Random Institute is an extension of what a contemporary art institution can be, that is to say, truly unbothered by rules and bureaucracy. Ultimately, it brings together & curatorial and publishing activities.

Since March 2016, Random Institute is running the curatorial program for Despacio in San José, Costa Rica.
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Untold Stories
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Don’t Talk to Strangers

ArchivedHappened in September 2015
47.5635867000
7.5904474000
I Never Read Art Book Fair
52.5068332000
13.3674023000
Neue Nationalgalerie

Many of life's most interesting situations arise from unexpected encounters with strangers. Don’t Talk to Strangers was conceived to lead viewers into such experiences by integrating the unexpected into the very structure of an exhibition.

The book retraces some of the dialogues that emerged from the exhibitions, which took place in New York and Zurich, somewhere between the openness of an art space and the intimacy of a stranger’s home.

Thoughts
Information

A chance meeting in the street, a vision on the bus ride home, even a website stumbled upon by accident can channel the power of the unknown into richly evocative new experiences.

The dialogues found in this book are a result of the exhibition Don’t Talk to Strangers, which took place in New York and Zurich. What’s special about it? It was conceived to lead viewers toward new experiences by integrating the unexpected into its very structure.

Artists presented their works in the privacy of strangers’ homes, while items belonging to those same strangers (furniture, books, and personal objects) were reinstalled in a public art space. Once the exchange was completed, gallery visitors were invited to ask private hosts, whose phone numbers were available alongside their displayed belongings, about the opening hours of their newly appropriated “home galleries,” a far more personal experience.

Visitors searching for a contemporary art fix were instead led on a pilgrimage in the name of art, replacing the passive act of viewing with an open and unpredictable experience of exploration. The initial disappointment at the lack of works within the art space thus became a chance to discover far more than the art itself in exchange for taking the time to do so.

A stranger’s home offered the perfect setting, the grand stage from which a narrative could weave itself between host, viewer, and work of art, linking private and public spaces and quite possibly making someone’s personal experience an inseparable part of the art on display.

If Don’t Talk to Strangers offered a more personal system for viewing contemporary works, it’s only because those involved with the exhibition accepted a leap into the unknown. Maybe, by reading through some of narratives we’ve retraced as dialogues in this book, you will too.

Get your digital copy: Publication, Cover




BOOK PRESENTATIONS

September 19-21, 2015
Book presentation by Kodoji Press at the Tokyo Art Book Fair at Kyoto City University of Arts, Tokyo.

September 18-20, 2015
Book presentation by Kodoji Press at the NY Art Book Fair at MoMA PS1, New York

September 8, 2015
Book presentation at Sundowner, an event series that brings people together every other Tuesday on the terrace of the Neue Nationalgalerie, Berlin.

June 18, 2015
Official book release at the Art Book Fair I Never Read in Basel, Switzerland.


COLOPHON

Home Stories with Cory Arcangel, Alejandro Cesarco, Peles Empire, Selina Grüter & Michèle Graf, Aloïs Godinat, Federico Herrero, San Keller, Karin Lehmann, Richard Long, Thomas Moor, Karyn Olivier, Linda Tegg, Slavs & Tatars, and Strangers.

With special contributions by Ahmet Bugdayci (New York), Samuel Leuenberger (Basel), Cory Arcangel (New York), San Keller (Zurich), and various strangers.

If you want to learn what strangers from a faraway city said to San Keller when he asked to be let into their homes with a copy of this book in his hand, you can call San Keller (phone number is published on page two).

Edited by Sandino Scheidegger & Nicola Ruffo

Publisher: Kodoji Press

Graphic Design: Atlas Studio

Written & Buried by Hand in the Desert of Iceland

ArchivedHappened in April 2013
65.3375011000
-15.8522764000
Kunsthalle Tropical

Envisioning a new kind of art institution, where possibilities for creative innovation are endless, this book is available to artists wishing to visit and exhibit at the Kunsthalle Topical. The Kunsthalle, which is located in the remote Icelandic desert, offers opportunities for implementing pioneering concepts as well as new collaborations between curators and artists.

A book only available to those who make the journey.

Thoughts
Information

The original book is buried at +65° 20' 14.76", -15° 51' 8.40" at a depth of 93cm.

The book about the book was completed on April 18, 2013. It is only available to those who make the journey. One copy of the book can be found at the Swiss National Library.

ISBN 9783033038677

The original book is buried at +65° 20' 14.76", -15° 51' 8.40" at a depth of 93cm.

Without the Viewer

ArchivedHappened in September 2012
Show Map Show Images
Atlantic
ResearchBook
34.4959552000
-41.4133443000
Atlantic

A book that starts with 'This moment will slip into the back of your mind. It may remain there forever if you are smart enough' and ends with 'Let's start with a happy ending'. Everything in between are random thoughts that crossed our minds and we failed to forget after we returned from the crossing of the Atlantic on the Hanjin Palermo.

The book is out of print, but can be found at the Swiss National Library

Thoughts
Information

Download the book Without the Viewer

The majority of the thinkers who contributed to this book did so unintentionally. They are all unacknowledged in the body of the text. This reflects the nature of thoughts, often stripped of authorship and appearing out of nowhere. Or, to put it like David Shields, whose book “Reality Hunger” has been an inspiration and source of thoughts: “I am trying to regain a freedom that writers from Montaigne to Burroughs took for granted and that we have lost. Your uncertainty about whose words you’ve just read is not a bug but a feature.”

@Phil_Hanley (144), @emilianovaldes (78), Alain de Botton (31, 139), Andrew O'Hehir (39), Anonymos White House Aide (34), Anthony Vidler (79), Apocalypse Now (137), Arthur Schnitzler (94), Boris Groys (47), Boris Vian (106), Brian Eno (114), Camus (86), Carolyn Christov-Bakargiev (81), Charles Olson (95), D'Agata (42), da Vinci (36), David Shields (16, 44, 89, 90, 93, 109, 118), E. M. Cioran (127), Ernst Jünger (65), Florian Graf (150), G. W. Bush (50), Gallagher (54), Geoffrey O`Brian (100), Georg Trakl (124), Guy Debord (74, 75, 129, 142), Harry S. Truman (125), Holland Cotter (133), Honoré Daumier (140), Ingeborg Bachmann (110, 138), Ingmar Bergman (30), J.G. Ballard (17), Jacques Derrida (68), Joachim Koester (29), Joan Didion (145), John Milton (143), Judit Bodor (72), Ken Kesey (115), László Kardos (28), Lisa Page (91), Lopate (19), Lorenzo Prendini (148), Lucy Lippard (13, 22, 23), Malcolm McLowry (117), Marcel Broodthaers (134), Marlen Haushofer (85, 104), Martha Nussbaum (102), Martin Suter (147), McElwee (82), Michael Moore (87), N.R.Kleinfield (53), Niels van Maanen (46), Nietzsche (37), Paul D. Miller (56), Paul Éluard (49), Paul McCarthy about Vanessa Beecroft (71), Peter Mountford (57), Plato (113), Pope (149), Proust (88), R. P. Blackmur (111), Raban (119), Raphael Gygax (35, 97), Robin Blake (63), Roland Barthes (70), Sarah Silverman (51), Shakespeare (146), Simic (26), Stephan Pashov (24), Steven King (103), The Daily Waster (130), Thomas Bernhard (121), Unknown (73, 101, 128, 151), Werner Herzog (112), and Yoko Ono (45).

The publication has 212 pages. The publishing house 'Distressed Securities & Books Ltd.' is a company incorporated on May 21, 2010, under the laws of Bermuda, with limited liability. Its registered office is located at DSB Hedge Fund c/o The Bank of Bermuda Ltd., 9 Front Street, Hamilton HM 11, Bermuda. The publisher's investment objective is to achieve below-average returns from event driven investments in art books that are not correlated with the S&P 500.

The book was completed on September 13, 2012. The book is out of print. A copy can be found in the Swiss National Library.

Or just download the book here.

Who Runs the Space Now?

ArchivedHappened in June 2011
19.3933280000
-99.1733860000
Polyforum Siqueiros

A catalogue has been published for the occasion of the exhibition "Who Runs The Space Now?".

This book is no longer available in book-stores.

The book launch took place at Polyforum Siqueiros, a cultural and political facility located in in Mexico City.

Thoughts
Information

The exhibition "Who Runs The Space Now?" explores the progression from tension to risk, starting from the tipping point to the inevitable stage of falling. Five international artists intervene with the polarities of maintaining tension and then losing it.

Tension is susceptible. Constantly searching for its balance while bound to the laws of physics, tension holds its own dynamic existence in space. Similar to any force it can change the form, direction, or speed of an object and can be defined as a vector in space. In social sciences, tension specifically refers to stress or situations in which opposing goals, ideas, or influences can cause problems. As a result, the release of energy can be simultaneously disturbing and comforting, depending on the viewer’s perception.

The installations in the exhibition are a test of endurance and open the door to the uncontrollable risk of failure, and the potential of falling through space or losing its tension.

The book was officially released on June 8, 2012 at the Polyforum Siqueiros, Mexico City.

Keep the Secret

ArchivedHappened in April 2009
51.5345171000
-0.0556858000
Neue Galerie

"In East End London, the centre of innovative and exciting art, a young group of artists from Switzerland delivers a refreshing example of artistic progression."

Hush Hush.

Thoughts
Information

"The theme of the night was secrets, and no word could more aptly describe Neue Galerie on London’s Vyner Street.

Last Thursday, the new establishment’s curators threw open the doors to a discerning crowd of art lovers and critics.

On display were works by seven Swiss artists, whose treatments on contemporary issues of secrecy and privacy herald a unique approach to tackling social degradation through the medium of art.

Privacy rights have been a hot topic in recent headlines: as Facebook gathers information about our relationships, so Google tracks our whereabouts and offers a street-level peek at our homes and bedroom windows.

The repeal of Switzerland’s banking secrecy laws is yet another step along the road to privacy elimination.

Rather than railing against the virtual publication of our personal details, these contemporary artists present a riddle in each of their works, a throwback to the cherished need for secrecy.

The characters in Ivan Ebel’s oil paintings, display troubled, seemingly grief-stricken expressions, leaving the viewer to guess at the origins of their anguish.

As Charles Baudelaire wrote in his treatise Le Peintre de la Vie Moderne, art is a process of reflection, a merging of the artist’s intentions with the spectator’s inner perceptions.

When faced with Sebastien Verdon’s Digital Portraits, the viewer’s introspective process kicks in, and we are left mulling over the darker side of our own secrets.

This exhibition is proof that motivation for art can be found in any topic. Moreover, artistic responses to changes in society need not fit a prescribed mould.

A well-planned exhibition should challenge the mind and provoke the senses (aesthetic as well as emotional). By reaching across the varied mediums of oil, digital and installation art, ‘Keep The Secret’ succeeds in both.

The gallery itself is situated in an unimposing building on the artistic highway of London.

Gallery visitors and artists alike tour refurbished warehouses housing some of the most intriguing art in the East End. Afterwards, spectators, journalists and artists gather in the alley’s old Victorian pub to contemplate and debate artistic themes.

Nowhere else in London could attract such an uninhibited, bold and adventurous group of artistic merit.

The Neue Galerie and its neighbors propose a glimpse into a new realm of exciting art designed for the modern gallery visitor, set apart from the mundane offerings of Central London."

The newspaper was published on April 23, 2009.
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