Protocinema is a cross-cultural art organization that commissions and presents site-aware art around the world. Our purpose is to support dialogue between cultures on equal footing and create opportunities for listening & expression. By doing so, Protocinema aids the development of relationships both at the mindfully local & globally interconnected levels. Protocinema advocates for empathy, working towards an understanding of difference across regions through its exhibitions, commissions, public programs, publications, and mentorship. Founded in 2011 by Mari Spirito, Protocinema is an ambulant nonprofit 501(c)3, free of ‘brick and mortar.’ Our locations are varied, responding both to global concerns and changing conditions on the ground.
Quality of Expression: We believe that art and public programs should be derived from a long-term research process, address current social concerns, be sensitive to how these affect our personal or political beliefs, be open to counter positions and authentic discourse. We are interested in the intersections of cognition and perception, the processes by which people come to their belief systems, and how those ideologies in turn affect our societies and well-being.
Inclusivity and Accessibility: We strive for all of our projects to be articulated in a way that is readily accessible across culture, age, field, and background; to be free for all; and presented in multiple languages, as budgets allow.
Integrity: We believe that how something is done is as important as what is done. Whether it is the content of an artwork or its creation and presentation process, we value long-term development of relationships, and the production of considered art, grown over time. We value a “Do less, Better” approach.
Cross Culturalism: Our programs introduce new works to new audiences on an intimate grass-roots level across regions. This requires dedication on the part of both the artist and the Protocinema team on-site, long-term work within local communities where strong relationships and empathy are built. This is also a part of our educational philosophy, where education is gained through experience and exchange.
Executive Director, Curator
+1 917 660 7332
Curator, Editor, Protodispatch
+90506 870 6808, +4917670518587
Board of Trustees:
Defne Ayas, Dillon Cohen, David Howe, Jane Lombard, Ari Meşulam, Jason Heard and Sheldon La Pierre, Ayşe Umur
International Commissioning Committee:
Haro Cümbüşyan and Bilge Öğüt, SAHA Association, Istanbul, Adnan Yerebakan
Protodispatch is supported by Annette Blum, Gabe Catone, Jane Hait, Justin Beal, Jane Lombard, and Helen and Peter Warwick.
Protocinema is a Believer Institution of The Alternative Art School with support from Banu and Hakan Çarmıklı
Stephane Ackermann (Emeritus 1969-2022), Augusto Arbizo, Yona Backer, Elizabeth Baribeau, Ömür Bozkurt, Tamara Corm, Adib Dada, Koray Duman, Anne Ellegood, Reem Fadda, Kate Fowle, Lia Gangitano, James Lingwood, Rose Lord, November Paynter, Tuce Peksayar, Renaud Proch, Anna Raginskaya, Helen Warwick
Protocinema is a legally registered non-profit in the United States operating internationally.
501(c)(3) EIN Registration number 46-1366509
Registered Charitable Organization CHAR500 number 48-38-81
All content Copyright Protocinema, New York, Istanbul, all rights reserved.