Mark Tribe, “Art and the Utopian Imaginary”

In 1968, protesters outside the Democratic National Convention in Chicago chanted “The whole world is watching,” and shortly thereafter their images appeared on the evening news. These days, protesters bring their own cameras and post their clips on YouTube. Has participatory media effected a structural transformation of the public sphere? How have media technologies and practices changed the roles of public space, performance, and the human body in politics? How have new forms of mediation and distribution altered the ways in which history is produced and experienced?

Mark Tribe will discuss recent work and current projects, including a video archive of police surveillance of activists, a performance/installation in which guitarists play covers of “Sweet Child O’ Mine,” and reenactments of Vietnam-era protest speeches.

Mark Tribe is an artist and occasional curator whose interests include art, technology, and politics. His art work has been exhibited at Ronald Feldman Gallery, LACE (Los Angeles Contemporary Exhibitions), the DeCordova Biennial, the National Center for Contemporary Art in Moscow, the ZKM | Center for Art and Media, and Ars Electronica. He has organized curatorial projects for the New Museum of Contemporary Art, MASS MoCA, and inSite_05. Tribe is the author of two books, The Port Huron Project: Reenactments of New Left Protest Speeches (Charta, 2010) and New Media Art (Taschen, 2006), and numerous articles. He has lectured at CalArts, Goldsmiths College, the Boston Museum of Fine Arts, MIT, and UCLA. Tribe is Assistant Professor of Modern Culture and Media Studies at Brown University, where he teaches courses on digital art, curating, open-source culture, radical media, and surveillance. In 1996, Tribe founded Rhizome, an organization that supports the creation, presentation, preservation, and critique of emerging artistic practices that engage technology. He received a MFA in Visual Art from the University of California, San Diego in 1994 and a BA in Visual Art from Brown University in 1990. He splits his time between New York City and Providence.