Brussels Gallery Weekend: A Performance Affair, 7-9 September 2018

8. A Performance Affair. Selected-exhibtors

A PERFORMANCE AFFAIR, THE NEW PLATFORM DEDICATED TO THE ECONOMIES OF PERFORMANCE ART is presenting a myriad of performances for sale by emerging and mid-career artists and featuring Violent Incident, an historic performance video by Bruce Nauman, an auctioned immaterial work by Philippe Parreno, an interactive performance installation by Greg Finger– A PERFORMANCE AFFAIR will put the whole spectrum of the economies of performance art on display and for discussion.


9. A-Performance-Affair-Announcement-list-selected-exhibitors

The Panopticon, A PERFORMANCE AFFAIR’s first edition, transforms the second floor of the Vanderborght Building into an immersive space for three days of performances in collaboration with the Brussels Gallery Weekend (7 to 9 September 2018).

Inspired by the notion of the Panopticon and the building’s unique architecture, continuous and overlapping performance works by international artists will be presented throughout the dynamic venue.

7. Alice Anderson “Lost Gestures_ performative drawings © Alice Anderson Studio

Alice Anderson “Lost Gestures’ performative drawings © Alice Anderson Studio


A PERFORMANCE AFFAIR is a new Brussels based association with international outreach dedicated to performance art. Set up as a not-for-profit organisation, APA is an evolving structure that brings together artists, galleries, collectors and institutions to research and discuss current tendencies in performance art and the economic structures around it. A PERFORMANCE AFFAIR is not another art fair, but a flexible stage aimed at stimulating the acquisition of performance while finding solutions for its development and sustainability.  Events are open to the public and free of charge.

A PERFORMANCE AFFAIR is powered by Liv Vaisberg_ Office for Art & Design and Will Kerr


A wrap-up event at the end of the first edition of A PERFORMANCE AFFAIR: The Panopticon Edition, the round table encourages participants, key players as well as any interested member of the public to discuss some keys questions driving the development of collecting performance art.

While there has been considerable attention around collecting performance in recent years, it remains a niche activity with narratives primarily circulating around a few key artists and collections. The round table is an opportunity for the speakers, participants in APA and members of the public to exchange and explore the conditions that need to be created to make a broader market around performance art.

Some key questions–

What commercial frameworks and strategies exist for selling, circulating and conserving performance art, and what do they have in common with those of more traditional art objects, and where do they differ? What other strategies exist for the support of performance art? What might we learn from making comparisons with economies that
exist around disciplines such as dance, music and theatre? What status do props, drawing, photography and other documentation hold, and how are they presented in relation to the live act, within market contexts and collections–both public and private?

When and Where:
Sunday 9 September, 14:00
In APA Bureau
Vanderborght Building, 2nd floor,
rue de L’Ecuyer 50 Schildknaapstraat – 1000 Brussels – Belgium
For more information, please contact:

Online Performance Art Festival Open Call to Artists, Deadline Oct 14th




The 1st Online Performance Art FESTIVAL was held in July 2016, with 20 artists performing in an event created by Sandra Bozic. During the festival, live  “Online Performance”  went out directly onto digital devices. As with anything new, it takes time to grow. The 2nd Online Performance Art Festival is expected to be even larger and will last for four days.

If you are interested in showing your work as online performance art, apply here. Submit your proposals and projects!

The 2nd Online Performance Art Festival will take place October 20-23rd 2016 on the festival website here.



You can apply with max 2 works per person/group. Application form


Open Call for you to apply with your performance art works for the 2nd Online Performance Art Festival, that will take place on the website

New Online Artist Marketplaces for Digital Media Goes Live April 15th


Avant Debut is a new online marketplace for digital media that make their first release to the public on April 15th!

 This marketplace will have collections of digital art, photography, performance art, music, and writing.

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Screenshot 2016-04-11 at 1.05.41 PM

Because artists need more visibility click here.

LAB Art Show International Art Exhibition



At the request of artists, we’ve begun adding art fairs and select art group shows and events to our e-list of Art Galleries (get it here.)

Lab Art Show connected with us on LinkedIn and provided details on their sophisticated non-profit art event where artists have the opportunity to network and exhibit their artwork.

The Lab Art Show is a multidisciplinary art exhibition that features about 150 local and international artists and galleries from over 12 countries, as well as a full roster of performance art–all in one day. The Lab Art Show nightlife events have happened twice annually over the past 3 years, to become a major anticipated event each year for art professionals and art lovers.

Their 7th semi-annual Lab Art Show hosts local art galleries, media and prestige’s art enthusiast of Vancouver to experience a night of magic and visionary expression. For 3 successful years, the Glitz team has worked hard to produce Lab Art Show – a local, rapidly growing event inspired by the magic and wonder of Cirque du Soleil and blended with the imaginative expression of Vancouver’s most talented artists.

Sharing! #Submit Your Performance Concept for Festivals and Your Photo to Guardian

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Here are a couple of great ways to share beyond just social media. First, the Guardian newspaper is now running a regular photography assignment on a weekly theme. You can send them your photos and they’ll publish their favorites in Guardian Witness, their user-generated content of the Guardian.

The next theme is ‘copy.’ The closing date is 12 March at 10 am. Read the full details here.

There is a blue ‘Contribute’ button and you can also use the GuardianWitness smartphone app or the Guardian app and search for ‘GuardianWitness assignments’.

Next, we love this one!  the Concept Bank is a web-based platform for open source performance. They are asking you to submit your performance work written as an instruction manual no longer than 150 word and they will perform your concept during a festival in the Netherlands.

In the Netherlands, the festival season usually starts at the end of March. The Concept Bank will participate in various festivals in the spring and summer of 2015. Sometimes they will show up as officially invited participants, but most of the time they appear to be paying guests. At strategic spots at festivals The Concept Bank will create a mobile office to share your/their performance concepts freely to the interested public. They are looking for good concepts to put together their Festival Package. If you want to submit a work, write it as clearly as possible, write it as a manual. Keep in mind that the performers will usually not be professional artists.If you want to propose one or more work(s), please send it/them to package@theconceptbank.orgThey also need:

-your name,

-the title of the work and

-the year of production,

-a link to a website with professional information,

Please understand that they can only select your works if all this information is included!

The concept should be no longer then 150 words!
The works selected for the Festival Package might also be added to their website (with your permission)

Deadline: April 15, 2015 is a web-based platform for open source performance. The bank is filled with concepts of many good artists; these concepts are written as simple manuals.  Visitors of TheConceptBank will be able to choose and print a concept and to perform the selected work on a time and place of their choice. After executing the work, the user will be asked to send us his/her experiences which we will then forward to the artists. is a non-profit initiative, the use of the databank will be free for everybody.
The concepts are licensed under Creative Commons.


EXHIBITION-ISM, Art licks, a.m. and Felt Acts

What first may read as a  list of sexually suggestive activities–EXHIBITION-ISM, Art Licks, a.m. and Felt Acts–are simply a few art magazine titles selected from our extensive e-list of art magazines and art blogs.

Fewer than 50 artists are making use of the approximately 1,500 listings on our e-list of Art Magazines and art blogs.


And some fantastic stuff on this e-list too! So much so that it’s hard to categorize all the opportunities since there is much overlap and each magazine listed holds a wealth of opportunities on their websites and within their publications.

For instance, here are a few of our e-list listings explored further–

The Contemporary art magazine EXHIBITION-ISM  invites you to submit your high quality art photos for feature on their tumblr blog (Photos must be 1024×768 or larger).

Art Licks is a print magazine that also has a website where they share opportunities, such as the a.m.  Open Call for Artists.  a.m. is a non-commercial space, looking to schedule programming for the first half of next year, to host artists who work with dematerialized processes, for example: artists working with performance, video, or through writing. a.m. is seeking proposals which emerge from conceptual art traditions; there is an appreciation for minimalism, and a preference for subtlety rather than highly stylized artistic practices.

a.m. is flexible with the forms that the artist proposals take, and there are no obligations on the outcome of the artists time. a.m. open to the many forms in which work may be presented, both formally or informally. It is an opportunity to realize ideas that might require more time, investment or dialogue with other artists.

FeltActs is an online platform for performance which features performance and exhibition reviews, critical writing, performance writing, and artist interviews.  FeltActs offers an online space through which to explore different disciplinary and critical approaches to performance: from within performance studies, literary studies, the visual arts, art history and curatorial practices. FeltActs aims to take an expanded approach to the understanding of ‘performance’.

FeltActs is currently looking for submissions for its upcoming issue ‘Felt Acts: Approaching Documentation’. Whether you are an artist, writer, critic, performer, practitioner or curator. Please don’t hesitate to submit a proposal for a review, essay or interview which is not in-line with the current theme, but which you feel could contribute to the aims and themes that FeltActs is currently exploring.

Remember, these are just a few found amid nearly 1,500 listings on our e-list of Art Magazines and art blogs. Think of all you are missing out on if your don’t have this e-list! Get it now here.

The Transmedia Artist Guide to Making Artist Submissions

Red Robin Limited Edition Gift Card – E-mail Delivery

Best Deals on Canon Digital SLR Cameras

Do you need more ScanDisk Memory Cards?

Open Call for interactive multimedia, performance, video, and sound artists

Animamus Art Salon: A Living Gallery London

Open Call for interactive multimedia, performance, video, and sound artists
Deadline: 24 October 2013
Application fee: £10

Animamus Art Salon is currently seeking artists working in performance, video, and sound art to get involved in Animamus Art Salon: A Living Gallery London.

For the month of October 2013, Animamus Art Salon will be turning Apiary Studios into a playful and flexible community space for international artists and locals while offering programmed events all free of charge and open to the public.

Be a part of a unique collaborative art experiment, there is nothing else like this happening anywhere in London.  Get your work seen by an international audience and participate in our month of live art events.

Happenings will occur every evening in October, but not all projects will be accepted.

To apply:

Please go to and follow the directions for submission of work samples

About Animamus Art Salon:

Animamus Art Salon was created by Ventiko in 2011 in New York City, with the mission to create a safe, supportive and inspiring environment for artists of all mediums to debut and discuss their current work while encouraging audience participation and simultaneously enabling a performance of ideas, which can not be repeated. Animamus Art Salon seeks, in this digital age, to create a physical meeting space that will serve to foster the exchange of ideas, facilitate discourse, and create a sense of community.


Call For Submissions For Supernova Performance Art Festival

The SUPERNOVA Performance Art Festival is a Rosslyn Arts Project presented by the Rosslyn Business Improvement District (BID) and produced by The Pink Line Project. SUPERNOVA will début June 6­‐9, 2013, throughout Rosslyn, Virginia, in raw spaces, office lobbies, rooftops, parks, the Metro station, and other public places. SUPERNOVA will bring together emerging and established local, regional, national and international performance artists to present an expansive range of positions and approaches to performance art. A unique showcase of energetic artistic activity and action, SUPERNOVA is poised to establish Rosslyn as a preeminent territory for contemporary art experience.

SUPERNOVA is now accepting submissions for this performance art festival! Deadline: Fri Mar 15th, 2013

Multi­‐site, multi‐day, transdisciplinary, anti‐conventional, SUPERNOVA will include and not be limited to: performance art, live art, body art, relational art, action art, happenings, actions, interventions, works­‐as­‐yet­‐undefined, and those never­‐to­‐be defined. Or whatever you want, or refuse, to call it. Selected artists will receive a $250 honorarium, with the opportunity to apply for more funding. Limited housing and accommodations will be available, but not guaranteed. Artists are encouraged to seek individual funding for SUPERNOVA. Letters of acceptance and any supplementary materials will be provided to selected artists.

The deadline to submit entries is 5 p.m., March 15, 2013, and all decisions will be finalized by 9 a.m., April 5, 2013. Applicants are encouraged to take inspiration from the modern public parks, diversity of architecture, proximity to Washington, D.C., and lively corporate environment that makes Rosslyn so unique.

All submissions and inquiries can be sent to Eames Armstrong, chief curator at

Submissions should be formatted as a single PDF document, which includes:
• Bio and artist statement
• Title, description and duration of proposed piece(s) for SUPERNOVA
• Five .jpeg images with corresponding image script
• Link to artist’s website and online video.
• Resume/CV

In the words of performance artist Guillermo Gómez-­‐Peña, “Our job may be to open up a temporary utopian/dystopian space, a de-­‐militarized zone in which meaningful ‘radical’ behavior and progressive thought are hopefully allowed to take place, even if only for the duration of the piece. In this imaginary zone, both artist and audience members are given permission to assume multiple and ever changing positionalities and identities. In this border zone, the distance between ‘us’ and ‘them,’ self and other, art and life, becomes blurry and unspecific.” (from In Defense of Performance Art)

Brooklyn Art Projects Maven and the Artist Ops He Shares

Southern Manhattan from Staten Island ferry

Southern Manhattan from Staten Island ferry (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

There is a quiet promoter on the Brooklyn Art Projects site who  often sends artist opportunities to me via Brooklyn Art Projects mail. You can join Brooklyn Art Projects and perhaps find this maven and connect to get his updates direct. Yes, I have invited him to write quest posts for my Artist Marketing Resources blog. (Many times over the past two years, and he has an interest but is uncertain what he would write about.) Here are a 3 of the latest opportunities that he has sent my way:

Star Artist & Writer For Hire

I run a great multi-user art studio in a well maintained DUMBO loft space.

We are Studio Milo (named for my son) and we are home to mature and quiet artists, writers, jewelers, and designers. The building is safe and secure with gorgeous views of the river and Manhattan Bridge, 24/7 access, freight elevator and clean bathrooms. Rent includes wireless and all utilities. No hidden costs.

We have 2 spaces opening up on April 1 and are showing them now:

One is a desk space that rents for $240 and is perfect for a writer.

Another is a space with a lovely view of the Brooklyn and Manhattan bridges that rents for $320. If you are interested, please email studiomilo at and check out our website at Best, Diana

CALL FOR VIDEO ART: English/Spanish UNDER THE SUBWAY VIDEOART NIGHT at Local Project Art Space in New York. Second edition, 2012. Saturday, May 26, 2012 7:00pm until 10:00pm

Terms and conditions: – All artists can participate without consideration of nationality or age. – Works can be individual or groups projects . – Works must be dated after 2009. – Only one piece per artist or collective. – Pieces that include dialogue, text or voice should be translated to English. – Videos can’t be longer than 5 min. – Pieces must be in DVD (NTSC). – Works will not be returned and will be added to the Local Project A/V collection. The work will not be used without the presenting artist’s consent. – All participating artists will be notified via email. – Deadline Monday May 21st. Documentation to contribute (Word by email or mail): – Title. – Year and place of production. – Brief Synopsis. – Artist Resume. – A still frame of the video (jpg). Technical Specifications: – Production Format. – Sound: hi-fi, stereo, mono, no sound. 


Mail address:


45-10 Davis Street

Long Island City. NY, United States, 11101

This event is made possible in part by the Queens Council on the Arts with public funding from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs.


UNDER THE SUBWAY VIDEOART NIGHT en Local Project Art Space (New York). Segunda edición, 2012. Sabado, Mayo 26, 2012 7:00pm a 10:00pm Bases: – Podrán participar todos los artistas sin distinción de nacionalidad ni límite de edad. – Se puede concurrir a título individual o colectivo. – Las piezas tienen que estar realizadas a partir de enero de 2009. – Solo se presentará una sola pieza por artista o colectivo. – Las piezas que incluyan diálogos, textos o voz en off deberán ir en ingles o dobladas o subtituladas en dicho idioma. – Su duración no excederá de 5 minutos. – El formato valido de entrega será DVD (NTSC). – Las obras no serán devueltas, pararán a formar parte del archivo de Local Project y en ningún caso se hará uso del material audiovisual sin consulta previa al artista. – Todos los artistas recibirán constancia de participación vía e-mail. – Fecha límite lunes 21 de mayo. Documentación a aportar: (Word via email o por correo). -Título. – Año y país de realización. – Currículum Vitae. – Breve sinopsis de la obra. – Una frame del video (jpg). Ficha técnica: – Formato de realización, producción o edición. – Sonido: hi-fi estéreo, estéreo normal, monoaural, sin sonido. Contact: Direccion postal: UNDER THE SUBWAY VIDEOART NIGHT 45-10 Davis Street, Long Island City. NY, United States, 11101. Este evento es posible en parte con fondos del Programa de descentralización del New York State Council on the Arts y por el Queens Council on the Arts.

Call for Performance Art – Deep Tanks Street Fair – theme: Transformation

Artists are invited to submit proposals for performance based art on the theme of “Transformation” for the upcoming Deep Tanks Street Fair, a Staten Island arts festival.

The call for performance art on the theme of “Transformation” is open to interpretation
through sound, costume, movement, spoken word, etc. Preference for interactive pieces.

The one day Deep Tanks Street Fair event will be a converging of artists showing original works; art fence show; stage for live music, performances and spoken word; fashion show sponsored by ETG Clothing; workshops for all ages; mural project; and recycling / green energy workshops. The event is free and open to the general public.

> Saturday, Sept. 8, 2012 noon to 5pm
> Central Ave from Bay Street to Slossen, near the Staten Island Ferry

> The performance will be outside on the street, with no electricity, no stage, no sound equipment
> Suitable for family viewing and participation
> Free-standing installation props (non-reliant on any surrounding building structures)
> Install/De-install should be fast and easy, nothing permanent
> Safe & Accessible for a large demographic

Please email a proposal for a new or established work- project description, specify duration, space requirements, include images if available to

> Deadline for submissions is July 8, 2012

Performance Art Space Accepting Applications

English: Performance Artist Verena Stenke at A...

Image via Wikipedia

I know a few performance artists in New York read this blog. Here is a space that may suit your needs:

HERE Arts Center, 145 6th Avenue New York, New York 10013, United States of America is accepting applications to their Spring Artist Lodge – a hybrid performance series that offers bold artists space for up to one week for technical rehearsals and 4-5 performances. The Lodge will run from March 12-April 22

HERE provides space, equipment, box office services, and technical support, include artist series on their website and in a weekly e-blast to 16,000 subscribers.

Artists are responsible for production expenses, artist fees, marketing and any additional staff required for their show. Running time may not exceed 80 minutes.

Tickets sales: Performance tickets are $15. The first 20 tickets go to HERE, followed by a 50% / 50% split of the box office between HERE and Artist.

Deadline: Applications /proposals are due Monday, February 6. Artists will be notified by February 10.

Questions about the Series can be directed to

PR Offer for Visual Artists–Article About You and Your Art

Marie Kazalia, Arts Journalist, is writing a series of articles on visual artists and their artwork, arts business, arts products. (Links to sample published articles below.)

PR Advantages:

  • Press coverage/articles written about you prove you are newsworthy
  • Improves your credibility
  • Art Gallerists and other art professionals want to see your press coverage
  • Art collectors prefer to purchase from newsworthy artists
  • You the artist, and your art business, will gain valuable online expose in an article published by the top online news provider— Yahoo!
  • An article on Yahoo! may be picked up by other news services
  • An article will drive traffic to your site
  • Increases your online presence
  • Create interest in your art business and art products
  • Bring more potential buyers to your site
  • Articles do more for you than paid ads. Anyone can purchase an ad. Articles carry more weight, than paid ads,in the minds of readers.

Services include:

  • review of your art portfolio site, arts product site, art publication
  • targeted questions developed based on your site information
  • your responses to questions reviewed and more questions developed(as needed)
  • 8-10 hours writing, proofreading and editing to a finished article that is 500-1500 words in length
  • I submit and publish the article on Yahoo! (additionally, I publish the article on the VASA Transmedia blog: sound, digital, photo, film artists only)
  • you receive copy of full article + link(s) once published–for your own promotional campaign (for use on your site etc)
  • I promote the article on my blog and/or site, on Twitter, LinkedIN and other social media sites
  • I can provide monthly feedback on numbers of views article receives (upon request)
  • article completed 1-3 weeks after I receive your responses to my questions
  • expedited articles available for promotion of events /to  meet deadlines
  • if you have a Media or Press Room on your site w/ downloadable images, I will add images to the article

Contact Marie Kazalia by email:

SAMPLE  ARTICLES written by Marie Kazalia and published by Yahoo! and on other sites:

1. Cleveland: Chris Kulcsar- an Artist Who Uses Sound   (short link:

2.Pittsburgh: R. Weis – Compositions of Manipulated Sound


3. New York: GeneFree Video Performance Art

4. Germany: Light Art Photography

5.Jeanne Bessette–Painting the Human Element

6.National Poetry Month: An Appreciation of the Poetry of Mina Loy–All the Rage Now

7. Australian Artist Benjamin L.M.–In The Shiny Temple, Translating the Silent Voice of His Heart

8.Canadian Artist in Scotland – Trevor Jones: Art is Not Just Pretty Colors (short link)

(9) my short story about travel in China

The Waiting Room

10)How to Be a Press Friendly Artist– the Latest Ebook by Art Licensing Mentor Tara Reed

11) New York: Photographic Artist Ventiko–Entering Her Version of Reality

12) Living on the Earth–Alicia Bay Laurel’s Iconic Illustrated Book




Cleveland: Chris Kulcsar-an artist who uses sound

I just wrote and published an article on the work of Cleveland, Ohio sound artist Chris Kulcsar, that includes three embedded videos of his unusual sound and performance art. The article  was also published on the VASA-project blog.

Cleveland: Chris Kulcsar – an artist who uses sound

“In my work I mash up seemingly separate multimedia elements with the intent of creating a body of work that implies a post-historical fabrication of coherence. This poses a problem as I am offered a dizzying array of outside sources to pull from.”
from Chris Kulcsar’s website

Most of Chris Kulcsar’s life he’s made art and played music, but in just the last few years has made the leap to combining these two activities. While attending graduate school, with “the prodding of instructors and colleagues” Chris was made to realize that skills gained from his band life– recording, organizing events, performing– could be applied to his artistic practice.

Older technology, such as cassette tapes and players, as a medium interest him– “digital doesn’t distort well, but with analog the imperfections, hisses, pops, & distortions are all built into the process”.
Chris Kulcsar is also interested in technology as a cultural marker, he commented– “During the course of my installation at Spaces (Cleveland) I watched as patrons in their early 20’s struggled with the cassettes and the players. This was something I hadn’t anticipated and I’m still processing its deeper ramifications”.

“To interact with the tapes open all 3 in different windows and play and pause to make your own mix”.
Instructions found on Chris Kulcsar’s website.

Try it here, by clicking *play* on all three videos above.

“The panda project dealt with issues of identity and how people put on roles and attitudes. The basic idea is that panda’s don’t exist and they are actually people wearing panda suits. In ancient times the modern equivalent of stoners got together and created the panda idea/costume as a way to get  away with being lazy .  The have existed, almost as a cult, ever since.  The project entailed drawings, videos, and performances. I abandoned the project in the summer of 2008 because I felt that pandas had become overly saturated in pop culture via the Beijing olympics and some kids cartoon. In the video in question that particular panda has found evangelical christianity and he’s giving it a test drive.”

Brooklyn: Animamus Salon


hosted by Party Xpo

February 27, 2011, 7PM      UPDATE: change of venue, for details contact:

929 Broadway

Brooklyn, NY 11206

(347) 221-1172 ‎

Press Release

Animamus is pleased to announce its inaugural salon to be held on February 27,  2011 at 7:00 PM at:

Party Xpo

929 Broadway

Brooklyn, NY 11206

Animamus’ mission is to create a safe, supportive, and inspiring environment for artists of all mediums to debut and discuss their current work while encouraging audience participation.  Drawing its inspiration from the salon format first popularized in 17th Century France, where aristocrats invited thinkers, artists, and writers to their homes to discuss ideas, Bushwick Artist Salon seeks, in this digital age, to create a physical meeting space that will serve to foster the exchange of ideas, facilitate discourse, and create a sense of community. Salons will be held monthly.  Although each salon will be curated, anyone interested in participating in future salons can propose a presentation/ performance by emailing

At this date, the following are slated to present work with more presenters to be added:

Ventiko is a photographic artist whose work involves staged scenes created from found objects.  She will be creating a living installation utilizing empty milk cartons.

Sylva Dean and Me is a performance artist

Kristen Studioso is a video and stop motion artist. She will be screening new work.

Coral Silverman is a visual artist and sometimes writer.   Her work reflects upon the ways in which new forms of technology are changing our relationship to nature, each other, and ourselves.  She will be presenting prose and paintings.

Everett Kane is a digital media teacher and artist who has been drawing 6 hours a day, seven days a week for six years.  He posts new drawings on Facebook daily.  He will be documenting the event through live drawing.

Fabio Corredor is a  performance artist/instigator.  He will be facilitating party games.

A canvas will be hung and the audience invited to freely mark and paint it between presentations.  This work will serve to document the creative energy created by the environment and by the various attendees.  No work shall be done on the painting outside of the Salon times.  The canvas will be a recurring fixture at each salon.

For images or additional information, please contact Coral Silverman at

non-lucrative artworks

Why I create ephemeral, non-lucrative artworks

by Marcy B. Freedman

I have been an artist for a long time.  Paintings, collages, photographs and small sculptures fill my home and my studio.  Examples of my work have been shown in more than 250 exhibitions around the country, and many pieces are now included in private and corporate collections.  All in all, it has been a gratifying experience to create each and every one of these artworks.

However, during the last decade or so, my attention has been pulled in other directions.  Video and performance art have become my preferred forms of expression.  And within the realm of performance art, I have begun to narrow my focus: I now work almost exclusively on performances that allow me to engage with members of the public in one-on-one, face-to-face encounters.  Why have I become so involved with this ephemeral, non-lucrative form of interactive art?  I shall provide a few answers.

First of all, I should explain that I have never made art for the sake of selling it.  This is not to say that I am not pleased when someone wants to buy something that I have created.  On the contrary, it is very satisfying to think of my art in the care of someone who will, hopefully, be enriched by its presence.  However, I have never been able to create something with a future “consumer” in mind.  As corny as it may sound, I make the art that I am driven to make – driven by some inner compulsion to express something.  I never worry about the marketability of my creations.
Secondly, I don’t want to make artworks that I already know how to make.  I want to go into unknown territory each time I undertake a project.  (Indeed, one of my earliest solo shows was entitled, “No map.  No compass. No problem!”)  Consequently, staging performances that involve members of the public is perfect for me:  I never know what to expect, as each encounter is different from all other encounters.

Finally, there is an aspect of contemporary life that has inspired and perpetuated my interest in creating artworks that involve person-to-person interactions.  Specifically, I want to take a stand against indirect forms of communication – texting, email, social networks, etc.  These electronic mediums are flawed, because the communicating parties cannot see and hear one another.  This means that useful signals, such as body language and vocal intonations are absent from the encounter.  Not only does such a situation pave the way for misunderstanding, it diminishes the interaction:  the energy, the force, the spark that passes between live human beings is missing.  Consequently, I want to use my art to promote an old-fashioned form of communication: meeting with people in real time and real space.

Now, one might ask why my interest in direct communication is manifest in my art practice.  After all, I could continue making traditional tangible artworks, while spending my free time conversing directly with people.  Truth be told, I don’t want to have free time.  I want to spend as much time as possible making art – art that matters to me, and perhaps, to others.  And so, I will continue to use my art to combat the growing tendency of people to immerse themselves in a world of virtual connections.  I will reach out to those people, offering them a chance to experience an art form that connects them directly to another person.  In so doing, I will, at the very least, have the opportunity to experience the richness of social intercourse, myself.

Below is an image from a recent interactive performance entitled “Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Contemporary Art (But Were Afraid to Ask)”