Survey: Alternative Museum

Posted August 05, 2010 by Anonymous
Part 1.
Year Founded: 
1b. Primary activity[ies] of the organization.: 
Presenting exhibitions on line at
1c. Organization's annual budget.: 
$250,001 - $500,000
1b. Primary activity[ies] of the organization.: 
Exhibition Space
Performance Space
Part 2.
2a. Mission Statement: 
The Alternative Museum has been since its founding in 1975 an artist orientated institution whose purpose has been the inclusion of all artists as equals into it’’s programming and the presentation of socio-political issue orientated exhibitions, concerts and panel discussions. The Alternative Museum furthers its 30-year mission by expanding its audience through the internet and by supporting the development of photography, web-based and digital art. Please note that this is an internet-based museum. There is no physical space to visit as of 2001.
2b. Organization History / Organizational Overview. Index of important events in organization's history.: 
Founded by three artists, Geno Rodriguez, Janice Rooney and Robert Browning, TAM found it’’s challenge in the NYC artworld of the 1970’’s. Unlike institutions that strictly presented mainstream artists or institutions that specialized in the presentation of minoriy, multi cultural or gender based art, TAM focused on breaking away from the "separate but equal" system of exclusion found through out the New York art scene. Furthermore, TAM insisted on having its niche, the presentation of art that challenged not only the exisiting arts but also the way we in the art community thought about our socio-political lives. The first website at TAM was created in 1995. TAM’’s contrarian behavior toward the prevailing system and it’’s "artist’’s spaces" was costly. Although funding was always at a minimum TAM always managed to put out catalogues for its exhibitions and recordings of its concerts as a means of documentation and of promoting artists. Frank Saunders, former VP to Philip Morris Inc. once said, "you can’’t bite the hand that feeds you." He was right. Opionated exhibitions that insisted on free speach were too often frowned upon by corporate sponsors and by foundations not wanting to be asssociated with topics or content that preseented a specific perspective that could stir up controversey. When TAM was founded it had a 25 year plan. It closed its physical portals 25 years later in 2001 but maintained its electronic gateway to the world at the same time. We can bee seen at
2c. Exhibition / Programming / Publishing History.: 
The Alternative Museum presented over its 25 year history close to 350 exhibitions and over 500 concerts of world music. Over 80 catalogues were produced some of which can be sseen today at TAM’’s site. Some of TAM’’s exhibitions included: DisInformation: The Manufacture of Consent. Endangered Speices Building Against Image: Dennis Adams Adrian Piper: Refelections 1967 - 1987 Hell: Luis Cruz Acazeta America’’s Most Wanted Painting: Komar & Melamid
Part 3.
3a. Names and email addresses of Founders, Board Members, Directors or other key individuals:: 
Geno Rodrigiuez
Additional Names and email addresses of Founders, Board Members, Directors or other key individuals: 
Janice Rooney
Additional Names and email addresses of Founders, Board Members, Directors or other key individuals: 
Robert Browning
3b. Could any of these individuals assist in providing an oral history of your organization?: 
Part 4.
4a. Is organization currently active?: 
4b. Year activity suspended if no longer active.: 
Organization Still Active
Part 5.
5a. Type of organization at its founding.: 
Non-Profit [IRS certified]
5b. Type of organization currently, or at the termination of activities.: 
Non-Profit [IRS certified]
Part 6.
6a. Does the organization have an archive?: 
6b. Are there any short or long-term threats to the organization?: 
None / Not Applicable
6c. Other threats to the organization:: 
Are there other threats to your organization? Please describe below.
Part 7.
7a. How important is to the organization to preserve the organization’s historical material. From 1 – Very Important to 5 – Not Important.: 
1. Very Important
7b. Has planning for the preservation and documentation of archive begun?: 
7c. Does the organization know how and where to seek expertise and assistance?: 
7d. Does the organization have specific concerns regarding starting an archive working with its historic materials?: 
Lack of Staff
Part 8.
8a. Is the organization's archives in the collection of another institution or promised to one?: 
8a. Location: 
IF YES to 8: University (Name)
8b. Archival materials are also located at:: 
Where are these locations?: 
Where are these locations? [I.E. Home / Office of Private Individual(s) (i.e. Former Board, Staff, Funders, etc)]
Part 9.
9. Does the organization maintain archives for any other organization.: 
IF YES to 9: 10a. Please describe:
Part 10a.
10a. Is the archive accessible to scholars, curators or researchers?: 
Part 10e.
10e. Under what circumstances would access to archives be allowed.: 
Part 11.
The following questions address the historical materials (type, quantity and storage) of the organization. 11a. Paper Files and Documents: 
Artist Files
Board Minutes
Exhibition or Production Files
Financial Records
Legal Documents
By-laws / Incorporation Documents
Other Paper Files
11b. Artwork and Documentation: 
Audiotapes [Any Format]
Prints / Lithographs / Etchings / Screenprints / etc.
Unique Art Objects
Other Artwork
11c. Press and Promotional Materials: 
Announcements, Mailing Cards, etc.
Newspaper / Magazine / Media Clippings
Posters / Flyers
Other Press or Promotional Materials:
11d. Printed Publications: 
Artists' Publications
Broadsides / Small Press
Programs of Events
Other Printed Publications
11e. Other: 
Architectural Drawings / Floor Plan
Part 12.
12. What years does the materials cover?: 
Part 13.
13a. How is the material stored?: 
Banker Boxes
Other Boxes
File Cabinets
Flat Files
13b. Are some or all of these storage units “archival”?: 
Part 14.
14a. Estimated Number of Boxes or Milk-Crate Sized Storage Units: 
21 - 30
14b. Estimated Number of Archive Drawers: 
1 - 10
14c. Estimated Number of Archive Notebooks: 
14d. Estimated the total Linear Feet. ["Linear Feet" is standard measure of the quantity of archival materials on the basis of shelf space occupied or the length of drawers in vertical files or the thickness of horizontally filed materials. For example, a: 
I don’t know
Part 15.
15. Is the historical materials - or archives - inventoried or catalogued in any way, either formally or otherwise?: 
Part 16.
16a. Is there a key, index or finding aid to the materials inventoried?: 
16b. Paper-based:: 
Not Applicable
16c. Electronic Based:: 
Not Applicable
Part 16 / Electronic Files & Archival Management
16g. Who is responsible for working with the archival material?: 
Other - Please describe below.
Please describe: 
no one. its in storage.
Part 17.
17. How are new materials processed?: 
Electronic (Database, etc.)
Part 18.
18. What, if any, conservation methods are in place for both physical materials and electronic data?: 
Fireproof Cabinet
None or Limited
Part 19.
19. What type of climate-controls are present in the area[s] in which the archives are stored?: 
No or minimal climate controls [i.e. in an attic, basement, unheated / uncooled storage area, etc.]
Part 20.
20a. What are the goals for the historical materials for the next year?: 
20b. What are the biggest challenges to reaching these short-term goals?: 
Money & staff
20c. What goals are in place for the historical materials for the next three to five years?: 
20d. What are the biggest challenges to reaching these long term goals?: 
20e. Are there any additional goals for the organizations historic materials?: 
Part 21.
21. Estimated cost to achieve these archival goals for the next year.: 
Part 22.
22. Estimated cost to achieve these archival goals for the next five years.: 
Part 24.
24. What archival issues could / should visual arts organizations address collectively in the next three to five years? Ranked from 1 (highest priority) to 5 (lowest priority).24a. Shared standards / protocols for digitization: 
Promote professional standards / protocols for digitization
Part 25.
25a. Is the organization a member of, or in contact with, any organizations concerned with archival issues?: 
Part 26.
26. Additional information, comments, observations, and questions.: 
Organizations that struggle to survive usually have a minimum staff. They barely have the funds needed to make their presentations. In the end if doing is more important than archiving then archiving suffers and just piles up. In the end no one wants to touch the resulting maze of paper work.
Alternative Museum
Who executed this survey.: 
Geno Rodriguez
Is this survey complete and all appropriate questions answered?: