018 — The newsletter resumes. Revisiting the Graham Foundation. Portfolios, merchandise, subscriptions, and art services programming in the wing.
Last month, we concluded the first session of IS MY BODY MEANT TO BE READ?, our portfolio intensive. Working with a group of seven artist-researchers, we analyzed portfolio sites maintained by independent and gallery-represented artists, architecture firms, creative agencies, research groups, and a host of other online workspaces. Using these sites that promote, archive, contextualize, and sometimes help sell artwork and arts-related services, participants devised new and updated portfolios, taking advantage of the patterns we noticed as well as the insight our guest speakers provided.
The intensive was the first of many similar bootcamp-style gatherings we plan to host. For the coming year, we’re developing programming that includes one-off workshops, three-day research sprints, intensives, and a host of other arts education and research opportunities. (More on that below.)
We’d like to extend our gratitude to everyone who participated in the intensive, especially our guest speakers Matt Morris and Eric Ruschman, Dushko Petrovich, Daisy Alioto, Alex Jones, Coco Klockner, Rahel Aima, Felipe Nuñez, and Em Weinstein. We look forward to future group research projects and community-driven investigations into the arts economies.
LIMITED SLOTS, NEW PRICES FOR BLACKMARKET PSYCHOANALYSIS
We have a handful of openings for our BLACKMARKET PSYCHOANALYSIS sessions, our signature one-on-one consultation and coaching package. Meeting once a week, we work with our clients to develop a range of intellectual property including grant proposals, business plans, career materials, and branding kits.
Starting in November 2023, we’re going to be raising our prices for all new clients. Inquire now to lock in our current rates.
This year, we’ve helped our BLACKMARKET PSYCHOANALYSIS clients:
← Write, edit, and transform their grants and residency applications into book and project proposals, sample portfolios, website extensions, and other forms of intellectual property
← Develop, reorganize, and build their websites, branding and media kits, and social media strategy
← Create studio bibles and business manuals their arts-related businesses, ensuring their business remains profitable and sellable
← Monetize arts-related business that combine studio practice and B2B service offerings
← Produce YouTube-ready videos and educational content
← Land solo exhibitions, residencies, and fellowships
October 27 - 29, 2023
During the last week of October, we’ll host a three-day research sprint that recaps and continues our investigations into portfolio websites. An extension of IS MY BODY MEANT TO BE READ?, this three-day portfolio sprint examines online workspaces as forms of investment and digital real estate. Considering a handful of unique, dynamic artist portfolio sites as well as artist-run online stores, we’ll probe how these artists navigate topics typically relegated to marketers, promoters, and the gallerist-agents who hire them.
Tickets are $200 per person and limited to 20 participants. Access to the recordings will be made available for a month after the event. Participants may bundle their purchase with discounted additional editorial and consultation hours.
Friday, October 27, 2023
2pm - 4pm ET
We’ll investigate three artist websites that exemplify unique, strategic uses of online space then review participant websites to gather feedback about their current state.
JAM SESSION / OPEN TO PUBLIC
Saturday, October 28, 2023
1pm - 2pm ET
Our weekend Jam Sessions are open to the public. Workshop participants who want extra facetime with their peers are encouraged to drop in.
Saturday, October 28, 2023
2pm - 4pm ET
Working as a group, participants will identify unique value propositions — statements that illuminate why their work is financially and culturally valuable — located on their respective portfolio sites.
Sunday, October 29, 2023
2pm - 4pm ET
Participants will share their updated websites and gather feedback for future web-based projects.
MERCHANDISE, SUBSCRIPTIONS, AND ARTS-RELATED SERVICES
Tandem to our ongoing portfolio research, we’re exploring group research projects related to merchandising, subscriptions, and arts-related services. We’re looking for experienced speakers who could guide group members through these topics — especially merchandising. If this is you, let’s get in touch!
LOOK AT WHAT WE WROTE
We wrote an application for the Graham Foundation to provide a model for a clients to use during the foundation’s submission period.
We love writing grants, but we also love showing people how to write them. Below is a sample from the application we developed to show our clients how we would structure a project proposal for the Graham Foundation, an art and architecture organization in Chicago. We wrote about and organized programming around the Graham Foundation earlier in the year, all in preparation to develop these applications, which we treat as scalable intellectual property — ideas that can be copyrighted, trademarked, or transformed into sellable property after being captured in a fixed medium.
We think the most consistent obstacle our clients encountered while developing their proposals was making sure they satisfied the Graham Foundation's architectural focus. If you review the guiding materials the foundation posted to their site, you’ll see that they provide (albeit passively) specific contours for the projects they’re willing fund: “Architecture and related spatial practices engage a wide range of cultural, social, political, technological, environmental, and aesthetic issues. We are interested in projects that investigate the contemporary condition, expand historical perspectives, or explore the future of architecture and the designed environment.” We think many applicants get so worried about the content of their proposal that they forget there are also thematic criteria it must satisfy to progress to the funding stage.
If you have questions about this specific sample or want us to write a grant proposal for you, shoot us an email at email@example.com.
THE HIGHWAY IN THE FOREST WHERE THE ANGELS DWELL
SHORT PROJECT DESCRIPTION
This project meditates on forms of public mourning using the designed pathways and altered environments of the Angeles Crest Scenic Byway in Los Angeles.
THE HIGHWAY IN THE FOREST WHERE THE ANGELS DWELL is a multimedia lecture performance and autofiction that transforms the designed pathways, altered natural environments, and diverse biomes found along the Angeles Crest Highway into a prosthetic backdrop where the human desire to induce irreversible structural change can be examined.
To conduct this speculative analogy, the performance draws from artist-researcher Wyatt Coday’s intersex status and the mourning ritual that took her into the forest nearly every day from early 2021 until late 2022, when a medical crisis inadvertently revealed the true nature of her birth. Comparing the forest, which has been subject to man-made alterations and administration for nearly 100 years, to Coday’s body, which was permanently altered some time in the nine days after she was born, HIGHWAY illuminates the sorrow-inducing contradictions between demands for preservation and accessibility within landscape architecture and their analogues within contemporary society’s binary sexual paradigms.
THE HIGHWAY IN THE FOREST WHERE THE ANGELS DWELL investigates the alternate environments that scenic byways and similar public passageways offer to individuals navigating episodes of public mourning, psychological preservation, and ritualistic examinations of selfhood. To that end, the autofictive lecture performance combines didactic modes of argument with enigmatic sensory information to fuse two seemingly unrelated topics: ongoing modifications to natural landscapes for human use and permanent, invasive changes to intersex bodies so they conform to dominant gender and sexual paradigms that suggest living beings must be either male or female.
Intersexuality presents many structural complications. It causes developmental changes in the body that can affect sensory perception, mobility, social habits, and lifespan. Being intersex can also be intensely lonely and physically alienating. Many intersex people live estranged from their families, especially those whose medical records have been destroyed or withheld to obscure the surgical modifications made to their bodies. HIGHWAY translates those painfully intimate complications into a lush, critique-forward, and unrepentant look at how our society treats its fragile environments and living oddities. If intersexuality means neither male nor female, then the lecture performance is an analogous format. By definition, a lecture performance is neither a lecture nor a performance, yet it contains features of both. Adapting this paradox akin to intersexuality as design principle, HIGHWAY gathers an assortment of media produced about, within, and alongside the scenic byway — including field recordings, spoken essays, musical performances, and documentary footage that repeats a 2022 pilgrimage to the forest in which Coday introduced a California-born Husky to snow — highlighting phenomena related to mourning, driving, ritual circling, seasonal change, self-documentation, animal companionship, and detours. Merging these discrete topics and formats, HIGHWAY compares the dynamic but invisible audiospatial landscape of the forest and its highway — ranging from sounds related to wildlife and weather to human-made sounds coming from cars, construction, and conversation — to the permanently suppressed weeping that follows mortal humiliation. Subverting the idea that difference supersedes sameness, the performance ruminates on forms of loss that can only be understood, expressed, and remembered through intercalated structures.
THE HIGHWAY IN THE FOREST WHERE THE ANGELS DWELL asks what it means to be redesigned, restructured, or otherwise fundamentally altered according to someone else’s whim. It considers the collective gestalt where those individual whims are shaped as well as the incompatibility between the natural world and the man-made world that has attempted to contain it.
By postulating responses to these alienating conditions, HIGHWAY hopes to demonstrate that architecture and architectural criticism provide a suitable language to describe the consequences that occur when irreversible, structural change occurs to a human body. The project claims intersexuality is an architectural concept waiting to be put to use, not a medical disorder demanding medical intervention.
Moreover, if selected, THE HIGHWAY IN THE FOREST WHERE THE ANGELS DWELL will be among a handful of artworks made by an openly intersex person to be funded by an arts organization. If you search the Graham Foundation grantee list, you will see no projects about or produced by intersex people. The Foundation is among many institutions where this pattern is the case, which is primarily due to the relative scarcity of intersex people compounded by the widespread stigma that intersex people face. HIGHWAY seeks to reverse this exclusionary trend.
— AFTERS —
— FIN —
WYATT CODAY is intersex and autistic. She lives between Los Angeles and Chicago, where she is a practicing financial dominatrix. She is the director of NOR RESEARCH STUDIO.
APPLICATION REVIEW is a column that features grant, residency, and fellowship applications we write to show our clients how we would structure their intellectual property.
NOR RESEARCH STUDIO is a design research studio that develops didactic media, exhibitions, publications, and other forms of intellectual property for artists, nonprofits, and creative businesses.