Reaching New Audiences at City Hall

With a temporary move to City Hall, the artists of Little Berlin, Extra Extra and FLUXspace leave their Kensington neighborhoods to form The Department of Alternative Affairs. Serving as an exhibition and workspace, the DAA is located within the Office of Arts, Culture, and the Creative Economy. On view until July 29, the fictitious organization exposes new audiences to each group’s interest in social practice and institutional critique.

With a website, ID badges for each artist, and fake insignia, The Department of Alternative Affairs takes on the look of an official government organization. Situated within a clerical office setting, the artists of Little Berlin create an installation complete with filing cabinets, a dry erase board, potted plants, and office furniture. The dry eraser board provides information about the DAA’s mission, and free reading materials such as issues of artist member Dan Murphy’s Megawords magazine provide a greater understanding of Little Berlin’s interests. Visitors are also invited to submit work for the author-LESS-ity project, a publicly curated exhibition that will be held at City Hall.

Each Monday, a member of Extra Extra dons a ceremonial robe while performing a meditation ritual. With a looping video of collapsing structures descending into disorder, and a beaten, metal oil drum corroding in a pool of water, the performance mocks solutions for greater office productivity and well-being.

FLUXspace provides a collection of microfilms of the New York Times, dating from the newspaper’s inception in 1851 to 2008, for viewers’ perusal. Complete with a machine for viewing and take-away instructions that detail its operation, the project allows each day’s news to be viewed in an archival form that closely matches its original state. Unlike digital versions, articles are laid out as they originally appeared and advertisements remain intact. Hoping to keep this information from being lost, the artists want to raise awareness of the benefits of preserving the technology, and they are currently looking for someone to preserve the collection.

By educating a new public about their respective spaces, the artists in The Department of Alternative Affairs introduce visitors to artist-run organizations and the types of projects artists are initiating. With a mantra of “Art in the pursuit of good” and a government sanctioned appearance, each space seems to underscore the importance of artists and their potential for social betterment.

Jessica Demcsak creates sculptural paintings on various types of wood that focus on the rise of storms due to climate change. Most of her subject matter is architectural in nature however she lalso breaks down the various elements into abstract line and shape. Demcsak photographs places that have endured catastrophic storms and uses them in her paintings such as Hurricane Katrina, Sandy, and Maria.
Jessica Demcsak
Jessica Demcsak

Jessica Demcsak creates sculptural paintings on various types of wood that focus on the rise of storms due to climate change.…

Jessica Demcsak creates sculptural paintings on various types of wood that focus on the rise of storms due to climate change. Most of her subject matter is architectural in nature however she lalso breaks…

Jessica Demcsak creates sculptural paintings on various types of wood that focus on the rise of storms due to climate change. Most of her subject matter is architectural in nature however she lalso breaks down the various…

DeMelas/Checchia the collaborative work of InLiquid artist members Pete Checchia and Anthony DeMelas.
DeMelas / Checchia
DeMelas / Checchia

DeMelas/Checchia the collaborative work of InLiquid artist members Pete Checchia and Anthony DeMelas.…

DeMelas/Checchia the collaborative work of InLiquid artist members Pete Checchia and Anthony DeMelas.…

DeMelas/Checchia the collaborative work of InLiquid artist members Pete Checchia and Anthony DeMelas.…

Ada Trillo is an interdisciplinary artist who primarily focuses on documentary photography.  Her work is included in the Philadelphia Museum of Art's permanent collection.  Having grown-up in Juarez, Mexico, she is deeply troubled by the social problems affecting women of the border towns. An example of Trillo’s work is a photo documentary exposé of low-cost sex workers in Mexico. The series includes a collection of photos taken in the brothels there, deglamorizing prostitution and showing the dehumanizing conditions of their work. Trillo’s photographs have been featured in several major press outlets -  and was recently selected Best Series in the Black and White International Awards.  She studied in Italy and Philadelphia, and her work has been shown in solo, and group exhibitions. Trillo lectures at conferences and universities, regarding women’s issues and human trafficking.  She is currently working on a series that tackles the issues surrounding immigration and the Honduran Caravan.
Ada Trillo
Ada Trillo

Ada Trillo is an interdisciplinary artist who primarily focuses on documentary photography. Her work is included in the…

Ada Trillo is an interdisciplinary artist who primarily focuses on documentary photography. Her work is included in the Philadelphia Museum of Art's permanent collection. Having grown-up in Juarez, Mexico,…

Ada Trillo is an interdisciplinary artist who primarily focuses on documentary photography. Her work is included in the Philadelphia Museum of Art's permanent collection. Having grown-up in Juarez, Mexico, she is deeply…

Patricia Moss‑Vreeland
Patricia Moss‑Vreeland
Kathy is a visual artist who works in a variety of media, including painting, printmaking and collage. She creates surfaces that manipulate our perception of figures and spaces, with breaks in logical forms and competing perspectives.
Kathy Loev Putnam
Kathy Loev Putnam

Kathy is a visual artist who works in a variety of media, including painting, printmaking and collage. She creates surfaces…

Kathy is a visual artist who works in a variety of media, including painting, printmaking and collage. She creates surfaces that manipulate our perception of figures and spaces, with breaks in logical…

Kathy is a visual artist who works in a variety of media, including painting, printmaking and collage. She creates surfaces that manipulate our perception of figures and spaces, with breaks in logical forms and competing…

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