Tonight 7pm: Arts & Labor Art Writing Roundtable

[via OWS Arts & Labor]

Art Writing as Craft, Labor, and Art: An Arts & Labor Roundtable
Thursday October 25 at 7 p.m.
Housing Works Cafe and Bookstore
126 Crosby Street New York, NY
Admission: a book donation to Housing Works Bookstore Cafe

Art writing is hard work. However, it is often framed as a mythic activity, replete with benefits such as “the power of the pen,” the authority of the critic, and the allure of earning a living while doing something exciting, and meaningful.

The realities of writing about contemporary art include a precarious living, high attrition, hard deadlines, and the charge that criticism is “massively produced, and massively ignored.” Rather than being treated as an art form or a skill developed over time, art writing is frequently viewed as a tool of the market and an index for valuation and canonization, with art writers functioning as cogs in the vast cultural machine.

So why do people continue to write about art? Why does one aspire to become an art writer in a field that has shrinking prestige and financial returns, and when chief-critic positions are becoming scarce? And why, in this economic climate, is art writing thriving online and degree-programs devoted to the field have begun to appear?

Join Arts & Labor for a roundtable to discuss labor conditions in art writing. Hear how various writers’ practices began, how their careers evolved, and what they think about the current state of art writing. Together we will attempt to imagine how writers could develop new networks to support one another, and to practice their art and craft in a sustainable and generative way in the future.

Art writers include: Ben Davis, Kareem Estefan, Ken Johnson, Paddy Johnson, Omar Lopez-Chahoud, Walter Robinson, Mira Schor, Martha Schwendener, and Christian Viveros-Fauné.

Networks of Resistance Meet-Up – Sun Oct 28 @3pm

Building Networks of Resistance

Sunday October 28th, 3-6pm. Momenta Art, 56 Bogart in Bushwick.

Calling artists interested in alternatives to the current system!

If you are interested in organizing in your community or already doing so, let’s meet-up and talk.

3pm Pre-Event Meet-Up:
Building Networks of Resistance

4-6pm Event:
Alternatives & the Commons*

Momenta Art
56 Bogart Street
Brooklyn, NY 11206

L train to Morgan

Download Flyer: ArtCommons-MomentaOct28.jpg


*A commons is a resource that is organized and shared by individuals. Art & The Commons is part of coalition of individuals and affinity groups that are investigating ways in which art, culture, and art education can be understood and developed as a commons. Commoning also serves as a guard against private enclosures. more info:

Twice the Work, Half the Pay: Entrepreneurship and Exploitation in the Music Industry

[This Thursday. Via Arts & Labor, OWS Arts Network Group, posted on October 4, 2012 ]

1942 Recording BanThursday, Oct. 18, 6-8pm
Judson Memorial Church, Assembly Hall (239 Thompson St., New York)
Facebook invite:

The annual CMJ Music Marathon comes to NYC October 16-20, with panels on the music business promising to “help make sense of the current climate.” But what does it really offer musicians? How does the industry itself, which promotes ideas such as the “super-entrepreneur,” contribute to the difficult conditions musicians face?

Musicians regularly surmount these myriad problems: working for tips, below minimum wage or nothing; misclassification/1099s; inconsistent gigs; multiple employers; a lack of respect for their profession; and a byzantine system of agents, contractors, media and tech companies climbing over each to profit from musicians’ work.

Individually, we make it work because we have to. We have to survive, we have to make a living, we have to perform. The industry leads us to believe that there is no other way to do so. And while so much of our career is social (performing and networking), we are on our own when it comes to the business side. This hardly allows us to see the big picture. Who’s making the money? Why should musicians take on so much of the risk, but little of the reward?

These issues are not unique to the music industry. Many people in professions deemed “entrepreneurial” or “independent” experience similar conditions, including visual artists, taxi drivers, childcare workers, truckers, freelancers, construction workers, domestic workers, writers, and others. How are they addressing these problems?

Join musicians and other workers for a facilitated discussion and strategy session to explore ways we can act together against the systems that keep us isolated and divided.

A collaboration between OWS Arts & Labor99 Pickets, and the Musicians Solidarity Council.

Image above: The 1942 Recording Ban and the ASCAP/BMI War

Archives and Activism Symposium Today

Archives and Activism

[ from: Archivist Round Table of Metropolitan New YorkSession 3 with OWS Archives] If archivism was indeed ever exclusively ideologically neutral in its approach to managing historical materials, many archivists have come to see said objectivity as illusory at best. Principal amongst the reasons for this shift in perspective within the archives community is a growing awareness that its custodianship of cultural materials can never be enacted in a manner wholly divorced from interpretation, advocacy, and the ever-present demands of the socially or economically powerful institutions that fund and administer archives.

Despite the extent to which this emergent awareness has affected how archivists approach their responsibilities, there remains a mistrust of the archival world by those most committed to the dismantling of hegemonic structures, particularly amongst activists, on the grounds that traditional institutional frameworks often fail to provide adequate transparency, accountability or sensitivity to the needs of marginalized individuals, communities, and movements.

How far can, and should, archivists go in responding to the concerns of the movements they are attempting to document? Should they be rethinking, even overhauling, traditional archival practice? This symposium addresses a range of issues attendant upon archives’ evolving relationships with activism and social justice. Among these concerns are: ownership, trust, and exclusion; self-documentation by activist communities and participatory archives; and collaborations between activists, archivists, and researchers using emerging technologies. Presenters representing a variety of institutions, initiatives, and activist communities will explore theoretical concerns as well as practice-based approaches to documenting social activism.

This symposium is dedicated to the memory of archivist and historian Michael Nash (1946-2012).

Session 3 with OWS Archives –> New Content, New Communities: Acquisition and
Preservation in Nontraditional Archives (*Planning for the Short and Long Term Stewardship of Occupy Wall Street’s Digital Records Anna Perricci, OWS Archives Working Group )

– – – – –


Friday, 12 October 2012

8:30 am – 9:00 am Registration
9:00 am – 5:00 pm Symposium Sessions
5:00 pm – 6:00 pm Reception


Theresa Lang Community and Student Center
Arnhold Hall
55 West 13th Street
New York, NY 10011

9:15am – 10:00am: Session 1. Assessing the Relationship between Archives and Activism

10:00am– 11:15am: Session 2. Mobilizing Documentary Practice: Building Archives and

11:30am – 1:00pm: Session 3*. New Content, New Communities: Acquisition and
Preservation in Nontraditional Archives (*Planning for the Short and Long Term Stewardship of Occupy Wall Street’s Digital Records Anna Perricci, OWS Archives Working Group )

2:00pm -3:30pm: Session 4. Whose Archives?: Interactions between Archivists and

3:45pm – 5:00pm: Session 5. Archives as a Site of Activism

5:00pm – 6:00pm: Reception


2NITE: Arts Cluster 5 – Keep it ALIVE!!!

Occupy Wall Street; Arts Cluster 5 -7pm Oct 7, 2012

Dear OWS Arts Groups and people!
The next meeting of the Arts Cluster IS happening this coming Sunday, October 7 at 7 PM at the Commons  388 Atlantic Avenue in Brooklyn.

For those new to this list, this is the initiative to bring together the creative community of opportunity to share information, resources, grievances and sympathies that can strengthen all of our participation in the huge work at hand.

Some of the topics discussed at past meetings included plans for the GuitarmyA Big ProjectOccupy the Empty Space’s upcoming 10 minute play festival (which was fab!)  , various puppet projects, core issues of artist entitlement, diversity and other arts actions and at the last meeting we spent time talking about events for N17 (including learning the police code of honor that Brook had gloriously set to music – which came in handy for me a couple times!), talked about a solo piece from Occupy Boston which is actually now happening in NY on Oct 22)  and also started a conversation about possible actions around Occupying the Election.

What we have on the table so far for this meeting (as well as other topics which you bring!) are follow ups on some of the above and continuing discussions about subway performances, Occupy Halloween plans and Occupy the Election. Let me know if there is anything which really needs to be added to the agenda followup before we go to new topics in Open Space.
Again – here are four easy requests:

1) It will be a potluck, so please bring some food or liquids to share if you can!

2) Please bring ideas about what to discuss in Open Space! After we do followups, the rest of the meeting, we will use the Open Space model, so that everyone hopefully has has the opportunity to bring their priorities to the group.

3)Please let us know you’re coming, and if we confirm then please also feel free to invite your friends!   If we agree to go ahead – I will also set up a Facebook page that can be used.

4)If there is something that needs to be on the followup list (anything I’ve left out) or anything that needs to urgently be on the agenda before we go to Open Space, please contact me beforehand and let me know.


Again that’s Sunday October 7 at 7 PM (will end at 10pm) at The Commons  388 Atlantic Avenue in Brooklyn.

Hope to see you there!
Morgan and the Arts Cluster team

Thurs Oct 4th @7pm: Struggle for The Commons

The following event is being organized by The Base. The Base will be working with autonomous artist from Occupy Wall Street in the very near future, please sign up to the Art & The Commons email list to receive information on public organizing meetings:

Autonomous Movements: The Commons BrooklynOctober 4th, 7PM
Silvia Federici and George Caffentzis

The Commons Brooklyn
388 Atlantic Avenue
(A, C,G to Hoyt-Schermerhorn; F to Bergen St;
B, M, Q, R, 2, 3, 4 and 5 to Atlantic-Pacific)

In celebration of the new radical space, The Base, we are pleased to welcome you to a talk with Silvia Federici and George Caffentzis.

This talk will focus on the struggle for the commons, communalism, and autonomist movements, which will open a discussion on current struggles and the aspirations of this new space. We cordially invite you to take part in this discussion.

Silvia Federici is a scholar, author, teacher, and activist from the radical feminist Marxist tradition. George Caffentzis is a political philosopher and a Marxist. He co-founded the Midnight Notes Collective.

The Base will be a hub for radical organizing, free resources, and workshops.