Aug 19 2011

Independent art space conference

by Jennifer S. Li

Zoe Butt of Sàn Art (Ho Chi Minh City) and Amy Cheng of Taipei Contemporary Art Center (Taipei). Photo by Abraham Cruzvillegas.

Representatives of experimental art practices from around the world gathered at Los Angeles’ REDCAT on July 23 and 24 for meet-and-greets, panel talks and discussions. The list of participants included Heejin Kim of Art Space Pool, Seoul; Beijing-based independent curator Carol Lu; Victor Albarracin of Bogota’s El Bodegon; Taipei-based independent curator Amy Cheng; Janet Chan of Asia Art Archive, Hong Kong; Nuraini Juliastuti of KUNCI Cultural Studies Center, Yogyakarta; Educardo Abaroa of SOMA, Mexico City; Thomas Lawson of East of Borneo, Los Angeles; Molly Surno from Kickstarter; Kris Kuramitsu of USA Projects, Autumn Rooney of Echo Park Time Bank, Elana Mann of The Artists Bailout, Bridget Kelly of Metabolic Studio/Annenberg Foundation, and Edgar Arceneaux of Watts House Project, Los Angeles; Abraham Cruzvillegas of La Galeria de Comercio, Mexico City; Wilson Diaz of Helena Producciones, Cali; Zoe Butt of San Art, Ho Chi Minh City, Mirwan Andan of ruangrupa, Jakarta; and Eric Kim of Human Resources, Los Angeles.


Kyong Park; Janet Owen Driggs of Metabolic Studio (Los Angeles); and Abraham Cruzvillegas of La Galeria de Comercio (Mexico City). Photo by Zhu Jia.

The conference was the last hurrah for organizer Clara Kim, former gallery director and curator of REDCAT, before heading off to duties at Walker Art Center. It was appropriate if not aspirational for the various small organizations to convene at REDCAT, a long-time institution of experimental and innovative interdisciplinary arts practices backed by the historical California Institute of the Arts (CalArts). The nature and message of the conference would be best summed up by Eduardo Abaroa’s presentation, in which he demonstrated several kung-fu karate chops, Bruce Lee style—experimental art practices should be unexpected, direct and pack a punch.