the ““Temporary Center for Translation,” (2014), co-curated with Omar Berrada and Alicia Ritson; addressed the translator’s variegated roles as integral to creating social, cultural, or political meaning in history; Occupied Territory: A New Museum Trilogy,(2014), was an archival presentation co-organized with Tara Hart and Alicia Ritson.  Fazeli is a member of the Canaries, a collective of artists with auto-immune disorders, and Pedagogy Group, a collective of socially-engaged art educators. She was previously a Contributing Editor to Triple Canopy (2011-12) and the Managing Director of e-flux (2008-11), where she oversaw publications such as art-agenda and organized exhibitions with artists including Raqs Media Collective, Martha Rosler, Allan Sekula, and Mladen Stilinović. She graduated from the Cooper Union, studied sociology and art history at CUNY Graduate Center, and participated in the Art & Law Residency Program. 

Evaluando el área gris: espectrograma edición Houston
Nicole Burish y Taraneh Fazeli
Asesoras: Lauren van Haaften-Schick y Helena Keeffe*
(ejercicio interactivo grupal)


Evaluando el área gris: espectrograma edición Houston iniciará los dos días de talleres decharge 2016 pidiéndole a los participantes que asuman su postura acerca de algunas problemáticas urgentes. Por medio de sus respuestas a una serie de oportunidades hipotéticas que se les presentan frecuentemente a los artistas, los participantes se ubicarán en una escala del “sí” al “no” en un espectrograma humano que expondrá las reacciones iniciales de cada individuo frente a esos dilemas comunes. Luego de una discusión y sesión de retroalimentación, los participantes podrán reorganizarse y poner en juego su capacidad de pensamiento colectivo. Al pedir que los participantes personifiquen sus preferencias y creencias, estaremos manifestando ideas políticas y filosóficas como posiciones físicas.

Los escenarios presentados abordarán temas como los compromisos, riesgos y posibles ganancias que se nos presentan al navegar nuestros roles en el mercado del arte; valorar nuestro trabajo y ofrecer nuestra labor gratuitamente, así como las decisiones creativas y éticas que hacemos cuando los recursos son limitados. El proceso de pensamiento de si aceptar o rechazar esas oportunidades rara vez se ejerce abiertamente o en el diálogo con la comunidad, a pesar de que estas son preguntas que todos los artistas tendrán que afrontar en algún momento. La activación de este proceso como un ejercicio de grupo permitirá que los participantes vean y escuchen las reacciones iniciales de los participantes, para después generar un debate saludable sobre lo que constituye una "buena" o "mala" oportunidad. Midiendo necesidades personales en relación con el bien colectivo, visualizaremos cómo y por qué tomamos esas decisiones privadas y sentaremos las bases para la toma de decisiones que apoyan al artista individual y fomentan la solidaridad.

*Lauren van Haaften-Schick is an art historian, artist, and curator researching the artistic appropriation and deployment of legal technologies, such as contracts, and regulatory strategies independent of legislatures. Subjects of focus include the work of curator and bibliographer Seth Siegelaub, artists' publications and media interventions, and artists’ labor and property rights. She is currently pursuing her PhD in the History of Art at Cornell University, and is the Associate Director of the Art & Law Program in New York. Recent exhibitions include “Non-Participation,” The Luminary, MO, and The Art League Houston, TX (2014-15), and “Canceled: Alternative Manifestations & Productive Failures,” The Center for Book Arts, NY, among additional venues (2012-14). Recent presentations & publications include: "The Artists' Resale Right," Artists Space Books & Talks, NY, presenting as a member of the W.A.G.E. Artists Resale Rights Working Group; "What Now? The Politics of Listening," Art in General and the Vera List Center, NY; The Law, Culture, and the Humanities conference at Georgetown University Law Centre; "Gauging the Gray Area" (with Helena Keeffe) for "Valuing Labor in the Arts" at the Arts Research Center, UC Berkeley, and “Charge” at the Art League Houston; "Seth Siegelaub's Agreement as Critical Circulation" for “Living Labor, Marxism and Performance Studies,” New York University; lectures at Bureau Publik and Rum46, Denmark, for the series "Making Social Realities with Books"; and “Cariou v. Prince: Toward a Theory of Aesthetic-Judicial Judgments” (with Sergio Muñoz Sarmiento) published in the Texas A&M Law Review. www.laurenvhs.com 

*Helena Keeffe is an artist, teacher and cook with a deep interest in indigenous ingredients, a persistent curiosity about alimentary histories, and a belief in the transformative potential of people coming together at a table. Her research finds its way into stories and toasts, functional ceramics, custom textiles and other sculptural tableware, as a way to further invest the materials of a meal with meaning. Keeffe also works with issues of art and labor. In 2013 she co-organized the workshop-based conference “Valuing Labor in the Arts,”  with Shannon Jackson, director of the Arts Research Center at UC Berkeley. Her broadside, Standard Deviation, serves as a platform for aggregating art and labor related texts, thought experiments, flow charts and alternative currencies. Keeffe is the recipient of a Creative Work Fund grant and has created site-specific works in diverse contexts including city buses, phone booths, the Berkeley Art Museum, San Francisco’s Market Street, Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, Laguna Honda Hospital, the Oakland Museum of California, and the Contemporary Jewish Museum. Keeffe received her MFA from UC Berkeley.  http://helenakeeffe.com