Arzu Arda Kosar


Since their major explosion in the art scene in the 1970’s, art events in alternative spaces such as street corners, wilderness, private residences, hotel rooms and trucks have become a widespread, well-attended and critically acclaimed phenomena. Los Angeles, a mega-metropolis with tenfold art schools producing hundreds of young artists every year has emerged as the hub of such activities in the 1990’s.

“International Survey of Alternative Artscene”, an interlacement of various art events, celebrates the self driven and experimental nature of alternative art spaces while simultaneously questioning their meaning and relationship to established institutions. The ISAA project addresses questions such as: How do different art scenes compare in terms of art making and sharing? What are alternative spaces, and what are the motivations behind their creation? What happens when an alternative space becomes the next institution? Who makes up the audience for the alternative scene? Must the alternative preclude the commercial? Can such boundaries exist, if so where are they drawn?

A grant from the University of Southern California’s SC/W Exposition Fund has enabled Arzu Arda Kosar and Nicole Cohen to bring together an eclectic group of emerging artists from around the world to organize events for the “International Survey of Alternative Artscene” as a part of SC/W: Southern California in the World, World in Southern California Exposition in Jan-June 2000. Six ISAA events took place in Los Angeles, CA, New York, NY, Wellington New Zealand, Bangkok, Thailand and Istanbul, Turkey.

ISAA’s goal was to provide a forum for the leaders, participants and audience of progressive art communities to come together, investigate and further their discourse.