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Images from around social media from Hyperallergic’s inaugural #ArtTalk.

On Monday, May 20, a sold-out crowd turned out for our inaugural ArtTalk with Klaus Biesenbach. The event could not have been a more auspicious launch for the #ArtTalk series, with which we hope to host edifying speakers engaged with the world of art and visual culture in unique and provocative ways. Biesenbach’s presentation on Monday centered around EXPO 1, the project he has co-developed with Hans-Ulrich Obrist of London’s Serpentine Gallery in response to the devastation in the Rockaways caused by Hurricane Sandy.

An engaged audience thoughtfully participated in the discussion both IRL and online, using the hashtag #ArtTalk to make comments or live-tweeting the discussion. In one memorable moment, Biesenbach referred to the culturally-savvy volunteers he brought along with him as hipsters turned “helpsters,” a term he said he had heard recently — though in case you were wondering, it dates to a 2010 New York Press trend piece.

Along with the occasional mercurial aside, Biesenbach treated the audience to a narrative journey through the highlights of EXPO1, from esoteric avant-garde work to the large Adrián Villar Rojas amphitheater to the photography of Ansel Adams. The curator even shared some ancillary suggestions for minimizing waste in the name of decelerating climate change — along the vein of avoiding picking up extra disposable detritus like shopping bags, coffee trays, and so on.

The talk has inspired us at Hyperallergic to engage in some more indepth exploration of the ideas in and around EXPO 1, so please expect that in the weeks and months ahead.

We look forward to making the #ArtTalk a monthly Hyperallergic tradition, and thank all of you who showed up or followed online for taking part in the conversation.

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Mostafa Heddaya

Mostafa Heddaya is the former managing editor of Hyperallergic.