Public Invited to Participate in an “Urban Thinkery” through Artist-Led Programs at the Museum and Across the City of New York

Exhibition: Intervals: Futurefarmers
Venue: Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, 1071 Fifth Avenue, New York
Location: Rotunda and off-site in several locations across the city of New York
Dates: May 4–14, 2011

From May 4 to May 14, 2011, the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum will present Intervals: Futurefarmers, the fourth installment of its contemporary art series designed to reflect the spirit of today’s innovative practices. For its Intervals project, the San Francisco–based art collective Futurefarmers is creating a site-specific installation on the Rotunda floor of the museum and organizing intimate participatory programs for the public in various spaces around the city of New York.

The exhibition is organized by David van der Leer, Assistant Curator, Architecture and Urban Studies.

The Leadership Committees for the Intervals series and Intervals: Futurefarmers are gratefully acknowledged.

Futurefarmers creates projects that are diverse both in terms of their production and their strategies of audience engagement. If anything typifies a Futurefarmers project, it is a balance of critical and optimistic thought with the use of inventive and pragmatic design elements. Recent works include antiwar computer games; an online registry of unused arable land sites in San Francisco that could be used for gardening and food production; and lunchboxes that incorporate hydrogen-producing algae. For the Guggenheim’s Intervals series, Futurefarmers is creating a ten-day “urban thinkery” centered around a shoemaker’s atelier consisting of a cobbler’s bench and shoe racks and installed in the Guggenheim Museum’s Rotunda. The atelier is an open interpretation of Simon the Shoemaker’s fifth-century Athens studio in which Socrates supposedly had extensive philosophical discussions with Simon and local youth.

The Futurefarmers shoemaker atelier is the anchor for a series of off-site actions and events taking place throughout the city. Three Sole/Soul Sermons, commissioned by Futurefarmers and written and delivered by contemporary writers, will be offered in the atelier. The collective will also host intimate public Dialogues with contemporary thinkers and participants in special interior and exterior spaces around the city, as well as conduct a series of Ink Gathering walks with special guests and small groups of enthusiastic visitors. During these walks, the groups collect sidewalk dirt, the main ingredient in a unique Futurefarmers ink that will be used to transcribe the Sole/Soul Sermons and the Dialogues for posterity in participatory urban actions called the Pedestrian Press. Three times during the project, passersby on the streets will be called upon to form the Pedestrian Press and help print the texts, using 36 specialized printing shoes, on long strips of paper that will be rolled out along New York sidewalks.

In addition, the Sackler Center for Arts Education at the Guggenheim Museum, in collaboration with Futurefarmers, will offer exhibition-related programs for people of various ages, ranging from hands-on workshops entitled Making Our Own Rules (in which each participant is asked to create a system of measurement—a ruler—based on the length of his/her foot) to screenings of the film Examined Life (2008) by Astra Taylor. The full schedule of programming offered in conjunction with Intervals: Futurefarmers is listed below. All programs are free with museum admission or, if held outside held outside the museum, free. Further details will be posted on and will later be announced via Twitter feeds @Guggenheim and #Futurefarmers.

Program Schedule for Intervals: Futurefarmers

Wednesday, May 4
Sole/Soul Sermons
Integrative Paleontology: The Paleontologist Is Barefoot Today
Bernadette Mayer, poet and author of Midwinter Day (written 1978; published 1982)

The Road Made by Walking: An Investigation of Walking as a Mode of Inquiry Itself
Rebecca Solnit, activist and author of Wanderlust (2000), delivered by Astra Taylor, author and documentary filmmaker

Futurefarmers Rosary: A Series of Spiritual Exercises for Perceiving the Soul
Cooley Windsor, author and Senior Adjunct Professor, California College for the Arts, San Francisco and Oakland
2–4 pm. Guggenheim Museum. No advance registration.

Friday, May 6
How God’s Children Got Shoes: New York Shoemakers Confront the Industrial Revolution
With Bruce Laurie, Emeritus Professor, University of Massachusetts, Amherst
12–2 pm. The General Society of Mechanics and Tradesmen of the City of New York, 20 West 44th Street
20 spots available, registration required. Please e-mail

Saturday, May 7
Pedestrian Press
3–5 pm. Along the Bowery (exact location to be announced late March).
To find Futurefarmers and the Pedestrian Press, please follow @Guggenheim and #Futurefarmers on Twitter.

Sunday, May 8
The Production of Nature
With Neil Smith, Distinguished Professor, Anthropology, City University of New York Graduate Center
12–2 pm. Meet at the Guggenheim Museum (membership desk) and continue by subway to Gowanus Canal, Brooklyn
20 spots available, registration required. Please e-mail

Making Our Own Rules
A workshop for families (intergenerational) in which they create their own measurement system. Organized in conjunction with the Guggenheim Museum’s Just Drop In! family program. Open to anyone with children.
1–4 pm. Sackler Center for Arts Education, Guggenheim Museum. No advance registration.

Monday, May 9
Film Screening
Examined Life (2008)
A screening of the documentary Examined Life followed by a question and answer session with director Astra Taylor. The film features eight influential philosophers, including Kwame Anthony Appiah, Avital Ronell, and Cornel West, discussing the practical application of their ideas to today’s world. 88 minutes. Courtesy Zeitgeist Films. No advance registration.
3–4:30 pm. New Media Theater, Sackler Center for Arts Education, Guggenheim Museum

The History of the Shoe: From Aristotle to Warhol
With Michael Taussig, Professor of Anthropology, Columbia University, New York
7–9 pm, Spectacle Theater, 124 South 3rd Street, Brooklyn
20 spots available, registration required. Please e-mail

Tuesday, May 10
Ink Gathering
The Urban Ecology of New York City Starts with a Knowledge of the Land under Our Feet
With Gillian Stewart, Associate Professor, Environmental Science, Queens College, City University of New York
10 am–3 pm. Meet at the Guggenheim Museum (membership desk) and continue by subway and bus to Jamaica Bay, N.Y.
20 spots available, registration required. Please e-mail

Wednesday, May 11
Pedestrian Press
12–2 pm. Meet at the Guggenheim Museum (membership desk) and continue by foot to Soul Kitchen, a former shoemaking store in Harlem, N.Y.
20 spots available, registration required. Please e-mail
To find Futurefarmers and the Pedestrian Press please follow @Guggenheim and #Futurefarmers on Twitter.

Film Screening
Examined Life (2008)
3–4:30 pm. New Media Theater, Sackler Center for Arts Education, Guggenheim Museum. No advance registration.

Making Our Own Rules
A workshop for adult visitors in which they create their own measurement system following the screening of Examined Life.
4:30–5 pm. Studio Art Lab, Sackler Center for Arts Education, Guggenheim Museum. No advance registration.

Friday, May 13
Ink Gathering
Particle Pollution and Other Pedestrian Encounters
With David Wheeler, Environmental Engineer at the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, and Thomas Matte, Director of Environmental Research in the Bureau of Environmental Surveillance and Policy at the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene
12–2 pm. Meet at the Guggenheim Museum (membership desk) and walk through the city, reflecting upon the effects of the human footprint on the landscape. 20 spots available, registration required. Please e-mail

Saturday, May 14
Pedestrian Press
The culminating event of the ten-day project in which each of the Sole/Soul Sermons and Dialogues will be printed with the help of passersby.
12–4 pm. Meet at the Guggenheim Museum (membership desk) and continue by foot through the city. Initially 20 spots available. Please e-mail To find Futurefarmers and the Pedestrian Press, please follow @Guggenheim and #Futurefarmers on Twitter.

About Futurefarmers
Futurefarmers is a collective of artists and designers who have been working together since 1995. The collective serves as a platform to support art projects, artist-in-residency programs and research endeavors. The Futurefarmers are teachers, researchers, designers, gardeners, scientists, engineers, illustrators; people who know how to sew, cook, and drive a bus; people with a common interest in creating work that challenges current social, political, and economic systems. Futurefarmers expands and contracts depending on the project, but the core team consists of Amy Franceschini and Michael Swaine with Dan Allende, Ian Cox, Sascha Merg, Stijn Schiffeleers, and Audrey Snyder. Futurefarmers’ work has been widely exhibited internationally, including in solo presentations at the Contemporary Museum, Baltimore (2009); Art Gallery, Pasadena City College, Calif. (2008); Reynolds Art Gallery, University of the Pacific, Stockton, Calif. (2004); and Ramp Gallery, Waikato Institute of Technology, New Zealand (2002). Group exhibitions have included Actions: What You Can Do With the City, Canadian Center for Architecture, Montreal (2009); The Gatherers: Greening Our Urban Spheres, Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, San Francisco (2008–09); Design and the Elastic Mind, Museum of Modern Art, New York (2008); Weather Report: Art and Climate Change, Boulder Museum of Contemporary Art, Boulder, Colo. (2007); Fabrica: Les yeux ouverts, Center Georges Pompidou, Paris (2006); and Making Things Public: Atmospheres of Democracy, ZKM Museum für Neue Kunst, Karlsruhe, Germany (2005). The Intervals exhibition marks Futurefarmers’ first solo institutional presentation in New York.

About Intervals
Fast-paced and modest in scale, Intervals is an experimental series launched in spring 2009 that allows the museum to respond quickly to innovations and new developments in contemporary art and architecture as they arise. Conceived to take place in the interstices of the museum’s exhibition spaces, in individual galleries, or beyond the physical confines of the building, the program invites a diverse range of artists to create new work for a succession of solo presentations.

The exhibition series is funded by the generous contributions of the Intervals Leadership Committee. Chaired by Young Collectors Council member Jeremy E. Steinke, the group comprises high-level Guggenheim members who are committed to the realization of Intervals projects and who enjoy a privileged insight into the curatorial processes behind them.

About the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation
Founded in 1937, the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation is dedicated to promoting the understanding and appreciation of art, primarily of the modern and contemporary periods, through exhibitions, education programs, research initiatives, and publications. Currently the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation owns and operates the Guggenheim Museum on Fifth Avenue in New York and the Peggy Guggenheim Collection on the Grand Canal in Venice, and provides programming and management for the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao. The Deutsche Guggenheim in Berlin is the result of a collaboration, begun in 1997, between the Guggenheim Foundation and Deutsche Bank. The Guggenheim Abu Dhabi, a 452,000-square-foot museum of modern and contemporary art designed by Frank Gehry on Saadiyat Island, adjacent to the main island of Abu Dhabi city, the capital of the United Arab Emirates, is currently in progress. More information about the Foundation can be found at

Admission: Adults $18, students/seniors (65+) $15, members and children under 12 free. Admission includes an audio tour of the exhibition.

Museum Hours: Sun–Wed, 10 am–5:45 pm; Fri, 10 am–5:45 pm; Sat, 10 am–7:45 pm; closed Thurs. On Saturdays, beginning at 5:45 pm, the museum hosts Pay What You Wish. For general information, call 212 423 3500 or visit