Martin Beck

Martin Beck

An Organized System of Instructions

Edited by James Voorhies

Distributed for Sternberg Press




Martin Beck's exhibition “Program” at the Carpenter Center for the Visual Arts comprised a sequence of interventions, installations, events, and displays that drew on the exhibition histories and academic pursuits of the famed 1963 Le Corbusier building at Harvard University. The sequence of explorative strategies—each node of which Beck considered an “episode”—lent particular attention to the founding aspirations of the Carpenter Center, which sought to cultivate its position as simultaneously an iconic modernist building, school, and exhibition venue. Beck performed and critically reflected on the kinds of activity an institution uses to build, organize, and engage with its audiences, and, in the case of the Carpenter Center, how it performed a kind of exhibition of education in both its pedagogical framework and its public outreach. From its physical infrastructure to its communication strategies, from its foundational curricular principles to visitor tallies, from building usage to welcome rituals, “Program,” which transpired over two years, examined institutional behaviors that collectively form institutional identity and integrate audiences into a cohesive program of public address.

This book, An Organized System of Instructions, is both a document of “Program” and an extension of the exhibition, which ran from October 24, 2014, to October 2016.

Copublished with Carpenter Center for the Visual Arts

Contributors Martin Beck, Keller Easterling, James Goggin, Alex Kitnick, James Voorhies


$32.00 T ISBN: 9783956792632 208 pp. | 7.75 in x 10.25 in color illus.

Not for sale in Europe or the UK.


James Voorhies

James Voorhies is a curator and art historian of modern and contemporary art. He is Dean of Fine Arts and Associate Professor at California College of the Arts in San Francisco.