Working Alternatives: Breaking Bread, Art Broadcasting, and Collective Action was on view at Franklin Street Works from October 27, 2012 - January 13, 2013. I co-curated the exhibition with Mackenzie Schneider and Jess Wilcox. The show looked at three threads of alternative art space histories and examined how engaged, inclusive strategies are still being used to break down perceived barriers between contemporary art and its audiences. The themes covered in Working Alternatives were conviviality and food, artists who use media (newspapers, television, and radio) as platforms for artworks, and artist collectives in the US, explored through an open archive gathered specifically for this exhibition.
For Working Alternatives, Mackenzie Schneider, Jess Wilcox, and I explored three threads of alternative art platforms and production: conviviality and food as components in alternative art space programming and mission (Wilcox); artists using media such as radio, television, and newspapers as alternative venues for presenting work (Schneider); and artist collectives presented in a living archive with weekly changing exhibitions using archive materials (Smith). In addition to historical examples, the exhibition also included original artworks by contemporary artists that reflected and expanded on the showʼs themes. Working Alternatives’ artists: Paul Branca, Jaime Davidovich, ESP TV, Group Material, Ann Hirsch, Alison Knowles, Tom Marioni, Legacy Russell, Chris Sollars and Jerome Waag. Franklin Street Works also collaborated on several off-site artworks, including the live radio broadcast of an Ann Hirsch performance on WPKN, Bridgeport, and cable access broadcast of the E.S.P. TV episode filmed at Franklin Street Works.