Call for Applications: Spring 2012





Deadline for Spring 2012 applications: First round due March 31, then rolling as space allows

Download (.pdf) here or (.d0c) here

What: Arcades Project is a curated event featuring artists, designers, and independent presses. Our Spring event, which is part of the annual regional literary festival Spring Writes, was founded by visual and literary artists who live in Ithaca, and is primarily concerned with reconsidering the idea of text, writing, the book, and how these intersect with the marketplace. Our Winter event in December shifts its focus to the idea of a gift economy fueled by “chance” and “play.”

Our third Arcades Project event will again be in conjunction with and sponsored by Spring Writes, and this year our aesthetic goal is to highlight the intersection between “dreaming” and “consumer consciousness.”

“The new modes of consumerism were to colonialize consciousness.”

Esther Leslie writing on Walter Benjamin’s Arcades Project

To colonialize is to establish political control over an area or to subjugate a people. The opposite action would be to de-colonialize, or liberate.

For our Spring 2012 event, we invite Arcades participants to ponder the dream of commerce and explore the possibilities of de-colonializing consciousness.

These ideas may be loosely interpreted by participants, addressed either in the kind of product on display for sale, in the nature of the display itself, or in the content or purpose of the submitted artwork or installation.  

The relationship between the shopper and desired object is cultivated in a self-contained, dream-like environment outside of the space of everyday life. Leslie again:

Arcades are houses or passages having no outside – like the dream. They share the characteristic of self-containment with the optical amusements – panoramas, myrioramas – that they house.

And Benjamin himself:

The arcades and the panoramas are like monadic, perfect worlds in miniature, glass bauble snow-shakers. This self-containment is their ‘truth.’

We are not interested in seeking a “return” to the “natural,” either aesthetically or philosophically, nor are we interested in utopian fantasies (this being the domain of the fundamentalist), but in exploration and imaginative play with images and words around the central themes.

We are seeking to create an interactive carnival environment that showcases bookmakers, small book publishers, independent presses, book artists, text-based art, prints, multiples, and visual art installations that deal with those themes, preferably incorporating text, printed matter, or considerations of literacy.

In the interest of creating the poem of display, we strongly encourage applicants to include a well-thought out artistic design that describes how to display their wares.

ARCADES PROJECT: Past and Present

Arcades Project 2011 was held on the Commons on the first Friday in May to coincide with Gallery Night. This event featured up to 20 vendors and artists and drew up to 1000 viewers and shoppers. Publishers and art book vendors reported making hundreds of dollars in profits from art work and book sales, and many sold out the stock they brought. Our second event was held in December 2011 at Standard Art Supply and also drew up to 1000 visitors. For more information and photographs of these events, see

When: Friday 4pm-9pm Friday, May 4, 2012 coinciding with Gallery Night (hosting over 2,000 visitors)

Where: Ithaca, New York (Downtown at a to-be-announced location)

Who: Arcades Project is looking for proposals from visual and literary artists to sell their wares, create installations, screen videos, or conduct interactive performances. If you have any questions, please email

Participants may apply to sell art objects, books, journals, zines, dvds, or games. It is recommended, but not required, that items be priced under $50. During the event, visitors can purchase items and meet the authors/designers/artists behind the work.

Artists are invited to propose installations, performances, or video screenings. Proposals that connect to related themes (like the gift economy, games, or books) are welcome, but are not required. Some financial support for materials or travel expenses may be provided.

Space is also available for informal workshops or performances.

Organizers and Co-Founders: Karen Brummund (artist), David Pollock (writer/publisher), Wylie Schwartz (art critic/curator), Danielle Winterton (writer/publisher)


Business Name:

Contact Name:





Types of works/titles submitted (check all that apply):

__ books*

__ posters*

__ paintings

__ art installation

__ performance

__ video

__ workshop

__ prints*

__ editions*

__ multiples*

__ periodicals*

__ games*

-*$25 participation fee (per application, not per work) for those who will be selling objects, due upon acceptance

-Grants and honorariums may be available for some participants, specifically those not selling works.

-Check here ____ to be considered for a grant or honorarium.

Briefly describe your work/proposal for Arcades Project:

Work Samples: Attach or link to five samples of your work. If you are proposing new work for Arcades Project, please provide examples of past work that relate to your proposal. (Required.)

The image list should include Title, date, medium, size, if it was shown at a previous Arcades Project, and a short description..  Links should go directly to the work.

Digital images should be submitted in JPG format, 72 dpi, no larger than 2MB each. Please label all images in the following format: number_artistlastname_title.jpg. Video should be linked or submitted on a DVD-R.  Full length videos should be submitted. You may also send a 1-2 minute clip for the application. Video files should be .mov or .m4v format. DVD-R may be mailed to Arcades Project- Brummund, 410 Winston Ct #5 Ithaca, NY 14850. Only video applications with a DVD will be accepted via mail. All others should be sent by email.






Please describe how you will display your work. Please note: We are looking to go beyond the traditional manner of vendor sales (ie, laying out books on a table). Be creative. If you are selling CDs, for instance, perhaps you could hang each CD from the ceiling from a piece of string. Maybe you could build a cigarette-girl over-the-shoulder vendor box and wear it for the evening. There are many different kinds of small affordable shelving units that would add depth and variation to your display. The display, as well as the wares and the artists themselves, are all intended to be part of the exhibition and we will help with design ideas for display as or if necessary.

What equipment/suppies will you need:



__Other (please specify)

__Do you want assistance with lodging Friday night? YES/NO


 Application Fee: It is FREE to apply. Participating vendors will be charged a small ($25) fee to help cover the costs and secure your slot in Arcades Project.

Application deadline: March 31

Send application materials by email to:

 Accepted proposals notified by: April 9 via email

Participation Fee is due by April 20 by paypal to


Contact information

Arcades Project


Who can apply?

Anyone who makes art, books, prints, video, editions, multiples, limited editions, or collections of fiction, poetry and/or non-fiction. We are seeking makers of affordable, thought-provoking goods and independent publishers who are looking to connect with buyers. If you make it, and it’s limited edition— apply! If you’re still not sure if you should apply, email

Do I have to sell something to participate?

No. If you have a performance, installation, or body of artwork that you think fits into the Arcades Project, then we would like to hear about it.

Is this a craft fair?

It’s not a craft fair or an anti-fair. We are introducing idea-makers to Ithaca’s shopping market.

 What types of installations, performances, or videos are you considering?

We are looking for artworks that are new to our audience, push the boundaries of interaction, and question the idea of a luxury object. Selected artworks will be integrated into the event and are important part of the experience. Email the curators if you have questions about whether your idea/work is appropriate.

Can I submit more than one proposal?

Yes, if the proposals are unique. For example, a publisher would like to propose a performance and a series of new books for sale.

Who is accepted?

Everyone who fills out an application will be considered for the current Arcades Project. It is a curated event with limited space, so we regret that not all applications will be accepted. Selections are made by the organizing committee based on the uniqueness of your product, the quality of your work samples, the aesthetic success of your display design, and completeness of your statement/business description.

 What we will provide?

Marketing, refreshments, tables, press exposure, internet exposure, an engaged audience, and encouragement.

 Is lodging available Friday night?

We will make our best effort to help each out of town artists secure lodging in Ithaca Friday night. This is usually in the house of one of our supporters.

Can I help promote the Arcades Project?

Yes! We welcome any help you’d be willing to give. We are a small operation and it takes a lot to get the word out. Contact us if you’re willing to distribute posters or want logos to promote the event on your website.

 Do I have to charge tax?

Yes, for more information please see the New York State sales tax site.

 Does the Arcades Project take a percentage of vendors’ sales?

If you are selling objects, the one time participation fee is the only money you will pay to the Arcades Project.


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