The Best of Us, For the Rest of Us: A Three Part Interview Series (Part 1 of 3)

by Whitney Kimball on April 30, 2013 Bestivus

By now, we have a fairly good handle on New York art stars, but we hear less about the people who love them. In two years of writing for AFC, I’ve owed my art-viewing as much to artists as I have to devoted curators, gallerists, and writers working diligently behind the scenes, knee-deep with the rest of us.

Who are these unsung heroes of the art world? I asked leaders of various emerging art communities for their recommendations, and gathered a series of interviews. The Best of Us, for the Rest of Us.

Scott Kiernan and Victoria Keddie


We ran this interview with the public access cable show E.S.P. TV last summer, but recent projects have made Scott Kiernan and Victoria Keddie indispensible to this list. They’ve been busy hosting their own shows, curating rare film screenings, and collaborating with others like Dirty Looks and Portland’s Experimental 1/2 Hour.

Recently, they held a talk about the survival of public access cable with public access trailblazers, including Jaime Davidovich (The Live! Show) and Nancy Cain (Videofreex, a collective which formed one of the early models for public television) at the Museum of Art and Design, where they’re currently artists-in-residence. In “Cable Access: Dead or Alive,” they discussed the pitfalls of losing public broadcast media to the privately-owned channels on the internet. That conversation should be of interest to anyone who’s worried about the Cloud.

Read our interview here.

Rachael Rakes

Verso Books and the Brooklyn Rail

Rachael Rakes moderating a discussion with Park Chan-wook on the film "Stoker" at the Museum of Moving Image. (Image courtesy of

We’re surprised Rachael Rakes was even able to get back to our email. Between her work as the film editor at the Brooklyn Rail, a programming advisor-at-large for Union Docs, a member of the collectively-run gallery Heliopolis, assistant film curator at the Museum of Moving Image (til recently), and now, marketing manager at Verso Books– she’s got a lot on her plate. Her advice for the youngins? “Prepare for the slog.”

Read our interview here.

Know More Games

"Openly Ceremonial" at Know More Games. (Image courtesy of

It’s no surprise that Cleopatra’s was one of the spaces who recommended we interview Know More Games. They’re a small, new-kids-on-the-block art space in a not-yet-fully-gentrified part of Brooklyn (Red Hook), with a heavy emphasis on group activities. (Technically, the award should be split three ways with neighbors and frequent collaborators Primetime and 247365, but, the Bestivus is not fair.) Their most important priority, though, is fun. As for professional advice? “Agree on one brand of white paint and always only buy that brand.”

Read our interview here.

Kelani Nichole

Transfer Gallery

Transfer Gallery (Image courtesy of transfer's Facebook page)

Transfer is a gallery whose time has clearly come. Along with current mainstay 319 Scholes, they’ll be introducing Bushwick to a series of net artists you need to know (A. Bill Miller, Rick Silva, and Lorna Mills are just the next three). But even more overdue is the gallery’s business model; Transfer sells collectible items ahead of the shows, like books, inkjet prints, and gifs on devices, and all proceeds go to realizing the physical installation component. “Transfer is not about selling artwork,” founder Kelani Nichole tells me, but the idea is more about “support pre-opening vs. high-priced collection and relationship management post-exhibition.”

Read our interview here.

Karen Archey

AFC Alums Dave Harper and Karen Archey. (Image courtesy of Artforum.)

Regular readers know Karen Archey for measured criticism, which is based on extensive scholarship of conceptual art and online practices. This is evidenced through contemplative exhibition texts and shows which often serve as a record of a contemporary moment. “Images Rendered Bare. Vacant. Recognizable” at Stadium, or “Deep Space (insides)” at Joe Sheftel, or “How to Eclipse the Light” at London’s Wilkinson Gallery are just a few highlights. We expect to add her current show on Harm van den Dorpel at the Abrons Arts Center to her list of successes.

Read our interview here.

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