Matthew Kaney: All Fun and Games

Matthew Kaney, an Oklahoma based new media artist presented his work at Plug Projects for a solo show titled ‘All Fun and Games’.

The show was reviewed at the Pitch by Tracy Abeln, who noted the sociopolitical issues surrounding Kaney’s work:

The five sleek, stand-alone game consoles he has built for this show present players with a set of scenarios intended to induce thoughts about sociopolitical issues such as wealth distribution, global mass production, drone warfare, digital surveillance and polarized cable-TV shouting matches. Each is white plastic, with satisfyingly large, clicky buttons and palm-filling joysticks that recall the 8-bit video games of my youth — when I had to practically stand on a chair to reach the Centipede track ball and technology’s encroachment felt much different.

The artist understands that video games can be addictive, and that compulsory behavior produces participation in our social system. In a video on the Oklahoma Visual Arts Coalition blog, Kaney (who graduated this year from the University of Oklahoma) talks about how gamers playing his works might not notice how they are being complicit in a race to acquire wealth or in doing their best as a security agent to capture cell phones and intercept e-mails. A bystander, he notes, might see through these actions more easily. (Most of us in KC aren’t about to road trip to Oklahoma City to learn about good upcoming artists, so once again Plug Projects has done us a favor.)

See the article in its entirety here.

Made in China game

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Photo Services day

Plug Projects is offering a fantastic service to area artists to help them with cheap, high quality documentation of their art while also helping our fundraising campaign for the upcoming exhibition year.

Example of our fabulous documentation

Help Plug and yourself!

The Photo Service Day will take place on November 10th from 10am-5pm. If you wish to reserve a 30 min. spot during the day to have your work photographed, please email: and you will be assigned a time.

How does it work?
Once you email PLUG you are assigned a 30 minute time slot (which will allow for roughly four works to be shot) that are professionally lit, shot and corrected high-resolution digital photographs. The number of works shot is based on 2-dimensional work. We are able to shoot 3-dimensional work and installation work but we can’t guarantee as many images in a 30 minute time frame.

What kind of work can you bring?
Plug’s white-cube gallery space can accommodate a variety of wall work sizes. However, please keep the size of flat work under 5 feet in the longest direction. 3-dimensional work can be documented on the gallery floor or a white pedestal. Please let us know in advance the size of your sculptural work, so that we can properly accommodate its specific needs.

Why should you do this?
The same people who professionally document all of Plug’s exhibitions will be documenting your work. You will receive high- quality documentation that will help you promote your work and prepare for upcoming opportunities in Kansas City and beyond. All proceeds go to support Plug’s 2013-2014 year of programming and you can say that you personally contributed to the vitality of your local art community.

How much does it cost?
For each fully editted photo it will cost $25. If you wish to not the have photo edited and just take the RAW file it is $10 per image.

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Adam Overton Conduit

For Brandon Juhasz’ show, “I Can’t Promise to Try”, we had a performance/lecture by Adam Overton for our Conduit Series, a program based on bridging disciplines and different audiences that varies on an exhibition to exhibition basis.  This can include tours, hashtag contests, lectures, musical performances, etc.

Adam Overton performance photo via Cory Imig

Adam Overton is an experimental artist based in Los Angeles who works between performance, writing, experimental music, massage, workshops, and event-production. He connects regularly with a variety of artist-peers via several collaborative platforms, including Signify, Sanctify, Believe, The Eternal Telethon, and Most recently he presented the collaborative exhibition and free speech auditorium, BESHT – The Bureau of Experimental Speech and Holy Theses – at the Pomona College Museum of Art. He has performed at Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA), Miami Performance International Festival, and the Hammer Museum.

In case you missed it, Adam published the lecture online here!


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Brandon Juhasz “I Can’t Promise to Try”

If you haven’t had a chance to see the current show, check out Brandon Juhasz’ “I Can’t Promise to Try” this Saturday from 10-5.

Today, The Pitch released an article Tracy Abeln wrote on the current show.  

An excerpt from the article includes quotes from the artist himself:

Juhasz used to do a lot of portrait painting and landscape photography but hit his creative stride when he started exploring the pursuit of the ideal: the mundane nature of existence and our desire for the elusive something more. His technique — building objects and scenes by folding photographs appropriated from open-source images (thanks, bountiful Internet) — emerged as a response to America’s homemaking standard-bearer.

“I love Martha Stewart [Living] magazine, the art in it,” he tells me. “The photography is great, especially the older ones. Everything is done with such care. And they make it look like real life, make it look like it’s achievable. But it’s not achievable!”

Replicating those photos led to making things out of the pictures, which in turn led to the more developed narratives on view at Plug: eight inkjet prints, arranged salon-style along one wall, and seven three-dimensional constructs neatly spaced on the other walls or arranged on pedestals. In print and laid out flat or viewed on a screen, the items he chooses — a pepperoni pizza, hunks of meat, the human form — are familiar and simple. But in Juhasz’s dioramas, in person, they take on an eerie personality.

Photography, Juhasz says, amounts to our ultimate death mask: images we hold on to long after their moments have passed, sometimes long after any relevance remains. He enjoys making something that can fool us into accepting it as “real” — real enough to take for granted.


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Book Fair

This year, Plug Projects hosted its first book fair with major success!  The fair represented a range of both local and national distributors, retailers, artist book projects and zines.  This includes selections from Green Lantern Press, White Columns, Ooga Booga, Fort Gondo, Paper Monument, XO Press, Shifter Magazine, The Bohemian, Infoduct, The Hand, Pioneer Press, COLPA, Paul Shortt, Laura Isaac, Gary Kachadourian, Luke Rocha, Erica Mahinay, Samantha Pearsons and many more!

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Local Earth and Bread KC event

As well as having our regular conduit programming for Rare Earth, Plug Projects had the opportunity to curate a group of local artists that deal with environmental issues in the City Ice Arts Space.  This show lasted one week that was during the Urban Grown event, and it also hosted a Bread KC event.

The Local Earth exhibition of Kansas City and Lawrence based artists who are examining the natural world and current issues surrounding the environment. This show was in conjunction with the current exhibition on view at PLUG Projects titled, Rare Earth. Both of these exhibitions feature work that borrows materials and figures from the natural world to reevaluate the nature of nature and examine the many landscapes we all inhabit. Local Earth features the work of Theo Bunch, Mark Cowardin, Amber Hansen, Calder Kamin, and Jeff Tackett.

Bread KC, a local micro-funding organization, hosts dining events several times a year at which three presenters are given the opportunity to share their proposed projects with the community.  At this event, three farmers and gardeners whose sites are featured on the Urban Grown Tour will be presenting proposals related to the “Rare Earth” theme, and at the end of the dinner attendees will vote for the project they would most like to fund.  The presenter with the most votes will be awarded the funds collected through the entrance fee in order to complete their project.

photo by Bread KC!

And it was also featured on the Kansas City Star! 

And to learn more about Bread!KC visit their website!

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Rare Earth Conduit- Urban Grown Farms Tour!

Our Rare Earth show that focused on artists that interpret the environment in their work through various ways coincided with Kansas City’s city wide annual Urban Grown Farms Tour!

This conduit focused on touring two farms with Janet Moss as a tour guide.  Participants visited the Sante Fe Neighborhood Garden and the Kansas City Academy Garden and also  the Rare Earth show at Plug Projects and Local Earth, an exhibition curated by the Plug members of local artists dealing with environmental issues at City Ice Arts.

Part of the crew!

Above are photos from the Kansas City Academy, a school that uses its garden as a learning tool for their students and also in their cafeteria.

Janet Moss with the head of the Benton Community Garden

This site used recycled materials for their structures for the bed and the entryway.  The beds are specially designed to be raised higher off the ground for easy access for seniors and the garden also offers a water pump on the land for the community and its garden.


About Conduit:

Conduit programming manifests itself differently on a per-show basis, but the goal in each case is to bring community members with interests related to the exhibition in conversation with the artists exhibiting and/or expanding discussion of the exhibition themes beyond the work on display. Examples might include studio visits, alternative approaches to lectures, site-specific talks, and other casual gatherings of smaller, more intimate groups.

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Rare Earth

Have you had a chance to check out Rare Earth yet at the space?

Rare Earth features work that borrows materials and figures from the natural world to reevaluate the nature of nature and examine the many landscapes we all inhabit.  Geodes, lichen, wind and water, fungi and fauna explore the possibilities of symbiosis, the interventions of pollution, and imaginatively refigure the terrestrial through painting, photography and sculpture. Considering human mediation into all of the ecologies we encounter, Rare Earth offers viewers new modes of seeing the world around them.

Plug will be open tomorrow from 10am-5pm and make sure to check it out! Here’s a sneak peak:

Cecillia Phillip's work


Mike Hein's work

Check the show out before it closes July 6!  And look out for upcoming conduit events for the show.

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Planning Retreat!

As Plug is nearing the end of our second season, the members + intern headed to Minneapolis to do some planning for the upcoming year.

Who wore it better? Misha or Caleb?

Budgeting around the table

Super secret exhibition planning

Serious planning

Taking a break from planning at the Walker Arts Center (Nauman room)


We are all really excited for the upcoming year and there are definitely big things coming to Plug 2013-2014!

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Floor Plan Conduit

The Conduit for our current show Floor Plan focused on three different groups in Kansas City that use creative design techniques as a business model for interior spaces and objects.

Leaving Plug!

Jessica Rogers of Cartwheel provided a creatively designed bus for transportation to and from sites.

The Crew

And Jeffrey Isom, a local artist and designer, helped lead the tour to each location, and gave backgrounds while on the way on Cartwheel!

Utilitarian Workshop

First stop was Utilitarian Workshop. This design duo helped construct the vision of the interior of Port Fonda, where we ended our tour.  ”Utilitarian Workshop is a collaborative design studio and retail co-op in which handmade goods are the core of who we are. Our goal as designers is to transcend the traditional views regarding materials and their function, and in turn, create a fresh dialogue within an ever changing modern environment.”

Jarboe Initiative

Next was the Jarboe Initiative.  Nick Ward-Bopp showed us around his house, where he established a contract with the owner to rehab the torn down building, free of rent for about a year.  This project helped to fix up a house that would otherwise be left run down to help benefit the community on the West Side.

3 Axis Inc

The third stop was at 3 Axis.  This group was less DIY and enabled technological printing methods and tools to construct objects for more commercial purposes. They showed us how they fabricated these objects out of styrofoam and fiberglass and they built sets for museum displays.

Last Stop: Port Fonda!

Utilitarian Workshop design at Port Fonda

The tour ended for drinks at Port Fonda, where we met up again with Utilitarian Workshop and they went into detail how they collaborated to build the vision for the interior.

Thanks to everyone who came out and Jeffrey Isom and Jessica Rogers for being great guides!  If you haven’t checked out Floor Plan yet, it is still up!  Come by every Saturday 10-5pm for regular hours and we open up by appointment.

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