Arena 1 Gallery is pleased to announce the opening of F•UTILITY: ABSURD ACTS OF RADICAL INTELLIGENCE, a group exhibition of work by artists from around the country who aim to redefine ideas of progress and efficiency. Our society often judges the pursuit of the artist as frivolous or decadent, one lacking the pragmatic values associated with a meaningful endeavor. Things of consequence are linked to direct agency, often aiming for an object with a solid logical conclusion or purpose. The F•Utility artists are acknowledging this situation and embracing their doubts about the efficacy of art making.
These artists have agency, yet they are engaging anti-efficient methods of working, expressed in rhizomatic, DIY ways. They are anti-business and pro-intellect. As opposed to optimist or positivist or pessimist these artists are determinists. They are autodidacts. They are scrappy, they are tapping into subconscious energy close to instinct.
Their speculative daydreaming has no pre-determined end in sight, so these artists tend to discover meaning through the process of making. Sometimes this is expressed through bodily catharsis and other times through the material residue of their actions. The F•Utility artists share a temperment that is at once contrarian and flexible, they are mavens and collectors of junk. Often there is a visceral quality of labor, of working with the hands and body, of a holistic encounter between body and spirit and material. In other instances, the artists show the seams of their making and the gesture of their hand becomes the signature of the work.