Industry of the Ordinary
Through sculpture, text, photography, video and performance, Industry of the Ordinary (IOTO) are dedicated to an exploration and celebration of the customary, the everyday, and the usual. Their emphasis is on challenging pejorative notions of the ordinary and, in doing so, moving beyond the quotidian.
Industry of the Ordinary were formed in 2003. The two artists who make up this collaborative team, Adam Brooks and Mathew Wilson, have long histories as visual and performative artists. They bring complementary sensibilities to their activities. Their projects exist in temporal terms but have also been conceived to function on the website associated with the collaboration. They have had solo shows at venues including the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago and, most recently, a major mid-career survey at the Chicago Cultural Center that was received with much acclaim. See Cultural Center exhibition reviews and articles here. They also performed at the opening of the Modern Wing of the Art Institute of Chicago in 2009, as well as making work for a wide variety of private, semi-private and public settings, nationally and internationally, both temporary and permanent.
Making use of a variety of art-making strategies, IOTO have primarily been concerned with the dynamics and aesthetics of public and performative spaces. Drawing inspiration from Joseph Beuys’s theory of ‘social sculpture’ and the Situationists, IOTO have explored non-traditional sites for art works where accidental audiences can be found. Often collaborating with multiple members of the community, these works attempt to occupy and invigorate public thoroughfares. The work is intended to provoke and promote public discourse, to bring fine art out of the gallery or theater and, without becoming didactic or pedantic, make it readily available to the non-art-trained audience.