The (e)merge art fair connects emerging-art professionals from around the globe with collectors, curators and cultural decision makers in Washington, DC. The third edition of (e)merge took place on October 3-6, 2013 at the Rubell Family’s Capitol Skyline Hotel. MFAST alumni Jassie Rios, Billy Friebele, Mike Iacovone, and MFAST faculty member Renee van der Stelt came together for an experimental collaboration under the umbrella of Friebele and Iacovone’s long term project free [space] collective. On their website the mission states:
We see the city as an evolving system in a constant state of change. Each person’s experience within the changing city is different and valuable. We are interested in initiating dialog through encounters in public space and using art as a vehicle for community engagement and interaction. We believe in starting a conversation, and then setting it free to evolve with the input of the people who share those spaces.
Renee van der Stelt shared some insight about their collective experience at (e)merge this fall…
We did not arrive with any work already prepared, but used the fair to make the work. Over the course of each day, we collaborated and gathered materials. The found materials (or artifacts) were carefully presented items/objects, live footage, notes on the movement of people, and audio clips from each day. Findings were presented as a pseudo-archeological display on tables and video projections. The collaborative responses became a collection of observations as well as an investigation into an art fair culture as a site clearly displaying what is valued in contemporary culture.