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Artists’ initiatives worldwide: Collectives & Artist Groups

0100101110101101.org, New York, New York (US)
0100101110101101.org is a collective of European Artists who use non conventional communication tactics to obtain the largest visibility with the minimal effort. Most of their work is related to net.art and new media.

Auguste Orts, Brussels (BE)
Auguste Orts was founded by four artists as a small production platform executing art projects in between genres and formats. They create films, at the crossroads of cinema, video, visual arts, documentaries, experimental films.

B+B, London (GB)
B+B is a curatorial partnership between Sarah Carrington and Sophie Hope, founded in 2000. While both of them are currently working independently, aspects of B+B remain active and can be accessed via the News page of their website. B+B provides a platform for discussion and debate on the role of the artist in society. Through consultation, events, exhibitions, research, residencies and workshops, B+B test and critique the role of the artist as an agent for change. Since 2000, B+B have been collecting material on socially engaged, activist and process-based art practices from the UK and internationally in order to map emerging practices and to investigate strategies to re-present process-based projects.

beige, New York State (US)
beige was a multimedia programming and net.artist collective and electronic music recording company. Their website features a “multimedia gallery”, music and events. (2003 – 2004)

Big Hope
Big Hope features collaborative group projects by the artists Miklos Erhardt, Dominic Hislop and Elske Rosenfeld. Many of their projects have a social or interventional angel point and work on a discursive level.

Bik Van der Pol, Rotterdam (NL)
Liesbeth Bik and Jos van der Pol work collaboratively since 1995. Proceeding from their engagement with the immediate surroundings they create architecturally installations which they fill with a specific program. By this they confront the public with a specific place and force people to think about the history and future of that place.

Bureau d’Etudes, Paris (FR)
Bureau d’Etudes is a Paris-based artist duo, which is producing cartographies of contemporary political, social and economic systems. Based on extensive research they produce visual analysis of transnational capitalism and present it in the form of large-sized murals.

Center for Metahuman Exploration, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania (US)
The Centre for Metahuman Exploration (CME) is a collective of artists and technologists who work together to create new technology concepts and technologies for the purposes of artistic expression and exploration.

Chto delat/What is to be done?, St. Petersburg (RU)
Chto delat/What is to be done? was founded in early 2003 in Petersburg by a group of artists, critics, philosophers, and writers from Petersburg, Moscow, and Nizhny Novgorod with the goal of merging political theory, art, and activism. Since then, Chto delat has been publishing an English-Russian newspaper on issues central to engaged culture, with a special focus on the relationship between a repoliticization of Russian intellectual culture and its broader international context. These newspapers are usually produced in the context of collective initiatives such as art projects or conferences.

c-level (now Beta-Level), Los Angeles, California (US)
C-level was a cooperative public and private lab formed to share physical, social and
technological resources, which was active until about 2003, when it transformed into the arts venue Beta-Level. Its members were artists, programmers, writers, designers, agit-propers, filmmakers and reverse-engineers.

Collective Jyrk, Portland, Oregon (US)
Collective Jyrk was a small neo-dadaist collective of web designers/artists and record label, featuring noise-punk bands as aids wolf and neon hunk. Jyrk went out of existence in 2008

commandN, Tokyo (JP)
commandN, established in April 1998, is an artists initiative run by artists. Through involvement in a variety of art projects and activities, they try to be one of the most exciting and innovative art spots in Tokyo, by collaborating with local art communities and with the help of volunteer staff.

Critical art ensemble, New York, New York (US)
CAE is a collective of five artists of various specializations dedicated to exploring the intersections between art, technology, radical politics, and critical theory.

Dark Passage, New York, New York (US)
Dark Passage is a New York-based artist organization, studying, documenting and mapping the dark, lost and forgotten places of the city, thus “providing blind archeologists with the finest quality flashlights”.

Department für öffentliche Erscheinungen, Munich (DE)
The Department für öffentliche Erscheinungen (Department for Public Appearance) is an artist collective working on phenomena of public urban life and forms of contemporary communication.

ESL | Esthetics as a Second Language, Los Angeles, California (US)
ESL (Esthetics as a Second Language) provides a stage for public discussion that envisions art and thinking as potential agents for social intervention, as well as a debate between academia, art institutions, and individuals. It is a flexible structure, where everyone who participates, becomes part of its development and expansion.

etoy, Zurich (CH)
etoy/etoy.CORPORATION is an international, from time to time radical artist group, which has been dealing with new technologies in art production since 1994. Doing this, etoy has been blurring the edges of artistic authorship, because changing members carry out the artistic work and investors participate in the trademark etoy. etoy is art and invests all its resources in the production of art. To date, more than one hundred etoy-shares are in the hands of collectors, museums and others.

Experimental Interaction Unit
The Experimental Interaction Unit (EIU) is a group of artists/scientists, which endeavors to employ state-of-the-art techniques and technologies to conceive, design, and construct interaction systems which will simultaneously study, distract, and assault future interactions with machines. It was established by Eric Paulos to directly confront the threatening conformity and standards of technology in science and industry.

feld für kunst e.V., Hamburg (DE)
feld für kunst e.V. was founded in 2004 as a non-profit network of artists working in diverse media. The association converted empty commercial properties into exhibition spaces, and temporarily used these to mediate contemporary art. The ’feld’ (field) positions itself as an art space and platform for events on the interface between experimental off-culture and the professional art scene. Its curatorial focus is to address current art forms and social inquiry in an ongoing way.

FMSW (FallerMiethStuessiWeck), Berlin/Frankfurt (DE)
FMSW (FallerMiethStuessiWeck) is a collective of four artist, which is focusing in its work on Systems of (geographical) positioning/repositioning.

Fuck for Friendship, Riga (LV)
Fuck for Friendship is a collective of artists, Dj’s and other creative people “united by the power of friendship”.

GALA Committee, New York, New York (US)
In 1995, a group of artists called the GALA Committee started producing art and placing it on TV’s Melrose Place. Without the knowledge of the producers of the show, the artworks were used to transport hidden messages onto the screens, thus creating the first Primetime public art project in television history.

Google will eat itself, Vienna (AT)
Google will eat itself is a hacktivist arts project, which aims to buy Google via their own advertisement. By establishing this “autocannibalistic model” they aim to deconstruct global advertisement mechanisms by rendering them into a surreal click-based economic model.

gruppo A12, Genoa/Milan (IT)
gruppo A12 Group is a collective of architects, which was founded in Genoa in 1993. Its works concern architecture, installation, net art and arts in public spaces.

Guestroom, London (UK)
Guestroom is a collaborative project by London-based artists Maria Benjamin and Ruth Höflich. Since 2002 they have been working with the notion of communities, artistic or otherwise and collaborative platforms, using different media from publishing to events and installations. They have also worked continuously with the relationship between studio/production space and the exhibition, process and formation using their own studio for temporary exhibitions, events and informal meetings as well as recreating a similarly fluid set-up in a gallery context.

Human Beans, Los Angeles, California (US)
Human Beans is collaboration between advertising creative and designer Mickael Charbonnel and design strategist Chris Vanstone. Together they create concepts to challenge assumptions and point in new directions. They produce fictional products by hacking commercial culture and designing new services by working with real people.

Instant Coffee, Montreal (CA)
Instant Coffee is a service oriented artist collective based in Toronto and Vancouver. Instant Coffee developed, in part, as a response to the division and exaggerated difference between studio and exhibition practice. Through formal installations and event based activities, it builds a public place to practice, where ideas, materials and actions can be explored outside of the isolated studio and in a manner that renegotiates traditional exhibition structures, but is still supported by them.

Institute for Applied Autonomy (IAA)
The Institute for Applied Autonomy (IAA) was founded in 1998 as a technological research and development organization dedicated to the cause of individual and collective self-determination. Their mission is to study the forces and structures which affect self-determination and to provide technologies which extend the autonomy of human activists

In the Field, Chicago, Illinois (US)
In the Field is looking at how people transform the spaces they inherit and build new spaces based on their needs and desires. Whether appearing as a spontaneously generated public space, in modifications to existing spaces, or in an example of self-housing or community generated urban planning, they take these hyper-local articulations as entry point into understanding the ways in which the built environment is shaped. In order to share these insights, In the Field produces books, field guides and exhibitions.

IRWIN, Ljubljana, (SL)
The artist collective IRWIN was founded in 1983 at the Slovenian Ljubljana. Its members are Dušan Mandič, Miran Mohar, Andrej Savski, Roman Uranjek and Borut Vogelnik. In its work IRWIN focuses on the two headed inheritance of east European arts history, both influenced by the historical Russian avant-garde as well as by the southern Slavic avant-garde and its totalitarian followers.

KiöR - Kunst im öffentlichen Raum, Hamburg (DE)
Since 2004/2005, the artists initiative KiöR e.V. has been using artistic means to intervene in public spaces which have been neglected by city funding and private investment.

Kooperative Kunstpraxis, Dresden/Berlin/Weimar (DE)
Kooperative Kunstpraxis (Cooperative Production of Art) has to be understood as the working title for the artistic production and the self definition of a cooperation of artist that is active since 1997. Their focus is the act of working together about a common pool of interests between participating artists and their institutional partners, thus allowing another form of thinking and working than usually possible in artistic endeavor.

kuda.org, Novi Sad, (CS),
The new media center kuda.org is a collective dedicated to new technologies, art, activism and politics.

Ligna, Hamburg (DE),
The artists group Ligna is in existence since 1995 and consists of the radio and performance artists Ole Frahm, Michael Hüners and Torsten Michaelsen. Amongst other things, they worked for Freies Sender Kombinat (FSK), a non commercial radio station in Hamburg. Additionally they create performances and theatre plays.

love and devotion, Stockholm (SE),
love and devotion is a project initiated by Ingrid Eriksson, Carina Gunnars, Karin Johnson and Anna Kindgren, all of whom graduated from the Academy of Fine Arts Umeå University. With love and devotion they created a platform for communication and interaction.

LTTR, New York, New York (US)
LTTR is a feminist/gender/queer artist collective with a flexible project oriented practice. It produces an annual independent art journal, performance series, events, screenings and collaborations. The group was founded in 2001. LTTR is dedicated to highlighting the work of radical communities whose goals are sustainable change, queer pleasure, and critical feminist productivity.

Lucky Pierre, Chicago, Illinois, (US)
Lucky Pierre is a multi-disciplinary art-making/performance collective formed in 1996, working from its studio in Chicago. http://www.luckypierre.org

MARS PATENT, Hamburg (DE),
Mars Patent is an internet project by Helene von Oldenburg and Claudia Reiche. They describe it as the first interplanetary exhibition space on Mars for ideas, objects, questions, works, longing and critique that don’t quite fit on earth.

Next Question, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania (US)
Next Question is a collaborative artist team consisting of Emily Blair, Michelle Illuminato and Phuong Nguyen, who have been working together since 1994. They address issues of cultural significance and aim to engage the public in alternative ways through their artworks, seeking their participation in its development and their interaction with the finished piece. They work in different media including sculpture, painting, computer art, video, audio, and interactive installation.

Nomads & Residents
Nomads & Residents is an artist collective, which aim to make connections with people who live where the projects are being organized and with people who visit, by setting up a small network of collaborators. They create and organize public events in a variety of places, using and temporarily moving into the existing spaces in the city, in this way making visible parts of personal histories next to a new, common history.

O2 Collective, Ashland, Oregon (US)
The Oxygen Collective practices creative resistance through projects that address injustice in their communities and destruction in the natural world. They use a tour bus to create events, which include live music, independent media and large-scale, participative art projects.

oginoknauss, Florence (IT)
Oginoknauss is an independent research group, dealing with audiovisual language, urban cultures and human environment’s transformations.

PaperRad, New York State (US)
PaperRad is a three member artist collective, which produces comic books, paintings, videos, performances and more, as well as an entertaining website.

Paper Tiger Television (PTTV), New York, New York (US)
Paper Tiger Television (PTTV) is an open, non-profit, volunteer video collective. Through the production and distribution of a public access series, media literacy/video production workshops, community screenings and grassroots advocacy, PTTV works to challenge and expose the corporate control of mainstream media.

Peles Empire, London (GB)
Peles Empire is a Romanian/British/German artist trio, combining in its work arts, architecture and food. Founded in Frankfurt, it moved to London and Los Angeles, only to come back to London again.

Pigeon Condo, Toronto (CA),
The arts project Pigeon Condo is developing luxury housing for pigeons at the desirable intersection of Yonge Street and the Lakeshore Boulevard, in the heart of Toronto’s revitalized waterfront.

Pony Pedro, Berlin (DE)
The collective Pony Pedro works on art projects in the urban space and connects genres, such as graphic, performance, music, design and installation. They realize their projects in their own studio spaces.

projektgruppe, Hamburg (DE)
projektgruppe is an interdisciplinary group of researchers, organizers, and cultural producers. Their headquarters are in Hamburg, but the multitude of their collaborators is based in various cities in eastern and Western Europe and in the US. The group has conceived and held a number of international projects that focussed on issues of locative and relational art, intercultural collaboration and the role of art in regional and urban concepts.

pvi collective, Perth (AU)
pvi are an independent artist collective, founded in 1998 and based in Perth, Western Australia. Members of the group have backgrounds in visual art, film theory, new media, performance, psychology and live art, each contributing their skills towards creating tactical media artworks for galleries, public sites and alternative spaces.

Reactor, Nottingham (GB),
Reactor is a Nottingham based art collective, which works collaboratively on the production of one-off events, tailored individually to specific contexts.

Red Heart Art Commune (RHAC), Yunnan (CN)
RHAC (Red Heart Art Commune) was set up in 1994 by 13 very young members with the declared aim to establish a relaxed, free exchange platform for young artists.

RoToR is a heart of an engine - it produces the movement and provides the action. It is also an artists collective, founded in 2001.

The SALA-MANCA GROUP is a group of independent Jerusalem-based artists, creating in different fields as performance, video, installation and new media since 2000. Sala-manca’s works deal with poetics of cultural, mediatic and social translation, with textual, urban and net contexts and with the tensions between low tech and high tech aesthetics, as well as social and political issues.

Space Hijackers, (GB),
The Space Hijackers are, as they call themselves, a group of anarchitects, which was founded in 1999. Their group is dedicated to battling the oppressive intrusion onto public spaces of institutions, corporations and urban planners.

Sparwasser HQ, Offensive für zeitgenössische Kunst, Berlin (D),
Sparwasser HQ, Offensive für zeitgenössische Kunst und Kommunikation (offensive for contemporary art and communication) is a non-profit artist’s project as well as space for projects. By the means of different artistic practice and curatorial experiments, they examine the conditions for contemporary production of arts. They understand arts as an important part of the creation of knowledge. The project Sparwasser HQ is characterized by a process oriented practive, in which a greater group of participating artists and scientist influence together the outcome and the conditions of work.

Stalker, Rome (IT)
Stalker is a collective subject that engages research and actions within the landscape, particular attention to the areas around the city’s margins, forgotten urban space, abandoned areas or regions under transformation. Their investigations are conducted around notions of practicality, representations and interventions on these spaces. Stalker sees itself as custodian, guide and artist for these “Actual Territories.”

STEINBRENER/DEMPF is the artistic duo Christoph Steinbrener and Rainer Dempf, focusing in their work on the omnipresence of trade mark logos in public life as well as more generally on social responsibility and use of public space. One of their most noted projects was Delete!, which consisted of the covering of all writing in one street in Vienna, thus creating attention for the visual pollution of public space.

SuperFlex, Copenhagen (DK)
Superflex are a radical art collective from Copenhagen, with previous projects including a burnt out car and an intriguing ‘Free Beer’ enterprise. With their latest exhibit they have flooded an entire McDonald’s.

Symbiosis, Toronto (CA)
Symbiosis is a multi-disciplinary arts collective committed to the integration of various disciplines - performance, video, installation, new media, painting and sculpture - within the context of site-specific non-traditional exhibition spaces.

Taring Padi, Yogjakarta (ID)
Taring padi in Bahasa Indonesia refers to the sharp tip, or “teeth,” of the rice plant. For the members of the Taring padi Artist collective it is a metaphor for human power. Taring padi is an independent non-profit cultural community, founded in 1999, that is based on the concept people’s culture. It is committed to using its artistic and cultural pursuits to contribute actively to the democratization process in Indonesia and elsewhere.

Temporary Services, Chicago, Illinois (US)
Temporary Services is a collective of the artists Brett Bloom, Salem Collo-Julin and Marc Fischer, which has existed, with several changes in membership and structure, since 1998. They produce exhibitions, events, projects, and publications, collaborating amongst themselves and with others.

The London Particular, London (GB)
The London Particular is an open urban research group, which has been documenting, theorizing and acting against regeneration and gentrification in East London since 2001.

Torolab, Tijuana (MX)
Torolab was established in 1995 as a socially engaged workshop committed to examining and elevating the quality of life for the residents of Tijuana and the trans-border region through a culture of ideologically advanced design. Their work encompasses fine art, architecture, clothing, music and graphic design

TTC Gallery, Copenhagen (DK)
Since 2006 TTC Gallery has distributed, promoted and exhibited zines and artists related to this culture. TTC is also a creative art collective consisting of seven members who all together, individually and in smaller groups publish graphic and photographic zines and books.

UBERMORGEN.com, Vienna (AT)
UBERMORGEN.COM is an artist duo created in Vienna, Austria, in 1999 by Lizvlx and Hans Bernhard, a founder of etoy. They create their artistic work out of the leftovers of net.art and its inherently system-critical dispositive, as well as from the so-called post pop-culture. Their open circuit of conceptual art, drawing, software art, pixel-painting, computer installations, net.art, sculpture and digital activism transforms their brand into a hybrid gesamtkunstwerk.

Ultra-Red, Los Angeles, California (US)
The art collaboration Ultra-red proposes a political-aesthetic pursues a fragile but dynamic exchange between art and political organizing. Founded in 1994 by two AIDS activists, Ultra-red have over the years expanded to include artists, researchers and organizers from different social movements including the struggles of migration, anti-racism, participatory community development, and the politics of HIV/AIDS. Collectively, the group has produced radio broadcasts, performances, recordings, installations, texts and public space actions.

Undenk, Berlin (DE)
With somewhere between four and ten members, Undenk was founded in 2001as an artist collective. They don’t run a space and are not organized as a collective producing art, rather they take over spaces, stage events, stencil around, sticker places, reclaim the streets of the shrinking cities. From the Kunstsalon to a parking lot, they engineer situations of presentation.

Union Docs, Brooklyn, New York (US)
UnionDocs is a non-profit documentary arts collaborative and presentation space. Currently, their primary program is The Documentary Bodega Series, featuring new and challenging documentary film and audio works on a weekly basis in their screening room. They additionally produce a podcast and blog, featuring short media pieces inspired by discussions at the Documentary Bodega and beyond.

urbanart Group, Melbourne (AU)
urbanart is a nonprofit association and an artists initiative, based in Melbourne, Australia, which has a global focus on urban space and the relationship of contemporary art and ideas to cultural identity. u,rbanart’s public projects create dialogues by establishing spaces for cultural translation amongst artists and between artists and the public.

Urtica, Belgradee (CS)
Urtica, art and media research group is an artists’ organization, specialized in the development of multidisciplinary projects that merge art, science and social engagement. The group started the realization of its projects in 1999. Its work ranges from web-based artworks, media actions and short videos broadcast to the general public on television.

Videotage, Hong Kong (CN)
Videotage (literally merging the two concepts of “Video” and “Montage”) is a non-profit interdisciplinary artist collective, which focuses on the development of video and new media art in Hong Kong. Founded in 1986, Videotage began as a facilitator for collaborative time-based projects.

Visible Collective
Visible Collective was a collective project of a group of artists and activists, organized by Naeem Mohaiemen, looking at hyphenated states and security panic. (2004-2006)

Wir sind woanders, Hamburg (DE)
Wir sind woanders is a grassroot association, which was founded in 2006/2007 to give a critical and political platform to off-spaces in Hamburg. So far it organized one convention and one festival, both by the name of Wir sind woanders.

WochenKlausur, Vienna (AT)
Since 1993 and on invitation from different art institutions, the artist group WochenKlausur develops concrete proposals aimed at small, but nevertheless effective improvements to socio-political deficiencies. Proceeding even further and invariably translating these proposals into action, artistic creativity is no longer seen as a formal act but as an intervention into society.

Wooster Collective, New York City, New York (US)
The Wooster Collective is a group of artists from New York, who at the same time document and participate in the New York City streetart movement. The collective was founded in 2001. Additional to their website, they host a series of salons and published the book “Wooster on Paper“.

xurban_collective, different places worldwide
Functioning as an international collective since 2000, xurban_collective has members located in Izmir, Istanbul, Linz and New York City. Its mission is to investigate the questioning, examination, and discussion of contemporary politics, theory, and ideology. Documentary photography, video, and text are often combined in an effort to render visible the multiplicity of informative layers inherent in the subjects or situations explored.