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As a Satellite Space: Instant Coffee

October 10, 2003 to October 14, 2003


For this exhibition, Americas Society hosted the Toronto-based artists’ collective Instant Coffee, a service-oriented collective of artists, writers, curators, designers, and code writers. Instant Coffee’s five-day extravaganza in New York City was part of As a Satellite, a program with independent cultural initiatives in Latin America, Canada, and the Caribbean. As a Satellite: Instant Coffee included the work of dozens of artists from Canada and abroad through a number of events, from slideshow talks to video screenings to performances. These activities centered around or took place in Instant Coffee’s Urban Disco Trailer (UDT), a retro-fitted, 1972 Holiday Cruiser. The UDT stored and transported artworks and sometimes also became the site for exhibitions. The Urban Disco Trailer was temporarily stationed at Americas Society and other sites in New York City.

Instant Coffee developed a practice that culminated in bringing together large numbers of artists, designers, musicians, and other cultural producers under loosely themed events. They offered networking services that promoted local, national, and international activities and published a monthly online magazine, Instant Coffee Saturday Edition. Members included Cecilia Berkovic, Timothy Comeau, Jinhan Ko, Kate Monro, Jenifer Papararo, and Jon Sasaki.

The Urban Disco Trailer was property of Instant Coffee, first launched as part of a performance by Jin’s Banana House for FADO, and in conjunction with Whorehouse, an exhibition curated by and for Instant Coffee’s studio (a.k.a. Workplace). It was also the site for three artists’ residencies, numerous film and video screenings, several formal exhibitions, and was included in several street protests. Two graffiti artists had just revamped its façade and interiors.

Artists Darren O’Donnell, Bill Burns, Karen Azoulay, Kristian Lucas, Fastwürms, Paige Graitland, Day Milman, Jinhan KO, Michael Auckland, and Mary Kay Olsen participated in Pony and Donkey Show and Tell, held October 10, 2003, at Americas Society. Instant Coffee’s programs included the work of dozens of artists from Canada and abroad, and were held at ApexArt; Momenta Art; Artists Alliance, Inc.; and Printed Matter, Inc., among others.

As a Satellite was a program with independent cultural initiatives in Latin America, Canada, and the Caribbean, which consisted of positioning and using Americas Society as their satellite for the production of exhibitions and event-based projects in New York. An independent cultural initiative was defined as an organization run by a collective of artists or by other types of cultural workers, such as curators and critics and could include non-profits, exhibition spaces, publishing groups, web-based organizations, and other forms of collective practices.

As a Satellite was made possible through the generous support of The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts. Additional support was provided by the Elliott Family Foundation. AS A SATELLITE media sponsors include: Art Nexus, Parachute, Latin Arte, Arte al Dia, and Support to AS A SATELLITE for Instant Coffee has been provided by the Canadian Consulate General.

Image: Instant Coffee's Urban Disco Trailer temporarily stationed at Americas Society. 2003. Image courtesy of Instant Coffee.