Keller Easterling

Convergence 142 (co-curated with Joseph Grima and Beatrice Galilee) offered texts of forgotten or secret places from 142 artists and architects:

While not unique and never permanent, 307 Canal Street is one of the angriest places in New York City and a legendary place to get yelled at. There are several storefronts in the building, remarkable by itself for being a mid-19th century department store, frequented by Mary Todd Lincoln, boycotted for its abolitionist sympathies and once containing a Chinese nightclub. Among those, CK&L Hardware can be located by the sound of hollering and shouting. At CK&L, when customers approach the cash register with a question or with items to purchase, they are routinely humiliated, told that they have made a stupid choice that reflects a complete lack of skills, and reminded of all of the insipid, weak and affected aspects of their character. If they make the mistake of replying, they are then, with laser precision, evaluated for a more withering castigation. So matchless is CK&L that the slyest diplomat cannot distract them from their anger with any conventional ploy like sympathy, understanding, jocularity, good cop-bad cop routines or simple politeness. In fact, politeness in this situation is incendiary. It is not wise to hope to outsmart them, and if you manage to, or if the lion is simply tired of sinking his teeth into your flesh, he might instead have a taste for abusing one of the beleaguered employees. It is not the only store where you can crack the door and hear the mutterings of an ancient family fight or a rancid voice screaming, “drop dead you stupid jerk,” or “shut your bit fat trap!” It goes without saying (perhaps it is even cliché) that all of this is, very reassuring. It is not just that, in its immediacy, it is much funnier than, say, Fawlty Towers. And it is not about preemptive nostalgia for the days before “people skills” and “quality management” practices. It is just an example of a very stable urban disposition where there are no dangerous binary political enemies, but rather a number of people of all sorts who really can’t stand each other and are able to speak to each other with perfect anonymity and intimacy.

<em>Subtraction Games</em> Lux: Projection on Beinecke Library by Lisa Albaugh and Samantha Jaff

Subtraction Games Lux: Projection on Beinecke Library by Lisa Albaugh and Samantha Jaff  

April 10, 2015 – January 1, 1970
Beinecke Library, New Haven, Connecticut