THE FUN Conference on Nightlife as Social Practice

THE FUN Conference on Nightlife as Social Practice

Museum of Arts and Design (MAD)

#TOP8, Documentation from #TOP 8 FRIENDS, 2012, Social Multimedia. Image Courtesy of the Artist.
October 28, 2013
THE FUN Conference on Nightlife as Social Practice

November 8–10, 2013

Museum of Arts and Design
2 Columbus Circle
New York, NY 10019

Launched in 2011, The Museum of Art and Design’s THE FUN Fellowship in the Social Practice of Nightlife has championed NYC artists working in nightlife. Elevating this under-supported practice through individual cash awards, THE FUN Fellowship not only gives these artists the opportunity to develop their own practices, but also seeks to raise awareness and spark dialogue around nightlife as an art form.

Marking the third anniversary of this innovative program, MAD is pleased to present THE FUN Conference on Nightlife as Social Practice. Occurring over the course of a weekend, THE FUN Conference on Nightlife as Social Practice explores the growing dialogue around participatory, social, and collaborative arts practices and their relation to nightlife.

Presented in tandem with the publication of the book THE FUN: The Social Practice of Nightlife in NYC, edited by Jake Yuzna, Director of Public Programs, THE FUN Conference gathers together a variety of voices in nightlife to explore the intersection and positioning of nightlife in relation to social class, New York City, other participatory practices, and the fine arts.


Full Conference Pass: 45 USD General, 30 USD for Students and Artists

Individual Panel: 12 USD General, 30 USD for Students and Artists



Friday, November 8

7pm - Keynote Speaker

Saturday, November 9

11am – The Pleasure Ritual

Within the context of the nightlife environment—constituted by a gathering, or collective body with powerful political potential—aspects of sound, fashion, and other visuals can be enhanced and diminished to create a space where the limits of language are mitigated and by aesthetic and chemical communication. Panelists will illustrate the ways in which the ritual form of the party might engender new political and aesthetic possibilities.

1pm – You Deserve a Drink Ticket! The Art of Hosting

Within the social turn lies the hospitable turn. The role of host, whether in a public, private, or semi-private setting, is predicated upon concern for both the aesthetic and ethical consideration of his or her guests. With consideration to the historical symbiosis between art and nightlife, and the contemporary correlation between hospitality and utopia, panelists will discuss the criteria upon which these practices might be artistically, politically, and sociologically considered and critiqued.

3pm – What Ever Happened to Flyers? Nightlife Post-Internet

Bringing together seasoned and emerging nightlife practitioners, What Ever Happened to Flyers?: Nightlife Post-Internet will address the impact of widespread internet-based party promotion on contemporary nightlife scenes. Speaking from various levels of engagement and familiarity with web-based and analog platforms, panelists will consider how information networks and digital social tools have altered NYC nightlife.

Sunday, November 10

11am – States of Excess and Undress: Fashion, Performance, and Taboo in Nightlife

To what extent can the dominant perceptions of nightlife and queer-friendly spaces as overly eroticized and overly hedonistic be attributed to the essentially non-normative, subcultural natures of these events and environments? Panelists will consider how nightlife art practices can affect the fundamental pathways for inscribing or erasing dichotomies between acceptable and taboo behaviors and lifestyles.

1pm – Brooklyn and Beyond: After the So-Called Death of Nightlife

Arguably, the most germane shift to NYC nightlife has been in its geographical dispersion, leaving this art form with a problem of nostalgia for supposed golden ages of nightlife past. Panelists, representing a variety of forms of engagement with nightlife, will address the so-called “death of nightlife,” discussing forms of innovation and evolution in nightlife practices, from the live/work space to the one-off event.

3pm – No Dancing Allowed: Government Regulation of Nightlife

Policies regulating nightlife in NYC, called cabaret laws, have a colorful history. Largely unenforced for decades until 1997, cabaret laws have since vastly impacted the landscape of nightlife programming throughout the city. The diverse panelists will include experts in public policy, law, hospitality, and nightlife production, to offer broad perspectives on the status of nightlife regulations and their impact on communities.

RSVP for THE FUN Conference on Nightlife as Social Practice
Museum of Arts and Design (MAD)
October 28, 2013

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