New York Conversations

Nico Dockx, Rirkrit Tiravanija, Anton Vidokle

This video is no longer available

New York Conversations (still), 2010.

Staff picks New York Conversations
Nico Dockx, Rirkrit Tiravanija, Anton Vidokle

64 Minutes

Staff Picks

October 1-31, 2021

For most of its existence, e-flux has been based on the Lower East Side—an immigrant neighborhood that has been populated by successive waves of migration from Eastern Europe, Latin America, and China during the past century or more. e-flux has drawn inspiration for many of its projects from the distinctly mercantile character of this part of New York, once home to many progressive presses and theaters. This coming October, e-flux will be moving to Brooklyn, drawing to a close nearly two decades of our presence and work in Manhattan.

To reflect on this change, we leave you with an unusual film made at a former e-flux storefront on Essex Street. Titled New York Conversations, this film was shot in the summer of 2008. It documents three days of public conversations between artists, critics, curators, and a free-floating public. For the occasion, our storefront at the time was converted into an improvised kitchen and canteen, open to anyone who wanted to join.

The talks and food were organized by Rirkrit Tiravanija, Nico Dockx, and Anton Vidokle in response to an invitation by Belgian art journal A Prior to be the subject of one of their issues. Instead of commissioning essays or producing artwork to be printed in the journal, the artists decided to rethink the structure by which an art publication is produced, and to attempt to do this discursively in a public setting. The film is a subjective record of these conversations, which explored topics ranging from questions concerning precarious and immaterial labor in the field of art, to more immediate questions concerning whether what was taking place throughout the course of the event was in fact an artwork.

Shot on 8mm film and accompanied by music by Morton Feldman, the film is also a kind of a love letter to this neighborhood, long left behind by the modernization of New York but also at moment when the process of gentrification was just getting started. And this feels even more poignant over a decade later…

The film is presented as the October 2021 edition of e-flux’s monthly video and film series Staff picks.

With: Francisca Benitez, Nico Dockx, Daniel Faust, Media Farzin, Liam Gillick, Egon Hanfstingl, Jörg Heiser, Steven Kaplan, Shama Khanna, Anders Kreuger, Miwon Kwon, Valerie Mannaerts, Sis Matthé, Molly Nesbit, Hadley Nunes, Saul Ostrow, Marti Peran, Simon Rees, Els Roelandt, Dieter Roelstraete, Martha Rosler, Joe Scanlan, Maxwel Stephen, Monika Szewczyk, Rirkrit Tiravanija, Jan Verwoert, Anton Vidokle, Lawrence Weiner, Andrea Wiarda, Louwrien Wijers, and others

Edited by Ken Kobland

For more information, contact program [​at​] e-flux.com.

Contemporary Art, Film
Video Art, Documentary, Food & Cooking, Discourse, Gentrification, Publishing
Return to Staff Picks

Nico Dockx is an artist, writer, curator, publisher, and researcher working out of a fundamental and an ever curious preoccupation with living archives.

Rirkrit Tiravanija is an artist living and working in New York, Berlin, and Chiang Mai. Since the 1990s, he has aligned his artistic production with an ethic of social engagement, often inviting viewers to inhabit and activate his work.

Anton Vidokle is an editor of e-flux journal.

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