“ABOUT US”: PARA-INSTITUTIONS AND SPECULATIVE ORGANIZATIONS Is a print exhibition (and interactive lecture) which features the logos and the short, edited, “about us” or mission statements of various institutions and organizations from around the world. Artists and entrepreneurs both create names of organizations, mission statements and logos as a way of setting their agenda or creating mission statements, sometimes well before they have even accomplished any work.
This is especially relevant since the dawn of the internet, and especially the World Wide Web, when individuals or very small groups could create websites that created the appearance of a large, powerful or well-established organization, even if it was a few people in a basement or office somewhere. With the rise of fake-news and the reappraisal of satire, and identity correction in tactical media practices, this is a good time to take a look at the real, fake and para-institutional organizations out in the world.
This exhibition collects and compares the logos and “About Us” statements collected online, in trademark applications and in-print.
“ABOUT US”: GAME SHOW In this 30 minute game show and conversation the artist interviews 2 non-art family members to see if they can guess what it is that various strangely-named organizations and para-institutions such as the “Plunge Protection Team” or “The Ministry of Possibilities” do. Audience members online can also make their best guests using the chat function in twitch.
The Office of Life + Art (OLA) is a lab for creative research at the intersection of technology, nature and culture. We make installations, exhibitions and experiences that meaningfully engage with the challenges of the 21st century. We have offices in Bergen, Norway and Porto, Portugal. Cathrine Kramer and Zack Denfeld (The Office of Life + Art & The Center for Genomic Gastronomy) are artists based in Bergen.