Benjamin Kennedy

Exchange Values

Hello and welcome to my critique. I have made a sculpture, “Exchange Values,” which I will be presenting today for our discussion. But before we begin, I’d like to introduce you to Anthony, who is a nationally certified massage therapist—and now, he will read a prepared statement.

(massage therapist introduces the critique)

Welcome to the final critique of the day. Before we begin this process, I’d like to introduce myself and say a little bit about why I am here. My name is Anthony and I am a nationally certified massage therapist. I graduated from the Muscular Therapy Institute, completing a 900 hour intensive program and have had over 6 years of experience in professional massage. I offer Swedish, deep tissue work, sports massage, hot stone, and cranio-sacral therapy. During my free time, I am also an artist, like most of you. I primarily work with paint and canvas. Benjamin asked me to participate in this situation today by providing cranio-sacral massage to whoever is speaking in the space at a given moment.


In light of this information, I kindly ask you to allow me ample time to get around the room to whoever is going to speak next. Basically what I’m going to do is move behind you and gently massage you. Before speaking, please indicate you wish to do so by raising your hand and I will get around to you. For those of you who don’t know, cranio-sacral massage is a gentle, hands-on method of evaluating and enhancing the function of the cranio-sacral system. It’s a very gentle approach which helps realign your spine and neurotransmitters at the same time.


This form of massage deals with the bones of the head, spinal column, sacrum and the underlying structures. It employs a very light touch and uses specifically designed techniques to release restrictions and compression in these areas. Ok? So, please take a few minutes and we’ll begin the critique.

(gallery door opens and critics/students walk in)
(5 minutes lapse)

I would like you all to feel free to comment on the massage therapist who is present with us today but I want to say that I have nothing to say of the massage therapist other than the gesture is not an artwork, and it only exists as one of the many affective presences in the gallery during the ritual of critique today.

I have a question. In a commercial gallery setting, is the massage therapist always there?

(massage therapist approaches Critic #1 and provides massage: laughter)

If so, my first experience is that the work rubs me the right way.


This is very interesting…I’m wondering if there are any topics that lead the massage therapist to other parts of the body?


I see this event as competing with this sculptural work. And so, for me…the initial…

(massage therapist approaches her and provides massage)


…event is a work in itself and I’m not sure how to read it in relation to the sculpture or the video piece. As I look around, I realize that very few people are paying attention to the sculpture and the video. The relationship between the installation and the massage event is confusing to me.

But what a relationship!

Perhaps the massage is a clue to understanding…

(massage therapist approaches Student #2 and provides massage—Student #2 turns to the massage therapist)

Please get away from me.


(a few critics sit in Director’s Chair with the word “Pervert” embroidered on it, at different times)

No, I’m only teasing. As I was saying, maybe the massage I’m receiving is a clue to understanding the relationship between the different objects in the room. I’m curious about the boxing glove on the plunger. For instance, I wouldn’t imagine a boxer cleaning a toilet while he’s wearing his fighting glove. And then there’s a bust sitting at the head of the table, and the table has some strange, glossed over finish. The title of the installation is “Exchange Values” and there’s money dropping from the hand of the subject in the video. All the while I’m getting a free massage…I’m definitely happy.

Benjamin Kennedy: Exchange Values Benjamin Kennedy: Exchange Values

Laura Alesci

Laura Alesci: TLCI work with and within existing urban infrastructures, informa­tional systems and devices.Participating in and entering into dia­logue with systems that normally I am not a part of, I seek to make use of them beyond their established capacity. Through question­ing their function, I destabilize their position of authority and viewpoint within society and investigate the potential in changing their relationship to an individual.

In all my projects there is a need to formulate a reciprocal rec­ognition between systems and myself. My work process involves meeting these systems halfway, allowing for an exchange to occur between them and myself. Within this exchange there is potential for a new contract, relationship, or entity to emerge and develop within the framework of systems of authority and control.

Please Watch Over Me

Vivian Charlesworth


This is my model of the universe: macrocosmos alive within microcosms, paradise in a simple natural gesture, forever in a moment, and a moment in forever. Words, these symbols on paper, these guttural sounds that squeeze through the human throat, capture the vast beauty and tragedy of the earth as well as that which lies beyond.


This thesis is an attempt to write the sweetest song I have ever heard, to capture the deepest depths of sorrow, to take the reader into the middle of my narrative, to inhabit with me the place of my broken heart, the ecstasy of summer’s day, and the constellations of my own perceived universe.

In the end, the path diverges into the history books, challenging us to try to discern what is fact and fiction, what is important and what is superfluous.

The Transformation of Things

Dan Chen

It’s not every day that you get to be affectionate around something, it just doesn’t happen that often. —Larry David1

It is because of the above that I treasure every moment of affection that I get. Robot-stimulated affection might just be something that we can use to ease in and out of real affection toward another human being.

Whatever love you can get and give, whatever happiness you can filch or provide, every temporary measure of grace, whatever works.
—Boris Yellnikoff2

Happiness and love are sometimes hard to come by. If the robot makes a person happier than a real person, we shouldn’t deprive them of it. Having said that, whatever works doesn’t mean it works the best, or is the best solution.

If you tell the truth about how you’re feeling, it becomes funny.
—Larry David3

The truth is that this device is a placebo device duplicating the act of comfort. It does in fact comfort, but it is also nonsense at the same time.

Every relationship is just so tenuous and precarious. – Larry David4

If this is true about human relationships, in many aspects it is no different than relationships people have with robots or pets.

1“Larry David.” Xplore Inc, 2012. 2 May. 2012.
2“Boris Yellnikoff” Whatever Works (2009) – Memorable quotes, 2012. 2 May. 2012.
3“Larry David.” Xplore Inc, 2012. 2 May. 2012.
4“Larry David.” Xplore Inc, 2012. 2 May. 2012.
File > Save As > Intimacy

Lili Maya

I began mixing traditional/physical art forms with digital media because I needed the contact with the physical act of drawing and making. It is how I think and orient myself. What I once thought was a desire to mix these worlds was really a necessity if I was to continue working with digital media.

Over time, I stopped making a distinction and I think of my work as art that incorporates different materials and processes. Expanding on that notion, my practice is now an interdisciplinary collaboration involving sound, performance, site-specific installation and music.

Lucas Roy

We do not create memories in a linear process.

Memories are fragmented, pieced together in short snippets. When I began interviewing participants and gathering memories, I thought of Chris Marker, a French filmmaker who directed Sans Soleil (1983), an experimental essay-film rich in the composition of thoughts, images and scenes, mainly from Japan and Guinea-Bissau, “two extreme poles of survival.”1

In Sans Soleil, memory and history are both interpretations of the actual event. The difference between memory and history is in how each is used; memory is personal, history is political. For Marker, those who have power write history. Reciting personal memory is as valuable as reciting history, but much about our pasts is forgotten and discredited.

Marker, Chris. Sans Soleil. (1983):
The River in My Mind

Chih Hao Yu

This thesis encompasses ideas of collaboration, bridging thinkers and practitioners of various disciplines—philosophers, sociologists, anthropologists, political theorists, linguists, computer scientists, artists, user-interface designers, anarchists, etc., in the hope of finding alignment and creating synergy among the disciplines.



Michael Tauschinger-Dempsey

Our social networking services and mobile communication technologies have created a new hybrid space of surveillance.

In the case of “sousveillance,”1 both ways of watching others are possible at any given moment by constantly and seamlessly morphing one into the other. The few being watched by the many and the many watching the few form one endless cycle of voyeurism and exhibitionism.

Through social media software, users freely provide the most personal data to whomever or whatever is at the other end of the data cloud.

In the best of cases, this hijacking of personal information is performed for the purposes of targeted advertising, i.e. the commodification of personal information. In the worst of cases, this overflowing database of the Ego is essentially made endlessly accessible without a warrant to controlling power structures like the NYPD, CIA, NSA and the FBI.

1 Mann, S., Nolan, J., & Wellman, B. (2003). Sousveillance: Inventing and Using Wearable Computing Devices for Data Collection in Surveillance Environments.
Out of Service

Hye Yeon Nam

Self Portrait

In these videos, I seek to portray the difficulty of living in this “room” that is America.

Self-Portrait is an attempt to literally represent my psychological and bodily displacement as a means of representing the experience of immigration to non-immigrants. Since moving two years ago, I now feel as if I live in a different skin. Many of the simple tasks that seemed inborn to me in Korea are now completely foreign.

My body, as a result, feels different. I feel like it occupies both Korea and the United States and my arms and legs feel incredibly elongated, as if I cannot see the end of my body. This space of being neither here in America nor there in Korea is precisely what I try to convey in Self-Portrait. In the video performances, I attempt to show what displacement feels like. Because the displacement one feels from immigrating is difficult and complex to communicate, I decide to demonstrate how one’s daily, commonplace behaviors suddenly become unfamiliar.

By performing these simple tasks gone awry and recording them on video, I escape from the hardship I have felt in the last couple years.

Self Portrait

Michael Tauschinger-Dempsey

Not only has our understanding of reality and concept of what is truly valuable changed dramatically over the past decade, so too has our appreciation for a definition of the private and public spheres.

Digital technologies, the Internet, and (more recently) social media have blurred the lines between the private and the public to such a degree that they have arguably become one. With a few notable exceptions, the compliance with which the vast majority of people in the industrialized world have accepted and assimilated such a complete redefinition of these two spaces is astonishing.

Out of Service