Exchange Rate: 2008

A Campaign Trail Project

Organized by Elana Mann

September-November 2008

 Call for Participation

As you are well aware, the US presidential election is arriving and the height of political pageantry is unfolding before us.  I have never felt so invested in a presidential race nor so desperate for a way to process and relate to this historical moment.  Because of this, I am producing a project that will include US and international artists creating, exchanging and interpreting performances in response to the 2008 US presidential election.  Each performance made for the exchange will be a public act, whether in a gallery space or on a street corner.  The project will manifest in a series of live performances and screenings in Los Angeles, CA, and Minneapolis, MN, culminating with an elaborate election night bash on November 4th.  If you are interested in participating, please email Elana Mann:

 Project Description:A group of US and international artists/art collectives will participate in a performance exchange in response to the upcoming 2008 US presidential election.  The exchange and its participants acknowledge the significance of the election and seek ways to process, collaborate and examine this historic moment.  Each artist will submit performance directions for an international colleague to perform and subsequently interpret (perform) directions from that same (or separate) colleague.  The entire process will be documented on the web with posts, photographs and video.  Various projects will be featured in Minneapolis’ public parks during the Republican National Convention.  International artists will send documentation of their performances that will be screened in Los Angeles and Minneapolis.  Local artists will perform their interpretations during live events in LA from October through November 4th.

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 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.



Aug 31st-Sept 4th: Artists will contribute projects to be facilitated by the Unconvention ( at the Republican National Convention in Minneapolis, MN.

October 25th: Projects will be shown at Sea and Space Explorations (,  in Los Angeles, CA in partnership with “The Audacity of Desperation” (www.

November 4th: An election night bash with performances, remote video streaming, screenings and live election coverage.  Space TBD

 Sponsoring Organization:

Trade & Row: The Campaign Trail project (

 Project Advisors:

Karen Atkinson (Side Street Projects)

Clara Kim (REDCAT)

Sam Durant (CalArts)