Vehicle is a monthly meeting where a group of artists and other interested practitioners get together and have candid conversations over drinks about the work they produce.

Unless otherwise listed, meetings take place 7pm the last Monday of every month at  The Sunview Luncheonette in Greenpoint, Brooklyn.

For more details read on…

Vehicle is a monthly forum for moving image, sound, and other narrative media. This site provides information about presenting artists, upcoming meetings, and serves as an archive of past presentations with links to related materials and research.

On the last Monday of every month a visiting artist will present a work-in-progress along with a selected reading, sent in advance. The readings provide a frame of reference for the ensuing discussion. Screenings and readings are selected by the presenting artist and Vehicle.

We feel that the value of open and rigorous critical analysis is sorely at odds with an affirmative culture that finds its latest fetish in the form of the “like.” We are interested in difficult works that provoke difficult discussions. We like works that are problematic in a critical and analytic sense—a problematic work generates problems (i.e. matters of concern), and with problems we generate ideas.

In that spirit, we are not interested in what you do or do not like. We care how things function. We care how works generate meaning and how meaning can emancipate us from fossilized ideas. We care about creating a forum to help artists understand what meanings their works are generating and how they go about doing it.

Who’s in the room? A group of peers invested in time-based media, the problems of narrative, the politics of aesthetics, and the aesthetics of politics. Meetings last as long as the conversation and alcohol hold out.

We imagine our conversations offering a sustained critical analysis of the work, an open, lively, and rigorous debate about issues of real substance, and an elaboration of the consequences of our works on the world at large. Nothing is off the table except for narcissistic self-advancement. 

We would like to acknowledge the work of Jen Liu and Chelsea Knight and their Video Group. Along with Jen and Chelsea, we envision Vehicle to be a continuation of the Video Group as well as an elaboration on its form.

We have kids. Meetings are child-friendly, and those with children who would like to arrange childcare during the meetings should contact us. 

Vehicle is organized by Camel Collective
contact Anthony Graves or Carla Herrera-Prats with inquiries
studio [@] camelcollective [dot] org

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Sept 30: Alex Strada

7pm at The Sunview Luncheonette
221 Nassau Ave Ground Floor
Brooklyn, NY 11222

What Truths Are Worth Telling?

"What Truths Are Worth Telling?" is an in-progress film that investigates the idea of "truth". The work is structured by a series of questions derived from Bertolt Brecht's "Writing the Truth: Five Difficulties" (1935). Examples include: “How do you recognize an idea as truthful?” and “How can different truth claims be shared with the goal of eliciting collective action?” I posed these questions to a range of women whose professional practices intersect with the idea of truth, such as postcolonial theorist Gayatri Spivak, philosopher Vanessa Wills, and writer Sarah Schulman. These conversations are paired with footage of the hidden labor taking place within the Whitney Museum’s conservation lab and at the London Meat Co., one of the last meatpacking facilities that neighbors the museum.

Strada has provided this text in reference to “What Truths Are Worth Telling?”: Bertolt Brecht, “Writing the Truth: Five Difficulties,” 1935.

Alex Strada is an artist and educator based in New York City. Working across film, photography, performance, and text, her projects ask questions related to the politics of representation, the visibility of labor, and the reproduction of collective memory. Her process is research-based and often involves collaboration. Strada's work has been shown at the Anthology Film Archives, Socrates Sculpture Park, Goethe-Institut, Museum of Moving Image, Jewish Museum, National Museum of Iceland in Reykjavik, MuseumsQuartier in Vienna, Kaunas Biennial in Lithuania, and on the screens of Times Square with Time Square Arts' Midnight Moment. Strada was a fellow in the Art & Law Program, the Institute for Investigative Living at A-Z West, and the Socrates Sculpture Park Emerging Artist Fellowship. Her work has been written about in Artsy, Vice, and The New Yorker. Strada received a B.A. from Bates College in 2010, an M.F.A. in Visual Art from Columbia University in 2016, and she was a 2018-2019 studio participant in the Whitney Independent Study Program. She is adjunct faculty at Fordham University and Columbia University.

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June 24: Liang Luscombe

7pm at The Sunview Luncheonette
221 Nassau Ave Ground Floor
Brooklyn, NY 11222

Sweaty Scales

The lily blossom will never allow herself to humiliate her white ghost. She digs her nails in… waiting for him to squeal. This is not to draw blood, but only a bit of fun. She will never discuss facts from your family life with her friends. She has her own ghosts in the closet, and doesn't need to know about yours too. Lily blossoms are hardworking and determined — she works and studies obstinately and doesn’t forget about her home and family… how could she? Her white ghost willfully reminds her. She tries not to interfere in her white ghost’s relationships with his ex-lovers and friends. If this blossom needs to meddle, she will. She welcomes with saccharine stamens possessing an imperceptible poison that clings to each end. If you like these features in a lily blossom, then now is the right time for you to orient yourself and prepare … to unearth … your beloved!

Sweaty Scales is a surreal comedy set in a world of brightly coloured constructed film sets, puppets and sculptures. The video tells the story of a pair of lovers: an Asian American woman named Lisa and her Caucasian lover Oliver. Through this interracial romance, the project explores Lisa’s struggle finding her own sexual identity and space for fantasy in relation to the bind of representation that confronts Asian American women. Guided by a narrator that performs upon a diamond-shaped staircase set, we follow Lisa and Oliver through a world of parties, late-night cocktails, crafting evenings, and film-going.

This is a work-in-progress single-channel video.  

Liang Luscombe is a visual artist currently based in Chicago and undertaking the 2018–2019 Chicago Artist Coalition’s HATCH residency. She has undertaken residencies at the SOMA Summer, Mexico City, 2018; Australia Council Studio, British School at Rome in 2013; and Perth Institute of Contemporary Art Studio Residency, Perth in 2011. She was the recipient of an Australia Council JUMP Mentorship in 2013 and was mentored by Australian painter Angela Brennan.

Recent solo exhibitions include: She inches glass to break, VCUarts MFA Thesis Exhibition, Richmond, 2018; Table Talk, Box Copy, Brisbane, 2016; A Tall Painter, Yarra Flats, Melbourne, 2016; Three Sailors, Sutton Project Space, Melbourne, 2014; Non in Casa, 157 Blyth St, Melbourne, 2013; Bauhaus Fisher Price, TCB art inc., Melbourne, 2012. Selected group exhibitions include: Phone Home, EFA Project Space, New York, 2019; Footnotes, The 3rd Ural Industrial Biennial of Contemporary Art, Yekaterinburg, 2015; No fond return of love, I.C.A.N., Sydney, 2014; Dear Masato, all at once, Margaret Lawrence Gallery, Melbourne, 2014; brimming dissolution, buoyant expenditure, RM, Auckland, 2014; Synonyms for Sincerity, Alaska Projects, Sydney, 2013; Please be quiet, The British School at Rome, Rome, 2013; Navel Gazing, Utopian Slumps, Melbourne, 2013; Fresh Paint, Sutton Projects, Melbourne, 2012; Ménage a Trois, XYZ Gallery Tokyo, 2012.

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May 27: Angel Nevarez & Valerie Tevere

7pm at The Sunview Luncheonette
221 Nassau Ave Ground Floor
Brooklyn, NY 11222

Toward a New Anthem

In 2016 Colin Kaepernick, then San Francisco 49ers Quarterback, began sitting and later kneeling during the national anthem. Over the past few years, Kaepernick’ s ongoing actions have prompted national debate and forced reflections of the social and political state of the nation. His standpoint is in dialogue with a history of actions directed toward and against the performance of the national anthem. From the 1961 Beatnik Riot in Washington Square Park (NYC) where folk musicians sang “The Star-Spangled Banner” as a collective public exercise in free speech, to the 1968 Mexico City Olympics where Tommie Smith and John Carlos used the platform of global athletics to protest the mistreatment and oppression of African-Americans in the US, the performance of the national anthem has become central to public dialogue pertaining to freedoms and inequality. We are interested in these contexts as sites of resistance where song and public assembly play central roles.

Our work-in-progress, Toward a New Anthem began with a trip to Baltimore where we researched historical materials and photographs, and documented both the original manuscript and the facsimile of “The Star-Spangled Banner” at the Maryland Historical Society. In addition, we traveled both north and south across the Francis Scott Key Bridge while listening to Jimi Hendrix’s protest rendition of the song (Francis Scott Key wrote “The Star-Spangled Banner”, and as commemoration the bridge was named after him).

Toward a New Anthem examines the political reverberations and manifested responses to the “The Star-Spangled Banner” over the last century. Our larger project will re-imagine and eventually (through collaborative songwriting) re-write the lyrics and music of the national anthem

Suggested Reading: 
A Punch in 4/4 Time, Valerie Tevere and Angel Nevarez, BOMB Magazine, Mar 15, 2017

Angel Nevarez and Valerie Tevere are multidisciplinary artists whose projects and research investigate contemporary music and sound, the electromagnetic spectrum, dissent, and public fora. Their interests lie in the intersection between art, music, and civic action/responsibility, and historical moments that resonate through distinct musical instrumentation and sonorous traditions.

Nevarez and Tevere have exhibited and screened their work at MoMA, The Guggenheim Museum, Creative Time, and New Museum in New York; Museo de Arte Raúl Anguiano, Guadalajara, Mexico; Taxispalais, Innsbruck, Austria; Casino Luxembourg, LU; Henie Onstad Art Centre, Høvikodden/Oslo, Norway; Manifesta 8/ Spain, and elsewhere. The first US survey of their work was exhibited at Institute of Contemporary Art, Philadelphia in 2016. They have received fellowships and grants from Creative Capital, Art Matters, the NEA, and Franklin Furnace. Both were Studio Fellows at The Whitney Museum’s Independent Study Program, artists-in-residence at the International Artists Studio Program in Sweden (IASPIS), and recently at Pioneer Works, Brooklyn, NY and Grand Central Art Center, Santa Ana, CA.

Tevere is Professor of Media Culture at the City University of New York, College of Staten Island. Nevarez is a musician and Adjunct Faculty at Parsons School of Design, NY.
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April 29: Jenny Perlin

7pm at The Sunview Luncheonette
221 Nassau Ave Ground Floor
Brooklyn, NY 11222

The Long Sleepers
hd video and hand-drawn animations

Well there's a lot of interesting stories: Chicken Little and 'the sky is falling,' and The Three Little Pigs, I think we're the fourth pig. We're not in the brick house, we're the fourth pig…and The Ant and the Grasshopper, I like that…and I can relate to the ant, that stores, and that's underground and that's busy and bringing in things to store up for the winter. So the ant is the one who prepares, who's organized, while the grasshopper fiddles away the summer, dances and fiddles and plays and makes no preparation for the time that's coming...and then dies, as the cold comes...     --Edward Peden, Subterra Castle, Eskridge, Kansas, January 2018

Since 2014 I have been working on a project about “long sleeper narratives.”  Long sleepers are outsiders, considered unproductive or heretical members of their communities. They are the people you've read about, those foolish folk who head up into the hills and fall asleep in a cavern or a hollow and wake up 20, 50, or 100 years later. The Long Sleepers project is made up of experimental animations, live-action film, drawings, and performances. I have explored the devastating environmental phenomena that are sinkholes, the formation and development of caverns and cave tourism, mining mysteries in a novel by Jules Verne, and the plagiarized origin of the Rip van Winkle story and its transposition into early American legend.

My current series of films in The Long Sleepers project is comprised of video portraits and hand-drawn animations. The videos portray 21st century Americans who have decided to leave the surface of the earth and make their lives underground. The short animations are associative, lyrical pieces that emerge from reflections on my experience with each subterranean dweller and a work of literature or history.

Jenny Perlin makes films, videos, installations, and drawings. Her projects draw on interdisciplinary research interests in history, cultural studies, literature and linguistics. Her films incorporate innovative techniques to investigate history as it relates to the present. Perlin shoots 16mm film and digital video and combines live-action, staged, and documentary images with hand-drawn, text-based animation.

Perlin’s films have been shown as single-channel works and multi-channel installations at numerous venues including the Guggenheim Museum, Mass MoCA, MoMA, Guangzhou Triennial, IFC Center, Berlin and Rotterdam film festivals, the Drawing Center, and The Kitchen, NY. Support has come from the LEF Foundation, NYSCA, Experimental Television Center, CEC Artslink, American Center, Geneva, and the Arnold Foundation. Artist residencies include IASPIS Sweden, Wexner Center, Civitella Ranieri, ISCP, and commissions from Bard College CCS, Aldrich Museum, BAC Geneva, The Queens Museum, and Expo 02, Switzerland.

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Mar 25: Sara Eliassen

7pm at The Sunview Luncheonette
221 Nassau Ave Ground Floor
Brooklyn, NY 11222

The Feedback Loop
Public screening intervention

Eliassen will present material from a larger project-in-progress, exploring the role contemporary digital screen culture plays in the re-rise of desires around nationalist visions, and how the screen; both technology and image material, take part in the production of our memory and the presetting of our future actions. The first iteration of the project, ‘The Feedback Loop’ (2018) was an intervention into the flow of running imagery on commercial screens at Oslo Central Station for a week during 2018 - a series of short visual disruptions on the relation between screens and human. The work appropriates material from the Norwegian-German film Symphonie des Nordens (1938), and draws parallels between ideological material from early cinema and political history and the moving image material surrounding us today. The Feedback Loop aimes to explore how moving images, screens and screen technologies take part in the production of our memories and actions. 

Sara Eliassen is an artist/ filmmaker and currently a Phd candidate in artistic research at the Oslo National Academy of the Arts. Eliassen holds an MFA in film from San Francisco Art Institute and was a studio fellow at The Whitney Museum’s Independent Study Program in 2010/ 2011. Her films Still Birds and A Blank Slate have played extensively at international film festivals, amongst them Venice Film Festival, International Film Festival Rotterdam and Sundance. In 2018, Eliassen executed The Feedback Loop, a year-long project commissioned by The Munch Museum - Munchmuseet on the Move, an exploration on how moving images, screens and screen technologies take part in the production of our memories and actions, looking at parallels between ideological material from 1920 and 30s cinema and political history and the moving image material surrounding us today. The project consisted of a public screen intervention, the programming of a screening series and a solo exhibition with guests at Munchmuseet on the Move - Kunsthall Oslo.