Making Space. The Performativity of Embodied Networks, or the Big Question: Can Third Spaces Benefit from Institutional Structures?

Liat Berdugo
Elia Vargas
Nicole Lavelle
Charlie Macquarie
Lisa Rybovich Crallé

Selected by Open Call
Organized by Living Room Light Exchange

For the past three years, the Living Room Light Exchange (LRLX) has been using the ubiquity of living rooms in Silicon Valley as a tool to disarm art practice within institutions. Once a month, LRLX hosts three artists in a different living room throughout the Bay Area and via its new satellite Exchanges in New York City, Tel Aviv, and Paris. The Light Exchange proclaims that, in a time of new media, place is more important than ever. By shifting the politics of the artist talk, the panel discussion, or the keynote into the intimate setting of artists’ living rooms, LRLX interrogates the role non-institutional places that function as venues for critical engagement with the nature of media, boundaries and culture.

This workshop hones in on the question the Light Exchange has been asking for the past three years: if institutions function as financial gatekeepers and cultural tastemakers, and artists rely on them as consumers of their labor, how can we as cultural producers benefit from institutional structures when working outside them is a critical part of one’s practice?

The proposed working group interrogates these questions via a special Light Exchange salon to be held on-site, with three organizations from the San Francisco Bay Area that all choose to practice outside of institutions. The working group will be facilitated like a Light Exchange, with three lightning-quick presentations followed by dialogue with the community in attendance. Our goal will be to group dialogue that explores how to work with institutions as a third space, how to build embodied networks, how to stay grounded in place while flowing through digital space, and other questions aimed towards expanding models of criticality and intimacy in place.

Partnering organizations will be:

Living Room Light Exchange (Liat Berdugo + Elia Vargas).
The Living Room Light Exchange is a monthly salon dedicated to new media art forms. Each month, Elia Vargas and Liat Berdugo invite three artists to present their work in rotating living rooms across the Bay Area. A discussion—in couches, drinks in hand—follows.

Place Talks (Nicole Lavelle + Charlie Macquarie).
Place Talks is a platform for performative research, and a dynamic framework for location-oriented inquiry. Place Talks manifests as a series of visual lectures that occurs at the Prelinger Library in San Francisco, in which Bay Area artists, writers, designers, architects, archivists, librarians (and other curious people) share talks on location-related topics, illustrated by content from the Prelinger Library's rich collection.

Heavy Breathing (Sophia Wang + Lisa Rybovich Cralle).
Heavy Breathing is a monthly series of experimental movement seminars designed by artists that combine physical activity with group discussion on ideas related to their creative practice. Critical discourse often feels heady, abstract, and divorced from the body. How do conversations change when we are moving our bodies and out of breath? What new modes of thinking become possible?

We intend this working group to offer Common Field the opportunity to experiment with different models of institutional collaboration, co-creation of the Light Exchange dialogic theory.