Octopus Series

The octopus has nine brains, one located in its head and eight in its arms. Every arm senses the surrounding world and thinks with autonomy, and yet, each arm is part of the animal. Using this decentralized nervous system as an inspiration for Performance Space New York’s curatorial practice, the Octopus series invites artists and guest curators to individually organize an evening-length program with several artists working in any number of disciplines. Octopus continues Performance Space’s legacy of artist-centric programming and creating space for the exploration of ideas free from expectations.

Octopus Series

The octopus has nine brains, one located in its head and eight in its arms. Every arm senses the surrounding world and thinks with autonomy, and yet, each arm is part of the animal. Using this decentralized nervous system as an inspiration for Performance Space New York’s curatorial practice, the Octopus series invites artists and guest curators to individually organize an evening-length program with several artists working in any number of disciplines. Octopus continues Performance Space’s legacy of artist-centric programming and creating space for the exploration of ideas free from expectations.

02020

Dear Friends,
 
 
Performance Space is reconstructing its mission statement in 2020.
 
Noting 40 years of existence, we are taking the opportunity to assess our organization in order to build deeper relationships with all of our constituencies.
 
For the year of 2020 a group of NYC-based artists and collectives has been given the mandate to run the organization together with our staff, board, and leadership. The artists have received keys to the spaces, have moved into our business offices, and will move into our theaters next month. They have full transparency into the organization’s inner workings and full artistic control of our programming including oversight of the website. Our total annual production budget is at the artists’ full disposal to pay themselves a wage and develop their programmatic platforms. The only requirement of their tenure is that the spaces must be utilized.
 
Shifting our model is shifting our future: toward new institutional structures, new coalitions, new partnerships, new priorities. We know artistic practice is changing, that the world is changing, and that we need to be ready to adjust. We are betting on an artist-recalibrated institutional mission as a catalyst for futurist art practice
 
Our stratified economic and political climate generates an urgency to open boundaries and widen access. With the artists and staff working together within the belly of the beast, we hope to devise future modeling for more lateral working partnerships and reform the mission statement to reflect this changing world. The entire Performance Space staff has been and will continue working in close collaboration with the artists during 2020 and beyond.
 
The cohort of artists formed last fall and was developed over six months from an artist-led think tank. They are: Janice Amaya, members of BRUJAS (Arianna Gil, Dada Coz, Sarah Snider, Antonia Perez, and Ripley Soprano), Jonathan González, Monica Mirabile, and New Red Order (with core contributors Adam Khalil, Zack Khalil, and Jackson Polys). Sarah Michelson, inceptor of the 02020 concept, will work throughout the year as ecologist in service of the group and staff in a continually developing role and relationship.
 
The title of the yearlong project is 02020. The cohort will announce their initial plans via our website in mid-February.
 
Please be in touch.
 
 
Sincerely,
Jenny Schlenzka and Sarah Michelson

All rights reserved by Performance Space New York
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