For the fourth and last lectures and workshops we had artist Michael Portnoy via Skype and Krist Gruijthuijsen in conversation with David Robbins (via Skype) and Alan Abel (via Skype). Lectures were followed by discussion.


Michael Portnoy is a New York based artist, musician, and writer. His practice spans dance-theatre, vocal power-tools, Relational Stalinism, experimental stand-up, prog-operatic spectacle, abstract gambling, the improvement of biennials and Icelandic cockroach porn. Portnoy's art circles the rules of play and communication, with language itself playing a crucial role. He has presented internationally in museums, art galleries, theatres and music halls, including, among others, Objectif Exhibitions, Antwerp (2011); Wilfried Lentz, Rotterdam (2011); Taipei Biennial (2010); Centre Pompidou, Paris (2010); de Appel arts centre, Amsterdam (2010); CAC, Vilnius (2010); Performa 07, 09, and 11, New York; Kadist Foundation, Paris (2009); Kunstverein, Amsterdam (2009); SculptureCenter, New York (2008); Ibid Projects, London (2008); Kunsthalle Basel (2008); Second Moscow Biennial (2007); and Art Unlimited Basel (2007). His first book, Script Opposition in Late-Model Carrot Jokes (Objectif Exhibitions, Antwerp) was published in 2011. 

Krist Gruijthuijsen is a curator, co-director of Kunstverein, Amsterdam and course director of the MA Fine Arts program at the Sandberg Institute in Amsterdam. Previous exhibitions and projects have been presented at a.o. Manifesta 7, Platform Garanti, Artistsspace, Extra City, Belgrade Museum of Contemporary Art, Swiss Institute, A Gentil Carioca, Stedelijk Museum, Van Abbemuseum and Stedelijk Museum Bureau Amsterdam. 

Artist and writer David Robbins investigates the intersections between art, entertainment, and comedy. As an artist he is best known for his work entitled Talent, eighteen "entertainer's headshots" of contemporary artists including Cindy Sherman, Jeff Koons, Jenny Holzer, and others, as well as The Ice Cream Social, a project comprising installations, performances, a novella, and a Sundance Channel TV pilot. His books include High Entertainment, The Velvet Grind: Essays, Interviews, Satires, 1983–2005, The Dr. Frankenstein Option, The Camera Believes Everything, and a new book, Concrete Comedy: An Alternative History of 20th-Century Comedy.

A writer, filmmaker and actor, Alan Abel is mostly known for being one of the fathers of media falsification, having professionally tricked all types of media for 50 years. His career as a “media trickster” began almost by chance at the end of the 1950’s, when he noticed that the press was taking his false and absurd crusade against animal nudity seriously. Throughout all these years, he has continued to create new set-ups and extravagant plans to provoke the media and give a kick to people’s intelligence.