Art Spaces Archives Project at CAA 2007 [Press Release]

Posted August 05, 2010 by admin

Art Spaces Archives Project Announces a Panel Discussion
"The Transition / New Directors and Old Organizations: Creative
Approaches to Organizational Art History of the 1970s to the Present"
to be held at the College Art Association's 94th Annual Conference
February 15, 2007
Hilton New York, Rendezvous Trianon, 3rd Floor, New York City

The Art Spaces Archives Project [AS-AP] ( is pleased to announce a panel discussion entitled "The Transition / New Directors and Old Organizations: Creative Approaches to Organizational Art History of the 1970s to the Present," to be held at the College Art Association's 95th Annual Conference on February 15, 2007, from 12:30 PM to 2:00 PM in New York City at the Hilton New York, Rendezvous Trianon, 3rd Floor. (

The panel will feature Matthew Higgs, Heather Peterson, Debra Singer, and Benjamin Weil. Moderating the panel will be David Platzker, the Project Director of AS-AP, a non-profit initiative formed in 2003 to assess and survey the state of the archives of art spaces throughout the United States.

The presenters will investigate the history of four formative organizations: White Columns, Creative Time, The Kitchen, and Artists Space and how these histories have influenced their current programming and their organizations long-range planning plans and / or their organizational missions. Additionally, the panel will discuss the role their archival materials play in telegraphing, or revealing, underlying historic information about these organizations and the state of these archives.

The goal of the panel is two fold: first to encourage emerging scholars to engage with avant-garde / alternative organizations, and secondly to highlight how four directors are working with their respective organization's histories in developing new paradigms in alternative practices.

About the Featured Organizations and Panelists

Matthew Higgs, Executive Director / Chief Curator, White Columns
White Columns is New York's oldest alternative art space. It was founded in 1970 by artists Gordon Matta-Clark and Jeffrey Lew to present and uphold the most challenging and creative visual arts of under-supported artists. Originally called 112 Workshop, the gallery changed its name to White Columns when it moved locations in 1979. Since its inception, the gallery has been dedicated to supporting emerging contemporary artists in the presentation of museum quality exhibitions early in their careers. White Columns has exhibited the early works of such artists as Sue Williams, John Currin, Fred Wilson, Nayland Blake, Felix Gonzalez-Torres, Andres Serrano, Group Material, Act-Up, Allen McCollum, and Lorna Simpson. White Columns continues to be committed to seeking out and presenting today’s most significant contemporary art. White Columns webiste is located at:

Higgs is the Director and Chief Curator of White Columns since November 2004. He is an artist, writer and curator and has help previous positions as curator at the Wattis Institute for Contemporary Arts at the California College of the Arts (CCA) in San Francisco, and associate director of exhibitions at the Institute of Contemporary Arts (ICA) in London. Higgs has curated numerous exhibitions including City Racing 1988-1998: a partial account for the ICA, and Post No Bills for White Columns and has exhibited his own works at the Murray Guy Gallery, and Andrea Rosen Gallery in New York, and the Whitney Museum of American Art. A regular contributor to Artforum and Art Monthly, Higgs has contributed essays to exhibition catalogs for Rodney Graham (Whitechapel Art Gallery, London) and Dave Muller (Bard College and the Hammer Museum, Los Angeles).

Heather Peterson, Deputy Director, Creative Time
Founded in 1973, Creative Time has produced hundreds of innovative artists’ projects in the public realm. Based in New York City, this pioneering not for profit organization has made it their mission to initiate a dynamic conversation among artists, sites, and audiences, in projects that enliven public spaces with free and powerful expression. Offering both emerging and leading artists opportunities to create ambitious new works in and around New York City, the organization is recognized for the success of their projects which include Art in the Anchorage, exhibitions and performances in the historic Brooklyn Bridge Anchorage, the 59th Minute in Times Square, and Tribute in Light, the twin beams of light illuminating the former World Trade Center site six months after 9/11, in honor of the lives lost there. Among the thousands of artists who have worked with Creative Time over the past thirty three years are such luminaries as Doug Aitken, Vito Acconci, Andrea Fraser, Cai Guo Qiang, Felix Gonzalez-Torres, Jim Hodges, Jenny Holzer, and Shirin Neshat. Creative Time's website is located at:

Peterson joined Creative Time in 2003 after working as an art buyer for several advertising agencies and as a photo editor at Real Simple magazine. She has produced projects for the organization such as Blue Moon, a sound work in Battery Park City by the artistic team O+A; developed artist initiatives, including Open Door, a monthly, day-long series of artist brainstorming sessions, and Who Cares, a dinner series, publication, and RFP process for projects that address timely, socially-responsive issues; and works closely with Creative Time's President, Anne Pasternak, to direct strategic planning, build partnerships and bolster the management and infrastructure of the organization. Peterson guest lectures in public art courses at Parson’s School of Design and City College. She holds a BA with Honors from Vassar College and a MA in Modern Art and Curatorial Studies from Columbia University.

Debra Singer, Executive Director and Chief Curator, The Kitchen
The Kitchen is a non-profit, interdisciplinary organization that provides innovative artists working within and across the fields of music, dance, theater, video, film, new media arts, and literature with opportunities to create and present new work. Founded in 1971 as an artist collective, the Kitchen soon became a not-for-profit space where video artists, experimental composers, and performers could meet and share ideas. It thus was among the very first American institutions to embrace the then emergent fields of video and performance art and fostered an environment uniquely conducive to cross-disciplinary explorations. Today, The Kitchen is an internationally acclaimed arts institution still widely known for its commitment to experimental work as it continues to provide instrumental support for the early and mid-career development of artists. The Kitchen's website is located at:

Singer joined The Kitchen in August 2004 as Chief Curator and Executive Director. Prior to her appointment, Singer served as the Associate Curator of Contemporary Art at the Whitney Museum of American Art. During her tenure at the Museum, she was also the primary performance curator and organized a regular series of music, dance, literary, and performance events for both the Whitney and its midtown branch, the Whitney Museum at Altria. In addition, Singer organized the sound and performance selections for the 2002 Whitney Biennial, and was a co-curator of the 2004 Biennial Exhibition. A graduate of the Whitney Independent Study Program, Singer earned her MA in art history from the University of California, Santa Barbara, and her BA in political science from Princeton University.

Benjamin Weil, Executive Director, Artists Space
Founded in 1972, Artists Space was one of the first alternative visual art spaces in New York City. The mission of Artists Space is to encourage experimentation, diversity and dialogue in contemporary arts practice, provide an exhibition space for new art and artists, and foster an appreciation for the vital role that artists play in our community. One of New York’s oldest not-for-profit galleries, Artists Space continues to support young and emerging artists in the creation and presentation of new works. Artists Space achieves its mission through a range of services for visual artists including exhibitions, public programming, workshops, independent project grants, and maintenance of the Irving Sandler Artists File, one of the largest non-curated online artist registries. The website for Artists' Space is located at:

Weil was named Executive Director of Artists Space in April 2006. Founder of the digital art website äda web in the 1990’s and former new-media curator at San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA), Weil has curated numerous gallery and online exhibitions including 010101 online, and Matthew Barney: Drawing Restraint for SFMOMA. His writings have been published in various international publications including Flash Art International, Freize, and Art Monthly. Weil has also lectured extensively on the subjects of new-media and curatorial practices. Weil graduated from the Whitney Independent Study Program, New York, in 1989.

About Art Spaces Archives Project

Art Spaces Archives Project [AS-AP] is a non-profit initiative founded by a consortium of alternative art organizations, including Bomb Magazine, College Art Association, Franklin Furnace Archive, New York State Council on the Arts [NYSCA], New York State Artist Workspace Consortium, and The Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture, with a mandate to help preserve, present, and protect the archival heritage of living and defunct for- and not-for-profit spaces of the "alternative" or "avant-garde" movement of the 1950s to the present throughout the United States.

With funding provided by NYSCA, The National Endowment for the Arts, and the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, AS-AP has a mandate to begin the documenting process by rooting out both a national index of the avant-garde-assessing the needs for archiving and preservation-and helping to establish universal standards for archiving the avant-garde.

AS-AP's belief is beyond simply identifying the whereabouts of centers of activity. There is an underlying need to assess, catalogue, and preserve important formative materials for study by historians with a critical distance from the creation of the material itself.

AS-AP's website --
-- is a virtual resource and finding aid for locating the places and spaces of alternative and avant-garde activity. A central location for information pertaining to reservoirs of archives, tools to assist in archiving, and other aids for scholars interested in the alternative or avant-garde movement in the United States as well as for the locations of activity themselves.

In January 2007 AS-AP merged with the Center for Curatorial Studies and Art in Contemporary Culture [CCS] at Bard College in Annandale-on-Hudson, New York. For more information about CCS please visit

For additional information regarding the panel or AS-AP please contact David Platzker at or at (212) 330-7688.

For additional information regarding the College Art Association's 2007 Annual Conference please visit CAA's website: