[Original minutes from Arts & Culture, originally published to nycga.cc, minutes below by victoria. Addtionally a second short minutes by Blaine O’Neill can be found here.]
Thank you all for showing up and participating today! The end of our meeting was interrupted due to the afternoon General Assembly, and I apologize to those of you who were cut off. The agenda items that we weren’t able to get to will be top priority for discussion next meeting.
Here is a (not-so) brief overview of the minutes:
Obnoxious reporters. Obligatory introductions. Some awesome people here.
Agenda as follows:
1. Background of arts and culture activities
2. Possibilities Regarding the Space (biennial, specific booth/location for arts and culture)
3. Brainstorming of actions
4. Name change?
5. Specific needs that Arts&Culture can fulfill for the OWS community
6. Communication structure
8. Link on website for A&C projects
9. Creating a Sub-committee/sister-group for street theatre and performance projects
10. Establishing committees
11. Overall “message,” or intention of projects executed through A&C
Alex started us off with a briefing of democratic procedure for the meeting, followed by an overview of the previous projects/activities of the Arts & Culture working group. We then moved on to the second agenda item and talked about creating a space specifically for art projects, and the possibility of using street vendors (the ones rapidly breeding across the Cedar street side of Liberty Plaza) as alternative exhibition spaces. We discussed the idea of setting up a “biennial ” of some sort, and creating a forum for a broad range of artists to participate in. This could be a designated project space or an event list based on different time slots.There were well-received suggestions of engaging existing spaces, throughout the financial district and especially Wall Street, as exhibition/performance platforms. Brett brought up the idea of using the pumps for inflatable mattresses as a way to make giant inflatable sculptures as a way to occupy some of these spaces, also as a way to explore “structures,” as defined by NYPD.
We then moved on to brainstorming potential actions that we could take as a group, that would operate as methods of protest. Nato suggested designing a logo/image to screenprint on t-shirts and also making a bunch of sick ass stickers to litter the subway with. (This should be a joint project with Outreach, but because we would be designing/printing the materials it would still fall within A&C domain.) Blaine brought up the phenomenon of planking and using body language to explore/articulate a space (i.e., Wall Street). Noah suggested a performance on the subway- “subway surfing,” as potential forms of outreach. Antonio proposed an “Occupy Wall Street Journal” that would take the form of a publication or document of events and experiences here at OWS. He emphasized the educational potential of this project. Oliver proposed a zombie flash mob as an action- dressing up like businessmen dressed up like zombies (vice-versa?), either way, doing a march at lunch or dinner time over to Wall Street, while eating money. There was talk of projecting images and of how to do this, but there were only a few suggestions regarding technical approach. Ben noted that Goldman-Sachs is in possession of a rather impressive (private) fine art collection, and that we should demand that G-S make this collection public– everybody pretty much agreed on this. Victoria brought up three possible actions for the upcoming weeks: to make a replica of the bull statue that was a pinata, to hold a 1-mile “Walk for ‘Corporate-itis’ (stickittotheman-itis?)” through the interior aisles of a single Duane Reade (we could even do ribbons!), and to distribute monopoly money to OWS participants to deposit into financial institutions, Bank of America, or to use to buy goods and services from financial district corporations. Nato proposed that we make a demand of Stephen Colbert to air an episode from Liberty Park Plaza, and we talked about occupying his studio audience/ticket booth in order to accomplish this.
It was then decided that those making proposals should be responsible for making them happen (since nothing was blocked and all was generally well-received) and possibly forming individual committees to handle each one. We did not have time during the meeting to formally establish project committees, so I am asking those who did make proposals, if they are still interested in putting a project together, to send a mass email out letting everybody know, and to organize a time/meeting location for discussion. This can also be dealt with at the next meeting.
The next agenda point was to change the name of the Arts and Culture committee to something more exciting. Nobody was against changing the name, and discussions about a name change had been brought up in previous meetings. Name suggestions are as follows:
Occupy Art Street
Artify Wall Street
Recreate Wall Street
Wall Street Bullshitters
Monster Collective (Paul generously donated a URL of this name to the group, points brought up that this was how Lady Gagas fanbase identified themselves)
New York Fun Exchange
Farts and Culture
Tactical Media Tactics
Arts and Culture
This is a lot of suggestions, so lets decide- maybe over email- which ones we like best, narrow it down, and make a poll that everyone can vote on that will be located at the info table.
We then discussed ways that A&C projects could benefit the needs of the OWS community at Liberty Park Plaza. It was noted that the entire financial district, and all of NYC, is our community. Eric proposed that something be done (quickly) about the need for shelter at LP during the rain– it was agreed that this is a great need, and that artists, not NYPD, are the ones most qualified to define/redefine what a “structure” is. [there is no standing definition, we only know that it can’t be a tent]
The meeting was then dispersed due to the General Assembly, and it was quickly decided that a mass email would be the best way for the group to communicate until all were on the same page with google groups or something better (carrier pigeon?) was proposed. This is something we will work on at the next meeting. Until then, let’s just communicate via email.
A brainstorming session was scheduled for Monday night at 6PM, this did not happen tonight due to Michael Moore showing up and all that jazz. Brainstorming sessions for Art & Culture were scheduled every day at this time, but it was not clear whether or not the next A&C meeting would also meet during this time. If anyone could clarify this, or if anyone has issues with this time, or suggestions as how to handle future meetings, please let us all know!!
Again, thank you all for being a part of this!! Please let me know if I missed anyones proposals or ideas or if there should be changes made to any of this information. We will make it a priority to return to any issues during our next session.