Social Mobility: Collaborative Projects with Temporary Services at the Mary & Leigh Block Museum | Art review
Temporary Services founders Brett Bloom, Salem Collo-Julin and Marc Fischer get a 13-year retrospective.
During its 13-year existence, Temporary Services has given away thousands of items for free: stuff as small as matchbooks and as large as computer files containing an artist’ s entire creative output.
In “Social Mobility: Collaborative Projects with Temporary Services,” the Chicago- and Copenhagen-based collective’s approach to art still seems radical. Current members Brett Bloom, Salem Collo-Julin and Marc Fischer collaborate on projects that subvert the art world’s competitiveness and egomania, promote the free exchange of ideas and information, and engage those outside the art world—all with a refreshing lack of preachiness.
While Temporary Services’ membership and structure have changed over the years, it has always emphasized sharing resources and a DIY aesthetic. The collective’s quirky, well-curated Self-Reliance Library (2010) offers a wall of recommended reads on topics such as survivalism, nomadic living and tree houses. Personal Plastic (pictured) demonstrates how the artists make banners and signage out of donated plastic bags, turning otherwise polluting objects into something sustainable.
In the show’s most recent project, Designated Drivers, 4GB USB drives mounted on retractable laundry lines hold text, images, video and other content from 20 artists and groups around the world. Anyone can view the material, download it onto a laptop or burn it onto a provided disc. The brilliant piece showcases Temporary Services’ attractive, intuitive design solutions. You’ll walk away from “Social Mobility” with a greater appreciation for the collective’s vision as well as free art-filled DVD-Rs and booklets. Radical.