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 alternativemuseum.org
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.
Building Against Image: Dennis Adams
Adrian Piper: Refelections 1967 - 1987
Hell: Luis Cruz Acazeta
America’’s Most Wanted Painting: Komar & Melamid