In our contemporary world, what kind of speakers and speeches are most likely to win trust, establish authority, and mobilize audiences?

This Commons Artist Project, titled Parts of Speech, breaks down the components of public speech: the language, the speaker, the location, distribution, and the audience. Over four months, Los Angeles–based Public Fiction and New York–based Triple Canopy stage a series of experimental presentations on public speech at sites of public assembly throughout Chicago. Six commissioned artists including filmmakers, comedians, novelists, and musicians experiment with the form of a lecture, resulting in monologues, startup manifestos, and musical performances. As part of the exhibition, artworks on view in the Commons are also manifestations of public speech. Chosen in response to the lectures, they reflect on a variety of timely themes related to communication in the contemporary world.

Parts of Speech is by Public Fiction (Lauren Mackler) with Triple Canopy. The Commons Artist Project: Public Fiction with Triple Canopy is organized by January Parkos Arnall, Curator of Public Programs, with Christy LeMaster, Assistant Curator of Public Programs.

The exhibition includes speeches by Steffani Jemison, Hari Kunzru, Tomeka Reid, Astra Taylor, Christopher Kulendran Thomas, and Julio Torres, and artworks by Rami George, Liz Magic Laser, David Levine, Nicole Miller, Rodney McMillian, and Videofreex.