[artinfo] Future Nomad

Caitlin Masley caitlinmasley at yahoo.com
Wed Jan 3 16:52:42 CET 2007

Future Nomad
January 5-28, 2007
Opening Reception: Friday, January 5, 6-11pm
Gallery Talk: Friday, January 5, 6:30pm
Gallery Hours: Wednesday - Sunday, 12-6pm

Vox Populi Gallery
1315 Cherry Street, 4th floor
Philadelphia, PA 19107

Future Nomad is a post-script to the urban nomad movement of the 1960s
and 1970s when self-conscious design culture was made accessible to
the uninitiated through publications like Ken Isaacs' How to Build
Your Own Living Structure. Artists in Future Nomad have produced
artworks  sculptural, architectural, interventionist, diagrammatic,
and conceptual  to put forward formal and aesthetic responses to new
modes of mobility in a globalized age. Initially inspired by a series
of books from the early seventies entitled Nomadic Furniture 1 & 2,
the exhibition includes nomadic structures that take up minimalism,
adaptable architecture, religious observance, geographic boundaries,
and territorial claims. In their introduction to the first edition of
Nomadic Furniture, authors Victor Papanek and James Hennessey suggest
the scale of the human body as the starting point for developing
furniture designs, which is how several artists in the exhibition
began their projects. Although Nomadic Furniture and How to Build Your
Own Living Structures contributed to a wider appreciation for the
urban nomad movement, the idealism of this design trajectory has been
undoubtedly eclipsed by the mass production of designer consumer goods
and new technological and political conditions. Even so, Papanek,
Hennesey, and Isaacs' designs are all too familiar; their templates
can be found in high and low design culture, from the artwork of
Andrea Zittel to Ikea furniture designs.

Lieven de Boeck (Belgium), Carlos Bunga (Portugal), Caitlin Masley
(New York), R. Scott Mitchell (California), Brian O'Connell (New
York) in collaboration with Daniel Reisman (Minnesota), Shinique Smith
 (New York), Saso Sedlacek (Slovenia), Alessandro Nassiri Tabibzadeh
(Italy), and vydavy sindikat (New York) have made artworks that have
modular, portable, and collapsible qualities, taking into account living
conditions of the 21st Century. Artists in the exhibition have generally
chosen to work with found, recycled, and cheap materials to highlight
how the reconfiguration of everyday life  from urban development to
shifting borders  augments our experience of mobility. Some artists
in the exhibition address the repetition of the built environment's design,
while others express optimism about the possibilities afforded by mobility,
and several artworks capture the confusion produced by forced movements
from one urban center to another. The exhibition also features a Relaxation
Cube based on a Nomadic Furniture design, built by Philadelphia based
designers Keith Wilkins and Paul Mangan. Scheduled as Vox Populi's
final show in the Gilbert Building on Cherry Street, Future Nomad is an
appropriate sendoff  as the gallery prepares for its next venue. Future
has been curated by Sara Reisman.

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