Recess’s mission is to support the creative process of contemporary artists by providing a space for
productive activity and a platform for a partnership with the public. By offering artists flexible work/ exhibition space, artists are given agency to determine the visibility of their work and the parameters of its presentation.

Free of charge and open to the public, Recess facilitates everyday interactions between artists and the
community in order to promote the productive space of the working artist as a site of valuable visual and intellectual interactions. Our endeavors offer critical exposure for the artists we support while fostering an inclusive environment in which artists and the public can engage in a meaningful exchange of art and ideas.

Recess was formed in May 2009 to address concerns that emerging artists cannot afford to live or work
in proximity to exhibition communities. Securing a platform to gain visibility and develop creative goals and a professional career is often a daunting task. The organization was likewise founded to actively respond to changing modes of production. Contemporary artwork, unlike more traditional forms, can be site-specific, performance-based or ephemeral in nature. The traditional gallery space is often unable to accommodate the interactive, process-based artistic production. The artist’s studio is also changing: no longer bound to conventional space, the studio of the contemporary artist is the street, the gallery, or anywhere the practitioner chooses to work. Session was conceived to directly take on the evolving conditions of contemporary art, realizing ambitious projects that don’t always “fit” in the customary context.
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Katherine Hubbard & Savannah Knoop: Small Town Sex Shop

Thu Jul 02, 2015 00:00 - Sat Aug 29, 2015

New York, New York
United States of America

Store Open: August 22 – 29
Opening Party: August 22, 6-8pm

On July 2, Katherine Hubbard and Savannah Knoop will begin work on Small Town Sex Shop, as part of Recess’s signature program, Session. Session invites artists to use Recess’s public space as studio, exhibition venue, and grounds for experimentation.

Over the course of their Session, Hubbard and Knoop will explore connotations of production through a synthesis of clothing-making, sculpture and installation. Perverting streamlined techniques of traditional garment-making determined by functionality and profit, the artists will scramble logics of efficiency in favor of excess and pleasure.

The accumulation of goods made in the space will begin to articulate a storefront; divisions will emerge from various materials in tension with themselves. With a carnivorous routine application of labor the structures that build the space initially will become the very forms that adorn the body.

The artists will work towards a collection of first samples, the phase within the design process when a garment transitions from it’s bastard self into a reproducible form. This work will use various techniques and explorations to produce sculptural forms made in relation to the body. These will be on view alongside a growing collection of modular straps made in multiple.

The strap pieces are intended to be worn in combination with street clothes and other experimental forms made throughout the Session. Visitors to the space will be encouraged to try on straps. However, wearability is not the primary concern of the work. The strap becomes a proposition: the mediator of boundaries and comfort as it binds the viewer’s body to the work.

Small Town Sex Shop considers notions of context— upon walking through the door of the “sex shop” in a “small town”, individuals can jettison their public identities in favor of a sexual sociality, obliging the roving body as it engages with it’s own shapes and desires.

The Session will culminate in the opening of a “store” in which visitors can try on and wear the straps and samples. Small Town Sex Shop makes room for inventive moments and awkward intimacy in the face of New York’s reliance on privatization.

About the Artists:

Katherine Hubbard is an interdisciplinary artist who lives and works in Brooklyn, New York. Her practice recognizes the critical intersection of photography, performance and writing as a mark of ontological refusal through which we may re-look at how we structure meaning. Her most recent solo exhibition, Four shoulders and thirty five percent everything else, was presented at Capricious 88, NY. Forthcoming in 2015 she will present a new performance work as part of Writing Bodies at the Elizabeth Foundation For The Arts in NY. Hubbard has an MFA from the Milton Avery Graduate School of the Arts at Bard College and is currently part-time faculty at Parsons The New School for Design.

Savannah Knoop creates and employs strategies of permission through object-making, performance, and writing. In 2001 she founded the clothing line Tinc, which ran until 2009, with creative partner Parachati Pattajotti. In 2007, she published a memoir titled Girl Boy Girl: How I Became JT LeRoy (Seven Stories Press). Savannah is part of the triumvirate of the monthly audio/visual party Woahmone. She is an MFA candidate at VCU Sculpture (class of 2016).


Felt Book - Institute for New Feeling

Wed Jun 24, 2015 18:00 - Wed Jun 24, 2015

New York, New York
United States of America

The Felt Book is a collection of home remedies, treatments and instructionals from over 60 invited artists all over the world. Borrowing the structure of Fluxus scores, youtube tutorials and eHow articles, this curated publication asks artists to consider IfNf’s core mission: to explore "new ways of feeling, and ways of feeling new.”

This evening program includes a screening of selected video work from the Felt Book as well as an exhibition of sculptural objects and printed materials. The event at Recess kicks off a month-long cross country tour this July, with stops at Vox Populi (Philadelphia), SEDIMENT (Richmond), The Luminary (St. Louis) and others forthcoming.

In 2015, the Felt Book is distributed as a weekly email subscription called eFELT; the complete e-book will be released in 2016.

Earlier this year, an opening Felt Book exhibition was held at SPACES in Cleveland (Jan-March 2015), and the project was featured as an hour-long broadcast on KCHUNG radio in Los Angeles.


Institute for New Feeling: Seek

Thu Apr 30, 2015 00:00 - Thu Jun 25, 2015

New York, New York
United States of America

Artist Talk: May 14, 6-8pm
Felt Book Event: June 25, 6-8pm

On April 30, Institute for New Feeling will begin work on Seek, as part of Recess’s signature program, Session. Session invites artists to use Recess’s public space as studio, exhibition venue and grounds for experimentation.

Over the course of their Session, IfNf will create an installation that offers individuals a clairvoyant reading generated by the misuse of online search engines. For each intimate one-on-one session, a specialist will lead a participant through a series of assessments in order to compile his or her personal video file. This precognitive visualizer will be viewable and also available for purchase in the gallery. Over the course of the month, Recess will exhibit this growing archive of anonymous futures.

Visitors to Recess are invited to meet with a consultant who will guide him or her through a series of simple evaluations, which are called “sensors.” For example, one sensor is a series of questions that are fed into a Google search string to generate prophetic and enigmatic insights. Another sensor introduces a scan of the participant’s body into a Google image search to create a guiding stone orbiting in the visualizer’s field of view…

For centuries, people have been fascinated with devices and strategies that profess to reveal insights about themselves or their future. With seek, IfNf will provide a new type of psychic/medical reading that utilizes the Internet as a source of chance operations. Manifesting a kind of collaged Google oracle, this experience utilizes a spectrum of assessment and divination techniques designed to answer the unanswerable.

To schedule an a session with IfNf please visit institutefornewfeeling.com/seek

About the Artists:
The Institute for New Feeling is a research clinic committed to the development of new ways of feeling, and ways of feeling new. We offer a rotating menu of wellness treatments, therapies retreats and products. Founded by Scott Andrew, Agnes Bolt, and Nina Sarnelle.


Session: False Alphabets

Thu Mar 19, 2015 02:00 - Sat Apr 25, 2015

New York , New York
United States of America

Sara Magenheimer: False Alphabets

In Session: March 19 – April 25, 2015

Film Screenings: March 26, 6-8pm
Free Paint performs: April 3, 6-8pm
Film Screenings: April 9, 6-8pm
Eleanor Friedberger performs: April 18, 6-8pm

On March 19, Sara Magenheimer will begin work on False Alphabets, as part of Recess’s signature program, Session. Session invites artists to use Recess’s public space as studio, exhibition venue and grounds for experimentation.

Over the course of her Session, Magenheimer will construct sculptural sets composed of photographs, objects, and film equipment that will become the backdrop for a new video. The script for the video, written by Magenheimer, continues the artist’s interest in voice, and employs cinematic tropes that conflate embodied language and location.

The script will evoke the role of “The Radio DJ” epitomized by characters like Mister Señor Love Daddy in Do The Right Thing and DJ Stevie Wayne in The Fog. These figures act as the omnipotent narrators of their films as well as create diegetic soundtracks to their cinematic worlds. Simultaneously addressing the movie going audience, the other characters, and their communities, their music is embodied rather than a superficial add-on for the viewer’s emotional manipulation.

Collaborating artists Eleanor Friedberger (Fiery Furnaces), Greg Saunier (Deerhoof), Free Paint (Magenheimer and Saunier) and more will perform the music for and act as narrators in this video. Performers will make mixes that involve narration and music. These mixes will function as a soundtrack for the video. Recess audience may stream these mixes online and will be invited to participate as “the listening public” on open-set days of filming.

The video and performances explore the limit of the necessary, functional dislocation between speech and physical body, attempting to bring language back to the body through techniques drawn from punk/Dada humor, absurdity, music and participation. Films featuring radio DJs will be screened throughout False Alphabets.

About the Artist:

Sara Magenheimer is an artist based in New York City. Recent exhibitions include Interstate Projects, 247365 Gallery, Cleopatra’s, Brooklyn, Chapter NY, and Document, Chicago. Recent screenings include The Ann Arbor Film Festival, MI; Images Festival, Toronto; The New York Film Festival, The Kitchen, New York, Brooklyn Academy of Music; MOMA, Portland, OR; The Living Art Museum, Reykjavik, Iceland; and Meet Factory, Prague, Czech Republic. Since 2012 she has performed at Recess, MOMA P.S.1, Issue Project Room, Canada Gallery, and the Performa 13 Biennial. Her collaborative project, Bloopers, received commissions from Triple Canopy and EMPAC, at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. She was the recipient of the Rema Hort Mann Foundation Emerging Artist Grant.

This program is supported, in part, by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature and public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council. This project is also supported in part by an award from the National Endowment for the Arts. Art Works.


Rethinking Residencies reflects on organizational practice

Tue Mar 17, 2015 18:30 - Tue Mar 17, 2015

Brooklyn, New York
United States of America

On March 17th, Rethinking Residencies, a newly initiated working group of eleven New York-based artist residency programs, will present its first public event at the International Studio & Curatorial Program (ISCP). Moderated by Martha Wilson, this panel discussion includes Kari Conte, Maia Murphy, Laurel Ptak, and Nicholas Weist.

Panelists will pose significant questions on issues of cultural production and organizational practice as they relate to residency programs. How can modes of collaboration in residency programs adapt to the changing needs of artists, curators and institutions? How do broader political and economic realities impact artist residency programs today? What effect has the changing cultural climate of New York City had on the lives and practice of artists? How can organizations balance growth with sustainability? Pragmatically and programmatically, what are the ramifications or alternatives to expanding? What is the strangest residency program out there?

Rethinking Residencies

Rethinking Residencies is a working group of New York-based artist residency programs. Initiated in March 2014, its members share knowledge and resources, while cultivating critical thinking and discourse about residencies.

Collaborating organizations represent a wide range of models, scales and approaches and include Eyebeam, Fire Island Artist Residency, International Studio & Curatorial Program (ISCP), Lower Manhattan Cultural Council (LMCC), The Laundromat Project, Queens Museum, Recess, the Shandaken Project, Skowhegan School of Painting & Sculpture, EFA Project Space’s SHIFT Residency, and Triangle Arts Association.

Upcoming Rethinking Residencies programs include a New York City residency mixer at the Queens Museum in May 2015 and a major conference on residencies during the summer of 2016.

Participant Biographies

Martha Wilson is a pioneering feminist artist who during the past four decades has created innovative photographic and performance works that explore her female subjectivity through role-playing and “invasions” of other people’s personae. In 1976 she founded Franklin Furnace, an artist-run space in New York that champions the exploration, promotion and preservation of artists’ books, installation and performance art, video and art online.

Kari Conte is a New York-based curator and writer. Since 2010, she has been the Director of Programs and Exhibitions at the International Studio & Curatorial Program (ISCP), where she leads residencies, exhibitions, and public programs.

Maia Murphy is a curator and writer based in New York. She is currently the Program Director for Recess, a nonprofit artist workspace that is open to the public. At once a studio and exhibition space, Recess presents projects that embrace experimentation and focus on process.

Laurel Ptak is an artist, curator and educator known for creating discursive platforms that allow for dialogue and critical engagement. Named one of 100 Leading Global Thinkers in 2014 by Foreign Policy, she currently teaches at The New School and serves as Executive Director of Triangle Arts Association, a 33-year-old artist-founded residency program within an international network of arts organizations around the world.

Nicholas Weist is the founding director of the Shandaken Project, which offers a process-focused residency program now produced in collaboration with Storm King Art Center. Weist has organized presentations by artists internationally, and writes about art and culture for Frieze, Art in America, Interview, Document Journal, and many others.

Photo courtesy of Nung-Hsin Hu (Queens Museum).