A Presentation of THE HIVE
a partnership between EFA Project Space and A Blade of Grass
The Hive features projects that expand the boundaries of art by seeking new ways to integrate into real life experience. Instead of producing objects for display, the artists featured focus on participation and reciprocity, engaging with the audience through interactions and services. They creatively connect with different audiences, and create projects that engage viewers in communication and participation.
Taking the form of a shared practice of consultants, these three separate projects lyrically explore team building, professional training, and workspace evaluation. The Hive’s EMPATHY CORPORATION workers individually and collectively attempt to counter situations of alienation and detachment brought on by institutional culture, reminding the audience-participants of the power of their own vulnerabilities and subjective insights.
The Feminist Economics Department presents The Poets’ Security Force
During two three-day training sessions, The Poets’ Security Force will introduce concepts and practices to eight current New York State certified security guards to challenge the monolithic authority of their industry within the context of the Midtown office building where EFA is housed.
Overlooking real human or economic vulnerability, the security industry is tasked to position working-class people against their kin to prevent devaluation of property owners' assets. The Poets’ Security Force aims to impact the workplaces of the security professionals trained by the project, changing perceptions and experiences of the security industry. Our guards will not be afraid to cry on the job.
Robby Herbst presents I and We: Collective Movement Workshop For Beginners
What is Collective Identity? Sociologist Alberto Melucci suggests that in today’s alienated culture people find deep meaning and power through group identities that emerge through political social movements. With I and We, Collective Movement Workshop For Beginners individuals will explore their anxieties and their pleasures in becoming one with a group. Participants will do experimental “floor work” to encourage the sharing of ideas about what we can do together in society once trust between us is established. Workshops will include the use of “play apparatuses,” slides, ladders, and restrictive toys that teach about how groups move and function. This workshop is for anyone who has been curious about joining social movements but is uncomfortable with disappearing in a crowd. No special background is required, but a willingness to play with ideas and each other is.
Piero Passacantando presents MyNerva: The Transmigration of the Cubicle
MyNerva is a collaborative center for artistic research, dialogue and production exploring the office space. The cubicle, a form born as a dubiously visionary space in the sixties, now embodies everything alienating about office life. For The Hive, MyNerva invites office dwellers to enter into a conversation with healers, artists, designers and builders to discuss how this structure may transcend its present state and usage. MyNerva will host a series of activities and events, including an office yoga workshop, team building exercises, presentations by corporate employed artists, norm-bending office parties and more. The cubicle will be deconstructed, modified and improved upon during the span of the project through these activities, exploring possible futures of this dystopian structure. The transmigration of the cubicle is in our hands.
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A calendar of events will be made public in the coming weeks, and will be available on A Blade of Grass’ and EFA’s websites, and on a dedicated blog, soon to be launched. Email EFA Project Space at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information and to find out how to get involved.
The Hive is an evolution of EFA Project Space's Artist/Organizer series.
The Feminist Economics Department (the FED) is a physical manifestation of the hope for a different, non-monetary value system for labor. The FED began in 2011 by hiring an actress to play a fictional MFA student who performed breakdowns about the value of her debt at California College of the Arts. Collective projects include the BEAUTY SALON, hosted by Ictus Gallery, San Francisco, offering services by artists that heal economic wounds; and the first iterations of Poets’ Security Force presented at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts and California College of the Arts in 2012. The FED was developed by artist Cassie Thornton out of a desire for a collectivity based on her interest in the debt industry which promotes individual liability and denies trust and interdependence. Cassie graduated from the CCA Social Practice Program in 2012 and currently lives and works between San Francisco and NYC. This iteration of Poets' Security Force will be co-facilitated by Byron Peters, a long-term member of the FED.
Robby Herbst is interested in socio-political formations. Over the last ten years he founded, developed and co-edited the Journal of Aesthetics & Protest. Since then he has been writing about art (frequently with public TV station KCET), producing a series of critical “guides” to Los Angeles (through Llano Del Rio Collective). He has had solo projects at Machine Project, David Patton Los Angeles, Monte Vista (LA), Dumbo Arts Center (NY), Southern Exposure (SF) and The Art Gallery Of Knoxville (TN). Herbst participated in Alan Kaprow — Art As Life at MOCA, Venice Beach Biennial at Hammer Museum (LA); Interstellar Low Ways at the Hyde Park Art Center (Chicago); Democracy in America: The National Campaign with Creative Time; Fine Print: Alternative Media at PS1 (NY); and Theater of Piece at NGBK (Berlin). Herbst is a grantee of the Andy Warhol Foundation for essays exploring social practice art.
Piero Passacantando is a painter and social practitioner. In 2012, he partook in Art in Odd Places and the Dumbo Arts Festival in New York City, and was a Resident at the Summer Decompression Camp at the Cornirolo Art Platform in Cornirolo, Italy. In 2011 he was a Create Change Fellow at the Laundromat Project in New York City. In 2010, Passacantando received a Fulbright grant to research Thangka Painting in Kathmandu, Nepal. He has an MFA from the California College of the Arts in San Francisco, CA with a concentration in Social Practice, and he holds a BFA from the Corcoran College of Art and Design in Washington, DC. He lives and works in Harlem, New York City.
A Blade of Grass nurtures socially engaged art. We provide resources to artists who demonstrate artistic excellence and serve as innovative conduits for social change. We evaluate the quality of work in this evolving field by fostering an inclusive, practical discourse about the aesthetics, function, ethics and meaning of socially engaged art that resonates within and outside the contemporary art dialogue.
EFA Project Space, a program of the Elizabeth Foundation for the Arts is a collaborative cross-disciplinary arts venue founded on the belief that art is directly connected to the individuals that produce it, to the communities they are a part of, and to everyday life. By providing an arena for exploring these connections, we empower artists to forge new partnerships and encourage the expansion of ideas.