Announcing 2nd Floor Rear 2016: We Are Here

punk house for 2FR2016

2nd Floor Rear 2016: We Are Here

2nd Floor Rear 2016: We Are Here is a meditation and open-ended discourse on the meaning(s) of being somewhere.

It’s 2nd Floor Rear’s 5th anniversary. To celebrate, we’re inviting Pilsen to join the party. (Actually, we’re dropping in like an uninvited guest, hoping to make our visit worth Pilsen’s while.) This move got us thinking about the social and cultural politics of being and acting in a specific space. If what Heraclitus said is true, that you can never step in the same river twice, so too with the city street—its cultural landscape is constantly in flux. And like the bright red arrow that pinpoints our location on a map, the creative output of a place is the pulsing beacon that heralds and gives form to our cohabitation. It’s a way to let people and history know that we are breathing, living, thinking, working, making, and dreaming, here.

In anticipation of 2nd Floor Rear 2016: We Are Here, we’re thinking about some of art historian David Summers’ observations:  that architectural placesenclosuresunite groups as groups, that such enclosures exclude as well as include, and that specific spatial relations and social relations arise together. We’re also thinking about spaces as binding and normative (who, exactly, is this “we”?), or potentially liberating. We’re thinking of temporary autonomous zones, of the beach beneath the paving stones, of walking the city, of strategies and tactics. We’re thinking about space in relation to bodies and bodies that shape place. We’re thinking about who gets to be where, and why.

We’re thinking about places driven or defined by people, power, people in power, gentrification, migration, dis/placement, urbanization and ecology, peripheries and centers (why do we DIY?), productive hangouts (parties as form), productive callouts (protest as form), and productive dropouts (like the the USC seven, we’re “devising new spaces for collective weirdness and joy”). We’re thinking about dots, pins and beacons as metaphor—about the implications of visibility, of assertion, of marking time when your time has come. We’re thinking about place as movement, as nowhere, as imaginary or ideological. We’re thinking about psychogeography, pirate utopias, places forged by ritual, transitoriness, visiting, placemaking, homemaking, histories, historicizing, supermodernity, pop-ups, squats, dreamworlds, cyberspace, publics and privates, order and entropy. We’re wondering what it means to be “based,” “from,” or “of” a place. Where is “here”? Where are we? Who is “we”? What is happening here and now? How did it get that way? Where is it all going? And most importantly, why does this matter?

Open this post to see the 2016 call for proposals and other opportunities, listed below.

Continue reading Announcing 2nd Floor Rear 2016: We Are Here


omg space cat

We may have been keeping a low profile since 2nd Floor Rear 2015, but that doesn’t mean we’ve stopped making plans. Big things are about to happen with 2nd Floor, and we’ve got a few major news items to share.

We’re almost 5 years old

…as of this February.

We’ve set the dates for 2nd Floor Rear 2016

Saturday and Sunday, February 6 & 7.

We’re branching out

Saturday is still off the blue line. Sunday’s events will take place in a totally different part of Chicago. (Details soon!)

We’ve been selected for the Goodcity Incubator Program

Goodcity is a non-profit committed to identifying, starting, and growing social entrepreneurs who make a difference in Chicago. Over the next year, we’ll be working closely with Goodcity to develop and launch 2FR Projects, a legit, year-round NFP. Check our mission-statement-in-progress:

2FR Projects celebrates Chicago’s vibrant history of alternative arts spaces and DIY cultural production. Our mission is to support and generate opportunities for experiencing and producing public-facing art that investigates new, interdisciplinary, and unexpected modes of presentation.

Through programming, education, and strategic partnerships, we aim to make creative production more rewarding for Chicago artists, enhance public understanding of DIY, alternative, and socially engaged art practices, and invigorate Chicago’s cultural landscape with wild variety, experimentation, and radical imagining.

We’re teaming up with Hume Chicago

2nd Floor Rear Director Katie Waddell is joining Hume founders Fontaine Capel and Gita Jackson to co-run Hume Chicago, an artist-led project space focused on serving the Humboldt Park and Logan Square communities through dynamic, accessible arts programming.

Fontaine and Gita will also join 2nd Floor Rear as the 2FR 2016 Collaborative Managers of Northside Programming.

As of November 1, 2nd Floor Rear will have an actual brick-and-mortar HQ at Hume Chicago, 3203 W. North Ave. (Which also means that we’ll have rent to pay, so please pitch in! You can pledge a small (think Netflix membership) monthly recurring donation via Hume’s Patreon account.)

We made some friends

Say hello to our first official board members!

Rylan F.A. Deemer (Treasurer, Business Manager) enjoys a role as an International Consultant and Actuary based in downtown Chicago. In his position, Rylan provides international finance and benefits consulting advice for multinational clients based in the Midwest. Rylan served the Chicago Actuarial Association as Treasurer from March 2010 through March 2015. As lover of the arts, he is excited to reprise his Treasurer role with 2nd Floor Rear. Rylan holds a degree in Mathematics with a focus in Actuarial Science from Michigan Technological University. Rylan is an Associate of the Society of Actuaries, a Chartered Enterprise Risk Analyst and a Member of the American Academy of Actuaries.

Fontaine Capel (Program Manager) is a Chicago-based interdisciplinary artist and educator. She is a member of the experimental performance collaborative Pup House, and is Executive Director of the alternative art space Hume Chicago.

Gita Jackson (Program Manager) co-directs Hume Chicago and thinks + writes about video games for a living.

We’re dropping in on the MCA in November

2nd Floor Rear is proud to be a part of Cage Unrequited, happening November 21-22 at the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago.

Cage Unrequited is a 25-hour marathon reading of experimental composer John Cage’s influential book Silence: Lectures and Writings (1961) organized by visual artist Pope.L. The performance reimagines the book for contemporary audiences by filtering a bit of the past through the voices and attitudes of a diverse community of more than 100 invited readers from Chicago.

We’ve got even more news (about 2nd Floor Rear 2016) coming soon!

We’re set to release 2nd Floor Rear 2016’s thematic concept, call for proposals, and info about our (brand new!) curatorial fellowship late this week/end or early next week. Stay tuned for the big reveal!