The Transversal Project

Projection mapping and digital interventions are expanding into the public sphere as artists explore how to successfully grapple with the latest advancements in technology as a means to communicate. The Transversal Project is an “exhibition system” initiated by Michael Powell that utilizes projection in public space to engage boundaries between art and accessibility, physical place and meaning and the generative relationships between each of these. The Transversal Project is currently accepting submissions for its inaugural exhibition, set to take place in April, 2012 in St. Louis.

The Transversal Project

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How is the project operated? For-profit, nonprofit, artist-run, etc.
The Transversal Project is an artist-run, mobile, projector-based exhibition system.

How long has it been in existence?
We have been around since late 2011, but our first show will by this upcoming April (deadline for submissions is April 1, 2012)

What was your motivation?
The Transversal Project was begun in late 2011 by the artist Michael Powell in order to create opportunities for experimental public art exhibitions free from the hermetically sealed white cube of galleries and museums. The project takes its name from the Deleuzian transversal—the idea that narratives can be driven by the generative relationships between things, between the many.

These are multiplicitous times we live in—the boundaries between artistic practices, between nation states, between people on the street, are being blurred and obliterated. People all over the world are demanding greater transparency and accessibility from the institutions that govern them, and challenging dominant assumptions about the way the world works. As artists—as culture producers, how do we respond to the world, through praxis, in a way that adds to a public discourse about being in the world, in this time?

Number of organizers/responsible persons of the project.
Each Call For Entries exhibition is curated by the head curator as well as a guest curator, who is usually an artist, theorist, historian, or curator from the city in which the event will take place.

How are programs funded? (membership fees, public funding, sponsors, etc.)
Our program is funded solely by grants and donations. All events and submissions are free. Donations can be made directly via PayPal through our website.

Who is responsible for the programming? (Curators, Directors, etc.)
Each Call for Entries exhibition is a product of collaboration between the head curator (in charge of programming), a guest curator, and the selected artists

Number and average duration of exhibitions/events per year.
There are two Call For Entries, two invitational group exhibitions, and other solo artist shows throughout the year. Each exhibition is a single-night, site-specific event.

What kind of events are usually organized?
All Transversal Project exhibitions are projected onto the sides of buildings using a large venue projection system, with a projected image size of over sixty feet (diagonal) and over 6000 Lumens (ANSI). It is important that a dialogue be created between the artwork being shown, and the built environment in which the act of viewing occurs. Via these exhibitions, context, content, and form come together to create an experience that challenges assumptions about the separation between art and the spaces of daily life. All accepted works for each exhibition are displayed using this system, which allows the Transversal Project to be mobile, taking advantage of different buildings and locations throughout the city. Currently, the Transversal Project is located in St. Louis, MO.

How is your programming determined?
Our programing is determined by the head curator, through discussions with interested partners in the arts community.

Do you accept proposals/submissions?
We accept submissions for each of our two annual Call for Entries.
– CFE exhibitions are open to current graduating undergraduates and all graduate level students
– CFE is also open to any individual who has received their graduate level degree within the past 5 years.
-Any work in a digital format (anything that can be projected) is eligible for entry.

What is your artistic/curatorial approach?
The Transversal Project is dedicated to generating conversations about the relationships between art, technology, and community, and how each affects the other. (See “What was your motivation?” question.)

What kind of role do you hope to play in your local art scene or community?
Often public projection art works tend to fall into two distinct categories. Sometimes projections are done gorilla style, like most graffiti, often projecting for a couple minutes before moving on to another place in the city. In other instances, established artists partner with various institutions to create site-specific work. It is our hope that the Transversal Project be utilized as a system by which groups of artists, especially early career artists, in partner with the community, come together and generate cultural interaction and growth through the shared experience of praxis in the public sphere. The Transversal Project not only provides a public alternative to the hermetically sealed gallery, but also serves as a legitimizing force aimed at building communities of cultural producers whose work reflects the social context of their making.

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