In the winter and spring of 2018 I found myself frustrated equally by the annual Republican call to defund the NEH and NEA and by the contortions many scholars and cultural workers perform to be acceptable to a narrow range of what is acceptable, I approached Art Journal Open to convene a forum on the state of “support” for the arts and humanities today – broadly defined. “Beyond Survival” began as an open call for reflections on the state of arts funding in the United States as it actually manifests today. I hoped to facilitate a conversation that would go beyond shoring up the inadequate conditions of the present to consider the social functions fulfilled—and left unfilled—by the current landscape of support, as well as what emerging forms of artistic, intellectual, and political agency can be taken to affirmatively shape more desirable conditions in the future.
In October 2018, Art Journal Open published nearly twenty five responses grouped into four thematic categories: Beyond Neoliberalism, In Whose Interest?, Precarity and Potential, and Models and Case Studies. We invited four respondents to develop slightly longer position papers, which were released in Spring 2019. Over a year after the project was conceived I revisited the original prompt and the responses in a short essay in terms of the socio-ecological urgencies of the climate emergency.
The catalogue to the competition and exhibition “Monument to Cold War Victory,” conceived by Yevgeniy Fiks and Stamatina Gregory, was released September 30 from The Cooper Union. Distributed through SPD, the catalog documents all winning entries, including the National TLC Service’s National Cold War Monuments and Environmental Heritage Trail, and features essays by Yevgeniy Fiks and Stamatina Gregory, Boris Groys, Nina Khrushcheva, and Joes Segal. Other artists include Yuri Avvakumov, Aziz + Cucher, Kim Beck, Constantin Boym, Camel Collective (Anthony Graves and Carla-Herrera Prats), Sasha Chavchavadze, Christoph Draeger, Deyson Golbert, Francis Hunger, Szabolcs KissPál, Angelo Plessas, Lisi Raskin, Dread Scott, Dolsy & Kant Smith, Société Réaliste, and Michael Wang.
Fiks, Yevgeniy and Stamatina Gregory, eds. Monument to Cold War Victory. New York: The Cooper Union, 2018: 100-103.
The National TLC Service is participating in a group exhibition about the now-closed Rocky Flats nuclear weapons facility just outside of Denver. Curated by Jeff Gipe, Facing Rocky Flats features works by local, national, and international artists and documentary photographers. The exhibition runs in the Canyon Gallery at the Boulder Public Library April 7-June 20, 2018 and travels to the Denver Public Library August 26-October 31, 2018. Jeff Gipe is preparing a book project that will also feature work from the exhibition.
The National TLC Service was also the subject of a published art history graduate thesis by Joseph Stussi, of the University of New Mexico. Entitled “Living with Our Toxic Legacy,” it appeared in the journal Hemispheres: Visual Cultures of the Americas, vol. 11, no. 1 (2018): 54-76.