Image by Brian George

Image by Brian George



NEW YORK: ABC No Rio and Flux Factory are proud to collaborate on the process-based exhibition, Against Competition/Towards Mutual Aid. Seeking an alternative to the competitive atmosphere of art production and exhibition, this project is based on the idea that art should exist as a venture that nourishes collaboration. As such, competitive approaches should be replaced by more mutualist and participatory practices.

By engaging in an artistic process that is based on voluntary reciprocity, Flux Factory and ABC No Rio aim to question the commonly held notions that competition is natural, inevitable and healthy. We look to historical models, such as Amish barn raising – in which a community comes together to build a barn for one of its members, for our inspiration. While we cannot promise a barn, we promise a nuanced exploration of the ideas and potential ways we can bring this type of collaboration to fruition.

Unlike a traditional exhibition, the premise of Against Competition/Towards Mutual Aid requires all artists to propose works themed around mutual aid; those projects will be realized by all of the artists collaboratively over the course of a month. A core part of the exhibition will be the sharing of materials, skills, and labor. Visions will be realized, but not necessarily as originally imagined; this is part of the excitement of the project.

The work for this project will be planned in January, implemented and installed the first week of February, and made available to the public on Wednesday February 8. There will be a closing party and reception on Valentine’s Day, Tuesday, February 14.

Against Competition/Towards Mutual Aid expands on an ABC No Rio project of several years ago that was inspired in part by Marc Fischer’s essay “Against Competition” and consisted of artworks made cooperatively by an artist and another who helped realize their vision.

Infographic by Brian George

Infographic by Brian George



THURSDAY February 9th as part of Flux Thursdays, Flux Factory and ABC No Rio will present the panel Artist as Ally. Please join us for a potluck and discussion, as four artists will share how they engage the arts in ways that address social issues.


SATURDAY February 11th

6pm – 7pm – Projection in the Park: Site-Specific Projection @ Dutch Kill Greens created by current Flux Artist, Razan AlSalah, in collaboration with participating artists and friends.

7pm – 8pm – Feminist Cocktail Party @ Flux Factory
Artist extroardinaire, Moira Williams presents 1-877-FEMINIST COCKTAIL PARTY – a telephone hot line for everybody, a multilingual conversation around the many different forms of feminism, and a cocktail party.

8pm – 10pm – PARADISO: a subversive party
Cosmic artist, J Triangular presents PARADISO an evening of strong musical women w/ Coatie Pop + Space Meow Doll + Alice Cohen


SUNDAY February 12th

6pm – Against Commodification! How? A panel discussion on how artist strategies to shift art and its power away from systems of commodification and into community building, self-affirmation, solidarity-building and constructive social impact. Curated by Patricia Silva.




Ayana Evans, performance artist, curator
Ayana’s body is her work and material. Inventor of #OperationCatSuit.

Kris Grey, artist, educator
Gender-queer multi-disciplinary artist who co-produces workshops and performances that use the power of perceptions to reveal how individuals interface with systems of power and control. 

Helen Ho, community organizer, activist bureaucrat
Works with issues of equity and access in public parks, play spaces, and healthy eating. Founded and organized the first Tour de Queens for Transportation Alternatives and co-founded the Youth Bike Summit for Recycle-A-Bicycle.

Jesal Kapadia, un-artist/de-activator
A multi-disciplinary artist exploring potential forms of non-capitalist subjectivities. From 2001-2015, Jesal collectively edited art for ‘Rethinking Marxism’ (a journal of economics, culture and society) as well as organized and participated in events with members of 16beaver group.


Artists participating in Against Competition/Towards Mutual Aid include Razan AlSalahRachel BrownLee BrozgolKerry CoxElizabeth DemarayRachel Haberstroh, Robert Hieger, Rachel HilleryChristopher LinJemila MacEwanFiroz MahmudLiz Naiden + Anatole HocekPatrícia SilvaAlex StradaJulieta TriangularMoira WilliamsAriel Zakarison, and Joanie Fritz Zosike.

This project is organized by ABC No Rio Visual Arts Collective members Vandana JainMike EstabrookBrian George, and Steven Englander, and Flux Factory Artists-In-Residence Eleni Theodora Zaharopoulos and Christina Freeman.

Founded in 1993, Flux Factory is an artist run center located in Long Island City, Queens. Flux Factory hosts 40 multidisciplinary Artists-in-Residence each year in the 16 studios of our Long Island City building. Flux’s building also features a 1700 sq ft gallery and shared workspaces such as a wood shop and print shop.  Flux’s exhibition and educational programs pay emerging artists to create new works at our free public events. Flux is renowned for our focus on community building in socially engaged public projects. 

Founded in 1980, ABC No Rio, a center for art and activism on New York’s Lower East Side, is internationally known as a venue for oppositional culture. This past summer ABC No Rio vacated its building on Rivington Street in preparation for demolition and the construction of a new facility for its projects, programs and operations. During the building of its new home, ABC No Rio will continue “in exile” at other venues and in collaboration with other organizations. This  renewed focus towards collaborative work brings ABC No Rio back to its roots  —  ABC No Rio was founded by members of  the 1970s artist group Collaborative Projects. 

Against Competition/Towards Mutual Aid is supported in part by the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, the New York State Council on the Arts, and Materials for the Arts.