News & Events
Bon Voyage Party, March 31, 4-6 PM.
Voyagers & Friends!
The Bureau will be having a small celebration for all the adventurous souls who have traveled to unknown destinations over the past months. Please join me to raise a glass of wine, meet other voyagers, and see some of the marvelous notebooks & artifacts which have been returned to the Bureau.
Saturday March 31, 4-6pm, Bureau of Unknown Destinations, inside Proteus Gowanus, 543 Union (down the alley off Nevins), Brooklyn.
No rsvp needed, friends welcomed.
The Bureau of Unknown Destinations’ new Psychogeographic Destination Kits are ready at last. Everyone is invited to download them and test them out.
The Psychogeographic Destination Kit is offered by the Bureau of Unknown Destinations as a provocation to potential voyagers, an invitation to take a day, get on a train, and go someplace you know nothing about. The Bureau has given away over a hundred rail trips to the adventurous, and now hopes to expand operations by giving travelers the means to unknow their own destinations.
The kit offers a variety of methods of unknowning, some thoughts aobut why unknow, and a handy foldable mini-notebook to use in recording your experience. For those departing from the Bureau’s base in New York, there’s a pre-printed set of destination cards to play with. For others, a blank set to fill in and work from.
Unknowing your destination is an art form that anyone can practice. You are the author, the architect, the composer of your experience.
The kit is made available in the form of a downloadable pdf and creative commons licensed. Anyone using the kit is invited to copy, share, and adapt it freely, and to send their findings back to the Bureau to contribute to the ongoing documentation of the project.
The Bureau of Unknown Destinations is delighted to announce that it has given away its 100th ticket!
Thank you to all of the amazing participants who have traveled so far. Your willingness to throw yourself into the unknown has been a gift. And bon voyage to those who still have tickets in hand.
The 100th ticket necessitates a new phase for the Bureau.
We have, in fact, given away as many tickets as we can. But fear not, the Bureau’s commitment to the Unknowing of Destinations remains firm. We are currently at work on a Psychogeographic Destination Kit that will be made freely available to one and all. While the kit will not include an actual ticket, it will provide everything needed to voyage to an Unknown Destination as well as an opportunity to participate in the Bureau’s growing archives.
For more information visit the Bureau of Unknown Destinations website.
Or sign up for the Bureau of Unknown Destinations mailing list.
I’ll be speaking with along with D. Graham Burnett at the Bard Graduate Center in New York on January 25 on the topic: “The Order of the Third Bird: Documents and Considerations.”
Speaker/Event: D. Graham Burnett & Sal Randolph
“The Order of the Third Bird: Documents and Considerations”
Date: Wednesday, January 25, 2012
Time: 6:00 pm – 8:00 pm
Place: BGC, 38 West 86th Street
[ Info ]
Some degree of confusion exists concerning the history and activities of the body known as “The Order of the Third Bird”—which would seem, at least in its modern incarnation, to be a clubbish and somewhat arcane association of histrionic aesthetes. The manifest form of the Order’s current work takes the shape of ritual performances of collective “attention” to works of art. To what end? A fragment of their own writings offers the following: “The number of accumulated works of art in the world now exceeds the number of persons on the planet. If each of these human artifacts can be understood as a reified request for attention, the nature and scale of the problem immediately becomes apparent. The Order of the Third Bird—an association of like-minded individuals (together with an intimate penumbra of splitters and apostates) who work at the convergence of performance and aesthetic theory—have devoted themselves to this overwhelming cause.”
Making use of available documentation, Burnett and Randolph will attempt a brief synopsis of the Order’s principles and preoccupations. But the focus of the evening will be the ongoing efforts to sift an emerging archive that bears on the genealogy of the Order’s practices. Is it possible to trace the history of the Order, and to make sense of its sublated entanglement with crucial moments in the philosophy of aesthetics? Surprising new sources are continuously coming to light, and require both public airing and critical scrutiny.
PLEASE NOTE that our Lecture Hall can only accommodate a limited number of people, so please come early if you would like to have a seat in the main room. We also have overflow seating available; all registrants who arrive late will be seated in the overflow area.
For more information, please contact email@example.com.
Please join me for the opening of the Bureau of Unknown Destinations, offering free tickets to psychogeographic travelers at Proteus Gowanus (543 Union Street Brooklyn) on Thursday, January 12, 2012 from 7pm onwards. The event will also include a wine reception for Proteus Gowanus’ new show, Object Migrations.
Beginning on January 12, the Bureau of Unknown Destinations will offer temporary displacements to members of the public seeking to experiment with their migratory impulses. Make a booking for a day’s journey, and you’ll be presented with a free round trip ticket for a train adventure (along with a notebook and a small, somewhat absurd, task). Begin your day by tearing open a sealed envelope and revealing the mystery of where you will find yourself by noon. Set forth, free of decisions, into the great (or perhaps, in this case, the small) unknown. Test your sense of destiny. Have lunch someplace new.
Book your travel up to two weeks in advance at the Bureau’s offices, located at Proteus Gowanus (543 Union Street Brooklyn). Offices are open most Saturdays 1-5, as well as irregularly on other days, and always by appointment.
The Bureau of Unknown Destinations is part of a three month artist’s residency by Sal Randolph at Proteus Gowanus, extending through mid-April. Proteus Gowanus is an interdisciplinary gallery and reading room located on the shores of the Gowanus canal in Brooklyn. Their yearlong theme is Migration.
For updates, events, and bureau hours visit unknowndestinations.org or contact bureau [at ] unknowndestinations [dot ] org.
Proteus Gowanus Invites You to Help Create Their Next Exhibition
Do you have an object whose story you would like to share? An heirloom, an artwork, a toothbrush, a stone? An object which has inspired you, dominated you, educated you, exalted or degraded you? For our second exhibition of the Migration year, we invite you to lend us your object and include with it everything you know about its migratory story.
These objects will be our starting point for a three-month exploration of the Migration of Objects. We will view them as independent beings with stories of their own, stories that began before the object’s encounter with you and that will likely continue long after you part. Your story of the object may start with you but may necessarily migrate into the economic, the industrial, the political, the historical, the geologic, the environmental and so on.
Anyone can play. Here’s how it works:
Send an email to: info [at] proteusgowanus [dot] org – with a photo of your object, if possible, and include details of the story you will tell. The only rules are that the Object come with a story and that it not be smelly, too large for our space or likely to perish while in the gallery. We will let you know promptly if we can include it in the show. The starting date for email submissions is now.
The Object Show is presented by Proteus Gowanus with curatorial assistance from me, and from Smudge Studio & Friends of the Pleistocene. I will also be Artist-In-Residence at Proteus Gowanus for the duration of the Objects Show (January 12 – April 15, 2012) – more on that coming soon.
[ Proteus Gowanus ]
I will be carrying out a money action, “5 Euros Near Something Blue,” (“Bankovec Za Pet Evrov Pri Necem Modrem”) at the central market in Ljubljana on November 15. Between the hours of 12:00 and 15:00 I’ll place at least 100 Euros in 5 Euro notes near the color blue in and around the market. The public is invited to take any money they can find.
The action is part of the 29th Ljubljana Biennial of Graphic Arts.
Beginning November 11, I’ll be exhibiting five words at Gallery Proper in Saint Louis.
The show is curated by Angela Malchionno, who requested five of my favorite words which will be displayed in vinyl letters on the window glass. I told her: “as you’ll see they are all words that can have more than one meaning. Of course I have a zillion favorite words in several kinds of categories (for instance, I love all the little tiny th words: this that the these though they then etc. and in general all of the connective words that do so much work for us but remain unsung.” These words (along with “live”) are also part of Parasigns
[ Gallery Proper ]
I’m excited to report that two of my Money Actions will be part of the 29th Ljubljana Biennial, opening September 23, 2011. On view will be documentation from “$1 Near Something Red” and “100 Money Actions for 14th Street. A live money action will take place in Ljubljana in November (date forthcoming).
Many thanks to those who supported the initial production of this work: Christina Vassallo of Random Number and Flux Factory, and Radhika Subramaniam, Erin Donnelly and Ed Woodham who curated Art in Odd Places 2009: Sign.
[exhibition installation view from the Biennial blog ]
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The 29th Biennial of Graphic Arts, Ljubljana
23 September–20 November 2011
The art event – the central theme of the 29th Biennial of Graphic Arts in Ljubljana – experienced a remarkable development in the twentieth century and today appears as a privileged medium. It is employed by a broad range of different figures from the world of contemporary visual art in a broad spectrum of forms. At the exhibition, which seeks above all to present as fully as possible the energy and vitality of this trend, a selection of art events is presented in four different categories, based on typical themes in contemporary art: violence, generosity, emptiness, and the search for the sacred and the ritualistic. These themes were selected, among other reasons, because the events that address them also meet the requirement of not being anything novel, either in the iconographic motifs of art or in actual human or social practice. Events that allow us to partake in violence with impunity, in the artist’s “shamanic” violence to himself, in Dionysian or absurdist rituals, or in the creation of an idyllic communitas for the sharing of a common meal – these represent practices that humans have been doing, and even depicting, for millennia.
In the exhibition, as well as in an extensive programme of artistic and theoretical events, the Biennial asks the questions: Why and how has the event in particular become a suitable vehicle for such a great variety of artistic aims, aesthetics, and content? Is the choice of this medium a response to specific impulses and voids in our “desacralized” everyday existence? Also, what are the potential dangers of such a development, given that it is happening more and more in the completely formalized framework of art institutions, which in recent decades not only house and exhibit contemporary art, but also commission and produce it, thus becoming commissioners of contemporary art of a type and scope as only the aristocracy and the church had been before them?
List of exhibited artists and projects:
Ant Farm, Oreet Ashery, Bababa International, Robert Barry, Nina Beier & Marie Lund, Jerzy Bereś, Karmelo Bermejo, Anna Berndtson, Conny Blom, János Borsos, Tania Bruguera, Graciela Carnevale, Anetta Mona Chişa & Lucia Tkáčová, Marcus Coates, Brody Condon, Alain Della Negra & Kaori Kinoshita, Marco Evaristti, Terry Fox, Dora García, Félix González-Torres, Núria Güell, Manuel Hartmann, Alfredo Jaar, Jaša, Enrique Ježik, Regina José Galindo, San Keller, Daniel Knorr, Božena Končić Badurina, Gregor Kregar, Siniša Labrović, Liz Magic Laser, Marcello Maloberti, Teresa Margolles, Kris Martin, Dalibor Martinis, Dane Mitchell, Shana Moulton, Kusum Normoyle, OHO Group / The Šempas Family / Milenko Matanović / David Nez / Marko Pogačnik, Once is Nothing (presentation of an exhibition curated by Mária Hlavajová and Charles Esche as part of the 2008 Brussels Biennial), Serkan Özkaya, Kim Paton, Mark Požlep, Praxis (Brainard & Delia Carey), Public Movement, Franc Purg & Sara Heitlinger, Sal Randolph, Maruša Sagadin, Hans Schabus, Santiago Sierra, Mladen Stropnik, Sz.A.F., Tan Ting, Unguarded Money (presentation of an action carried out in Budapest in 1956 by Miklós Erdély, his friends, and members of the Hungarian Writers Union), Matej Andraž Vogrinčič, Wang Jin, Anna Witt
The curator of the 29th Biennial of Graphic Arts in Ljubljana is Beti Žerovc.
[ Biennial Blog ]
The Order of the Third Bird is delighted to be participating in the exhibition Utopia, OH, at CS13 in Cincinnati. The editorial sub-committee of the Order will be presenting an exchange of rediscovered letters from 1848, “The Clermont Connection: Evidences Bearing on Associationist Associations of the Order at Midcentury (The Robinson/Fairwright Correspondence)” a reprint from the Proceedings of the Esthetical Society for Transcendental and Applied Realization (now incorporating the Society of Esthetic Realizers), New Series, Part IV: “Periodic Reports from the Editorial Subcommittee,” Continues “Contributions on the W Cache and Related Sources”); Documents Ostensibly Pertaining to the Origins and Development of “The Order of the Third Bird”
Opening Saturday, Sept. 24th from 7-10 PM
Through Saturday, October 15th
Open gallery hours Sundays from 1-4 PM
This October CS13 will close out our two-and-a-half year run as a multi-disciplinary art space with one last act of social dreaming. This final gallery project is a group exhibition themed around the small river town of Utopia, located 45 miles out of Cincinnati along U.S. Route 52. The town is marked by a green road sign, a convenience store with a single gas pump, a handful of half-mile long streets that run down to the riverbank, and a Ohio Historical Marker that reads:
“Utopia, Ohio was founded in 1844 by followers of French philosopher Charles Fourier. Fourierism, based on utopian socialism and the idea of equal sharing of investments in money and labor, reached peak popularity in the United States about 1824 until 1846. The experimental community of Utopia dissolved in 1846 due to lack of financial success and disenchantment with Fourierism. John O. Wattles, leader of a society of spiritualists, purchased the land and brought his followers to Utopia in 1847. The spiritualists, who sought secluded areas to practice their religion, built a two-story brick house on the shore of the Ohio River. A flash flood on December 13, 1847, killed most of Wattles’ people. The majority of the few survivors left the area. Thus, the idea of the perfect society, or utopia, died. Henry Jernegan of Amelia, laid out the present village in 1847.”
Utopia, perhaps the most confidently named, was only one of approximately 270 utopian communities existed in the United States between 1787 and 1919. Due to Ohio’s unique location on the nation’s frontier, the state found itself the site of much of this activity, in both religious settlements established by Shakers and Amish as well as secular attempts based on the writings of Charles Fourier and Welsh social reformer Robert Owen.
These secular communities, Utopia included, while short lived, are memorable for the challenges they presented to existing social and economic order, presenting alternative notions about religion, marriage, family, sexuality, property ownership, and wage labor. Revisiting and interacting with these historical moments provides a window into an era of American history where frontiers were both physical and ideological, and where quixotic or even bizarre ideas of how people can best coexist were of primary interest to these diverse populations and their thinkers. Such communities were, so to speak, efforts in which political science, economics, and sociology were wedded with the literary imagination.
Our final gallery project, Utopia, OH will present different reflections on American utopian history: These works range from those that look to the specific history and spirit of the town of Utopia, those that address the narratives and philosophies that led to the short 19th century flourish of likeminded projects, those that look at the the the diminished presence of a “utopian” spirit in contemporary American political and social thinking, and finally those that look to the future with a Fourierist sense of curiosity, whim, and possibility.
In this way, this project is both a love letter and a fond farewell, stuffed full of history and myth, nostalgia, and wishful thinking for the future, as only goodbyes can be.
PARTICIPATING ARTISTS INCLUDE: – Randall Szott in conversation with Shannon Stratton, Nancy Zastudil and Duncan MacKenzie – The Order of the Third Bird – Cheon Lee and Arthur Brum – Jen Delos Reyes – Mark Harris – Wyatt Niehaus – Kelly Frigard
[ CS13 ]
I’m delighted to report that I’ll be an artist-in-residence at Proteus Gowanus this winter, as part of their year-long theme, Migration. While my own residency won’t begin until January, Proteus Gowanus is opening the evolving, year-long exhibition with a reception on September 17, 2011.
543 Union Street, #1C
Brooklyn, NY 11215
I’m delighted to report that I have a piece coming out in the new issue of Cabinet called “The Memory Hole has Teeth; Towards a Field Guide to Shred,” created in collaboration with D. Graham Burnett.
News about the issue:
Cabinet magazine issue 42, with a special section on “Forgetting,” available now
For a full table of contents, click here.
Forget everything else and be riveted as:
– D. Graham Burnett & Sal Randolph propose a field guide to shredding
– Barry Sanders remembers a forgotten gift from Derrida
– Joshua Foer studies a thankfully obsolete memorization technique, accompanied by illustrations by Amy Jean Porter
– George Prochnik recalls Italy’s most famous amnesiac
– Alistair Sponsel speaks with Londa Schiebinger on forgotten herbal abortifacients
– Peter Galison inspects Freud’s take on censorship, both wartime and psychic
– Jeffrey Kastner & Sina Najafi ask Paul Connerton about his seven categories of forgetting
– An artist project by Susan Hiller
– And a portfolio of “Monuments to Forgetting,” proposed by artists John Beech, Liz Glynn, Teresa Hubbard/Alexander Birchler, Eigil zu Tage-Ravn, and Olav Westphalen
And don’t draw a blank on these other memorable topics:
— Will Wiles on the mouse universes of John B. Calhoun
— Alexander R. Galloway on Nils Aall Barricelli’s mathematical organisms
— Ben Kafka & Jamieson Webster on the Deleuze family’s inscription to Foucault
— Aaron Kunin on our drab future
— Andrew McConnell Stott on the chronology of clown crime
— Elena Sorokina on mayonnaise’s cohesive role in the Soviet Union
— Christopher Turner on Wilhelm Reich’s orgone box
— Wayne Koestenbaum on waiting for the final war
— John Strausbaugh on Ada Clare, queen of the bohemians
— Jocko Weyland on disaster documentation
— Justin E. H. Smith on the ethics of rubbernecking
— Artist Projects by Amie Siegel and Julia Sherman
[ Cabinet ]
The Order of the Third Bird recently held a practice/performance at the Philadelphia Art Museum on August 4 as part of the Warhol Foundation/Creative Capital’s first Arts Writers Convening.
The Order of the Third Bird is a small community of practitioner-friends working at the convergence of performance, aesthetic theory, and art-appreciation. Our aim is two-fold: first, to evolve practices of sustained attention suitable to the occasion of a work of art in need; and second, to mobilize these shared practiced in various interventions and engagements. We are an association whose members work together to develop and deploy a distinctive form of aesthetic, meditative, and generous vigilance, for the purpose of assisting works of art to realize their presence.
Mildred’s Lane is collaboration between artists Mark Dion, J. Morgan Puett and their associates. This Project is a long-term experiment in large-scale project , research and event based practices with a living museum and an educational institution attached. This active site is a 92+-acre compound in the upper Delaware River Valley region of Pennsylvania near New York City. The Project is actively reassembling the terms of exchange and collaboration, and enthusiastically soliciting participation to co-evolve our (inter- and intra-) institutional engagements. It means to be a revolutionary rigorous rethinking (the 3 Rs) of the contemporary art complex.
[ Mildred’s Lane ]
June 8 I brought The Order of the Third Bird’s practice to the Chipstone Foundation’s Object Lab 3.0 at the Milwaukee Art Museum. Object Lab is an intense hands-on workshop in material culture that Chipstone has been developing over the past three years.