Vito Acconci is a Bronx-born, Brooklyn-based writer, artist, and architect. A poet of the New York School in the early to mid-1960s, he moved toward performance, sound, and video work by the end of the decade. Positioning his own body as the simultaneous subject and object of the work, Acconci’s early videos took advantage of the medium’s self-reflexive potential in mediating his own and the viewer’s attention. Since the late ’70s, Acconci has designed architectural and installation works for public spaces.
Susan Buck-Morss is Professor of Political Science at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York. A longtime Professor of Political Philosophy and Social Theory at Cornell University’s Department of Government, she was also a member of Cornell’s graduate fields in Comparative Literature, History of Art, German Studies, and the School of Art, Architecture and Planning. Her publications include Hegel, Haiti, and Universal History (2009), Thinking Past Terror: Islamism and Critical Theory on the Left (2003), Dreamworld and Catastrophe: The Passing of Mass Utopia in East and West (2000), and The Dialectics of Seeing. Walter Benjamin and the Arcades Project (1991).
Boris Groys is a philosopher, essayist, art critic, media theorist, and an internationally acclaimed expert on late-Soviet postmodern art and literature, as well as on the Russian avant-garde. Dr. Groys’s writing engages the wildly disparate traditions of French poststructuralism and modern Russian philosophy. In the 1970s, Dr. Groys, who had studied philosophy and mathematics at Leningrad State University, immersed himself in the unofficial cultural scene in Russia’s capitals, coining the term “Moscow conceptualism.” From 1976-1981, he held a position as a Research Fellow in the Department of Structural and Applied Linguistics at Moscow State University, and in 1981, Dr. Groys emigrated to West Germany. His philosophical writing includes A Philosopher’s Diary, On the New: A Study of Cultural Economics, and The Invention of Russia, while his contributions to art theory and criticism can be found in Vanishing Point Moscow and The Art of Installation. His most recent books are History Becomes Form: Moscow Conceptualism (2010), Going Public (2010), and Art Power (2008). Since 1994, Dr. Groys has served as the curator and organizer of numerous international art exhibitions and conferences. He curated the Russian Pavilion at the 54th Venice Biennale (2011) and co-curated the exhibition Medium Religion with Peter Weibel at the Center for Art and Media Karlsruhe, (2009 Karlsruhe, Germany). Since 2009, Dr. Groys is Professor of Russian and Slavic Studies at New York University.
Vitaly Komar was born in Moscow, USSR in 1943, graduated from the Stroganov School of Art and Design in 1967, and has been living in New York since 1978. He was one of the founders of the Sots Art movement (Soviet Pop/Conceptual Art). Vitaly Komar worked in collaboration with Alex Melamid from 1973 to 2003. In 1974 his and Melamid’s work along with the works of other nonconformist artists was destroyed by Soviet Authorities at the open-air Bulldozer Exhibition. In 1976, their work was smuggled out for their first show in the West at the Ronald Feldman gallery, New York. In 1985, Komar and Melamid’s travelling exhibition appears at the Fruitmarket Gallery in Edinburgh, Scotland; Museum of Modern Art in Oxford, UK; and Museum of Decorative Arts in Louvre, Paris. They were the first Russian artists invited to Documenta 8 in Kassel (1987) and they were also the first Russian artists to receive a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts (1982). They had a solo show at the Brooklyn Museum in 1989. Notable projects include Monumental Propaganda in 1993 (travlling show, Independent Curators Inc; Smithsonian Institute, Washington DC; and Marat Guelman gallery, Moscow); Most Wanted and Most Unwanted Paintings in 1994 (Ludwig Museum of Modern Art, Cologne, 1997; Kunsthalle Wien, 1998); Naked Revolution in 1997(Walker Art Center, Minneapolis and The Kitchen, New York). Komar and Melamid represented Russia at Venice Biennale, 1999.
Viktor Misiano was born in Moscow in 1957. From 1980 till 1990 he was a curator of contemporary art at the Pushkin National Museum of Fine Arts in Moscow. From 1992 to 1997 he was the director of the Center for Contemporary Art (CAC) in Moscow. He curated the Russian participation in the Istanbul Biennale (1992), the Venice Biennale (1995, 2003), the São Paulo Biennale (2002, 2004), and the Valencia Biennale (2001). He was on the curatorial team for the Manifesta I in Rotterdam in 1996. In 1993 he was a founder of the Moscow Art Magazine (Moscow) and has been its editor-in-chief ever since; in 2003 he was a founder of the Manifesta Journal: Journal of Contemporary Curatorship (Amsterdam) and has been an editor there since that time, as well. In 2005 he curated the first Central Asia Pavilion at the Venice Biennale. In 2007 he realized large scale exhibition project “Progressive Nostalgia: Art from the Former USSR” in the Centro per l’arte contemporanea, Prato (Italy), the Benaki Museum, Athens, KUMU, Tallinn, and KIASMA, Helsinki. His latest exhibition project is “Impossible Community” realized 2011 in Moscow Museum for Modern Art and awarded with National “Innovation” prize as the “Best exhibition of the year”. From October 2010 he is a Chairman of the International Foundation Manifesta. He has been awarded an honorary doctorate from the Helsinki University for Art and Design. He lives in Moscow (Russia) and Ceglie Messapica (Italy).
Nato Thompson Since January 2007, Nato has organized major projects for Creative Time, such as the annual Creative Time Summit (2009-2012); Paul Ramirez Jonas’s Key to the City (2010); Jeremy Deller’s It is What it Is (with New Museum curators Laura Hoptman and Amy Mackie, 2009); Democracy in America: The National Campaign (2008); and Paul Chan’s acclaimed Waiting for Godot in New Orleans (2007). Previously, he worked as Curator at MASS MoCA, where he completed numerous large-scale exhibitions including The Interventionists: Art in the Social Sphere (2004) with a catalogue distributed by MIT Press. His writings have appeared in numerous publications including BookForum, Frieze, Art Journal, Artforum, Parkett, Cabinet, and The Journal of Aesthetics and Protest. The College Art Association awarded him for distinguished writing in Art Journal in 2004. He curated the exhibition for Independent Curators International titled Experimental Geography with a book available by Melville House Publishing. His book Seeing Power: Socially Engaged Art in the Age of Cultural Production is due out by Melville House in August 2012.