This fall, the Franklin Street Works presents It Narratives: The Movement of Objects as Information, an exhibition featuring artists’ projects that engage the postal system and its intersections with digital communications media. The artists in It Narratives find forms for everyday experiences of distance and time by reflecting on the way objects move through information networks. The exhibition is curated by New York-based guest curators Brian Droitcour and Zanna Gilbert and will be on view through November 9, 2014.
With areas of expertise in mail art (Gilbert) and Internet art (Droitcour), the curators take into consideration how Internet technology and digital forms of commerce have changed the way artists use the postal system. Mail art emerged in the late 1960s as a collective, networked medium allowing artists to circulate and exchange works and ideas in a sphere uncontrolled by curators, institutions, the art market, or state censorship. Today, mail is employed less frequently as an artistic medium, in keeping with an overall shift in how information is experienced and exchanged. News and greetings from friends and family have migrated from the postal system to the faster networks of email and social media, yet “snail mail” has not become obsolete. Sending objects over great distances is part of online commerce. Print-on-demand services that allow users to design their own T-shirts, books, or mugs with a few clicks of a mouse connect Internet browsing and data input to receiving objects by mail and handling them in everyday life.
It Narratives: The Movement of Objects as Information takes its title from a prose genre popular in the late 18th century, the “it-narrative.” These were accounts of objects circulating in the structures of emergent industrialized capitalist markets written in the first-person from the perspective of the objects. It Narratives the exhibition updates this concept for the 21st century by presenting artists’ projects that track the movement of objects online and by mail, taking measure of the physical and emotional experiences of time and distance inherent to these networks.
Exhibiting artists include: Greg Allen, Tyler Coburn, Tim Devin, Yevgeniy Fiks, Lukas Geronimas, Frank Heath, David Horvitz, Jean Keller, Alexandra Lerman, Kristin Lucas, Cat Mazza, Kristina Lee Podesva and Alan McConchie, Paul Soulellis, Emily Spivack, The Thread, Ehren Tool, Print All Over Me, Forms of Melancholy, Lance Wakeling, Roberto Winter.
Franklin Street Works is located at 41 Franklin Street in downtown Stamford, Connecticut, near the UCONN campus and less than one hour from New York City via Metro North. Franklin Street Works is approximately one mile (a 15 minute walk) from the Stamford train station. On street parking is available on Franklin Street (metered until 6 pm except on Sunday), and paid parking is available nearby in a lot on Franklin Street and in the Summer Street Garage (100 Summer Street), behind Target. The art space and café are open to the public on Wednesday, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday: 12:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m. with extended hours on Thursdays, 12:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m. Franklin Street Works does not charge for admission during regular gallery hours.