ALT-D, 2016

Inventory of Shimmers
260 Richardson Brooklyn, NY
Curated by Alli Miller

with Victoria Campbell
Autumn Ahn & Laura Hunt



Victoria Campbell  Concept Strategy, Promotional design
Micaela Carolan  Creative director, Strategic advisor 
Autumn Ahn  Documentation and video production
Laura Hunt  Installation




Photo by Autumn Ahn




“The difference we have in common is this: we’ve never been adequately represented, and your representation is inadequate.”






Photo by Autumn Ahn




Alt-D aims to stimulate alternative possibilities for male solidarity under the current regime of testo-politics.  

The first iteration of Alt-D took place in the rotunda of a soon-to-be-demolished morgue. A rotating staff of women artists were asked to plan a formal dinner for a male-only guest list. Eight customized JENGA sets functioned as both participatory framework and metaphor for contemporary masculinity.

The ongoing series is a counter-reactionary response to both the impotence of neoliberal feminism and the ensuing rise of the alt-right male supremacy movement.





Photo by Autumn Ahn




TOWARDS A NEW MEN’S MOVEMENT


The desire to take on male subjectivity by providing a space of autonomy for men was met with controversy by our colleagues and co-creators. We were asked whether or not men actually needed “more space.”

We asked, Is the demand for “a world without men” a desire for liberation from normative identity? Or does it function as a way to avoid the social actualities of what gender difference implies? Is misogyny a relationship between men and women, or a relationship between man and men?

JENGA is a tabletop game in which players take turns removing wooden bricks from a tower formation. A player loses when the tower falls. In order to confront the possibility of boredom that might occur when twelve male strangers are asked to endure the sobriety of one anothers company, we custom printed a series of broad, and potentially intimate, questions regarding male subjectivity and concealed them within the towers. When participants began a game, they were also motivated to explore and discuss various topics related to male experience.

The table and seating charts were designed in relation to both the space and imagined experience of the participants. Autumn Ahn concealed, in plain sight, tape recorders to document the discussion and installed a nanny cam in the rotunda’s entrance that was linked to a cell phone monitor in the womens bathroom. We were able to view the proceedings while smoking in the girl’s room and collectively exited at the end of the dinner for a co-ed discussion on participant experience.

With respect for the discursive limitations set down by ongoing, public debates surrounding identity politics, we were asked by the director and curator to use gender neutral language and to guarantee inclusivity regardless of identity. Given that our aims were to do a dinner for men, the press release, texts, and horizon of language around the project were both in the service of those constraints and an attempt to reoirient ourselves to what a signifying identity can do and mean.




Photo by Autumn Ahn