Issue 25

Issue 24

Issue 23

Issue 22

Issue 21

Issue 20

Issue 19

Letter from the Editor –Lindsay Preston Zappas
Parasites in Love –Travis Diehl
To Crush Absolute On Patrick Staff and
Destroying the Institution
–Jonathan Griffin
Victoria Fu:
Camera Obscured
–Cat Kron
Resurgence of Resistance How Pattern & Decoration's Popularity
Can Help Reshape the Canon
–Catherine Wagley
Trace, Place, Politics Julie Mehretu's Coded Abstractions
–Jessica Simmons
Exquisite L.A.: Featuring: Friedrich Kunath,
Tristan Unrau, and Nevine Mahmoud
–Claressinka Anderson & Joe Pugliese
Buy the Issue In our Online Shop
Reviews April Street
at Vielmetter Los Angeles
–Aaron Horst

Chiraag Bhakta
at Human Resources
–Julie Weitz

Don’t Think: Tom, Joe
and Rick Potts

at POTTS
–Matt Stromberg

Sarah McMenimen
at Garden
–Michael Wright

The Medea Insurrection
at the Wende Museum
–Jennifer Remenchik

(L.A. in N.Y.)
Mike Kelley
at Hauser & Wirth
–Angella d’Avignon

Issue 18

Letter from the Editor –Lindsay Preston Zappas
The Briar and the Tar Nayland Blake at the ICA LA
and Matthew Marks Gallery
–Travis Diehl
Putting Aesthetics
to Hope
Tracking Photography’s Role
in Feminist Communities
– Catherine Wagley
Instagram STARtists
and Bad Painting
– Anna Elise Johnson
Interview with Jamillah James – Lindsay Preston Zappas
Working Artists Featuring Catherine Fairbanks,
Paul Pescador, and Rachel Mason
Text: Lindsay Preston Zappas
Photos: Jeff McLane
Buy the Issue In Our Online Shop
Reviews Children of the Sun
at LADIES’ ROOM
– Jessica Simmons

Derek Paul Jack Boyle
at SMART OBJECTS
–Aaron Horst

Karl Holmqvist
at House of Gaga, Los Angeles
–Lee Purvey

Katja Seib
at Château Shatto
–Ashton Cooper

Jeanette Mundt
at Overduin & Co.
–Matt Stromberg

Issue 17

Letter From the Editor Lindsay Preston Zappas
Green Chip David Hammons
at Hauser & Wirth
–Travis Diehl
Whatever Gets You
Through the Night
The Artists of Dilexi
and Wartime Trauma
–Jonathan Griffin
Generous Collectors How the Grinsteins
Supported Artists
–Catherine Wagley
Interview with
Donna Huanca
–Lindsy Preston Zappas
Working Artist Featuring Ragen Moss, Justen LeRoy,
and Bari Ziperstein
Text: Lindsay Preston Zappas
Photos: Jeff McLane
Buy the Issue In Our Online Shop
Reviews Sarah Lucas
at the Hammer Museum
–Yxta Maya Murray

George Herms and Terence Koh
at Morán Morán
–Matt Stromberg

Hannah Hur
at Bel Ami
–Michael Wright

Sebastian Hernandez
at NAVEL
–Julie Weitz

(L.A. in N.Y.)
Alex Israel
at Greene Naftali
–Rosa Tyhurst

Issue 16

Trulee Hall's Untamed Magic Catherine Wagley
Ingredients for a Braver Art Scene Ceci Moss
I Shit on Your Graves Travis Diehl
Interview with Ruby Neri Jonathan Griffin
Carolee Schneemann and the Art of Saying Yes! Chelsea Beck
Exquisite L.A. Claressinka Anderson
Joe Pugliese
Buy the Issue In Our Online Shop
Reviews Ry Rocklen
at Honor Fraser
–Cat Kron

Rob Thom
at M+B
–Lindsay Preston Zappas

Soul of a Nation: Art in the Age
of Black Power, 1963-1983
at The Broad
–Matt Stromberg

Anna Sew Hoy & Diedrick Brackens
at Various Small Fires
–Aaron Horst

Julia Haft-Candell & Suzan Frecon
at Parrasch Heijnen
–Jessica Simmons

(L.A. in N.Y.)
Shahryar Nashat
at Swiss Institute
–Christie Hayden

Issue 15

Letter From the Editor Lindsay Preston Zappas
Letter to the Editor
Men on Women
Geena Brown
Eyes Without a Voice
Julian Rosefeldt's Manifesto
Christina Catherine Martinez
Seven Minute Dream Machine
Jordan Wolfson's (Female figure)
Travis Diehl
Laughing in Private
Vanessa Place's Rape Jokes
Catherine Wagley
Interview with
Rosha Yaghmai
Laura Brown
Exquisite L.A.
Featuring: Patrick Martinez,
Ramiro Gomez, and John Valadez
Claressinka Anderson
Joe Pugliese
Buy the Issue In our Online Shop
Reviews Outliers and American
Vanguard Art at LACMA
–Jonathan Griffin

Sperm Cult
at LAXART
–Matt Stromberg

Kahlil Joseph
at MOCA PDC
–Jessica Simmons

Ingrid Luche
at Ghebaly Gallery
–Lindsay Preston Zappas

Matt Paweski
at Park View / Paul Soto
–John Zane Zappas

Trenton Doyle Hancock
at Shulamit Nazarian
–Colony Little

(L.A. in N.Y.)
Catherine Opie
at Lehmann Maupin
–Angella d'Avignon

Issue 14

Letter From the Editor Lindsay Preston Zappas
Celeste Dupuy-Spencer and Figurative Religion Catherine Wagley
Lynch in Traffic Travis Diehl
The Remixed Symbology of Nina Chanel Abney Lindsay Preston Zappas
Interview with Kulapat Yantrasast Christie Hayden
Exquisite L.A.
Featuring: Sandra de la Loza, Gloria Galvez, and Steve Wong
Claressinka Anderson
Photos: Joe Pugliese
Buy the Issue In Our Online Shop
Reviews Raúl de Nieves
at Freedman Fitzpatrick
-Aaron Horst

Gertrud Parker
at Parker Gallery
-Ashton Cooper

Robert Yarber
at Nicodim Gallery
-Jonathan Griffin

Nikita Gale
at Commonwealth & Council
-Simone Krug

Lari Pittman
at Regen Projects
-Matt Stromberg

(L.A. in N.Y.)
Eckhaus Latta
at the Whitney Museum
of American Art
-Angella d'Avignon

Issue 13

Letter From the Editor Lindsay Preston Zappas
Letter to the Editor Julie Weitz with Angella d'Avignon
Don't Make
Everything Boring
Catherine Wagley
The Collaborative Art
World of Norm Laich
Matt Stromberg
Oddly Satisfying Art Travis Diehl
Made in L.A. 2018 Reviews Claire de Dobay Rifelj
Jennifer Remenchik
Aaron Horst
Exquisite L.A.
Featuring: Anna Sew Hoy, Guadalupe Rosales, and Shizu Saldamando
Claressinka Anderson
Photos: Joe Pugliese
Buy the Issue In Our Online Shop
Reviews It's Snowing in LA
at AA|LA
–Matthew Lax

Fiona Conner
at the MAK Center
–Thomas Duncan

Show 2
at The Gallery @ Michael's
–Simone Krug

Deborah Roberts
at Luis De Jesus Los Angeles
–Ikechukwu Casmir Onyewuenyi

Mimi Lauter
at Blum & Poe
–Jessica Simmons

(L.A. in N.Y.)
Math Bass
at Mary Boone
–Ashton Cooper

(L.A. in N.Y.)
Condo New York
–Laura Brown

Issue 12

Poetic Energies and
Radical Celebrations:
Senga Nengudi and Maren Hassinger
Simone Krug
Interior States of the Art Travis Diehl
Perennial Bloom:
Florals in Feminism
and Across L.A.
Angella d'Avignon
The Mess We're In Catherine Wagley
Interview with Christina Quarles Ashton Cooper
Object Project
Featuring Suné Woods, Michelle Dizon,
and Yong Soon Min
Lindsay Preston Zappas
Photos: Jeff McLane
Buy the Issue In Our Online Shop
Reviews Meleko Mokgosi
at The Fowler Museum at UCLA
-Jessica Simmons

Chris Kraus
at Chateau Shatto
- Aaron Horst

Ben Sanders
at Ochi Projects
- Matt Stromberg

iris yirei hsu
at the Women's Center
for Creative Work
- Hana Cohn

Harald Szeemann
at the Getty Research Institute
- Olivian Cha

Ali Prosch
at Bed and Breakfast
- Jennifer Remenchik

Reena Spaulings
at Matthew Marks
- Thomas Duncan

Issue 11

Letter from the Editor Lindsay Preston Zappas
Museum as Selfie Station Matt Stromberg
Accessible as Humanly as Possible Catherine Wagley
On Laura Owens on Laura Owens Travis Diehl
Interview with Puppies Puppies Jonathan Griffin
Object Project Lindsay Preston Zappas, Jeff McLane
Buy the Issue In Our Online Shop
Reviews Dulce Dientes
at Rainbow in Spanish
- Aaron Horst

Adrián Villas Rojas
at The Geffen Contemporary at MOCA
- Lindsay Preston Zappas

Nevine Mahmoud
at M+B
- Angella D'Avignon

Radical Women: Latin American Art, 1960- 1985
at the Hammer Museum
- Thomas Duncan

Hannah Greely and William T. Wiley
at Parker Gallery
- Keith J. Varadi

David Hockney
at The Metropolitan Museum of Art (L.A. in N.Y.)
- Ashton Cooper

Edgar Arceneaux
at Yerba Buena Center for the Arts (L.A. in S.F.)
- Hana Cohn

Issue 10

Letter from the Editor Lindsay Preston Zappas
Barely Living with Art:
The Labor of Domestic
Spaces in Los Angeles
Eli Diner
She Wanted Adventure:
Dwan, Butler, Mizuno, Copley
Catherine Wagley
The Languages of
All-Women Exhibitions
Lindsay Preston Zappas
L.A. Povera Travis Diehl
On Eclipses:
When Language
and Photography Fail
Jessica Simmons
Interview with
Hamza Walker
Julie Wietz
Reviews Cheyenne Julien
at Smart Objects

Paul Mpagi Sepuya
at team bungalow

Ravi Jackson
at Richard Telles

Tactility of Line
at Elevator Mondays

Trigger: Gender as a Tool as a Weapon
at the New Museum
(L.A. in N.Y.)
Buy the Issue In Our Online Shop
Object Project
Featuring: Rosha Yaghmai,
Dianna Molzan, and Patrick Jackson
Lindsay Preston Zappas
Photos by Jeff McLane
Pacific Standard Time: LA/LA
Reviews
Regen Projects
Ibid Gallery
One National Gay & Lesbian Archives and MOCA PDC
The Mistake Room
Luis De Jesus Gallery
the University Art Gallery at CSULB
the Autry Museum

Issue 9

Letter from the Editor Lindsay Preston Zappas
Women on the Plinth Catherine Wagley
Us & Them, Now & Then:
Reconstituting Group Material
Travis Diehl
The Offerings of EJ Hill
Ikechukwu Casmir Onyewuenyi
Interview with Jenni Sorkin Carmen Winant
Letter to the Editor Lady Parts, Lady Arts
Buy the Issue In Our Online Shop
Object Project
Featuring: Rebecca Morris,
Linda Stark, Alex Olson
Lindsay Preston Zappas
Photos by Jeff McClane
Reviews Mark Bradford
at the Venice Biennale

Broken Language
at Shulamit Nazarian

Artists of Color
at the Underground Museum

Anthony Lepore & Michael Henry Hayden
at Del Vaz Projects

Home
at LACMA

Analia Saban at
Sprueth Magers

Issue 8

Letter from the Editor Lindsay Preston Zappas
Kanye Westworld Travis Diehl
@richardhawkins01 Thomas Duncan
Support Structures:
Alice Könitz and LAMOA
Catherine Wagley
Interview with
Penny Slinger
Eliza Swann
Exquisite L.A.
Featuring:
taisha paggett
Ashley Hunt
Young Chung
Intro by Claressinka Anderson
Portraits by Joe Pugliese
Letter to the Editor
Buy the Issue In Our Online Shop
Reviews Alessandro Pessoli
at Marc Foxx

Jennie Jieun Lee
at The Pit

Trisha Baga
at 356 Mission

Jimmie Durham
at The Hammer

Parallel City
at Ms. Barbers

Jason Rhodes
at Hauser & Wirth

Issue 7

Letter from the Editor Lindsay Preston Zappas
Generous
Structures
Catherine Wagley
Put on a Happy Face:
On Dynasty Handbag
Travis Diehl
The Limits of Animality:
Simone Forti at ISCP
(L.A. in N.Y.)
Ikechukwu Casmir Onyewuenyi
More Wound Than Ruin:
Evaluating the
"Human Condition"
Jessica Simmons
Buy the Issue In Our Online Shop
Exquisite L.A.
Featuring:
Brenna Youngblood
Todd Gray
Rafa Esparza
Intro by Claressinka Anderson
Portraits by Joe Pugliese
Reviews Creature
at The Broad

Sam Pulitzer & Peter Wachtler
at House of Gaga // Reena Spaulings Fine Art

Karl Haendel
at Susanne Vielmetter

Wolfgang Tillmans
at Regen Projects

Ma
at Chateau Shatto

The Rat Bastard Protective Association
at the Landing

Issue 6

Letter from the Editor Lindsay Preston Zappas
Kenneth Tam
's Basement
Travis Diehl
The Female
Cool School
Catherine Wagley
The Rise
of the L.A.
Art Witch
Amanda Yates Garcia
Interview with
Mernet Larsen
Julie Weitz
Agnes Martin
at LACMA
Jessica Simmons
Buy the Issue In Our Online Shop
Exquisite L.A.
Featuring:
Analia Saban
Ry Rocklen
Sarah Cain
Intro by Claressinka Anderson
Portraits by Joe Pugliese
Reviews
Made in L.A. 2016
at The Hammer Museum

Doug Aitken
at The Geffen Contemporary at MOCA

Mertzbau
at Tif Sigfrids

Jean-Pascal Flavian and Mika Tajima
at Kayne Griffin Corcoran

Mark A. Rodruigez
at Park View

The Weeping Line
Organized by Alter Space
at Four Six One Nine
(S.F. in L.A.)

Issue 5

Letter form the Editor Lindsay Preston Zappas
Non-Fiction
at The Underground Museum
Catherine Wagley
The Art of Birth Carmen Winant
Escape from Bunker Hill
John Knight
at REDCAT
Travis Diehl
Ed Boreal Speaks Benjamin Lord
Art Advice (from Men) Sarah Weber
Routine Pleasures
at the MAK Center
Jonathan Griffin
Buy the Issue In Our Online Shop
Exquisite L.A.
Featuring:
Fay Ray
John Baldessari
Claire Kennedy
Intro by Claressinka Anderson
Portraits by Joe Pugliese
Reviews Revolution in the Making
at Hauser Wirth & Schimmel

Carl Cheng
at Cherry and Martin

Joan Snyder
at Parrasch Heijnen Gallery

Elanor Antin
at Diane Rosenstein

Performing the Grid
at Ben Maltz Gallery
at Otis College of Art & Design

Laura Owens
at The Wattis Institute
(L.A. in S.F.)

Issue 4

Letter from the Editor Lindsay Preston Zappas
Moon, laub, and Love Catherine Wagley
Walk Artisanal Jonathan Griffin
Reconsidering
Marva Marrow's
Inside the L.A. Artist
Anthony Pearson
Mystery Science Thater:
Diana Thater
at LACMA
Aaron Horst
Informal Feminisms Federica Bueti and Jan Verwoert
Marva Marrow Photographs
Lita Albuquerque
Buy the Issue In Our Online Shop
Interiors and Interiority:
Njideka Akunyili Crosby
Char Jansen
Reviews L.A. Art Fairs

Material Art Fair, Mexico City

Rain Room
at LACMA

Evan Holloway
at David Kordansky Gallery

Histories of a Vanishing Present: A Prologue
at The Mistake Room

Carter Mull
at fused space
(L.A. in S.F.)

Awol Erizku
at FLAG Art Foundation
(L.A. in N.Y.)

Issue 3

Letter from the Editor Lindsay Preston Zappas
Le Louvre, Las Vegas Evan Moffitt
iPhones, Flesh,
and the Word:
F.B.I.
at Arturo Bandini
Lindsay Preston Zappas
Women Talking About Barney Catherine Wagley
Lingua Ignota:
Faith Wilding
at The Armory Center
for the Arts
and LOUDHAILER
Benjamin Lord
A Conversation
with Amalia Ulman
Char Jansen
How We Practice Carmen Winant
Buy the Issue In Our Online Shop
Share Your Piece
of the Puzzle
Federica Bueti
Amanda Ross-Ho Photographs
Erik Frydenborg
Reviews Honeydew
at Michael Thibault

Fred Tomaselli
at California State University, Fullerton

Trisha Donnelly
at Matthew Marks Gallery

Bradford Kessler
at ASHES/ASHES

Issue 2

Letter from the Editor Lindsay Preston Zappas
Hot Tears Carmen Winant
Slow View:
Molly Larkey
Anna Breininger and Kate Whitlock
Americanicity's Paintings:
Orion Martin
at Favorite Goods
Tracy Jeanne Rosenthal
Layers of Leimert Park Catherine Wagley
Junkspace Junk Food:
Parker Ito
at Kaldi, Smart Objects,
White Cube, and
Château Shatto
Evan Moffitt
Melrose Hustle Keith Vaughn
Reviews Mary Ried Kelley
at The Hammer Museum

Tongues Untied
at MOCA Pacific Design Center

No Joke
at Tanya Leighton
(L.A. in Berlin)
Snap Reviews Martin Basher at Anat Ebgi
Body Parts I-V at ASHES ASHES
Eve Fowler at Mier Gallery
Matt Siegle at Park View
Buy the Issue In Our Online Shop
Max Maslansky Photographs
Monica Majoli
at the Tom of Finland Foundation
White Lee, Black Lee:
William Pope.L’s "Reenactor"
Travis Diehl
Dora Budor Interview Char Jensen

Issue 1

Letter from the Editor Lindsay Preston Zappas
MEAT PHYSICS/
Metaphysical L.A.
Travis Diehl
Art for Art’s Sake:
L.A. in the 1990s
Anthony Pearson
A Dialogue in Two
Synchronous Atmospheres
Erik Morse
with Alexandra Grant
SOGTFO
at François Ghebaly
Jonathan Griffin
#studio #visit
with #devin #kenny
@barnettcohen
Mateo Tannatt
Photographs
Jibade-Khalil Huffman
Buy the Issue In Our Online Shop
Slow View:
Discussion on One Work
Anna Breininger
with Julian Rogers
Reviews Pierre Huyghe
at LACMA

Mernet Larsen
at Various Small Fires

John Currin
at Gagosian, Beverly Hills

Pat O'Niell
at Cherry and Martin

A New Rhythm
at Park View

Unwatchable Scenes and
Other Unreliable Images...
at Public Fiction

Charles Gaines
at The Hammer Museum

Henry Taylor
at Blum & Poe/ Untitled
(L.A. in N.Y.)
Distribution
Downtown
Artbook @ Hauser & Wirth
Baert Gallery
Cirrus Gallery
Château Shatto
GAVLAK
François Ghebaly
ICA LA
in lieu
JOAN
MOCA Grand Avenue
Monte Vista Projects
Murmurs
Nicodim Gallery
Night Gallery
OOF Books
Over the Influence
Royale Projects
Sow & Tailor
The Box
Vielmetter Los Angeles
Wilding Cran Gallery
Boyle Heights/ Chinatown
Bel Ami
Charlie James
LACA
Parrasch Heijnen Gallery
Stanley's
Tierra del Sol Gallery
Eastside
BOZOMAG
Odd Ark LA
Marta
Smart Objects
Tyler Park Presents
Westside
18th Street Arts
Ben Maltz Gallery at Otis
Five Car Garage
L.A. Louver
Laband Art Gallery at LMU
Marshall Contemporary
Pasadena/ Glendale/ Valley
The Pit
Junior High
Mid-City
1301 PE
Anat Ebgi
as-is.la
Chris Sharp Gallery
Commonwealth & Council
Craft Contemporary
David Kordansky Gallery
Hammer Museum
Hannah Hoffman
Hunter Shaw Fine Art
Kayne Griffin
Lowell Ryan Projects
Ochi Projects
O-Town House
Park View / Paul Soto
Praz-Delavallade
Real Pain
Shoot the Lobster
Simchowitz
the Landing
Thinkspace Projects
USC Fisher Museum of Art
Culver City
Anat Ebgi
Arcana Books
Blum & Poe
Philip Martin Gallery
Roberts Projects
The Wende Museum
Hollywood
Bridge Projects
Diane Rosenstein
Family Books
LACE
LAXART
M+B
Matthew Brown Los Angeles
Moskowitz Bayse
Nonaka-Hill
Shulamit Nazarian
STARS
Steve Turner
Tanya Bonakdar Gallery
The LODGE
UTA Artist Space
Various Small Fires
Non-L.A.
Best Practice (San Diego, CA)
Et al. (San Francisco, CA)
Left Field (Los Osos, CA)
McNally Jackson (New York, NY)
Minnesota Street Project (San Francisco, CA)
Printed Matter (New York, NY)
Santa Barbara City College (Santa Barbara, CA)
Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture (Skowhegan, ME)
Verge Center for the Arts (Sacramento, CA)
Wattis Institute for Contemporary Art (San Francisco, CA)
Whitney Museum Shop (New York, NY)
Libraries/ Collections
Bard College, Center for Curatorial Studies Library (Annandale-on-Hudson, NY)
CalArts (Valencia, CA)
Center for the Arts, Wesleyan University (Middletown, CT)
Cranbrook Academy of Art (Bloomfield Hills, MI)
Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Research Library (Los Angeles, CA)
Los Angeles Contemporary Archive (Los Angeles, CA)
Marpha Foundation (Marpha, Nepal)
Maryland Institute College of Art, The Decker Library (Baltimore, MD)
The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Thomas J. Watson Library (New York, NY)
Midway Contemporary Art (Minneapolis, MN)
Museum of Contemporary Art Santa Barbara, Emerging Leaders of Arts (Santa Barbara, CA)
Northwest Nazarene University (Nampa, ID)
NYS College of Ceramics at Alfred University, Scholes Library (Alfred, NY)
Pepperdine University (Malibu, CA)
Point Loma Nazarene University (San Diego, CA)
Room Project (Detroit, MI)
School of the Art Institute of Chicago, John M. Flaxman Library (Chicago, IL)
Skowhegan Archives (New York, NY)
Sotheby’s Institute of Art (New York, NY)
Telfair Museum (Savannah, GA)
University of Pennsylvania (Philadelphia, PA)
University of San Diego (San Diego, CA)
USC Fisher Museum of Art (Los Angeles, CA)
Walker Art Center (Minneapolis, MN)
Whitney Museum of American Art, Frances Mulhall Achilles Library (New York, NY)
Yale University Library (New Haven, CT)

Correcting the Record to Preserve It: The Art of the Intersectional Archive

Leer en Español

The Scalability Project: Cacophony of Troubled Stories (installation view) (2020–21). Image courtesy of the artists and A.I.R. Gallery. Photo: Sebastian Bach.

I am lucky. I had all the JPGs, PDFs, and PNGs I needed, utilitarian scans and snapshots from archives across the country, before the libraries shut down. So instead of sitting in cold rooms at large wood tables, I have spent the last year navigating a sea of digital files for a slow-moving project I’ve been working on about the history of support networks for artists. Even compressed on hard drives and desktops, the sheer quantity of research material still feels like something “unsettling and colossal,” as scholar Arlette Farge put it in her 1981 book The Allure of the Archives.1 “Faced with it,” wrote Farge, “you feel alone, like an individual confronting a crowd.”2 This feeling is paradoxical, considering that Farge, who spent years in Paris’ judicial archives, worked toward finding and giving voice to marginalized people, building a new, wider chorus of experiences. In my case, the goal of spending time in the archive is to understand how art workers and artists can and have connected with and sustained one another. So why is it so lonely?

This loneliness is a kind of myth, the product of centuries of treating certain stories as more important than others, and making numerous special collections accessible only to people with advanced degrees or “institutional affiliations,” as the application forms required to access archives often put it. In fact, so many of us are looking to long-forgotten archival material to piece together the anatomies of relationships, support structures, and co-dependencies. So, too, are a growing number of researchers and archivists building indexes, databases, and archives that not only emphasize the connections between different artists, thinkers, people, and projects but also reflect the researchers’ own deep desire for making connections. These undertakings are corrective in that they dismiss the top-down approach of many research institutions (where materials are acquired often only after the lives they document are deemed noteworthy). They also exude optimism—albeit one freighted with the labor-intensive nature of this work—because they suggest that slow excavation and observation can be a way of dismantling the destructive closed-mindedness of worlds that already exist while laying the foundation for a different one. 

The Scalability Project: Cacophony of Troubled Stories, a six-month online exhibition hosted on the feminist, New York-based A.I.R. Gallery’s website, isn’t exactly an archive, but it manages to invite its viewers into deep research while celebrating collectivity—impressive given how isolating online deep-dives can feel. The exhibition, perhaps more aptly described as a sensual, multi-genre syllabus, does not attempt to mimic the click-baiting, scroll-inducing qualities of the internet, a relief in this moment of OVR (online viewing room) and NFT hype. Rather, in its combination of interviews, images, essays, and videos, the exhibition reverts to a more basic, populist possibility of a website as an accessible store of information. There are 12 participants in total—more than half of whom make visual art. The other half present ideas, largely via interviews, yet the little citation orbs that populate the website link to numerous other PDFs, websites, and sources that complement the curated information. Visitors can navigate vertically by scrolling through the list of contributing artists and thinkers, or the page can be navigated laterally by clicking on floating, glowing orbs (blue for texts and interviews, yellow for artist projects). Once you have clicked, you will undoubtedly need to watch or read—even Tabita Rezaire’s otherworldly digital paintings are accompanied by the artist’s poetic essay. Engaging this exhibition could take hours, if not days. In fact, attempting to engage this exhibition quickly is bound to frustrate.

As its title suggests, the exhibition sets out to explore scale in addition to citation, and its curators—designer-scholar-archivist Mindy Seu and archivist-curator Patricia M. Hernandez, alongside A.I.R.’s current director Roxana Fabius—are particularly interested in flipping the growth-is-good, go-big-or-go-home connotations around the term “scalability.” “This is not the masculine, techno-utopian rhetoric of disruption or of moving fast and breaking things,” they write on the exhibition’s home page, “but the methodical, deep labor that comes from ‘looking around, rather than looking ahead’…”3 Though they jab at capitalism and its discontents here and elsewhere, the project and its participants devote most of their energy not toward criticizing the way the world works, but describing, theorizing, and speculating about how to live in a different kind of world. 

Mindy Seu, Cyberfeminism Index (2020). Website. Image courtesy of the artist.

Anthropologist Anna L. Tsing’s 2012 essay “On Nonscalability,” linked to on the exhibition website, inspired the project’s title, and Tsing is a powerful presence throughout the online experience (power, in this case, manifests through the multiple orbs that lead back to her words or ideas). Like many of the participants, Tsing posits closer looking as a way to imagine our way out of the mass-produced, development-driven scalability that is “constantly abandoned, leaving ruins” as it spreads.4 Writer and activist adrienne maree brown, who participated in The Scalability Project through an interview, tells the curators that she has “been relinquishing scale,” by “letting go of the idea that we all have to get on the same page. Instead, I say, let’s get on many different pages, but let them be small, intimate, authentic pages, and then let’s make those pages compelling.”5 There is something satisfyingly seductive about imagining these diverse, compelling pages floating around in proximity to each other—like being at a party where everyone is fabulously, weirdly dressed, and wearing their personalities on their sleeves. To keep this heterogeneity generative and to keep the conversation from being co-opted (from becoming the “master’s tool,” as brown puts it), these people on their different pages must cite each other. “A lack of citation, a lack of people actually naming where the ideas come from, perpetuates weak relationships,” brown says.6 

Just as co-opting the ideas of others without citation can be a way to hold power, or citing established voices a way to claim proximity to power, generously citing peers, mentors, and family members, and obscure voices in addition to established ones, can suggest a more inclusively raucous, open reality in which ideas are shared, rather than used to prove a hierarchy of knowledge. A.I.R. Gallery itself, The Scalability Project’s host, was founded in 1972 to widen the possibilities of who could participate in the conversation around contemporary art. In its early years, it was New York City’s only feminist cooperative gallery, though its membership was disproportionately white and its leadership constantly at odds. “Working together? It was much more like fighting together,” joked co-founder Barbara Zucker in 1979.7 The Scalability Project’s curators are intrigued by these kinds of messy navigations, and have all tried to document and record the difficulties and possibilities of feminism before. Patricia M. Hernandez and Roxana Fabius co-curated Dialectics of Entanglement: Do We Exist Together? at A.I.R. in 2018, revisiting a 1980 A.I.R. show called Dialectics of Isolation. Three artists—Ana Mendieta, Kazuko Miyamoto, and Zarina—had organized the 1980 show to explore second-wave feminism’s repeated exclusion of women of color. The 2018 exhibition included older and current work by the original artists interspersed with work by younger artists also grappling with questions of race and inclusion, in an attempt to pull a still relevant history into the present—an archive and a reconsideration.

This descriptor could easily apply to the Cyberfeminism Index, an ongoing project by the third Scalability co-curator, Mindy Seu, a designer and scholar who has made internet archives a central part of her practice. A growing online compendium of cyberfeminist art and ideas, currently hosted on the New Museum’s website, the minimally-designed Index attempts to offer a deeper, more intersectional idea of feminism in cyberspace than the one that gained traction in the 1980s and 1990s. Like Scalability, the Index is vertically and laterally scrollable. It can be navigated chronologically, top-to-bottom, or by clicking on one source, and then the next related source, and so on. This structure makes it deliberately difficult to engage only with white, Western feminism without also engaging with other perspectives. From the early cyberfeminist manifesto of the VNS Matrix, a collective of white Australian feminists—“we are the virus of the new world disorder,” they wrote in 19918—you might land on Radhika Gajjala’s “Third World Critiques of Cyberfeminism” (an interrogation of “the notion of ‘technology as the great equalizer’”9), and then on to the book Gajjala co-edited in 2008 about how South Asian diasporas are using technospaces to explore gender, religion, art, and more. This kind of cross-referencing happens liberally throughout. The project, initially compiled with the help and feedback of over 60 collaborators, has a persistent “submit” button so visitors can help expand its contents, meaning that it will inevitably shift to reflect the concerns of those who engage with it.

Other newly formed archives similarly reflect the interests of participants and collaborators. Hailey Loman co-founded the Los Angeles Contemporary Archive (LACA) in 2013, with, as its website explains, “a special focus on underexposed artistic modes of expression.” LACA is currently located in Chinatown’s Asian Center, where it has plain utilitarian shelves and flat files. It collects performance ephemera, drawings, letters, and art objects that would likely not end up in an archive otherwise, or at least not yet, before their worth to history has been established. LACA has a fully digitized, searchable collection, and just browsing it can reveal objects you might not have otherwise known existed: an audio mix by the artist Ekstra Bonus, and an ephemeral sculpture called Community Rooftop Garden House by Miggie Wong. Wong’s work was donated by John Burtle, an artist who has over the years closed and reopened a gallery on his arm in which the artworks are tattoos designed by other artists. He has donated over 200 works from his personal collection (by known and lesser known artists). The gallery Commonwealth & Council has also donated generously. In this way, LACA becomes a record of care—those who value its mission support it, and thus shape its collection. It is not a monolithic archive; in fact, it can be confusing to try to make sense of why certain objects are included, and inevitably, the process of making sense takes time, just as building and organizing the archive does. Just by continuing to exist and expand, LACA makes a long-term commitment to groping around for a different way of recording and supporting creative life.

It isn’t that the time-consuming nature of these efforts—like The Scalability Project, Cyberfeminism Index, and LACA—makes them good. Rather it makes them refreshingly transparent. The arduous slowness of this work—of trying to collect the records and organize different histories—tends to contribute to the feeling of loneliness. Like so many others who have spent their lives trying to change the world—activists, community organizers, community artists—archivists and researchers interested in other stories mostly spend their time on unsexy labor: finding and entering data, digitizing files, reading, citing, cross-referencing. World-building, and world-changing, is a slog. But these projects underscore the idea that this work is already collective, and present infrastructures for keeping it so. 

Catherine Wagley writes about art and visual culture in Los Angeles. 

Tabita Rezaire, Doula (2020). Screenshot from The Scalability Project: Cacophony of Troubled Stories. Web design by Wkshps. Image courtesy of the artist and A.I.R. Gallery.

Mindy Seu, Cyberfeminism Index (2021). Screenshot, images page, Firefox v76.0.1 on Mac OS 10.13.3; https://cyberfeminismindex.com/images. Image courtesy of the artist and the New Museum.

Los Angeles Contemporary Archive (2021). Image courtesy of Los Angeles Contemporary Archive (LACA). Photo: Max Cleary.


This essay was originally published in Carla issue 24.

  1. Arlette Farge, The Allure of the Archives, trans. Thomas Scott-Railton (1989; repub. New Haven & London: Yale University Press, 2013).
  2. Ibid.
  3. The Scalability Project, 2020-2021, https://scalabilityproject.org/.
  4. Anna L. Tsing, “On Nonscalability: The Living World Is Not Amenable to Precision-Nested Scales,” Common Knowledge 18, no. 3 (2012): 506.
  5. adrienne maree brown, The Scalability Project, 2020-2021, https://scalabilityproject.org/interviews/conversation-is-not-a-masters-tool/.
  6. Ibid.
  7. Barbara Zucker, “Making A.I.R.,” Heresies #7, vol. 2, no. 3 (1979).
  8. VNS Matrix, “The Cyberfeminist Manifesto for the 21st Century,” https://vnsmatrix.net/projects/the-cyberfeminist-manifesto-for-the-21st-century.
  9. Radhika Gajjala’s “Third World Critiques of Cyberfeminism,” Development in Practice, 9, No. 5 (November 1999).

Catherine Wagley writes about art and visual culture in Los Angeles.

More by Catherine Wagley