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In the Media Lounge: Uncommon/Commons

posted by Christopher Howard — Jan 28, 2014

This year’s Media Lounge at the Annual Conference will present Uncommon/Commons, a hybrid media art and research project conceived by the interdisciplinary artist Jenny Marketou and realized with the assistance of Nathanael Bassett, a media researcher and producer.

The goal of the collective project is to invite artists, researchers, writers, scholars, and activists to unpack ambiguous vocabularies and new forms for representation in contemporary art. The participants will all respond to those forms by using social media, public conversations, workshops, and video screenings and by creating hybrid and real events—with the aim to engage public discourse as a social sculpture—that underline not only points of commonality among disciplines but also differences. The artists and curators hope that Uncommon/Commons will be an opportunity to connect Chicago’s artists, activists, academics, and grassroots groups to engender conversations and connections that are important to our civic landscape.

As part of ARTspace, Uncommon/Commons will take place February 12–15, 2014, in the Hilton Chicago’s Joliet Room during the CAA Annual Conference. This is the first year in which the Media Lounge has its own dedicated space with a full program of events. If you cannot attend the conference, watch the Uncommon/Commons live stream and follow the activities on Twitter.

Uncommon/Commons will be an incubator for sharing skills and knowledge, responding to themes of the commons and “communing.” One highlight of the event will be a series of workshops whose topics include: “Environmental Justice: A Civic Science for the Public Realm,” facilitated by Liz Barry; “Wages for Facebook,” led by Laurel Ptak; “Autonets Convergence Chicago: Hackathon for Technologists and Antiviolence Activists,” organized by Micha Cardenas; and “Public Offering and COMMON CAPTURE: Keyhole Excavations in Media Archeology,” spearheaded by Alexis Bhagat.

Uncommon/Commons will also feature two programs of film and video screenings, titled “We refuse their fabulous lies” and “Invalid data – dreaming through the gaps.” A public discussion between the screenings’ two curators, Jenny Marketou and Abina Manning, director of Video Data Bank at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, will take place after the programs, followed by Q&A with the audience. Additional one-time screenings in the Media Lounge will include Oliver Ressler’s Take The Square, Rania and Raed Rafei’s 974, and Marketou’s Looking Out of My Window.

Image Captions

First: Rosa Barba (Germany/Sweden), Outwardly from Earth’s Center, 2007.

Second: Workshop during the XFR STN project at the New Museum of Contemporary Art in New York in 2013 (photograph by Tara Hart and provided by the New Museum).

Filed under: Annual Conference, ARTspace