November 1st, 2013
6 – 10 PM
ARTISTS: Gary (GayWee), Dick Moccasin, jpëgg, Snuggleuptogus, Mixed White, SamE, Lentls, Hannibal Saint Clarice, noname, and Pudgie
As part of CITYWIDE, Vox Populi will present a collaborative project by its members, Fort Thunder Attaks…Again!, at Space 1026. This exhibition and series of programs was conceived of by a group of Vox Populi’s member artists as a reworking of a 1998 exhibition presented at Space 1026 by the Providence based collective Fort Thunder. Vox Populi proposed recreating an exhibition from Space 1026’s archive they felt “defined them,” and Space 1026 chose Fort Thunder Attaks!.
In the past months, Vox members have contacted members from Fort Thunder and Space 1026 who participated in the original exhibition. In addition to speaking with artists, Vox members researched archives online, which resulted in a somewhat disjointed perception of events and histories. Since Fort Thunder existed at a moment when artist spaces began relying more on online documentation and less on printed material, the majority of resources gathered online replicated surfing the Internet from the late 90’s: searching chat rooms, comic reviews, PDFs, youtube and the WayBack Machine Internet Archive. Members uploaded both inspirational and factual images related to Fort Thunder on ftthundy.tumblr.com, which aided in the production of the installation at Space 1026. Vox’s recreation of the exhibition emulates the spirit of both Space 1026 and Fort Thunder while posing questions about history and memory, individual versus collective activity. From the beginning, Vox’s exhibition mimicked Fort Thunder’s philosophy that the individual artist was no longer present, egos were minimized, and aesthetics were unified under a collective identity. Fort Thunder was an artist collective working out of a warehouse in the Olneyville neighborhood of Providence, Rhode Island, much like Philadelphia’s own rapidly developing neighborhoods. From 1995 through 2001, Fort Thunder artists produced comics, comic tabloids (Paper Rodeo), screenprints, and bands (Lightning Bolt and Forcefield), and hosted events within the same vein. Fort Thunder gained international recognition when members from Forcefield participated in the 2002 Whitney Biennial. Space 1026, a Philadelphia based collective and Fort Thunder regularly collaborated and exchanged programming throughout the 1990s.
The 1998 exhibition at Space 1026 was their first exchange exhibition and featured work that reflected Fort Thunder’s usual maximalist, comic and skateboardinspired aesthetic. Space 1026 was transformed into a funhouse featuring a mannequin with a violin dressed in a neon, patterned, camouflagelike mashup of fabrics, a huge seesaw, and walls plastered with posters and comic art.
A Night of Noise, Drums, and Wrestling
Friday, November 8, 6 to 11 pm
A celebration of the completion of the exhibition Fort Thunder Attaks…Again! Sound Fort, curated by Catherine Pancake (aka Pudgie) will take place from 6 to 8 pm and feature invited sound artists to perform within the Sound Fort. From 8 to 9 pm, performances will take place within the Drum Fort, designed by Gary (GayWee). Drummers Taylor Baldwin and Laris Kreslins play halfhour improvised drum sessions. Wrestling will commence from 9 to 11 pm. Recalling Fort Thunder’s overthetop costumed wrestling antics, Vox Populi will host Battle of the Artist Collectives! The headlining match will feature collectives Little Berlin and Vox Populi. Artist collectives challenge each other to wrestling matches to become “Heavyweight Champion of the Philadelphia Art Scene.” Visitors who are not in an artist collective but want to wrestle are invited but must be in costume. [Remember, wrestling is not real fighting.]
Philly Comix Jam at Fort Thunder at Space 1026
Tuesday, November 19, 8 to 11 pm
Philly Comix Jam is an open group established in 2008 comprised of comics artists who meet at a bar once a month for a comic jam. During a comic jam, many comic artists collaborate on one comic: traditionally, an improvised narrative from page to page. Philly Comix Jam repurposes this process from panel to panel. In addition to comics jamming, there will be refreshments and streaming music via Fort Thunder’s website from 2001. Bring your own favorite drawing tool: fountain pen, rapidograph, brush pen, sharpie, etc. Paper is provided.
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This November 2013, more than 23 artistrun artist collectives in Philadelphia are banding together for a cross-collaborative multivenue exchange to celebrate the impressive population our city has of artistrun entities! This month long celebration of Philadelphia contemporary art that will include performances, panel discussions, gallery openings, and a publication in a variety of venues across the city. The essence of CITYWIDE is about magnifying individual voices through collective action.
CITYWIDE is the recipient of a Knight Arts Challenge and is a “massive collaboration” organized collaboratively by Vox Populi, Space 1026, Little Berlin, Tiger Strikes Asteroid, Grizzly Grizzly, Marginal Utility, NAPOLEON, Fjord, Mt. Airy Contemporary Artists Space, Rebekah Templeton, Highwire Gallery, Basekamp, McCartney/Belknap Projects, Practice, The Traction Company, InLiquid, Paradigm Gallery, Magic Pictures, Termite TV Collective, The Soapbox, Title Magazine, The Nicola Midnight St. Claire, Pterodactyl, Art/ Assembly, BYO Print, and Oof. Spanning from the Callowhill neighborhood on the edge of Center City to West Philly, from Germantown to the Northeast and from South Philly to Kensington, CITYWIDE represents over 200 artists in total!