David Horvitz will put your tweet in the Library of Congress. Last day: Today!

TPG 9 artist David Horvitz (@davidhorvitz) has been commissioned by Creative Time to produce a hard copy of every tweet containing the hashtag #VadeMecum (Latin for “Go with me” and meaning a reference book designed to be carried) between June 17 and June 23. On June 24, he will carry the materialized tweets by train from San Francisco to Washington, D.C., following the route of the first transcontinental telegram (sent in 1861 from San Francisco to President Lincoln in the nation’s capital). Upon arrival in Washington, D.C., the entire collection will be submitted to the Library of Congress and donated to a public archive, where it will remain accessible.

Through the project, Horvitz will give his audience’s tweets literal and metaphorical weight. Serving as an anachronistic messenger in an era in which distance is no longer an obstacle to communication, Horvitz will re-engage with the relatively slow pace of the physical journey as a meaningful and transformative phase in the life of the message.

Read more here about the Creative Time Twitter Projects

View tweets here
View David’s transcriptions of the tweets here

Upcoming: Aaron GM

The Present Group is pleased to announce that the 18th artist edition for their Art Subscription Project will be by Aaron GM.

Aaron GM (b. 1978 in Washington D.C.) lives and works in Los Angeles. He studied at both San Francisco Art Institute and UCLA. Recently he exhibited a solo presentation at the NADA Art fair in Miami Beach (2010). Other Recent solo exhibitions include capezio (2010) at ltd los angeles, Timeshares (2009) at Parker Jones Gallery in Los Angeles, and sales calls (2008) at Blanket Gallery in Vancouver. Aaron has shown in group exhibitions both nationally and internationally.

Aaron is currently getting a new set of performances ready to show at Green Gallery in Milwaukee, WI.

Did you love Nava Lubelski’s work? Here’s a chance for more.

Nava Lubelski is using the new “Kickstarter for Artists” called United States Artists to make another machine embroidered piece like she did for the (sold out) TPG15. You can bid to receive one of the edition for only $150.

She is also showing in Santa Monica at Luis de Jesus in March and in Raleigh at Artspace in April.

Interview with Rebecca Blakley

We sat down with TPG16 artist Rebecca Blakley in our home in Oakland, CA on November 12th, 2010.

icon for podpress  Interview with Rebecca Blakley [27:44m]: Play Now | Play in Popup | Download

Steve Lambert will be the artist for TPG17

We’re enthused to announce that Steve Lambert will be our seventeenth artist!  Lambert made international news just after the 2008 US election with The New York Times “Special Edition,” a replica of the grey lady announcing the end of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and other good news. He is the founder of the Anti-Advertising Agency, lead developer of Add-Art (a Firefox add-on that replaces online advertising with art) and has collaborated with numerous artists including the Graffiti Research Lab, and the Yes Men.

People and Places: A Symposium of Public Practices

Tuesday and Wednesday, June 29th - 30th, 2010
7:00 – 9:00pm, FREE!

Ann Chamberlain, Untitled Installation 2, 2006. Ink on graph paper, fifty sheets, 8.5 x 11 inches.

A two-day symposium in honor of former SFAI faculty member and artist Ann Chamberlain, People and Places launches a sustained inquiry at SFAI into contemporary public practices. Pursued in conventionally artistic or increasingly hybridized, permissioned or nonpermissioned, and publicly underwritten or privately supported ways, the work of cultural producers in the public sphere is ongoing.

People and Places is structured around a series of open-ended questions relating to this vital strain of cultural activity: What does it mean for a contemporary artist to work in public settings or to solicit exchanges with the general populace? How do notions of “generosity” as a mode of social interaction, of “storytelling” as a project of collective history, and of “community” as a way of defining common ground inform creative strategies of public engagement? How are such negotiations located in particular places and enacted within particular social and political contexts?

Taken up by practitioners who work with people and places in a wide variety of forms and approaches, these questions will inform three moderated conversations: Defining Community, Practicing Generosity, and Telling Stories. These conversations will culminate in a roundtable discussion.

Andrea Bowers, Glen Helfand, Jessica Hobbs, Walter Hood, Helena Keeffe (TPG #11), Julie Lazar, Malcolm Margolin, Jeannene Przyblyski, Pedro Reyes, Susan Schwartzenberg, and Natasha Wheat

SFAI  Lecture Hall
800 Chestnut Street
San Francisco, CA 94133
Free and open to the public

The Results are In!

After a very tight race with the highest participation rate yet, the winner of this year’s Subscriber’s Choice Voting is Nava Lubelski!  Congratulations and thanks to all.


Nava Lubelski was born and raised in NYC and is living currently in Asheville, NC. Her work explores the contradictions between the impulse to destroy and the compulsion to mend. She scrambles expressions of aggression with masochistic patience and sublimation and she plays with the feminine through the graphic form of the “stain” and lace inlays.

Lubelski’s work has been shown at the Museum of Arts & Design, the Weatherspoon Art Museum, the Queens Museum of Art, and in galleries worldwide.  She was a featured artist in the book Contemporary Textiles: The Fabric of Fine Art, 2008 and she has received grants from The Pollock-Krasner Foundation and the New York Foundation for the Arts.

A shrinky dink postcard

From upcoming TPG#14 artist Matt Cella:



don’t mind my messy fingers.

Alula Editions: A new art subscription & An open call


TPG #11 artist Helena Keeffe has teamed up with Amber Cady to start Alula Editions, a new art subscription whose focus is to work with artists to create repeat patterns for textiles. They collaborate with individual artists and also organize participatory group drawing activities in order to create textiles that defy expectations and move beyond purely aesthetic considerations.

They have an Open Call for Submissions with a deadline of April 28th, and artists receive a $500 stipend.

Starting off with a bang, Alula Editions was a recipient of this year’s Southern Exposure Alternative Exposure Grant, will be collaborating with artists in Portland, Oregon to create the official tote bag for the Open Engagement Conference at Portland State University, and will be printing their first edition as part of a residency at the Headlands Center for the Arts.

They haven’t figured out their pricing structure yet, so subscriptions are not yet on sale.  But you can get on a mailing list so you will be the first to know when they are.  The first work is projected to go out this summer.

Welcome Alula!

TPG Interviews are now on iTunes


Now you can easily stay up to date on our artist interviews, or explore our archives via iTunes.

TPG10: Stephanie Dean

We’re proud to announce the artist for TPG10 is Stephanie Dean!


From Dean's series: "Boys/Men"

Stephanie Dean is a photographer living and working out of Chicago, IL.  She attended the California College of Arts (San Francisco & Oakland, CA) where she received her Bachelor’s of Fine Arts in Photography.  In 2005 she earned her Masters of Fine Arts in Photography from Columbia College, Chicago. Her photographic thesis was the body of work “?Boys/Men?” asking the question of when do modern boys become men. Her written thesis was on existentialism in Robert Frank’s The Americans.  She has taught at Columbia College Chicago and is currently teaching the History of Photography at Oakton Community College in Skokie & Des Plaines Illinois.

Town Hall Meeting Recap

townhall1Oliver and I thank everyone for coming, introduce ourselves, the State of the Arts project, and Joseph

townhall3The first panel settles in (L-R: David Huff’s legs (Pro Arts), Christian Frock (Invisible Venue), Svea Lin Vezzone (Swarm Gallery), Kerri Johnson (Blank Space), Mike Bianco (Queens Nails Projects)

townhall2The Artist Respondents move front and center

The goal of the day was to get a bunch of people talking about issues like arts funding, government and the arts, the stimulus, the economy and what that means for artists, and interesting ways that all these areas may interact.  This we accomplished.  It is incredibly hard to get a bunch of artists and arts activists who already have an incredibly full work load together and come up with some immediate solutions to any problems, so we didn’t leave the meeting with a clear course of action, but I think that is ok.  We’re still really early on, and just hearing out different ideas and perspectives is always fruitful.

I came away with a couple of things in particular though:

1. If artists want more money from government, they have to show up to meetings and prove themselves as a constituency and fight for what they want.  They could team up with real estate brokers who know how artists turn areas from bad neighborhoods to desirable ones.  They can fight for money in all aspects of government.  Someone suggested that every single government project could have some sort of artistic element to it.  Even if the budgets for this type of work are small, if these jobs are given only to Oakland (or whichever city you live in) artists, the impact could add up.  Mike Bianco spoke about the possibility of starting a union.  If a union charged some dues, maybe each locality could hire a lobbyist.

2. The stimulus for the NEA, in comparison to a lot of things, is still very small.  Lori Zook, from the Oakland Cultural Arts and Marketing Division, suggested that we look not just to the NEA to get our hands on some stimulus money, but also through Education programs and Community Development Programs.  She said there are billions of dollars being funneled into those programs.  Now, this assumes that you’d have to fit your art into one of those categories, which is not always the easiest things to do.  I was talking to my sister about grants and writing for them in general.  Grant writers are incredibly adept at not necessarily fibbing about their projects, but just using the language and framework that the granters want to see.  Perhaps we need to become creative in thinking of the ways that our work could be framed.

I was just talking to Joseph and he thinks this idea is a little bogus, as art should be funded because it is art and we and others should see the value in doing just that.  I believe that, but it seems clear in this country that many policy makers do not believe that.  So I’m ending at one of the very first topics/quandries of the discussion: how to make people understand, believe in, and fund art for its simple value as cultural capital.

Subscription Music

Subscription Music

Xiu Xiu‘s Jamie Stewart (a frequent collaborator of TPG9 artist David Horvitz) is selling subscriptions of past ambient, experimental, and minimalist works.  For $100 Stewart will send you one CD per month for a year.  The edition is 50 so they’ll probably go fast.

thanks andy

Ethan and Ben at it again

Our very first artist/writer pair have teamed up again for an exciting new web project entitled “Tumbarumba.”

Tumbarumba, by Ethan Ham and Benjamin Rosenbaum, is a frolic of intrusions, a conceptual artwork in the form of a Firefox extension. Tumbarumba hides stories, twelve new stories by outstanding authors  where you least expect to find them, turning your everyday web browsing into a strange journey.


The project is a 2008 commission of New Radio and Performing Arts, Inc., (aka Ether-Ore) for its Turbulence web site. It was made possible with funding from the Jerome Foundation.

TPG #9: David Horvitz

Each time we get better and better proposals.  Though fun, it makes our job challenging.  So without further ado… we have chosen David Horvitz as the artist for TPG #9 (Winter 09: Release March 09).

David Horvitz was born in Los Angeles and currently lives in New York. He is an artist that works in many forms, including photography, books, curated projects, writing, multiples, and video. He has been featured internationally in exhibitions and publications, and has had solo shows in the US.


“Two photographs of the light in the sky on the 2008 summer solstice – the longest day of light in the year. Wake up before dawn and walk out to an empty field. When the sky begins to illuminate make the first photograph. Wait there the entire day. When the sky begins to darken make the second photograph.”

Our first space!

Sure it’s only for one day, but you gotta start somewhere.



We’re starting in Old Oakland. Where?

465 9th street (9th & Broadway), Oakland. September 5th, 2008, 5-10PM. We’ll be showing TPG7 as well as an (almost) two year Present Group Retrospective. Here’s some more info.

posted: August 29, 2008

ONE-NIGHT SHOW! TPG7 Release Party, Showcase + (almost) 2 year Retrospective

What: One Night Art Show for The Present Group Issue #7 [Maggie Leininger: Text/ile] and The Present Group (almost) 2 year Retrospective

Where: 465 9th Street (9th and Broadway), Old Oakland

When: September 5th, 2008, 5-10PM

We’re excited to announce that we’ll be celebrating the release our 7th Issue: Text/ile by Maggie Leininger with a one night show on”First Friday” September 5th, 2008 in Old Oakland. Leininger uses the woven form as a metaphor for the idea of multiplicity/multiples/repeats, creating hand woven textiles that examine the most basic structure of a human: the human genome. The show will investigate the imagery of the chromosome itself, and how it is translated through the Jacquard loom to make fragments, segments of information. This is the only time the entire edition of 51 individual tapestries will be shown together. Starting at 9pm, local subscribers will be able to package and take home their piece.

Friday’s opening will also feature a retrospective of past Present Group editions. Over the last two years we’ve created fine art books, a collage and print series as well as a video project and a land art/performance. The public is invited to this free event at 465 9th street in Old Oakland from 5-10PM to explore the works in person. If you’re interested but can’t make it, our website features interactive versions of every past edition along with artists interviews, profressional critiques and annotated links sections devoted to each piece.

Maggie Leininger is an artist based out of Oak Park, IL who is interested in exploring visual relationships between microscopic structures and social systems bydeconstructing/reconstructing patterns through weaving.

Brian Stuparyk shows in Oregon, Kansas


Got two postcards in the mail from Brian. Also, a note about his front page story in Deadwood, Edition #193

Though the card is a bit beaten up, the one on the left is announcing a show entitled,
“Old Enough to Know Better”
April 1 – May 3
Stevenson Union Gallery
Southern Oregon University
1250 Siskiyou Blvd
Ashland, Oregon 97520

On the right, a show entitled, “It Happened in Lawrence, Kansas”
3-D Prints!
May 4th – May 31st
The Bourgeois Pig
6 East 9th St.
Lawrence, KS
He’s offering Limited Edition Folios Containing 1 Colophon, 4 Random Prints, 1 Pair of 3D Glasses, and a Stick of Gum for $130

Web hosting that supports artists.


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Lego Hello World
I wish all my printers were made of legos.

LIFE photo archive hosted by Google
Images from Life Magazine going back to 1860′s, hosted by Google

Coming Face To Face With The President
Well crafted story about an under-heard point of view.

In California, Pot Is Now an Art Patron
A new funding source for the arts – reaping big rewards and funding many projects.  It’s pot.

Notes on Portraiture in the Facebook Age

Celebrity Book Club: A List to End All Lists
Because, well, it’s sortof awesome.

Are "Artists' Statements" Really Necessary?
The pros and cons about that nemesis for most artists.

This to That
You tell it what you’ve got and it’ll tell you what to glue them together with.

Work of art: Online store for buyers, sellers
Not the TV show!  Kelly Lynn Jones from Little Paper Planes is interviewed on her project, gives us a cheat sheet to local affordable art resources.

How to make a Daft Punk helmet in 17 months