In this talk, curator Nato Thompson pulls from his recently published book, Seeing Power: Art and Activism in the Age of Cultural Production (Melville House, 2012), to discuss the work of some of the most interesting artists and activists working today. He evaluates sites and institutions that empower their communities to see power and re-imagine it. From cooperative housing to anarchist infoshops to alternative art venues, Thompson shows that many of today’s most innovative spaces operate as sites of dramatic personal transformation.
Since January 2007, Nato Thompson has been chief curator at Creative Time, organizing projects such as Democracy in America: The National Campaign (2008), Paul Chan’s acclaimed Waiting for Godot in New Orleans (2007), and Mike Nelson’s A Psychic Vacuum. Prior to Creative Time, he worked as Curator at MASS MoCA where he completed numerous large-scale exhibitions such as The Interventionists: Art in the Social Sphere (2004), a survey of political art of the 1990s with a catalogue distributed by MIT Press. His writings have appeared in numerous publications including BookForum, Art Journal, tema celeste, Parkett, Cabinet, and The Journal of Aesthetics and Protest. In 2004, the College Art Association honored him for distinguished writing in Art Journal.