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Come Together | Francesco Spampinato, Andy Bichlbaum (Yes Men), Marvin Jordan (DIS), Charlie Todd (Improv Everywhere) | Design and Style Series Event


December 3, 2014

FREE - South Court Auditorium doors open at 5:30 p.m.

The past twenty years have seen a new generation of artists working together in small groups and large collectives to explore new avenues of art, design, performance, and activism.

Join Francesco Spampinato, author of Come Together: The Rise of Cooperative Art and Design, and creative groups featured in his book for a lively discussion on motivations, logistics, and objectives that drive an artist to give up his ego and embrace anonymous and shared endeavors. What emerges is a common desire to transform the viewer into producer, making him aware of his potential as an agent of change. Borrowing strategies and symbols from mass media, the global market, and the entertainment industry, these collectives unravel and overthrow the power structures that lie behind political and social propaganda, and the construction of cultural products.

Come Together cover

In Come Together, author and visual artist Francesco Spampinato assembles an international roster of forty of today’s most exciting and influential collectives, from design studios like Project Projects and political performance artists The Yes Men to flash mob provocateurs Improv Everywhere and the multimedia artists Assume Vivid Astro Focus. Alongside visual portfolios of their best work are in-depth interviews addressing each group’s unique motivations, processes, and objectives. What emerges is a shared desire to turn viewers into producers and to use commercial mass-media strategies to challenge prevailing social, political, and cultural power structures. Come Together is an essential resource and inspiration for students, art lovers, and anyone interested in the cutting edge of visual culture.

Copies of the book are available for purchase and signing at the end of the event.

Francesco Spampinato is a contemporary art and visual culture historian, writer, and artist. He teaches at Rhode Island School of Design, Providence, and has taught at Parsons School of Design, The New School, New York, and NABA, Milan. His writing has appeared in ApartamentoDAMn°, Flash Art, Kaleidoscope, L'Uomo Vogue, and Waxpoetics among others. He lives and works in New York.

 Public performance/urban interventions group in New  York, active since 2001
Improv Everywhere: Public performance/urban interventions
group in New  York, active since 2001

Improv Everywhere is a New York City-based prank collective that causes scenes of chaos and joy in public places. Created in August of 2001 by Charlie Todd, Improv Everywhere has executed over 100 missions involving tens of thousands of undercover agents. The feature-length documentary about Improv Everywhere is now streaming on Netflix.

 Andy Bichlbaum and Mike Bonanno are an activism/internet   art/public performance duo in New York, active since 1999
The Yes Men: Andy Bichlbaum and Mike Bonanno are an activism/internet 
art/public performance duo in New York, active since 1999

The Yes Men are Andy Bichlbaum and Mike Bonanno, two guys who use humor, truth, and lunacy to bring media attention to important issues. They are among the most prominent and radical activist artists in the world today. Their second film, The Yes Men Fix the World, won the audience award at the Berlin Film Festival and the Grierson Award for Most Entertaining Documentary. Their current solo exhibition Out-Smarting Capitalism is on view at Museum Het Domein in Sittard, The Netherlands through November 30.

 Internet art/performance/photography/red carpet service/video group in New York, active since 2010
Dis: Internet art/performance/photography/red carpet service/video
group in New York, active since 2010

DIS is a multimedia collective and a meta-commercial enterprise located in New York City. It generates still and moving images that comment on marketing strategies, social networking, and digital fiction. Most of its works are products that seem destined for the commercial market or for entertainment, but in fact are dysfunctional and push us to think about what role constructed images play in our life. DIS has been appointed as curatorial team of the 9th Berlin Biennale for Contemporary Art.

Conceived and organized by Arezoo Moseni and in its fourth year, Design and Style is a series of events featuring discussions and presentations by leading professionals in the various design fields.