One of the 81 artists selected for the 2008 Whitney Biennial is Jon Brumit, a graduate from the UTC Department of Art. Brumit’s collaborative radio arts group Neighborhood Public Radio features acts of radio, experimental broadcasts, hyper-local sonic portraiture and live arts.
The 2008 Whitney Biennial opens at the Whitney Museum of American Art, 945 Madison Avenue at 75th Street, New York, on March 6 and runs through June 1, 2008. Since its founding in 1932, the Biennial has evolved into the Whitney’s signature exhibition as well as the most important survey of the state of contemporary art in the United States today.
“On the behalf of the Department of Art, I’m immensely proud that Jon has been invited to exhibit at the Whitney Biennial,” said Matt Greenwell, head of the department. “It is arguably THE premiere venue for contemporary and emerging art in the world.”
Brumit, Lee Montgomery and Michael Trigilio will celebrate the fourth anniversary of the establishment of Neighborhood Public Radio in January 2008. For the Whitney Biennial, they will be joined by Whizz Biddlecomb, Katina Papson and numerous New Yorkers who will participate in local performances and live action.
With its focus on access and social networking, Brumit sees Neighborhood Public Radio as a means of portraiture with the overarching goals of organizing, capturing and perpetuating creative acts of radio and more.
“We have done various residencies, broadcast projects and presentations in Oakland, San Francisco, Chicago, Portland, Berlin and Hamburg, Germany, Novi Sad, Belgrade and Zrenjanin, Serbia, Sarajevo, Bosnia-Herzegovina, as well as Tarifa, Spain, and have been in various festivals such as Isea / Zero1 San Jose and the Weed Mountain Festival, and most recently were awarded a creative work fund grant for our 9 month long ‘radio cartography’ project, done in collaboration with San Francisco’s Southern Exposure Gallery, an epic endeavor and fantastic success to be sure,” said Brumit.
The early Whitney Biennials alternated painting with sculpture and works on paper; selections were made, at first, by the artists and then by curators. In 1937, the program was changed to annual exhibitions of separate media painting displayed in the fall, and sculpture and other media in the spring. In 1973 the current program of Biennials of combined media was instated.
“The Biennial is a laboratory, a way of ‘taking the temperature’ of what is happening now and putting it on view,” said Donna De Salvo, the Whitney’s Chief Curator and Associate director for Programs. “It influences our thinking on multiple levels and, for the Whitney, translates directly into the choices we make about our exhibitions and collections. In dealing with the art of the present, there are no easy assessments, only multiple points of entry. For the Whitney, and for our public, we hope the biennial is one way in.”