Steve Lambert (artist)
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Los Angeles, California
|Field||Street Art, Performance, and Internet Art|
|Training||MFA University of California at Davis, BFA San Francisco Art Institute|
|Awards||2003 Annual Adbusters contest, 2004 Creative Work Fund award, 2006 Eyebeam Fellowship, 2007 Rhizome Commission, 2007 Eyebeam Senior Fellowship, 2009 Eyebeam Senior Fellowship,|
Steve Lambert is an American artist (born 1976) who works with issues of advertising and the use of public space. He is founder of the Anti-Advertising Agency, an artist-run initiative which critiques advertising through artistic interventions, and of the Budget Gallery (with Cynthia Burgess) which creates exhibitions by painting over outdoor advertisements and hanging submitted art in its place. Lambert's artistic practice includes drawing, performance, intervention, culture jamming, public art, video, and internet art. He has worked with the Graffiti Research Lab, Glowlab, and as a senior fellow with Eyebeam Open Lab. Steve Lambert has had live appearances on multiple news outlets, including NPR, BBC, and CNN. He has been reported on by several more news outlets, including Associated Press, the New York Times, the Guardian, Harper's, The Believer, Good, Dwell, ARTnews, Punk Planet, and Newsweek.
About his work, Lambert says, "I have the unabashedly optimistic belief that art changes the way people look at the world. That belief fuels a pragmatic approach to bring about those changes."
Steve Lambert was born in Los Angeles in 1976. He and his family moved to the San Francisco Bay Area four days later. His father was a former Franciscan monk, and his mother, an ex-Dominican nun. Lambert, in a blog interview said that his parents were "too radical" for the church, leaving him to be raised without the presence of organized religion in his life. Steve dropped out of high school in 1993, but went on to study sociology and film, receiving a BFA from the San Francisco Art Institute in 2000, and a MFA at the University of California, Davis in 2006. He is currently teaching at Parsons The New School for Design as well as Hunter College in New York.
The Budget Gallery
Before creating the "Anti-Advertising Agency", Lambert founded The Budget Gallery with the help of several others. The Budget Gallery is a non-profit organization that works to set up art galleries in public spaces, such as vacant walls and fences, located throughout the city of choice. Effort is put fourth beforehand to publicize and prepare the shows, and such shows are often accompanied by "hundreds". The goal of such shows is to "bring art into public spaces that need diverse messages expressing emotion and depicting issues that represent the depth and breadth of humanity."
Lambert has made a free Firefox Plugin, called Add-Art which replaces ads with art in conjunction with the Firefox Plugin Adblock Plus. The art work used in the plug-in is from contemporary artists that curators set up and each show is shown for two weeks. There is also information about the current artist and curator for each selection of art pieces displayed. All of the art submitted has the opportunity to be displayed in the bimonthly exhibit.
In 2009, Steve developed "Self Control" at the Eyebeam Center for Art and Technology. The application, which is open source and licensed under the GPL, was developed for OS X to block access to incoming and outgoing mail servers, as well as websites for a specified period of time. The application acts as a tool to remove the temptation to access sources of distraction to those without self control. Once the timer has been started, the process cannot be undone.
Why They Hate US
In 2006 Steve Lambert, with the help of Steve Calderon, launched Why They Hate US. The project invited users to tag photos on Flickr with "whytheyhateus", acting as a display of pictures that users suggest contribute to a negative view of the United States or have the potential to be misinterpreted as negative. Some of the themes include gun violence, war, crude humor, consumerism, obesity and Big Government and Big Business.
Simmer Down Sprinter
Simmer Down Sprinter is a two player, sit-down, arcade style video game that Lambert designed and programmed in which players compete to move runners around a track. The game is controlled by player’s bio-feedback. The more relaxed the player becomes, the faster the runner moves around the track. It is essentially a competitive relaxation.
NY Times Special Edition
Lambert was recently in the news for helping with the organization of the New York Times Special Edition, a hoax edition of 1.2 million copies of the venerable paper that was distributed for free on the streets of New York City.  A team of 35 people wrote and edited the paper, including representatives from The Yes Men, CodePINK, and other activist groups. The paper was post-dated for July 4, 2009, several months into President Obama's term, and envisioned a world where the Iraq war was over, Bush and Cheney were tried for war crimes, and congress had passed a maximum wage cap.
The Anti Advertising Agency
Steve Lambert founded the AAA in 2004 and has acted as CEO since. The goal of the Anti Advertising Agency is to change the role that advertising has played in our day-to-day lives, an unavoidable nuisance. They believe that through long-term commercial saturation, it has been understood that advertising has the right to occupy and control every inch of available space. Their work calls into question the purpose and effects of advertising in the public space. Using the tools of public relations industries, they constructively parody today's marketing media. It was through this company that Lambert released Add-Art.
He has also been a part of another project Wish You Were Here! Postcards From our Awesome Future. He worked on this project with Packard Jennings and within the project they questioned “What would you do if you didn’t have to worry about budgets, bureaucracy, politics, or physics?" The finished result was satirical commentary on civil engineering. The project developed into six posters for the Art on Market Street Program. The posters were installed on city streets.
2009 - (October) Eyebeam Open Studios, New York NY | "Uncommon Ground" - "Uncommon Ground is a sound installation created in collaboration with Victoria Estok. Using stethoscopes against a five by five foot planter box, people can hear the plants commentary, discussions, and inner thoughts – which are normally inaudible to human beings. The plants are voiced by comedians and neighbors."
2009 - Charles James Gallery, Los Angeles CA | “Everything You Want Right Now!” - "Lambert takes on the vernacular of commercial signage with a regional emphasis unique to Los Angeles. Visually, he is interested in what makes certain styles of signage feel so innately familiar, and in the methods that signage employs to grab our attention."
2008 - Glowlab, Brooklyn NY | “Drawings by Steve Lambert”
2007 - San Francisco Arts Commission | Art on Market Street Program | with Packard Jennings (Dec 07) - Wish You Were Here! Postcards From Our Awesome Future project.
2006 - 2006 Gallery Anno Domini, San Jose CA | Simmer Down Sprinter | for ZeroOne SJ Arts & Technology Festival
2005 - Bayenalle | 21 Grand, Oakland CA | Lawrence Livermore Conversion PlansMcBean Project Space at the San Francisco Art Institute, SF CA | Offices of the Anti-Advertising Agency
- ^ Budget Gallery; Taking back public space one art show at a time by Emily Landes, The Wave Magazine, June 2003
- ^ Steve Lambert artist statement
- ^ Steve Lambert Bio
- ^ Budget Gallery
- ^ Simmer Down Sprinter Exhibit
- ^ Video of CNN interview
- ^ http://visitsteve.com/work/wish-you-were-here-postcards-from-our-awesome-future-2/
- ^ "Uncommon Ground at Eyebeam Open Studios"
- ^ http://eyebeam.org/this-week/09-04-20/april-25-everything-you-want-right-now-new-work-by-steve-lambert
- Web Fight: Blocking Ads and Adding Art by Andrew Adam Newman New York Times, May 14, 2007
- Operation: Anti-Ad by Caitlin Moneypenny-Johnston, Xpress Magazine February 14, 2007
- "Advertising Counterprogramming" by Elise Soukup, Newsweek October 11, 2004
- "Wish You Were Here! Postcards From our Awesome Future." by Steve Lambert and Packard Jennings
- Steve Lambert Website This site also shows all of his work and projects from the year 1999 to the present.
- Anti Advertising Agency
- The Budget Gallery
- Why They Hate.Us
- WhyTheyHateUs on Flickr
- Q&A: Anti-Advertising Agency CEO Steve Lambert by Rob Walker, Marketing May 22, 2007
- Lambert in conversation with Fillip Discussion of the New York Times Special Edition
- How To Win
- College of Tactical Culture at Conclux
- "Uncommon Ground at Eyebeam Open Studios"