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Jesse Hlebo, Habit Towards Obedience

In this interview, Joe Ahearn sits down with one of Clocktower Gallery's project room artists, Jesse Hlebo. Fresh from a trip to Mexico where Jesse was planning a new exhibition, the following conversation sheds light on his many past projects, under a variety of labels and in collaboration with a broad array of artists, musicians and organizations. The two then zero in on the Certain Distinctions between Jesse's performance based projects and his many other endeavors, before a culminating exchange regarding the inspirations behind "Habit Towards Obedience", the performance he organized at the Clocktower gallery. Jesse also reveals whether or not he was disappointed that the audience didn't revolt and overthrow his authoritarian rule.

Jesse Hlebo is a multi-faceted artist who has curated and exhibited multiple solo and group shows, including at the MoMA Library and PS 1 in NYC, and the Khyber Center for Contemporary Art in Halifax, Nova Scotia. He also serves as co-founder and editor of _Quarterly, "a publication based on obsolescence" and is the founder of the small press and record label Swill Children. "Habit Towards Obedience" was performed in the Clocktower's main gallery on August 28, 2012.


Clocktower Exhibits & Events


Clocktower Exhibits & Events is home to an archive of interviews with artists, curators, musicians, organizers, and more who have participated in Clocktower exhibitions and events throughout our organization’s history.

Many of the below recordings were documented while Clocktower was in the midst of a transformation. The original name, The Clocktower Gallery, was given to the exhibition, residency, and performance space in TriBeCa, founded by alternative spaces movement pioneer Alanna Heiss in 1972. After 2001, the Clocktower Gallery re-inaugurated its exhibition programming in 2005 as part of MoMA/PS1 and, after 2008, under the auspices of Art International Radio. In 2013, we moved on from our downtown Manhattan location, and have since renamed the organization Clocktower Productions, a title which encompasses our radio, exhibition, and event programming.

For more Clocktower history, listen to The Clocktower Oral History Project, in which such figures as Vito Acconci, Bill Beirne, Colette, Jeffrey Deitch, Mary Heilmann, Jene Highstein, Ann Magnuson, Richard Nonas and Joel Shapiro reflect upon their experiences with this unique New York space. Organized by artist Nancy Hwang for the Fall 2009 AVANT-GUIDE TO NYC: Discovering Absence exhibition at apexart.

NB: Clocktower Radio was launched by MoMA/PS1 in 2004 as the Web's first art radio station. It has been independent since 2009 and is licensed to host content created under PS1 management. Programs produced prior to 2011 may refer to our earlier URLs and station IDs, including,, and Art International Radio. For the complete history of Clocktower Radio, read our Mission & History section.