Public Arts International/Free Speech documentation

Public Arts International/Free Speech booklet cover
Performers Listing
Epilogue poem by Joseph Nechvatal

Public Arts International/Free Speech was a downtown art performance festival in 1979 that spanned from May 15 to May 19 at 75 Warren Street in Tribeca New York City. All proceeds collected at the door ($2.50 entrance tickets) went to the artists.

Organized by artist Joseph Nechvatal, musician Carol Parkinson and dancer/artist Cid Collins, Public Arts International/Free Speech presented an array of young artists in New York that would go on to establish Colab no wave group activities (such as The Times Square Show) and the general postmodern art scene. A documentary booklet was produced for the event by the organizers in conjunction with Willoughby Sharp (financed by Frederick Steinway Jr. of Steinway & Sons) that states on the first page: “It is Time for Artists to Intervene and Demand a Re-evaluation.” 

Cultural Legacy

As a DIY multidisciplinary collaborative activity, Public Arts International/Free Speech was a key formational factor in the creation of Tellus Audio Cassette Magazine that Nechvatal and Parkinson would go on to form in 1983.

Performers Included 

Note and References

This Public Arts International/Free Speech documentation was retrieved from Wikipedia on 2/21/2021. Since then, it has been removed from Wikipedia.

  1. ^ [1] Public Arts International/Free Speech at Princeton University Library
    1. ^ [2] Between the Covers: Two Performance Anthologies Ken Friedman, Performing Arts Journal, The MIT Press, LIVE performance art magazine 3 pp. 30-32

About josephnechvatal

Joseph Nechvatal is an American post-conceptual artist who creates virus-modeled artificial life computer-assisted paintings and animations. Themes he has addressed in his art include the apocalyptic, communication excess, the virus, and gender fluidity. In 1975, he moved from Chicago to the downtown Tribeca area of New York City. He began studying at Columbia University with the philosopher Arthur Danto while working for the Dia Art Foundation as archivist to the minimalist composer La Monte Young. In 1980, he moved from Tribeca to the sordid Lower East Side where he found artistic camaraderie and politically inspired creative energy. There he became closely associated with Collaborative Projects (Colab), the influential post-punk artists’ group that included Kiki Smith and Jenny Holzer, among others. Those were glory days for the famous Colab projects, such as Just Another Asshole, The Real Estate Show and The Times Square Show. He also helped establish the non-profit cultural space ABC No Rio, where exhibitions were animated by political purpose. In the early 1980s, his art consisted of dense post-minimalist gray graphite drawings (that were sometimes photo-mechanically enlarged), of sculpture, of photographs, and of musique concrète audio collages. In 1983, he co-founded the famous avant-garde art music project Tellus Audio Cassette Magazine. In 1984, he created an opera called XS: The Opera Opus (1984-6) with the no wave musical composer Rhys Chatham that was presented in Boston and New York. In 1986, Nechvatal began using computer-robotics to make conceptual paintings. Some were exhibited at Documenta VIII in 1987. In 1992, when he was artist-in-residence at the Louis Pasteur Atelier in Arbois and at the Saline royale d’Arc-et-Senans, he created computer virus codes that he used as an artistic tool. This work was a reflection on his personal experiences of risk and loss with the AIDS epidemic. In 1999, he earned his doctorat in the philosophy of aesthetics and technology in England and soon wrote two art theory books: Towards an Immersive Intelligence and Immersion Into Noise. In 2001, he extended his initial experimentations into the virus as an artistic painterly tool in a series of artificial life works. These works include various series of paintings, animations, and a lengthy audio composition entitled viral symphOny. He has created a series of virus-based themed exhibitions of artificial life paintings and animation projections that explore the fragility and fluidity of the human body. You can follow him on Twitter at @twinkletwink Homepage:
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