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Ever feel like your job has started to take on a somewhat performative quality? Tired that artists and athletes are getting all the recognition and the fun? Want to put your over-developed administrative skills to the test and show off your hidden talents for organizing, planning, and figuring out brilliant last-minute solutions while working under pressure with a tight budget? Have we got a race for you!

The Art Administrator’s Race is a day-long game based on popular television programs like The Amazing Race or Survivor, childhood memories of Capture the Flag, and the absurdity and humour in our day-to-day lives as arts administrators and cultural workers.

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Avez-vous déjà eu l’impression que votre travail comporte un aspect performatif? Êtes-vous tanné-e du fait que les artistes et les athlètes sont les seul-es à recueillir la gloire? Avez-vous envie de tester vos habiletés surdéveloppées en matière d’administration des arts et de pavaner vos talents cachés pour l’organisation, la planification et la résolution de problèmes de dernière minute tout en travaillant sous pression selon un budget limité? Eh bien, nous avons une compétition pour vous!

La Course annuelle des administrateur-rice-s des arts est une compétition d’une journée, basée sur les populaires émissions de télévision telles Amazing Race et Survivor, les souvenirs d’enfance de capture du drapeau et le côté absurde et humoristique de notre quotidien d’administrateur-rice-s des arts (AA) et de travailleur-euse-s culturels.

Organised by Amber Berson and Nicole Burisch, the first race took place in Montreal on May 20th, 2013, from 2-5pm (https://www.facebook.com/events/113142445556510/). Four teams met at Eastern Bloc and then raced throughout the Mile Ex/Little Italy/Mile End neighbourhoods to complete a set of arts-admin related challenges.

The rules were:

  • The whole team must do the challenge at the same time. No splitting up.

  • You must take a photo at each station (and try to upload it to Facebook for good PR and communications)

  • You must begin and end at Eastern Bloc, but otherwise can do the challenge in whatever order you want.

Challenges included:

  • Translate a text that was written in English by a non-native speaker, to actual English. In less than ten minutes so it can go to press.

  • Bring Your Kid to Work Wild Card Challenge (30 mins max)

  • Schmooze with a Collector + Bonus Point Round! (30 mins max)

  • Old technology / equipment pickup / installation challenge (30 mins max)

  • Visit two board members who work on opposite ends of town to sign a document and then drop it off at an art council office (i.e. with the judges), in less than two hours.

  • Photocopy challenge. Make a posters with images from your challenge stations. Make enough copies for every team.

  • Explain your financial statements to your membership. You must be back at Eastern Bloc by 4:45 for this challenge.

The race concluded with after work drinks/judging at Alexandraplatz, where celebrity judges/board members Libby Shea, Anne Bertrand, and Saelen Twerdy evaluated each team’s performance, and tallied scores from the various challenges.

After thorough consideration (and a shocking last-minute disqualification) the results were announced:

1st place: Michelle, Anna, Sheena
2nd place: Florence, Virgine, Pedro
In a category of their own: Chris and Rose
Disqualified: Amber and Nicole

Thanks to all who participated and offered their homes, resources, and ingenuity. If you are interested in participating, contributing, or suggesting potential future challenges, please send an email to citiusaltiuspervilis(at)gmail(dot)com.

Merci beaucoup à tous les participant.e.s: Anne, Saelen Libby, Olya, Florence, Virginie, Pedro, Claudine, Chris, Rose, Sol, Michelle, Anna, Sheena, Eliane. Vous êtes toutes et tous des gagnant.e.s!

A series of performances by Wednesday Lupypciw, Suzen Green & Ryan Statz, and David McCallum & Dory Kornfeld. Presented as part of the M:ST 5 Performative Art Festival, Calgary, AB, October 2010.

This series brings together a group of artists whose hybrid practices incorporate craft and performance. Numerous recent craft projects and exhibitions have emphasized the ways that craft can be used to build community (either as a political tool or as a relational project). In contrast, the projects in this series use the performance of traditional craft activities like knitting and weaving to address ideas of competition and self-interest or to place their creators in a position of advantage. The projects in this series all involve the live creation of new craft works, and thus reveal links between the repetitive and time-consuming actions of crafting and durational performance art practices. Taken together, these performances provide a means to rethink relationships between craft, domesticity, traditional gender roles, and distinctions between the private and public spheres.

A publication accompanying this exhibition, featuring an extended curatorial text “Crafty Advantage: Craft, Performance, and Competition,” was published by M:ST in 2011, and a journal article “Craft Off: Performance, Competition, and Anti-Social Crafting/Performance, compétition et métiers d’art asociaux” was published in the Cahiers métiers d’art/ Craft Journal, Volume 5 Number 2 Spring 2012.

Reviewed by Dick Averns for Akimbo, Oct 11, 2010.