Temporary Services is a Chicago based art collective consisting of Brett Bloom, Salem Collo-Julin, and Marc Fisher. Since 1998, the group has been producing publications, exhibitions, projects and events. As their name implies, Temporary Services offers art as a service to others in attempt to bring art to everyday lives, often to people who would otherwise not be exposed to art. Moving away from the idea of art as a privileged experience, this Chicago group believes that everyone should get to decide how and what art is and can be, not just a handful of fortunate who continue to keep standards. Though the art world is often seen as a very competitive market, Temporary Services aims at participating in mutually beneficial relationships in an effort to create and promote art. Collaboration is key to this art collective. As stated on their website, “We develop strategies for harnessing ideas and energies of the people who may never have participated in an art project before or who may feel excluded from the art community.”
Though it is uncommon for the group to produce sellable objects, they continue to record their efforts in their collection of now over 80 books and booklets. These books present their past projects, collaborations, and interviews. One of Temporary Services’ most recent books is entitled Temporary Conversations: Susan Gage. Here, Temporary Services has composed a collection of interviews and illustrations from Gage, an artist and nurse practitioner highly influential to the Women’s Health Movement. In collaboration with Every Body!, an event was held where Gage discussed her influential medical drawings. Another project envisioned and realized is Prisoners’ Inventions; a collaboration between Temporary Services and Angelo, an incarcerated artist. When asked to share how inmates coped with their situation, Angelo responded by illustrating the inventions created by inmates and drew renderings of the their small prison cells. Temporary Services then recreated these objects and the prison cells from Angelo’s drawing and published several books containing Angelo’s illustrations and interviews.
Temporary Services continues to strive for experiencing art in the places they inhabit and participating in numerous creative endeavors.