The New Resistance: Studying the Rise of Independent Art Groups and Collectives

by Christopher Fernald

How does the manner in which art practitioners pursue their creative endeavors—in the very practical application and execution of their grand ideas support or refute traditional understandings of rebellion and independence? How is independence possible when we imagine the playing field in the Euro-American art world has folded in on itself, hierarchies have toppled, and an unprecedented number of voices, perspectives, and methodologies with varying points of access to and involvement in modes of power constantly compete, cross-fertilize, and merge together?  Most importantly, can our imagination of resistance accommodate a power system that celebrates and commodifies rebellion?

The answer, I’d argue, is yes. I crafted a survey to get a better sense of how artists working independently in the New York City region experience the art world and its discourses of community, independence, and rebellion.  My findings are specific to the workings of the New York art world and its actors, though I imagine a similar understanding of the operations within art worlds in other major first world metropolitan centers may be gleaned in certain instances.  I’ve concluded that effective resistance requires a new understanding of how power operates and a reimaging of what the point of intersection between it and powers of resistance actually looks like.

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Patrick Meagher featured in NY Art Beat

Patrick Meagher of Silvershed and co-director of Collective Show is featured in an interview on New York Art Beat! In it, he talks about the origins of the Chelsea-based artist collective and reveals plans for the future of Collective Show.

Follow the link to find out more about Collective Show and his thoughts on the state of the arts today.

Interview with Patrick Meagher of Silvershed | NYABlog | New York Art Beat


Farimani is an artist-produced publication that is distributed internationally. The 11-piece volume of books can be read as a trajectory of printed work that evolves from each issue to the other, with the individual books being highly dependent on those that come before and after.

Seeking to produce an artistic space within the pages of a text, Farimani pulls work from artists, cultural criticism and theory, and musicians. The notions of time, evolution, and continuity are highly significant in the project. Departing from where its previous let off, each issue will take on a greater size so that the final component will literally bear the weight of its predecessors.

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Collective Show Los Angeles Opens Tonight – Thursday, 1/20!

Collective Show Los Angeles 2011 Invite

If you’re around tonight, stop by the opening reception for Collective Show Los Angeles 2011!  

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Queer Pile Up! 2011

In conjunction with Collective Show Los Angeles, Darin Klein and Suzanne Wright will host the 2nd Annual Queer Pile Up! at Amy Adler’s Echo Park studio. All are invited to attend the one-night-only showcase of local queer artists and performers! If you are looking to participate, arrive with everything you need to perform or install your presentation. Artists perform and are shown on a first-come, first-served basis!

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ART 2102

Four Covers of the Art 2102 Book


January 15, 2011, 2 to 6PM
2640 S. La Cienega Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90034 (map)

In conjunction with the launch of Dispatches and Directions, some of the most interesting artists and organizers in Los Angeles will engage each other in discussion on a variety of topics relevant to their work. Participants will include Dorit Cypis, Jennifer Doyle, Lauri Firstenberg, Eve Fowler, Piero Golia, Sarah Lehrer-Graiwer, Thomas Lawson, Giles Miller, Davida Nemeroff, Renaud Proch, and Wu Tsang.

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ART 2102 Book: Dispatches and Directions: On artist-run organizations in Los Angeles

New book from ART 2102: Dispatches and Directions: On artist-run organizations in Los Angeles

From the ART 2102 Website:
“Over the past several years ART2102 has acted as a platform for artists and curators in Los Angeles to realize their projects and exhibitions. From its space in Boyle Heights, ART2102 hosted a vibrant program known for its open cultural discourse and flexibility of ideas, and for engaging both local and international artists at various stages in their careers. Gradually, ART2102 moved away from this physical site as its programming and initiatives engaged with the large network of other artists-run spaces across Los Angeles and Southern California.

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Collective Show New York

On a balmy late summer evening, viewers packed in to Participant Inc.’s Houston St. gallery space for the opening reception of Collective Show New York. The crowd spilled out onto Houston St. and drew interest from wandering passersby. The walls were lined with an array of engaging pieces that often eschewed norms of viewer and audience participation as well as authorial attribution. The show featured hanging works, interactive sculptural assemblages, and performances that continued beyond the reception gathering.

Collective Show New York 2010, outside Participant Inc

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