ABOUT THE FREE BIENNIAL
A USER'S GUIDE
INDEX OF PROJECTS
TO FREE CULTURE
FREE BIENNIAL PRESS PACKET PDF (1.6MB)
(includes preview images)
NEW YORK. Thursday, March 7, 2002.
Over 200 artists from around the world are joining to create the first
Free Biennial which will take place in New York during the month of April,
2002 (April 2-30).
The Free Biennial is an open exhibition of nonmonetary (free) artwork
which will take place throughout the public space of greater New York,
as well as on the internet, by broadcast, mail and telephone.
Among more than 200 participating artists are Peter Coffin, Lauren Ewing,
Rainer Ganahl, Joy Garnett, Kenneth Goldsmith, Ellen Harvey, Robin Kahn
& Kirby Gookin, Jenny Marketou, Patrick Meagher, Simon Morris, Christopher
Musgrave, and Will Pappenheimer, curator/artists Coralee Lynn Rose, Jonathan
Van Dyke and Gavin Wade, sound artists Erik Belgum, Calum Stirling, and
W. Mark Sutherland, internet artists Robert Cottet, Antoine Moreau, Eryk
Salvaggio, Stanza and Jaka Zeleznikar, poets Michael Coffey, Craig Dworkin,
Richard Kostelanetz, Loudmouth Collective, and Aram Saroyan, novelist
Michael Cunningham and critics Hannah Higgens and Marjorie Perloff.
Artworks, many created especially for the Free Biennial, will include
public installations, performances, interactions & interventions,
broadcasts, giveaways, studio & apartment shows, flash movies, downloads,
net art, video screenings and listening salons. Artists are participating
from New York, across the United States, and from countries around the
world including Argentina, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Canada,
France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Japan, Romania, Spain, and the United
public space of the city offers an exciting context for making art,
says organizer Sal Randolph. Artists have responded with projects
that infiltrate and enliven the visual environment of streets and sidewalks,
and which intervene in the power structures we take for granted in urban
The Free Biennial extends the idea of public space to include the broadcast
airwaves, the mail and telephone systems, and the internet. It is
not surprising, says Randolph, that a third of the works in
the Free Biennial make use of systems and infrastrucures which enable
communication. Internet pioneers in particular have claimed the internet
and the web as public space. Nonmonetary art forms thrive in that kind
of intellectual and political environment.
Nonmonetary, in this context, means that no money changes hands,
explains Randolph, but the free in Free Biennial implies
more than that. The art biennials we usually see are all about control
-- about selecting and regulating what we experience. And theres
an anxiety that always underlies control: the fear that we cant
bear to be free. The deepest democratic ideals of our country protect
our civil liberties, our freedom of speech and expression. It is up to
us as citizens to find ways to not only tolerate that freedom, but to
Wednesday, January 23, 2002
YORK. This spring New York will host a different kind of art biennial,
The Free Biennial.
The Free Biennial is an exhibition of free art in public spaces, open
to any artist who wishes to participate. It will be held in New York during
the month of April, 2002 (April 2 April 30, 2002).
Functioning both as an exhibition, and as a situational artwork, The Free
Biennial is a project of artist Sal Randolph who says: Its
an experiment in presenting a show which is completely democratic and
unedited. Theres always an element of the unpredictable when you
open the doors.
In an increasingly crowded field of international art expositions, the
Free Biennial offers a new artistic situation, both for the viewer and
the participating artist. For the artist, the Free Biennial eliminates
the selection process the curator as gatekeeper or filter. It puts
the question of participation in the hands of the artist, and throws open
the question of value.
For the viewer, the safety of traditional curatorship and spectacle is
removed, allowing an experience which is more direct, raw, and intimate.
The city is transformed into a place of potential where any encounter
could be an artistic one. Armed with a map and the idea that art might
be anywhere, the viewer is invited to step into the shoes of what Baudelaire
and the Situationists called the flâneur, the wanderer, ready to
Its a new way of looking at public space, says organizer
Sal Randolph. Weve gotten used to seeing public space as either
institutional or commercial. Here is a way for artists and viewers to
operate together as as citizens, engaged with the life of the city. It
holds out possibility for the values of generosity and civility, which
we are so in need of at this time.
Theres plenty of free artwork out there, Randolph adds,
but theres very little context in which to show it. Its
one of the hidden art movements of our time. This show aims to provide
a context which will make the underground gift economy of art more visible.
Randolphs other recent projects have included FREE
WORDS in which 2,000 copies
of a free book are being infiltrated into bookstores and libraries worldwide.
RESOLUTION IMAGES FOR PRINT ARE AVAILABLE TO THE PRESS.
SAL RANDOLPH FOR DETAILS.