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Formulas for Now

Van Alen Institute
30 West 22nd Street, 6th Floor, 212-924-7000
June 18 - August 15, 2008

Formulas for Now Hans Ulrich Obrist New York Prize Senior Fellow

Interviews with New Yorkers including Philip Johnson, Rem Koolhaas, Yoko Ono and Rirkrit Tiravanija

Van Alen Institute is pleased to announce the U.S. premiere of internationally renowned curator Hans Ulrich Obrist’s Formulas for Now. Two new interviews with Rem Koolhaas and Yoko Ono, asking “What is your formula for the 21st century?,” debut alongside a selection of unedited interviews with famed New York artists, architects, and cultural leaders Marina Abramovic, A.A. Bronson, Elizabeth Diller and Ricardo Scofidio, Philip Johnson with Rem Koolhaas, Taylor Mead, Jonas Mekas, Rirkrit Tiravanija, and Frederic Tuten. The interviews will be on view June 18 until August 15.

As Van Alen Institute’s inaugural New York Prize Senior Fellow, Obrist has revisited interviews conducted over the last fifteen years with quintessential New York figures who have played critical roles in shaping the cityscape, and he has initiated a new series of interviews.

“If activities such as these succeed in familiarizing audiences with the expansive, even absurd, thoughts occupying some of our greatest minds,” Obrist says, “they have fulfilled their basic charge. It is my ultimate hope, however, that they inspire new forms of cultural dialogue and can perhaps even serve as a template for related ventures to come.”

Inspired by an interview he conducted with Albert Hofmann, the inventor of LSD, in which Hofmann drew the equation for LSD on a scrap piece of paper, Obrist began in Spring 2006 to ask other artists, architects, cultural leaders, and scientists: What is your formula for now?

To mark the culmination of the past year’s fellowship, Hans Ulrich Obrist presents this selection of New York interviews at Van Alen Institute, framed in the context of the formulas he is currently collecting. Since the early 1990’s, Obrist has conducted over 1,400 hours of interviews with over 400 artists, scientists, architects, writers, composers, and other influential figures in contemporary art and culture. Rigorously interdisciplinary and publicly engaged, Obrist’s interviews are a central component of his curatorial practice. Through the interviews, he seeks a deeper understanding of the social architectures of cities and their diverse and overlapping domains of cultural production.

The recorded interviews will be accompanied by new conversations with Rem Koolhaas and Yoko Ono, both of which will take place at Van Alen Institute on June 13, 2008. A preview of Obrist’s forthcoming book Formulas for Now (Fall 2008) will also be on view as part of the project. An advance copy is generously provided by Thames & Hudson.
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