Last month, members of Colab gathered at Printed Matter for the opening of a new iteration of the A. More Store, the collective’s pop-up exhibit of cheap multiples. The display coincides with the publication of A Book About Colab (and Related Activities) (2015), a sumptuous collection of archival images and written accounts compiled by Printed Matter’s director Max Schumann.
Today’s New York art world is painfully nostalgic for the 1980s — a time when rent in the East Village could be paid on tips, syringes littered the streets, and social forces challenged artists to create astounding works. Creativity crackled in the air, as did the impending trauma and transformation of the near future. Social spaces existed before social media supplanted them. It was a time — “post-disco, pre-house,” according to performance artist Jack Waters — when you could both dance and talk in clubs, and those clubs weren’t just filled with $12 cocktails and bridge-and-tunnel riffraff, but exciting creators building a community.