MoMA Studio: Exchange Café
May 24–June 30, 2013
The Lewis B. and Dorothy Cullman Education and Research Building, Mezzanine
Thursday, Saturday, Sunday 1:00–5:00 p.m.
Friday 1:00–8:00 p.m.
Organized in collaboration with Brooklyn-based artist Caroline Woolard as part of the Department of Education’s Artists Experiment initiative, MoMA Studio: Exchange Café is a social space in the mezzanine of MoMA's Education and Research building that is dedicated to exchange-based practices. Taking the form of a café, the Studio encourages visitors to question notions of reciprocity, value, and property through shared experiences. Tea, milk, and honey—products that directly engage the political economy—are available by exchange. Instead of paying with legal tender, Exchange Café patrons are invited to make a resource-based currency. Exchange Café features an interactive participatory archive, a matrix of exchange projects, and a library of books and ephemera.
MoMA Studio is made possible by a partnership with Volkswagen of America.
Artists Experiment is made possible by an endowment established by The Junior Associates of The Museum of Modern Art.
All programs are free and open to all ages on a first-come, first-served basis during MoMA Studio opening hours, unless otherwise noted. Children must be accompanied by an adult.
Visitors are invited to create a resource-based currency to exchange for tea, milk, and honey. Instead of legal tender, currency will be validated by visitors’ resources, creating a network of exchange within the Studio. Currencies made at MoMA Studio: Exchange Café are the only means through which tea, milk, and honey may be purchased by Café patrons.
The Exchange Archive is a visual representation of exchange, demonstrating stories, drawings, and ephemera related to exchange practices. Artist Caroline Woolard has selected a range of artworks and projects that involve exchange practices. Visitors are invited to contribute to the Exchange Archive by writing down personal memories and experiences, local myths, or forgotten histories of exchange.
MoMA Studio offers a range of visual and written materials for visitors to further explore exchange practices in modern and contemporary art. The library offers materials about artists such as Lygia Clark, Allan Kaprow, Ben Kinmont, Mierle Laderman Ukeles, and Franz Erhard Walther along with a range of digital resources and texts about alternative economies.
All programs are free and open to all ages on a first-come, first-served basis, unless otherwise noted. Children must be accompanied by an adult.
Thursdays and Saturdays, 3:00 p.m.
Visitors are invited to engage directly with a selection of works and art projects drawn from MoMA’s collection. During these sessions, facilitators lead at least two people in interactions with these works.
Feral Trade Courier
Operating since 2003, Feral Trade Courier is a grocery business and public experiment, trading goods over social networks and outside commercial systems. Goods are passed hand to hand, using existing journeys as a freight system to transport groceries worldwide. New products are chosen for their portability, shelf life, and sociability.
Milk Not Jails
Milk Not Jails organizes urban and rural people in New York State who are hurt by mass incarceration to build an economic alternative to the prison industry. Milk Not Jails partners with local, small-scale dairy farmers who oppose prison expansion. In exchange for the farmers’ strategic political support, Milk Not Jails markets, sells, and distributes their products to urban consumers through their nonprofit social enterprise.
Jan Mun, BeeSpace
BeeSpace honey is the by-product of ongoing research on biopolitics. BeeSpace explores the control of bee populations to allow humans to productively remove honey from the hive. Honey is cultivated in hives in Battery Park, collectively harvested by a working group, and given away, not sold.
Lika Volkova, SANS
Lika Volkova provides uniforms for Exchange Café. Making mobile sculptures for pickpockets, delinquents, and communitarians, Volkova works in the legacy of critical design and collective production, sharing patterns freely via SANS, a multipurpose fashion label.
MultiAgency Collective produces the online learning experience for Exchange Café. Founded by Amelia Winger-Bearskin, Corey Brady, and Pratim Sengupta, MultiAgency Collective creates immersive models of shared social experiences using multi-agent systems and representations to heighten group-level interaction and reflection.
MoMA Studio: Exchange Café honors the power of reciprocity. From everyday barter practices to artistic exchange systems, Caroline Woolard makes legible a relationship between works in MoMA’s collection and contemporary movements to reclaim the commons. As a cofounder and collective member of barter networks OurGoods.org and TradeSchool.coop, Woolard has been creating infrastructure for critical exchange since 2008.