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Contents for March 14, 2016

Fred Holland, FF Alumn, In Memoriam

Fred Holland (1951-2016)

Fred Holland, who currently has an exhibition of sculptures at Tilton Gallery, died on Saturday, March 5. Born in Columbus, Ohio, Holland studied painting at the Columbus College of Art & Design. In the late 1970s he worked with The Zero Moving Dance Company in Philadelphia, then moved to Berlin, followed by New York in 1983. He collaborated with such artists as Meredith Monk, Ishmael Houston-Jones, Butch Morris, and Robbie McCauley while also creating his own work. Holland returned to visual art in the 1990s.

His work has been exhibited at MoMA PS1, the Newark Museum, the Drawing Center, and the Albany Art Museum. He also received numerous awards throughout his life, including the Pollock-Krasner Foundation Grant, the Creative Capital Award, and grants from the National Endowment for the Arts in both choreography and visual art. Recent New York solo exhibitions include PPOW Gallery and Momenta Gallery in Brooklyn. His exhibition at Tilton continues through April 9.




1. Maya Ciarrocchi & Kris Grey, FF Fund Recipients 2015-16, at Smack Mellon, Brooklyn, April 3

Gender/Power Composition IV
April 3rd, 2016 at 2pm
In-process performance for (SIGNAL) at Smack Mellon
92 Plymouth St, Brooklyn, NY 11201 (back gallery)

Gender/Power, led by Maya Ciarrocchi and Kris Grey is a collaborative project that produces performances and community workshops to address social justice issues around authority and gender at the intersection of age, race, class, ability, sex, and sexuality. Composition IV was created in collaboration with Becca Blackwell, massima desire, Sara Jimenez and Pamela Sneed with choreography by Sandra Parker and dramaturgy by Clarinda Mac Low.

This work was made possible, in part, by the Franklin Furnace Fund supported by Jerome Foundation, The SHS Foundation, the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council, and general operating support from the New York State Council on the Arts.

(SIGNAL), curated by Alexis Heller, presents artworks that challenge the gender binary and explore a continuum of self-definition. Working in diverse mediums, these contemporary artists utilize code, collaborative representation, fantasy and play to subvert histories that have denied gender variance. They question authorship over 'the natural', make manifest sites of resistance, and reimagine a future where identities are fluid, becoming ad infinitum and celebrated as such. Full event schedule is available at http://smackmellon.org/index.php/exhibitions/signal/
(SIGNAL) is on view from March 5th through April 17, 2016.



2. Robin Tewes, FF Alumn, at Texas A&M University, College Station, opening Mar. 22, and more

March 21-April 14, 2016
"Men In Trouble"
Robin Tewes Solo Exhibition at Texas A&M University,
Wright Gallery, College Station, Texas
Opening Reception: March 22, 4:30-6:30PM


March 12-March 16, 2016
Keynote Speaker and Visiting Artist Robin Tewes
at Concordia University,
AHGSA Conference
Montreal, Canada

June 20-July 17, 2016
Adele and Sam Golden Foundation Artist Residency



3. Mira Schor , FF Alumn, at Lyles & King Gallery, Manhattan, opening March 18, and more

Mira Schor
"Death Is A Conceptual Artist"
March 18 - April 24, 2016
Opening Reception: Friday, March 18, 6-8pm
Lyles & King Gallery is very pleased to announce Mira Schor's solo exhibition "Death Is A Conceptual Artist." This will be Schor's first New York solo show since 2012.

In two series of new paintings and drawings, with her characteristic mix of delicacy, toughness, and satirical acuity, Mira Schor explores a creative life that embraces political activism, critical research, and painterly richness, drawing upon both Apollonian and Dionysian impulses. Schor has never agreed to throw the baby out with the bath water in her life-long commitment to painting and drawing, to feminism, and to a life of the mind. She has written, "I will not give up the critical and intellectual or the visual and intuitive, so I see that the task ahead is to continue to insist that both ways of being as an artist can and even must exist in the same works and in the same practice. So, like Persephone, I do live in two worlds."

In creating these new works, Schor has drawn upon her admiration of the work of Ida Applebroog, Nancy Spero, Leon Golub, and James Ensor, and pays homage to the Mangaaka carved wood figures from the Kongo recently exhibited at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, which posed a transformative challenge to the scale of the figure in her work.

In the works included in "Death Is A Conceptual Artist," Schor confronts mortality in the face of historical ambition and depicts the painter as a transformative link between nature, the body, and language. Schor's masterful large-scale new drawings are self-portraits of the Woman Artist--who is, in terms of art world fads, both "too young" and "not dead enough." These uncompromising, darkly funny and confrontational female "Power" Figures --half naked, half young, half dead, fielding questions and demands from the world and from ghosts presences of youthful alter-egos--are nevertheless painted and drawn on fragile tracing paper, creating a contradictory message about power and meaning in relation to feminist identity, female embodiment, and links between image, materiality, and language in a manner that is emblematic of her art practice going back to the 1970s.

Mira Schor is a New York-based artist and writer. Her work has been included in exhibitions at the Jewish Museum in New York City, The Hammer Museum, P.S.1, the Neuberger Museum, and the Aldrich Museum. Interviews with Schor have appeared onArt21Blog, Bomblog, Hyperallergic, Artinfo and Culture Catch. She participated in ARTspace's Annual Distinguished Artists' Interviews at the 2013 Annual College Art Association Conference in New York. She is the author of A Decade of Negative Thinking: Essays on Art, Politics, and Daily Life (2009), Wet: On Painting, Feminism, and Art Culture (1997; both Duke University Press), and of the blog A Year of Positive Thinking. She is the co-editor of M/E/A/N/I/N/G Online and recent writings have appeared in Artforum and The Brooklyn Rail. Schor is the recipient of many prestigious awards including a Guggenheim Fellowship in Painting, a Pollock-Krasner Grant, the College Art Association's Frank Jewett Mather Award in Art Criticism, and the Creative Capital / Warhol Foundation Arts Writers Grant. She is an Associate Teaching Professor in Fine Arts at Parsons The New School for Design.


Mira Schor , FF Alumn, Panel Discussion: "Teaching Art/Art School Teaching," Hammer Museum, LA, March 15

How is art taught today? What do we mean by experimental teaching? This panel at the Hammer Museum, in conjunction with the current exhibition "Leap Before You Look: Black Mountain College 1933-1957" addresses what happens in studios and classrooms, the parameters within which experimental teaching takes place. Moderator art historian Howard Singerman is joined by independent artist Anna Craycroft, art historian Eva Diaz, and artist and writer Mira Schor. https://hammer.ucla.edu/programs-events/2016/03/teaching-art-art-school-teaching/



4. Jayoung Yoon, FF Alumn, now online at textielplus.nl, and more

I would like to share a publication and upcoming group show.

My work is featured in 'Textiel Plus' magazine, Spring 2016 in Netherlands.
Textiel Plus Magazine
Number 235, Spring, 2016
'Hair as material'
see pdf file:


Intricate Realities
March 19 - April 17, 2016
Opening Reception 4-6pm, Artist Talk 3pm
The Catskill Art Society (CAS)
48 Main Street, Livingston Manor, NY 12758

Thank you!
Jayoung Yoon
interdisciplinary artist



5. Barbara Hammer, FF Alumn, at British Film Institute, London, UK, Mar. 17-19

Welcome to This House, a film on Elizabeth Bishop
screens March 17-19
Flare Festival, British Film Institute, London

Barbara Hammer is back with her most eloquent film to date, about the Pulitzer prize-winning author Elizabeth Bishop. Bringing her unique vision and perceptive eye to the life and work of the Pulitzer Prize-winning poet Elizabeth Bishop, Barbara Hammer once again delivers a riveting film that examines the intricacies of lesbian life. Exposing the anxieties around whether it is possible to create art without being completely honest about one's self, Hammer journeys to the US, Canada and Brazil to talk with old lovers, friends and associates who knew the poet in order to understand who she was. Bishop's own words are then juxtaposed against these interviews. Some of the poems used are of a more private, revealing nature and were published after her death. What emerges is a fascinating portrait of a brilliant, flawed artist and an important and eloquent document about art, life, love and being at peace with oneself amidst the clamour of a vibrant and occasionally hectic world.

Director Barbara Hammer
Producer Barbara Hammer
Screenwriter Barbara Hammer
With Kathleen Chalfant (voice), Erin Miller, Barbara Hammer
USA-Brazil-Canada 2015
79 mins
Production company Barbara Hammer Productions



6. Ken Aptekar, FF Alumn, now online at www.theguardian.com and more

Ken Aptekar in The Guardian and in Lubeck, Germany, at the Kunsthalle St. Annen, plus a new website!


More here: https://repainterdiary.com/2016/01/28/nachbarnneighbors-in-a-german-town/





7. Laura Cooper, FF Alumn, at St. Luke's Church, Brooklyn, March 16

7 - 9pm | 16th March 2016
St. Luke's Church
259 Washington Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11205
LAURA COOPER | PATRICK COYLE | IAN GILES | ALINA TENSER Global Committee present an evening of performances by visual artists supported by Splacer. The works are shown within the unique setting of St Luke's Church, a building destined for demolition in the near future.

Laura Cooper |www.lauracooper.co.uk



8. Andrea Kleine, Anya Liftig, Bobby Previte, FF Alumns at New York Live Arts, Manhattan, March 18-19


I have always wanted to make a piece called, My Dinner with Andrea. This might be that piece.

a work-in-progress

featuring Michael Kammers, Andrea Kleine, Anya Liftig, Matthew Mohr, Bobby Previte, and maybe a special guest.

March 18 & 19th at 6pm
New York Live Arts, 3rd Floor Studios
Tickets and info: http://newyorklivearts.org/event/live_feed_andrea_kleine

Live Feed (formerly Studio Series) is one of Live Arts' three residency programs, offering artists sight unseen commitment to premiering work on Live Arts' stage within the two years following the artist's completion of the Live Feed residency. Live Arts provides the Live Feed artists space and support in various forms, from residency to administrative, development and production. The 2015-16 artists were chosen for their recent track-record of ambitious new work, the scope and nature of their planned projects and their respective place in New York Live Arts' vision.

Andrea Kleine's most recent works are "Screening Room, or The Return of Andrea Kleine (as revealed though a re-enactment of a 1977 television program about a 'long and baffling' film by Yvonne Rainer)," a performance; and Calf, a novel.



9. Joyce Yu-Jean Lee, FF Alumn, now online at WashingtonPost.com and more


The Washington Post WorldViews
How a New York art show about Chinese online censorship found itself censored
By Simon Denyer March 11 at 12:24 AM

The exterior of Firewall, a Pop-up Internet Cafe, in New York. (Joyce Yu-Jean Lee).
It was supposed to be an art exhibition exploring China's censorship of the Internet. It became an example of how that censorship can reach all the way around the world, even onto Manhattan's Lower East Side.
Firewall, a Pop-up Internet Cafe, was designed like any other Internet cafe, except with one crucial difference. Visitors were invited to perform simultaneous searches on the cafe's computers - one, using Google, gave results Americans would be accustomed to; the other, using Chinese search engine Baidu via a Chinese server, would replicate the censored results behind the Great Firewall.
That means, for example, no Facebook, Twitter or YouTube, no New York Times, and far fewer stories critical of the Chinese Communist Party.
But when the American artist behind the cafe, Joyce Yu-Jean Lee, tried to organize a simultaneous round-table event to explore how feminists in China use the Internet to build online networks, she found the discussion was effectively censored - all the way from China.
On the eve of the event, one of the speakers, a visiting Chinese feminist who had done significant work on gender law issues, suddenly starting receiving threats and pressures from back home.
"Chinese officials put pressure on her employer in China that she not be part of my event," said Lee.
Lee removed all traces of the woman's participation off the Internet, even asking people in China who had posted news on social media about the event to delete their posts. The tactic didn't work.
"The next morning, the threats escalated significantly, and it was clear she would not be able to take part," Lee said. "Censorship suddenly became very real."
Lee said she felt very guilty and scared that "a project about Internet freedom had affected an individual's right to feel safe and speak freely." But it also provided her with a lesson on the realities of China under Communist Party rule, and its reach.
"Chinese censorship doesn't just exist on the Internet, it happens in real time, in person-to-person relationships, and it extends onto American soil," she said. "It is my worst nightmare to bring this upon a person in real life. But at the same time, it was window into how censorship manifests itself through coercion on a professional and personal level. It exemplified what the project is about and gave it a whole different life."
China's Great Firewall, officially known as the Golden Shield project, uses a number of techniques to censor China's Internet and block access to various foreign websites. In these screenshots, you can how an image search for Tiananmen Square on Google shows shots of a lone protester (the Tank Man) standing in front of the tanks rolling into the square to suppress the 1989 pro-democracy protests: a Baidu search does not. A text search shows a similar contrast between the two services, one prominently mentioning the massacre of protesters, the other leading on the site as a tourist attraction.
Similarly, a search on Google for Li Tingting brings up the Chinese feminist activist who was detained for over a month, along with four other feminists, a year ago this week. The Baidu search brings up an opera singer, and some photographs of a scantily-clad woman, but no mention of the feminist.
The Chinese woman who faced threats over her participation in the New York event declined to be named or interviewed directly, for fear of reprisals, but did give Lee permission to talk to The Washington Post about the incident.
Human rights groups say China's security services have become increasingly bold their drive to clamp down on dissidents not just at home but also outside mainland China, with booksellers from Hong Kong apparently abducted from Thailand and Hong Kong in recent months, and activists forcibly repatriated from Thailand and Burma.
The cafe was open for a month until last weekend, and saw visitors from nearby Chinatown as well as curious and enthusiastic Chinese tourists. Lee says she is collating the searches that people carried out while in the cafe, and hopes to develop an app that will allow people to mirror the experience of visiting the cafe, as well as online life on both sides of China's Great Firewall.
Asked to comment on the search results, Kaiser Kuo, international communications director for Baidu said: "As a Chinese company we are obliged to obey local rules and regulations."




10. Nicolas Dumit Estevez Raful, Beatrice Glow, Harley Spiller, FF Alumns, now online at bedfordandbowery.com and more






11. Stephanie Brody Lederman, FF Alumn, at Jay Etkin Gallery, Memphis, TN, opening March 11

I am pleased to announce that I am in a 3 person show at the Jay Etkin Gallery in Memphis, TN. It is entitled "Spring" and runs from March 5-April 5. The opening is Friday March 11th, 6-9 pm. The other 2 artists are Sammy Peters and Bill Ginges.



12. Tom Murrin, Andy Warhol, FF Alumns, in The New York Times, March 9

The New York Times
Howl Gallery Resurrects the Punk-Era East Village
MARCH 9, 2016

Downtown survivors who are mourning the bohemian spirit of the old East Village will be delighted to know of a gallery devoted to preserving its memory, gender-bending warts and all.

Named after the Beat poet Allen Ginsberg's landmark 1955 epic poem, Howl Happening is a multimedia gallery devoted to retro art shows, nostalgic photo exhibits and raucous performances that defined the once-gritty neighborhood.

"I want to remind people how great the neighborhood can be and reinvigorate it," said Ted Riederer, the director of the gallery, which opened last year at a medium-size storefront at 6 East First Street, not far from the former CBGB, Sounds record shop and other departed East Village landmarks.

Exhibits rotate about once every three weeks, with openings that sometimes bring together the area's cantankerous stalwarts.

An opening last October celebrated the Pyramid, the Avenue A club that was a hub of the downtown drag, music and art scene for much of the 1980s. At one point that night, the crowd cheered as the burlesque performer Paula Now flung her wig, which got stuck on the chandelier.

"Old-timers will say, 'The East Village is nothing like it used to be,' and I say: 'Oh, really? Well, tonight we have performances with drag queens on the bar,'" Mr. Riederer said. "We're still doing it."

"This gallery has a totally different energy than the ones in Chelsea," he added.

He would know. A native New Yorker, Mr. Riederer was working at a blue-chip gallery in Chelsea when he met Jane Friedman, an arts patron who was creating a gallery to spotlight the boho spirit of pre-gentrification. "I said I would quit and do everything with her," he said.

A former theater publicist who went on to manage acts like Patti Smith and John Cale, Ms. Friedman segued into producing the Howl Festival, a cultural free-for-all held in Tompkins Square Park. She wanted to open a gallery partly to preserve the archive of Arturo Vega, the artist who did the imagery for the 1970s punk group the Ramones, and the performance artist Tom Murrin. In fact, the full name of the gallery is Howl Happening: An Arturo Vega Project.

"The East Village has changed a lot, but the artists of the East Village haven't changed," Ms. Friedman said. "They have a certain mind-set, an experimental and adventurous approach to work. If you made a career in the East Village, most likely no one else would give you the time of day, but the East Village would honor their style and talent."

"We decided to honor them and let them know they haven't been forgotten," she added.

Mr. Riederer added: "Arturo was this gay man that fled Mexico and moved to New York for sexual and cultural freedom. I think that's a wide-open curatorial with which to play around."

Paying homage to both the old and new, the gallery can sometimes feel like a heady party. In May, the No Wave musician Lydia Lunch held a photo exhibit, "So Real It Hurts," that incorporated music, panels and a Jerry Stahl book release party.

"We combine a lot of performances to elucidate each show," Ms. Friedman said. "But they have to be relevant to the material."

Some of the shows also prove that the East Village isn't dead. Last fall, the neighborhood artist and designer Scooter LaForge opened his show, "How to Create a Monsterpiece," which consisted of detritus-filled collages that are alternately whimsical and creepy.

"Scooter's got a very sweet side and a very dark side, and he manages to combine them into something very compelling," Ms. Friedman said. "He's very East Village. For me, it's the same excitement as the first time I saw a Basquiat or Keith Haring."

The event attracted a colorful crowd, mixing art-world habitués with Screaming Mimis boutique regulars. "Showing at this beautiful space put my fingerprint in the history books of the East Village art movement," Mr. LaForge said.

A coming exhibit will focus on the combined cultural impact of Jackie Curtis, the Andy Warhol "Superstar," and the drag performance artist Ethyl Eichelberger.



13. Ana Mendieta, FF Alumn, at Electronic Arts Intermix, Manhattan, March 16

Ana Mendieta: Experimental Films and Videos

A Conversation with Ana Janevski, Raquel Cecilia Mendieta,
and Lori Zippay
EAI is pleased to present a screening and discussion around the newly discovered and restored films and videos of Ana Mendieta. Presented in collaboration with Galerie Lelong, New York, the event will feature a conversation with Ana Janevski, Associate Curator, Department of Media and Performance Art at The Museum of Modern Art, and Raquel Cecilia Mendieta, Film Archivist for the Estate of Ana Mendieta, moderated by Lori Zippay, Executive Director of EAI.

March 16, 2016, 6:30 pm

Electronic Arts Intermix (EAI)
535 West 22nd Street, 5th Fl.
New York, NY 10011

Admission $7/ $5 Students
Free for EAI Members

Please RSVP: info@eai.org

A number of unknown media works by Mendieta-including Super 8 and 16mm films, 1/2 inch reel-to-reel videos, and a sound piece-recently came to light when the Estate of Ana Mendieta Collection, in collaboration with Galerie Lelong, catalogued, transferred, and preserved the entirety of the artist's moving image works. Revealing aspects of Mendieta's practice that are not as widely known as her ritualistic investigations of body and nature, these newly restored works illuminate Mendieta's technical experimentation and the importance of the moving image to her art.

Among the experimental works to be viewed and discussed are Sweating Blood (1973), Moffitt Building Piece (1973), Butterfly (1975), and Energy Charge (1975).

The exhibition Ana Mendieta: Experimental and Interactive Films will be on view at Galerie Lelong through March 26th.

In a brief yet prolific career, the Cuban-born artist Ana Mendieta (1948-1985) created groundbreaking work in photography, performance, film, drawing, sculpture, mixed media, and site-specific installations. Mendieta is a pioneer among those artists dealing with identity politics and feminism. Her unique hybrid of form and documentation, works that she titled siluetas, are fugitive and potent traces of the artist's inscription of her body in the landscape, transformed by fire, water, and natural materials.

Ana Mendieta's work has been the subject of six major museum retrospectives, the most recent of which-Ana Mendieta: Traces-was organized by the Hayward Gallery in London in 2013 and travelled to the Museum der Moderne in Salzburg and the Galerie Rudolfinum in Prague. Ana Mendieta: Earth Body, Sculpture and Performance 1972-1985 was organized by the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden in 2005 and traveled to the Whitney Museum of American Art, the Des Moines Art Center and the Miami Art Museum. The largest collection of Ana Mendieta's films ever presented as a full-scale gallery exhibition in the United States, Covered in Time and History: The Films of Ana Mendieta, was organized by the Katherine E. Nash Gallery, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis in 2015. The exhibition will travel to the NSU Art Museum Fort Lauderdale and the University of California, Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive. Her works are found in over 30 public collections worldwide, including the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York; Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington, D.C.; Musee d'Art Moderne et Contemporain (MAMCO), Geneva; and Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofia, Madrid; Tate Gallery, London; Verbund Collection, Vienna; and the Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris.

Mendieta was born in Havana, Cuba in 1948 and died in New York City in 1985.

Ana Janevski is Associate Curator in the Department of Media and Performance Art at the Museum of Modern Art. Recent exhibitions include Scenes for a New Heritage: Contemporary Art from the Collection (2015), Projects 101: Rabih Mroué (2015), Yvonne Rainer: The Concept of Dust, or How do you look when there's nothing left to move? (2015), and Musée de la danse: Three Collective Gestures (2013). Prior to MoMA, Janevksi was Curator at the Museum of Modern Art in Warsaw, Poland, where she curated the large-scale exhibition on Yugoslav experimental film and art from the 1960s and 1970s, As Soon As I Open My Eyes I See a Film (2008).

Raquel Cecilia Mendieta, Ana Mendieta's niece, is the Film Archivist and Administrative Assistant for The Estate of Ana Mendieta Collection and shepherded the recent transfer of Mendieta's entire body of filmworks to digital media. Raquel Cecilia Mendieta has been making films for more than twenty years as a producer, director, editor, and writer. Her features and short films have screened in festivals worldwide. She is currently completing a feature-length documentary titled, Ana Mendieta, Rebel by Nature, about the life and art of Ana Mendieta. Her short film Ana Mendieta, Nature Inside screened during the exhibition Ana Mendieta: Traces/Stopy at the Museum der Moderne, Salzburg. She has an M.F.A. from the School of Theater Film and Television at UCLA.

About EAI

Celebrating our 45th anniversary in 2016, Electronic Arts Intermix (EAI) is a nonprofit arts organization that fosters the creation, exhibition, distribution, and preservation of moving image art. A New York-based international resource for media art and artists, EAI holds a major collection of over 3,500 new and historical media artworks, from groundbreaking early video by pioneering figures of the 1960s to new digital projects by today's emerging artists. EAI works closely with artists, museums, schools and other venues worldwide to preserve and provide access to this significant archive. EAI services also include viewing access, educational initiatives, extensive online resources, technical facilities, and public programs such as artists' talks, screenings, and multi-media performances. EAI's Online Catalogue is a comprehensive resource on the artists and works in the EAI collection, and features expansive materials on media art's histories and current practices: www.eai.org

Electronic Arts Intermix
535 West 22nd Street, 5th Floor
New York, NY 10011
t (212) 337-0680
f (212) 337-0679

EAI's Public Programs are supported in part by the New York State Council on the Arts, with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature, and the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, in partnership with the City Council. EAI also receives program support from the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts.

Electronic Arts Intermix, 535 West 22nd Street, 5th Floor, New York, NY 10011



14. Lesbian Herstory Archives, at EFA Center, Manhattan, March 23

February 23 - March 27, 2016
Opening Reception: Wednesday, March 2, 6:00-8:00PM
PANEL DISCUSSION: Wednesday, March 23, 6:30PM
The Archives and Zines: Graphic Activism
Moderator: Colette D. Montoya
Elvis B., Shawn(ta) Smith-Cruz, and Sherley C. Olopherne
Check LHA Facebook page for updates

The Lesbian Herstory Archives' exhibit, Graphic Activism, features a selection of posters, newsletters, and zines from the largest collection of lesbian materials in the world. Beginning with the 1970's, and including contributions from the Archives' community of coordinators, volunteers and interns, Graphic Activism spans almost 50 years of lesbian activism. Comprised of posters from across the United States, this exhibit celebrates lesbian arts and artists, including Leslie Feinberg's Passing Fancy: Passing Women in Their Own Words and Rivers of Honey, a NYC-based, Woman of Color Arts Cabaret, and addresses such topics as gay teen suicide and AIDS activism.

The 1970's screen prints of the Chicago-based Women's Graphic Collective proclaim "Sisterhood is Powerful" and imprint a call to "Spinsters Crones Hags Sisters," on the Amazon labrys. Zines by Shawn(ta) Smith Cruz and Sherley Olopherne detail the Archives collections by and about Black Lesbians decade by decade, while Elvis B's drawings explore the idea of home, and how the Lesbian Herstory Archives, a radical archival space, manifests home for its communities.
With their arresting visuals, this exhibit calls for recognition of lives and issues that have historically been ignored. From Tee Corinne's solarized photograph of two lesbians embracing to an image of the world, overlaid with "The Future is Female," they politicize the lesbian sphere of intimacy and record a half century of creative and activist response to a frequently violent and homophobic world. Each work represents a unique effort by lesbians to represent their politics and love both within their communities and in the public sphere.

Curated by
Elvis B.
Colette D. Montoya
Ann Pachner
Flavia Rando
Ashley-Luisa Santangelo
for the Lesbian Herstory Archives
323 West 39th Street
2nd Floor
New York, NY 10018



15. Penny Arcade, FF Alumn, wins Best Theatre Award, Adelaide, Australia, and more

Penny Arcade wins Best Theatre Award at Adelaide Fringe for Longing Lasts Longer

One show only in Hobart, Tasmania March 19th Speigeltent

Special talk at Melbourne's prestigious Wheeler Center


Longing Lasts Longer Opens in Melbourne March 24th



April 6-9th Giant Dwarf



16. Dahn Hiuni, FF Alumn, at SUNY Purchase, NY, March 14

Artist Talk with FF Alumn Dahn Hiuni
March 14, 2016 at 7pm
SUNY Purchase, Hillel Lounge CCN 003
Purchase NY



17. Andrea Fraser, FF Alumn, in the New York Times, March 11

The New York Times
Artists Grapple With America's Prison System
MARCH 11, 2016

For several weeks in February and March, the Whitney Museum's fifth-floor gallery has been drenched in the slamming of gates, the rattling of keys and the bellowing of prisoners and guards. The artist Andrea Fraser recorded the sounds at Sing Sing, the infamous prison 34 miles up the Hudson River, then fed them into a gallery that's roughly the same size as the prison's A Block.

"Down the River," her commanding work, alludes to the practice of separating slaves - and prisoners to this day - from their families and sentencing them to backbreaking labor on the South's cotton plantations. It is a show that prods viewers to consider "the institutional and symbolic polarization that increasingly defines American society," Ms. Fraser said.

Artists around the country are grappling with America's incarceration system, as a subject and a social force. Like Ms. Fraser, Cameron Rowland's show at Artists Space engaged a privileged art world with the economic mechanisms behind mass incarceration, focusing on how our society benefits from prisoners' labor.

"Museum curators are increasingly paying attention to artists that visualize the criminal justice debate, and bringing subjects like necessary prison reform into their institutions," said Klaus Biesenbach, director of MoMA PS1 in Queens. Last December, the Rauschenberg Foundation called for fellowship proposals for "Creative Interventions to Mass Incarceration," granting chosen artists up to $100,000.

More than five million Americans are currently in prison, on parole or on probation. As prisons swelled rapidly between the early 1970s and today, the country has seen another unprecedented, parallel expansion: The museum industry has grown at record speed, and art prices at auctions have exploded. Ms. Fraser recognizes the paradox of staging a show on prison conditions in an 18,200-square-foot gallery, in a museum that cost $420 million to build. "I am not sure that on some level it isn't an absolutely monstrous thing to do," she said.

Artists have examined the apparatus of criminal justice before, but for most it was just one topic among many. Danny Lyon took photographs in Texas prisons in 1971 but later shifted his focus to a destitute region in China and, more recently, to the Occupy Wall Street movement.

Among the artists who have made mass incarceration their life's pursuit is the African-American couple Keith Calhoun and Chandra McCormick from New Orleans, whose work was exhibited in the 2015 Venice Biennale. Since 1979, the couple have documented life in and around Angola prison in Louisiana, the state with the country's highest incarceration rate.

"The prison system survives because of free labor; that lets you know that slavery still exists," he said, adding that Louisiana prisons lease out inmates as cheap laborers to surrounding communities, contributing to the state's high unemployment rate. "In some towns, the only job is being a guard," he said.

Making art is not always enough. Like Mr. Calhoun, who teaches photography to disadvantaged children, Ashley Hunt, a multimedia artist based in Los Angeles, has split his time creating art that examines power structures and working with disenfranchised communities. One of his recent art projects, "Degrees of Visibility," was inspired by the controversy over a new jail adjacent to Frank Lloyd Wright's Marin County Civic Center, just north of San Francisco. The jail, which was criticized for defiling Wright's eminent architecture, was eventually built underground. Mr. Hunt's new series consists of exterior photo shots of prisons juxtaposed with writings and music that cement each facility within its community's complex history. The prisoners remain invisible to the eye of the viewer. "I always shoot from a public location," he said, "the gaze of the commuter who doesn't know what he's looking at."

This was once a fringe issue for artists and institutions, but Ms. Fraser credits increased awareness to news coverage of prisons like Rikers Island and legislative moves toward prison reform. Many museums have expanded their educational departments and raised a new generation of politically minded curators.

To illustrate the role artists play in the fight, Mr. Hunt insisted that the New Museum give free tickets to people who otherwise couldn't afford to see his performance, which dealt with New Orleans's refusal to evacuate the Orleans Parish Prison during Hurricane Katrina. Mr. Hunt said putting pressure on an institution can have a "micro-political effect" that ripples through the art world.

The curator at the Newspace Center for Photography in Portland, Ore., Yaelle Amir, recently invited Pete Brook, known for his blog prisonphotography.org, to organize the coming group show "Prison Obscura." (The exhibition was commissioned by Haverford College in Pennsylvania.)

"There's more of an expectation not just to see beautiful work on the walls but also to learn something about society," she said. "A gallery allows that space for it." She added, "You can't ignore the fact that there's more funding for this kind of work and a lot more support and that more nonprofit and community groups are bonding together with artists."

While Ben Davis, the author of "9.5 Theses on Art and Class," praises artists for taking up the topic, he warned: "We should push the question beyond just consciousness-raising. There is this progressive-era style of political art where well-to-do people throw banquets for homeless people and then stand up on the balcony and congratulate themselves. There is an icky history of using the suffering of the people at the bottom as a spectacle. "

Some artists are taking inspiration from their own experiences with the criminal justice system.

Deana Lawson's series of intimate, yet alienating photographs - part of MoMA PS1's recent "Greater New York" show - tracked her cousin's prison visits over a period of years through images taken by a prison photographer in the visiting room. While the couple's infant grows into a kindergartner, the child's father, always in his correctional-green pants with the same downtrodden expression, seems to be stuck in time.

Sable Elyse Smith's interest in prisons is tied to her own father, who is serving a life sentence. Her show at Soho20 Gallery's project space showed aerial photographs of prisons lifted from the website of the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation. Displayed alongside were a scattering of visual and auditory fragments that drew the viewer into the prisoners' cruel institutional world: a poem; a hostile blue light; scratchy sounds; and the picture of a Harlem school seen through a chain-link fence.

"I'm interested in violence and trauma and memory," Ms. Smith said, referring to her own childhood but also to America's larger social landscape.

While most of the artists emphasize the positive aspects of bringing attention to mass incarceration, Christine Wang, a young Los Angeles painter who studied under Andrea Fraser at the University of California, Los Angeles, is skeptical. "My paintings can't vote," Ms. Wang said matter-of-factly, adding that her work mostly deals with her feelings of guilt over her privilege as an artist. This is why she decided to help organize art auctions for Critical Resistance, a nonprofit that fights the building of more prisons in Louisiana and California.

In her most recent work, Ms. Wang adorned cardboard boxes with gold-leaf lettering that read #dineLA and #1stworldproblems. The hashtags refer to the gentrification of downtown Los Angeles. Shops, restaurants and art galleries have moved in, leading law enforcement to ticket homeless people for carrying open containers of alcohol. If they can't pay the fines, they end up in jail.

"The art world," she said, "is complicit in the mechanisms of racism and incarceration."

Sabine Heinlein is the author of "Among Murderers: Life after Prison" (2013).



18. Franc Palaia, FF Alumn, at Marriott Hotel Theatre, Hyde Park, NY, April 2

Hello Friends, You are invited:

A Grand Canyon photograph by FRANC PALAIA. (c) 2011 is one of many to be projected on the wall behind the Northern Dutchess County Symphony Orchestra during their performance on April 2 at 8pm at the Marriott Hotel Theater at the C.I.A. The event is a celebration of the 100th Anniversary of the National Park Service. See below for personnel and purchasing tickets to the concert.

Northern DSO-commissioned "Walkway Over the Hudson" Premieres April 2 at the CIA

Northern Dutchess Symphony Orchestra highlights its 10th anniversary season with the premiere of Walkway Over the Hudson, an original symphonic work commissioned by NDSO and written by Ben Kutner, a 24 year-old New York-based composer.

Under the direction of Kathleen Beckmann, the orchestra will perform the complete work on Saturday, April 2 at 8:00 p.m. in The Culinary Institute of America's Marriott Pavilion in Hyde Park, NY. Plus, in recognition of the 100th anniversary of the National Park Service, NDSO will present Ferde Grofé's Grand Canyon Suite.

Both works are to be accompanied by images of the bridge and canyon projected on a screen behind the orchestra. Photos of the bridge have been selected from thousands taken over the span of 23 years by Poughkeepsie attorney Fred Schaeffer - a visionary and driving force behind the transformation of the bridge.

Tickets for the concert are $20 for adults, $15 for seniors, and $5 for students. To buy tickets and get more information about the concert, go to www.ndsorchestra.org or call 845-635-0877.



19. Rachel Frank, FF Alumn, at Field Projects, Manhattan, opening Mar. 17

Dear friends,

I am pleased to announce my first curatorial endeavor at Field Projects is opening this Thursday, March 17th (St. Patrick's Day)! I'm super thrilled by the group of artists I have selected for the exhibition and hope you can join me for the opening.

Field Projects
526 West 26th Street #807

Show #30:


Curated by Rachel Frank

Dates: March 17th - April 30, 2016

Opening: Thursday, March 17th, 6-8 pm

Field Projects is pleased to present EXCAVATIONS, curated by Rachel Frank. The exhibition features work by Ellie Krakow, Susan Metrican, Julie Ann Nagle, and Arthur Simms.

EXCAVATIONS implies a physicality and a process, a fragment or part beneath the surface to be dug up, resurfaced, or revived. The artists in this exhibition use a wide range of disciplines-sculpture, photography, installation, and painting-to explore themes of memory, origin, and history. Treating language as a collection of sounds, words, and gestures, the works connect the past to the present, reimagining and transforming everyday objects from various times and cultures and unearthing unconscious meanings. Care is given to what is lost, discarded, elusive, or in the process of disappearing. Implying there are blank spaces or missing parts between these glimpses or slits in time, the reviving or excavating process serves to prolong, preserve, or highlight that which is just out of one's grasp.

Ellie Krakow is an interdisciplinary artist based in New York City. Her work focuses on the armature as a support or prop display used in both early portrait photography to hold subjects still for long exposures and as a museum framework used to present and protect ancient fragments and relics. Using clay, she reimagines and recreates armatures for hand and arm gestures, photographing them using conventional studio photography, and displays them, transforming and memorializing the common everyday movements of the body. Giving elevated and transformative value to these fleeting gestures, she examines both the loss and posturing that armatures and display structures represent.

Based in Boston, Massachusetts, Susan Metrican utilizes a mixture of painting and sculpture to examine the split between the body and its visual perception. Offering works that are at times theatrical and playful, Metrican uses textural illusions and trompe l'oeil tactics to distort the viewer's perceptions. Evocative of the artifice, her paintings operate as a sort of mise-en-scene, comparing and contrasting the surface to the illusion and the real to the represented. With references to word play in her titling and use of symbols, Metrican's work explores illusive and ambiguous spaces in language, perception, and body.

New York City based artist, Julie Ann Nagle explores the performative nature of objects and monumentalization of history through sculpture, installation, and photography. Often creating immersive environments, her work combines archaeology, modernism, and the female form, making spaces for potential performances or actions. Using the ubiquitous National Geographic magazine, she carves, cuts, and excises layers of imagery. Creating new images through these transformed juxtapositions of magazine pages, her work re-examines our relationship to history as a passageway, bridging a connection to past cultures, events, objects, and places.

Jamaican born, New York City based artist, Arthur Simms uses found object assemblage and sculpture to explore questions of transformation and autobiographical origin, as well as the commonalities between art history and folk culture. Playfully combining disparate materials, cast-offs, and recycled items, Simms physically and meticulously binds these materials together using rope and wire. Through this method of collection and delicate, yet decisive assembly, he elevates these commonplace objects, imbuing them with meaning and creating physical and spiritual links between personal memories, language, world cultures, and his hybridized cross-cultural background.

About the curator:
Rachel Frank is a Brooklyn-based artist working in sculpture, theater, and performance. Her work explores the tensions between the natural world and the manmade, the animal and the political, and the past and the present. She co-curates an annual video screening for the Skowhegan Alliance, which has been shown at Cabinet, Skowhegan, and Regina Rex in New York City, and at LAXART and Public Fiction in Los Angeles, CA. She recently became a co-partner and curator at Field Projects.



20. Brendan Fernandes, Alicia Grullon, Sean Leonardo, FF Alumns, at BRIC, Brooklyn, opening March 16

Spring 2016
Exhibitions & Performances

Whisper Or Shout: Artists in the Social Sphere
Opening Reception | Wednesday, March 16 | 7-9pm
BRIC | House Stoop | 647 Fulton Street | Brooklyn
Whisper Or Shout features the work of nine artists who engage with a range of critical contemporary social and political issues. Each of the artists bring different issues to the table, including police violence, homelessness, gentrification, and cultural self-determination. In presenting these projects, the exhibition will underscore the varied forms of communication and language that artists devise as strategies of protest, education, documentation, and/or information sharing.

Featuring The Eulogy - Wednesday, March 23 | 7pm
Talking Ralph Ellison's Invisible Man novel as its starting point, artist Shaun Leonardo delivers a powerful eulogy about police violence in the United States, with the musical accompaniment of the Berean Community Drumline of the Weeksville and Crown Heights communities of Brooklyn. As Leonardo performs the speech given by the novel's nameless narrator, the young male percussionists perform a routine that mimics and punctuates the impact of his speech-interweaving the artist's words with choreographed moments of confusion and disorder. These words serve as a memorial, a rejection, a challenge, and call to action, all at once.

Appropriate funeral attire is encouraged.

Curated by Elizabeth Ferrer
Opening Reception: March 16, 2016, 7-9pm
Whisper Or Shout features the work of nine artists who engage with a range of critical contemporary social and political issues. Each of the artists will bring different issues to the table, including police violence, homelessness, gentrification, and cultural self-determination, to name a few. In presenting these projects, the exhibition will underscore the varied forms of communication and language that artists devise asstrategies of protest, education, documentation and/or information sharing. They include posters, music, speech, silence, photography,computer languages, and apps. Central to the exhibition will be a series of public programs including artist performances and workshops.

Artists: Sol Aramendi, Matt Black, Taeyoon Choi, Alicia Grullon, Brendan Fernandes, Interference Archive, Kameelah Janan Rasheed, Shaun Leonardo, and Kenneth Pietrobono.



21. Michelle Handelman, Jeanne Liotta, FF Alumns, at Anthology Film Archives, Manhattan, Mar. 15

Anthology Film Archives 7PM

Anthology Film Archives
TUESDAY, MAR 15, 7pm

Transitions in Film Form
Programmed by
Lana Lin & Cauleen Smith

Michelle Handelman, Ja'Tovia Gary, Jeanne Liotta, and Julie Murray in person for a post-screening discussion moderated by artist and NYU professor Toby Lee.

This series is made possible through a collaboration with The New School.

An Ecstatic Experience
The materiality, tactility and permeability of media collides with transitions from past to present and over-here to over-there. What is the potential of this material: the moving image? Can we conceive of it newly, can we honor it freshly, all the while pushing the medium into hovering states of hybridity? The films and videos in this program teeter on the edges of coherence and lead us to new relations with our senses. Most urgently however, these works approach a desperate corporality that reminds of the relevance and importance of fearless and rigorous experimentation.

Dorian, The Wallpaper Collection
Directed by Michelle Handelman
(2009-2011, 6 min, digital)

An Ecstatic Experience
Directed by Ja'Tovia Gary
(2015, 6 min, digital)

Observando El Cielo
Directed by Jeanne Liotta
(2007, 18 min, 16mm)

Directed Valie Export
(1983, 17 min, 16mm)

Chronicle of a Tape Recorded Over
Directed by Nguyen Trinh Thi
(2010, 28 min, digital)

Untitled (earth)
Directed by Julie Murray
(2015, 8 min, digital)

Anansi Is A God
Directed by Anansi Knowbody
(2015, 1.5 min, digital)

For FULL program description and bio, please visit: TRANSITIONS IN FILM FORMS

The series runs every other TUESDAY, beginning Jan 19 - Mar 29, 7pm, at Anthology Film Archives. For full series details visit: TRANSFORMING PROVOCATIONS

Tickets can be purchased at the box office 30 minutes prior to the show at:
Anthology Film Archives (32 Second Avenue at 2nd Street.)

Flaherty NYC Programmers

Lana Lin is an artist/filmmaker/writer. Her films and videos have addressed the politics of cultural translation, and her collaborative multi-disciplinary projects (as Lin + Lam) have examined the construction of history. Lin's work has been shown in international venues including the Museum of Modern Art, Whitney Museum, and New Museum, New York, the Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam, Taiwan International Documentary Film Festival, and Oberhausen Short Film Festival. Her manuscript on the psychic effects of cancer, Freud's Jaw and Other Lost Objects, is forthcoming from Fordham University Press. She is currently Associate Professor in the School of Media Studies at The New School.

Cauleen Smith is a an interdisciplinary artist whose work reflects upon the everyday possibilities of the imagination. Though operating in multiple materials and arenas, Smith roots her work firmly within the discourse of mid-twentieth century experimental film. Smith makes things that deploy the tactics of these disciplines while offering a phenomenological experience for spectators and participants. Smith earned a BA in Creative Arts from San Francisco State University and an MFA from the University of California, Los Angeles School of Theater Film and Television. She currently lives in Chicago while teaching at the Vermont College of Fine Art low-residency MFA program.

Special thanks to Wamuyu Kaigwa and Rahmah Pauzi for their help with the Flaherty NYC series.

We gratefully acknowledge our funders:

Johnson Family Foundation
Leo Dratfield Endowment
New York State Council on the Arts
William H. Donner Foundation

Copyright (c) 2016 Michelle Handelman Studio, All rights reserved.
You are receiving this e-mail because you opted in on our website

Our mailing address is:
Michelle Handelman Studio
68 Jay St. #504
Brooklyn, NY 11201



22. John Baldessari, Dara Birnbaum, John Cage, Barbara Ess, General Idea, Barbara Kruger, Sherrie Levine, Nam June Paik, Richard Prince, Robert Rauschenberg, Andy Warhol, FF Alumns, at Vancouver Art Gallery, BC, Canada, thru June 12

Vancouver Art Gallery
MashUp: The Birth of Modern Culture
February 20-June 12, 2016

Vancouver Art Gallery
750 Hornby Street
Vancouver BC V6Z 2H7

MashUp: The Birth of Modern Culture is an exhibition in four parts:

The Digital Age: Hacking, Remix and the Archive in the Age of Post-Production
1st floor: February 20-May 15, 2016

Alvar Aalto / Cory Arcangel / John Ashbery / Dodie Bellamy / BIG / Valérie Blass / Chris Burke / William S. Burroughs / Alex Chan / ILL Clan / Danger Mouse / Simon Denny / Stan Douglas / T.S. Eliot / Geoffrey Farmer / Amber Frid-Jimenez / Ellen Gallagher / Isa Genzken / Girl Talk / Jacqueline Goss / H5 / Theresa Hak Kyung Cha / Rachel Harrison / April Hoffmann / Richard Hutten / The KLF / Barbara Kruger / Oliver Laric / Paul D. Miller, aka DJ Spooky, That Subliminal Kid / MUJI / MVRDV / Negativland / Ken Okiishi / Elizabeth Price / Rooster Teeth Productions / DJ Shadow / Hito Steyerl / Palle Torsson / UJINO / Rosmarie Waldrop / Stanley Wong / Tobias Wong / Haegue Yang / Rachel Zolf / Kim Adams (ROBSON PLAZA: Robson & Howe Streets)

Late 20th Century: Splicing, Sampling and the Street in the Age of Appropriation
2nd floor: February 20-May 15, 2016

Armando / Vikky Alexander / John Baldessari / Afrika Bambaataa / Fiona Banner / Jean-Michel Basquiat / Edo Bertoglio / David Byrne / Alison Chernick / John Miller Chernoff / Bruce Conner / Joseph Cornell / Tom Dixon / Stan Douglas / Eclectic Method / Brian Eno / Vadim Epstein / Dragan Espenschied / Barbara Ess / Fast Eddie / Deanna Ferguson / General Idea / Jack Goldstein / Grandmaster Flash / Gu Wenda / Keith Haring / Auriea Harvey / Michael Holman / Pierre Huyghe / David Ian Xtravaganza / JODI / Brian Jungen / Mike Kelley / Brian Kennon / The Kidd City Orchestra / Manfred Kirchheimer / Rem Koolhaas / Jeff Koons / Sherrie Levine / Olia Lialina / Jennie Livingston / Madonna / Liz Magor / Maison Martin Margiela / Christian Marclay / Masters at Work / Bruce Mau / Paul McCarthy / MFSB / OMA / Richard Prince / Qiu Zhijie / Chantal Regnault / Roc in Kato / Doris Salcedo / The Salsoul Orchestra / Michaël Samyn / Pierre Schaeffer / Quentin Tarantino / Technotronic featuring Felly / Robert Farris Thompson / Amos Tutuola / Rachel Whiteread / Xu Bing

The Post-War: Cut, Copy and Quotation in the Age of Mass Media
3rd floor: February 20-June 12, 2016

9999 / George Barber / Dara Birnbaum / Bironic / Adrian Boot / Trisha Brown / John Cage / Achille Castiglioni / Pier Giacomo Castiglioni / Merce Cunningham / Guy Debord / Betty Ferguson / Kandy Fong / Frank Gehry / Jean-Luc Godard / Richard Hamilton / Here's Luck / Nam June Paik / Diggory Kenrick / King Tubby / Lim / Arthur Lipsett / Lloyd and Kerry / Barbro Schultz Lundestam / Jeremy Marre / Obsessive 24 / Lee "Scratch" Perry / Robert Rauschenberg / Roy Richards / Pierre Schaeffer / Wayne Smith / Shadow Songs / Superstudio / Jean Tinguely / UFO / The Upsetters / Jacques Villeglé / Andy Warhol / Joyce Wieland / Jud Yalkut

Early 20th Century: Collage, Montage and Readymade at the Birth of Modern Culture
4th floor: February 20-June 12, 2016

Georges Braque / Joseph Cornell / Marcel Duchamp / Brian Eno / Juan Gris / John Heartfield / Hannah Höch / Ken Jacobs / El Lissitzky / William Notman / Francis Picabia / Pablo Picasso / Dr. Franz Roh / Luigi Russolo / Kurt Schwitters / Jan Tschichold / Hans Wegner

Offsite: Elizabeth Zvonar
Through May 1, 2016

MashUp is curated by the Vancouver Art Gallery's Chief Curator/Associate Director Daina Augaitis, Senior Curator Bruce Grenville, and Assistant Curator Stephanie Rebick. In keeping with the interdisciplinary and collaborative nature of the exhibition, the Gallery invited a diverse range of 30 local and international curators, scholars, artists, designers and architects to contribute to the scholarship and presentation of the exhibition and accompanying catalogue.

A fully illustrated hardcover catalogue for MashUp features essays by 30 contributors, including Dawn Ades, Daina Augaitis, Nicolas Bourriaud, Nicholas Chambers, Francesca Coppa, Michael Darling, Bruce Grenville, Paul D. Miller, Isabel Schulz, Stephanie Rebick and many more. The catalogue is co-published by the Vancouver Art Gallery and Black Dog Publishing.

More details about the exhibition and related public events can be found on our website.

Media information
Debra Zhou: T +604 662 4722 / M +604 671 2358 / dzhou@vanartgallery.bc.ca

About the Vancouver Art Gallery
The Vancouver Art Gallery is a not-for-profit organization supported by its members, individual donors, corporate funders, foun¬dations, the City of Vancouver, the Province of British Columbia through the BC Arts Council, and the Canada Council for the Arts. We thank everyone for their continuing generosity.



23. Harley Spiller, FF Alumn, at NYPL Mott Haven, The Bronx, March 16, and more

The Secret Life of Money: Design, Composition, and Covert Facts
Presented by Harley Spiller

321 E 140th St, Bronx, NY 10454
Phone (718) 665-4878

Wednesday, March 16

1:00 p.m.

Harley Spiller, Senior Educator for The Museum of American Finance, a Smithsonian affiliate, shares his knowledge of the history of paper money in the United States of America. Covering a swath of continental fiscal history, from Ben Franklin to Ben Bernanke, Spiller leads a hands-on exploration of the physical characteristics of greenbacks. Spiller regales audiences with surprising and true stories, like the one about the bank manager who threw away hundreds of dollars in dumpsters every year - and was rewarded for doing so. Why did our founding fathers select the color green? You know why there are thirteen olive leaves, thirteen arrows and thirteen layers in the pyramid but why is there a 14th star? Join Spiller on this fascinating exploration of the mysteries behind seemingly-ordinary greenbacks and shares his extraordinary collection of rare and unusual government misprints, offbeat bills, exonumia, and more.

Spiller is author of KEEP THE CHANGE: A Collector's Tales of Lucky Pennies, Counterfeit C-Notes, and Other Curious Currency (Princeton Architectural Press). Roberta Smith of the New York Times picked it as a top 10 art book for 2015 and called it "beautifully written and designed.


The New York Public Library's Money Matters series is made possible thanks to the generous support of McGraw Hill Financial.



Forget the $100 bill-why does cash still exist in the digital age?
Anita Balakrishnan
March 7, 2016

When restaurateur David Silverglide stopped accepting cash in 2012 at his San Francisco-area sandwich shops, he thought it was only a matter of time before payments went digital. But more than three years later, he's back to accepting greenbacks.
"It was surprising the amount of pushback we received. The people who wanted to pay cash were loud, vocal, attached," said Silverglide, CEO of Good Food Guys - which runs restaurant chains Mixt Greens and Split Bread.

Between 10 and 15 percent of Split Breads' transactions were cash across all his locations, even in 2012. "We put up a good fight but we gave in, for those 10 percent."
Despite former Treasury Secretary Larry Summers recently saying that it's time to get rid of the $100 bill, there remains a significant constituency for coins and paper money.
But noncash payments grew 8.9 percent to reach a record high of 389.7 billion transactions in 2014, business management consultant Capgemini estimates, thanks to spreading Internet adoption and financial sector innovation.

In at least one corner of the globe, all bills and coins have mostly gone the way of halfpennies and pieces of eight. In Sweden, there exists a completely unstaffed convenience store, where customers use smartphones to unlock the door, scan their purchases and check out.

Is a cashless society simply a matter of spreading disruptive technologies like credit cards and mobile wallets? If so, why are other technologically advanced countries not following Sweden's lead?

Harley Spiller is one of those vocal cash lovers that would have given Silverglide's cashiers an earful. Spiller is the author of "Keep the Change: A Collector's Tales of Lucky Pennies, Counterfeit C-Notes, and Other Curious Currency" and works at New York City's Museum of American Finance.

"People don't trust the banks," he said. "People keep their stuff, they keep their store of value."

Indeed, from 2007 to 2012, the value of U.S. currency in circulation rose 42 percent, even as other forms of payments also gained popularity, according to an essay by John Williams, president of the San Francisco Federal Reserve.
"During the recent financial crisis, some people may have withdrawn cash from accounts at banks and other institutions because they were afraid these institutions might fail," Williams said. "Around the world, during periods of political unrest or war, cash - especially the currency of a stable country like the United States - is seen as a safe asset that can be spirited out of harm's way with relative ease."

Americans are far from alone in their penchant for cash, according to a 2014 Boston Federal Reserve study, which surveyed habits in Canada, Australia, Austria, France, Germany, the Netherlands and the United States.

In that study, Austria and Germany both used cash for 82 percent of transactions. Canada, the Netherlands, U.S. and France used it for about half. The average ATM withdrawal in Austria and Germany, it followed, was $125 to $150, compared to between $50 and $75 elsewhere.

Cash purchases tended to be smaller, and occur less often at gas stations across all countries, and are usually made by older citizens (though in the U.S., young people used cash frequently too).

Note that all these countries rank among the top in the world when it comes to cybersecurity. All are in the top 30 of the World Economic Forum's Networked Readiness Index, which measures "factors, policies and institutions that enable a country to fully leverage information and communication technologies for increased competitiveness and well-being."

Meanwhile South Africa, No. 75 on the list, has a "roaring" electronics payment system, according to research from Mercator Advisory Group.

Another argument that Silverglide heard frequently among customers is that cash must be universally accepted. That's not true, however: There is no federal statute which mandates that private businesses must accept cash as a form of payment, according to the Treasury Department's website.

Silverglide estimates that the cash-free stint trimmed five to seven seconds from the average transaction time, and saved money too. No longer did he have to count and reconcile cash drawers at the store and corporate level, nor anchor a salesperson constantly at the front register to deter theft.

"The managers are taken from interacting with guests, making them manage the cash for two hours a day," Silverglide said.

Cash does have its downsides.

First of all, cash costs more than it is worth in many cases. A penny costs 1.7 cents to produce and a nickel costs 8.1 cents (though the government picks up some savings on quarters and dimes, according to the U.S. Mint's 2014 congressional report).
"I think it's an argument that has been used for the last 25 years by the penny lobby that supports keeping the penny," former U.S. Mint Director Philip Diehl told CNBC in December. "The reality is that about 25 percent of all transactions are now in cash. The other 75 is in electronic forms of one type or another."

And as an almost untraceable payment method, cash is often associated with underground trade, covert deeds and crime.

A working paper by the National Bureau of Economic Research found that switching the welfare payment programs from paper checks to electronic benefit transfer cards led to a significant decrease in the overall crime rate and the specific offenses of burglary, assault and larceny in poor Missouri neighborhoods.

Moreover, there's the convenience of more high-tech money. Credit cards and other cashless systems provide more recourse when money is stolen, establish a purchase history with a merchant and can provide privacy - all attributes of payment systems that were valued highly by participants in a study presented last year at the seventh Information Design International Conference.

In that study, participants only used cash when they feared card fraud, the study authors noted. But digital payment processor Braintree said technological advances like tokenization have rapidly improved transaction security.

The process of issuing vendors a key code, rather than a credit card number, to charge accounts enables Braintree to connect customers to real-time services like Uber, Airbnb, Munchery and other quickly scaling services that would not have made sense with cash.
"The first thing we sought to do is to democratize the access," said Juan Benitez, general manager at Braintree. "Many of those merchants want to go global more quickly than ever before, supporting all these mobile technologies. ... It's really important to merchants to select a platform that helps them do those things."

Despite the potential advantages of noncash payments, cash still thrives in most of the world. One reason cash persists is historically low interest rates that have given people little incentive to put cash back into the banks, according to Williams. Political uncertainty abroad also plays a role. There's also a portion of society that's "underbanked," and view other financial resources like bank accounts or credit cards as too difficult or expensive to obtain, according to a separate San Francisco Fed paper.

But there's another, more sentimental bent to it as well, said Spiller, who has a "beautiful" personal collection of coins and bills, which are marked, bent or torn in unique ways.
"It's a human thing," Spiller said. "It's like handwriting. People complain it's not part of schooling anymore. Is it going away? No, it's as basic as a signature. ... Radio was going to kill magazines. And as soon as radio hit, there were new magazines about radio."

Indeed, while people have been talking about the death of cash for a long time, it's unlikely to come anytime soon, said Sarah Grotta, director of the debit advisory service at Mercator.

"When we do consumer studies, we ask them why," Grotta said. "A lot of it has to do with security. ... They use it as a budgeting tool to keep them from spending money they don't have. Our conversion to EMV chip cards [in the U.S.] has also been pretty uneven. Consumers are really confused about what card to use what way, that's reverting them back to cash."

While tools like mobile wallets have come a long way, cash is still the backup of choice when things go wrong, she said.

"I think, eventually, cash is going to be used much less than it is today," Grotta said. "But I think a lot of things need to happen before that. People need a really compelling reason to use something other than cash. We need to develop a mobile wallet or some other methodology that provides all the benefits of cash: ubiquitous, really fast, a lot less confusing."

Anita Balakrishnan
News Associate



Goings On is compiled weekly by Harley Spiller