Positive Reinforcement

We find ourselves disillusioned not only by the senseless optimism and technological revelry of neo-capitalism, but also by the scorched earth policy sought by its opposition. We are unwillingly complicit in a world of dichotomies, all working toward a presumed dystopian future.

Joining minds is often reliant on the sacrifice of the individual; conformity to a hive-mind. Collective communities should operate under the acknowledgement of their own structural pitfalls. The success of a collective may be determined by its ability to manifest collaborative effort; however, we refuse to acknowledge our collaboration as a means to any end.

We must combat this polarity with unknowingness, and in doing so, we must express our dissent as affirmation. We must say "yes" to the abandonment of power, "yes" to the acknowledgement of hegemonic individualism, "yes" to dissolving passive engagement, "yes" to identity and anti-identity, "yes" to turbo-capitalist satire and the destruction of capital, "yes" to rhizomatic structure in a world of unchecked growth, "yes" to the exhaustion of appropriation, "yes" to absolving online persona and celebrity, "yes" to anonymity and collaboration, "yes" to sincerity, "yes" to absurdity, "yes" to process and material and the heuristic, "yes" to merging context with content, "yes" to immediacy, and "yes" to knowing and not knowing and having the confidence to admit either way. We say "yes" to positive reinforcement.

Roxana Azar, Phillip Birch, Greyory Blake, Abbey Campbell, Jonathan Campolo, Jennifer Choi, Nathaniel deLarge, LJ Frezza, Max Galyon, Nate Grossman, Alexander Iezzi, Killer Instinct, Sarah Kinlaw, Chris Maggio, LAZY MOM, Keegan Monaghan, Mike Nudelman, Nathan Phillips, Trevor Powers, Patrick Reynolds, Ginevra Shay, Yuri Stone, HEAVYPET U.S., Nettie Syrell, Ariel Zambenedetti

FAMILYFAMILYTREE (FFT) began in October 2008 in Boston, MA as an exploratory thought-blog for friends. Members shared new projects and work that inspired them, but as the collective expanded, the experiment failed.

In 2010, as post-graduate members dispersed throughout the country, a face-lifted FFT was established as a place to promote individual and collaborative "& Projects", acting as an amorphous, location-less gallery space. Forgoing the use of text, members anonymously post a single image that hyperlinks to a current or just-completed project. The lack of both credit and context allows FFT to act as single entity – a constantly evolving gateway to affiliated work, sites, and tangential ideas. As FFT gradually expands, often new and existing members haven't met IRL, allowing FFT to act as a portal for both innovation and development without the conventions of identity or social connection. As it progresses, FFT strives to focus more on the connections themselves. When the cops come to the party, our strength lies in our ability to scatter.

Beyond its humble beginnings as a private forum and through its revamps as creation tools, FFT has now become more than just an inside joke. By dispersing ownership, copyright, credentials and tags, FFT has become one of the only anonymous exhibitions available online, allowing friends and strangers alike to collaborate and inspire each other.

Gallery Four is proud to present the inaugural gallery exhibition of national art collective FAMILYFAMILYTREE. Gallery Four is a contemporary art space located in the heart of downtown Baltimore. A live/work exhibition space housed in an old industrial building, Gallery Four is one of the first artist run spaces in Baltimore to use a refined museum-like approach to their exhibitions. Focused on creativity rather than commerce, Gallery Four encourages artists to create large-scale works and installations that are often not feasible in smaller commercial galleries. Works are frequently created or refined in the gallery, which allows artists to directly respond to each other's ideas. Featuring artists from all over the U.S. and the world, Gallery Four aspires to connect artists to Baltimore and Baltimore to the larger world of contemporary art, thereby encouraging a global art community.

Gallery Four, 405 W Franklin St, Floor 4, Baltimore, MD