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Ladyfag, (via MAD website)

Club kids (and their art world fans) rejoice!

The Museum of Arts and Design’s FUN Fellowships have announced their new round of grantees. Last year’s recipients were JUDY, Earl Dax, Gag! and Snack the Planet. This year’s list includes Ladyfag, FCKNLZ, CHERYL and Babycastles and their projects promise to be FUN for everyone.

The FUN fellowship is the only fellowship in the world for those working in the social practice of nightlife, so we can legitimately say, “Only in New York, kids. Only in New York.”

The Manhattan museum initially invited 100 individuals from the art and nightlife communities to each nominate a candidate and eventually the list was whittled down to 35 semi-finalists. From that smaller list the four finalists were selected by a jury of curators, nightlife luminaries, critics and previous Fun Fellows. Who doesn’t want to be a “Fun Fellow”!?

“Each year’s FUN Fellows are unique in their own way, due to the various focuses, methodologies and communities the engage with in their practice of nightlife,” FUN curator and MAD manager of Public Programs Jake Yuzna told Hyperallergic. “My feeling is that no year will be alike. The major difference is last year was selected by one curatorial voice, while this year was culled through nominations and selected by a group of their peers. Many of the 2011 recipients projects focused on building stronger infrastructure for the nightlife community. This included founding nonprofits, developing strategies for artist run, nonprofit venues, creating east coast tour networks, etc.”

“The 2012 recipients’ projects focus more on pushing the content and form of nightlife in new directions. Although it is a generalization, I’d say their projects act as catalysts for the development of new ways of executing nightlife. Especially with the recognition of field of nightlife being relatively new to the fine arts sector, many of these projects are working to develop the language, documentation and expansion of the practice. It’s uncharted territory, but one that we are very excited to embark into with the immense talent of the 2012 FUN fellows,” he says.

The FUN Fellowship projects will begin the weekend of August 24 with Babycastle, continue in September with Ladyfag’s Dayclub, and FKCNLZ will present for five consecutive Saturdays beginning October 20. The complete schedule is on the museum’s.

The complete list of the artists and their projects are below (emphasis mine):

A beauty and lifestyle artist collective specializing in mistakes, FCKNLZ will present a theatrical restaging of club kid appearances on TV talk shows from the early 1990s. Using original footage from shows such as Donahue, Geraldo, and Jenny Jones (“So what exactly is a club kid?”) as their source material, FCKNLZ will rework the transcripts into a 30-minute performance, casting actors as hosts, club kids, and audience members. Their new versions will be filmed in front of a live audience at MAD, evoking the historical “golden age” of New York nightlife while examining how nightlife is portrayed in the media.

Presenting a series of mobile dance parties this summer, the four-member, semi-anonymous, often cat-masked artist collaborative CHERYL will use social media and other platforms to encourage public revelers to follow their location in New York City as they hop from spot to spot in their party van, both capitalizing on long lines and crowds at existing gatherings and instigating their own spontaneous events city-wide. THE FUN will enable CHERYL, which revels in the joyous power of dance-induced psychosis/euphoria, to participate in non-traditional outdoor party spaces.

Through constructing new models for the nightclub experience, Ladyfag will invite groups of individuals from the nightlife community to participate in a “Dayclub.” The “Dayclub” will include events that are visible but not accessible to the general public, offering viewers an opportunity to observe nightlife culture outside of the context of hedonism. These events will challenge viewers’ assumptions about what nightclubs truly are while showcasing nightlife’s cultural value as a unique and influential artistic medium. At other times, the “Dayclub” may be fully open for the public to enter and enjoy the energetic and creative environment to be found inside.

Exploring innovation in interactive media and human interaction, the collective Babycastles will host a three-day series of video game controller hacking workshops at MAD in collaboration with Keita Takahashi, game designer of Japan’s Katamari Damacy. They will include panel talks, screenings and sessions focusing on one-button games, hardware hacking, and arcade cabinet design and construction, and will culminate in a fantastical nightlife playground party, involving highly physical arcade games, designed by Takashi.

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Hrag Vartanian

Hrag Vartanian is editor-in-chief and co-founder of Hyperallergic. You can follow him at @hragv.