I’m currently in the middle of a large book project with the umbrella designation of The Forced Collaboration Trilogy. I’d best characterize this three-volume, 288-page graphic novel as a pointed political satire and elaborate fantasy.
One important aspect of fantasy is in the social change it imagines, creating disorder and providing new societal models. My project struggles against the normalization of culture of hatred the United States as transmitted via popular culture but do so from within a popular culture form –namely, the comic book.
“…fantastic literature points to or suggests the basis upon which cultural order rests, for it opens up, for a brief moment, on to disorder, or on to illegality, on to that which lies outside the law, and that which is outside dominant value systems…”
― Rosemary Jackson, Fantasy: The Literature of Subversion
Fantasy, then, comes from a place that sits outside the current status quo. In creating a new history, the speculative fiction on which I am working is potential agent of change, where values can be revised or new ones suggested. Given the current fascistic atmosphere in the US, many more agents of change are required.
While in Portugal, I plan to continue to work on this larger project, while also conducting some research the history of Portuguese comics.
Christopher Sperandio’s (USA, 1964) works map the numerous margins between mass and museum cultures, taking a variety of forms including comics and books, games, temporary sculptures, painted installations, television, billboards and digital media, all usually featuring a public involvement component, in the form of open calls, canvassing or workshops.
These works have been the subjects of exhibitions in museums and art centers in the United States, Germany, Northern Ireland, Denmark, England, Scotland, Wales, Spain, and France. Commissioning institutions include: MoMA/PS1, the Public Art Fund, Creative Time, London’s Institute of Contemporary Art, Houston’s Project Row Houses, Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in San Francisco, and DC Comics.
Essays about Sperandio’s work appear in numerous survey books, especially those concerning relational, social and collaborative art. For example, one chapter of Arthur Danto’s book After the End of Art is devoted primarily to his collaborative chocolate factory-worker project entitled “We Got it!” Articles have also appeared in the New York Times, Art In America, Artforum, Frieze, Flash Art, Sculpture Magazine, The New Yorker, ArtReview, Art Papers, Soap Opera Weekly and others. He was Creator and an Executive Producer of the television series ARTSTAR and a contributing artist at Wired Magazine, drawing the cover of the May 2001 issue.
At Rice University, Sperandio is an Associate Professor of Art and the Founder and Director of the Comic Art Teaching and Study Workshop, a hybrid learning and research space.
Residency supported in part by Rice University.