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The Public Private

Thu Feb 07, 2013 00:00 - Wed Apr 17, 2013

NEW YORK, January 8, 2013— The Sheila C. Johnson Design Center (SJDC) at Parsons The New School for Design presents The Public Private, the first New York exhibition of contemporary art that explores the impact of social media and new technologies on the relationship between the public and private realm.

“Social media has radically redefined the boundaries between the public and the private,” said curator Christiane Paul, an associate professor in the School of Media Studies at The New School and an adjunct curator of New Media Arts at the Whitney Museum of American Art. “The messages, images, as well as likes and dislikes we share with friends and families are accessible to corporations and subject to commercial and social data mining. Our daily moves are open to various forms of tracking. What was once considered personal and private has become increasingly public in a cultural shift, entailing a reformulation of our identity.”

The artworks brought together in The Public Private—several presented for the first time in the United States, including —address these issues from psychological, legal, and economic perspectives and use strategies ranging from hacking to self-surveillance to reflect upon the profound changes in our understanding of identity, personal boundaries, and self-representation.

Among the works on view are Paolo Cirio and Alessandro Ludovico’s Lovely Faces/Face to Facebook, showing for the first time in New York. It is a multimedia installation of one million Facebook profiles, which were appropriated by the artists, filtered using facial-recognition software, and then posted on a custom-made dating website sorted by facial expressions. Eva and Franco Mattes’ The Others is a video installation composed of 10,000 photos the Mattes have acquired through a software glitch that gives remote access to personal computer files. The core of the work is not just the presentation of these images, but the act of “stealing” and moving them from the private into the public realm.

Other artists and works represented in the gallery include Jill Magid’s Evidence Locker, Luke Dubois' Missed Connections, Wafaa Bilal’s 3rdi, Carlo Zanni’s Self Portrait with Friends, Panoptic Panorama #2: Five People in a Room by James Coupe, Paulo Cirio’s Street Ghosts, and Ben Grosser’s Facebook Demetricator.

“In probing the slippages between private lives and public personae, between personal opinion and public disclosure, the works in this exhibition reveal the ambiguities inherent in our every exchange,” said Radhika Subramaniam, director and chief curator of the Sheila C. Johnson Design Center. “They are the site for a new political education, one in which we are all instructed, gladly or not.”

Public programs, including conversations with the participating artists, will take place during the exhibition run. For more information, visit the SJDC website.

About the Sheila C. Johnson Design Center
The Sheila C. Johnson Design Center is an award-winning campus center for Parsons The New School for Design that combines learning and public spaces with exhibition galleries to provide an important new downtown destination for art and design programming. The mission of the Center is to generate an active dialogue on the role of innovative art and design in responding to the contemporary world. Its programming encourages an interdisciplinary examination of possibility and process, linking the university to local and global debates. The center is named in honor of its primary benefactor, New School Trustee and Parsons Board Chair Sheila C. Johnson. The design by Lyn Rice Architects is the recipient of numerous awards, including an Honor Award from the American Institute of Architects. For more information please visit


Art, Environment, Action!

Thu Sep 27, 2012 18:30 - Mon Aug 27, 2012

New York, New York
United States of America

Art, Environment, Action!
September 28 - December 15, 2012
Opening Reception: September 27, 6:30 - 8:30 pm
Sheila C. Johnson Design Center
Parsons the New School for Design

2 West 13th Street, New York

The opening reception of Art, Environment, Action! provides a sneak peak into the four month series of an interactive and interdisciplinary laboratory taking place this fall at the Sheila C. Johnson Design Center (SJDC) at Parsons The New School for Design. In its opening reception, artist Tattfoo Tan and a member of the farming collective Poop Machine will lead a workshop on the benefits of raising urban chickens. Come by and meet a member of the collective, a real live chicken!


The New Music: John Cage Centenary Concert

Fri Sep 07, 2012 19:00 - Fri Sep 07, 2012

New Yorkt, New York
United States of America

This celebration of the 100th birthday of composer, music theorist, writer and artist John Cage features performances by Robert Ashley, David Behrman, Alvin Lucier and Chris Mann. John Cage first came to The New School in 1933 at Henry Cowell’s invitation to study composition with Cowell and Adolph Weiss. From 1956 to 1961, Cage taught classes in experimental composition at The New School. He also taught on mycology (he was a founder of the New York Mycological Society) and delivered a series of lectures on everything from music to mushrooms, from Buckminster Fuller to Marshall McLuhan. During that period Cage wrote several now well-known works including Variations 1 and Concerto for Piano and Orchestra and worked to develop his own system of musical graphic notation and was a founder of the New York Mycological Society. Arnold Schönberg noted of Cage, “He is not a composer [of music] but an inventor - of genius.” Cage, of course, had already responded. "Everything we do is music."
Presented by the School of Media Studies


Parsons Hosts Lecture Series to Kick off Public & Collaborative

Tue Mar 20, 2012 16:10 - Tue Apr 24, 2012

Public & Collaborative is a global effort of the DESIS Network in which more than a dozen academic design labs around the world will explore how to enhance the connections between citizens and public services. To kick off Public & Collaborative, Parsons will host a series of four lectures in March and April of 2012 that will bring together leading European and New York City designers with New York City policymakers to explore the intersection of social innovation and public service.


In the Urban Crisis

Thu Feb 23, 2012 15:20 - Thu May 03, 2012

To celebrate the launch of its two new graduate programs focused on urban transformation, Parsons The New School for Design has organized In the Urban Crisis, a lecture series featuring leading voices shaping the global dialogue about city development. Organized by Miguel Robles-Duran, the series highlights core themes of the MS in Design and Urban Ecologies and MA in Theories of Urban Practice, both launching fall 2012, which explore the ways cities are shaped and reshaped through planning, public policy, development, and architecture.

In the Urban Crisis is a free public event series running at 6 p.m. on select Thursday evenings throughout the spring. Speakers include:

Frank Morales(Feb. 9), New York City housing activist
Paula Z. Segal (Feb. 23), a lawyer and activist collaborating on the Occupy Wall Street project #whoOWNSspace
Tom Angotti (March 1), professor in the Hunter College Department of Urban Affairs and Planning
Don Mitchell(March 8), distinguished professor of Geography at the Maxwell School of Syracuse University
Ana Méndez de Andés (March 29), a Madrid-based urban activist
Andrew Ross (April 5), a writer and professor in the Department of Social and Cultural Analysis at New York University
Erik Swyngedouw (April 19), a professor of Geography at the University of Manchester's School of Environment and Development
Jeanne van Heeswijk (April 26), a Dutch artist and winner of Creative Time's 2011 Lenore Annenberg Prize for Art and Social Change
Pelin Tan (May 3), an Istanbul-based sociologist and art historian

All events will be held at 6 p.m. in the Kellen Auditorium, Sheila C. Johnson Design Center, 66 Fifth Avenue, and is free and open to the public. For more information, please visit the SDS blog.