PNCA Press Center

Feldman Gallery + Project Space Hosts The Great Recession with New Work by Michael Mandiberg

Release date: 03/16/10

March 16, 2010

Leslie Miller | External Relations Specialist
Pacific Northwest College of Art | 503.821.8959

Mack McFarland | Feldman Gallery + Project Space | 503.821.8969

Feldman Gallery + Project Space Hosts The Great Recession with
New Work by Michael Mandiberg

Exhibition | The Great Recession
April 1 – May 27, 2010

Artist Talk | The Great Recession
Featuring artist Michael Mandiberg
Wednesday, March 31, 6:30 pm
The Lab at Museum of Contemporary Craft, 720 NW Davis St.

First Thursday Opening | Thursday, April 1, 6:30 pm
PNCA Main Campus Building, Feldman Gallery + Project Space, 1241 NW Johnson St.

PORTLAND, OREGON – March 16, 2010 – PNCA hosts The Great Recession, an exhibition of new work by Michael Mandiberg, exploring the psychic implications of this most recent burp by the American economy, late capitalism, gold hoarding and the end of an empire. Mandiberg employs thematically linked sculptures, videos and images to investigate these issues that are so prevalent in modern life.

On view at the Feldman Gallery, FDIC Insured is an installation of logos of 250 FDIC-insured failed banks, laser-engraved into the covers of get-rich-quick investment guides bought from the dollar rack at the Strand Bookstore in New York City. Since the beginning of the Great Recession, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation has taken control of over 200 failed or failing banks. The government has bailed out, or brokered forced sales of, a number of major financial institutions. The logos of these failed banks disappear from our memory. They disappear from the clutter of the visual landscape. They are even erased from the Internet and its many archives. This daunting archive is a memorial to these banks, their failure and the failure of their aesthetics of hope, strength and perseverance.

Mandiberg says of his work: “I am an appropriationist at heart. I derive visual inspiration from the Internet, conceptual art, design, the end of print and the dying American empire. My work is both formal and poetic. I use words and symbols as tools to provoke reflection on our society and its effluvia.”

Also on view, In A Crisis is a short semi-narrative video about the mystery of hiding things and the return to a previous era of private hoarding. The main sequence features an anonymous well-dressed man digging up a hole in Prospect Park, Brooklyn, putting a gold bar into the hole and then covering it with dirt. This long sequence is intercut with shots of people hiding forms of capital, placing objects into a safety deposit box, prying up and hammering down floorboards, locking their valuables in a home safe or slipping something under a mattress. The artist will publish an edition of Pirate Maps that indicate where the gold bar is buried. Anyone is welcome to hunt for it.

Mandiberg’s past works vary from web applications concerning environment impact to conceptual performances regarding subjectivity. He is well known for performance and e-commerce projects such as Shop Mandiberg, in which he marketed and sold all of his possessions. Additionally, he is a founding member of Eyebeam’s Sustainability Research Group. Through this forum, he has spearheaded collaborations such as the Eco-Vis Design Challenge, and the critically praised Feedback exhibition. He created the highly visible, retroreflective Bright Bike that called “obnoxiously bright.” He was born and raised in Portland, and now rides his bicycle around his adopted home of Brooklyn.

In conjunction with The Great Recession, Mandiberg will give a lecture on Wednesday, March 31 at 6:30 pm in the Lab at Museum of Contemporary Craft on the works on view as well as his other projects.

About Michael Mandiberg

Michael Mandiberg is an artist, programmer, designer and educator. His work has been exhibited at such venues as the New Museum for Contemporary Art in New York City, Ars Electronica Center in Linz, ZKM in Karlsruhe, Germany, and Transmediale Festival, Berlin. His work has been featured in such books as Tribe and Jana’s New Media Art, Blais and Ippolito’s At the Edge of Art, and Greene’s Internet Art. He is a recipient of grants, residencies and fellowships from Eyebeam,, Foundation, The Banff Centre, and the City University of New York. An Assistant Professor of Design and Digital Media at the College of Staten island/CUNY, he is currently a Senior Fellow at Eyebeam Center for Art and Technology. Raised in Portland, Oregon, he lives in Brooklyn.

About Pacific Northwest College of Art

Since its founding in 1909, Pacific Northwest College of Art (PNCA) has become a leader in innovative educational programs that connect students to a global perspective in the visual arts and design. In addition to its eight Bachelor of Fine Arts degrees, PNCA offers graduate education with an MFA in Visual Studies, as well as an MFA in Applied Craft and Design developed in collaboration with the Oregon College of Art and Craft.

PNCA is actively involved in Portland’s cultural life through exhibitions and a vibrant public program of lectures and internationally recognized visiting artists, designers and creative thinkers. With the support of PNCA+FIVE (Ford Institute for Visual Education), the College has a partnership with the nationally acclaimed Museum of Contemporary Craft. For more information, visit

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