Sunday, May 11, 2008

Opening at the Urbana Champaign IMC

Thursday, May 8, 2008

The Audacity of Desperation Opening

The Audacity Of Desperation
First stop: The Urbana- Champaign Independent Media Center
May 7th - June 15
202 S. Broadway Suite 100
Urbana, IL 61801

Urbana Almost Closing Party: June 4, at 7pm, with the kick off of Continental Drift -
an itinerant discussion on Neoliberal policies and cracks in global power. Continental Drift will be traveling though the Radical Midwest Cultural Corridor, starting at the IMC with conversations about the Audacity of Desperation and presentations by Kevin Hamilton and Brain Holmes. For more information see:

Links to videos screened at the opening can be found at:
The Desperation Video site is in progress. Everything is there, but a bit hard to read- Google Docs is not as great as indicated...
In addition, links to view videos (as available) are at the bottom of each slide.

Next stop: Sea and Space, Los Angeles, CA,
October 23- November 16
(more details this summer - watch election results with us there)

The Audacity of Desperation is an art exhibition, political action, and on-going dialogue. This show confronts, expresses and unravels states of desperation. Artworks by activists, artists, enthusiasts, and very concerned people, are made in editions of 100 with the intention of free distribution to audiences. In this way, these artworks will be activated outside of the exhibition space and in domestic spaces, on bodies, clothes, bags, and in public spaces.

Why we are desperate?
In November 2008 something is going to change. The worst president ever will finally be voted out of the White House. But, as the infamous writing on the wall reads, IF VOTING CHANGED ANYTHING THEY’D MAKE IT ILLEGAL.

The desperate push by progressives to include Ralph Nader in the 2000 elections and then their desperate about face towards Nader in 2004 is forgotten history. Now, in 2008, even though Nader is 'back in' the race, we have fallen firmly into the abyss of the two party system.

For many of us born after the assassinations of JFK, MLK, and Malcolm X, belief in revolutionary change through electoral politics is not easily resuscitated. Our first political memory falls somewhere between Nixon’s resignation and Bill Clinton’s lies about having sex with Monica Lewinsky. Obama’s seductive oratory style that instills nostalgia for movements we can’t remember, Clinton’s ability to go up against the men weighing down the glass ceiling, and Edwards anti-corporate, power to the people rhetoric is countered by Nancy Pelosi’s miserable failure to radicalize the senate and end the war in Iraq as the first woman Speaker of The House. The potential for the executive branch to be made up of firsts, the first president to be a white woman or black man, the first Latino vice president, is not enough. The Bush white house knows the power of representation, and they delivered: Condoleezza Rice, Alberto Gonzales, John Yoo, Clarence Thomas, and Mary Cheney’s baby. Choosing to vote based on community affiliation has led to more exclusive tendencies, not less.

What are our options?
Given this desperate state of affairs, how do we connect communities, select alliances, establish coalitions? How much do we compromise when we chose to participate in a stubborn old beast of a system that is unlikely to learn new tricks or rollover? Is it possible to be so reckless that desperation can be re-imagined as a tool for political organizing? Do we need to delve fully into an emotional crisis or can we wallow in our desperation and find creative possibilities for effecting social change?

Participating Artists: AK-Ami, William Brown, David Sanchez Burr, CaFF, Chris Christion, Ryan Claypool/Austin Smythe, Heidi Cunningham, Anna Campbell, solidad decosta, Alexis Disselkoen, Von Edwards, Nicky Enright, Feel Tank Chicago, Dara Greenwald/Josh MacPhee/Steve Lambert with the Anti-Advertising Agency, Russell Howze, Jill Jeannides, Anné M. Klint, Caroline Kelley, Sarah Kanouse/Tianna Kennedy/Lee Azzerello, Norene Leddy/Ed Bringas, Let's Re-Make, Steven Lam, the League of Imaginary Scientists, DJ Lightbolt, Diran Lyons, Glendalys Medina, Tomas A. Moreno, Anne Elizabeth Moore, Doug Minkler, Robert T. Pannell, Sheila Pinkel, Nancy Popp, Lizabeth Eva Rossof, Anthony Rayson, Nino Rodriguez, Lián Amaris Sifuentes, Rick Salafia, simon strikeback, Dorothy Schultz, Heath Schultz/Brad Thomson, Lisa Tucker, Tammy Jo Wilson, Gordon Winiemko, Xtine, Carrie Yury