Ephemeral Objects is a blog exploring the idea of art criticism for the post-material world. It is written by Andy Horwitz: critic, curator and founder of Culturebot Arts & Media. It is made possible through the funding of the Creative Capital | Warhol Foundation Arts Writers Grant Program.
Until recently the human being’s experience of the world was primarily material, though an unseen layer of non-material operations was widely assumed and explored through the study of philosophy, physics and metaphysics. Art created from, and existing as, material objects has been a dominant form of creative expression with even performing arts largely predicated on interpreting the human experience of the material world. As society has moved from the push delivery systems of mass media to the immersive, interactive worlds of ubiquitous social media, our experience of the world is increasingly predicated on infinite unseen digital operations. The computing languages that allow these digital operations are most frequently written according to the principles of “object oriented programming” – a programming paradigm that represents concepts as “objects“. Recent years have seen the advent of the term “performance object” to refer to certain complex works of time-based art, and the idea of the “social object” has taken on wide significance. My project is, over the course of a year, to write a series of essays articulating a framework for aesthetic and critical engagement with non-material objects, attempting to map the foundational concepts of object oriented programming onto the foundational components of performance and social objects. The desired outcome is to begin imagining a language of critical discourse that pushes the existing vocabularies of visual art and performance criticism into new, hybrid modalities.
Andrew Horwitz is a curator and critic with over twenty years of experience in the for-profit and not-for-profit creative sectors. He is the founder and CEO of Culturebot Arts & Media, Inc., publisher and Editor-In-Chief of Culturebot.org.
From 2011 – 2013 he curated and produced Manhattan’s free, outdoor, multidisciplinary arts festival, The River To River Festival, for the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council where he was previously the Director of Public Programs. From 2002 – 2007 he produced work at Performance Space 122, one of NYC’s most prestigious venues for contemporary performance. Other curatorial projects include “The Future At The End Of The World” at the Farley Post Office (December 2012), “Ephemeral Evidence” at Exit Art Gallery (May 2012) and The PRELUDE Festival at the Martin E. Segal Theater Center of the Graduate Center at CUNY (2007 – 2009).
In 2003 he launched Culturebot.org, NYC’s first website devoted exclusively to contemporary performance: dance, theater, live art, visual art performance, media, new music performance and more. It has grown into the most respected, thought leading publication in the sector, a platform for the most exciting new ideas in arts and culture.
Andrew has advised countless artists and served on numerous panels for arts organizations and funders including the Mellon Foundation, United States Artists, The Pew Center for Arts & Heritage’s Philadelphia Music Project, New Music USA, The New York Foundation for the Arts, The Six Points Fellowship for Emerging Jewish Artists, the National Performance Network, The MAP Fund, Here Arts Center, Dixon Place and more.
Prior to becoming an arts administrator in 2002, Andrew worked as an interactive producer and brand strategist at ad agencies such as Fallon Worldwide (NYC office), iDeutsch and Margeotes|Fertitta + Partners, working on such accounts as ABC Sports, About.com, And1 Shoes, Bank One, Brink’s Home Security, Comedy Central, CondeNet, Domino’s, Georgia-Pacific, MTV Networks, Timberland, Time Magazine, Stolichnaya, Sotheby’s and Zyrtec.
Even prior to that Andy was a writer & performance maker. He has performed at PS122, HERE, Dixon Place, the Nuyorican Poet’s Cafe, The Knitting Factory, CBGB and countless other venues in NYC and nationally. From 1990-1995 he lived in Seattle where his work as a spoken word performer and activist led to his involvement with the artist-run women’s self-defense collective Home Alive. His spoken word piece “4th of July” was released on the Epic CD Home Alive: The Art of Self-Defense alongside such rock luminaries as Nirvana, Soundgarden, Pearl Jam, Jello Biafra and Lydia Lunch. In 2005 he ran for Mayor of New York City – AndyForMayor.org – a performance project documented in the film The Promise of New York, by director Raul Barcelona. In 2006 he appeared as a Demon Tour Guide in Les Freres Corbusiers’ production of Hell House at St. Ann’s Warehouse, directed by Alex Timbers. His poetry, fiction and essays on tv, film and popular culture have appeared on Nerve.com, Seattle’s The Stranger, Heeb Magazine and various anthologies.
Andrew has a B.S. in Speech from Northwestern University.