MISSIONPurpose, History and Background

Art Attack is a collective which was founded in 1979 in Los Angeles, California, as a guerilla art group. The group moved to Washington, D.C., in 1981 and subsequently to New York City. Throughout this timeframe the group's evolution led to a structured format and it is now incorporated as a not-for-profit organization.

In its infancy, our group dynamic bordered on anarchy; participation by an individual was capricious and sporadic. As the group matured, a core group was formed by a few dedicated members to manage the technical tasks required for stability. Art Attack maintains a formal pool of associates who participate on a project-by-project basis. The number of associate artists is in constant flux as new artists choose to participate and others move on. Each associate determines his participation independently, basing the decision on site, location and timing. The core dictates each year's installation agenda and budget, but includes the project associates in all other decisions. Ironically, although this format is clearly structured, our adaptability permits ad hoc participation and an atmosphere that is as random as when the group was younger. We continue to cultivate this metamorphosis. Art Attack is an invention of necessity and adapts to changing contingencies with survival as its prime motivation. Our work is fueled by an interest in the particular advantages and challenges of working in an interactive, collaborative way and the idea of art as intervention.

We are a process oriented, multi-disciplinary group of artists. In seeking to represent society as a transforming entity, we combine high-tech audio and mechanical apparatus with cast-off materials, frequently taken from the sites of our works. Art Attack primarily constructs installations or creates events in public spaces including abandoned buildings at both authorized and unauthorized sites. References to the malleability and transience of culture form the bulk of our installations' subject matter. We realize that the practice of placing our work into a public context brings with it the potential for its misunderstanding, which in turn encourages dialogue and individual interpretation. Yet this is the same debate that is activated by many new ideas. The ideas that are embodied in our finished works survive a process of generation and progressive refinement. The solution is arrived at by each project member in a different way. Given the site as a "problem," virtually each installation is "solved" in situ. Our creative process moves along lines that lie in the range between opinions. All actions are taken after group deliberation and debate. This system provides a robust problem solving environment. Similarly, in the "real world," interactive systems have emerged as ideally suited to solve many of the issues too chaotic for traditional hierarchical approaches. We believe that dogma is unable to provide solutions to many complex problems, and has become uninteresting. Collaborative art is one such problem and Art Attack is one solution. Though a tacit political statement could emerge from our mode of working, Art Attack has no set political agenda and exists through intuition, not premeditated doctrine. We believe that because of its adaptability, our collaborative model addresses challenges currently facing many artists. Operating under a group identity gives us the freedom to experiment outside our areas of specialization and provides us the resources to accomplish large scale ideas. Division of labor makes possible tandem project development and the flexibility to adapt to changing conditions. The environment we work in changes us as a group. The creative process becomes interactive with the processes of site research and interpretation, materials and funding acquisition, construction, and installation. By nature, we examine change and we learn to notice and exercise the abilities to effect change. Through our ways and our work, Art Attack addresses the nature of cultural, inter- and intra-personal flux.