April 25 – June 23, 2002
Critical Mass featured new commissions by Laurie Palmer, Robert Peters, Gregory Sholette, and Temporary Services (a four-member collective; Brett Bloom, Salem Collo-Julin, and Marc Fischer participated here).
They represented several generations of Chicago-based artists who apply activist intentions, conceptual strategies, and experimental artistic approaches to complex social issues; they epitomize a larger "critical mass" of peers who have sustained and invigorated this kind of critical art practice in Chicago. This collaborative, experimental project included installations in and around the Smart Museum—many of which involved active audience participation—a resource area, a hotline visitors could use to reach participating artists and key Museum staff, and public programs. Brett Bloom and Gregory Sholette taught related courses at the University of Chicago and the School of the Art Institute, respectively, and their students helped plan and present public events.