September 2011
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Month September 2011

Open 21 Magazine Launch

Lectures by Brian Holmes and Eric Kluitenberg

Launch and presentation ‘Open’ 21 on (Im)Mobility

Sunday, October 9, 2011 2-4 PM


2 PM – Introduction – Jorinde Seijdel: “Open #21 (Im)mobility. Exploring the Limits of Hypermobility”

2.30 PM – Lecture – Brian Holmes: “What Sustains a Public Sphere? Solidarity in the Post-Liberal Societies”

3.15 PM – Lecture – Eric Kluitenberg: “The Global Im/Mobility Privilege”

4 PM – End

Brian Holmes is a cultural critic living at present in Chicago. He is working on crisis theory and technopolitics. All of his texts are obtainable free of charge here. For decades, the critique of neoliberalism has been a paying proposition for left-leaning artists and intellectuals. Amidst the Internet and real-estate booms, a fragile mix of enlightenment and entrepreneurial values preserved some space for theories of radical democracy. Today, financial turmoil and its hard-right political consequences have laid that ambiguity to rest. In this lecture, Brian Holmes reopens the debate about the practical basis for an aesthetics of equality. The first step toward new institutions of solidarity, he argues, is to understand one’s own position on the margins.

Eric Kluitenberg is a writer and curator who focuses on culture, media and technology, living in Amsterdam, The Netherlands. Recent publications include Book of Imaginary Media (2006) and Delusive Spaces (essays, 2008). The right to freedom of movement is enshrined in international systems of law and power that offer little space for individual influence or control. Our examination of the global regimes of im/mobility revealed how deeply the transnational is rooted in specific local constellations, which offer the optimal point of intervention.

Jorinde Seijdel is editor in chief of Open. Cahier on Art and the Public Domain.


open #21 (im)mobility. Exploring the limits of hypermobility

Contributions by Brian Holmes, Florian Schneider, Marc Schuilenberg, and John Thackara. Interview with David Harvey.

Advanced communications technologies seem to be paving the way for an increase in physical and motorized mobility. At the same time, these accelerating flows of data and commodities stand in sharp contrast to the elbow room afforded to the biological body, which in fact is forced to a standstill. And while data, goods and capital have been freed of their territorial restrictions, the opposite is true for a growing proportion of the world’s population: border regimes, surveillance and identity control are being intensified at a rapid pace. In short, we are seeing both an uncurbed and uncontrolled increase of mobility and segregating filtrations. This issue of Open explores the internal contradictions of prevailing mobility regimes and their effects on social and physical space.

Open investigates the contemporary conditions of public space and changing notions of publicness in a structural manner in relation to cultural production. This implies an experimental and interdisciplinary exposition of the reality, possibilities and limitations of the current public domain, in particular from sociological, philosophical, political and artistic perspectives. Within the framework of this ‘project in progress,’ themes such as safety, memory, visibility, cultural freedom, tolerance, hybrid space, the rise of informal media, art as a public affair, manipulative, precarity and privacy have been examined.

Open is edited by Jorinde Seijdel (editor in chief) and Liesbeth Melis (final editing) and appears twice a year in a Dutch-language and an English-language edition. The graphic design is by Thomas Buxò and Klaartje van Eijk. Open is an initiative of SKOR | Foundation for Art and Public Domain, Amsterdam ( and is published by NAi Publishers.

For information, ordering and subscriptions see: and

About the Venue

Immigrant Movement International (IM International) is a five-year project by artist Tania Bruguera. Its mission is to help define the immigrant as a unique, new global citizen in a post-national world and to test the concept of arte útil or “useful art”, in which artists actively implement the merger of art into society’s urgent social, political and scientific issues.

Awareness Ribbon for Immigrant Respect



Creation of the Awareness Ribbon for Immigrant Respect

Inspired by the success of previous awareness ribbon campaigns and after talking to various community organizations, Immigrant Movement International found that there was no campaign for immigrant causes. We then decided to create the Awareness Ribbon for Immigrant Respect. The immigrant condition can be a very isolating and stigmatizing social experience. We hope that the ribbon can signal unspoken solidarity while calling for respect between people and facilitating an expanding conversation about immigration.

Why Immigrant Respect?

We decided on Immigrant Respect after learning that the language of ‘Immigrant Rights’ can be politically polarizing. Demanding Immigrant Respect, on the other hand, humanizes the issue. It communicates that it is not simply about money or laws, it is about people who deserve as much respect as anyone else.

The ribbon as symbol

The colors brown and blue, represent common entry points of immigrants traveling to a new country, over land, through the air, or via waterway. The bottom of the ribbon’s edges are in the shape of an arrow signaling movement, arrival, and transformation. The words Immigrant Respect convey the goal of the campaign.


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Where is New York?* Institutions and Immigration in Corona, Queens

Where is New York?* Institutions and Immigration in Corona, Queens
6:30PM – 8:30PM

Tania Bruguera, Immigrant Movement International
Larissa Harris, Curator, Queens Museum of Art
Prerana Reddy, Queens Museum of Artmoderated by Felicity Scott, GSAPP

Organized by the Critical, Curatorial and Conceptual Practices in Architecture Program and moderated by Felicity Scott, this is the first installment of the monthly series “Where is New York?*”

In summer 2011, acclaimed performance artist Tania Brugera relocated to Corona, Queens, where she operates the non-profit Immigrant Movement International at Corona Studio, a space at 108-59 Roosevelt Avenue that is jointly sponsored by Creative Time and the Queens Museum of Art to organize classes, workshops, and public actions that address and highlight the needs of those who live nearby. This conversation on institutions and immigration in New York’s famously diverse borough will be joined by Queens Museum of Art Curator Larissa Harris and Director of Events Prerana Reddy, who have advocated for change in nearby Corona Plaza as part of the museum’s extraordinary array of community-based public programming.

Find out more at #wood92611

* Each month, one program at GSAPP will identify a site within the five boroughs that has been important to their discipline within the past year and bring designers, policymakers, developers, community activists, and other New Yorkers together to discuss the site and question where we are.

9/11 (The War on Immigrants), September 11, 2011

9/11 (The War on Immigrants), September 11, 10-5pm

The attacks of September 11, 2001 and the emergence of The War on Terrorism have produced aggressive networks of punishment, mass warehousing, and criminalization that deploy an unjust system of detention and deportation. Recent reports and academic research indicate that the U.S. government’s trend has been to increase the privatization of the detention center system as a way to increase national security measures. With the help of scholars, activists and legal advocates, awareness about the conditions and treatment of detained immigrants help in pressuring government officials to adopt reformative detention guidelines. To address this current reality, ‘Make a Movement’ Sundays: 9/11 (The War on Immigrants)” collaborated with IRATE/First Friends to train people to participate in a visitor program to visit immigrants detained at the Elizabeth Detention Center in Elizabeth, NJ. After the training the participants traveled to the detention center to visit immigrants who have been converted into prisoners of the ”nation of immigrants.” After the visitation, the participants made a drawing of an officer based on the descriptions given by the detainees of the officer who arrested them.


December 18

December 18

December 18 is a Brussels-based non-profit organization working for the promotion and protection of the rights of migrants worldwide from 1999. The name of the organization refers to the day when the General Assembly of the United Nations adopted the “International Convention on the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of their Families”. Today, the 18th of December is also known as International Migrants Day.

Staging: Experiments in Social Configuration by Sofía Olascoaga

“Staging: Experiments in Social Configuration” by Sofía Olascoaga.

FORECLOSED: Between Crisis and Possibility
© 2011 Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, NY

Usable Art: Text and Concept by John Perreault

Usable Art. Text and Concept by John Perreault.
Myers Fine Arts Gallery, State University College—Plattsburgh, New York, 1981.

Copyright, John Perreault 2011.

Something has snapped, and it has been a long time coming

Something has snapped, and it has been a long time coming

One of the most succinct and intelligent descriptions of ‘urban regeneration’ was a film by Jonathan Meades called On the Brandwagon. It begins with the 1981 riots in Liverpool, a city whose population had halved and whose dockyards had closed down, then moves through the government’s attempts to put a sticking plaster over the wound. First, ineptly, through the Garden Festivals bestowed on the city, alongside the first ‘enterprise zone’ version of Regeneration; then more dramatically through New Labour’s abortive attempt to turn our chaotic, suburban-urban cities into places more akin to, say, Paris, that riot-free model of social peace. The middle-class return to the cities, adaptive re-use, luxury apartment blocks, Mitterandian Lottery-funded grands projets, loft conversions in the factories whose closure brought about the main problem in the first place. The film ends in Salford Quays, its gleaming titanium a ram-raid’s distance from some of the poorest places in Western Europe. The likely result? ‘There will be no riots within the ring-road’.

We’ve long congratulated ourselves, in London, of the fact that we have no banlieue. We applauded ourselves especially smugly when zoned, segregated Paris rioted a few years ago. It’s not like it’s untrue—give or take the odd exception (a Thamesmead, a Chelmlsey Wood) our poverty is not concentrated in peripheral housing estates. Edinburgh might wall off its poor in Muirhouse or Leith, and Oxford might try not to think about Blackbird Leys, but in London, Manchester/Salford, Liverpool, Birmingham, Bristol, Nottingham—the cities that erupted on Monday 8th August—the rich live, by and large, next to the poor: £1,000,000 Georgian terraces next to estates with some of the deepest poverty in the EU. We’re so pleased with this that we’ve even extended the principle to how we plan the trickledown dribble of social housing built over the last two decades, those Housing Association schemes where the deserving poor are ‘pepper-potted’ with stockbrokers. We’ve learnt about ‘spatial segregation’, so we do things differently now. Someone commenting on James Meek’s great London Review of Books article on parallel Hackneys mentioned China Miéville’s recent science fiction novel The City and The City, where two cities literally do occupy the same space, with all inhabitants acting as if they don’t. Miéville set it in Eastern Europe, but the inspiration is surely London…


Giving Aliens New $10 Bills Loses U.S. Subsidy as ‘Art’

Giving Aliens New $10 Bills Loses U.S. Subsidy as ‘Art’

In the face of ridicule from its critics, the National Endowment for the Arts has withdrawn its backing from a project in which three conceptual artists hand out $10 bills to illegal immigrants near the Mexican border.

Noting that United States currency is neither supplies nor materials as specified in the grant to the sponsoring museum in San Diego, the endowment announced late Friday that the $4,500 in cash handouts was an “unallowable expense.”

One of the artists, Elizabeth Sisco, was quick to respond today, saying the decision was politically motivated and accusing the endowment of creating a fictional list of artistic materials that excludes cash.

“The $10 bills are the materials of the project,” Ms. Sisco said. “The conceptual network we have created showing the link between all taxpayers relies upon those $10 bills. They are like the bucket of paint that a muralist would go out and purchase, like the slab of bronze a sculptor would use.”

Josh Dare, a spokesman for the endowment, responded, “We don’t have a listing of supplies and/or materials; nor do we have a definition of supplies and/or materials.” But, he added, “We do not consider United States currency a supply or material.”…


Right-wing extremists tricked by ‘Trojan’ T-shirts

Right-wing extremists tricked by ‘Trojan’ T-shirts

Hundreds of free T-shirts handed out at a weekend right-wing rock festival in the eastern German state of Thuringia contained a secret surprise. Upon washing, the original graphic faded to reveal a clandestine message.

German skinheads who took home free T-shirts after a music festival on Saturday were in for a big surprise.

The shirts, which bore a skull and crossbones symbol and the word ‘Hardcore Rebels,’ faded upon washing to reveal a hidden message: “What happened to your shirt can happen to you. We can help you break with right-wing extremism.”

The T-shirts were the work of Exit Deutschland, a group that helps young people transition out of militant right-wing lifestyles…