The AnarkoArtLab is a collective of new-media, visual artists, performers, musicians, dancers, poets, etc For the past years has been conducting monthly experimental, interdisciplinary art happenings. The collective grew to be a large amorphous group that presented monthly live events ; we create a CONCEPT and it becomes a LIVE, collaborative, multi-media art experience that is immersive and participatory. The Anarko Art Lab has grown into a vibrant community exchanging and experimenting with ideas about art, equality, collectivity and anarchy in action.
“one of the aspects that interest us in art is the fact that it is a territory in which we have greater freedom to construct other possibilities of the world, as well as being a territory that allows developing some consciousness in the process of creating ourselves.”
The ANARKOARTLAB was formed by a group of artists of various nationalities across a variety of media—visual, performance, video, music, poetry, dance—to create a space where boundary-less anarchist artists can work together and inspire each other, that is free from the white male supremacy capitalist bourgeois economy of the art world.
At the core of our proposal is to return to the process, the investigation—direct participation in the collective imaginary-creation-action free from hierarchies. Our ancestors and references include the Living Theatre, the Theatre of the Oppressed, Artaud, SOMA, Fluxus, futurism, Dada, the Situationists, among others.
The AnarkoArtLab was formed simultaneously with the NYC Anarchist Book Fair, but it became more defined when David and Tara Gladden joined the group three years later. Innitialy, we staged our performances at the altar at Judson Memorial Church during the book fair--but the space was limited and the atmosphere too noisy and crowded. So the Gladdens, the Brazilian Sisters Denise/Paula Kohatsu, Angela Freiberger, and Adriana Varella held a meeting with Brad Burges from the Living Theatre to explore the possibility of initiating a monthly lab. The LIVING THEATER come almost every year to read or perform the beautiful text that Judith Malina and Julian Beck wrote about peace, generally to open the Anarko Art Festival.
The AnarkoArtLab is an autonomous space for creation. Since we no longer have a regular space, we are nomadic, collaborating with different groups and spaces.
About our process
Our primary objective at AnarkoArtLab is to decipher where and when collective imaginary TRANS-media-artist can exist; We believe that once once we’ve done that, we have consciousness of ourselves.
What is the collective imaginary? It comes from the capacity and availability of autonomous bodies to interact. The artists who participate in AnarkoArtLab are prepared for a new collective imaginary that is self-determined in the moment by a seed (concept). How does this work? Through the conceptual seed, chosen and defined beforehand by the group, we generate ideas and let them float in the air like bubbles. Then the error, the fantastic, the improvised, the empty, is thrown to the collective, which activates a chain reaction where each artist gives support to the other.
We use different concepts for each experiment: Our experiments are unconscious improvisations. We work with the unpredictable, surprising, polyphonic, polymorphous, and inter-textual. We seek a TRANS-mediation. We seek to break the barriers behind which each member engages in the development of their own part of the encounter. This is the reinvention of the psycho-pantomime through creative collaboration, forming new languages of synthesis and dialogue and new collaborative esthetics.
Our experiments don’t have a beginning nor an end. There is no timed framework. We start from an idea with no place and no time. We search for possibilities: the seeds (concepts) of the unstructured imaginary that continuously moves through a process of reflection within these partnerships. Depending on the combinations and modulations, we start to create different variations and connections that generate collisions between ideas, bodies, actions, movements, and the imaginaries themselves. We use video, images, poetry, texts, words, noise, language—or no language—dance, movement, installations, lights, or whatever we find within our reach at that moment to continue this game of the imaginary.
The AnarkoArtLab process enables the individual imaginary to organize itself and transform, so that any question of territory and creation is blurred by bodies in movement. That’s why we try not to work with memory, or anything tied to tests or predefined rehearsals. We want amnesia. We are only interested in work that incorporates the improvised, the immediate, the risky, the uncertain, the impermanent. In this state of trance, where the moment (time) collapses and space establishes the relationship between subject and object, the participants experiment, and investigate, and everybody can connect at a new level of perception and integration.
The more people participate in the project, the more they want to transgress—because everybody wants to create deconstructive movements, unusual perceptions and unexpected situations. AnarkoArtLab creates for us the pretext for being and creating together. This is art for us. This integration, when it happens, is like a magic miracle. If it doesn’t happen, that’s ok too—we are happy just the same. The rest—the product—doesn’t matter.
What are the forms of “anarchist art”? We’ve arrived at the conclusion that as soon as we try to define them, they stop being anarchical. We know that some artists and theorists are trying to define anarchist art … but so what? We know that we are indefinable by definition.