Eastern Seaboard

The Cosmic Battle for Your Heart, Foodcourt du Jour, du Jour, No Frills*

Curated by Reuben Keehan & Melanie Oliver

Exhibition Dates
2 March - 10 April 2011



Eastern Seaboard Symposium 
When | Thursday 3 March, 10am – 1pm
Location | Artspace, Ground Floor

Brian Fuata with Wrong Solo Performances
| Saturdays 19 March, 26 March, 2 April, 9 April, 4pm
LocationArtspace, Ground Floor

The Cosmic Battle for Your Heart Reading Group
When | Saturday 26 March, 2pm
LocationArtspace, Ground Floor

The Cosmic Battle for Your Heart Presents Hannah Furmage
| Saturday 9 April, 6 – 8pm
LocationArtspace, Ground Floor


Eastern Seaboard is an exhibition and symposium project exploring the conditions, conceptual frameworks and creativity of artist collectives operating in Australia’s urbanised southeast. Continuing Artspace’s commitment to questions of self-organisation and artist-initiated activity, Eastern Seaboard brings together collectives drawn from the dynamic cultural communities of Australia’s three largest cities—the traditional centres of Sydney and Melbourne, and the emergent hub of Brisbane.


As recent discussions hosted by Artspace on institutionalisation, organisation and collaboration have shown, the notion of the ‘artist-run space’ has been increasingly problematised by recent practice, extending far beyond the establishment of small, voluntarily operated galleries to incorporate curatorial, critical and publishing activity, projects and actions in urban space, and the staging of ambitious, multi-faceted events whose scale would ordinarily be the purview of major institutions. Moreover, a complex understanding of the political nature of such initiatives has developed, underlining their operation as a function of human relationships in a given context and temporality, which finds its practical articulation in various forms of community entanglement, hospitality, trans-local networking, and critiques and investigations of the notion of collaboration itself.


Eastern Seaboard thus creates a new and reflexive context for three groups of creators whose practices embody these new sensibilities. The Cosmic Battle for Your Heart (Sydney), Foodcourt du Jour, du Jour (Melbourne) and No Frills* (Brisbane) are collectives defined less by given spaces than a spirit of inquiry into the nature of collective production as the basis for further production. Each functions quite consciously as a node within a network of discursive interactions undertaken by the artists involved, constituting a finite zone of cooperative intensity that is as subject to the dynamics of human relationships as it is to geographical specificity, shared ideas of practice, and locations within artistic hegemonies.


Accordingly, Eastern Seaboard takes a multi-faceted approach to presentation. Each collective has produced a separate installation, all of which provide different takes on the traditional model of exhibiting works by coordinating artists. The Cosmic Battle for Your Heart take on the role of curators, organising an exhibition of work by artists who are not immediate members of their collective, while running a parallel and complementary program at their home in Sydney’s Rozelle—in a sense, the Cosmic Battle for Your Heart will be elsewhere. Foodcourt du Jour, du Jour offer an expanded form of publication and proposition in a meditation on the transient nature of collaboration, the ‘momentary enthusiasm and rapture for working with others’ as expressed in the second ‘du Jour’ of their name. No Frills*, meanwhile, registering an emerging incongruence between their approaches and a growing sense of an inability to make art together as a four-way collaboration, have responded by proposing new methods of collaboration in the hope of addressing their ‘ambivalent desire’ to connect with other artists at home and abroad. The expanded character of each of these endeavours are explored in a physical map of their various and at times necessarily contradictory lines of flight, while a one-day symposium event, composed of sessions programmed by the collectives themselves, will provide an opportunity for critical reflection and wildly elliptical departures alike.

  • Catherine Sagin, 'Catherine Sagin, Channon Goodwin, Timothy P. Kerr, Kate Woodcroft, Joseph Breikers, No Frills*' installation view, Artspace Sydney, 2011

  • No Frills*, installation view, Artspace Sydney, 2011

  • 'Foodcourt du Jour, du Jour', installation view, Artspace Sydney, 2011

  • Joshua Petherick and Liv Barrett, 'Setting Dates, Foodcourt du Jour, du Jour', installation view, Artspace Sydney, 2011

  • The Cosmic Battle for Your Heart, 'Archive mind map', Artspace Sydney, 2011

  • The Cosmic Battle for Your Heart, 'John Adair/ +air, Dead Painting, Stupid Painting, Stop Painting', installation view, Artspace Sydney, 2011