The Hive Presents: Empathy Corporation

The Hive, a partnership between EFA Project Space and A Blade of Grass, will present their first collaborative exhibition of socially engaged art projects titled Empathy Corporationfeaturing new works by The Feminist Economics Department, Robby Herbst, and Piero Passacantando. The exhibition is free and open to the public and will be on view at EFA Project Space from June 22 through July 21, 2013.

Empathy Corporation features projects that expand the boundaries of art by seeking new ways to integrate into real life experience. Instead of producing objects for display, the artists featured focus on participation and reciprocity, engaging with the audience through interactions and services. They creatively connect with different audiences, and create projects that engage viewers in communication and participation.

Taking the form of a shared practice of consultants, these three separate projects lyrically explore team building, professional training, and workspace evaluation. The Hive’s Empathy Corporation workers individually and collectively attempt to counter situations of alienation and detachment brought on by institutional culture, reminding the audience-participants of the power of their own vulnerabilities and subjective insights.

About the Projects

The Feminist Economics Department presents The Poets’ Security Force

During two three-day training sessions, The Poets’ Security Force will introduce concepts and practices to eight current New York State certified security guards to challenge the monolithic authority of their industry within the context of the Midtown office building where EFA is housed. Overlooking real human or economic vulnerability, the security industry is tasked to position working-class people against their kin to prevent devaluation of property owners’ assets. The Poets’ Security Force aims to impact the workplaces of the security professionals trained by the project, changing perceptions and experiences of the security industry. Our guards will not be afraid to cry on the job.

Robby Herbst presents I and We: Collective Movement Workshop For Beginners

What is Collective Identity? Sociologist Alberto Melucci suggests that in today’s alienated culture people find deep meaning and power through group identities that emerge out of political social movements. With I and We, Collective Movement Workshop For Beginners, individuals will explore their anxieties and their pleasures in becoming one with a group. Participants will do experimental “floor work” to encourage the sharing of ideas about what we can do together in society once trust between us is established. Workshops will include the use of “play apparatuses,” slides, ladders, and restrictive toys that teach about how groups move and function. This workshop is for anyone who has been curious about joining social movements but is uncomfortable with disappearing in a crowd. No special background is required, but a willingness to play with ideas and each other is.

Piero Passacantando presents MyNerva: The Transmigration of the Cubicle

MyNerva is a collaborative center for artistic research, dialogue and production exploring the office space. The cubicle, a form born as a dubiously visionary space in the sixties, now embodies everything alienating about office life. For The Hive, MyNerva invites office dwellers to enter into a conversation with healers, artists, designers and builders to discuss how this structure may transcend its present state and usage. MyNerva will host a series of activities and events, including an office yoga workshop, team building exercises, presentations by corporate employed artists, norm-bending office parties and more. The cubicle will be deconstructed, modified and improved upon during the span of the project through these activities, exploring possible futures of this dystopian structure. The transmigration of the cubicle is in our hands.

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