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.
Meredith Weber, Program Director
Meredith Weber is an artist and curator living and working in Chicago, IL. Weber’s accomplishments include the Happy Collaborationists curatorial project (Co-Director August 2010-February 2014); Chicago Artist Coalition 2013 Curatorial Residency; programming for Fountain Art Fair (September 2013), and Trailer Park Proyects, IPRAC (June-September 2013); SAIC’s Visual and Critical Studies Master’s Exhibition (April 2013); performance programming at the Chicago Cultural Center in conjunction with Sic Transit Gloria Mundi , a mid-career survey by Industry of the Ordinary (November-December 2012). Weber has also presented exhibitions for The Icebox (Philadelphia, PA), Chicago Artist Month, and the Milwaukee Avenue Arts Festival, in addition to working in partnership with ACRE Residency as a gallery partner (2011-2013) and curatorial fellow (2013-2014). The artist’s studio works have recently been exhibited at 6018 North, Women Made Gallery, and the Massachusetts College of Art and Design. In 2014 Weber will present her works at the Logan Square Comfort Station and work in collaboration with Industry of the Ordinary, Brave New Art World and Defibrillator Gallery to launch the IOTO Project Space: an exhibition space for which she will curate arts programming rooted in performance, installation and other non-traditional mediums.
Claire Molek, Strategic Consultant
Claire Molek was born and raised in the art world; she considers herself an agent in the service of cultural architecture. Claire has worked as life managers for artists Tony Fitzpatrick and Marc Hauser, and in the initial stages of EXPO / Chicago with Tony Karman. Amongst adjunct curatorial projects she co-founded and directed This Is Not The Studio, Hauser Gallery, and Brave New Art World, wherein she has worked closely with over 60 artists, over 30 administrators, and both curated and produced over 30 exhibitions. The majority of the artists she has worked with by way of collaboration, sales, and/or copy, marketing, media, linguistic, career and curatorial consultation are now being considered by prominent curators, flourishing in mid-sized galleries, exhibiting in museums and at fairs or progressing rapidly in their careers. Claire and her work have been covered extensively, particularly throughout 2013 by outlets such as Art Fag City, The MoMA blog, The Seen, New City, The Chicago Reader, Bad at Sports, and WBEZ. She is known as a “ball-busting iconoclast” -Chicago Reader, and a “local darling” -Art F City. She is also a writer, maker, traveler, and collector.
Joseph Ravens, Programming Consultant
Defibrillator president & executive director Joseph Ravens is a graduate of The School of the Art Institute of Chicago with an MFA in performance. He completed his undergraduate degree in theater at the University of Wisconsin at Whitewater. He is a recipient of several grants from the Illinois Art Council, including a Fellowship for Interdisciplinary Performance Art in New Performance Forms. He has received numerous travel and exchange awards that have enabled him to build a global reputation and present his work abroad. Ravens frequently presents workshops around the world that demonstrate his unique approach to creating time based art.