Signs of Change Screening 2: Artists and Social Movements

Signs of Change Screening 2: Artists and Social Movements

West Hall Auditorium, Rensselaer Campus

March 18, 2009 7:00 PM - 9:00 PM

Exhibition runs from April 5, 2009 - June 5, 2009 

Sponsored by iEAR Presents! and Humanities at Rensselaer 

Troy Night Out Reception: April 24, 2009 5:00-9:00 PM 
Arts Center of the Capital Region, Troy NY
Signs of Change Screening 2: Artists and Social Movements  TRT 87 min (about 1.5 hrs)

This selection of videos from the 1970 to 2008 documents inspiring and creative activists working for peace and social justice internationally. The program includes videos documenting a recent Japanese Transistor Connected Drum Collective street action in Toyko; a student seminar in Chicago during the 1970 national student strike; artists who Tango in Barcelona to protest "precarity" and corporate globalization; an Indonesian "peoples culture" community producing posters, poetry and punk rock; Iraq veterans who do street theater to protest the War; and a 5 day peace performance of faux NATO troops in Denmark in 1973.

Videos will includes those listed below and more!

Transistor Connected Drum Collective
(06:49 minutes, illcommonz, courtesy illcommonz)
Japanese experimental musicians reclaim the streets of Tokyo to protest the war in Iraq.

What the BLANK are These Red Squares? (1970, 15:00 minutes, Kartemquin Film Collective, courtesy of Kartemquin Films)
Documentary of students during a "revolutionary seminar" at the Art Institute of Chicago during the 1970 national student strike that was call in response to the invasion of Cambodia and the killing of students at Kent and Jackson State Universities. The students raised questions related to artists' roles in a capitalist economic system, such as: "Is it possible not to be co-opted, as 'radical' as one's art may be? What are the connections between money and art in America? Between the 'New York Scene' and the rest of the country?" Kartemquin Films, best known for its award-winning documentary Hoop Dreams (1994), was once known as Kartemquin Film Collective. The collective made social and politically charged films about various issues in Chicago including labor, gentrification, and student protests. They also collaborated with members of Newsreel.

Yomango Tango
(2002, 06:11 minutes, Yo Mango, Precarity DVD-Magazine, made in collaboration with: P2Pfightsharing Crew; Greenpepper Project, Amsterdam)
Barcelona activists, on the occasion of the one-year anniversary of the 2001 uprising in Argentina, dance in supermarkets and banks against corporate global capitalism. Yomango, translated as "I steal", is a play on a Spanish, corporate chain store called Mango which supports precarity, commonly used term in Europe, meaning the lack of job security, social safety net and/or predictability in contemporary labor conditions.

Five Days for Peace (1973, 37:00 minutes, Nils Vest, courtesy of Christiania, Copenhagen)
In Five Days for Peace, the members of Solvognen — the theater collective from the squatted free town of Christiania, Copenhagen, Denmark — dress as North American Treaty Organization (NATO) troops and perform "military" operations in Copenhagen during the NATO Summit.

Iraq Veterans Against the War: Operation First Casualty
(2008, 5 minutes, Elizabeth Press for Democracy Now)
Iraq Veterans Against the War (IVAW) is a national organization formed in 2004 by veterans of the Iraq War. Operation First Casualty (OFC) is a street theater project that members of the organization perform dressed in military uniforms. OFC stages performances that are reenactments of combat patrols on the streets of US cities, as they would happen in Iraq, to bring the realities of war home. In this document they perform OFC outside the Democratic National Convention in Denver 2008.

Signs of Change Screening 1: Media for Liberation 
West Hall Auditorium, Rensselaer Campus
March 4, 2009, 7:00 PM

Signs of Change Screening 2: Artists and Social Movements 
West Hall Auditorium, Rensselaer Campus
March 18, 2009, 7:00 PM

These events are made possible with public funds from the New York State Council on the Arts, a State agency.
Signs of Change is supported by a major grant from the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts. Additional support provided by the Museum program at the New York State Council on the Arts, a State agency; the Starry Night Fund at The Tides Foundation; Bloomberg LP; Carnegie Corporation; Jerome Foundation; Pollock-Krasner Foundation; Exit Art's Board of Directors and its members. National Endowment for the Arts, New York.


Curated by Dara Greenwald and Josh MacPhee as part of Exit Art's Curatorial Incubator.
Curatorial Incubator Director: Mary Anne Staniszewski

In Signs of Change: Social Movement Cultures 1960s to Now, hundreds of posters, photographs, moving images, audio clips, and ephemera bring to life over forty years of activism, political protest, and campaigns for social justice. Curated by Dara Greenwald and Josh MacPhee as part of Exit Art's Curatorial Incubator, this important and timely exhibition surveys the creative work of dozens of international social movements.
Organized thematically, the exhibition presents the creative outpourings of social movements, such as those for Civil Rights and Black Power in the United States; democracy in China; anti-apartheid in Africa; squatting in Europe; environmental activism and women's rights internationally; and the global AIDS crisis, as well as uprisings and protests, such as those for indigenous control of lands; against airport construction in Japan; and student and worker revolution in France. The exhibition also explores the development of powerful counter-cultures that evolve beyond traditional politics and create distinct aesthetics, life-styles, and social organization.
Although histories of political groups and counter-cultures have been written, and political and activist shows have been held, this exhibition is a groundbreaking attempt to chronicle the artistic and cultural production of these movements. Signs of Change offers a chance to see relatively unknown or rarely seen works, and is intended to not only provide a historical framework for contemporary activism, but also to serve as an inspiration for the present and the future.

Dara Greenwald is a media artist and Ph.D. Candidate in the Electronic Art Department at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. Her collaborative work often takes the form of video, writing, and cultural organizing around themes of social movements. She worked at the Video Data Bank from 1998-2005 and taught DIY exhibition at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago 2003-2005.

Josh MacPhee is an artist, curator and activist currently living in Brooklyn, New York. His work often revolves around themes of radical politics, privatization and public space. His most recent book is Reproduce & Revolt/Reproduce Y Rebelate (Soft Skull Press, 2008, co-edited with Favianna Rodriguez). He also organizes the Celebrate People's History Poster Series and is part of the political art cooperative Justseeds.


Signs of Change: Social Movement Cultures 1960s to Now is an exhibition produced by Exit Art, NY, and was the inaugural project of the Curatorial Incubator Program. The program expands Exit Art's commitment to young and emerging curators and scholars in contemporary art, by giving material, financial, and human resources to developing curatorial talent. Working with Exit Art directors and staff, fellows curate large-scale exhibition projects, learn fundraising, develop outreach and educational programs, and co-publish a catalogue.  

Director of Curatorial Incubator: Mary Anne Staniszewski

Signs of Change was presented at Exit Art from September 20 to December 6, 2008.

The show is currently at:

Miller Gallery, Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, PA

January 23 – March 8, 2009


Signs of Change is supported by a major grant from the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts. Additional support provided by the Museum program at the New York State Council on the Arts, a State agency; the Starry Night Fund at The Tides Foundation; Bloomberg LP; Carnegie Corporation; Jerome Foundation; Pollock-Krasner Foundation; Exit Art's Board of Directors and its members. National Endowment for the Arts, New York City Council Speaker Christine C. Quinn and New York State Senator Thomas K. Duane. 

Sponsoring partners of Signs of Change are The Center for the Study of Political Graphics (CSPG) in Los Angeles and the International Institute of Social History (IISH) in Amsterdam.


AK Press, our families, Icky A, Anabella and Fantasmas de Heredia, Finn Thybo Andersen, Allan Antliff, Archiv Papier Tiger, Aviv, Craig Baldwin, Bani, Brett Bloom, Bluestockings Bookstore, Skip Blumberg, Amadee Braxton, Cale, Lindsay Caplan, Kevin Caplicki, Chris Carlsson, Chris at 56A Infoshop, Estelle Carol, Shu Lea Chang, Tom Civil, Lincoln Cushing, Paloma Diaz, Deirdre at Ungdomshuset, Marco Deseriis, Kirsten Dufour, Nava EtShalom, Silvia Federici, Anna Feigenbaum, Jim Fetterly, Jim Finn, Tracy Fitz, Jim Fleming, Kathleen Forde, Emily Forman, Michelle Foy and Fernando Marti, Aaron Gach, William Gambetta, Benj Gerdes, David Graeber, Grrrt, Alex Halkin, Dee Dee Halleck, Jodi Hanel, John Harrington, Kyle Harris, Marc Herbst, Robbie Herbst, Kathy High, Chris Hill, Brian Holmes, Kate Huh, students, staff and faculty of IEAR at RPI, illcommonz, Irena, Sarah Jarmon, John Jordan, Justseeds Artists Cooperative, Jonathan Kahana, Ramsey Kanaan, Malav Kanuga, Sandy Kaltenborn, George Katsiaficas, Narita Keisuke, Nadia Khastagir, Janet Koenig, Sabu Kohso, Tami Lawson, Mark Looney, Lower East Side Print Shop, Juan Pablo Macias, Martin Mantxo, Claude Marks, Cat Mazza, Lauren Melodia, Ben Meyers, Miguel at Indymedia Brazil, Branda Miller, Doug Minkler, KJ Mohr, Claude Moller, Matt Meyers, Jan Novak, 123 Community Space, Dina Passman, Mary Patten, Paolo Pedercini, Canek Pena-Vargas, Gordon Quinn, Melissa Rachleff Burtt, Mark Reed, Rio, Olivia Robinson, Favianna Rodriguez, Heather Rogers, Michael Rossman (RIP), Timo Russo, Sarah Ryhanen, Surajit Sarkar, Paige Sarlin, Judy Ann Seidman, Steyphen Shukaitis, Greg Sholette, Jeffrey Skoller, Tim Simmons, 16beaver group, Theresa Smith, Jacqui Soohen, Chris Stain, Astria Suparak, Nato Thompson, Miriam Tola, Eric Triantafillou, Daniel Tucker, Kathryn Tufano, Christina Ulke, Igor Vamos, Dan Wang, Carol Wells and all at CSPG, Jamie Wilkinson, Deborah Willis and Asian/Pacific/American Institute and Tisch Department of Photography & Imaging at NYU, all who submitted writing to the exhibition, the translators, Interns: Gabriel Cohen, Merrily Grashin, Nicole Whalen, BreAnne Dale, Jessica Hong, Scott Schultheis, Elsa Konig, Lilly Alexander, Nina Barnett, Saskia Coulson, Alexandra Ingalls, Kelsey Witt, and all who have participated in the production of social movement cultures!


All Of Us Or None (AOUON) Archive; American Friends' Service Committee; Archivo Arnulfo Aquino; Athenee Francais Cultural Center; Autonomedia; Beehive Design Collective; Benton Gallery at University of Connecticut; Big Noise Films; Fabrizio Billi/Archivio Storico della Nuova Sinistra Marco Pezzi; Boston Women's Video Collective; Boyd; Bread & Puppet Theatre; Breakdown Press; Bristle Magazine; Bullfrog Films; Kevin Caplicki; Center for the Study of Political Graphics (CSPG); Chiapas Media Project; CIRA (Japan); Tony Credland/Cactus Network;; Lincoln Cushing; Chicago Women's Liberation Union Herstory Project; Tano D'Amico; Mariarosa Dalla Costa; Deep Dish TV; Jesse Drew; El Fantasma de Heredia; Tracy Fitz; Freedom Archives; William Gambetta/Centro Studi Movimenti; David Goodman; HKS 13; Ilka Hartmann; Chris Hill and Bob Devine; Hoover Institution Archives; R. Howze; Roger Hutchinson; Ilaria La Fata/Centro Studi Movimenti; illcommonz; International Institute for Social History (IISH); image-shift berlin; Indymedia Brazil; Inkworks; Institute for Applied Autonomy; Interference Archive; Iraq Veterans Against the War; Irregular Rhythm Asylum; It's All Lies; Magdalena Jitrik; John Jordan; Kartemquin Film Collective; Judi Kelemen; Last Gasp; John Law; Jessica Lawless; Lesbian Herstory Educational Foundation, Inc.; The Linen Hall Library; Raphael Lyon; Matthew Meyers; Marcom Projects; Middle East Division of Harvard's Weiner Library; National Gallery of Australia, Parkes Place; NATO Arts; Neue Slowenische Kunst (NSK); Katie Orlinsky; Political Art Documentation/Distribution (PAD/D) Archives at the Museum of Modern Art; Panopticon Gallery of Photography; Paper Tiger TV; Mary Patten; Roger Peet; Darko Pokorn; Jill Posener; Endi Poskovic; Radio Zapatista; Oliver Ressler and Zanny Begg; Bill Rolston; Rachael Romero; Sasha Roseneil; Roz Payne Archives; Leonel Sagahon; Rafel Segui; i Serres; Joel Sheesley; Greg Sholette; South African History Archive; Stanford University; David Tartakover; Third World Newsreel (; Eric Triantafillou; Undercurrents; Nils Vest; Video Data Bank; Videofreex Partnership; Yustoni Volunteero/Taring Padi Collective; Stacey Wakefield; Sue Williamson; Women's Library; Women Make Movies; and others. We sincerely apologize if we have neglected to include anyone on this list. As of press time, and to the best of our knowledge, this is a complete list.

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