Proteus Gowanus » sal randolph An interdisciplinary gallery and reading room Sat, 19 Sep 2015 22:40:30 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Opening Reception for Currency Fri, 29 Aug 2014 13:08:45 +0000 Saturday, September 6, 6-9pm

Join us for free wine, risky money making and magical money laundering at the opening of Currency, the first show of the COMMERCE theme year. Currency is an exhibition of art, artifacts and books examining the representation of value and its relation to social consensus. The exhibition includes displays of alternative currencies, artist-made currencies and art objects made from currency. We will also examine art’s role as a form of currency.

For Saturday’s opening, and at intervals throughout the show, there will also be a money-making demonstration by Hackett and Bronwen Densmore who will operate The Coin Press, a guillotine-like, human-powered contraption. You will be able to witness this two-person minting outfit press REAL and VALUABLE coins using copper, brass and a machine that was dreamed up and assembled on the banks of the Gowanus using objects that can best be described as LARGE, RUSTY, and DANGEROUS.

+trust no one       Dan Tague, Trust No One

The reception will also include the ceremonial witches Arielle Avenia and Violette Olympia, engaged for the evening to ritually cleanse your money of bad energy. Do not miss this opportunity to improve your life at this while-you-wait money laundering service. 

Currency participants include: Honey Brown, Makale Faber-Cullen, Dadara, Hackett and Bronwen Densmore, Rob Johnson, Hai Knafo, Poneros, Sal Randolph, Duke Riley, Jason Sinopoli, Swoon, Dan Tague, Mark Wagner and Caroline Woolard.

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Year-End Exhibition by Our Migration Residents Fri, 29 Jun 2012 21:01:48 +0000 Friday, July 6, 7pm
Free Wine and Conversation

Starting this past fall with the opening of our Migration year, Proteus Gowanus launched an onsite Artist-In-Residence program. We invited three individuals (two artists, one anthropologist) to produce work corresponding to our three Migration exhibitions. As the summary event of our yearlong Migration exploration, we invite you to join us for the opening reception of the Migration Residents Exhibition.

Lado Pochkhua opened the Migration year with a project using documentary photographs he took with an old camera and expired film he bought for pennies in a flea market in Tbilisi, Georgia. He moved to Tbilisi as a “displaced person” in 1993, escaping the civil war in his native Abkhazia. For the next ten years, he resided in a refugee settlement with other Abkhazians. “The old FED camera and film were sufficiently reliable equipment for what I wanted to do – become an observer, not just a participant, in refugee life.” Lado will exhibit the photos as a light box installation — small beacons of memory.

Our second resident was Sal Randolph, who makes art involving gift economies, social interaction and public spaces. She established the Bureau of Unknown Destinations at Proteus, inviting visitors to take home BUD packets containing instructions and a ticket to an unknown destination. The packets included a notebook to jot down thoughts and observations during their journeys. Sal will exhibit the delightful and various notebooks made by the BUD travelers.

Our final resident is anthropologist Eben Kirksey, who has hosted members of the Multispecies Salon during his stay at Proteus Gowanus while also developing the Utopia for the Golden Frog, an environment created from a discarded refrigerator for the Golden Frog, found today only is zoos. The Golden Frog’s extinction in the wild is believed to result from the widespread laboratory use of another frog, Xenopus laevia, which spread a fungus deadly to amphibians worldwide and which will be on exhibit at the gallery. Eben’s work as a biocultural anthropologist asks who benefits when species meet?

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Maud Casey & Sal Randolph: Wandering and Wondering Wed, 30 May 2012 18:32:24 +0000 Thursday, June 14, 7pm
$5 Admission

In partnership with the literary journal A Public Space, we are pleased to present Author Maud Casey and former Proteus artist-in-residence Sal Randolph in readings and discussion of the wonder of wandering and the process of unknowing. A Q&A will follow. Professor Jeff Dolven will moderate. Maud Casey’s “Stubborn Desire,” inspired by the case of fugue victim Albert Dadas, was published in Issue 15 of A Public Space. Sal Randolph’s Bureau of Unknown Destinations project, sponsored by Proteus Gowanus, sent 100 participants on day-long blind adventures.

Homemade cookies provided by A Public Space; beer provided by Brooklyn Brewery.

Maud Casey is the author of two novels, The Shape of Things to Come, a New York Times Notable Book of the Year, and Genealogy, a New York Times Editor’s Choice Book, and a collection of stories, Drastic. For selections from her current novel, she received the Calvino Prize.  Maud teaches in the MFA program at the University of Maryland and in the low-residency MFA program at Warren Wilson College.

Sal Randolph is an artist and theorist who works with issues of gift-giving, money, alternate economies, and social architecture. She founded the non-curated sound-exchange web project Opsound, which functions through the use of music released exclusively under a copyleft license. Other large-scale, collaborative projects created and implemented by Randolph include Free Manifesta and The Free Biennial, in which several hundred artists presented their work in free and open shows in New York and Frankfurt public spaces. Sal was artist-in-residence at Proteus Gowanus during the second show of our Migration year.

Jeff Dolven teaches Renaissance literature, poetry, and poetics at
Princeton University. He is the author of Scenes of Instruction (U of
Chicago Press) and a book of poems, Speculative Music (Sarabande,
forthcoming), and he is an editor at large at Cabinet magazine.


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Bureau Party for Travelers Tue, 27 Mar 2012 14:08:16 +0000 Saturday, March 31, 4-6pm

The Bureau of Unknown Destinations will be having a small celebration for all the adventurous souls who have traveled to unknown destinations over the past months.

Travelers' Notebooks

Please join Sal Randolph, Migration Artist-In-Residence, at Proteus to raise a glass of wine, meet other voyagers and see some of the marvelous notebooks and artifacts which have been returned to the Bureau.

No RSVP needed, friends welcome.

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The Bureau of Unknown Destinations Wed, 11 Jan 2012 20:44:50 +0000 As part of our yearlong Migration theme, the Bureau of Unknown Destinations will offer temporary displacements to members of the public seeking to experiment with their migratory impulses, starting January 12, 7pm.  Make a booking for a day’s journey, and you’ll be presented with a free round trip ticket for a train adventure (along with a notebook and a small, somewhat absurd, task). Begin your day by tearing open a sealed envelope and revealing the mystery of where you will find yourself by noon.  Set forth, free of decisions, into the great (or perhaps, in this case, the small) unknown. Test your sense of destiny. Have lunch someplace new.

Book your travel up to two weeks in advance at the Bureau’s offices, located at Proteus Gowanus.  Offices are open most Saturdays 1-5, as well as irregularly on other days, and always by appointment.

The Bureau of Unknown Destinations is part of a three month artist’s residency by Sal Randolph at Proteus Gowanus, extending through mid-April. Proteus Gowanus is an interdisciplinary gallery and reading room located on the shores of the Gowanus canal in Brooklyn. Their yearlong theme is Migration.


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Do You Have an Object with a Migratory Story? Tue, 22 Nov 2011 01:51:20 +0000 When we think about migration (as we have been doing all year), we tend to focus on people and creatures, the mobile inhabitants of the planet. But life and motion create products and byproducts: tools, waste, the implements of culture. These are often the things that drive us onward in our migrations. Their stories are ineluctably connected with our own. At the points where our stories intersect with objects, much is revealed, not only about our personal trajectories but also about our precarious relationship with the environment.

We sent out the following message: Do you have an object whose story you would like to share? An heirloom, an artwork, a toothbrush, a stone? An object which has inspired you, dominated you, educated you, exalted or degraded you? For our second exhibition of the Migration year, we invite you to lend us your object and include with it everything you know about it. We are especially interested in the part of the story that is the object’s alone: it’s history as material, as an economic entity, as waste, or as the impetus for other migratory tales.

This query brought us over 50 objects which are the jumping off point for a three-month exploration of the Migration of Objects.

The objects on display range from a 50 million year old “dinosaur fart” (or gas bubble) to a collection of wild bird’s stomach contents collected in the early 20th C for “scientific” purposes. There are also talismans, mundane objects with secret meanings, things of beauty and much more.

We will view them as independent beings with stories of their own, stories that began before the object’s encounter with its current owner and that will likely continue long after they part. The stories may migrate into the economic, the industrial, the political, the historical, the geologic, the environmental and so on as visitors add to the stories on display with information they may have about the object in question.

This object submitted by our collaborators, Friends of the Pleistocene, has a story in which we humans barely figure at all.


The Object Show is presented by Proteus Gowanus with curatorial assistance from the artist Sal Randolph, creator of the Free Biennale, Free Manifesta, Free Words and Manifesta, and from Smudge Studio, creator of the book Geologic City: A Field Guide to the GeoArchitecture of New York, exploring the convergence of the geologic and the human, and of  Friends of the Pleistocene. Sal will also be our Artist-In-Residence for the duration of the Objects Show. We also wish to thank Twig Terraria, on 4th Ave and President, for assisting us with our display by providing glass terraria.



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