Week 21: byproducts

Hi Everyone,

This Tuesday is another event in a year-long series of weekly conversations and exhibits in 2010 shedding light on examples of Plausible Artworlds.

This week we’ll be talking with Marisa Jahn, currently in the throes of compiling and editing a collection of essays and conversations entitled “Byproducts: On the Excess of Embedded Art Practices,” to be published this fall by YYZ Books (Toronto).


“Byproducts” examines art-related projects — many of which have been discussed in the context of Plausible Artworlds — whose artfulness lies in building micro-worlds within other non-artworld systems. While parasitically reliant on the socioeconomic structure and symbolic order of other dominant systems, these artworks or “byproducts” — exploit loopholes, surpluses and exceptions in order to affirm individual agency and complexify the mechanisms of their dominant “host.” As pivots or turning points between art and other sectors, these works function as carriers for meaning across disciplines.

Through examples from the late 1960s through to the present (including Au Travail / At Work, Experiments in Art and Technology, The Yes Men, Mr. Peanut, Reverend Billy, Kristin Lucas, Janez Jansa), ‘Byproducts’ explores what vocabularies may be required to describe, and what criteria needed for evaluating these practices. The book draws both on Jahn’s involvement in the arts as an artist/writer, her invitations as a practitioner-from-the-outside into other disciplines, and her work as an outreach/campaign coordinator and community organizer with a variety of grassroots advocacy-based organizations. Plausible artworlds within “Plausible Artworlds”…