Descent to Revolution

Descent to Revolution

Descent to Revolution features five international artist collectives and collaboratives that use urban spaces and social spheres as means of production and inspiration.


Claire Fontaine, Learning Site, Red76, REINIGUNGSGESELLSCHAFT, Tercerunquinto

Columbus College of Art & Design, Ohio
September 10–November 24, 2009

Curated by James Voorhies

Made possible with a Project Grant from Etant donnés: The French-American Fund for Contemporary Art; a grant from the Danish Arts Council; grants from Greater Columbus Arts Council and Ohio Arts Council with support from Columbus College of Art & Design

During the course of the exhibition, participating artists visit Columbus in a series of residencies to make projects specific to the city. The work does not take place inside the space of the gallery but in concert with community and physical mediums outside of it.

Drawing on a range of ideas about urbanism, community, play, collectivity, education and revolution by figures like Jean Baudrillard, Guy Debord, Henri Lefebvre, Thomas Jefferson, Jean-François Lyotard and others, Descent to Revolution investigates how incremental shifts in cultural behavior are generated by continual production of knowledge, action and conversation. Revolution then is a slow, ever-evolving process responsive to a changing contemporary society. Within this investigation is a look at the role of the institution of art in realizing projects by practitioners whose production relies on contexts outside of the gallery.

So, while part of the gallery is the information outlet for Descent to Revolution, the remainder of it is vacant. This is a rather conspicuous act against prime exhibition real estate. Visitors are invited to wander around the empty site as they like with these thoughts in mind. But, most importantly, they are invited to read there and here online about what is happening over the course of the exhibition and wander outside to experience and contribute to works organized in response to the city of Columbus.

Office of Collective Play is a space and program organized by Bureau for Open Culture in association with Descent to Revolution.

Descent to Revolution is an archive blog of the exhibition making.

Flickr photostream


Claire Fontaine

Learning Site



Claire Fontaine, Learning Site, Red76, REINIGUNGSGESELLSCHAFT, Tercerunquinto

Office of Collective Play

Chord of Columbus

Audible Dwelling is a combination loudspeaker and dwelling. It is composed of two identical units that make it into a composite stereo house. Each unit has two compartments; one compartment is for recording sound and considering what we hear, what we say in relation to the sound of public space. The other compartment contains speakers and the transmission line, a space especially designed with inspiration from Eileen Gray’s De Stijl table. In Audible Dwelling, the furniture and interior design optimize how recorded sound is inserted, projected into public space. Audible Dwelling is currently situated in one of the many parking lots in downtown Columbus, Ohio. It is in a parking lot at the corner of Washington and Long Streets on the campus of Columbus College of Art & Design. Is this Columbus, Ohio? is a speech by Learning Site. It is written by Jaime Stapleton, produced in collaboration with sound specialists Tony Peluso and Joshua Penrose and performed by artist Cassandra Troyan. Is this Columbus, Ohio? is about the economies of urban landscape–cars, asphalt, parking lots, malls, museums.

The Chord of Columbus is a collaboration of John Also Bennett and Sarah Cowles with the Learning Site Audible Dwelling. It investigates the ambient tones that emanate from urban infrastructure. The Chord of Columbus is produced by Bureau for Open Culture with Columbus College of Art & Design. Audible Dwelling is located at the corner of E. Long and Washington Streets in Columbus, Ohio. 

For some folks living in Skagaströn, Iceland, the end of long weekend nights are filled with group sing-alongs. In this tradition Ben Kinsley led a lively sing-along of his favorite songs as well as those quite popular with Icelanders. 

Descent to Revolution , published by Bureau for Open Culture, 2010; designed by Nate Padavick; 224 pages; 8.25 x 5 inches

Descent to Revolution, published by Bureau for Open Culture, 2010; designed by Nate Padavick; 224 pages; 8.25 x 5 inches