Utopian Megapraxis Collective
QiPO Art Fair, Mexico City, MX
February 8-11, 2024
The Neon Heater presents (URC :: Utopian Recruitment Center), a participatory installation by the Utopian Megapraxis Collective exploring the performative actions and aesthetics of a speculative para-real corporation envisioning a global Utopia.
Born of the question: What is the endgame of Civilization? The Utopian Megapraxis is a non-situated community of artists, curators, writers, educators and thinkers invested in the process of envisioning a global Utopia. A theoretical megaproject with architects spread across time zones and disciplines, their work is imaginative, speculative, and future-oriented, but with the goal of moving towards equitable reality in the present.
(URC:: Utopian Recruitment Center) is a work of speculative futurity in which the Art Fair Booth will simulate a corporate recruitment event. Functionally critiquing the aesthetics and structural role of a Job Fair, Political signature drive, or Military enlistment campaign within the status quo of the contemporary hegemony, the URC booth will feature work and materials by members of the Utopian Megapraxis collective masquerading as a para-real corporation existing between the boundaries of Art and Work (a line which all members of the collective continually straddle.) The installation will consist of artworks as commercially printed signage, corporate narrative videos, pamphlets, posters, takeaways, vinyl text and digital ephemera. Additionally, a group of performing Utopians will occupy the booth for the duration of the QiPO art fair interacting with members of the public, positing questions such as: “How does one work towards a future which one cannot see?” “Are we settling for this lowest-common-denominator dystopia?” “Is it possible to imagine a Utopian Megaproject outside of Capitalism?” etc.
Through these interactions with the group members, materials, and participatory offerings the collective aims to inspire a fleeting sensation of Utopic action within the viewer, encouraging audience members to join up with the cause and volunteer in the imagining and envisioning a global-scale Utopian society. Where, upon completion of a digital introductory survey (signing up), the members of the audience will have the opportunity to acquire official membership into the collective, and begin receiving access to all materials, discussions, and future exhibition opportunities.
URC is meant to question the binaries of work and life, of art and artwork, of audience and participant – to explore the between-area where paradox pulls one in either direction. This opportunity to recruit the individual into the collective reflects the slippery para-real nature at the center of both the booth and the collective’s current inquiry into Utopia. Is the recruitment center a functional space which, when employed, fills open positions to the depletion of its own workload? And does Utopia, in reality a non-place, through collective dreaming have the chance to situate itself as a possible destination? At what point do we achieve these seemingly ouroboric goals? To achieve Utopia, does one simply need the opportunity to work towards it? If on that day we recruit our last possible Utopian, will we have completed the work? Or will it have only just begun?