Saturday, March 30, 4–6pm
“Details Matter” with Lise Soskolne and Laurel Ptak
This Spring, Art in General continues to host the ongoing experimental discussion series Learning and Unlearning, organized by the artist-founded publication Shifter (Avi Alpert and Rit Premnath).
Details Matter on March 30, 2019 focuses on the challenges of organization and institution building with W.A.G.E.’s Lise Soskolne and Art in General’s Director and Curator, Laurel Ptak. Through Soskolne’s own practice as an artist and founding member of W.A.G.E, participants will discuss the importance of institution building as a form of sustainable political practice. While political action is often pictured through images of protest and activism, Soskolne will focus on the more long term process of building coalitions and infrastructure that can sustain politics. Ptak will contribute her thoughts on “institution as medium” in consideration of her role running artist-founded art institutions in New York City that were born in the 1980s, including Art in General.
Details Matter is part of the series Learning and Unlearning, organized by Shifter in collaboration with Art in General. The aim of these shared gatherings is to unlearn the assumptions and prejudices we hold about each other and ourselves. Previous installments in the series have included Unlearning Work in Fall 2017 and Unlearning Dystopia in Spring 2018.
Avi Alpert teaches literature and critical theory in the Princeton Writing Program where he focuses on the impact of globalization on modern thought and institutions. His writing examines what it means to be at once a private individual and a global subject, and how this dual demand has shaped modern life. His first book, Global Origins of the Modern Self, from Montaigne to Suzuki, offers a global history of the self, from Renaissance Europe to modern Japan. He has co-edited Dictionary of the Possible, Shifter Vol.22, and also writes art criticism and fiction.
Sreshta Rit Premnath is an artist works across multiple media, investigating systems of representation and reflecting on the process by which images become icons and events become history. Premnath is the founder and co-editor of the publication Shifter and teaches at Parsons, New York.
Laurel Ptak is Director & Curator of Art in General in New York City. She has previously held diverse roles at non-profit art institutions in the US and internationally, including the Guggenheim Museum (New York), MoMA PS 1 Contemporary Art Center (New York), Museo Tamayo (Mexico City), Tensta Konsthall (Stockholm), Triangle (New York), among others. She teaches at Columbia University, New York University, and the School of Visual Arts in NYC and together with Marysia Lewandowska is editor of the book Undoing Property? published by Sternberg Press.
Shifter is a topical publication that aims to illuminate and broaden our understanding of the intersections between contemporary art, politics, and philosophy. Shifter remains malleable and responsive in its form and activities, and represents a diversity of positions and backgrounds in its contributors. The publication is edited by Sreshta Rit Premnath and Avi Alpert.
Lise Soskolne is an artist and core organizer of W.A.G.E. (Working Artists and the Greater Economy). W.A.G.E. is a New York-based activist organization whose mission is to establish sustainable economic relationships, and more equitable distribution between artists and the institutions that contract their labor. An organizer within W.A.G.E. since its founding in 2008 and its core organizer since 2012, Soskolne began working in arts presenting and development at downtown New York City nonprofits in 1998. Venues have included Anthology Film Archives, Artists Space, Diapason Gallery for Sound, Meredith Monk/The House Foundation for the Arts, Participant Inc, and Roulette Intermedium.