Exchange Rate: 2008 is an international performance exchange organized by artist Elana Mann in response to the 2008 US presidential elections. The project is sponsored by Trade&Row (www.tradeandrow.org), with additional support from Side Street Projects (www.sidestreet.org), Company Wide Shut,Gyst Inc. and Chesed v’Tov Foundation. A select group of artists from Australia, Brazil, Bulgaria, Canada, Denmark, Ecuador, Israel, Lithuania, Mexico, Nicaragua, Portugal, Scotland, South Korea, Ukraine, the United Kingdom and the USA are producing, exchanging and interpreting performance directions related to the election campaign. The exchange and its participants acknowledge the significance of the election and seek ways to process, collaborate and examine this historic moment.
Each participating artist is submitting performance directions (in the form of text, video, image, etc.) for an international colleague to perform. Subsequently, all of the participants are selecting a set of performance directions to interpret and perform. Various projects will be featured in Minneapolis during the Republican National Convention as part of The Unconvention (www.theunconvention.com) and projects will also be showcased during live events in Los Angeles from October through November 4th (see events calendar). On November 4th, Exchange Rate: 2008, in partnership with Trade&Row’s Campaign Trial: The Election in Action series, will produce a grand evening full of performative punditry, raucous referendums and live coverage of election night activities world-wide. Read More.
The contemporary use of performance directions recalls Fluxus scores, Happenings and mail art of the 1950’s-70’s, but contains present day reverberations of mass communication and social networking through emails, text-messaging, blogs, video streaming, etc. As the world watches US citizens elect a new leader through the mass media, a local and international audience will watch artists exchange and perform in response to the election campaigns. This series of performances will mirror the pageantry of the international political arena and track attempts to engage and affect this seemingly impenetrable stage.
“Exchange Rate: 2008 is meant to provide a platform for a different set of concerns about this election. It is structured to generate conversation and collaboration among artists around the globe. My hope was that it would provide an opportunity for a deepening and widening of the conversation about the election than the one playing out in the mainstream media coverage.” -Elana Mann
Visitors to Exchange Rate: 2008 are encouraged to participate in the exchange through this website. Please see the “Participate” section.