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.

Hazziza Abdullah
Hazziza Abdullah
Wendy is a Self-taught Collage Artist. The main focus of her Mixed Media Collage Work is to intermingle the old with the new. I push boundaries to create & discover different processes in which to incorporate images of older, more worn items with newer ones into my work, all for the purpose of creating one fluid, mystical image of beauty.
Wendy Raskas Greenberg
Wendy Raskas Greenberg

Wendy is a Self-taught Collage Artist. The main focus of her Mixed Media Collage Work is to intermingle the old with the…

Wendy is a Self-taught Collage Artist. The main focus of her Mixed Media Collage Work is to intermingle the old with the new. I push boundaries to create & discover different processes in which to incorporate…

Wendy is a Self-taught Collage Artist. The main focus of her Mixed Media Collage Work is to intermingle the old with the new. I push boundaries to create & discover different processes in which to incorporate images of older,…

Susan White
Susan White
Rick Salafia
Rick Salafia
City Landscapes that bring illuminated images of the past buildings and invisible history and juxtaposed them with the current images of the city and the new developments to create mystified urban environments.
Maria R. Schneider
Maria R. Schneider

City Landscapes that bring illuminated images of the past buildings and invisible history and juxtaposed them with the current…

City Landscapes that bring illuminated images of the past buildings and invisible history and juxtaposed them with the current images of the city and the new developments to create mystified urban environments.…

City Landscapes that bring illuminated images of the past buildings and invisible history and juxtaposed them with the current images of the city and the new developments to create mystified urban environments.…

previous arrow
next arrow