Distinct performance works and environmental group performances works.

Model Cities/Citizen Control (2019)

Model Cities/Citizen Control was an installation and happening at Automata Arts in Los Angeles by designer Kimberly Varella and artist/ writer Robby Herbst. Using found text and images the installation represents a history of the Great Societies anti-poverty program known as Model Cities (1969 – 1974). The installation reflects on “citizen control” of anti-poverty programs, a goal of Model Cities in its infancy.

The Model Cities Programs of LBJ's administration was founded to empower and enrich disenfranchised communities nationwide. It aimed to give direct federal dollars to organize low-income community groups to develop their own community led anti-poverty initiatives. This Great Society Program, which operated between the years 1966 and 1974, grew directly out of the social unrest of the early Civil Rights era.

The program was controversial in its day. Criticism from the right held that it created dependency; squashed entrepreneurialism; and radicalize aggrieved communities. Criticism from the left argued that the program underfunded infrastructure changes; didn't address structural racism adequately; and divided communities against one another. Model Cities/Citizen Control presented theses dialogues - and asked viewers to reconsider their welfare imagination.

Additionally, Citizen Participation/A Model Cities Happening, took place at Automata. The idea of “participation” was as important to the Model Cities program as it was to the art of the happening developed during the same era. The event played with notions of history, participation, and the legacy of the liberal Model Cities program for our reactionary era.

See also: Critical Practice, Drawings

New New Games (2015)

What is the relationship between game-play and the ideologies surrounding creativity and work?

New New Games is a participatory artwork by Robby Herbst exploring the democratic and generative New Games spirit and its legacy, sponsored by Southern Exposure, the Graue Foundation, and the Headlands Center For The Arts, It took the form of a publication, a series of public talks, and two distinct play events in the Bay Area. The New New Games website contains a complete archive of the project and pdf of the publication.

New Games Re:Play was a reunion and festival of the original New Games community, developed in collaboration foundational members of the New Games community. It took place on June 26, 2016 at the Headlands Center for the Arts, adjacent to the Gerbode Valley, the site of the original 1973 New Games Tournament.

Watch here.

Warehousing People, developed as a part of New New Games, 2016. Documentation by Ian Byers-Gamber.

In this game, there are two teams. The first are those set to be ware- housed; the second are those doing the warehousing.

If you are a warehouse worker, your job is to organize the warehouse. You will lift and safely stack people into stacking crates. Your job is to try and make the stacks of people as neat as possible.

If you are being warehoused, congratulations. You are surplus. You have two options. One situation will find you transformed into an inmate. You will be stored by the prison industrial complex in a correctional facility not of your choosing. The second situation finds you as an unemployed member of society. You will find your own means of storage, perhaps in a home, although you will find it increasingly difficult to maintain this shelter due to lack of funds.

In either case, your labor has been outsourced thanks to the creative work of engineers and technicians. You may thank your elders (par- ents, grandparents, great grandparents, etc.) for finding themselves in a wage–for–labor relationship, in which you now are not currently needed. There are several rational options for someone in your po- sition to consider. They include suicide, prostitution, madness, cre- ative expression, and entrepreneurialism. Ironically, entrepreneur may be the most socially acceptable term to describe your current condition, because if you got nothing, you best start figuring out how to make it something. Either way, as surplus you’ll spend a lot of time not doing much. For the warehoused, it may simply be your game to endure.

See also: Critical Practice, Drawings, Sculpture

Group (2015)

Group was developed from distinct exercises and play scenarios initiated at experimental political workshops, protest situations, and oddball events. Exercises were meant to interrogate and explore ways we experience being in groups.

Performed at the Armory Center For The Arts on July 15, 2015.

I + We (2013–2015)

A series of structured group games form the basis of an hour and a half long participatory artwork exploring collective identity. The workshop is repeated multiple times during the exhibition. Guest co-teacher's included artist/yoga instructor Nancy Popp, artist/mediator Dorit Cypis, and organizers from the SEIU. I + We has been fully mounted at the Elizabeth Foundation (NY), Human Resources (LA), Armory Center for the Arts (Pasadena), and the Ross Art Museum (Delaware, OH), and partially presented at the Creative Time Summit in Washington, DC.

See also: Drawings, Sculpture

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