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2017  

Feb 21 - Mar 9

The Center for Tactical Magic will be presented 3 projects, including a new commissioned work, at STUK's Artefact 2017: The Act of Magic in Leuven, Belgium. Curated by Karen Verschooren (STUK) & Ils Huygens (Z33), Artefact is a themed exhibition and festival on contemporary visual arts, current events and societal challenges. In 2017, Artefact examines "magic" in myriad forms. What does magic mean today? Which role does it play as a social phenomenon? How is it used as a metaphor? And how do contemporary artists tackle the subject? From poetry to strategy, from magical object to obscure systems, from harmless distraction to manipulation: the artists in The Act of Magic investigate what enchants us today. 

2016  

Out Now!

Check out our contribution to the themed issue of Journal of Visual Culture: Visual Activism. Hybrid in form and intentionally multi-vocal, the issue interrogates the intersection of activism with vision, visibility, and visuality from the perspective of activists and artists alike. Edited by Julia Bryan-Wilson, Dominic Willsdon, and Jennifer González, it includes thoughtful contributions from:

Ariella Azoulay, Macarena Gómez-Barris, Deena Chalabi, Electronic Disturbance Theater 2.0, Miguel A López, Amin Husain, Nicholas Mirzoeff, Nitasha Dhillon, A. Joan Saab, Tina Takemoto, Avram Finkelstein, Aaron Gach, Cheyanne Epps, Kyle Lane-McKinley, Elisa Adami, TJ Demos, Amy Lyford, Carlos Motta, Trinh T Minh-ha, Srinivas Aditya Mopidevi, Jerome Reyes, Nine Yamamoto-Masson, Teddy Cruz, Favianna Rodriguez, Zanele Muholi, Selaelo Mannya, Valerie Thomas, and Shannon Jackson.

April 30

As part of Open Engagement hosted by the Oakland Museum of California, Aaron Gach of the Center for Tactical Magic will be presenting a hybrid performance mixing equal parts magic show and lecture. The performance, From Houdini to Snowden: What Magic Can Teach Us About Power, looks closely at the ways in which secrets are embodied in today’s society and draws parallels between magic acts and such issues as economic manipulation, political deception, vanishing resources, and social transformation. Moving beyond the symbolic, this interactive presentation highlights real-world examples of magic mixing it up with Power in today’s “theater of conflict”.

2015  

Nov 7

7pm - Midnight

Join us in Atlanta on Nov. 7 for the unleashing of a new project:
FREEDOM FIGHTER - ROUND 1: FIGHT for $15

As part of Flux Night 2015: Dream (curated by Nato Thompson in the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr Historic District), we'll be teaming up with Dad's Garage Theater Company and music from IFLY's Extremely Michael to bring you the ultimate battle! With a focus on the national campaign to raise the minimum wage to $15 per hour, "Round 1: The Fight for $15" will fight in solidarity with ATL Raise Up!

Also included in Flux Night are some amazing contributions from: Elissa Blount Moorhead (Baltimore) + Rashida Bumbray (New York) + Arthur Jafa (Tupelo, MS); Sheila Pree Bright (Atlanta); Courtesy the Artists (New York); Stephon Ferguson (Atlanta); Chris Johnson (Oakland, CA) + Hank Willis Thomas (Brooklyn, NY) + Bayeté Ross Smith (Harlem, NY) + Kamal Sinclair (Los Angeles); Jennifer Wen Ma (New York & Beijing); Yoko Ono (Nutopia); Otabenga Jones & Associates (Houston, TX); Pedro Reyes (Mexico City); and Jessica Scott-Felder (Atlanta).

See you there!

Sept 11 - Dec 12

The Center for Tactical Magic is honored to be among the righteous artists in Necessary Force: Art in the Police State curated by Karen Fiss and Kymberly Pinder at the University of New Mexico Art Museum. Check it out if you can!

May 28 - June 7

 

 

The Light & Dark Arts: A Radical Magic Show

What does the NSA, Lucifer, and Edward Snowden have to do with a magic show? Find out this spring during our 8-show theatrical run at UC Davis' Main Theater.

When the curtains raise on the Radical Magic Show something wholly unexpected unfolds. This is not your standard Las Vegas fare – all glitter and gloss with little in the way of conceptual wonderment. Instead, we see the merging of longstanding traditions of magical performance with contemporary expressions of social and political concerns.

May 11 Now live on SFMOMA's website: Power Equals Secret Pockets, a conversation with Aaron Gach of the CTM by unexpected projects (Jenny Salomon and Jen Stager) that spans the realm of art, magic and challenging power structures.

Feb 14

7pm

 

 

Performance as Politics, and Vice Versa

Join CTM co-founder, Aaron Gach, for a Valentine's Day presentation on... Ghosts, of course! As part of Eric Baudelaire's Secession Sessions at Kadist Art Foundation (SF, CA), Aaron will be discussing the CTM's Ghost Machine in relation to tensions between the (social) body and the (political) spirit.

The evening will be shared with enlightening presentations by art historian, Julia Bryan-Wilson, and poet David Buuck. This session explores the convergence between political activism and performance art. Julia Bryan-Wilson will weave a brief history of artists adopting / highjacking / transforming the structures, symbols, or rituals of political systems; re-creating political systems within their practices; or building social projects as performance art. And David Buuck will lecture/perform on how artists and activists have attempted to puncture holes in the state apparatus, in moments of refusal or withdrawal.

The Secession Sessions are presented in conjunction with Matrix 257 of the Berkeley Art Museum/Pacific Film Archive and Kadist Art Foundation.

2014  

Out Now!

 

 

The Center for Tactical Magic is proud to share space in a new book from Francesco Spampinato on creative collaborations - Come Together: The Rise of Cooperative Art and Design (Princeton Architectural Press). Here's more...

"The past twenty years have seen a new generation of artists working together in small groups and large collectives to explore new avenues of art, design, performance, and communication. In Come Together, author and visual artist Francesco Spampinato assembles an international roster of forty of today's most exciting and influential collectives, from design studios like Project Projects and political performance artists The Yes Men to flash mob provocateurs Improv Everywhere and the multimedia artists Assume Vivid Astro Focus. Alongside visual portfolios of their best work are in-depth interviews addressing each group's unique motivations, processes, and objectives. What emerges is a shared desire to turn viewers into producers and to use commercial mass-media strategies to challenge prevailing social, political, and cultural power structures. Come Together is an essential resource and inspiration for students, art lovers, and anyone interested in the cutting edge of visual culture."

Nov 16

Sun, 1-6pm

 

 

The Tactical Ice Cream Unit makes a visit to the San Francisco Art Institute for Concentrate, a full day of creative festivities, free ice cream, and righteous propaganda!

June 14-29

Opening:

Friday 13, 7pm

 

 

Toward a New Paradigm - Galway, Ireland

“Toward a New Paradigm” brings together eight artists who have experienced a significant paradigm shift.  They have been asked to address this idea of a shifting paradigm and how that might play out through their work in a larger cultural context. This shifting paradigm could be within the work itself or through the subject matter the work investigates.”

Gallery 126, City of Galway, Ireland

Curated by Malcolm McClay and Chicory Miles

Participating Artists: Lala Rascic, Dan Tague, Generic Art Solutions, Malcolm McClay, Christopher Saucedo, Chicory Miles, Jeff Becker, and Center for Tactical Magic.

Out Now!

 

 

See to believe: the Center for Tactical Magic’s Sleight of Hand
We're honored to be the subject of Gretchen Coombs latest investigation in the Journal of Aesthetics & Culture. Here's a synopsis:

The Center for Tactical Magic has been performing “magical” art interventions since 2000. The Center’s work augments traditional activist techniques by offering new conceptions of what art and activism can entail in a contemporary urban context. This article explores how Jacques Rancière’s reconfigured relationship between art and politics can be applied to the Center’s work, providing new distributions of the sensible for participants.

2013  

Sept 22

9am-5pm

 

 

The Field Trip: the Politics of Abstraction and the Abstraction of Politics

Hiding in plain sight, the San Francisco Bay’s Angel Island has served as a Civil War outpost, US Immigration Station, a Prisoner of War Processing Center, a Nike missile site, and currently, a California State Park. How do these rich historical narratives connect to current social debates? Come experience the island like never before during this one-day, roving symposium speculating on contemporary politics, artistic abstraction, data visualization, and the military’s Cold War-era psychic spying program known as remote viewing. Created by the Center for Tactical Magic in partnership with SFMOMA and Angel Island California State Park, The Field Trip will be led by Aaron Gach (co-founder of the Center for Tactical Magic), who will be joined by an art curator (Dominic Willsdon), a park interpreter (TBD), a data visualizer (Josh Begley), an investigative journalist (Justine Sharrock), a former military remote viewer (Paul H. Smith), and an NSA whistleblower (Russ Tice) for a series of site-specific discussions, presentations, and exercises across the island. These multiple perspectives will blur the lines between seemingly disparate subjects as we explore the ways in which we, as individuals and as a society, represent information through technology, art, and facilitated visionary experiences.

Tickets are available through SFMOMA, here.

Aug 2013

 

 

Arthur Magazine #35 out now w/ a new column by the CTM

The Center for Tactical Magic's ongoing column, Applied Magic(k) attempts to answer the burning question, "What do drones, demons, and magical automatons have in common?"

May 15

 

 

The Center for Tactical Magic takes over a 30ft digital billboard in downtown Manhattan with a video featuring found footage of magicians performing the classic illusion, "Linking Rings" or "Ninja Rings", alongside footage of tutorials demonstrating how to escape from handcuffs, and a rolling text of "Know Your Rights" information from legal advocacy groups. Supported by Artadia, the video titled Linking & Unlinking can be seen here.

May 17-June 8

Stop by Coagula Curatorial in LA for a peek Séance, a group exhibition curated by Mario Vasquez. Along with documentation from the CTM's own Ghost Machine, the show features the magical works from Sue De Beer, Francesca Gabbiani, Glenn Kaino, Roni Feldman, Laurence McNamara, Kathleen Melian, Sean C. Flaherty, Elizabeth DiGiovanni, James Marshall, Matthew Carter, and Christy Roberts.

March 1

The Bank Heist Contest Final Judging & Award Ceremony!

Join us this Friday at Southern Exposure (SF), when bank heist proposals will be displayed in the gallery and judged live by a jury of experts based on conceptual vision, presentation, feasibility, and creativity. After each entry is summarized and discussed by the jurors, five finalists will be chosen, and one winner will be awarded $1,000 at the end of the night.

The jury includes:
Joe Loya, author & former bank robber with literally dozens of heists under his belt.
Dale Seago, a security management professional with over 25 years' experience in military and private sector security programs, including several years in the security department of Wells Fargo Bank
• Representatives from the Center for Tactical Magic and Southern Exposure.

Jan 31

The Bank Heist Contest proposals DUE at High Noon!

All proposals for the Center for Tactical Magic's Bank Heist Contest are due at Southern Exposure by noon, Jan 31, 2013 for your chance to win $1000.00 cash money!!

2012  

Contest Deadline Jan 31, 2013

Exhibition Dates: Oct 5th-27th

Special Event: Oct 17, 7-9pm

Sat. Workshop: Oct 27, 2-4pm

For Bank Heist Contest, the Center for Tactical Magic invites the public to imagine the possibility of a successful bank heist. $1000 will be given as a reward to the best proposal. The contest is being held in conjunction with Southern Exposure's exhibition, Making A Scene, with artists Torreya Cummings and Bessma Khalaf. During the exhibition period, the Center for Tactical Magic will lead participants in workshops, presentations, and films to provide inspiration for their developing proposals. Writer and former bank robber, Joe Loya, will give a talk on October 17, 2012, 7:00 - 9:00 pm. The Center for Tactical Magic will lead a Bank Heist Contest Proposal Workshop on October 27, 2012, from 2:00 – 4:00 pm. The project will conclude in 2013 with an award ceremony for the winner of the Bank Heist Contest. Proposals are due January 31, 2013 at high noon.

Sept 20

8-9pm

 

 

Arts In Dialogue presents Subversive Art Panel Discussion

UC Berkeley Extension – Art and Design Center

The Yerba Buena Community Benefit District’s Arts in Dialogue series presents “Art Making in the 21st Century: Social and Subversive Practices” — a panel discussion on urban community based projects, guerrilla interventions, street performance, interactive media, and collaborative “social sculpture” — with reactionary artists Anthony Discenza, Aaron Gach of the Center for Tactical Magic, Dawn Weleski and Ray Beldner.

Sept 7th-30th

Reception:

9/7, 6-9pm

 

 

Public Trust at Flux Factory, NY

Flux Factory commissioned ten artists and groups to investigate and reveal the hidden values of our most popular pillars of culture, generate new social relationships through this process of questioning, and celebrate the crucial roles public institutions fill. For Public Trust, the Center for Tactical Magic is working in collaboration with NYC souvenir vendors and the Street Vendor Project of the Urban Justice Center on a public project designed to confront the NYPD’s aggressive racial profiling tactic known as “Stop & Frisk.”

Aug 4th-18th

Reception:

8/18, 7-11pm

 

 

S.H.E.D. Projects presents House Show

The Center for Tactical Magic, in collaboration with artist/curator Steve Shada, will be developing a new immersive art as part of House Show. Sited in the unfinished basement of a West Oakland residence, this project works through sparse environmental modification designed to amplify and augment sensory perception at the very foundations of social construction.

March 15 - March 29

 

 

Work by the Center for Tactical Magic makes an appearance at 319 Scholes Gallery in Brooklyn, NY for "Big Reality". Curated by Brian Droitcour, this exhibition "proposes that contemporary everyday life seamlessly integrates elements of fantasy and play through consumer technology and networked media." In addition to the CTM, you'll be astounded by some great projects by 27 other artists including:

Arcanebolt (Mark Beasley, Tamas Kemenczy, Alex Inglizian), Bradley Benedetti, BFFA3AE, Laura Brothers, John Bruneau, The Center for Tactical Magic, Jacob Ciocci, Brody Condon, Chris Coy, Julia Ellingboe, Desiree Holman, Timothy Hutchings, Butt Johnson, Daniel Leyva, Guthrie Lonergan, Nick Montfort, Shana Moulton, Brenna Murphy, Oregon Painting Society, Robby Rackleff, Billy Rennekamp, Deb Sokolow, Eddo Stern, Third Faction, John Tynes, Andrej Ujhazy, and David Wightman.

March

 

 

 

 

Art Micro Patronage is presenting Inverse Internet Operating Manual - an online group show with Anthony Discenza, Center for Tactical Magic, David Horvitz, Elizabeth Sims, Destructables.org (Packard Jennings), Kristina Lee Podesva with Alan McConchie & Anna Lundh. Curated by Dena Beard, this project explores use-value, exchange-value, and "tactical alternatives to the normative functioning of the Internet" through a range of diverse works, including 2 new projects from the Center for Tactical Magic along with some downloadable magic(k).

Join us live or online on March 22 for an artist talk, hosted by Pro-Arts in Oakland, CA.

2011  

Sept 17 - Oct 29

 

 

The Unseen, curated by Adela Leibowitz at the Torrance Art Museum (L.A.) is an exhibition that focuses on the use of esoteric symbols and contemporary visual uses of "magick".  In addition to work by the Center for Tactical Magic, the exhibition also includes: Noah Becker, Michelle Blade, Jonathan Cammisa and Nathan Caswell, Walt Cassidy, Martha Colburn, VALIE EXPORT, Francesca Gabbiani, Sayre Gomez, Frank Haines, Michelle Handelman, Emily Noelle Lambert, Adela Leibowitz, Kirt Markle, Josh Peters, Kembra Pfahler & Katrina del Mar, Shalo P, Breyer P-Orridge, Yuval Pudik, David Ratcliff, Carolyn Salas, Kristen Schiele, and Harry Smith.  The show opens at TAM on Sept. 17, 6-9pm.

Oct 15

 

 

Join us for the launch party of destructables.org this saturday October 15th from 4pm-7pm (demos start about 5pm) in the Studio for Urban Projects (3579 17th St/Dolores) in San Francisco! The brainchild of artist Packard Jennings, destructables.org is a user generated archive of creative tactics for popular protest. The site already includes contributions from high-profile groups such as CrimeThinc and The Yes Men. And, the launch will feature several mischievous demos, including one from the Center for Tactical Magic!

Mar 10 - May 22

 

 

Looking to disrupt the flow of "soft power" logo-driven, consumerism, writer/curator Simina Neagu launches Just Do It. Biopolitical Branding at the Pavilion Unicredit Center for Contemporary Art & Culture in Bucharest, Romania. Neagu writes, "Far from being a visual manifestation of anti-corporate activism, the presented works fluctuate between protest and over-identification, engaging the viewer in a variety of discourses." Participants include: Young-HaeChang Heavy Industries (KR/US), Metahaven (NL), Bernadette Corporation (US), Superflex (DK), Freee (UK), Center for Tactical Magic (US), Bureau for Melodramatic Research (RO), & Postspectacle (RO).

March 9

 

 

The Center for Tactical Magic joins forces with German performance collective, Geheimagentur, at Deutsches Theater/Berlin for Molotov's Magic Lantern: Excercises in Socialising Magic". Details to be announced...

Jan 16 - Feb 20

 

 

The Center for Tactical Magic will be presenting our very own grimoire, Tabula Magica, as part of A Strange Affinity to the Beautiful and the Dreadful, at Hendershot Gallery, NYC. Curated by Maureen Sullivan, this exhibition will also feature works by Sue de Beer, Meghan Boody, Julia Chiang, Jen DeNike, Damien Echols, Leor Grady, Marilyn Manson, Bjorn Melhus, Galia Offri, Gilad Ratman, Lorna Simpson, Trong, Ghost of A Dream, and others.
2010  

Dec 16

7-8:30pm

2nd Floor

 

The final event from Pickpocket Almanack will culminate at SFMOMA for a group discussion, The Audience is Present, will be led by Elizabeth Thomas (MATRIX curator, UC Berkeley Art Museum), Joshua Kit Clayton (artist/musician), Frank Smiegel (assoc. curator, Public Programs, SFMOMA), and Aaron Gach (Co-founder/Director, Center for Tactical Magic).

Oct 14 - Dec 10

The exhibition, Art & Social Justice, opens at the Union Theological Seminary in NYC as part of the curatorial efforts of the Institute for Art, Religion, & Social Justice (founded by A.A. Bronson & Kathryn Reklis). The show features documentation and ephemera from our newly-developed body of work, Witches' Cradles, along with other intriguing endeavors from Red76, Fritz Haeg, Lisa Ann Auerbach, Robert Ransick, HaHa, David Kennedy Cutler, Electronic Disturbance Theater, Cathy Busby, & Nicholas Dumit Estevez.

Aug 12 & 14

The Tactical Ice Cream Unit will be on the scene at SFMOMA on Thursday to distribute broadside maps from Rebecca Solnit's latest project, Infinite City: Right Wing of the Dove. Then, on Saturday the T.I.C.U. will be shifting gears and heading to the Hunter's Point, SF to distribute more frosty treats & food-for-thought in front of the Bayview Opera House as Trevor Paglen & Antonia Juhasz discuss the Bay Area's Military Industrial Complex.

May 15 - July 4

The Ultimate Jacket makes its way to the Tullie House Museum & Art Gallery as the latest leg of the Hayward Gallery's touring exhibition, Magic Show, moves to Carlisle, England.
April 14 The Center for Tactical Magic heads to Beloit College to launch the world's first ever social Witches' Cradle. Equal parts amusement ride and sensory deprivation experiment, a 1969 VW bus meets a giant industrial crane to create the Transporter. You're either on the bus or your not...

Feb 13 - Apr 10

The Hayward Gallery's touring exhibition, Magic Show, moves to Grundy Art Gallery in Blackpool, England.

Feb 5

The Center for Tactical Magic joins forces with a magician and a psychic for a new performance at Southern Exposure in San Francisco to help launch a new DIY volume of mischief and mentation: Recipes for an Encounter, edited by Marisa Jahn, Berin Golonu, and Candice
2009  

Nov 28 - Jan 31

The Ultimate Jacket (5th Prototype) crosses the pond for the Hayward Gallery's touring exhibition, Magic Show, curated by Sally O'Reilly and Jonathan Allen. The exhibition features: Jonathan Allen, Archive (Anne Walsh & Chris Kubick), Zoe Beloff, Ansuman Biswas & Jem Finer, Joan Brossa, Rick Buckley, Brian Catling, Jackie & Denise Chapwoman, Tom Friedman, Brian Griffiths, Colin Guillemet, João Maria Gusmão & Pedro Paiva, Susan Hiller, Alexandra Hopf, Janice Kerbel, Christian Jankowski, Annika Lundgren, Juan Muñoz, Bruce Nauman, Ian Saville, Ariel Schlesinger, Suzanne Treister, Sinta Werner, and of course, the Center for Tactical Magic. The first stop on the tour is QUAD Derby, with more stops all over the UK to come!

Oct 22-25

SHIFT Festival of electronic arts and new media in Basel, Switzerland will be highlighting another version of the Witches' Cradle along with our collection of contemporary Wands.  This year's theme for SHIFT?  "Magic. Tech-Evocations and Assumptions of Paranormal Realities"...  Enough said.

Oct 3

The massive dusk-til-dawn cultural festival in Toronto, Nuit Blanche, sets the stage for our latest large-scale social experiment: The Witches' Cradles... You can find us getting witchy at Brookfield Place!
Aug 29 - Oct 11 Curator T. Kim-Trang Tran pulls aside the curtain to reveal Secrets in a Democracy, an exhibition at Scripps College featuring the work of Trevor Paglen, Mark Lombardi, Linda Pollack, Jamie Wagg, The Visible Collective, and a new project from the Center for Tactical Magic.
June 12-14 The very first Equinox Festival launches in London with a grand assortment of presentations covering your favorite occult topics: Aleister Crowley, A.O. Spare, alchemical Divination, phantasms, mugwort, and more. You know we'll be there!

March 5

The Center for Tactical Magic joins Voges + Partner for Volta NY, where we will be presenting Vital Psigns, our Wands collection, and other new work.
2008  

Nov 15

Join us at LACMA (Los Angeles County Museum of Art) as we team up once again with Machine Project for "A Field Guide to LACMA" - a massive orchestration of performances, workshops, and events from dozens of artists experimenting with LACMA’s expansive grounds and enormous collection of stuff. For the event, the CTM will be situating a vitrine housing our collection of contemporary wands in and amongst LACMA's own collection of anthropological oddities.

Sept 21-27

Creative Time opens the doors on the Convergence Center for "Democracy in America: The National Campaign" at the Park Avenue Armory in NYC, and the Tactical Ice Cream Unit will be there all week long. Come on by for a healthy dose of bomb pops and radical propaganda along with numerous other projects, events, and performances by over 40 righteous artists.

Sept 19 - Jan 11

The Great Transformation (see below) moves on to MARCO (Museo de Arte Contemporánea de Vigo, Spain)!

Sept 19 - Oct 11

The Center for Tactical Magic teams up with This Is A Magazine to introduce our d.i.y. Corporate Curse distribution project to Italy. Episode 25: Activities in Time & Space will up and running at Galleria Careof in Milano, Italy before transforming into a printed version.

Sept 13 & 14

The Tactical Ice Cream Unit hits the Big Apple! Come join us for icy licks and hot propaganda at Prospect Park in Brooklyn on the 13th and at Flushing Meadows, Queens on the 14th. As part of Creative Time's "Democracy in America: The National Campaign", the TICU will be dishing it out alongside "Protest Karaoke" by Valerie Tevere & Angel Nevarez.

June 7 - Sept 7

The CTM will be presenting Vital Psigns and other works as part of "The Great Transformation: Art & Tactical Magic" at the Frankfurter Kunstverein in Frankfurt, Germany. The group exhibition The Great Transformation sets out to document a new interest that contemporary art production has taken in magic and the occult. Also included in the exhibition are: Jonathan Allen, Marcel Breuer, Erich Consemüller, Roberto Cuoghi, Maya Deren, Claire Fontaine, Aurélien Froment, Werner Herzog, Mike Kelley, Joachim Koester, Maria Loboda, Goshka Macuga, Michele di Menna, Eduardo Navarro, Olivia Plender, ride.1, Jean Rouch, Allen Ruppersberg, Kerstin Stoll, Joanne Tatham & Tom O'Sullivan, Banks Violette and Adrian Williams.

April 17-27

Version>08 gets cookin' in Chicago for 11 days of countercultural cavorting and the CTM will be there! As they say: "Version>08: DARK MATTER will showcase emerging, progressive trends in art, politics, technology and music. We’ll gather and see how our peers in the counterculture and at the office create work, spaces, tactics and strategies. We’ll witness multiple possibilities for the future, and leave ready to act."

April 4

7-9pm

The Change You Want To See is happy to host Aaron Gach, co-founder and Director of Operations at the Center for Tactical Magic. Expect an evening of Revolutionary Breakthroughs in Extra-Sensory Perception. Replete with projects, experiments, and anecdotes from the Tactical Magic trenches, this exposition will pull back the curtain on all types of contemporary magic, art, and politics.

March 22

Cool treats to beat the heat! The Tactical Ice Cream Unit drops in on the 13th Annual Bay Area Anarchist Bookfair. What could be better than "bomb pops" and anarchy?

March 15-May 17

Check out "Environmental Performance Action" at Exit Art in NYC! In addition to documentation of the CTM's Cricket-Activated Defense System there's a whole host of great enviromental works from a wide range of eco-minded artists.

March 7 - April 25, 2008

Opening: March 7, 6pm - 8pm

 

The ISE CULTURAL FOUNDATION is hosting a veritable banquet of spicy aesthetics in "Détourned Menu: Food in the Form of Activism". Curated by Brianna Toth, Detourned Menu brings together a group of artists who investigate the relationship between food and the economic, social, ethical, and political realms. Artists include: Erik Carver & Howard Huang, The Center for Tactical Magic, Cori Crowley & Bert Bergen, DoEAT,  Bessma Khalaf, Alessandro Nassiri, Chris Sollars & Jerome Waag, Eva Strohmeier, and Adam Zaretsky

Call to Action!

Opening: March 7, 6pm - 8pm

 

A curious irony frames a current exhibition entitled 'Detourned Menu: Food in the Form of Activism' that opens this Friday, March 7th (6-8 pm) -- the hosting gallery, ISE Cultural Foundation, is funded by ISE America, a corporation whose factory egg farms have been the target of animal cruelty lawsuits and recent accusations of consumer fraud.

Join in protest of an exhibition on food and activism funded by a
corporation who has been the target of many animal rights lawsuits!

2007  

Nov 16

Artadia: The Fund for Art & Dialog announces this year's awards for the San Francisco Bay Area, and the Center for Tactical Magic is named as one of the top three award winners!

October 27

The Tactical Ice Cream Unit will be teaming up with Food-Not-Bombs at the final rally point (Delores Park) of the Anti-War Protest in San Francisco. So dissent to your heart's delight and then swing by for some eats and some treats!

October 25

Join the CTM at the opening of Biotechnique at Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in San Francisco. CTM members will be on-hand to help distribute the Vital Psigns seed project. Participants will learn about human/plant communication and take home a do-it-yourself experiment in psychobotany.

October 11

The Center for Tactical Magic ventures to the nation of Georgia for a new public project on the streets of Tbilisi. The CTM's "Ghost Machine" will be one of 12 international projects presented for One Stop: Art Caucasus 2007 - International Contemporary Arts Forum

August 18

Save the Oaks! The Tactical Ice Cream Unit lends its tasty support to the Berkeley, CA tree-sitters at a community rally to stop the axes from a-choppin'.

July 13-15

The 1st International Copwatch Conference takes place at Laney College in Oakland, CA !!! And the Tactical Ice Cream Unit will also be there to provide frosty treats to beat the heat!

June 8

The Tactical Ice Cream Unit teams up with Larry Bogad of the Rebel Insurgent Clown Army as we cruise into Davis, California for "Temp Work: Temporary Public Art Projects in Downtown Davis". Temp Work is a collaboration between the Nelson Gallery of UC Davis and the City of Davis Civic Arts Commission.

May 12-June 16

A social laboratory for experiments in psychobotany will be established at Machine Project in LA. Psychobotany cultivates a cultural terrain that includes a wide array of efforts at human/plant communication. One can expect to find military scientists rubbing shoulders with druids; tree-sitters cavorting with tech wizards; and conceptual artists conspiring with herbalists. Check out psychobotany.com for more details!

April

 

Lars Bang Larsen invokes the Center For Tactical Magic within the pages of Frieze magazine (April issue) for an article entitled: Art and the Occult.

March 29 -

April 1

 

The 4th Annual Transmodern Festival in Baltimore, Maryland plays host to 4 days of local and national performers, dancers, musicians, filmmakers, video artists, sculptors, writers, and mischiefmakers. The CTM's Free Occult Services Project will be distributing Do-It-Yourself institutional hexes for your use against your (least) favorite institutions.

March/April

 

Legendary enabler, Gregory Sholette interview's the CTM's own Aaron Gach in the March/April issue of Art Papers.

March 17-18

 

The Tactical Ice Cream Unit unleashes delicious pops and righteous propaganda at the 12th Annual Bay Area Anarchist Book Fair!

Jan. 30 - 31

 

The Tactical Ice Cream Unit rolls on to the University of California at Santa Cruz for a 2-day Tactical Magic Expo complete with experiments in Extra-Sensory Perception, Know-Your-Rights Training Sessions, a Self-Liberation Workshop, and an ice cream social.

2006  

Dec. 1 - Jan. 6

 

WHW and Gallery Nova in Zagreb, Croatia play host to Dataesthetics: How to Do Things with Data. Curated by Steven Wright, "Dataesthetics seeks to foreground some of the most cutting-edge practices in the field of research-based art..." Including the works of The Atlas Group, Jean - Pierre Aubé, Bureau d’études, Center for Tactical Magic, IRWIN, Mark Lombardi, Trevor Paglen, Marko Peljhan/I-TASC, Martha Rosler, Bálint Szombathy, Mladen Stilinovic', Visible Collective/ Mohaiemen, Roy, Huq, Lin, Dataesthetics is a three-phrase project, comprising an exhibition, a discussion forum with the artists and the publication of a bilingual reader, featuring critical writings by theorists and artists working in the field of dataesthetics.

Nov. 26

 

Join the CTM in Copenhagen, Denmark as we present Our Program for Creative Engagement at YNKB (Outer Nørrebro Culture Bureau ). The enchantment begins at 7pm.

Nov. 17-18

 

The Center for Tactical Magic presents "Revolutionary Breakthroughs in Extra-Sensory Perception" in Frankfurt, Germany in the closing address of the BLICK.SPIEL.FELD (Gaze.Play.Field) conference at the Goethe-University. Combining a number of disciplines in the arts and sciences, BLICK.SPIEL.FELD sees seeing as an experiment, focuses on the gaze, maps the field of the visible, and plays with perception.

Nov. 15

12-2pm

The University of Southern California's Graduate Lecture Series at the USC Roski School of Fine Arts hosts an afternoon presentation and discussion with Aaron Gach, co-founder and spokesman of the Center for Tactical Magic. The public is welcome to join the fray at the USC Graduate Fine Arts Building & Roski MFA Gallery.

Nov. 3

7pm

Co-founder and spokesman of the CTM, Aaron Gach, joins Elizabeth Mangini, San Francisco-based scholar and critic, for the final session of The New New Masses Salon Series at the San Francisco Art Institute. The New New Masses seeks to address the confluence of art and politics as well as artists' social responsibilites.

Oct. 28

2-4pm

Sonoma County Museum, Santa Rosa, CA

PANEL DISCUSSION: Interventionists

Art made to attach to buildings or to be given away? Edible art for demonstrations or art that appears as a booth at a trade show? This is the art of the interventionists, who trespass into the everyday world to raise our awareness of injustice and other social problems.
Panelists include: Nato Thompson, Curator at MassMOCA; Pamela Bolton and Cynthia Cleary of Free Fruit/Fruta Gratis; Shannon Spanhake, founding member of DoEAT; and Aaron Gach, Center for Tactical Magic. Moderated by Chief Curator, Patricia Watts.

Oct. 25

5pm

Fight for Police Accountability! The Tactical Ice Cream Unit will team up with Berkeley Copwatch and concerned citizens for a rally and march to the Berkeley Police Review Commission (PRC) to demand that the besieged civilian oversight agency take bold action to preserve civilian review. Meet at The Public Safety Building (MLK and Center St.) March to North Berkeley Senior Center (Hearst and MLK) for the PRC Public Hearing on "The Future of the PRC".

Oct. 22

2pm

Come and join us for the 11th Annual National Day of Protest Against Police Brutality! Wear Black ! Fight Back ! The Tactical Ice Cream Unit will provide support and treats for the march from Haight and Stanyan to the Fillmore on Oct 22, 2pm. For more info, check out http://www.bayarea1022.org/

Oct. - Nov.

The Tactical Ice Cream Unit thunders around the San Francisco Bay Area and teams up with the LAB for Détourned Menu.Curated by Brianna Toth, DM presents a collection of artists who perceive their
work as tactical treats, ones that are used to infiltrate contemporary visual culture. By providing food for thought, as well as something to fill one's belly, these artists produce work that disrupts the visual and spatial codes of everyday life. The subversive concoctions created for Détourned Menu will demonstrate how food consumption is saturated with additional dimensions of meaning that can be understood as stemming variously from economic, social, ethical, ceremonial, fetishistic or gluttonous concerns ... ideas that move beyond the notion of eating just for survival.

Opening Reception: Friday, October 20, 6 – 9 PM.

Panel Discussion: Thursday, October 26 at 7 PM. Panelists include: Curator Brianna Toth, artists Colleen Flanigan, Aaron Gach of the Center for Tactical Magic, Chris Sollars, Jerome Waag, and special guest Patricia Watts, Chief Curator of the Sonoma County Museum.

Sept. 15-17 Thanks to the support of the Santa Barbara County Arts Commission and the Santa Barbara Contemporary Arts Forum, the Tactical Ice Cream Unit will venture off to sunny Santa Barbara to mix mirth and mischief with locals, students, and tourists alike. More details to come!
August 19 - 20 In connection to Strange Powers (see below) the Center for Tactical Magic will be presenting a lecture, workshop, and demonstration designed to facilitate experimentation concerning human/plant communication. Based on research pioneered in the 1970's, the workshop re-examines the techniques and premises in a do-it-yourself, group setting. Throughout the workshop, participants will learn about historical approaches to plant communication, law enforcement efforts at plant interrogation, current dilemmas with today's telecommunications industries, and the potential for future inter-species collaboration. Participants will also witness a live demonstration of extra-sensory perception mediated through the cooperation of plants. Finally, participants will be provided with the materials and instruction necessary to begin their own bio-psi experiments.
July 19 - September 17

STRANGE POWERS, Creative Time's summer group exhibition, assembles works by more than twenty internationally acclaimed artists--Pawel Althamer & Artur Z.mijewski, James Lee Byars, Sophie Calle & Fabio Balducci, The Center for Tactical Magic, Peter Coffin, Jennifer Cohen, Anne Collier, Christian Cummings, Trisha Donnelly, Douglas Gordon, Brion Gysin, Friedrich Jürgenson (presented by Carl Michael von Hausswolff), Joachim Koester, Jim Lambie, Miranda Lichtenstein, Euan Macdonald, Jonathan Monk, Senga Nengudi, Paul Pfeiffer, Eva Rothschild, and Mungo Thomson--whose works explore the transformative power of art through a variety of magically charged manifestations. While a number of exhibitions have recently looked at aspects of the occult and the spiritual, STRANGE POWERS highlights artworks that are made to actually have a paranormal effect on the world, including spells, talismanic objects, and apparitions conjured and transcribed.

Co-curated by Laura Hoptman and Peter Eleey, the exhibition will be presented on the second floor of an East Village building (64 East 4th Street), rumored to be haunted, Thursday and Friday (4-7pm), Saturday and Sunday (noon--7pm) from July 20 through September 17, 2006, with an opening reception on Wednesday, July 19, 6-7:30pm.

June 19 - 25 The World Urban Forum in Vancouver, BC has invited from around the world hundreds of government officials, local authorities, non-governmental organizations, experts on urban issues, and the Center for Tactical Magic to participate and discuss the global challenges related to urbanization. The Tactical Ice Cream Unit will gear up to perform in official and un-official capacities.

Spring -

Tour Schedule

The Tactical Ice Cream Unit continues its SoCal hijinx with stops at the following places of mystery and mayhem. Contact us to set up a tour stop near you!

April 2: Come for free popsicles & propaganda in downtown Riverside at UCR's Sweeney Art Gallery from 1-4pm!

April 4-5: Mixin' it up at Otis College of Art & Design

April 7: Tag-team with radical artist Robby Herbst at Pitzer College

April 9: Chillin' at Santa Monica Pier

April 10: Serving up some treats at UCLA

April 22: Hanging out in Tijuana with the good folks at Lui Velazquez

April 24: Talking tactics at the University of California - San Diego

April 29: Mirth & magic at Machine Project in LA

May 1: General Strike!!!

May 4: More mischief at the magical Marvimon

May 5-7: Beating the heat with frosty treats at High Desert Test Sites in Joshua Tree

May 9: Lurking around Cal Arts in Valencia

May 11: More conjurations at Cypress College

May 14: Parade! The TICU will be joining Fritz Haeg and his students, along with various other artists, for Our Parade along the Santa Clara River.

May 15 - 20: The TICU teams up with the University of California Institute for Research in the Arts in Santa Barbara for the "State of the Arts" conference.

May 23: Enchantments at U.C. Santa Cruz

More to come! Want to support a tour stop? Email us!

 

April 1 - May 7 The Tactical Ice Cream Unit will begin its West Coast Tour in sunny Southern California at the beginning of April. Starting at the University of California, Riverside the TICU will participate in People For A Better Tomorrow. Curated by Meg Cranston, the exhibition will celebrate the opening of UCR's Sweeney Art Gallery and will also include Everlovely Lightningheart, Finishing School, Shana Lutker, Amy Maloof, Ben Shaffer, Efrat Shalem, and Mario Ybarra.
In black & white Be sure to check out our Applied Magic(k) column in the ever-illustrious Arthur magazine (Issue 21). Also, look for the Center for Tactical Magic lurking in the pages of these righteous purveyors of pertinent prose: In These Times (Feb. 2006), 3rd Floor magazine (issue #4), and Thee Temple of Psychick Youth's Broadcast 10.
2005  
Nov 7 - 11 The Tactical Ice Cream Unit will be joining Ohio University students and community members from Athens, Ohio for a series of workshops and pop ops.
Oct 24 - 30 The TICU is continuing on its national Civic Tour of Duty to Chicago where it will be participating in the SELECT Media Festival. Check in for details about activities and street ops!
Oct 22 - The Center for Tactical Magic will be joining Kansas City's newly-formed Police Accountability Alliance in celebrating the 10th annual National Day Against Police Brutality. In addition to speakers, workshops, Hip-hop battles, and other rally activities, the Tactical Ice Cream Unit will be on-hand to provide an amplified stage, event support, and cool treats to beat the heat!
Sept 6 - Oct 30 The Ultimate Jacket (display) has crossed the continent to be included in the Richmond Art Center's exhibition, Dress: Clothing as Art, curated by Anuradha Vikram.
Sept 2 - Oct 15 After a long, hot summer of hard work, the Tactical Ice Cream Unit has been launched in Kansas City where it will remain on display at Grand Arts for the duration of the exhibition. Following Oct. 15, the TICU will be conducting various Pop Ops throughout KC before moving along on it's national, civic tour of duty.
Out now - Be on the lookout for Xtreme Fashion from Prestel Publishing. In Xtreme Fashion authors Courtenay Smith and Sean Topham turn their attention to the fashion world, where haute couture is taking a backseat to serious concerns about the environment, personal safety, and privacy. Featuring more than 300 color photos and fascinating text (including the CTM's Ultimate Jacket), the authors show how real fashion starts on the streets, born of urban conditions from gang culture to teenybopper worship.

March 12 thru April 10

Special Event:

March 6

The Huntington Beach Art Center unleashes Detours, an exhibition featuring projects from the Center for Tactical Magic, Survival Research Labs, Finishing School, and others. The CTM will be organizing a community kite-building workshop on March 6 from noon-3pm as part of our aerial activism project, Uprising! - Messages in the Sky. A panel discussion of the participating artists will take place prior to the opening on the evening of March 12.

See the Call for Participation!

Ongoing -

(until Apr. 2005)

The Ultimate Jacket will appear in the ultimate installation at the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art (MassMoCA) as part of an ongoing exhibition highlighting creative resistance and intervention. The show is curated by Nato Thompson and titled "The Interventionists". More info can be found within the pages of MIT Press' catalog of the show, The Interventionists: Users' Manual for the Creative Disruption of Everyday Life.
March 11 thru April 10 The CTM will be participating in Shopdropping: Experiments in the Aisle hosted by Pond in San Francisco. This event both catagues and instigates the insertion of art (ranging from social sculpture to gentle gestures of gift-leaving) into public places of commerce (mostly chain stores). Others participating in Shopdropping include: Packard Jennings, Steve Lambert, Eva Strohmeier, Amy Franceschini, Michael Campbell & Coby Ellison, Marc Horowitz, Ven Voisey, Shannon Spanhake, the Boys & Girls Club of San Francisco, and others.
Jan 22-23 Amnesty International's Firefly Arts Project along with Theaters Against War, Art Is Permitted Everywhere, and FELT present an out-of-the-ordinary conference on arts and activism in response to the incredible profusion of politically-engaged artistic projects, performances, and events that have been created in New York City and across the nation. "And So Forth" (hosted by OfficeOps in NYC), will feature panels, workshops, film screenings, art exhibitions and other special events. The art exhibition, "Image Acts" (curated by Apsara DiQuinzio & Tina Kukielski) will feature 25 socially-engaged culture-makers including the CTM.
2004  
Winter - LiP Magazine (Winter 2004 issue - out now) was kind enough to publish an image of the Ultimate Jacket. In addition to our minimal contribution, LiP is filled with mirthful and mischievous content from the likes of Yo Mango! (Spanish anarchists/artists), Guillermo Gomez-Pena (cyborg, border brujo), and plenty of other crafty peeps.
Nov 20 - The CTM will be participating in a conference titled, "Art,Circuitry, and Ecology" at the City University of New York, honoring the memory and influence of Gregory Bateson.
Oct. 8-11

October Surprise! Creative Interventions and Underground Politics in Northeast Los Angeles. Join us & 40 other artists/collectives for this LA offshoot of the Department of Space & Land Reclamation. More info can be had at: www.theoctobersurprise.org

Sept. 25 Calling all defenders of free speech!
If you live in the SFBay Area (or have friends here) please come
out and support the Critical Art Ensemble's defense effort by
attending the benefit blow-out on Sat. Sept 25 (at 8:30) at ATA
Gallery, 992 Valencia St. Films and videos (Including CAE's own)
on BioTech and the law will be screened, amidst feats of
oratory and legerdemain by the Center for Tactical Magic and
audioscapes by DJ Pod.
$5-50. For more info: www.othercinema.com
(or call 415 648-0654).

June 5-13 The Center for Tactical Magic will be collaborating with artists and scientists to address California water issues as part of Aquatopia, a summer convergence organized by the University of the Pacific Dept. of Art & Art History.
April 28-30 Lake Erie College in Ohio will be the site of a 3-day Tactical Magic Academy to introduce students to new modes of willful engagement and strategies for creative problem-solving.
Spring - An article exploring the relationship between magic and the military titled "Are We in the Dark Ages" has been published in the Spring issue of Art Journal.
2003  

Currently -

Keep an eye out for an article discussing Tactical Media by Trevor Paglen and Aaron Gach called "Tactics Without Tears" appearing in The Journal of Aesthetics & Protest.

Ongoing - The Cricket-Activated Defense System has been added to the Guerilla Performance Locator, an interactive political performance map created by British artists, Leslie Hill and Helen Paris, as part of Shooting Live Artists.
Oct. 2-5 - The western division of the Department of Space and Land Reclamation is forming in the San Francisco Bay Area!! Hundreds of public projects will reclaim public space in the course of 72 hours. Find out how YOU can get involved!
Sept. 13 - An evening of performative lectures on creative resistance, socio-political mischief, and cultural transformation featuring artist Trevor Paglen, the editors of the Journal of Aesthetics & Protest, and the Center for Tactical Magic. This event is hosted by Craig Baldwin's Other Cinema series at Artists' Television Access on 992 Valencia St. in San Francisco at 8pm.
May 25 - Live demonstration of the Cricket-Activated Defense System at C-level in L.A. !
Mar. 27 - Version <03> Digital Arts Convergence at the Museum of Contemproary Art in Chicago - The Center for Tactical Magic will be presenting the Smoky Hill River Outpost: Communal Empowerment Through Suggestive States, as well as speaking on a roundtable panel discussion concerning Tactical Media. For more info on Version <03>, check out: www.versionfest.org/
Mar. 5 - CTM co-founder, Aaron Gach, will be presenting to students at Rensaeller Polytechnic Institute in Troy, New York.

TBA -

(~ 2/25-28)

Tyler School of Art, Phila. - Through the creation of the Tactical Magic Expo, the CTM will provide an opportunity to engage in an intensive 1-2 day exploration of ways in which artists can engage a vast array of social issues. Serving as a temporary magic academy for creative problem-solving, the expo will share information and facilitate collaborative endeavors on the frontlines of creative resistance. Activities include an artist's talk, project workshop, tactical magic seminar, and other group activities. Special emphasis will be given to organizing collective action in response to US foreign policy and an impending war.