Industry of the Ordinary: Exhibition

October 4 - October 31, 2018
Opening reception and performance: October 4, 4:30-7:30pm

The Harold J Miossi Art Gallery at Cuesta College brings Industry of the Ordinary to San Luis Obispo for the second time this year. Over the summer, Industry of the Ordinary (IOTO) led a three week, intensive residency for 12 student artists, culminating in a group show titled The Sadness of Maps downtown SLO on August 11, 2018.  IOTO provided students with a comprehensive presentation of contemporary art across a range of media as well as led workshops in performance, installation, documentation and video strategies. After group presentations, discussions, and workshops, IOTO worked intensively one-on-one with each artist to develop their concepts and fine tune presentation strategies. The exhibition was the culmination of this residency and a rare and exciting experience for SLO residents. The Harold J Miossi Art Gallery hopes to repeat this experience for students every year.

Now, this fall, we bring Industry of the Ordinary back for an exhibition of their own work - including sculpture, two-dimensional works and performance. 

About this exhibition:

When I was a small boy, my parents would take me on road trips to see interesting things. In my child’s mind, they seemed to have an encyclopedic knowledge of the interesting. They had, I imagined, always known what they knew, and their jobs as parents essentially entailed enumerating the many things that my mind should find wonder in. But I found so many of these experiences at the time to be oddly underwhelming. Instead, I was struck by their wonder and enthusiasm - and I noted how they would turn to see if I was seeing the world they saw.

In time we must surely turn to our own children and, pointing at some important object, look to see if wonder has flickered across the faces of our charges. We wander through the world pointing, counting, and turning to the faces of the uninitiated. And slowly we come to know that no amount of castles can populate the imagination of a child. Theirs are minds of infinite wonder, but they examine their lives as they find them. Their streets, their friends, their favorite trees to climb. Extraordinary things are beyond counting, but the wonder that we pass on to the ones we love is an ordinary thing. And no less precious for it.

This exhibition is about wandering as a child might.


Through sculpture, text, photography, video and performance, Industry of the Ordinary (IOTO) are dedicated to an exploration and celebration of the customary, the everyday, and the usual. Their emphasis is on challenging pejorative notions of the ordinary and, in doing so, moving beyond the quotidian.

 Making use of a variety of art-making strategies, IOTO have primarily been concerned with the dynamics and aesthetics of public and performative spaces. Drawing inspiration from Joseph Beuys’s theory of ‘social sculpture’ and the Situationists, IOTO have explored non-traditional sites for art works where accidental audiences can be found. Often collaborating with multiple members of the community, these works attempt to occupy and invigorate public thoroughfares. The work is intended to provoke and promote public discourse, to bring fine art out of the gallery or performing arts venue, and, without becoming didactic or pedantic, make it readily available to the non-art-trained audience.

Industry of the Ordinary were formed in 2003. The two artists who make up this collaborative team, Adam Brooks and Mathew Wilson, have long histories as visual and performative artists. They bring complementary sensibilities to their activities.

Their projects exist in temporal terms but have also been conceived to function on the web site associated with the collaboration,