Dan Murphy

2012 Pew Fellow

1/11: Dan Murphy and Anthony Smyrski, a.k.a. Megawords, 2012 Pew Fellows. Photo by Colin Lenton.
2/11: Megawords magazine, issues 1–17, 2012. Various offset printing methods and paper. Photo courtesy of the artists.
3/11: Spread from Megawords magazine, issue 2, 2006. Photo courtesy of the artists.
4/11: Cover of Megawords magazine, issue 3, 2006. Photo courtesy of the artists.
5/11: Megawords honor boxes, 2009. Photo courtesy of the artists.
6/11: Megawords storefront, 2008. Photo courtesy of the artists.
7/11: Zine-making workshop at the Megawords storefront, 2008. Photo courtesy of the artists.
8/11: Megawords newsstand, 2010. Photo courtesy of the artists.
9/11: Megawords installation at Living As Form, Essex Street Market, New York City, 2011. Photo courtesy of the artists.
10/11: Megawords installation for Zoe Strauss: Ten Years at Philadelphia Museum of Art, 2012. Photo courtesy of the artists.
11/11: Megawords installation for Zoe Strauss: Ten Years at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, 2012. Photo courtesy of the artists.

“[Megawords’] practice springs from a place of permeable borders and boundaries, a place of possibility. We seek a new and inclusive way of experiencing culture and we ask the audience to be active participants instead of passive viewers.”

Dan Murphy (b. 1976) is one member of the artist duo Megawords, along with Anthony Smyrski.

Dan Murphy and Anthony Smyrski work together as the artist duo Megawords. They are well known throughout Philadelphia for installations that are equal parts gathering space, artist studio, and storefront. In addition, they produce a self-published, biannual print magazine produced in the independent spirit of 1970s punk zine culture. While their practice has a global reach and they have collaborated with other artists internationally, it is deeply rooted in Philadelphia. As Megawords, Murphy and Smyrski have converted an abandoned newsstand in Northwest Philadelphia into an active kiosk, opened a pop-up exhibition and performance space in Chinatown, and organized free film screenings in abandoned lots, among other public projects. “We deplore culture where the audience is expected to sit back passively,” they write.

Murphy and Smyrski have expanded the context of their practice in recent years, working with established institutions such as Creative Time in New York City and the Institute of Contemporary Art in Philadelphia. In early 2012, they oversaw an interactive kiosk at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, as part of the exhibition Zoe Strauss: Ten Years. The pair sees these new partnerships as logical steps in reaching a wider audience, and as an opportunity to challenge traditional notions of what can happen within a museum’s space.

References

Grants & Grantees

Greg Osby (Pew Fellow, 2012) has made an indelible mark on contemporary jazz over the past 20 years, leading his own ensembles and performing with musical icons such as Dizzy Gillespie.

Collaborators & Colleagues

Since his emergence as a professional jazz saxophonist and composer in the 1950s, Wayne Shorter has earned a reputation as one of the most influential jazz musicians of our time.

In a video produced by the Guardian, Tacita Dean describes her epic search for Robert Smithson’s Spiral Jetty, the core of her quest to complete her film, JG.

The Fabric Workshop and Museum presents a gallery talk by textile scholar Dr. Linda Eaton, the John L. & Marjorie P. McGraw Director of Collections and Senior Curator of Textiles at the Winterthur Museum.

Ceramist and Pew Fellow Lauren Mabry on her creative development, embracing the unexpected, and more.

Grants & Grantees

Gabriel Martinez is a visual artist and a 2001 Pew Fellow.

The Rosenbach of the Free Library of Philadelphia opened to the public in 1954 and is located in the former home of brothers Philip and Dr. A.S.W. Rosenbach, international dealers in rare books, manuscripts, and fine and decorative arts.

Grants & Grantees

Mytili Jagannathan is a poet and a 2002 Pew Fellow.

Grants & Grantees

Philadelphia Mural Arts Advocates established a new curatorial residency program that looks to the future of mural-making.

Stephen Berg, a 1993 Pew Fellow in Literature and founder of the American Poetry Review and Zig Zag Press, passed away on June 12.

Pew Fellows Eileen Neff and Raphael Xavier are among the distinguished recipients of 2016 Guggenheim Fellowships.

Questions of Practice

Murphy makes up one half of the artist duo Megawords, along with Anthony Smyrski. Megawords is well known throughout Philadelphia for installations that are equal parts gathering space, artist studio, and storefront.