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.
The best color is transparency.
The best defense is a good offense.
Untold Stories
Shown
Anytime
Anywhere

Library in Residence

ArchivedHappened in March 2016
9.9336674000
-84.0741834000
Despacio

The Library in Residence program at Despacio – curated by Random Institute – is an ever-evolving selection of artworks, artist books, and unique handmade publications that together not only reimagine conventional librarian systems but also examine literature’s role in contemporary art.

Thoughts
Information

The following libraries have already been included in the program:

THE TOTALITY OF TRUE PROPOSITIONS (BEFORE) Julien Prévieux, France
Julien Prévieux’s library takes the audience on a trip through time. His locally-sourced collection of books brings together publications, manuals, and handbooks filled with concepts and ideas that did not survive the inexorable passage of time. However informative these books are — or once were — their irrelevance today demonstrates how knowledge can ultimately be fleeting. For this library of obsolete books, we collaborated with the libraries at Universidad de Costa Rica and the Costa Rica Institute of Technology. → more

BOOKSHELF BY BARBARA HOFFMANN Barbara Hoffmann, Germany/Switzerland
What are the favorite books of designers who normally create other people’s favorite books? We asked book designer Barbara Hoffmann to select 15 books for display at Despacio. Her selection features books that stand out for their thoughtful interplays of form, material, and content. Or in her words, she picked them for, “: it's the story, the smell, the touch, the grid, the look, the cover, the color, the sound, the paper, the weight, the appeal, the size, the title, and...” so many other reasons for which to love these books. → more

TRAINING TO BE A GIRL Sophie Barbasch, United States
Sophie Barbasch's books originate from asking men on Craigslist simple questions like, “Are you lonely?” “Is there anything you've never told anyone?” “Tell me why I'm a good girl,” “Please send me a picture of your bed,” and “Please write me a love letter.” → more

LIFE IS ELSEWHERE Diana Abi Khalil, Lebanon/France
Diana Abi Khalil writes and draws in her little notebooks about traveling to space, heartache, and questioning moments of doubt. Most of the artist’s notebooks are unfinished or forgotten, others have been smudged by rain or tears, and yet others were lost or gifted to friends or lovers. Playful yet honest, these notebooks each take on lives of their own and for the first time ever are united and on view. → more

POINT OF VIEW An Anthology of the Moving Image
For over 30 years, video and film art have challenged many of the conventions of the art world. From questions of reproduction to issues surrounding acquisition, video and film art have grown from marginalized forms of artistic production to material for mainstream filmmaking and music video production. Point of View is an innovative commissioning and publishing project by the New Museum designed to make video and film art more accessible, and to fully utilize the qualities inherent to the medium. → more

WORDS ENDING ON TAPE with Printed Matter, New York
We collaborated with Printed Matter, Inc. (New York) to revive an almost lost medium. A few decades ago the cassette tape was the most convenient way to record sound material, yet with the fast advancing digital world it is at the verge of being completely forgotten. Nevertheless, artists have continuously used this format to further expand their forms of expression. Listen to the sound of a diary, bodies, an unstable table, singing sand, and of a disassembled cassette in our newest Library in Residence. → more

PRIVATE MATTER Diego Fournier, Costa Rica
Loose pages, fragile, incomplete and sometimes too personal, the artist Diego Fournier lends his sketchbooks to Despacio. By exploring the processes of the everyday, whether ravens eating worms at the plaza, the dancing legs of frogs or a boy experiencing the beach, each of these intertwined stories of personal encounters unfold to new destinations of imagination in a series of 20 handmade sketchbooks. → more

The Library in Residence program opened on March 2016 and runs in parallel to Despacio's exhibition program.

Don't Talk to Strangers

ArchivedHappened in October 2014
40.7059067000
-73.9331975000
Fresh Window

We playfully confound two typically distinct spaces—the gallery & the domestic home—as artists present their work in the households of participating NY residents. In each dwelling, an installation area is designated, while the existing items (i.e. sofas, coffee tables, books, and personal objects) are moved and reinstalled in a gallery space.

With the artworks thus displaced, gallery visitors must directly contact the private hosts, whose phone numbers are available alongside their displayed belongings.

Thoughts
Information

Participating artists are Thomas Moor (Switzerland), Karyn Olivier (Trinidad & Tobago), and Linda Tegg (Australia). Open daily from 12pm to 6pm. Friday night until 10pm. Download Dossier

The art world disrupts the private sphere and vice versa

Visiting another’s home leaves a lasting impression. From the authors on the bookshelves to the contents of the refrigerator, a personal dwelling offers almost imperceptible information about one’s life. Much the same, the artistic qualities of memories made in such a home correlate to the environment in which they occurred. This is a pivotal facet of Don’t Talk to Strangers, which atomizes preconceived notions of the gallery proper by casting a peculiar hue on the entrancing properties of that which we cannot live without: art.

Overlap of Public and Private Space

In this reappropriation of an exhibition, artists present installations in the households of participating Bushwick residents, rather than in the Fresh Window Gallery. Curators work closely with each dwelling’s artist to designate an installation area from which all existing items are relocated and installed at the gallery space.

Once the exchange is complete, viewers are invited to contact private hosts, whose phone numbers are available alongside their displayed belongings, to ascertain operation hours of their newly appropriated “home gallery.”

A Far More Personal Experience

By design, Don’t Talk to Strangers challenges viewers’ expectations and impishly suggests an alternative experience that is far more intimate than typical art viewings in gallery settings. While Fresh Window Gallery visitors are initially denied access to the work they desire, they find reciprocity in elite-access at the cost of their time.

This inventive model encourages a deeper level of participation by diverting the impulse to passively consume. If the viewer takes full advantage, each visit to Fresh Window Gallery offers another phone number, another unique experience, and another opportunity for adventure.

The heightened sense of participation, contacting hosts and making appointments, results in a heightened sense of investment. In this way, Don’t Talk to Strangers reaches beyond an exhibition. Viewers searching for a contemporary art fix will be challenged to pursue a pilgrimage in the name of art, allowing exploration to play a role in their eventual experience of the work.

Consequently, the initial disappointment from lack of artwork becomes a chance to discover far more than the artwork itself.

Polyphonic Roles of Host and Viewers

Meanwhile, the host wears many hats—fellow man, homeowner, art expert, guide, and institution. By welcoming viewers into their home, they also welcome the possibility of new perspectives and interpretations of the artwork at hand.

Though the newly-formed relationship between host and viewer may end post-viewing, while together, both parties are of one ambition: to let art happen outside of the institutionalized art world, as well as to rediscover their autonomy as art viewers and enthusiasts.

Such a circumstance, however, also forces the host into a position of influence, just as any art institution influences its patrons. As a result, the host’s life story is on display like the art in their home. This creates a more personal system for viewing contemporary works: an intimate environment that will no doubt lend itself to a fond and vivid memory in the archive of the viewer’s life.

Random Institute entreats its audience to bask in the unknown and to reap the reward of memories, knowledge, and experience. The home of a stranger offers the perfect setting, the grand stage from which a narrative will naturally emerge amongst the trio of host, viewer, and artwork. This narrative becomes both a tale closely linked to the home and, quite possibly, an inseparable part of the artwork displayed in Don’t Talk to Strangers.

The exhibition ran from October 23rd to 26th, 2014 and took place at Fresh Window Gallery, 56 Bogart Street, Brooklyn.

The second edition of Don’t Talk to Strangers took place in Zurich, Switzerland.

Documentary Reality – Crossing the Atlantic

ArchivedHappened in March 2012
34.4959552000
-41.4133443000
Atlantic
38.6991203000
-9.1689500000
Port of Lisbon
45.5886346000
-73.5047688000
Port de Montreal

Where do we find time to truly engage with art, while being caught between the constraints of hyper availability and keeping up with a fast-pace society? A five-strong crew of artists and curators withdrew from the world into an abstract emptiness to regain what often seemed lost: Time for debate and reflection.

A journey across the Atlantic.

Thoughts
Information

Download the book Without the Viewer

The attraction of a beautiful void and the search for literal oblivion has already drawn many expeditions into the eternal blue, creating an extraordinary, lyrical nomadism at sea. The questions is: what can artists and curators find on a journey across the Atlantic, besides an image of an infinite void?

Questions of ephemerality, documentary reality, and the effect of an absent audience comprised the starting point for a journey that took a five-strong crew across the Atlantic. We did not set sail to tell a story, but to make a story, one that would otherwise not take place in reality.

The journey at sea offered us what had been lost in our everyday lives: endless moments to reflect upon, the freedom to shape reality, fiction, and memory. Once we returned to land, we held tight to our newfound freedom, ultimately channeling it into this exhibition, "Without a Viewer", in which artistic and curatorial voices mingle to create a polyphonic situation.

Just as our mind floats effortlessly between the real and the imaginary, the book accompanying the exhibition is a work of fiction and non-fiction alike, a book unbothered by rules and in command of its own reality.

Throughout the journey, ten perspectives on substantial issues were introduced. They were impulses that provided an open platform for on board debates. These critical reflections in the course of the journey served as thematic navigation points.


Failed Telegrams

Die Realität ist nicht ortsgebunden. Eine Wahrheit, die sich im Fernweh der Seemänner widerspiegelt und sich im Heimweh in Luft aufzulösen scheint.

Während die industrielle Romantik mit 39'000 Pferdestärken angetrieben wird, bleibt die Zeit stehen. Und doch – Stillstand ausgeschlossen.

Aus dem Provisorium des Unterwegsseins wird Heimat auf Zeit. Jegliches Fernweh verschwindet der Unendlichkeit des Wassers und der eigenen Hilflosigkeit.

Ausgeliefert sich selbst, den Seemännern, dem Kapitän und vermeintlichen Druck frei zu sein. Bis die Strömung dich erfasst.

The research and crossing took place from March 26, 2012 to April 22, 2012.

Port of departure: Lisbon
Port of arrival: Montreal
Vessel: Hanjin Palermo

Keep the Secret

ArchivedHappened in April 2009
51.5345171000
-0.0556858000
Neue Galerie

Cultural Affairs of the Embassy of Switzerland in the United Kingdom wrote:

"Probably one of the most lively and innovative art galleries in Switzerland, Neue Galerie literally breaks with boundaries and moves to London for one month, presenting an exhibition of contemporary Swiss artists dealing with a highly sensitive subject."

Thoughts
Information

At a time when personal data is stored on massive servers somewhere in no- man’s land, when even whilst buying a packet of chewing gum our behaviour is recorded and analyzed, a time when Switzerland’s Bank Secrecy Act is to be eliminated to make room for a global system of control, one might wish to reverse time and experience how it felt when one could have a date or meet one’s new work colleague not through Google in the first instance but rather in person. For a moment in time, Neue Galerie takes us back to that place, where secrets and riddles were part of our daily lives.

The exhibition took place from April 23 to May 23, 2009 on Vyner Street, East End, London.
Sandino ScheideggerJohanna SchaibleBookRamon StrickerJean-Dominique NgankamHoiko SchutterVinzenz MeynerRenaud LodaSebastien VerdonMarion QuartierLaurentino RodriguezNicola RuffoSimone HuserCarlos GonzalezAndreas WagnerSascha LinglingMonika StalderAnnika EbneterHans WirzChristian MesenhollLukas ErardRenato AebiLilian KlosePhillipp SiegenthalerChristophe KuenzlerMarcel MeuryEmanuel SenAnna ErnstJrene RolliRomano StrebelBarbara StreuliStephan AebischerToby MatthiesenAnna RhynEli RhynLorenz HuserMagdalena OberliMichael BaeriswylSimon GrossenbacherJulia WeissDiana Abi KhalilMarco StrickerArnim MahlkeFabian NiklausLuca MüllerResearchLindsey CashMarlen HaushoferMarcel BroodthaersMartha NussbaumMalcolm McLowryMartin SuterMcElweeMichael MooreN.R.KleinfieldNiels van MaanenNietzschePaul D. MillerPaul ÉluardPaul McCarthyPeter MountfordPlatoPopeProustR. P. BlackmurRabanRobin BlakeRoland BarthesSarah SilvermanShakespeareSimicStephan PashovSteven KingThe Daily WasterThomas BernhardWerner HerzogYoko OnoLucy LippardLorenzo PrendiniLopateLisa PageLászló KardosKen KeseyJudit BodorJohn MiltonJoan DidionJoachim KoesterJacques DerridaJ.G. BallardIngmar BergmannIngeborg BachmannHonoré DaumierHolland CotterHarry S. TrumanGuy DebordGeorg TraklGeoffrey O'BrianGallagherG.W. BushFlorian GrafErnst JüngerE. M. CioranDavid Shieldsda VinciD'AgataCharles OlsonCarolyn Christov-BakargievCamusBrian EnoBoris VianArthur SchnitzlerAnthony VidlerBoris GroysAlain de BottonEmiliano ValdesPhil HanleyRaphael GygaxAndrew O'HehirAtlas StudioSofia MariscalLinda TeggMarso GaleríaExhibitionYoan CapoteGwenael BelangerMarina MagroZilvinas KempinasNino BaumgartnerLithuanian EmbassyItzel PeralesAnuar MaauadAlejandro CarvajalKaryn OlivierSandro StübiAndrew MooreTarek Abu HagebBonadea CoconJonas EtterIvan EbelSolomia ZoumarasTobin TaxiEric MischlerWian BawiLiva KupčaZane OnckuleJuliana SmithIvo GretenerPro HelvetiaCity of BernKanton BernAlain JenzerXymna EngelIeva SauliteElectronic Text + Textiles ResidenciesMarks BlondArthur de PuryEmanuel GeisserPerformanceMiriam StraussNadim JarrarAngela WittwerKommando TrashJacques et BrigitteCamille ZürcherBurgergemeinde BernNadine StrubEric VerdonRaphael EtterClaudia ComteNoemi ReislePatrick UrwylerSamuel FrancoisMartinka KremeckovaRoland NussbaumerFabian BoschungGuillaume PiletAthene GaliciadisCharlotte HerzigRemy PiaMilieu ArtspaceOlaf-Asteson HausPhilipp StrahmAnonymous ArtistArt BrutCamille PellauxJoël Luc CachelinHKBBianca PedrinaSarah HugentoblerMathieu AckermannJon MerzChristoph EisenringKyra BaldererLivia Di GiovannaSybill HäusermannKatja JugAnselm StalderChristof LötscherHans Rudolf ReustOrlando GuierStudienstiftung SchweizSodiumMatthias WilliAndreas EgliChristiane BüntgenDeimantas NarkeviciusYvon ChabrowskiMark DivoBas Jan AderHanna LauerUlf BüntgenFoodMagdalena JukerLeila HincelinAziz TemimiMaurice Maggichmara.rosinkeFlorina MinderBenjamin StöckliSelina FreiSimon ErnstDavid PestalozziJuliette ChrétienSocialSamusocial de ParisNele DechmannGuido van der WerveAgnieszka SosnowskaGioia dal MolinState Government VictoriaArts VictoriaAbuConcertZüblin FiresafeKatja BrunnerNiklaus MettlerManuel SuterBrian MastMatthias EggerLorenz GurtnerAnja SchoriLukas WilleThe MotherlandsMatthias JostDow Jones and the NikkeisThomas MoorAnabel SarabiSarina ScheideggerNora HalpernFri-SonZara NydeggerBrigitte BoessAndreas GrossePeter HuberNaima BärlocherPartyLeticia ParenteAndré ParenteMariann OppligerSophie HoferSaunaClaudia MouginBertrand GadenneFilippo MontalbanoDavid HorvitzUjazdowski CastleAnna WantuchRoad TripAmaury BergerTimothy EdserRéne StricklerProductionVerena DietzeKarin BachmannJonas FehrRamon WilliRemo ZimmerliRebekka SchaererHyperwerkHanna RocchiETH Flying Machine ArenaChristian FreiAaron DerungsMalin BaumannSimon WandelerSam BuchliNathanael RussellJonas BechsteinHeidi KöpferMaria TrenkelRebecca KunzDaniel vom KellerLuzia RinkflymotionsUlrich BruppacherLi TavorSimon BurkhalterNicola DauwalderMichel WinterbergGil PellatonEugen BisigSibylla GigerAda AvetistDavid WidmerIna MertensAline JuchlerYondon OtgonbayarOdgerel OdonchimedMareike GünscheDavaanyam DelgerjargalBadruugan NaranzunAriunaa TserenpilAdiyabazar ChadraabalShinee ErdenbatSussette MartinezGregor PodnarNicky RayBernard SchützeChristopher CozierThylacineHyperwerk BaselChris LupoNewspaperFrancoise CaracoDaniel BjörnssonKarin KurzmeyerUnnar ÖrnZHDKAnja MajerBarbara HauserArnhildur PalmadottirHelgabjorg SigardardottirJennifer FlumeOdinn SigurdssonHikingMatthias VollmerRosalia BlumDidier CrepeyValeria StuckiHEADCécilia Xin YangScreeningChilette Ann LalogOutsourcingHudspeth County CourthouseBojan MartinLena ZinnikerUrezza CaviezelJames Lee ByarsGerhard LischkaKarin MingerHan LoAnnina MachazMelanie WirzJared MuraltManuel ScheiwillerSaskia EdensNils Amadeus LangeMira KandathilIvan BlagajcevicMatthew CianfraniFlorence JungAlexandra DelageOlivier AubertinIan G.C. WhiteCharly Le PoissonnierTheaterStrangersAlexis Coco DupontJessica BrasslerAlma EggerSluiceAlberto DiazChen SerfatyOrlando DiazDilara ErbayAhmet BugdayciMally SustickMolly O'BrianCharlotte ColmantLonnie StantonHilary BrownBriana BrownSarah LifsonNola SmithMarco AntoniniStephanie TheodoreKarl EnglandCharlie LevineBen StreetMonia SbouaiLucia Ruiz de InfanteAli Ekber ÇelikJohan AchermannVladimir BessonAngela JimenezElizaveta KonovalovaTarissan AnnaAlexandra GoullierMarion RingevalMathieu CénacGiulia MagnaniDominique MeierMartin Furler BassandDominik WensauerJan MarckhoffRoland FrühFlorian Schmidt-GabainChristoph SchifferliStefan BiglerStefan BumbacherHumberto GollabehUrs SteinerDania MichelCory ArcangelPeles EmpireSelina Grüter + Michèle GrafAlois GodinatRichard LongFederico HerreroKarin LehmannSan KellerAlejandro CesarcoSlavs and TartarsLibraryLuís SilvaJoão MourãoKunsthalle LissabonJoana EscovalRobert FrankTanzhaus ZürichMaria PetschnigDaniel HellmannJamie DiamondMarie-Caroline HominalMica SigourneyMarc StreitJiri KovandaAntonio Da SilvaHuang QingjunJeremy CohenMohamed ArejdalMohammed LaouliValentine UmanskySophie LapaluMatthias RaffelsieperJanosch PerlerMarco Andrea MagniEva & Franco MattesLamia JoreigeJana KapelováMarco AntoniniJiří SkalaBen Thorp BrownSamuel LeuenbergerKodoji PressBook LaunchSchool of Visual ArtsLectureRobert Barryto be announcedJulien PrévieuxSophie BarbaschBarbara HoffmannFrancis AlÿsDavid ClaerboutDouglas GordonGary HillPierre HuygheJoan JonasIsaac JulienWilliam KentridgePaul McCarthyPipilotti RistAnri SalaDiego FournierPrinted MatterNina Beier & Marie LundAnna HugoSwen RenaultNicolás RobbioIván ArgoteFayçal BaghricheJay ChungJulian CharrièreSigurdur GudmundssonAdrian MelisHans EijkelboomBethan HuwsCarey YoungDiego Arias AschJürgen KrauseJens RischBen LongJens SundheimSasha KurmazRonald ReyesHabacuc Guillermo Vargas Paulette PenjeJavier CalvoCamille LaurellieteamMikko KuorinkiThomas GeigerYann VandermeRoger MunozBenvenuto ChavajayMarton RobinsonNicola TrezziSabrina Röthlisberger BelkacemAchraf TouloubAlfredo AcetoAlison KuoClifford E. BruckmannJuan BetancurthRagnheidur KaradottirSimon MullanThomas MailaenderMark Pezinger VerlagErnesto Jara VargasAlberto FontResidencyÁlvaro Marenco MarrocchiRosemary MedinaAyami AwazuharaMatthias DolderChus MartínezStéphanie SerraNicolas LeubaAníbal LópezYaxs FoundationTamara DíazCentral American BiennialCrack RodriguezAna Lucrecia MuñozAníbal CatalánAudrey HoubenDiego GiannettoniErica Muralles HazbunJason MenaJorge LinaresKevin BaltazarMario Alberto López CruzNuria GüellSergio RojasProyecto 44Maria José GuevaraHugo QuintoJennifer PaizNora PérezPaulina ZamoraJorge de LeónPablo XonáCarolina ArroyoLeonel JuracánEsperanza de LéonLeo HoffmannC.R.A.C.artSchandra MadhaZoe Sans-Arcidet-LacourtGabriel RodriguezHanne LippardRonald MoránNaufus Ramírez-FigueroaAdán VallecilloAbigail ReyesAna AlensoDeborah CastilloMichele Di MennaPaula PiedraCorina HeinTercerunquintoThe Pizza Suicide ClubEleanore PientaDafna MaimonAude LevèreWalterio IrahetaTeresa MargollesRegina José GalindoAlfredo JaarLuis CamnitzerSol CaleroAlejandro Almanza PeredaAllora & CalzadillaRivane NeuenschwanderYoshua OkónLiliana PorterMelissa GuevaraAlejandro de la GuerraJonathan HarkerDonna ConlonGabriel SierraMarlena WaldthausenPhotographyZelia ZadraDino RealLutz GegnerCarlos FernándezPaula KupferMarcus RehbergerSSBA SalonKunstvlaaiFajo JansenArd KokPablo Marcus BienElyla SinvergüenzaOscar Ruiz SchmidtMonsieur BienRoberto ChavesSeñorita AbrilDanceCamila Garon Orellana
Made in Switzerland by Foreigners