Instant Coffee FAQ

What is Instant Coffee anyway?

Instant Coffee is a service oriented artist collective. See biography at end.

What does Instant Coffee do?

we put shows together.
we promote other peoples shows.
we make stuff.
we don't dress for the jobs we have, but for the jobs we want.

What is Instant Coffee's Manifesto?

With wavering clarity we understand that what we do is confined to the limitations of representation and we're okay with that. As a product and service Instant Coffee is an effective substitute: It mimics the real thing without the pretense of being better. It isn't that much easier to make, which is reason enough to justify it. Taste is a factor, taste being an important way to designate quality and define preference. But quality is too particular and preferences change. They are superfluous really, misnomers that distract from the basic reasons for ingesting either the real thing or its substitute. Value is in their effect. In its taste, Instant Coffee barely resembles the real thing, but its effect is the same. Regardless of taste, it still works. Quality is beside the point. In this disregard Instant Coffee becomes a medium to be used. This is Instant Coffee.

Can I post such-and-such through your website?

Yes - but we don't post on the website; we post to our email lists (see services).

What are the Instant Coffee mailing lists?

There's a lot going on; lots of openings, lots of showings, lots and lots to do art-wise. IC simply compiles a list of these and emails them to you (our 8000+ subscribers), so you know what's going on. Also, for those ambitious art stars, we list calls for submissions from anywhere and everywhere.

How are the lists funded, and do you charge for posting on the lists?

The lists are volunteer run. They each take a moderator between one and five hours per week to maintain, depending on size. Posting is free.

How do I join a mailing list?

Click on 'email lists' in the left-hand menu.

How do I post to a mailing list?

Send a plain text single spaced message to the appropriate local list addresses. Broad postings such as jobs, calls for submissions, and websire projects can be sent to any list.

Why do you run Halifax, Montreal, Alberta and Inter/National lists if you're a Toronto/Vancouver based group?

We are a Toronto/Vancouver based group: bridging the western divide. And we really need them all. And technology allows us to do these things. And we're nice. And the folks who moderate the lists are generous enough to share their time.

Does anyone think instant coffee email lists are good thing?

Yes. Here's some examples of feedback we've received. In addition there's the silent praise of new list members signing up daily; unsubscribes are almost unheard of:
    I never thought that I would like instant coffee so much! Although living in a small town is beautiful, you just don't get the news that you would like...
    Edward Deary

    Hi coffee folk,
    Thanks for mentioning the Inter-Arts office newletter info and for this valuable service...
    Claude Schryer, Canada Council for the Arts

    Thanks for the prompt reply. Instant Coffee always provides good service!

    Dear InstantL
    I enjoy getting your posts - thanks.
    Cliff Eyland
I notice the Instant Coffee website isn't updated often. What's up?

The website is more of an archive/cv of shows and events, not a daily.

Does Instant Coffee have anything written down that makes it sound like they have their shit together?

Here's a bio (not for reprint):

INSTANT COFFEE BIOGRAPHY (2008) Instant Coffee is a service oriented artist collective based founded in Toronto, and now based in both Vancouver and Toronto. Instant Coffee developed, in part, as a response to the division and exaggerated difference between studio and exhibition practice. Through formal installations and event based activities, it builds a public place to practice, where ideas, materials and actions can be explored outside of the isolated studio and in a manner that renegotiates traditional exhibition structures, but is still supported by them.

For Instant Coffee, the triad of art practice production, presentation & reception becomes jumbled incorporating the social as a priority. Instant Coffee defines this social as happening in a number of ways: in getting people invested in our projects and what we are up to, but also as satisfying a way in which we like to socialize?one that centers around production but is dependent on the work of others to sustain and facilitate a critical discourse or at least offer the potential for one.

Instant Coffee's most consistant members are Cecilia Berkovic, Jinhan Ko, Kelly Lycan, Jenifer Papararo, Kate Monro and Khan Lee.

"Instant Coffee seems to be of the right stuff because it is a little tacky, all consuming and cheap. Yet it still holds enough allure, as contemporary products go, and it mimics the real thing."

Instant Coffee: it doesn't have to be good to be meaningful

Instant Coffee is alright: trust Instant Coffee. ( was first registered as a domain name to the Instant Coffee artist collective in May of 2000).

 © Instant Coffee 2002  |  who we are  |  feedback