On April 8th Swiss Institute’s OFFSITE program will stage the fifth event of their Lunar Intervals series, Sahra Motalebi’s Lunar Interval V: Waning Gibbous. The program will present Flesh, Format 2 (from Directory of Portrayals), Motalebi’s open-form opera based on the exclusively digital relationship between her and her sister in Iran who has never met. The 45-minute vocal-only performance will continue her exploration of both operatic structures and the complex cultural and geographical narratives produced from a long-distance familial relationship.

As a part of the Lunar Intervals series, Swiss Institute will release an accompanying 7-inch record, and additionally, in 2019, the entirety of Directory of Portrayals’ libretto will be published as an experimental piece of auto-fiction.

Sahra Motalebi
Lunar Interval V: Waning Gibbous

Sunday, April 8, 7pm
Swiss Institute OFFSITE
Einstein Auditorium
Barney Building #105
34 Stuyvesant Street, New York, NY 10003
Co-presented with 80WSE
RSVP to rsvp@swissinstitute.net essential as capacity is limited.

PLAYTIME COMPOSITION #001 : TRANSITIONS, PT. I, II, III & IV, 2018, centerfold image with score hidden underneath.

Chicago-based Dirty New Media artist, Shawné Michaelain Holloway exposes the complexities of her dual dominant and submissive BDSM identity with her in progress serial The Chamber Series. The project is set to include ten performative scores each paired with a partner publication titled The Companion. Stemming from her experiences during Puppy Play — a popular fetish in the BDSM community where its participants personify the instincts of a puppy — the series chronicles the power relationship between an unknown master, her dominant self, and a puppy, her submissive self. The Chamber Series’ first partner publication, THE COMPANION #001 : ACCOMPANIMENT-001_A-REALIZATION__THE-CHAMBER-SERIES-COMPANION.ZIP, a downloadable multimedia puzzle was released on Christmas Day 2017 through the Internet Archive’s HUMAN TRASH DUMP Channel. Two performative scores followed in January of 2018, first PLAYTIME COMPOSITION #001 : TRANSITIONS, PT. I, II, III & IV  which was published in UNBAG magazine’s issue focusing on endings, and the second PLAYTIME COMPOSITION I: BASIC FUNCTIONS, PT.(1) DOWN & (2) OUT  featured in Predicated. A Recollection at The Kitchen.

PLAYTIME COMPOSITION I: BASIC FUNCTIONS, PT.(1) DOWN & (2) OUT, 2018, carbonless copy paper.

The serial is meant to function as a kind of precious dialogue between the unknown master (Holloway) and the puppy (also Holloway), as an attempt for a deeper understanding. The master writes notated performative scores, to which the puppy playfully responds with digital files. Within The Chamber Series ecosystem, this dialogue becomes a kind of keepsake to which we are offered intermittent access. The release of the second issue of The Companion could be released at any moment.

On February 22nd at Yale University, the renown German artist, filmmaker, and writer, Hito Steyerl, presented a speculative lecture aptly named Bubble Vision: Aesthetics of Isolation, which centered on the recent trend of orb-based aesthetics coming out of VR design culture. According to Steyerl, “Bubble Vision” refers to the markedly disembodied process of viewing the world through a parallel spherical multiverse. She highlighted the aesthetics current ubiquity by replicating the immersive experience offered by VR, constructing a 360˚ view of the hypothesis’ pervasiveness in our everyday lives.

Hito Steyerl presenting her speculative lecture, Bubble Vision: Aesthetics of Isolation, at Yale University.

Steyerl points out that in VR, the haptic interaction with spheres is a means of transporting oneself into a new space. With the same logic, she guides the audience through a series of curated images of bubbles which advance her hypothesis of their simultaneous importance and invisibility in contemporary culture. “Bubble Vision” is a framework that facilitates this shift, proposing to adapt us to a world where we’re slowly replaced by artificial intelligence systems.

President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi of Egypt, King Salman of Saudi Arabia, and Donald Trump taking hold in unison to an illuminated globe at the opening of an anti-extremism center in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

While speaking about the unreliable nature of crystal balls, Steyerl projected the widely-circulated image of President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi of Egypt, King Salman of Saudi Arabia, and Donald Trump taking hold in unison to an illuminated globe at the opening of an anti-extremism center in Riyadh. The artist’s theory posits that our transformation into incorporeal forms is propelled by the current backlash against distorted presentations of information. Experiences are being designed as realist observations to claim authenticity. The isolation of VR, which allows for immersion in foreign spaces without consequences, has made it seem as though it’s an ideal presentation for genuine events. Orbs that appear too real, with too much ease, must not be automatically trusted. VR’s promotion of identity tourism only takes us out of the confusion of disinformation into a world of global isolation and escapism. The Earth seems flat from our perspective walking on its surface, Steyerl explains, just as from the inside of a filter bubble, the curvature, or subjective bias of one’s position, and can remain invisible.

To Steyerl, Amazon’s preservation of plant life in its constructed biosphere is an inversion of the Anthropocene.

Tags: #HitoSteyerl


Listen to the newest single from New York native XHOSA. Both performed and produced by the underground pop experimentalist, “Honey on a Dark Day” is a smooth and sultry slow jam that shows off the artist’s acuity as a songwriter. “I took your word, I took it all in / My only armor in a fight I couldn’t win,” she croons, her warm moody vocals spelling out a tale of wistful yearning sweetened by the track’s soothing steady beat and glittering astral melodies.

Photography by Lula Hyers
“Honey on a Dark Day” produced by XHOSA
Co-production, additional vocals, and mixing by @5thplanet

Before their assassination, Olga, Tatiana, Maria, and Anastasia Romanov led stilted lives. Existing within a family patriarchy and with the threat of a violent revolution, they had little control. Through the artifacts they left behind, a myth was built about their reliance upon each other. Their friendships are named after their self-given acronym, OTMA. The legend of the Grand Duchesses inspired Women’s History Museum, the moniker of Amanda McGowan and Mattie Rivkah Barringer, to create OTMA’s Body,


Living between the spaces of art and fashion, the show functions as a boutique. It contains all the aspects of a clothing store, from the clothing racks to the mannequins to the self-referential decor. With their collage aesthetic, Women’s History Museum augments those elements. Using methods similar to Lou Dallas and Ser Serpas, all of the objects are made from recycled materials found during McGowan and Barringer’s travels. With those found supplies McGowan created her pieces, and Barringer created hers. They collected their finished work and produced a cohesive product. Priced like designer department stores, the objects in the exhibition can be bought and then removed by the buyer. The purchase of the products from McGowan and Barringer’s collaborative process embodies the idea of OTMA. The designers end up working like the four sisters, each has a distinct personality but when brought together they become one body. A body taken apart by the public.


Precession of the Simulacra by Sara Hornbacher

Precession of the Simulacra (1988-1992) by Sara Hornbacher. Photo by Walter Wlodarczyk.

Anti Bodies took place at MoMA PS1 on January 28, the first edition in 2018 of the museum’s VW Sunday Sessions series. Organized with Topical Cream, the program brought together performances, installations, video projections, and readings with recurring themes of self-preservation, soft labor, surveillance anxieties, community care-taking, virtual surrogacy, and emotional narrativity. Participating artists comprised Analisa Teachworth with Jonas Wendelin, Deli Girls, Julia Scher, Maya Martinez with Jasmine Cindy, Michelle Young Lee, Natasha Stagg, Redeem Pettaway, Rindon Johnson, Sara Hornbacher, Sarah Zapata, Sophia Le Fraga with Jameson Fitzpatrick, and Zsela.


Sarah Zapata reading foot erotica in a textile installation of her own design. Photo by Walter Wlodarczyk.

Sarah Zapata

Projections of feet by Sarah Zapata. The artist’s foot-themed writing is available on cassette. Photo by Walter Wlodarczyk.


Live reading of a play by Maya Martinez performed with and costumes by Jasmine Cindy. Photo by Walter Wlodarczyk.


Jasmine Cindy in a lamb costume of her own design. Photo by Walter Wlodarczyk.


Sophia Le Fraga’s TH3 B4LD 50PR4N0; or, English Made Easy performed with Jameson Fitzpatrick. Photo by Walter Wlodarczyk.


Natasha Stagg reading “Am Consulting” forthcoming in Intersubjectivity Vol 2 (Sternberg Press). Photo by Walter Wlodarczyk.

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“The Care Room” is performance by Michelle Young Lee highlighting the nature of unpaid feminized labor. Images courtesy of the artist.


We Have a Void by Rindon Johnson. Image courtesy MoMA PS1. Photo by Derek Schultz.


OVA, Analisa Teachworth in collaboration with Jonas Wendelin

OVA by Analisa Teachworth and Jonas Wendelin performed with Cara Diaz Certosimo and Kellian Delice. Images courtesy the artist and Walter Wlodarcyk.


Jacksonville-based Redeem Pettaway introducing Transatlantic Adam: “Black existence is restraint.” Photo by Walter Wlodarczyk.


From Transatlantic Adam: “dial 1 for emoticon/dial 2 to release/dial 3 for eye secretion/cautious carry.” Image courtesy MoMA PS1. Photo by Derek Schultz.


Julia Scher’s Consent Clinic interrogates surveillance, control, and architectures of permission. Photo by Walter Wlodarczyk.


Scher: “These images of the body, taken and absorbed, we’re so used to it, but what do we consent?” Photo by Walter Wlodarczyk.


Danny Orlowski of Deli Girls, whose music summons ambient societal violence to exorcise it. Photo by Walter Wlodarczyk.


Tommi Kelly of Deli Girls playing the band’s jagged synths and blown-out drum machines. Photo by Walter Wlodarczyk.


Soul singer Zsela, accompanied by Carr Chadwick and wearing a couture bra by Candice Williams. Photo by Walter Wlodarczyk.


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 “In an art world that all too often overlooks the contributions of women and gender-nonconforming individuals, Topical Cream elevates their voices”—Rachel Hahn for Vogue Magazine


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The Vogue profile offers a thorough overview of our mission, acknowledging our online journal; public programming efforts at MoMA PS1, Artists Space, and the Swiss Institute; fundraising auction in collaboration with Artsy; and line of artist-designed sports bras. The photos accompanying the piece are from Life Support, the closing party marking the end of our inaugural fundraising auction in 2017, hosted by comedian Amy Zimmer and featuring a set from DJ Dese Escobar and a live saxophone performance by PAUL.


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Photography by Lyndsy Welgos
Featuring (in order of appearance): Lyndsy Welgos, Whitney Mallett, Amy Zimmer, Dese Escobar, and PAUL (Angelina Dreem).

Anti Bodies is an afternoon of performance, readings and installations organized with Topical Cream, a platform for female-identifying and gender non-conforming persons working at the intersection of contemporary art and technology. Focusing on artists whose practices explore methods of self-preservation, the featured work demonstrates how gestures of resistance can be choreographed through performance and communal action.

Analisa Teachworth and Jonas Wendelin “Dependency Demographics,” 2017, photo courtesy of the artist.

The program, part of VW Sunday Sessions, includes a performance by Analisa Teachworth; video screenings presented by Jacksonville-based artist Redeem Pettaway; an exploration of surveillance, control, and seduction by Julia Scher; and live concerts from Zsela and Deli Girls. The program is complemented by additional programming presented throughout the museum, including an ongoing performance by Michelle Young Lee examining the labor of care, a video installation by Sara Hornbacher, and a recital situated within an environment created by Sarah Zapata with poetry and readings from Zapata, Maya Martinez, Rin Johnson, Sophia Le Fraga, and Natasha Stagg.

Anti Bodies
Sunday, January 28, 2 to 6pm
22-25 Jackson Avenue
Long Island City, NY 11101
contact rx@topicalcream.info for guestlist.

Club Glow is back for a New Years Eve bash at Villan in Williamsburg this Sunday night with a live performance by La’Fem LaDosha and Eartheater! You came to the Halloween bash with Peaches, now celebrate with the dolls for 2018! There are a lot of parties this weekend, but this is the only bash you know will be FAM.






Sadaf_Club_GlowAll images José Manuel Girona

Club Glow NYE Bash
$30 PreSale $40 Door
307 Kent Ave
Brooklyn, New York

In Awe

By Jennifer Gelardo

The remarkably un-connotated and long-established space of the Kunsthalle Exnergasse in Vienna was host to the the “in awe” exhibition which ran from October until November of this year. The exhibition spread throughout the space with slacking shapes and lying limbs, hung from walls and in shelve systems. With excerpts from their current productions, some artists would let curator Melanie Ohnemus select the protagonists for her interrelational formations, others decided to make paintings or objects especially for this occasion, or intervened in performative ways.

Laura Hinrichsmeyer “Alitoto Solemini,” 2016, metal resin fiberglass,pigment.

In a general pull to one corner of the space, the assembly of the artworks disclosed an antagonistic development of figuration and posed questions towards ideas of refinement. Joining two important influences of her career, namely the art scenes of Frankfurt am Main, Germany and Vienna, Austria, the curator opted for being highly subjective in her approach. In terms of installation though the contributions were managed poignantly. The show offered a carelessness in spite of stylish or programmatic exhibition-making that might overwrite exhibits themselves by their thematic overburdening.

Lisa Holzer, The Dissidents, 2016, pigment print on cotton paper, Crystal Clear 202/1, polyurethane on glass, framed, 92 x 72 cm.

The Dissidents, a graphic piece on shrill yellow cotton paper by Lisa Holzer, the only item placed on the wall to the right seen from the entrance, set an intuitional tone with its abstract movement. Being a blown-up photographic image depicting the inside of a chips bag, it is accompanied by one of her quotes, this time around power and puke. Lena Henke’s black fiberglass figure, which was placed in a manner of welcoming the viewer into the left drift, introduced an almost undefinable drapery balancing precariously on three kinds of male deodorants. This horseless saddle turned it’s back on Josefin Granqvist’s crudely made tiny ceramic shelve holding a stone she had retrieved from a lake nearby her Swedish home. Being one of two shrines mounted to each short side of a wall-module in the middle of the room, they were inducing a kind of enchanted moment into the situation. Describing these three assemblages may outline a reluctance towards definition and an impulse against a binary mode of thought that was inherently felt in this balancing act of an art exhibition.


Nicole Wermers, Lena Henke,2017, exhibition view, Kunsthalle Exnergasse, Vienna.(ALL PHOTOS Photos: Markus Krottendorfer

“in awe”
curated by Melanie Ohnemus
Kunsthalle Exnergasse, Vienna, Austria
Währinger Str. 59, 1090 Wien, Austria