For a few hours last Sunday, e-flux’s Chinatown offices were bathed in red light as Free Cooper Union held an interpretive reading of the 41-page trustee meeting transcript first leaked to the Village Voice over the summer. Sixteen students sat at a long, boardroom-style table, and for nearly three hours worked their way through the text, vivifying the occasionally shocking, mostly clinical university officials’ exchanges with their own banter and repartée. Cooper Union President Jamshed Bharucha’s lines were delivered in a robot voice, played with Apple text-to-speech software, with the remaining participants acted by individual members of Free Cooper Union.
The event had all the makings of radical political theater: cartoonish uniforms, a raucous audience, a sputtering fog machine, and plates of miniature pigs-in-a-blanket all unfolded in the awkward glare of 14 red lamps, two videographers, a photographer, and a sound engineer. The lamps, first installed when the group occupied Bharucha’s office in the spring, have become something of a Free Cooper Union signature, appearing also in their end-of-year show in May.
The transcript itself, staple-bound copies of which were provided to audience members, is a significant text in the ongoing struggle against Cooper’s financial misfortunes and embattled administration. Of particular note is the final debate between board members on whether or not to admit the protestors demonstrating outside the September 2012 meeting. This is the climax of the performance — the deliberation over engaging in dialogue with the very people now reading the lines. Fittingly, the reenactment at e-flux ended at the moment in the transcript when the board members allowed Free Cooper Union to enter the room.
The Politics of Destruction took place at e-flux (311 Grand Street, Chinatown, Manhattan) on November 24 from 6 to 9pm.
This year’s show is the first since a tumultuous 2019 edition rocked by protests over former trustee Warren B. Kanders’s connections to tear gas manufacturing.
The close, careful, and subtle observation I found this year is representative of precisely why I continue to gravitate to this fair.
Featuring underwater recordings from around the world, this immersive, site-specific installation is on view at the Lenfest Center for the Arts in NYC from February 3 to 13.
How do we counter stereotypes about Black mothers, while stressing the importance of memory, determination, love, and corporeality?
With two stellar retrospectives, one time-based installation, and several commissions by local artists, the Phillips Collection has dedicated its galleries to highlighting abstract work by Black artists.
BRIC’s multidisciplinary program in Brooklyn has cohorts in Contemporary Art, Film & TV, Performing Arts, and Video Art. Applications are due March 10.
As we begin a new year, a small moment on Queer Eye makes me think about the profound effect our stories can have on each other.
Some have criticized the racist monument’s planned relocation to North Dakota, near land seized from Indigenous people.
A group called the Boriken Libertarian Forces toppled the monument hours before King Felipe VI of Spain’s visit.
Still resonating with relevance, William Gropper’s incisive cartoons in defense of the WPA go on auction at New York’s Swann Galleries together with other works by celebrated WPA artists.
Archeologists excavating in Nijmegen, the Netherland’s oldest city, found the bowl in pristine condition.