Lunch On Fridays: Janks Archive
November 07 – 12:15 – 1:15PM
George Gund Building, Aitken Auditorium
Cleveland Institute of Art
As part of the Unruly Engagements Conference November 6-8, 2014
Unruly Engagements: On the Social Turn in Contemporary Art and Design proposes to examine various approaches to social practices in both art and design in an effort to understand the concepts, terms, and varieties of engagement of the past two decades or so.
JANKS ARCHIVE: A Collection of Insult Humor from Around the World
Ben Kinsley, Jessica Langley, Jerstin Crosby, Independent artists, New York City
Janks Archive is an ongoing investigation and collection of insult humor from cultures around the world by artists Jerstin Crosby, Ben Kinsley, and Jessica Langley. Insults are an ancient oral tradition embedded within the collective consciousness of a culture or region with inherent ties to human social evolution. How people insult one another and what is perceived to be “bad” or “unattractive” differs from place to place. While the intention appears, at first, to be cruel and negative, janks are in fact an integral aspect of human interaction, used as much to establish dominance as to strengthen camaraderie.
Janks Archive documents this tradition through crowdsourcing and field recordings. International public collection events allow them to film willing participants reciting janks from memory and gather contextual information (such as where they heard it, in what setting, and approximately when) in an attempt to trace origins. Collected material is organized by geographic location and keyword tags to group janks by subject matter. The archive is presented through public exhibitions, editioned publications, and their website janksarchive.org.
For Unruly Engagements the team will discuss their research and present the various outputs of this multifaceted project, including a screening of their two-channel video installation “The Eternal Insult” in Gund 209 (open 9am–5pm during the conference). They will also host a special collection event for conference participants.
In conjunction with this presentation, visit Gund 209 to see a video installation of the Janks Archive. Open 9am–5pm during the conference.