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Conference On NYC Nightlife On November 8-10 In Conjunction With Book Release Of 'THE FUN'

Panelists include Earl Dax, Frankie Sharp, Ladyfag, Marie Karlberg, Silent Barn, Sophia Lamar, Stewart Uoo among others 

Nightlife Icon Patricia Field to Provide Keynote Address


New York, NY (October 9, 2013)

The Museum of Arts and Design announces THE FUN Conference on Nightlife as Social Practice to be held November 8-10, 2013. In conjunction with the release of the book THE FUN: The Social Practice of Nightlife in NYC and marking THE FUN fellowship’s third anniversary, the conference will focus on participatory, social and collaborative arts practices and their relation to nightlife through panel discussions, lectures and special projects. 

“MAD supports artists, designers and cultural producers who work at the intersection of creative disciplines,” says Jake Yuzna, MAD’s Director of Public Programs, “THE FUN Fellowship, the publication and now the conference help us raise awareness of nightlife as a vital artistic and social practice in its own right.”

Gathering a variety of voices, the three-day event will launch with a keynote address by nightlife icon Patricia Field, followed by a screening of 2012 FUN Fellows FCKNLZ’s project “FCKNLZ on Broadway.” The conference will then explore many facets of nightlife as social and artistic practice: Saturday panels will focus on topics such as the ritual aspects of nightlife and its associated political possibilities; what it means to be a “host” and how “hosting” functions as artistic and social practice; and the rise of internet-based promotion, its impact on nightlife visibility and the type of constituencies reached. Sunday panels will look into fashion, performance and taboo in nightlife; nightlife’s geographical dispersion and resulting new emerging forms; and finally the impact of governmental regulations of nightlife via cabaret laws.


In conjunction with THE FUN conference, the Ace Hotel will host MAD-selected DJs for a series of nights in November. Former THE FUN Fellows FCKNLZ and Gag! will perform in the hotel's lobby from 8pm-12am on November 5 and 12 (FCKNLZ), and 19 and 26 (Gag!).

THE FUN Conference on Nightlife as Social Practice is organized by Jake Yuzna, Director of Public Programs.

Tickets are available per panel or as a full conference pass, which allows the holder into all panels as well as the keynote discussion. Full conference passes are $45 General and $30 for Artists, Students and MAD Members. Each panel is $12 General and $7 for Artists, Students and MAD Members. Tickets may be purchased here:

All panels and presentations take place in The Theater at MAD. 

For more information about the series, visit


Keynote: Patricia Field
Friday, November 8, 2013 - 7:00 pm
Award-winning film and television costume designer, and nightlife icon Patricia Field ushers in THE FUN Conference 2013. For over four decades, Field’s namesake Greenwich Village boutique has been a defining influence on the intersection of nightlife and fashion in New York. A pioneer in her own right, Field is emblematic of the diversity and originality of the ever-evolving culture of nightlife production. Following Field’s keynote address, a screening of 2012 FUN Fellows, FCKNLZ’s project, “FCKNLZ on Broadway” will be staged. In November 2012, in celebration of Club Kid Herstory Month, FCKNLZ recreated legendary appearances of 90s club kids on TV talk shows such as Donahue and Geraldo in front of a live studio audience in The Theater at MAD. Guests were invited to come dressed as their favorite club kids to participate in what manifested as part revivalist performance, part forward-facing analysis of the legacy of club kid protagonists.

The Pleasure Ritual
Saturday, November 9, 2013 - 11:00 am
Within the context of the nightlife environment—constituted by a gathering, or collective body with powerful political potential—aspects of sound, fashion, and other visuals can be enhanced and diminished to create a space where the limits of language are mitigated and by aesthetic and chemical communication. Panelists will illustrate the ways in which the ritual form of the party might engender new political possibilities, aided by artistic forces. Within the context of the nightlife environment—constituted by a gathering, or collective body with powerful political potential—aspects of sound, fashion, and other visuals can be enhanced and diminished to create a space where the limits of language are mitigated and by aesthetic and chemical communication. Panelists will illustrate the ways in which the ritual form of the party might engender new political possibilities, aided by artistic forces.

The panel will include FCKNLZ, Rob Roth and SPECTRUM and will be moderated by Victor P. Corona, Department of Social Sciences, Fashion Institute of Technology.

You Deserve a Drink Ticket! The Art of Hosting
Saturday, November 9, 2013 - 1:00 pm
Within the social turn lies the hospitable turn. The role of host, whether in a public, private, or semi-private setting, is predicated upon concern for both the aesthetic and ethical consideration of his or her guests. Considering the merits of nightlife as a parallel emergent practice to socially engaged artwork, panelists will evaluate the production of visual, kinesthetic, aural, and gustatory stimuli to create immersive social environments. With consideration to the historical symbiosis between art and nightlife, and the contemporary correlation between hospitality and utopia, panelists will discuss the criteria upon which these practices might be artistically, politically, and sociologically considered and critiqued.

The panel will include CHERYL, Earl Dax and Ladyfag and will be moderated by Jake Yuzna, Director of Public Programs.

What Ever Happened to Flyers? Nightlife Post-Internet
Saturday, November 9, 2013 - 3:00 pm
Bringing together seasoned and emerging nightlife practitioners, What Ever Happened to Flyers?: Nightlife Post-Internet will address the impact of widespread internet-based party promotion on contemporary nightlife scenes. Speaking from various levels of engagement and familiarity with web-based and analog platforms, panelists will consider such questions as: What does it mean to move the exchange of information outside of physical space and into cyberspace? How does this affect the visibility of nightlife networks to the general population? Does the virtual social space of the internet alter the physical architecture of nightlife venues and the shape of its constituent communities?

The panel will include #TOP 8 Friends, Marie Karlberg, Patrik Sandberg, Frankie Sharp, and Stewart Uoo and will be moderated by Jenny Schlenzka, Associate Curator, MoMA PS1.

States of Excess and Undress: Fashion, Performance, and Taboo in Nightlife
Sunday, November 10, 2013 - 11:00 am
As Roland Barthes has written in Fashion, A Strategy of Desire, “The body which is completely covered can be deemed erotic by a society. Eroticism is linked to contrast in norms in any one society.” In this vein, to what extent can the dominant perceptions of nightlife and queer-friendly spaces as overly eroticized and overly hedonistic be attributed to the essentially non-normative, subcultural natures of these events and environments? Panelists will consider how nightlife art practices can affect the fundamental pathways for inscribing or erasing dichotomies between acceptable and taboo behaviors and lifestyles. 

The panel will include Cameron Cooper, JUDY, Leo GuGu, WOAHMONE and will be moderated by Kristen Galvin, Visual Studies Program, University of California, Irvine (UCI).

Brooklyn and Beyond: After the So-Called Death of Nightlife
Sunday, November 10, 2013 - 1:00 pm
The NYC party scene has undergone a number of transformations in its form, content, and demographics over the last several decades. Arguably, the most significant shift has been its geographical dispersion. Central to this discussion is NYC gentrification, and the subsequent and inevitable scattering of cultural producers. Locational shifts have left the nightlife world with a problem of nostalgia for a golden age of nightlife in a bygone past. Panelists, representing a variety of forms of engagement with nightlife, will address the so-called “death of nightlife,” discussing forms of innovation and evolution in nightlife practices, from the live/work space to the one-off event. 

Panelists include Paddy Johnson, Art Fag City; Sophia Lamar, Secret Project Robot, Silent Barn, and Gerry Visco.

No Dancing Allowed: Government Regulation of Nightlife 
Sunday, November 10, 2013 - 3:00 pm
Policies regulating nightlife in NYC, called cabaret laws, have a colorful history. Enacted in 1926, many of the laws have since been amended, and some have been removed—including one that stated club musicians “must be of good character.” But the majority of the laws have remained intact. Largely unenforced for decades until 1997, cabaret laws have since vastly impacted the landscape of nightlife programming throughout the city. The diverse panelists will include experts in public policy, law, hospitality, and nightlife production, to offer broad perspectives on the status of nightlife regulations and their impact on communities. 

Panelists include Hattie Hathaway and Aaron J. Solomon, Attorney, Oved & Oved LLP and will be moderated by Michael Musto.    

The Museum of Arts and Design has championed NYC artists working in nightlife since 2011, when it launched THE FUN Fellowship in the Social Practice of Nightlife. THE FUN Fellowship not only gives nightlife artists the opportunity to develop their own practices through financial and logistical support, it also seeks to raise awareness and spark dialogue around nightlife as an art form. 

ABOUT THE PUBLICATION: THE FUN: The Social Practice of Nightlife in NYC
Published by the Museum of Arts and Design and powerHouse Books, THE FUN: The Social Practice of Nightlife in NYC is a first-of-its-kind publication that surveys the evolving nature of nightlife in New York City and documents the new forms of nightlife practitioners to emerge since the turn of the millennium. 

The book profiles over 30 artists, including the royalty of Manhattan nightlife like Susanne Bartsch and Ladyfag; hybrid forms like Xtapussy and FCKNLZ; the continuation of minimal wave and goth communities through Pendu Disco; and the vibrant queer scenes of JUDY, Frankie Sharp, and My Chiffon is Wet. Accompanying these profiles are essays by a range of voices in nightlife, including artists Rob Roth and Genesis P-Orridge, curators and critics Claire Bishop and Jake Yuzna, as well as journalist Michael Musto providing both historical context and contemporary understanding of nightlife as a vital artistic practice that has been marginalized by the arts sector.

THE FUN: The Social Practice of Nightlife in NYC also traces the history of nightlife as it has evolved, from the explosion of large and small discos throughout the 1970s like Studio 54, which paved the way for 80s megaclubs; the candy-colored club kid movement of Michael Alig and the Limelight in the early 90s; the parallel expansion of the boundary shattering merger of drag, performance, and music in downtown venues such as the Pyramid Club and Mother; the rise of Brooklyn as a new focal point in the 2000s with the emergence of Luxx, Secret Project Robot, Silent Barn and other hybrid arts/music/nightlife venues; and on into the many vibrant forms found today. The publication is 336-pages and fully illustrated.

For more information about the publication, contact Nina Ventura at powerHouse Books at 212-604-9074 x118 or

The Museum of Arts and Design explores the value of making across all fields of contemporary creative practice. The Museum focuses on the ways in which artists and designers transform the world around us, through processes ranging from the artisanal to the digital. MAD’s exhibition program is dedicated to creativity and craftsmanship, and demonstrates the limitless potential of materials and techniques when used by gifted and innovative artists. The Museum’s permanent collection is global in scope and includes art, craft, and design from 1950 to the present day. At the center of the Museum's mission is education. The Museum houses classrooms and studios for master classes, seminars, and workshops for students, families, and adults. Three open studios engage visitors in the creative processes of artists at work and enhance the exhibition programs. Lectures, films, performances, and symposia related to the Museum’s collection and subjects across the full spectrum of making practices are held in a renovated 143-seat auditorium. 

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