I Occupy, the new exhibition of Kasa Gallery in collaboration with the Museum of Contemporary Cuts surveys, analyzes and questions current trends in interventionist art and Augmented Reality Art which, by intervening within the urban and socio-political landscape, contribute to redefining the aesthetic and cultural understanding of the environments we operate in.
“No Socialism for Capitalists” was the slogan on the sign that a man held during the days of the Occupy Wall Street protests. Other signs read “R.I.P. American Dream” and “Corporations Are Sociopathic People,” the latter held by an elegantly dressed woman. Visual culture theorist Nicholas Mirzoeff, who joined the movement, wrote “Why I Occupy,” a seminal essay that linked and expanded – via a personal blog – on the events, and Mirzoeff’s role within them. (Nicholas Mirzoeff, “Why I Occupy,” Public Culture 24, no. 3 (2012): 451-456.)
The Occupy Movement has catalyzed attention – nevertheless it has not really succeeded in creating the transformative change that people expected. And yet, it has succeeded in bringing on to the political arena the presence of a popular discontent about the escalating lack of participation and resulting erosion of democracy in the contemporary representation of the post-state.
What is the actual social and political legacy of the Occupy Wall Street movement today? And further, what is the role of art in advancing political activism? Do Augmented Reality interventions further Occupy’s claimed agendas? Does Augmented Reality art succeed in bypassing institutional control? Can this art practice exist without the autocratic and centralized stamp of approval of political bureaucratic institutions?
The exhibition I Occupy will be prefaced by the text “Why I Occupy” by Nicholas Mirzoeff, world renowned scholar at NYU Steinhardt. I Occupy will also showcase the ARworks, actual live interventions and documents of past events during Occupy Wall Street, with pieces by Mark Skwarek (the organizer of the AR events), John Craig Freeman, Will Pappenheimer and Tamiko Thiel.
The exhibition – showcasing these artists’ work – will provide the opportunity for a panel discussion that will analyze the issue of art, politics and interventions in the public sphere within a technologically advanced society that allows for the creation of digital layers and tapestries in the urban landscape. These layers are no longer localized but part of increasingly globalized interventions that operate without and beyond the traditional – and perhaps obsolete – boundaries of national states.
The exhibition I Occupy is concurrent to the show Jackpot at MoCC (Museum of Contemporary Cuts). Jackpot and I Occupy are a collaboration between MoCC, Kasa Gallery, OCR, Goldsmiths, NYU Steinhardt and the Royal College of Art.
Lead Curator: Lanfranco Aceti.
Senior Curators: Pat Badani, Nicholas Mirzoeff and Marquard Smith.
Event Manager: Çağlar Çetin.
Please bring smart phones and iPads to view the installations.