Sal Randolph

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Sal Randolph
Sal Randolph.jpg
Born Sarah Tod Fitz Randolph[1]
May 30, 1959
New York City, New York
Nationality American, United States
Education Harvard University & Radcliffe College
Known for Social architecture, Gift Economies, and Internet Art
Notable work Free Manifesta Free Words Opsound
Awards Massachusetts Artist Fellowship

Sal Randolph (born May 30, 1959) is an American artist and theorist who works with issues of gift-giving, money, alternate economies, and social architecture. She founded the non-curated sound-exchange web project Opsound,[2][3] which functions through the use of music released exclusively under a copyleft license, and has been cited by Lawrence Lessig as an example of how Creative Commons works to enable artists to collaborate more freely and build on each other's work.[4][5] Other large-scale, collaborative projects created and implemented by Randolph include Free Manifesta and The Free Biennial, in which several hundred artists presented their work in free and open shows in New York's and Frankfurt am Main's public spaces. Artists participating in those projects included Christophe Bruno, Aram Saroyan, Swoon (artist), and Michael Cunningham, among many others.

Pursuing her ongoing interest in issues surrounding money and economies of attention and exclusivity, she gained entry into Manifesta 4 by purchasing her entry from the Basel-based Christoph Büchel when that artist auctioned his participation rights on eBay[6] – which was itself an art piece/provocation. This led to Free Manifesta, in which, through Randolph, hundreds of artists were suddenly allowed to participate in the previously exclusive Manifesta. This work extended the artist's first large-scale cooperative project,The Free Biennial in her home city of New York, which came into being as her response to the Whitney Biennial, and which also garnered the participation of a wide range of noted artists across many disciplines. Among her other projects is Free Words, an early shopdropping (a form of culture jamming) project which garnered an international network of volunteers who "introduced" the book Free Words (a large collection of random words initially assembled by Randolph—and later by hundreds of project contributors—over many years[7]) into bookstores and libraries around the world. Other projects include works in sound art,[8] and a variety of exhibitions within the collaborative Glowlab. Recent projects include Free Money[9] (shown in Vancouver, where she was invited to participate in the Live Biennale[10]), Free Press (shown in Röda Sten Contemporary Art Space in Göteborg, Sweden, where the artist created an open access publishing house[11]), ReadingBetween, and InTheConversation.

Her work as a writer and theorist[12][13][14][15][16] explores issues related to post-autonomous art and the gift; she has both written for and created actions within Cabinet Magazine,[17] and her writing on the experience of art has recently been featured in The American Reader.[18]

The artist's work has been presented in numerous museum and gallery exhibitions, including Manifesta 4 and "Don’t Miss" in Frankfurt am Main, the Neue Gesellschaft für Bildende Kunst (NGBK) and BüroFriedrich Gallery in Berlin, La Box in Bourges, the Palais de Tokyo and Bétonsalon in Paris, Röda Sten in Göteborg, Live Bienalle/Western Front in Vancouver, Art Interactive and Oni Gallery in Boston, as well as Cinders Gallery, Pace Digital Gallery, the Fountain Art Fair, Salvation Gallery, and the Conflux Festival in New York. Randolph teaches and lectures as a visiting artist and has appeared in that capacity at the UCRIA conference, Open Engagement, Maryland Institute College of Art, the GEL conference, Massachusetts College of Art, Hochschule für Gestaltung Offenbach, RISD, and in collaboration with D. Graham Burnett at Princeton.


  1. ^ Radcliffe College, Report of the President (1981). Retrieved on 2012-02-18.
  2. ^ Opsound’s Sal Randolph. Creative Commons (2005-10-01). Retrieved on 2012-02-18.
  3. ^ Search on
  4. ^ Lessig Blog
  5. ^ GLOCOM Platform – Special Topics – Activity Report. (2003-12-04). Retrieved on 2012-02-18.
  6. ^ Art in America: Manifesta 4: defining Europe? Acting more as facilitators than as curatorial stars, the organizers of last summer's Manifesta created an experimental visual forum—with mixed results – Report From Frankfurt[dead link]
  7. ^ The Free Words Project. Retrieved on 2012-02-18.
  8. ^ Psy-Geo Provflux 2005 :: ADJACENT: Listen Now :: Sal Randolph.
  9. ^ Infinite Exchange Gallery. Retrieved on 2012-02-18.
  10. ^ 2007 LIVE Biennale: Words: Sal Randolph // Free Money. (2007-10-18). Retrieved on 2012-02-18.
  11. ^ Röda Sten. Retrieved on 2012-02-18.
  12. ^ Notes on Social Architectures as Art Forms. Sal Randolph. Retrieved on 2012-02-18.
  13. ^ Culture is Public Because Meaning Is. Sal Randolph. Retrieved on 2012-02-18.
  14. ^ Beautiful Money (Art as Currency, Art as Experience). Sal Randolph (2004-04-16). Retrieved on 2012-02-18.
  15. ^ Some Experiments in Art as Gift. Sal Randolph. Retrieved on 2012-02-18.
  16. ^ In the Conversation (Art Talk Outside the Cube). Sal Randolph. Retrieved on 2012-02-18.
  17. ^ Cabinet Magazine
  18. ^ The American Reader

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