(New York, NY)Alina and Jeff Bliumis

Alina and Jeff Bliumis are a multidisciplinary New York-based artist team, working together since 2000. They were both born abroad, but have been living in the United States for over twenty years, often playing with ideas centered on cultural foreignness, social misfits and national identity.

While their early projects were mostly based on personal experiences, over the last ten years their interest has gradually shifted into processing their communal experience, defining social structures, looking into cultural standards and exploring “foreignness” as a condition that gives a new perspective to the familiar. Their ongoing anthropological survey has lead them to work with different artistic mediums, from a photographic journey based on Walter Benjamin’s Moscow Diary to the site-specific project Language Barrier and the public dialogue project Casual Conversations in Brooklyn.

Cultural Tips For New Americans

To be a foreigner – one who is defined as "not from here" – often means unknowingly breaking rigid social and cultural rules. Defining these social and cultural standards often says a lot about the "native" society. For the Cultural Tips For New Americans project, Alina and Jeff Bliumis are gathering advice that would help any new arrival to assimilate and understand their new home. They are taking tips from published guides, public forums, street questionnaires, social websites and friends. After illustrating these tips they are planning to place them all over the city – on kiosks, billboards, and television screens.