This book is a three-part report on a collaboration between artist Pope.L and curator Dieter Roelstraete exploring issues of connectedness, home, migration and art's relationship to knowledge.
It began in the spring of 2016 with an invitation, extended to the artist by Roelstraete, Monika Szewczyk and Adam Szymczyk, to participate in the 14th edition of Documenta. Pope.L's contribution was the immersive sound installation Whispering Campaign, consisting of thousands of hours of whispered content addressing nationhood and borders, and broadcast throughout Athens and Kassel using both speakers and live "whisperers."
A month later, a second chapter of the campaign was inaugurated at the University of Chicago's Logan Center for the Arts, curated by Yesomi Umolu, revolving around the Brown People Are the Wrens in the Parking Lot project. In this volume, Zachary Cahill looks back upon this complex enterprise, which involved an art exhibit, a DIY media campaign, a thematic library, video interviews and a series of events ranging from impromptu performances and DJ sets to a program of presentations and debates.
The third and final chapter of the artist's campaign unfolded as a course co-taught at the University of Chicago by Pope.L and Roelstraete, titled Art and Knowledge, which sought to address one of Whispering Campaign'scatchiest and most puzzling slogans—namely, "ignorance is a virtue." Students were invited to contribute their observations concerning art's sometimes proudly tenuous relationship to knowledge.
Edited by Dieter Roelstraete. Text by Zachary Cahill, Klea Charitou, Iris Colburn, Tianyu Guo, Jeffrey Hsu, Leon Hösl, Vidura Jang Bahadur, Michal Koszycki, Chichan Kwong, Cristen Leifheit, Jasmin Liang, Brock Lownes, Elizabeth McClafferty, Adrienne Meyers, Pope.L, Monika Szewczyk, Marie-Gabrielle Verbergt.
Pope.L: Campaign is supported by The Gray Center for Arts and Inquiry at the University of Chicago as part of Pope.L's and Dieter Roelstraete's Mellon Collaborative Fellowship at the Gray Center. The book is published by Mousse.