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Rebekah Modrak Launches #exstrange, eBay-Based Curatorial Project

January 15, 2017

Stamps School of Art & Design Associate Professor Rebekah Modrak and her curatorial collaborator Marialaura Ghidini will launch #exstrange, an eBay-based curatorial project, on Sunday, January 15, 2017. The project unfolds at eBay.com through Friday, March 31, 2017.

Much like Modrak’s 2008 project eBayaday, a month-long, curated exhibition on eBay designed to examine the site’s potential as a place for the exchange of ideas, objects and commerce, #exstrange transforms eBay into a site of artistic production and cultural exchange. A form of artistic intervention into capitalism, over 19 artists will participate in the project, including Stamps Assistant Professor Sophia Brueckner, whose auction opens January 28, 2017.

Participating artists in #exstrange will create a 7-day auction-as-artwork on eBay.  The “artworks” on view in this exhibition are more than the object/service for sale. The chosen category, title, descriptive text, images documenting the work, and the experience of the sale are also integral parts of the work. The creative work is only “whole” when viewed within the context of eBay.

During the 2.5 month run of the project, audiences can view artworks — and place bids — by visiting eBay.com and typing “exstrange” into the search bar at the top of the page. At the end of an #exstrange item’s “bidding cycle,” it will be archived at exstrange.com. The project will culminate in a forthcoming print catalog with contributing essays by Mark Dery, Rob Walker, and other writers, promoted by the peer-reviewed host Project Anywhere.

Additionally, two guest curators from the University of Michigan will be creating and studying the #exstrange auctions as a data set: Professor Fred Feinberg teaches Statistics and Marketing at the Ross School of Business and Lu Zhang is an undergraduate student majoring in business and statistics.

At its core, #exstrange seeks responses to the driving question: “What are the relationships that can take place in the realm of digital commerce beyond the seller-to- buyer transaction, the fundraiser-to-backer association, or the peer-to- peer swap?”

Featured artists and auction dates:

  1. IOCOSE (January 15)
  2. Tara Kelton (January 16)
  3. Lloyd Corporation (January 17)
  4. John D. Freyer (January 18)
  5. Sreshta Rit Premnath (January 19)
  6. Matt Kenyon (January 20)
  7. Linda Kronman & Andreas Zingerle — KairUs Art+Research (January 21)
  8. Archana Hande (January 22)
  9. Fieldfaring — Susanne Cockrell & Ted Purves (January 23)
  10. Geraldine Juárez (January 24)
  11. Silvio Lorusso (January 25)
  12. Yogesh Barve (January 26)
  13. Kathleen Meaney + Taekyeom Lee (January 27)
  14. Sophia Brueckner (January 28)
  15. Renuka Rajiv (January 29)
  16. Lucy Pawlak (January 30)
  17. Abhishek Hazra (January 31)
  18. Tyler Denmead (February 1)
  19. Masimba Hwati (February 2)
  20. Norie Neumark and Maria Miranda — Out-of-Sync (February 3)
  21. Regin Igloria (February 4)

Guest curators - starting February 5:

  • João Laia
  • Nora O’Murchu
  • Peter Dykhuis
  • Latifa Al Khalifa
  • Bani Brusadin
  • Harrell Fletcher
  • Gaia Tedone
  • Akansha Rastogi
  • Yidi Tsao
  • Tamara Ibarra
  • Fred Feinberg + Lu Zhang
  • Domenico Quaranta

Contributing writers to the exhibition catalog:

  • Padma Chirumamilla
  • Mark Dery
  • Marialaura Ghidini
  • Lawrence Liang
  • Rebekah Modrak
  • Rob Walker
Rebekah Modrak Launches #exstrange, eBay-Based Curatorial Project