Self-Organized Spaces on Their Own Terms

Vox Populi



Self-Organized Artist Spaces Conference: Remake/Remodel break out session with Dana Bishop-Roo of Transformazium, Ben Furgal of Magic Pictures, and Dave Kyu of Practice Gallery, 2013. Photo courtesy of Vox Populi.

Vox Populi, founded in 1988 as an artistic collective that supports the work of its members, teamed up with then-recently formed, Brooklyn-based curatorial collective Cleopatra's to explore the current role of artist-run spaces within the broader artistic community. The two groups surveyed and then convened founders of about 40 new alternative and artist-run spaces in New York, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, and Detroit, in order to foster a dialogue and identify points of connection and overlap. The discussion was originated by the members of the spaces themselves and not more seasoned academics, museum curators, or critics at a remove from the on-the-ground realities of running them, distinguishing this effort from other attempts in the field. Vox Populi, which has evolved over the years to support curated exhibitions as well as members' shows, is using the results of this process to inform and evaluate future directions for its programs and exhibitions.