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Byproduct: On the excess of embedded art practices

A book about artists embedded in industries, electoral politics, and other non-art sectors
Editor: Marisa Jahn
Contributors: Artist Placement Group (Barbara Steveni), Claire Bishop, Andrew Boyd, John Seely Brown, Peter Eleey, Janez Jansa, Michelle Kuo, Kristin Lucas, Antanas Mockus, Pedro Reyes, John Searle, Michel Serres, Merve Ünsal, The Yes Men, and others (see list below)

About the Book

Byproduct: On the Excess of Embedded Art Practices is a book that examines the work of artists embedded in industries, electoral politics, and other non-art sectors.

Artists & Industry

Claire Bishop, Peter Eleey, and Stephen Wright examine Artist Placement Group, whose work in the 1970s involved placing dozens of artists in corporations and the government. Curator Joseph del Pesco examines A Constructed World's collaboration with 120 employees of a bank. ArtForum critic Michelle Kuo how in the late 1960s, Experiments in Art and Technology (E.A.T.) forged relationships between artists and scientists that influenced technology as we know it today. Philosopher Michel Serres characterizes the parasite's role as alimentary and irritant, hostile and hospitable.

Performing Politics
L.M. Bogad discusses the tradition of 'electoral guerilla theatre'—or artists running as candidates in political races. Artist Luis Jacob interviews Vincent Trasov, one half of 'Mr. Peanut', the larger than life tap-dancing Planter's Peanut character who received 7% of the vote in his run for mayor of Vancouver in 1974. Architect/artist Pedro Reyes interviews Antanas Mockus, former mayor of Bogotá who hired 420 mimes to work as traffic cops—a gesture so effective it cut traffic-related deaths in half.

The Subversive Utterance
Philosopher Lev Kreft interviews the three Slovenian artists who in 2007, each changed their name to 'Janez Jansa', the centrist prime minister of Slovenia. Artist Kristin Lucas reflects on why she changed her name to Kristin Lucas (same spelling). Philosopher John Searle, examines the role of language in an institution's formation.

Designing Subversion
The book's introduction, written by Marisa Jahn and L.M. Bogad, reads like a play wherein the footnotes take on a life of their own. No longer passive references reinforcing the pillars of a central narrative, these mischievous agents provoke and tease the stuffy and pretentious Narrator. Designed by Ryan Hines, the book graphically reinforces the subversion of outsider-center/parasite-host binaries in favor of a dynamic system in flux and the byproduct—or artwork—that emerges.

All Contributors

A Constructed World, Tejpal S. Ajji, Allan Antliff, Paul Ardenne, Grant Arnold, Artist Placement Group (Barbara Steveni), Au Travail / At Work, Gina Badger, Kadambari Baxi, Ingrid Baxter, IAIN BAXTER&, Claire Bishop, Adam Bobbette, L.M. Bogad, Maureen Connor, Andrew Boyd, John Seely Brown, Ian Clarke, Maureen Connor, Natalie De Vito, Joseph del Pesco, Connor Dickie, Peter Eleey, Experiments in Art and Technology, Kent Hansen (democratic innovation), Kate Henderson, Luis Jacob, Michelle Jacques, Marisa Jahn, Janez Jansa, Janez Jansa, Janez Jansa, Tomas Jonsson, Lev Kreft, Michelle Kuo, Lisa Larson-Walker, Adam Lauder, Kristin Lucas, Steve Mann, Antanas Mockus, Amish Morrell, Joshua Moufawad-Paul, Darren O'Donnell (Mammalian Diving Reflex), Michael Page, Kathleen Pirrie-Adams, Reverend Billy (Billy Talen and Savitri D.), Pedro Reyes, John Searle, Michel Serres, Josephine Berry Slater, Matthew Soules, Felicity Tayler, The Yes Men, Vincent Trasov (Mr. Peanut), Camille Turner (Miss Canadiana), Etienne Turpin / DT Cochrane, Merve Ünsal, Pauline van Mourik Broekman, Stephen Wright

Book Launch

In Toronto 4/18/2010): The Power Plant

Claire Bishop, critic, art historian
Marisa Jahn, editor, Byproduct
Camille Turner, artist (Miss Canadiana)

Drawing on the themes of Byproduct, as well as the current exhibitions at The Power Plant, Claire Bishop and Marisa Jahn will reflect on the question of visibility in political art practices. What is the role of images or objects in current political artmaking when many artists are choosing to work covertly, even invisibly? And conversely, do these more "embedded" practices only gain meaning when they become visible? Must production leave a trace to be effective? Byproduct editor Marisa Jahn will present on the anthology and art historian Claire Bishop will speak about her research in this field, specifically on Thomas Hirschhorn's past projects. The forum will be followed by a free reception launching the book. In attendance will be the honourable Miss Canadiana, who appears courtesy of outerregion.

In New York (12/10/2010): Vera List Center for Art & Politics (The New School)

L.M. Bogad, performance artist and author of 'Electoral Guerilla Theatre'
Tom Finkelpearl, Executive Dir., Queens Museum; author, 'Dialogues in Public Art'
Michelle Jacques, Curator, Art Gallery of Ontario
Marisa Jahn, artist, editor of 'Byproduct'
Kristin Lucas, artist

In New York 10/12/2010): Postmaster's Gallery

Kadambari Baxi, architect, new media artist
L.M. Bogad, artist, scholar
Maureen Connor, artist
Stephen Duncombe, cultural critic, author
Kristin Lucas, artist
Darren O'Donnell (Mammalian Diving Reflex), artist
Felicity Tayler, artist, curator

Project Details

CLIENT/COMMISSION : YYZ BOOKS

DATE : 2010

BUY : DAP, LitDistCo (Canada), Printed Matter (NYC)

ISBN : 978-0-920397-51-0

LAUNCH : Power Plant, Vera List Center for Art & Politics, Postmasters Gallery

TAGS : Design/Communications