Spontaneous Combustion

Center on Contemporary Art

Sep. 7, 2024 - Sep. 30, 2017

114 3rd AVE S
Seattle, 98104
PHONE 206-728-1980


Beginning September 7, the Center on Contemporary Art (CoCA) will present Spontaneous Combustion, an explosion of two performative installations simultaneously critiquing power and elitism found in the contemporary (art) world. Made up of two groups of multidisciplinary artists, this exhibition explores power dynamics through performative research, institutional intervention, and an overload of sensory experiences.

Eastern Washington artists and educators, Peter Christenson and Phillip Mudd, collaborate on their project “Juried Performance,” an ongoing inquiry into the symbols, processes, and systems associated with institutionalized power and the hegemonic elite. Revolving primarily around a collection of recorded parasuicidal rituals that occurred in front of an absentee jury, the project analogizes the “juried art competition” to today’s sociopolitical climate. Videos of these performances were then mailed to nine well-known contemporary art institutions, essentially forcing review of the uncommissioned performances. The artists will perform during Pioneer Square’s artwalk.

For more information: http://www.juriedperformance.com

Also in the exhibition is Desearch Repartment, an anonymous art team from Canada that questions cultural and economic power through satire. The group appropriates the hyper capitalist world using an ever expanding universe of conceptual pieces, social practice, text-based manifestations, fake products, marketing gimmicks, famous people’s faces and more. Inhabiting the Desearch world translates into the practice of their “exercise program,” YAGA; navigating and becoming a part of an online group, “State of Exceptional (SOE) Webnation;” and integrates these in a performance experiment with costumes, movement, narration, projections and the SOE online activities and digital imagery. They aim to critically examine the relationship between embodiment and identification within digital capitalism.

“Through the various levels of YAGA, from Ground Zero to level 2001+, our Shock-Awes will awaken, we’ll free the inner artist, and we will discover Torture Compassion, a solution to the problem of world suffering through private, individual enactment of self-torture which exonerates us from unconscious guilt and responsibility. YAGA creates flexibility, especially in the neck area, so we can say yes to everything. Areas of tension are where Free Radicals congregate. Saying yes with a flexible neck creates Whi flow and makes it is possible to bend reality around your mind.” -Desearch Repartment

Public performances by both groups will occur on Thursday, September 7th beginning at 7pm.
For more information on these artists’ performances visit their websites at
Left of Center: http://www.psychologartist.com/index.php/project/dsm-30182/
Desearch Repartment: http://desearchrepartment.com/

Calendar Listing:

Spontaneous Combustion
Opening reception on Thursday, September 7, 6pm – 9pm, as part of Pioneer Square ArtWalk.
Exhibition opens September 7 and runs through September 30.
Gallery hours are Thursday, Friday and Saturday, 11am – 6pm.

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