Forum: The In/Visibility of Political Art and Toronto Book Launch of Byproduct

Forum: The In/Visibility of Political Art and Toronto Book Launch of Byproduct

YYZ Books

April 12, 2011

Please join us for an evening of talks, discussion and drinks to launch the new book Byproduct: On the Excess of Embedded Art Practices edited by Marisa Jahn and reflect on the themes of The Power Plant’s current exhibitions.

6 PM Lakeside Terrace, Harbourfront Centre

Drawing on the themes of the anthology, as well as The Power Plant’s current exhibitions by Thomas Hirschhorn and Iñigo Manglano-Ovalle, guest speakers will reflect on the question of visibility in political art practices. What is the role of images or objects in current political artmaking when many artists are choosing to work covertly, even invisibly? And do these more “embedded” practices only gain meaning when they become visible? Must production leave a trace to be effective? Moderated by Curator & Head of Programs Melanie O’Brian, the event will see Byproduct editor Marisa Jahn present on the anthology and critic/art historian Claire Bishop speak about her research in this field, specifically on Thomas Hirschhorn’s past public projects.

8 PM The Power Plant
The forum will be followed by a FREE reception launching Byproduct at The Power Plant. In attendance will be the honourable Miss Canadiana, who appears courtesy of outerregion.


The editor of Byproduct, Marisa Jahn is an artist, writer and co-founder of REV-, a non-profit organization that fosters socially-engaged art, design and pedagogy. A graduate from MIT, Jahn’s work has been presented internationally and she is currently embedded in Street Vendor Project, a vendor advocacy organization, and People’s Production House, a journalism training and production institute.

Claire Bishop is Associate Professor in the PhD Program in Art History at CUNY Graduate Center, New York, and Visiting Professor in the Curating Contemporary Art department at the Royal College of Art, London. Her publications include Installation Art: A Critical History (2005) and the edited anthology Participation (2006). She is a regular contributor to Artforum, and her second monograph, Artificial Hells: Participatory Art and the Politics of Spectatorship, will be published by Verso in 2011.

Co-presented with YYZBOOKS and REV-

The Power Plant Contemporary Art Gallery | 231 Queens Quay West, Toronto, Ontario, Canada

About the book:

Byproduct presents texts from a variety of artists, activists, curators, and interdisciplinary thinkers that interrogate projects by cultural practitioners “embedded” in industries, the government, and other non-art sectors. Working with the physical systems and symbolic languages of these institutions, these cultural agents develop projects—or “byproducts”—that produce meaning contingent on their hosts. Whether the works are explicitly polemical or instrumentalized by their hosts is up for debate…

A Constructed World, Tejpal S. Ajji, Allan Antliff, Paul Ardenne, Grant Arnold, Artist Placement Group (Barbara Steveni), Au Travail / At Work, Gina Badger, Kadambari Baxi, Ingrid Baxter, IAIN BAXTER&, Claire Bishop, Adam Bobbette, Lawrence Bogad, Andrew Boyd, John Seely Brown, Ian Clarke, Maureen Connor, Natalie De Vito, Joseph del Pesco, Connor Dickie, Peter Eleey, Experiments in Art and Technology, Kent Hansen (democratic innovation), Kate Henderson, Luis Jacob, Michelle Jacques, Janez Jansa, Janes Jansa, Janes Jansa, Tomas Jonsson, Lev Kreft, Michelle Kuo, Lisa Larson-Walker, Adam Lauder, Kristin Lucas, Steve Mann, Antanas Mockus, Amish Morrell, Joshua Moufawad-Paul, Darren O’Donnell, Michael Page, Kathleen Pirrie-Adams, Reverend Billy (Billy Talen and Savitri D.), Pedro Reyes, John Searle, Michel Serres, Josephine Berry Slater, Matthew Soules, Felicity Tayler, The Yes Men, Vincent Trasov (Mr. Peanut), Camille Turner (Miss Canadiana), Etienne Turpin and DT Cochrane, Merve Ünsal, Pauline van Mourik Broekman, Stephen Wright

YYZBOOKS is an alternative Canadian press dedicated to critical writing on art and culture

REV- is a non-profit organization that furthers socially-engaged art, design, and pedagogy

This project is made possible with support from Canada Council for the Arts, Artexte (Montreal), MIT Media Lab Tangible Media Group, Luke Lozier (Bibliopolis).

Image above:
Left to right: Ryan Hines (designer), “‘Byproduct’ book cover”, 2010; Camille Turner, “Miss Canadiana in Dakar, Senegal”, 2004, photo by Wayne Dunkley; Vincent Trasov, “Mr. Peanut at Vancouver City Hall”, 1974, photo by Taki Bluesinger; Antanas Mockus, “‘Super Citizen’ campaigning for civic culture in Bogotá”, circa 2008, image from Courrier International.

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April 12, 2011

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