Thursday, June 11, 2009

the FGA (aka Fucking Good Art)

The Program and the Vault:

survey and archive

curated by FGA (a.k.a. Fucking Good Art)


part of Artist Run Chicago

curated by Allison Peters Quinn and Britton Bertran

at the Hyde Park Art Center


through July 5, 2009


The Program 2001-2009

Gerald Davis, Kirsten Stoltman, Siebren Versteeg, Mike Wolf, Sasha Earle, Joseph Hardesty, CAR/David Robbins, Zac Lowing, Jay Heikes, Maria Alos, Lori Daniels, Jennifer Rochlin, Rosemarie Fiore, Juana Valdes, Scott Nedrelow, Carlos Ruiz Ruiz, Rebekah Levine, Vince Dermody, Michael Dvorkin, Jennifer Schmidt, Adam Scott, Marc Fischer, Stefano Pasquini


The suicide of Primo Levi; AC/DC VH1 Behind the Scenes; Korn; Triumph the Comic Dog and Conan O’Brien; Comic Book Review (cable access show); 1900 House; Max Hiller talks about communism and Rock ‘n Roll; Charlton Heston speaks for the NRA; Howard Stern vs Sinead O’ Connor; Gerald jumps off a cliff; The McLaughlin Group; SNL’s find the black people in the Nicks game; 20/20


The Program is a portable video exhibition modeled after television's well-known format. Artist videos are interspersed with regular shows, home movies, advertisements and news. Nothing is related and context is replaced and replaceable at the click of a remote control.


In 2001 VHS was still the most popular and affordable way to watch movies, save data and present video art. It also seemed like the logical solution to our money troubled, artist–run, curatorial collective machine known as FGA (a.k.a FUCKING GOOD ART). Our main goal was to organize a portable and domesticated video show--one we could distribute free of charge via US mail. We also wanted to present an art exhibition that could compete against late night television, soap operas, cable and football Sunday.


The first edition of The Program was made public on a chilly Chicago night (March 31st 2001) in my two-bedroom apartment on Division Street. That night close to two- hundred people managed to share one single remote control, closely following Marc Fischer’s thoughtful essay on judgment and the democratization of video art. (Keep in mind this was way before Creative Commons and file sharing technologies)


From 2001-2004 The Program was screened in: Cueva Gallery, Milan; Sesto Senso (SUK), Italy; Art Chicago 02 (courtesy of Law Office sting at Zingmagazine’s booth); Waiting Room Gallery, Minneapolis; ONI Gallery, Boston; Bronx River Art Center, NY; Museo de las Americas, Puerto Rico; TBA Exhibition Space, Chicago. Close to four hundred copies were distributed freely in three years. All the copies were home-made with four raggedy VHS machines. People were also encouraged to make their own copies, edit alternate versions and to share them with others. Official alternate versions of The Program were edited by artist Stefano Pasquini and curator Rebekah Rutkoff.


The Program makes its final debut as part of Artist Run Chicago, curated by Allison Petters Quinn and Britton Bertran at the Hyde Park Art Center. Make sure to go there and change the channel at will.


visit the link for images, ephemera and Marc Fischer’s essay Judgment Day for Video Art:




A selection of ephemera, digital files, video, sound work and objects (from past FGA collaborators and exhibitions) that will be permanently available for public browsing.


Artist and Objects included in the archives:

Jorge Castro: CLON,” limited edition cd; “2 Sides,” poster with audio cassette and keychain by Andy Hall and Mindy Rose Schwartz (released on Academy Records in 1999); "Filler" (Michael Colligan, Fred Lonberg-Holm, Andy Hall, Matthew Hanner, Steve Lacy) from Whitewalls #44 (Double grooved clear vinyl record and insert); Photocopy Me magazine (edition unknown); "FGA #6" (Kinko's made zine with reviews by Lori Waxman, Shane Selzer, Leah Finch, Nato Thompson and Michael Bulka); 19 full-color postcards from the series "GOTOPUERTORICOUSA" by collective W&N (originally distributed at THE DAMS in Photo Miami Art Fair and THE DAMS 2 at Universidad del Sagrado Corazón, Puerto Rico); "MYOB" stencil by Felix Agosto; “Obsolete Shit” limited edition booklet by Stefano Pasquini“What Future?” Noise and Sound Art compilation from Miami and Puerto Rico, originally distributed at Circa Art Fair '08; "Repuesto Blog," zine ( with images by Terence Hannum, Matt Hanner, Jennifer Schmidt); "Crash Your Own" paper modules by LM Rodriguez; “FGA #3” (reviews by Michael Bulka, Anthony Elms, Julia Marsh, Leah Finch); “Refurbished,” soundtrack and artwork by Gardy Perez (originally for exhibition More Confortable and Better at Dogmatic); "Springtime in Minnesota," photo-essay by Kasarian Dane (originally distributed during exhibition "MAGAZINE" at The Stray Show, 2002); selection of video works by Ozzie Forbes, Carmen Olmo, Lilliam Nieves and Arnaldo Roman; and a selection of xerox flyers by Gean Moreno.


Founded by Pedro Vélez and Michael Bulka in 1997, the FGA  (aka Fucking Good Art) started as a poorly published xerox zine / online site dedicated to drunken rants and art criticism --this was before the term "blog" even existed. In 2001, with the help of artist/curator Lena Kuffner, the FGA evolved into a curatorial effort housed in diverse venues between Chicago and Puerto Rico. By 2004 the FGA had a swell group of collaborators (working for free) organizing exhibitions developed specifically for the web, rental spaces, art fairs and sound compilations.


What Future?

The Dams 2